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MU Provost Names Mizzou Advantage Facilitators, Education Coordinator

April 15th, 2010

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,
MU Provost Brian Foster has announced the appointments of five Mizzou Advantage faculty facilitators and one education coordinator.

MU Provost Brian Foster has announced the appointments of five Mizzou Advantage faculty facilitators and one education coordinator.

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— Following the identification of the top five competitive assets at the University of Missouri, collectively known as the Mizzou Advantage, MU Provost Brian Foster has announced the appointments of five Mizzou Advantage faculty facilitators and one education coordinator. These individuals will facilitate interactions, relationships and creative dialogues that will lead to innovative projects in the five competitive areas; the appointments are effective immediately.

“Our competitive assets differentiate us from the biggest, best-resourced universities and allow us to do things they can’t do,” Foster said. “These facilitators will be responsible for guiding these five strategic areas, encouraging research collaborations, identifying specific grant opportunities, and helping to recruit visiting scholars and prominent scientists. This is the time to invest in our resources as our students, the state and the nation will benefit from these collaborations.”

The five strategic assets are Food for the Future; Media of the Future; One Health, One Medicine: The Convergence of Human and Animal Health; Sustainable Energy; and Understanding and Managing Disruptive and Transformational Technologies. The five facilitators are:


  • Jo Britt-Rankin (Food for the Future) — Britt-Rankin is associate dean and associate professor of Human Environmental Sciences (HES) Extension and Extension associate professor. She has served as HES interim associate dean for research and graduate studies and was a member of the Research Dean’s Council. She also is a faculty member in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, jointly administered by the College of Human Environmental Sciences; the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; and the School of Medicine. During her career as an MU Extension faculty member and administrator, she has developed statewide, regional and national networks in the areas of food, nutrition, health and physical activity.


  • Charles Davis (Media of the Future) — After ten years as a newspaper and wire service reporter, Davis earned his doctorate in mass communication from the University of Florida in 1995 and joined the MU faculty in 1999. He has served as chair of the news-editorial department and executive director of the University of Missouri’s Freedom of Information Center. Since 2005, He has been the executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. In 2009, Davis was named the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Teacher of the Year. Davis has received research grants from the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation and the Rockefeller Family Fund to study homeland security and freedom of information issues. He also received a U.S. Department of State grant to complete a curriculum reform project for Moscow State University in Russia.


  • Carolyn Henry (One Health, One Medicine) — Henry is a professor of oncology with dual appointments in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Medicine.  She earned her doctorate of veterinary medicine and masters degrees from Auburn University and was on faculty at Washington State University before accepting a position at MU in 1997.  Henry has served as director of the Tom and Betty Scott Endowed Program in Veterinary Oncology since 2002. Under her leadership, the program became a charter member in the National Cancer Institute’s Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium and has been named to the Canine Comparative Oncology and Genomics Consortium.  Henry is past president of the Veterinary Cancer Society and president of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialty of Oncology. She serves on the scientific peer review committee for the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and is a member of the Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Institute at MU.  Henry’s research focuses on comparative models of human disease including canine bone, bladder, and prostate cancer and on biomarker discovery and application for cancer screening and diagnosis.


  • Cerry Klein (Sustainable Energy) — Klein received his doctorate in industrial engineering from Purdue University in 1983 and is the LaPierre Professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering in the College of Engineering. He is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education, Institute of Industrial Engineers, and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. His research interests include information systems, entrepreneurship, health care and supply chains.


  • Carsten Strathausen (Understanding and Managing Disruptive and Transformational Technologies) — Strathausen is an associate professor of German and English and is chair of the Department of German and Russian Studies. He received his doctorate in German at the University of Oregon in 1995 and has been a faculty member at MU since 1997. His research focuses on the relationship between words and images, the impact of technology on society and new media.

Foster said the five initiatives were defined by the economy, culture and social fabric which are all in the midst of transformational change. Educational programs associated with these initiatives will help students ready themselves for the constantly changing global marketplace. Initially, the educational programs associated with the initiatives will focus on certificate programs that will provide context for graduates as they pursue their careers.

LuAnne Roth, who will graduate in May with a doctorate in English from MU, has been appointed by Foster to become the education coordinator of Mizzou Advantage. In that position, Roth will facilitate development of the certificate programs and courses.  The programs and courses will be designed with a heavy emphasis on problem-based learning, hands-on learning, team work and practical experiences outside the classroom.  Many of the courses will be cross-listed across department and college boundaries in an effort to capture the interdisciplinary ideas that characterize each of the five initiatives and complement existing majors at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

Roth received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, and her masters in folklore and mythology from the University of California-Los Angeles. Currently, she is finishing her doctorate on American folklore and film. Roth has been an instructor in the MU English department since 2001 and has taught classes on film and folklore. Previously, she served as a museum educator at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. She has published several journal articles on folklore.

Foster has budgeted $6 million to fund the Mizzou Advantage each year. He hopes this strategic effort will result in greater impact and stature for MU and more opportunities and jobs for Missourians.