A Word from the President

UCM's Tradition of Teachers Who Care, Inspire

Arron Podolefsky

As I review the pages of each issue of UCM Today, I am always impressed by the successes of students, alumni and others who have a strong connection with this campus. It's exciting to learn about these individuals and especially rewarding to read about the positive impact of UCM professors on their lives.

For nearly 138 years, our outstanding faculty members have engaged in meaningful research, and they've mentored, inspired and prepared students to make valuable contributions in the world. We have a tradition of strong teaching in the classroom and a remarkable culture of caring on our campus because of our faculty's dedication to students.

As you read our cover story for this issue, you'll learn more about our faculty as great role models. Although it may be rare for a father and son to both chair the same department, the positive influences of faculty past and present are not so unusual at UCM.

It's hard to comprehend just how many student lives were touched by individuals such as Professor Emeritus Robert Ohrenberg, who spent 40 years teaching manufacturing and construction courses before retiring in 2008, or the number of students who are being influenced by a host of other professors serving our campus today.

Current faculty members such as Shari Bax, associate professor of political science, who inspires her students to get involved in the American Democracy Project and exercise their rights as voters, and award-winning author Kevin Prufer, professor of English, who nurtures new writing talent, are continuing the tradition. And, there are countless other examples.

I know many of our readers have their own stories about exceptional teachers, and I would love to hear them. If you have a story you are willing to share, please send it to today@ucmo.edu. It is truly a great privilege to be a part of an institution where good teaching is both valued and remembered.

Aaron Podolefsky, Ph.D.
President, University of Central Missouri