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Inside CAFNR
CAFNR Office of Academic Programs Newsletter // January 2021
Message from the Senior Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs
 (click to read)

We’re excited to welcome our faculty, staff and students back for another semester! While last year was challenging in many ways, we have good news as we head into 2021. CAFNR’s current retention of first-time college (FTC) students is 93 percent, identical to a year ago when we were not dealing with a global pandemic. Our retention of all undergraduates stands at 93.2 percent, very near last year’s percentage (93.4 percent).

This is a testament to the efforts of our instructors/professors last fall, the determination and persistence of our students, and to the efforts of our staff to provide encouragement and assistance during challenging and difficult times.

Also, please help me congratulate the 859 students who were on the Dean’s list for Fall 2020! We had 35 new students join CAFNR and attend Winter Welcome for Spring 2021, and are currently training our 33 CAFNR Ambassadors this weekend to help CAFNR recruitment, career services and advancement.

Bryan Garton
Senior Associate Dean
Director of Academic Programs

Spring 2021 & Fall 2020 Course Instructional Modality Statistics

Spring 2021 Course Statistics — overall, 78% of courses have an in-person component

  • 603 course sections (not including problems credits, readings, research, individual study or study abroad)
  • 367 (61%) — Traditional course (TR): Content delivered in-person. May have a recording used during the initial delivery and viewed later.
  • 105 (17%) — Blended (Hybrid) course (BL): 30-80% of the content delivered online.
  • 131 (22%) — E-Learning course (EL): 100% of the content delivered online.
  • 5,351 students will be taught in traditional, in-person CAFNR courses each week of the semester.

Fall 2020 Course Statistics — overall, 83% of courses had an in-person component

  • 668 course sections (not including problems credits, readings, research)
  • 441 (68%) — Traditional course (TR): Content delivered in-person. May have a recording used during the initial delivery and viewed later.
  • 113 (17%) — Blended (Hybrid) course (BL): 30-80% of the content delivered online.
  • 114 (17%) — E-Learning course (EL): 100% of the content delivered online.
  • 8,255 students were taught in traditional, in-person CAFNR courses each week of the semester.
RISE Initiative
A Commitment to Social Responsibility and Public Service (click to read)
A Commitment to Social Responsibility and Public Service »

Animal science course allows students to gain service learning experience

Degree Spotlight: Biochemistry

Biochemistry allows students to use their imagination, ingenuity and understanding of the basics of living processes to unlock life’s mysteries and improve the quality of life. The degree combines the tools of biology, chemistry and genetics to fight human disease, increase production and quality of food, and protect the environment.

Q&A With Balaji Cherupalla, Biochemistry (click to read)
Q&A With Balaji Cherupalla, Biochemistry

Why did you decide to come to the University of Missouri and major in biochemistry? What do you enjoy about the program itself? The field of study?

As someone who has grown up in Missouri and spent a considerable amount of time in Columbia, Mizzou was my clear choice for college. Coming into my first year at MU, I knew that I wanted to become a physician. I contemplated several majors, but the Department of Biochemistry stood out to me due to the quality of the faculty and how the coursework would prepare me for medical school. The Department of Biochemistry is filled with professors who understand the importance of their roles in shaping well-informed and pragmatic professionals. As for myself, I enjoy biochemistry as it provides us the tools to understand the myriad of beautiful processes involved in sustaining life.

How have you used resources in the CAFNR Academic Programs Office (student services, career services, advising, study abroad)? What was your experience like?  

The CAFNR Office of Academic Programs is second to none when compared to corresponding departments in other colleges at MU. I have had only good experiences with the office, especially in terms of advising and career services. Particularly when it comes to biochemistry, the office provides access to numerous career exploration opportunities and internships. Additionally, the advising that I have received has been excellent. My advisor has made my decision-making for coursework incredibly easy and has also been a steadfast mentor for the Biochemistry Club. The staff who work in the CAFNR Office of Academic Programs are very kind and helpful.

