What students say about their faculty mentors
We have the best faculty mentors at MU, and here's what their undergraduates have to say about them.
John Kerns, PhD, psychology
Professor Kerns is very down-to-earth and laid back with all of his research assistants. He never talked above us as if he was better than we were. It was great to know that my mentor respected me and talked to me as a peer and not just as some lowly student. Also, when he explains the research to us and what his theories are, anyone can see that he is passionate about psychology. This passion drives him to do the best research possible and made me even more interested in the research we were performing.
— Zach Hamilton, junior, psychology
Joshua J. Millspaugh, PhD, fisheries and wildlife sciences
I could not ask for anyone better to volunteer their time to help guide me through my very own research project. Whether it is in an office meeting working through the details, to learning skills in the field; he has never lacked interest in my underlying goal of this project becoming a success.
— Lucas Miller, senior, fisheries and wildlife sciences
Tim Holtsford, PhD, evolution/ecology
I feel lucky because I've found a mentor who is not only patient with me in my work, but helps guide me in my studies. He is extremely approachable and is one of the nicest guys you could know. Is an absolute pleasure to work for.
— Paul Walker, senior, biology
Jane Armer, PhD, RN, nursing research
Professor Armer's area of expertise extends far beyond lymphedema and breast cancer research and publications. Professor Armer has unquestionably enhanced my research experience by teaching me research techniques, giving me invaluable opportunities to expand my knowledge of breast cancer, and by always being supportive and helpful. Working with her, I have seen how research not only uncovers medical mysteries, but also dramatically improves patients' understanding and personal outlook as she unquestionably "goes the extra mile" for her research subjects. My research experience with Professor Armer has taught me far more than I could have ever learned in any class and I am very thankful for this priceless opportunity to research with her.
— Lacey Fecht, senior, biology
Walter Gassmann, PhD, plant biology
Professor Gassmann is an awesome mentor. He really tries to teach about his research and tries to involve me more. He also really cares and understands that sometimes life can get complicated. Dr. Gassmann has been a great mentor for me this semester.
— Kelvin Urday, junior, animal science
Deidre Wipke-Tevis, PhD, RN, nursing
Professor Wipke-Tevis is a very wonderful mentor because she encourages me to participate in events, she updates me with information related to my major, and I have learned so much from her since last year!
— Hiwot Woldgeorgis, senior, nursing
Shuqun Zhang, PhD, biochemistry
Professor Shuqun Zhang is the best mentor one could ask for. He trusts me and allows me to participate in very advanced work in the laboratory. He is always willing to entertain questions and works very hard towards fostering my understanding of his work. He always encourages me to work hard and efficiently and is the guiding force behind my success in research. He has a very kind personality and I believe him to be one of the most knowledgeable persons in his field. He is a mentor who really cares about his work and his students. I have the utmost respect for him and hope to continue working with him for the rest of my undergraduate research career.
— Njabulo Ngwenyama, senior, biology
Carol Lazzaro-Weis, PhD, romance languages
Professor Lazzaro-Weis is a phenomenal faculty mentor in the manner that she encourages critical thinking in research. Her professional manner and approach to our work combine to render the project highly fascinating. Our research has been by far one of the best learning experiences in terms of work, research, and writing that I've encountered at the University, and this could not be said without giving all the credit to Professor Lazzaro-Weis' patience, profound knowledge, and extreme interest.
— Michelle Andrews, senior, french
Frances Dickey, PhD, english
Professor Dickey was a pleasure to work with. She introduced me to the kind of research I will be expected to conduct in graduate school, but she did so in a way that was friendly and encouraging. I was given an independence that didn't leave me overwhelmed but allowed me to flex my own academic muscle. I am glad that I had this experience.
— Jesse Drury, freshman, english
Peter Pfeifer, PhD, physics and astronomy
Professor Pfeifer has been an absolutely amazing mentor. He has helped me every step of the way in our research. He is both a good researcher and a fantastic teacher. He also has the rare quality of being both very knowledgeable and very humble. He is the kind of professor who will both teach you everything you need to know and encourage you to learn more on your own. He also cares deeply about his students' success both in research and academics. He has backed me 110 percent in everything we have done. He has been everything I could have hoped for in an advisor and he has earned both my respect and gratitude.
— Demetrius Taylor, senior, physics
Melissa Mitchum, PhD, plant sciences
It's amazing! I never thought a faculty member could be so involved in every aspect of my everyday life. I have worked for Professo Mitchum for the past two and a half years, and she pushes me everyday both academically and emotionally. It is very rare to find a faculty mentor who interested in personal growth, both in and out of an academic institution.
— Danté Smith, senior, biology