Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, professor of agricultural and applied economics and director of the Economics and Management of Agrobiotechnology Center (EMAC) and the Food Equation Institute in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, has been named the Frank Miller Chair of Innovation Studies.
Kalaitzandonakes was selected for this endowed professorship due to his collaborative work in food, fiber and fuel, said Joe Parcell, interim director of the Division of Applied Social Sciences.
“We wanted to recognize first, the high-level social science research Nick has led in an interdisciplinary setting,” Parcell said. “Second, for his level of engagement with industry stakeholders, everywhere from local to international, spanning public industry to private, in innovation from farm to fork. And finally, for his graduate student mentoring.”
Kalaitzandonakes’ research seeks to understand how consumers and farmers make decisions – what motivates them and leads them to purchasing decisions.
“I am deeply honored to be named the Frank Miller Chair of Innovation Studies,” Kalaitzandonakes said. “Endowed professorships, like the Frank Miller Chair, are the highest honor faculty members can receive. They promote and reward excellence in research, teaching and service and the donors who make them possible have the vision and desire to make these benefits possible for generations to come.
“This award is particularly satisfying, however. Dr. Frank Miller was a faculty in my department decades ago and his deep commitment to the University of Missouri is still felt today. Having the opportunity to honor his legacy now and in the future is truly meaningful.”
As part of the professorship, Kalaitzandonakes will receive operating funds for research projects, including supporting graduate students.
“The operating funds made available through the endowment are meant to advance the study of innovation as a social process,” he said. “We are in the midst of fundamental technical and institutional innovation in food and agriculture across the globe. The funds from the endowment will enable our exploration on the impacts of such innovation on society.”
Kalaitzandonakes has been at the University of Missouri since 1990.