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Experts available: University of Missouri scholars available as students head back to school

July 10th, 2018

Story Contact: Cailin Riley, 573-882-4870,

The views and opinions expressed in this “for expert comment” release are based on research and/or opinions of the researcher(s) and/or faculty member(s) and do not reflect the University’s official stance.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Students, parents and teachers preparing to go back to school might be in search of advice on how to make sure children stay healthy and safe while attending class. The University of Missouri offers the following experts as you work on stories about the upcoming school year.

  • Bully prevention efforts: Chad Rose is an expert in bully prevention efforts and the intersection of social and emotional learning for students with disabilities. Rose can speak to the effects bullying has on both perpetrators and victims within schools. Rose is an associate professor of special education in the College of Education and director of the Mizzou Education Bully Prevention Lab. 
  • Mental health: Melissa Maras can discuss how schools can provide effective and efficient mental health supports to the entire school community. Maras’ areas of expertise include mental health evaluations for children and adolescents, as well as interdisciplinary workforce development. Maras is a research consultant in the MU Assessment Resource Center.
  • Getting kids ready for school routines: Pauline Bridgeman, MD, is an internal medicine-pediatrics physician with a special interest in pediatric primary care. Bridgeman can provide advice on helping children get back on track in terms of sleep schedules and other routines necessary for back-to-school success. Bridgeman is an adjunct assistant professor at the School of Medicine and an internal medicine-pediatrics physician with MU Health Care. For interviews, contact Communications Specialist Caroline Dohack at or (573) 882-4173.
  • Importance of nutrition and fitness: Stephen Ball is a nationally recognized expert on fitness, wellness and body composition research. He can speak to the connection between activity during recess and academic performance. He researches “playground zones” as one way schools can be proactive in students’ health and wellness. Ball is a professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri. He also serves as the state fitness specialist for MU Extension. 
  • Environmental health: MU researchers from a variety of disciplines are working together to determine how harmful volatile organic compounds, which could be released in the air by cleaning products, school supplies, toys and air fresheners, impact children’s health. Until recently, measuring air quality in child-care centers has been difficult and expensive. Now the researchers have created a portable, low-cost measurement tool that can efficiently measure air-quality at child-care centers. Key researchers involved in the research include; Gustavo Carlo, professor of human development and family science; Chung Ho Lin, research associate professor of forestry; Jane McElroy, associate professor of family and community medicine; Susan Nagel, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health; and Francisco Palermo, assistant professor of human development and family science.
  • Traditionally underserved students: Brian Kisida’s research focuses on identifying effective educational options and experiences for traditionally underserved students that can close achievement and opportunity gaps. His research has examined the educational benefits of school-community partnerships, art and music education, teacher diversity, and urban charter schools. Kisida is an assistant professor in the Truman School of Public Affairs.


For interviews with these or other Mizzou experts, please contact Cailin Riley at (573) 882-4870 or