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MU Distinguished Arts and Science Alumni Honored at Annual Banquet

February 20th, 2012

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— Arts and Science Week 2012 will culminate with the distinguished alumni award banquet Feb. 24 when four alumni from the college will be recognized for their successes. Honorees represent the departments of mathematics, psychological sciences, chemistry and communication. In its 31st year, the distinguished alumni awards recognize alumni whose professional contributions have enhanced their respective disciplines and the lives of others, while also reflecting well on the University of Missouri’s College of Arts and Science.

“These award winners have accomplished great things since graduating from our college, and we are honored to be able to recognize their achievements,” said Michael J. O’Brien, dean of the college.

In addition to the distinguished alumni awards, officials from the college will recognize top academic advisers, teaching assistants and faculty with Blue, Green and Purple Chalk awards, respectively. The Blue Chalk Awards for outstanding advisers will be presented to Laura Verkamp, adviser, and Charles Presberg, associate professor of Spanish. The Green Chalk Awards for outstanding teaching assistants will be presented to Maria Silvia Sarais, teaching assistant in the Department of Romance Languages, and Douglas Valentine, teaching assistant in the Department of Religious Studies. The winners of the Purple Chalk Awards for outstanding teaching include Mark Scott, assistant visiting professor of religious studies, and Oksana Loginova, associate professor of economics.

The distinguished arts and science alumni who will be honored at the banquet are:

William A. Brock
AB ’65 mathematics

William A. Brock grew up on a farm near Cole Camp, Mo., and learned practical economics in the “school of hard knocks” of agriculture.  Although he has a life-long fascination with mathematics and its applications in the sciences, the obsession of trying to understand the vicissitudes of economic life of farm families led him to a professional career as an economist.

He earned his doctorate in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1969. He is grateful to the agricultural economics department, especially Russell G. Thompson, professor of economics and statistics, and the mathematics department at Mizzou for not only a great education, but also for mentoring and instilling a strong system of values into what was a rather confused student at that time. He is grateful for math Professor Melvin D. George’s brilliant lectures in graduate analysis and to the other Mizzou mathematicians who inspired him to get his doctorate in mathematics and spend his life studying and applying mathematics to science.

Brock is known for several bodies of work.  He’s developed statistical models attempting to predict major changes in specific ecosystems, such as the collapses of fisheries, coral reefs and rangelands. He also is using statistics to study economic growth, and attempting to understand the forces that cause economic instability and those forces that promote stability and enhance economic welfare. Finally, Brock is developing methods to study how certain social interactions can become “contagious.” For example, he is studying whether obesity, smoking or happiness could be “contagious” social behaviors. Brock has more than 150 journal articles published, and his articles have been cited thousands of times by other researchers.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association, and a fellow of the Econometric Society.  He received an honorary degree from the University of Amsterdam.

Brock will give a lecture on his research at 4 p.m., Feb. 23 in Monsanto Auditorium.

June McAllister Fowler
BA ’78 psychology

As vice president of corporate and public communications, June McAllister Fowler leads internal, external, and public policy communications and community-relations efforts on behalf of BJC HealthCare, one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States and one of the largest private employers in the state of Missouri. She has responsibility for multiple areas, including media relations, executive communications, community benefits, community affairs, health literacy, corporate marketing, creative services, Web development, media services, and the award-winning employee newspaper, BJC Today.

Fowler earned her master’s degree in urban affairs from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining BJC, she was senior director of communications and community affairs for Mallinckrodt. She began her career as an urban planner with St. Louis County government, ultimately serving as director of the Department of Planning.

Fowler has been an active volunteer throughout the region for many years. She serves as vice president of the St. Louis County Economic Council and is a board member of Associated Industries of Missouri, and Citizens for Modern Transit. She also serves as a member of UMB Bank’s St. Louis advisory board and is on the board of trustees of Westminster College. Fowler is a past chair of the Girl Scout Council of Greater St. Louis and the Metropolitan Association for Philanthropy. She teaches Sunday school classes and directs the children’s services at her church.

Fowler has received a number of awards in recognition of her leadership and service.

She received the 1999 St. Louis Suburban Journals and KMOX Radio’s Women of Achievement Award, the 2000 Corporate Citizen Award from the St. Louis Business Journal, the 2001 Coro Community Leadership Award, and the 2002 National Eagle Leadership Institute Award. In 2004, Fowler was inducted into the YWCA of Metro St. Louis Academy of Leaders. In 2005 she was named one of the most influential minority business leaders by the St. Louis Business Journal and, in 2010, she was named corporate executive of the year by the St. Louis American.

A native of St. Louis, Fowler and her husband live in west St. Louis City. They have three children.

Chris Fuldner
BA ’73  chemistry

Chris Fuldner retired after 33 years of service to EFCO Corp., a manufacturer of commercial window, door, curtain wall and store front systems, when he sold the company in 2007. Throughout his career, he built the company from a small regional manufacturer to one of the largest commercial suppliers to the U.S. construction industry.

Fuldner was active with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, serving as a board member and was chairman from 2003 to 2005. He received AAMA’s Outstanding Member Award in 2006.

In addition, Fuldner is active in numerous civic and professional organizations and is honorary chairman of the YMCA fundraising board for the construction of a new YMCA facility in Monett. Fuldner and his wife, Ginny, have three children and four grandchildren.

Howard Richards
BA ’88 communications

Howard Richards was born in St. Louis and was a student in the St. Louis public school system through high school.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film and spent time working at KRCG-TV, the CBS television affiliate in Jefferson City, Mo., fulfilling duties in both the news and sports departments.

Richards spent seven seasons in the National Football League, playing six seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and one season with the Seattle Seahawks before retiring after the 1987 season.  He helped the Cowboys win four NFC East Division championships, along with making consecutive appearances in the 1982 and 1983 NFC championship games.

Following his retirement from professional football, Richards worked for 13 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served on the security staffs of four CIA directors, along with serving a tour of duty in Tel Aviv, Israel, where his duties included personnel and physical security, and liaison and security coordination in Gaza and the West Bank between the Israeli and Palestinian governments.

After leaving the federal government in 2003, Richards began a career as a licensed Realtor® in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., taking advantage of the opportunities of the exploding real estate market during the early- to mid-2000s.

Richards is active in the community. He serves as an advisory board member for Segs4Vets Foundation (, a Spirit of Hope Award-winning foundation that provides Segway personal transport vehicles to severely wounded military veterans to assist them in regaining their mobility and to improve their quality of life. He also is involved as a board member for the Gerry Bertier #42 Foundation (, which raises funds for spinal-cord research and individuals who have suffered spinal-cord injuries.

In 2011, Richards began his duties at Harris-Stowe State University as executive director of institutional security and development.  He manages a 24-hour force of 20 staff officers and five contract security officers who are responsible for providing a safe, secure environment on two campuses for students, faculty and staff.   Additionally, as higher education budgets are shrinking nationwide, Richards lends his assistance to fundraising efforts in the development office.

Richards is the president of SevenZero, Ltd., a small security-consulting business that he began in 2008.  The business spawned from former relationships developed from Richards’ employment in the federal government.  SevenZero provides specialized security consulting and support services to private industry executives and former federal government officials as they travel internationally.

Richards is a member of the St. Louis Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and the NFL Alumni and NFL Retired Players associations, whose missions include working with the numerous NFL Charities.