home Cycle of Success, Staff news Sandy Schiefer Appointed Interim Head of the Journalism Library

Sandy Schiefer Appointed Interim Head of the Journalism Library

Sandy Schiefer, Journalism Research and Digital Access Librarian, has been appointed Interim Head of the Journalism Library, effective January 1. Sandy joined our staff in 2009, starting as a government documents librarian. She took over the Columbia Missourian Newspaper Library in 2016, and with its closure in 2021, has recently moved to the journalism library.

Sandy has worked hard to inform students and patrons about misinformation and the problems with social media and untrustworthy news. She is dedicated to educating people about how to evaluate and research what they see on the internet. These skills will serve her well in assisting faculty and students with their research.

Sandy’s previous positions include webmaster and software developer for Washington University, Hunter Engineering and SBC, Inc. in St. Louis. She also owned an online used-books store for six years. Sandy has a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor of Technical Computing from Washington University in St. Louis.

home Cycle of Success Rachel Brekhus Wins Outstanding Professional Librarian Award

Rachel Brekhus Wins Outstanding Professional Librarian Award

Rachel Brekhus, a research and instructional services librarian at MU, was recently presented the Outstanding Professional Librarian Award by the Missouri Library Association.

Brekhus has worked as a humanities librarian since 1999. Her favorite projects have been creating a Civil War Bus Tour of Columbia, maintaining the tradition of Black History Month Trivia Night, supporting middle and high school student research at National History Day in Missouri, and helping McNair Scholars establish excellent research and presentation skills.

home Cycle of Success, J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library Christina Pryor Appointed Interim Associate University Librarian for Specialized Libraries

Christina Pryor Appointed Interim Associate University Librarian for Specialized Libraries

Christina Pryor has been appointed Interim Associate University Librarian for Specialized Libraries, effective August 1, 2021. She will also continue her role as the Interim Director of the J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library. Chris joined the Libraries in 2018 as the Missouri Coordinator for the Network of the National Library of Medicine, and she began overseeing Health Sciences Library operations in December, 2019.

This position is a leadership role within the University Libraries, including oversight for libraries in the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, and the Missouri School of Journalism.

Chris brings excellent experience and skills to this position. She came to the University of Missouri in 2018 from the University of Washington Health Sciences Library in Seattle, where she served as the assistant director and community health education coordinator. Her previous positions include consulting and education services manager for Amigos Library Services, reference manager for the St. Louis County Library System, and medical research librarian for Covidien/Mallinckrodt. Over her entire career, she has worked to emphasize the importance of health information to a wide variety of constituents. She has a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor of Journalism from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Pryor is active in state, regional and national professional organizations. She is currently serving as President of the Reference and User Services Association, a division of ALA.

home Cycle of Success Michaelle Dorsey Appointed Special Collections Librarian

Michaelle Dorsey Appointed Special Collections Librarian

We are excited to announce that Michaelle Dorsey, a senior library specialist in collection services, will be appointed as the new Special Collections librarian, focusing on preservation. Her new position will be effective September 1, 2021.

Over her years at Mizzou, Michaelle Dorsey has acquired the required education and skills for this position. In addition, she has demonstrated a rare devotion to her craft. During the aftermath of the Ellis Library fire in 2011, Michaelle stepped up to the challenge of providing leadership for the recovery effort. She received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in 2017. She has acquired additional training in book preservation techniques in addition to her master’s in library and information science from MU that makes her uniquely qualified for this position. She also received her bachelor of arts in English from Truman State University.

In addition, she can provide a strong voice for advice regarding the materials that would be best digitized, thus providing additional guidance to the Digital Services department. To quote the findings of the MU Librarians and Archivists Council Promotions Committee, “Michaelle has a wealth of experience directly tied to this new position. In fact, she has served as the head of the preservation unit for 18 years and has over 20 years of experience in the field. She has capably served on many library and university committees, and she continues to gain new knowledge through her book conservation training with James Downey.”

Thanks to Dr. Nobel Cunningham and Caroline McBride French, whose bequest gifts provided the MU Libraries with the funds for this position.

