University of Missouri System President Mun Choi selected three faculty members from Missouri University of Science and Technology to serve as 2018-19 Presidential Engagement Fellows to share research discoveries with Missouri citizens in every county.
Dr. Diana Ahmad, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of history and political science, Dr. Joel Burken, Curators’ Distinguished Professor and chair of civil, architectural and environmental engineering, and Dr. Catherine Johnson, assistant professor of mining and nuclear engineering, will represent Missouri S&T and the UM System at a number of speaking events throughout the state, where they will discuss their research and share how that knowledge can help Missouri citizens.
“The University of Missouri is dedicated to the people of this state, and we are proud of the excellent teaching, breakthrough research and creative achievement, and meaningful engagement by our faculty,” Choi says. “We are here to serve the state by providing Missouri citizens with information about the life-changing discoveries that we uncover in our laboratories. This new program will encourage all of our faculty members to engage directly with Missouri citizens and help them improve communities across the state.”
Choi introduced the first class of the Presidential Engagement Fellows this morning during the Board of Curators meeting held at Missouri S&T. Selected faculty members were nominated by each campus based on their demonstrated excellence and their ability to communicate their research to the public.
- Dr. Diana Ahmad is a Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of history and political science at Missouri S&T where she has taught for 18 years. She specializes in the history of the American West, environmental history and history of the American Pacific. Ahmad earned her Ph.D. in 1997 at the University of Missouri-Columbia after spending nearly nine years teaching for the University of Maryland’s Asian Division in Japan, Korea, Guam and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Currently, she is researching the expansion of Manifest Destiny into the Pacific and comparing that to the movement of the United States into the American West.
- Dr. Joel Burken earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1996, where he conducted some of the initial research on phytoremediation. Since joining S&T in 1997, Burken has received the highest campus awards for teaching, service and advising and has received the Faculty Excellence Award seven times. He currently serves as Curators’ Distinguished Professor and chair of civil, architectural and environmental engineering and is a member of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board. Burken’s research has focused on low-impact and natural water treatment systems since 1991. His research in phytoremediation of organic contaminants and pioneering work in phytoforensics have led to over 80 publications, a patented environmental assessment method, and international recognition with multiple research, teaching and service awards.
- Dr. Catherine Johnson joined the Missouri S&T faculty in January 2015 as an assistant professor of mining and explosives engineering. She earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees from the University of Leeds in England in 2012 and her Ph.D. in mining engineering in 2014 from the University of Kentucky. She is working on research projects related to dust explosions, shockwave collision in condensed matter, traumatic brain injury and detonation synthesis of nanomaterials. Her research interests include explosive propagation in air, shock physics, fragmentation prediction, environmental considerations of blasting, and the advancement of blasting practices and technologies.
To request a fellow for a speaking engagement or presentation, please visit: umsystem.edu/forms/pef-speaking-request-form. There is no cost for an organization or individual to host a speaker.