home Cycle of Success Congratulations Mizzou 18 and Mizzou ’39 Students!

Congratulations Mizzou 18 and Mizzou ’39 Students!

In the spirit of service that was the cornerstone of the 1839 founding of the University of Missouri, the Mizzou Alumni Association Student Board presents the Mizzou ’39 Award to 39 outstanding seniors each year. Chosen for their academic achievement, leadership and service to Mizzou and the community, the honorees represent a variety of majors, activities and organizations from across campus. You can meet the whole class of Mizzou ’39 here.

The Mizzou Alumni Association Student Board also presents the Mizzou 18 Award, which honors 18 University of Missouri graduate and professional students in the last year of their degree eligibility. Chosen for their world-class research, collaboration with faculty and staff, and their demonstrated leadership with undergraduate students, the honorees represent a variety of majors, activities and organizations from across campus. You can meet the whole inaugural class of Mizzou 18 here.

We’d like to recognize four students who have gone above and beyond serving on advisory boards and contributing to improvement efforts for the University of Missouri Libraries during their time at Mizzou. Thank you so much to Rachel Bauer, Alexis Ditaway, Billy Donley, and Tori Schafer for your outstanding library advocacy. We know you’re going to go on to do great things, and we hope you’ll continue to be library users and supporters everywhere you go. MIZ! LIB!



Grace Atkins

Grace Atkins is the Outreach & Open Education Librarian at the University of Missouri Libraries. She focuses on increasing the use of Open Educational Resources on campus, engaging with library users, and marketing library services, events, and resources.

The Library Advocate

To Alex Johar, Mizzou felt like home.

“It feels cliché to say, but it’s the truth. Not only is our campus absolutely gorgeous, the people that are there make you feel as though you can succeed the moment you meet them.” As an electrical engineering student, he knew the non-traditional path to medical school he chose wouldn’t be easy, but Mizzou offered him the resources in order to follow his dream and excel right from the beginning.

These days, you can find Alex, like many engineering students, in the Engineering Library, a place he credits as being instrumental to his success as a Mizzou student. The library offers invaluable collaborative space for students studying various engineering specialties and resources on cutting edge innovation in the field.

“My favorite thing about the Engineering Library is the space it provides to engineering students near our classes, peers, and professors. Although the Lafferre renovation has provided more study rooms, they are always occupied, and often not even by engineering students. The library allows students to study individually, work on a group project, or prepare for an exam with friends. As engineering spans a wide range of topics, everyone working in the same place is helpful when there are assignments requiring the intersection of multiple engineering disciplines.”

Through his regular library use, Alex became passionate about the libraries, ultimately serving as the 2016-2017 chair of the University Libraries Student Advisory Council (ULSAC). As chair, he advocated for students’ resource needs, something he says is vital to any Mizzou student experience. Students know what they need to succeed, and ULSAC wants to make sure student voices are heard.

ULSAC visiting the Kenan Science Library at UNC-Chapel Hill. The council visited the Research Triangle to help inspire the Student Vision Report

Over the past two years, ULSAC has been hard at work collecting data from students, developing a student vision for the library in order to make sure all students, regardless of their involvement or backgrounds, are supported by the University Libraries.

Mizzou is what you make of it, and not only will Alex remember the energy of the Mizzou Vs. Mississippi State football game (his favorite Mizzou memory), he will also remember how personally and academically supportive the Mizzou community was. “I cannot wait to come back to Mizzou one day and see students from other universities’ student library councils touring our libraries to bring back ideas for their schools and I am very thankful for the opportunity to have been the Chair of such an amazing council of student leaders that made this possible.”





Taira Meadowcroft

Taira Meadowcroft is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Missouri. She focuses on quality improvement, emergency medicine, and social media for the health sciences library.

home Cycle of Success, Engineering Library Taking Advantage of Resources

Taking Advantage of Resources

Civil Engineering student Elgin Burton decided to attend Mizzou after meeting with recruiters at his high school in East St. Louis, Illinois, deciding to visit, and “falling in love with the campus.” Once he arrived, Burton got involved in a number of organizations. He is currently the president of the national award-winning Timber Bridge Team. He is also T.O.R.C.H (Technical Outreach Community Help) chair for Mizzou’s chapter the National Society of Black Engineers. Once he graduates in May 2018, Burton plans on a career in transportation engineering.

Burton says, “The Engineering Library is a huge resource to me in more ways than one. The obvious one is that there are books here that I can use for all of my classes. The one I just turned in today, I used for my class all semester.”