Please join the Libraries in congratulating Michaelle Dorsey on her new position and wishing her success in her new endeavors.

home Cycle of Success, Support the Libraries Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries Celebrates the 2021 Stuckey Essay Contest Winners

Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries Celebrates the 2021 Stuckey Essay Contest Winners

The Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Robert J. Stuckey Essay Contest. The first-place winner will be awarded a $1,500 scholarship and the second-place winner is awarded a $750 scholarship. The first-place winner is Ryan Copeland of Sherwood Cass R-8 in Creighton, MO for her essay entitled “Eulogy to My Childhood.” The second-place winner is Emma Behrman of Visitation Academy in St. Louis, MO for her essay entitled “The Asian Main Character.” Each teacher of these students, Johnna Mueller and Susan Shortt, will also receive a $250 award.

Each year the essay contest is open to Missouri High School students in grades 9-12, and only one entry is accepted from each school. Each entry must address one or more aspects of books or reading. Common student topics for essays include literary analyses, accounts of personal experiences and fictional short stories. Each essay should be originally composed by the student without assistance and should not have been submitted to any previous contest or have been previously published.

The Friends of the Libraries have been affiliated with the University Libraries and the University of Missouri since 1960. The Friends have administered the Robert J. Stuckey Essay Contest for the University for the past several years. The late Robert J. Stuckey was a member of the 1963 junior class of Farmington High School and had planned to attend college. He was vitally interested in current events and enjoyed reading. This annual contest is presented in memory of him.

Thank you to this year’s Stuckey Essay judges, who are all a part of our Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries council. Judges Bill Carner, Shelby Catalano, Jody Feldman and Laurie Tourtellot had their work cut out for them with 43 great essay submissions.

You can read the winning essays here.


home Cycle of Success MoLSAMP Collaborates with Librarians to Create a Virtual Research Experience

MoLSAMP Collaborates with Librarians to Create a Virtual Research Experience

The Missouri Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program (MoLSAMP) brings underrepresented undergraduate students, from across the state of Missouri, interested in pursuing science and science related careers to the University of Missouri campus for a 9 week summer research program. Like most things in 2020, the program changed course due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not wanting to cancel and still provide a robust research experience for their students, the program transitioned to a virtual format, a format our Mizzou librarians didn’t shy away from.

The MU branch of MoLSAMP, a National Sciences Foundation grant funded program, is house in the Access and Leadership Development Unit within the Division of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. The program gives students, from nine partner institutions* around the state of Missouri, the opportunity to work with mentors and pursue research that most interests them. According to Dr. Terrell Morton, faculty fellow of the Mizzou branch of MoLSAMP, the program’s main purpose is to provide resources and opportunities to support students who have been historically and contemporarily kept out of STEM spaces given the various gatekeeping structures surrounding these disciplines.

After the decision was made not to cancel MoLSAMP, Dr. Terrell Morton was charged with creating a virtual research experience curriculum that was meaningful and engaging. The curriculum allowed for collaboration between University of Missouri and Washington University in St. Louis, providing a multi-layered, interdisciplinary virtual summer research program. This was the first ever MOLSAMP joint REU experience and comprised several coordinated educational and research activities anchored by the overarching focus on “COVID-19: It’s Impacts and Implications in Minoritized Communities. The main component of that curriculum was a research project focused on examining the intersection of COVID-19, health outcomes, and resented racial communities. With the students expected to produce a research paper on their findings, they needed to learn how to locate, synthesize and cite knowledge in the scientific literature. This is where Rachel Brekhus, humanities and social sciences librarian, and Noel Kopriva, head of the engineering library and agriculture librarian, came in.

With MoLSAMP’s previous focus on physical lab research, collaboration with librarians wasn’t previously explored. When the idea was floated to get librarians involved, Dr. Natalie Downer, the Mizzou MoLSAMP coordinator and McNair program associate director, reached out to Rachel Brekhus knowing about her work with the McNair Scholars, hoping she could provide the same support with MoLSAMP students and could recommend a second librarian to round out the team.

