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MADCO's new production "WallSTORIES" is a collaboration with UMSL's German Culture Center.
MADCO (Modern American Dance Company)

Nov. 9 will mark 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall that divided Germany from 1961 to 1989.

A dance production being staged this week by St. Louis’ Modern American Dance Company explores the personal stories behind the politics of that moment in time. The production, “WallSTORIES,” was choreographed by native Berliner Nejla Yatkin and is a collaboration between MADCO and the University of Missouri-St. Louis' German Culture Center. 

Julia Lopez is a clinical social worker and public health researcher at Washington University.
Washington University

There are about 90,000 Hispanic people in the St. Louis area, but mental health services featuring Spanish-speaking providers lag behind need, said Julia Lopez, a public health researcher and clinical social worker at Washington University. 

Lopez will speak Wednesday about the need for more mental health resources for the St. Louis region’s small but growing Hispanic population.

EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

The chancellor is the chief academic, administrative, and budgetary officer of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Tom George has held the post for the past 16 years. He is retiring Sept. 1.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with George about what he hopes to see in the university’s future.

(May 24, 2019) 2019 University of Missouri-St. Louis graduate Harold Crawford talked about overcoming his life's adversities and how he plans to use his social work degree to address community violence trauma on Friday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis resident Harold Crawford is among many local college graduates who are celebrating major academic milestones this spring. The path he traveled to get to his University of Missouri-St. Louis degree was an unusual one – and far from easy. Crawford lived through tough times to make ends meet and left a life of crime and gang involvement about a decade ago.

Crawford recalled a saying that one of his teachers would reference from time to time, explaining that getting through college to get back on track was “medicine that you don’t want to take, but you need to take it.” The 37-year-old went on to complete his undergraduate degree in social work.

Courtesy of the University of Missouri-St. Louis

The Missouri Senate is considering a bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons at public universities. The House approved the measure on April 8.

HB 575 was initially meant to allow university faculty and staff to arm themselves as “campus protection officers.” But Rep. Jered Taylor, R-Nixa, added an amendment to require public universities to allow concealed carry on campus.

Driemeier started at UMSL in 1965. He retired in 2004.
UMSL

A St. Louis Public Radio founder and longtime University of Missouri-St. Louis administrator has died.

Donald Driemeier identified the need for a public radio station for the region in 1971. St. Louis Public Radio signed on about a year later, under its call letters K-W-M-U. He wrote the construction permit for the station, which was based on UMSL’s campus for years.

University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor Tom George on Thursday announced he will retire in fall 2019. March 21, 2019
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated March 21 with additional details from the announcement event  University of Missouri–St. Louis Chancellor Tom George will retire in September, he announced Thursday.

The university administration will name an interim chancellor and begin a national search for a permanent replacement.

College Bound's Debbie Greenberg (at left) and UMSL's Alan Byrd joined Monday's talk show for a closer look at what's happening in the world of college admissions.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis-area teens with whom Debbie Greenberg interacts at College Bound are doing everything they’re supposed to do as they prepare to further their education – seeking out mentors, studying for college-entrance exams, gaining financial literacy and more.

But with a high-profile college-admissions scandal making headlines at the same time that institutions around the country are releasing decision letters to potential students, some of those local teens are also feeling “a sense of outrage,” Greenberg said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air.

“There are still barriers, there are still roadblocks” for these high school students, she added, noting that the recent revelations about powerful parents using illegal means to get their children into elite schools are indicative of a much broader problem.

The four campuses of the University of Missouri System are seeing an increase in requests for student counseling and other mental health services and are working together to meet the demand.

Chris Sullivan, who oversees counseling services at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said the increase is part of a national trend as students face rising pressure ranging from stress over finances to trying to succeed in a new environment.

A student walks through the University of Missouri-St. Louis' campus Friday afternoon, May 19, 2017.
File photo| Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Crumbling sidewalks, peeling ceilings and outdated classrooms are some of the challenges facing Missouri’s public colleges and universities.