Burton also likes that that the Engineering Library is a gathering place for his classmates. “This is a place where I do a lot of my studying, so I meet a lot of people here who are also studying the same things. A lot of collaboration happens here. Whenever I am working on a project, we usually meet in the Engineering Library. If I am struggling with a problem, I can usually find people who can help me solve it here. Or I’ll see somebody in my class, introduce myself, and ask how they are solving the problem. I meet many people in different ways at the Engineering Library. There is not another space in the building like that. ”

One of Burton’s favorite Mizzou memories is getting to know the libraries. “it was almost an oddly intimate relationship I had with Ellis and other libraries like the Math Library and [the Engineering Library], because I was completely new to the experience—I was new to Columbia, Missouri, I was new to college, I was new to a research library of that size—and over the course of my college career, Ellis Library especially became my home away from my apartment, where I feel most comfortable on campus.”

If there was one piece of advice that Burton could give to future students, Burton says, it would be to use your resources.  He acknowledges that “it can be difficult to tell new students to take advantage of your resources because they might not know about them, but the best thing to do is just to open up to opportunities and be willing to try new things. Getting involved in organizations relevant to your degree gives you contextual information and it gives you a sense of purpose. ‘I am here doing this. I am here making this change.’”

“You leave a lasting impact on the university. It also leaves a lasting impact on you.”

home Cycle of Success Everything is a Learning Opportunity

Everything is a Learning Opportunity

For senior journalism student Victor Topouria, shying away from opportunities isn’t an option. When he saw the call for the University Libraries Undergraduate Research Contest, he immediately submitted his research for consideration. His instincts were correct because his paper, The fabric road to power: geography of the textiles trade along the new Silk Road and China’s path to geopolitical dominance through the textiles supply chain, won first place and a $500 scholarship.

His paper was originally written for Dr. Hobb’s geopolitics class, but it ended up more interdisciplinary than he anticipated. This interdisciplinary approach required Topouria to investigate multiple resources for his research; resources with which he was not at all familiar. ” The library is one of the most underappreciated places on campus. Sure, everyone loves it as a study space, but I think if all of us took advantage of its resources just once, we would find it difficult to be satisfied with Google.The librarians I met were perhaps the most helpful people I’ve worked with during my time at Mizzou. I could not have completed my research without them.”

Born in Columbia, Missouri, and spending most of his childhood in Tibilsi, Georgia, Topouria says his degree will give him the versatility to pursue different passions. He wants current and future Tigers to be open to different perspectives. “Be willing to have your mind changed. Mizzou is full of interesting humans with totally different perspectives and worldviews. If your ideas, opinions, and goals remain exactly the same as when you arrived, you’re doing college wrong. Everything is a learning opportunity, and Mizzou is a place that grants you the freedom to learn, in and out of the classroom. You just have to want it!”


Taira Meadowcroft

Taira Meadowcroft is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Missouri. She focuses on quality improvement, emergency medicine, and social media for the health sciences library.

home Cycle of Success, J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library A Better Future Through Affordable Health Information

A Better Future Through Affordable Health Information

Michelle Kraft, director of libraries at the Cleveland Clinic Health System Libraries, chose to attend Mizzou for her graduate degree in library science because she wanted the opportunity to work in several different campus libraries and put what she was being taught in the classroom into practice.

During her time at Mizzou, Kraft worked at Ellis Library as an electronic resources assistant, helping students with online resources. She also completed her practicum at the J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library. She sums up her experience, “Training I got from staff at both libraries was indispensable. Their mentoring and guidance gave me real world knowledge and skills not only to work in libraries but also to thrive in my career.”

Her passion for providing library resources to medical caregivers and researchers led Kraft to her role as the president of the Medical Library Association in 2015-2016. During that year of service, she advocated for unrestricted, affordable, and quality health information on behalf of the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine to members of Congress.

If there was one piece of advice that she could give to future Tigers, Kraft said, “find your passion and get involved. You grow and learn through your involvement with others at Mizzou and that learning, energy, and knowledge can carry forward to your life after college.”


Taira Meadowcroft

Taira Meadowcroft is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Missouri. She focuses on quality improvement, emergency medicine, and social media for the health sciences library.

home Cycle of Success Mizzou Opens Up Horizons

Mizzou Opens Up Horizons

Meagan Hicks, from St. Charles, MO, was used to her small private school, but that changed when she went to Mizzou. “I was the only person from my class to go to Mizzou, and the only person I knew at Mizzou, was my sister. It was a big adjustment.” A good adjustment it would seem.

“Mizzou really helped shape me into a more well-rounded person. While I was still able to stay in my comfort zone, I was also able to explore different aspects of campus I would not normally go for,” Hicks said.

After graduating in 2014, Hicks enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science program, which led to her working as a graduate assistant at the Health Sciences Library. “Working for an academic library was an amazing experience, especially a specialized one. It was awesome helping students and faculty with their research, and their dedication is something I will always remember.”  Hicks currently uses the skills she learned on the job to offer a rich variety of services to the Moberly, Missouri community. “As a public librarian now, I want to offer programs that inspire the next generation of Mizzou students to work hard in anything they want to do.”

Hicks says she made the right decision coming to Mizzou, and wants those considering Mizzou to know that they should “try out new things, things you may not have known you would like may become your new passion. Explore and have fun!”