Working with librarians from Washington University, Rachel and Noel collaborated on weekly workshops from locating scientific literature to the publishing and peer review process. Dr. Natalie Downer says the students relied heavily on the librarians, learning how to navigate several important databases and search methods (keyword searching, fielded searching, citation searching), using Zotero for organizing and citing research sources, and visiting during virtual office hours for additional assistance. “We also spent time going over the publication and peer review processes, which are so important to understand when looking at the work on COVID-19, where the science is moving very quickly, and citations sometimes outpace peer review,” says Rachel Brekhus.

At the end of experience, MoLSAMP produced their research findings or research paper with topics that they developed and worked on over the course of the program. Noel Kopriva’s favorite part of the program was joining the students on their research journey and seeing their final products. “I liked seeing the students progress from having a nebulous idea of what they wanted to research and see how their knowledge of the relationship between COVID and race evolved over the summer. We also got to sit in on a series of practice presentations and give them feedback as they prepared for their final presentations. It was so wonderful to see how they had taken the germ of an idea and turned it into a fully developed and sophisticated presentation,” says Noel.

Special thanks to the MoLSAMP partners, Dr. Freddy Wills, Dr. NaTashua Davis, Dr. Harvey Fields for making MoLSAMP possible in 2020.

*University of Missouri – Columbia, Harris-Stowe State University, Lincoln University, Missouri State University, St. Louis Community College, Truman State University, University of Central Missouri, University of Missouri – St. Louis, and Washington University in St. Louis


Taira Meadowcroft

Taira Meadowcroft is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Missouri. She focuses on quality improvement, reference, and marketing for the University of Missouri Libraries.

home Cycle of Success Cycle of Success Revisited: Dr. Noah Manring

Cycle of Success Revisited: Dr. Noah Manring

The MU Libraries congratulates Dr. Noah Manning on his new appointment as dean of the College of Engineering. Dr. Manring is a long-time supporter of the Libraries. Check out how he used Special Collections in his History of Modern Engineering class back in 2017.

Cycle of Success is the idea that libraries, faculty, and students are linked; for one to truly succeed, we must all succeed. The path to success is formed by the connections between University of Missouri Libraries and faculty members, between faculty members and students, and between students and the libraries that serve them. More than just success, this is also a connection of mutual respect, support, and commitment to forward-thinking research.

Dr. Noah D. Manring is the Glen A. Barton Professor of fluid power in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Missouri. He previously served as chairman of the college’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and twice has served as associate dean of research. One of the courses he teaches is Engineering 2500: A History of Modern Engineering. It is through teaching this class that Dr. Manring came to know Tim Perry, one of our Special Collections Librarians. Tim arranged a lecture and demonstration on the printing press to teach the students about the history of the book, and the progression of book making since Gutenberg’s printing press in the 1450s.

Tim Perry, Special Collections

“Tim arranged an entire demonstration and working lecture for our students.  He answered questions, translated texts, and explained the significance of each item that was shown. There were three tables full of items to show and discuss. It was a very rich experience for my class – something I could not have provided for our students on my own.The library has a tremendous collection of printed material since Gutenberg’s day, including an original page from a Gutenberg Bible!”

We asked Dr. Manring what advice he had for those interested in using the library: “Make inquiries as to what resources are available, and use them!  I was referred to the Special Collections section of the library by Prof. Mark Smith in History, and I have since used this resource for my class three times.  Before Mark pointed me in this direction, I had no idea what was available and the wealth of information that could be drawn from our archives.”

If you would like to submit your own success story about how the libraries have helped your research and/or work, please use the Cycle of Success form.

Story written by Taira Meadowcroft, health sciences librarian.

home Cycle of Success Congratulations to Noah Manring, New Dean of the College of Engineering

Congratulations to Noah Manring, New Dean of the College of Engineering

On April 14, it was announced that Noah Manring will be the new dean of the MU College of Engineering. Manring has served as the interim dean of the college since May 2020. He will assume his new duties on May 1, which include leadership, advocacy for research and education, and continued excellence and growth in research, education and campus diversity.

The MU Libraries want to congratulate Dr. Manring and wish him the best in his new role.