A campus review by the Missouri Department of Higher Education tallied up a $1.4 billion deferred maintenance backlog across the state’s two- and four-year campuses. This is the first review of its type in a decade.

Students training with UMSL's jazz ensemble will get an enhanced travel budget, in addition to other improvements to the program. 7/24/18
University of Missouri St. Louis

Students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis will soon have access to a beefed-up jazz studies program due to a $1.3 million donation by the Steward Family Foundation.

Though the school currently has student ensembles and offers instrument instruction and related courses — including one on jazz improvisation — students will now be able to earn a degree in jazz studies from UMSL’s newly christened David and Thelma Steward Institute For Jazz Studies.

A student walks through the University of Missouri-St. Louis' campus Friday afternoon, May 19, 2017.
File photo| Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated May 8 at 8:30 a.m. with new recommendations —

Some degrees slated to be dropped at the University of Missouri-St. Louis appear to have been saved.

UMSL administrators released final recommendations Monday on a restructuring effort designed to save the public institution money. The entire University of Missouri System is going through a similar process at the direction of President Mun Choi.

A student walks through the University of Missouri-St. Louis' campus Friday afternoon, May 19, 2017.
File photo| Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The University of Missouri-St. Louis will reduce its spending by another 2.5 percent, campus leaders announced Friday, meeting a deadline that is part of a budget cutting process across the University of Missouri System.

Beth Huebner, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at UMSL, joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss recent research about fines, court fees and surcharges at play in the criminal justice system.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed research about the role fines, court fees, surcharges and more play in the criminal justice system. The issue gained prominence in the St. Louis area after Michael Brown’s shooting death in 2014.

Dan Lauer, Allison Bischoff and Brian Dixon joined St. Louis on the Air to talk about entrepreneurship in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

A new business accelerator program seeks to put entrepreneurs on a fast track to advancing innovative energy solutions.

The application deadline to the competitive Ameren Accelerator program is May 12th.

Each year for the next three years, five to seven recipients will receive office space in the Cortex Innovation Community and $100,000 in exchange for 8 percent equity in the company – all told, about $1 million in perks and benefits that are part of the highly structured 12-week program.

Michael Middleton
Courtesy University of Missouri Columbia

This weekend will be the last for a performance of “My Country: A Devised Work,” a play presented by the UMSL's Theatre and Cinema Arts department, which was inspired by Sam Beadle’s poem “My Country.”

Courtesy of the University of Missouri-St. Louis

Updated at 5 p.m. with UM System tuition proposal — The University of Missouri-St. Louis is on pace to close its $15 million dollar budget deficit ahead of schedule.

UMSL’s top financial officer told administrators this week that the school should finish the fiscal year, which ends June 30, about $500,000 in the black instead of being $3.6 million over budget.

Julie Russell, Dayna Stock and Mark Tranel joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss a new report from the United Way and UMSL.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A recent report by the United Way and the Public Policy Research Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis found that 43 percent of all St. Louis metropolitan area households (encompassing 16 counties) do not have the monthly income to meet their basic living expenses. Basic living expenses include housing, food, transportation, taxes, health care and child care.

Provded: Ameren

Ameren Corporation is launching an energy accelerator with the help of the University of Missouri system, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators.

President and CEO Warner Baxter said on Friday the utility will invest $100,000 each in five to seven startups chosen to participate in the Ameren Accelerator program.

Michael Smith, an adjunct English professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis speaks at a small union rally on Thursday, March 23, 2017.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Some teachers at the University of Missouri-St. Louis who are trying to form a union sued the state’s university system Thursday, alleging that the rules the board of curators set forth for organizing are too restrictive.

They contend there are gender and minority wage gaps, and that the best way to close them is to unionize. The effort started last summer on the heels of successful union votes at other colleges in the region.

Tayler Leverenz, 19, is from Illinois, but is taking advantage of the University of Missouri-St. Louis' offering of in-state tuition for Illinois residents.
Ryan Delaney / St. Louis Public Radio

There’s a tug-of-war happening across the Mississippi River for students in the St. Louis region, with some colleges erasing the borders of in-state tuition prices to help navigate tough financial times.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale was the vanguard in the area, offering Missouri students a reduced price in 2009, a move that’s resulted in 95 more students from west of the Mississippi in the last five years. And the University of Missouri-St. Louis, which for five years has offered in-state tuition for Metro East residents, is expanding that benefit to all Illinois residents.

