Missouri State Journal

 Being sensitive and inclusive is a key to valuing and supporting people in any community. Dr. Michael Stout, director of the Center for Community Engagement at Missouri State University, is the chair for the Statewide Collaborative Diversity Conference that will take place March 16-18. 

Bullying has been directly correlated to lower attendance rates, increased high school drop out rates, lower college enrollment rates, and in some horrific instances, suicide. Nearly every school has adopted a no tolerance bullying policy and instituted intervention programs for victims. Dr. Leslie Echols, assistant professor of psychology at Missouri State University, believes that victims need a more personal response and is working on a research project entitled “Are fast friends slow to bully?” that could serve as a preventative measure if instituted widely. 

The trouble with online forums is this: Participants are usually faceless and the opinions can be ruthless. That's what triggered Dr. LeAnn Brazeal, assistant professor of communication and the director of the public speaking program at Missouri State University, to research maintaining civility in online discussions. She and a co-author from Kansas State University, Dr. Soo-Hye Han published "Playing Nice: Modeling Civility in Online Political Discussions" in Communication Research Reports.

Dr. Jorge Rebaza sees so much beauty in mathematics, it’s only natural that he finds ways to connect math to almost everything else. Rebaza, professor of mathematics, teaches numerical analysis and applied mathematics at Missouri State. His recent research interests range from showing how your brain processes language to exploring a way to predict the spread of waterborne diseases. 

Barred windows, crumbling buildings, no safe green space for children to play– this is the gritty picture Dr. Mike Stout paints of a rough neighborhood in North Philadelphia in the 1990s. Vividly, Stout, associate professor of sociology at Missouri State University and director of the Center for Community Engagement, remembers walking past this area as an undergraduate student. From this he learned that some of our opportunities are afforded to us due to where we were born and who we call family.