MU News Press Release: Manring Named New Dean of the College of Engineering

Cycle of Success: Dr. Noah Manring and Engineering 2500

home Cycle of Success, Engineering Library, Staff news Cycle of Success: Inge Creates DOE Index

Cycle of Success: Inge Creates DOE Index

Mara Inge, a senior library information specialist in the Engineering Library and Technology Commons (ELTC), has created a master index of all 36,729 conference proceedings titles from the Engineering Library and Technology Commons’ Department of Energy (DOE) uncatalogued microfiche collection. Prior to Mara’s project, the only way to locate a fiche was to look for a title in the Office of Scientific and Technical Information’s (OSTI) database of DOE information, visit ELTC or another library with DOE fiche, open a cabinet drawer, and start searching. Stephen Pryor, digital scholarship librarian, provided technical assistance with the project.

In addition to all of the titles that she entered into the index, Mara also entered metadata for proceedings not previously in the OSTI database—about 1104 titles that, for all practical purposes, were not findable online at all. Her work is a wonderful way to promote this hidden collection.

The MU Libraries plan to make the index available for searching; meanwhile, please email Mara at  englib@missouri.edu with any questions about DOE conference proceedings.

home Cycle of Success Mizzou Libraries Display Students’ Creative Work Even During Pandemic

Mizzou Libraries Display Students’ Creative Work Even During Pandemic

In the Fall of 2020, Dr. Sarah Buchanan was teaching an Honors seminar on material culture and had planned to exhibit work created by her students. Restrictions on gallery visits due to the pandemic meant that her students would be accessing materials primarily online, with the possibilities for displaying their work curbed greatly. Buchanan conferred with Kelli Hansen, Head of Special Collections, and Marie Concannon, the head of government information at Mizzou Libraries, who had collaborated with her to display the physical exhibit in Ellis Library in previous years. Concannon brought in Shannon Cary, the Libraries’ communications officer, who offered to display the exhibit on the Libraries’ website.

The exhibit “Making Art for All/Our Time” showcased work by undergraduate students for the Honors seminar “Get Real, Go Places! Let Objects Take You There.” Over eight weeks, the students gathered on Zoom to peer inside the galleries, shelves and sidewalks of campus where objects of material culture are prudently managed for public interactions. The course introduces students to the practice of interpreting, inspecting and writing about objects through regular use of a sketchbook journal and weekly syntheses shared with classmates. The course is taught by Dr. Buchanan of the iSchool at the University of Missouri along with gallery, library, archive and museum (GLAM) professionals based on the Mizzou campus who contribute to the Material Culture Studies Group, established in 2014.

The Mizzou Libraries were also able to contribute to the class by providing some of its own material culture for the curriculum. The students were introduced to Special Collections through a Zoom session that focused on a broad range of items, including cuneiform tablets, maps, artists’ books and works of art. Items selected for this class are browsable on the Special Collections website.

Buchanan stated that, her “desired outcomes for the exhibit of Honors student works are to showcase themed explorations of objects we encounter across Mizzou’s galleries, libraries, archives, and museums – promoting collection uses while introducing students to material culture research.” The seminar is a central part of Buchanan’s research and teaching activities focused around provenance research, recently funded by an IMLS Early Career Development grant (the first to MU). Provenance research when applied to objects from cultures past and present can foster stronger connections between a person’s heritage, homelands, and present-day learning.

The digital display, which is still available online, includes a clay sculpture recreation of a political cartoon, a colored pencil response to works shown in the Bingham Art Gallery, and an embroidered fiber art piece depicting the plants and native species of Missouri, among others. “One digital artwork revisits the 1916 Golden Lane protest in St. Louis,” according to Buchanan, “and reminds us that art persists and connects our communities to each other.” She says the exhibit title also sought to capture the alternating sense of time being suspended yet urgent in the virtual semester, when “traveling” involved more screens and fewer miles.

The Libraries were happy to contribute to the success of the exhibit by displaying it on our website. Buchanan said she appreciated the “librarians’ flexibility in transitioning from a planned in-person exhibit to a digital post, given the physical risks right now. The students are thankful and happy to see their work alongside their classmates’.”