As a Ph.D. candidate, Anne’s research centers on global food security and poverty alleviation through sustainable agricultural practices. She has been instrumental in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources as they serve in the community of research and public service. She has spring boarded onto the global stage by participating in the World Food Prize dialogue and embracing creative and interdisciplinary solutions to poverty, gender issues, and hunger in the developing world. In addition to her remarkable curriculum vitae, this tap’s colleagues admire her emotional intelligence and superior interpersonal skills. In her department, she serves as a bridge between students and faculty. This new Rollins Society member is described as a model student, colleague, teacher, and researcher by her Ph.D. advisor.
Elizabeth is fiercely dedicated to the well-being of women. Specifically, she has worked on the issues of women’s health and safety as an educator and as an advocate. While studying as an undergraduate in Tennessee, she lived and worked with homeless women and children in the public schools. She has helped more than 20 nonprofit organizations around the Columbia community build capacity and find funding as coordinator of the Grant Writing Program at the Truman School of Public Affairs. This year, she represented the National Network to End Domestic Violence at the World Conference of Women’s Shelters in The Netherlands. Currently, she is working with the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, as well as Partners in Prevention, to examine the ways universities and community resources can collaborate to prevent sexually violent crimes on campus.
But her contributions to her community do not stop there. Big Brother Big Sister, Planned Parenthood, The Missouri Medicaid Coalition, and the MU Campus Safety Committee are just some of the organizations that have benefited from this tremendous individual’s dedication to the safety and well-being of her fellow women.
Reuben is an outstanding advocate for marginalized populations, transcending age, race, and socioeconomic background. As a clinician at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, he provides therapeutic services to children and adolescents from diverse backgrounds. Keeping with his passion for mentoring youth, he has coached a youth football team, coached a basketball team for youth with disabilities, and mentored elementary students in Columbia Public Schools. His dedication to meeting the mental health needs of all populations shines through with his kindness, selflessness, and lack of judgment. On campus, this young leader has tirelessly worked to improve the campus climate for marginalized populations, particularly following racially motivated incidents on campus. This new member’s passion for meeting the needs of others has left an impact at all levels of his self-defined community. Whether he leans down to encourage a third grader after his first touchdown or stands up to remind a nation that systemic racism must be changed, this honoree is, definitively, a community servant. Reuben is also the founder of the Student Coalition of Critical Action and original member of #ConcernedStudent1950.
Paul Heddings, II
Paul Heddings is esteemed for his commitment and contributions to the community of persons with disabilities. Himself a person with a disability, he has shared his experiences in a very public way to dispel false impressions that others hold about disabled persons, particularly those with vision loss.
As a law student, this honoree has continued to advocate for persons with disabilities with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. During his time with the DHHS Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, he worked on policies and programs for this medically under-served population. He served as the lead analyst for civil rights clearances assigned by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. As part of this effort, he was able to brief the Office of Management and Budget for the White House on programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Even with the demands as a law student, he has served on the board of directors at Services for Independent Living, using his knowledge on federal laws to serve the agency’s work. He also supports the Alphapointe vision center’s annual fundraising event, giving media interviews about the vision center’s services and volunteering his time to visually impaired youth.
This honoree was an integral part of the conceptualization of “The Bridge,” a space for students, faculty, and staff to develop and expand their multicultural knowledge, awareness, and skills. Her commitment to diversity awareness on campus led to her development of the course Experiencing Cultural Diversity in the U.S. to facilitate discussion on race, sexual orientation, and ability status. This course is now a requirement for all new students in the College of Education.
As a site leader for A Way with Words and Numbers, she has helped tutor children from low-income backgrounds to help them feel truly capable of learning, rather than ashamed of their academic performance. With ParentLink, she has provided culture-centric strategies for challenges that parents and caregivers face in the Missouri Bootheel, and even went above and beyond to derive ways to reach even more families in this region. Through the Dorsey Scholars Program, she has supported first generation students and helped them transition into university life. She is committed to increasing inclusion, equity, and success for everyone in the College of Education, seeking the value and beauty of individual differences.
Dina van der Zalm
Dina is a tenacious advocate at the intersection of public health and women’s issues. Upon returning from service in the Peace Corps in rural China, she immediately began devoting herself to service to her new community in Columbia, MO, in unique and collaborative ways. As a student of both social work and public health, she has powerfully organized her fellow classmates into action at local, state, and national levels. While serving as chairperson of the Missouri Public Health Advocacy Coalition, she has presented the health impact of legislation to our policymakers in the Missouri General Assembly and spent countless hours knocking on doors in the Capitol building. She was instrumental in the 72-hour filibuster in Jefferson City against legislation restricting access to reproductive care, and she serves as a volunteer escort at Planned Parenthood, helping women and men feel supported and safe as they enter and leave the clinic. Her fellow volunteers describe her as resilient, focused, and dedicated to the mission of every organization she supports. Her talents in collaboration and communication, as well as her academic prowess, have served countless members of the community, and make her a tremendous asset to the greater campus and Missouri community.
This tap into the Rollins Society is committed to representing and giving a voice to marginalized populations. As a member of Mizzou Grass Roots Organizing for the last five years, she has worked to make life better for Missourians by working with social and economic justice programs, in addition to campaigns to educate people on issues such as Medicaid, payday loans, and the prison-industrial complex.
This tap has also been instrumental in the formation of two campus organizations dedicated to justice movements. The Mizzou Social Justice Collaborative, formed last year, advocates for policy changes that benefit everyone. She is also a founding member of MU Policy Now, an ad hoc group of graduate students that formed to address issues of racial and ethnic inequalities, student representation and input, graduate student rights, and other issues that have come to light on the Mizzou campus. Through her efforts, students how have a voice at the table with University leadership. Through the Association for Black Graduate and Professional Students, her services have continued on countless task forces and committees to make sure all students have a voice that can be heard.
Anahita Zare is committed to making science accessible and enjoyable for all students. Her involvement in science outreach began with the Chemistry Immersion Program, which brings high school students and their teachers to Mizzou every summer. In this program, she aids in teacher development and the preparation of labs and activities for the students. As a member of the Chemistry Graduate Student Association, she volunteers for the Magic of Chemistry program, which brings Girl Scouts to the Mizzou campus to enjoy chemistry, encouraging young females to explore the sciences. In the Art in the Park festival, she has coordinated the Artful Science program, where students enjoy simple experiments in chemistry and color. On campus, her leadership in Science Communications and Public Engagement has led to the success of Science Café Columbia.
One of her nominators described her by saying, “[She] is intelligent, enthusiastic, and motivated. In fact, she is amazing.” As scientists are more frequently asked to identify the broader impact of their research, this honoree is well ahead of the curve in understanding the importance of scientific research in collaboration with scientific outreach.
Nicole Monnier has taught a range of course in Russian, primarily for undergraduate students. She is also the Director of Undergraduate Studies, where she advises all majors and minors. However, she has had a lasting impact on the graduate and professional community this year. In her role as Vice-Chair of Faculty Council, she has been a tireless advocate for graduate students. She has used her faculty role to help support efforts for graduate and professional student health care, housing, childcare, and unionization efforts. We are grateful for her work, as she has truly gone above and beyond for graduate and professional students on this campus.
Michael is a professor and researcher in the department of geology, where he is also the department chair. He works with many graduate students, and has a reputation for superior mentorship to graduate students. Additionally, he has been the chair of the Chancellor’s Standing Committee on the Status of Women, and has used this opportunity to further the experiences of women staff, faculty, and students. His service to the Mizzou institution as a whole is tremendous, and we are excited to welcome Dr. Michael Urban to the Rollins Society.