Three faculty members in the College of Arts and Science have accepted invitations to become 2019-20 University of Missouri System Presidential Engagement Fellows. Associate Professor Libby Cowgill in the Department of Anthropology, Associate Professor Jerry Frank in the Department of History, and Professor Manuel Leal in the Division of Biological Sciences were nominated by a systemwide committee of their peers because of their demonstrated excellence and their ability to communicate their work to the public.
The Presidential Engagement Fellows program was established this past year to share the research and creative activities of university faculty with audiences across Missouri. The program also seeks to fulfill the university’s land grant mission to share and apply knowledge for the benefit of all Missourians.
“I’ve spent a good deal of time over the last few years thinking about the best ways to convey to the public my excitement about my research specifically and anthropology in general, so I am really happy to have an opportunity to implement those ideas,” Cowgill says. She specializes in Neandertals and modern human origins and has given many talks on human evolution. Cowgill also researches how human bone responds to exercise and uses that information to interpret what people were doing in the past based on the shape and amount of bone they had.
“As you can imagine, the relationship between bone and exercise has a lot of practical health applications,” she says.