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January: Briefly in the News


Partnership Between MU and Local Community Mental Health Center

Under a new agreement between one of Missouri’s largest community mental health centers and the state’s largest institution of higher education, Burrell Behavioral Health and MU will partner to provide educational opportunities for Burrell employees seeking a Master of Social Work degree from MU’s School of Social Work. Under Burrell’s tuition assistance program, employees who qualify and are selected to receive assistance —  and who also meet MU School of Social Work admission criteria — will receive $10,000 from Burrell toward their advanced degree. Selected employees will be able to pursue a Master of Social Work degree online or in person. In exchange for the financial assistance, the employees agree to continue working for Burrell for at least three years following the completion of the Master in Social Work program.


Children’s Grove, Missouri Business Alert Announce Annual Kindness in Business Award Winners

Children’s Grove and Missouri Business Alert have announced the 2021 honorees of the Kindness in Business Awards, a celebration of Boone County businesses and nonprofits that have shown and promoted kindness in dealings with customers, employees, youth, and the community at large over the past year. The honorees were chosen by a local committee following a public nomination period. In total, over 75 Boone County-based businesses and service organizations were nominated for consideration in categories including Kindness to Youth, Kindness to Employees, and Kindness to the Community.

This year’s honorees are:

 • Kindness to Youth:
Community United Methodist Church, FACE of Boone County, Prism

Kindness to Employees:
Cherry Street Cellar, Job Point, Tsokolatè

Kindness to the Community:
HeartSpace Clinic, NAMI Columbia,
Raw Roots Turmeric

This year’s honorees were featured at a virtual awards ceremony on Friday, November 12.


UM System Announces Launch of MizzouForward 

University of Missouri System President Mun Choi announced the launch of MizzouForward, which he described as “a comprehensive strategy with the goal of enhancing research and education missions.” The UM System expects the transformation of the university system to take 10 years and a $1.5 billion investment. According to the release, this is the largest investment of its kind at MU. Choi said the grand opening of the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health building embodies the spirit of MizzouForward, saying NextGen “is just the beginning.” He also announced MizzouForward will use new and existing resources to recruit 150 new tenured or tenure-track faculty and 150 new staff to support the plan’s research mission. The investment money will go toward building and upgrading research facilities, increasing student support, raising salaries of faculty and staff, and more.


State Historical Society of Missouri Expands Historic Missourians Website 

As part of its mission to support educational outreach, the State Historical Society of Missouri continues to add new biographies to the freely available education website Historic Missourians. An essential resource for students and educators, Historic Missourians features well-resourced biographies of notable Missourians. The articles are written for a school-age audience and meet education standards set by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, but readers of all ages visit the site. The new biographies were made possible through a generous donation from Carolyn P. and Robin R. Wenneker, whose financial support allowed the State Historical Society to engage MU graduate students in researching and writing articles on people with a connection to the university.


Columbia College selected to host NAIA Cross Country Championships in 2024, 2027, and 2030

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has announced that Columbia College, in partnership with the Columbia Sports Commission and the City of Columbia, will host the 2024, 2027, and 2030 NAIA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country National Championships. Each year will bring nearly 75 teams and over 600 racers to Columbia. At the 2019 NAIA Championships (the last year data was available), the city of Vancouver, Washington, received an overall economic impact estimated at $1,336,464. The average team stay was four days, and 2,000 hotel rooms were used. The 2024 event will take place on November 22, with the dates for the 2027 and 2030 championships to be announced later. All three national championships will occur at the state-of-the-art Gans Creek Cross Country Course on the south side of Columbia. 

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