CAFNR’s RISE Initiative encourages students to have a variety of extracurricular experiences during their time at Mizzou (Research, International, Service Learning, Experiential Learning). What parts of the RISE initiative have you taken advantage of so far, and which do you plan to? What have you enjoyed about these experiences?

I have been fortunate enough to have had research experience prior to college, so when I came to MU, I was able to hit the ground running. As a CAFNR student, research opportunities are endless. I recommend that every student try research at some point, as it is an experience that teaches several transferable skills and imparts understanding at a rate that cannot be replicated in a classroom setting. Working in research labs has taught me the importance of perseverance and creativity when it comes to solving complex problems. An experience that I have cherished even more than research is service learning. As a service-learner, I volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia. In my role as a service-learner, I was able to interact with children outside of the classroom and earn their trust and friendship over time. My perspective on life has been further diversified through this experience and my love of interacting with others in a helpful context was fulfilled as well. If it were not for the pandemic, I would still be at the Boys and Girls Club today.

What has been your favorite activity or experience of being a CAFNR student?

My favorite experience as a CAFNR student is the annual Fall Round-Up. The round-up showcases all the different disciplines and clubs that are housed in CAFNR, which range from Biochemistry Club to the Torq’N Tigers, our tractor pulling team. It is always a pleasure to interact with all the different animals that attend as well. The Fall Round-Up also serves as a great platform to integrate freshmen into the culture of CAFNR and expose them to clubs they might be interested in joining. It is an experience that I enjoy year after year.

New Student Council Leadership Team

Congratulations to the new CAFNR Student Council Leadership Team!

  • Elizabeth Gunter – President
  • Katelyn Robinson – Vice President
  • Amaya Butler – Secretary
  • Kirby Latimer – Treasurer
  • Emma Rose Ploch – Public Relations Coordinator
  • Brendon Kleiboeker & Mary Watt – CAFNR Week Co-Chairs
  • Hailey Douglass, Reagan Limbach, Jennah Klein, Danielle Rotert and Dylan Evins – At-Large Representatives
Degree Name Change
A Strategic Change (click to read)
A Strategic Change »

Agricultural Systems Management is updating its program name to Agricultural Systems Technology to reflect new strategic priorities

  • Heather Snow, a junior in animal sciences, was recently selected as an Agriculture Future of America (AFA) Student Advisory Team member. Each year, AFA selects a Student Advisory Team that serves as AFA’s student voice and helps bring their programs to life.
  • Four biochemistry students in the lab of Antje Heese, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry, were credited as co-authors on a paper recently accepted in Plant Physiology. The students include: Kody Jones, who received funding from the MU Honors College – Discovery Fellowship and Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (LS UROP); Hayley Stiers, who received funding from the CAFNR Undergraduate Research Internship; Samuel Robinson, who received funding from Dudley Alexander – CAFNR Undergraduate Research Internship; and Paxton Kostos, who received funding from the MU Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity Program (IMSD-EXPRESS).
  • As Mizzou pivoted to new forms of learning and engagement in Fall 2020, the Office of Undergraduate Research designed and delivered a robust set of online workshops. As part of those workshops, the office created the S.T.A.R. program: Student Training for Advancing Research. For each student who attended at least five workshops or completed compliance training (IRB, RCR, EHS), they were congratulated publicly and awarded a small gift. The following CAFNR students earned S.T.A.R. honors: Anna Barone (biochemistry), Inbal Barzilay (animal sciences), Madisyn Branch (environmental science), Emma Bremer (animal sciences), Miranda Difilippo (biochemistry), Emily Groeper (biochemistry), Elizabeth Gwaltney (animal sciences), Emma Leary (plant sciences), Sophia Liefer (biochemistry), Peter Mallett (environmental science), Carolyn Parasch (biochemistry), Makenna Parks (animal sciences), Kathryn Vanden Hoek (environmental science), Mackensie Wagner (environmental science) and Paige Williams (animal sciences).