But the big winners in all of this are the students, who now have more colleges to choose from and at more affordable prices.

Millennium Student Center at UMSL
File: Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

After eliminating 85 positions last year, the University of Missouri-St. Louis is floating the idea of raising students' tuition to help manage its increasing fiscal strain.

A reduction in state assistance and a continuing decline in student enrollment are making it difficult for UMSL to close a deficit. The school was close to wiping away a $15 million shortfall in 2016, but cuts from Gov. Eric Greitens are pushing it further back into the red. 

Blanche M. Touhill served as the Chancellor of UMSL for 12 years.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

While the United States of America did not elect its first woman president this week, there is a lot to be said about the progress women have made over the past 50 years. Change-making women have fought their way to the top of their industries, crafts and society. A change-making woman herself, University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor Emeritus Blanche M. Touhill, did not want those achievements to go unnoticed in the annals of history.

Millennium Student Center at UMSL
File: Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Oct. 31 at 3:05 p.m. with background — Nearly one year after former President Tim Wolfe stepped down amid racial unrest in Columbia, the University of Missouri system plans to introduce his successor on Wednesday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the new president will be Mun Y. Choi, the provost at the University of Connecticut.

Unlike the university’s last two presidents, Wolfe and Gary Forsee, Choi comes to the University of Missouri from an academic background.

He joined the mechanical engineering department at Connecticut in 2008, after serving on the faculty at the University of Illinois from 1994 to 2000 and at Drexel University starting in 2000. He received his B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987 and M.A. and Ph.D. in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

When citizens are shooting and killing police officers and police officers are shooting and killing citizens, something is malfunctioning in civilized society. That fact is not lost on former police officers turned UMSL criminology professors Dan Isom and David Klinger.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The use of the term “Ferguson Effect,” first came into play in November of 2014, when city police Chief Sam Dotson said that police officers had reduced arrests following Michael Brown’s death and “the criminal element is feeling more empowered by the environment.” He used these ideas as reasoning for why the homicide rate in St. Louis was going up.

Beth Huebner and Herb Bernsen are in the second year of a MacArthur Foundation grant to reduce the St. Louis County jail population by 15-19 percent.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh led a discussion about UMSL and St. Louis County’s partnership to reduce the county’s jail population by 15 to 19 percent over two years.

Beth Huebner, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at UMSL, is the lead researcher on a $2.25 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that makes this work possible. She joined the show alongside Herb Bernsen, the director of justice services for St. Louis County, to discuss how the project is going.

Jim Craig, Jacqueline Thompson and Harold Taylor joined "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh to discuss "The Telling Project," which is a collaboration between UMSL and local veterans.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed a collaboration between UMSL and local veterans and their family members called “The Telling Project.” The project brings those veterans and families on stage to share their stories with the community.

For more background in the project, please read St. Louis Public Radio education reporter Dale Singer's feature on the project here

Here’s who joined the show:

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Classrooms today are not teaching a skill and that is proving detrimental to churning out informed, active citizens in a democracy, said professor Joel Westheimer on St. Louis on the Air. That skill would be: critical thinking.

“One of the big problems with schools right now is the cultural obsession with standardized testing,” Westheimer said. Westheimer is specifically referring to standardized testing around math and literacy, which is pushing aside the teaching of subjects such as art and the teaching of how to be an engaged citizen in democracy.

Ronel Reyes | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1MOICtA

This weekend, leading researchers in the field of astrobiology will convene on UMSL’s campus to share research and analysis of recent findings. That begs the question: what in the world is astrobiology, anyway?

Funny you should ask. Astrobiology is a branch of biology which is concerned with the study of life on earth and in space. This weekend’s conference will focus on exactly how life originated on Earth and if that is being echoed elsewhere in the universe.

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