Staff List Phone
Nancy West, Director 573-882-3893
Heidi Appel, Senior Associate Director 573-882-8066
Monika Fischer, Associate Director 573-882-4328
Steven Keller, Associate Director 573-884-6893
Megan Boyer, Academic Adviser 573-882-6770
Kristina Bradley, Academic Adviser 573-882-3893
Susan Geisert, Associate Health Professions Adviser 573-882-6224
Gina Scavone, Administrative Assistant and Assistant to the Director 573-882-3893
Aleesha Coke, Administrative Assistant 573-882-2909
Belquis Elhadi, Student Receptionist 573-882-3893
Adilenne Gonzalez, Student Receptionist 573-882-3893
Eleanor Hasenbeck, Student Receptionist 573-882-3893
Brett Kempker, Student Receptionist 573-882-3893
Sara Krachmalnick, Student Receptionist 573-882-3893

Portrait of Nancy WestNancy West, Director

Dr. Nancy West came to the Honors College in September, 2011.  Prior to this, she taught Victorian and Film Studies in the English department at MU for sixteen years. She holds a Ph.D and MA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a BA from Rutgers University.

An award-winning teacher and mentor, Dr. West is passionate about making sure that honors students at MU receive all they can for their intellectual and personal growth. She is a 2004 winner of the William T. Kemper award for Outstanding Teaching, and has also received two Gold Chalk Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, the inaugural EGSA award for Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member (2005), and the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentorship Award (2011). When asked about her plans for the College, she replies, “Students enrolled in the Honors College will be provided with the best courses on campus as well as a wealth of programs and opportunities designed exclusively for them. They will become models of undergraduate excellence in character as well as intellect, and their presence on campus will create a richer, more vibrant academic culture all around in the years to come.”

In addition to her role as director of the Honors College, Dr. West maintains an active writing career. She has published articles in such journals as Narrative, Nineteenth Century Contexts, the Yale Journal of Criticism, Postscript, and the Yale Journal of Law and Humanities. Her first book, Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia, was published in 2000 by the University Press of Virginia. She completed another book, entitled Tabloid, Inc.: Crimes, News, Narratives (Ohio State UP, 2010) with former MU graduate student Penelope Pelizzon. Currently, she is working on a history of Masterpiece Theatre.

Dr. West enjoys living in Columbia with her husband, Dr. Craig Kluever, a professor in Mechanical Engineering, and their son, Silas, age 10. For Dr. West’s latest thoughts on life at the Honors College, see her blog. And please feel free to email her at

Portrait of Heidi AppelHeidi Appel, Senior Associate Director

Dr. Heidi Appel joined the Honors College in September 2012. She has been a Senior Research Associate and member of the Graduate Faculty since moving to MU in 2007, following almost two decades at Penn State as a Research Associate and Graduate Faculty member. She holds a PhD in Biology from the University of Michigan. She is a widely published author in her specialty—the molecular ecology of plant insect interactions – and continues to do research with the help of talented undergraduates in her lab in the Bond Life Sciences Center.

Her other main academic passion is interdisciplinary studies. As an ancient history and music major who discovered science late in her undergraduate career, she remains an avid consumer of discoveries in the arts and humanities, and is fascinated by the ways in which knowledge is generated in different academic disciplines.

Dr. Appel has been actively involved in innovative education throughout her career. At Penn State, she designed and taught Honors Introductory Biology and Honors Ecology & Population Biology as an integration of lecture, discussion, and problem-based learning for the Schreyers Honor College and Biology Department. Graduate courses designed at PSU and MU have similarly focused on development of critical thinking skills through problem-based learning.

She also has a strong interest in public understanding of science and has worked extensively with schools and teachers to foster understanding of the nature and value of science, and is active at MU in science communication activities.

Dr. Appel teaches the interdisciplinary Environment: from Molecules to the Cosmos fall semesters (GN_HON 2461H) and Finding the Story in Science spring semesters (GN_HON 1070H).

Portrait of Monika FischerMonika Fischer, Associate Director

Monika Fischer came to the Honors College from the German and Russian Studies Department at MU where she has been teaching since 2005 and has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Oregon and an MSEd in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College, CUNY.

Dr. Fischer has traveled widely and developed a passion for global learning and experiential education. She grew up in Germany and has lived and studied in France, the US, and Ecuador. In addition, she has conducted research in New Zealand, Turkey and Mongolia. While in Mongolia, she was intrigued by the unique interplay of Mongolian oral culture and songs. This interest has sparked her current research with indigenous oral cultures and digital storytelling in which she examines how stories affect people and create identities and cultures.

At the Honors College, Dr. Fischer is committed to promoting internationalism and a global curriculum, and ensuring that global perspectives and issues are an integral part of the intellectual and cultural experience of all honors students. She believes strongly in providing students with the opportunity for a global learning experience and encourages them to become committed citizens in their local as well as in the global community. Her role at the Honors College includes identifying exclusive opportunities for students of the Honors College to participate in various forms in social or entrepreneurial activities and combining domestic with international study.

Dr. Fischer has received numerous grants and awards, among others an eResearch Grant, Educational Technologies at Missouri Academic Transformation Grant, the 2007 Helen Williams Award for Excellence in Collegiate Independent Study, two DAAD research grants and an NEH grant that allowed her to do research on how global and social responsibility can be effectively integrated into a student’s curriculum. A recent MU Advantage grant resulted in MU Global Connect, a new undergraduate certificate in digital, global studies.

At MU, Dr. Fischer serves on the Advisory Committee for the Media of the Future Initiative and the Council of International Initiatives. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Center for the Digital Globe.

Portrait of Steven KellerSteven Keller, Associate Director

Steven Keller is an Associate Director of the Honors College and Director of the Missouri Scholars Academy. Steve has taught extensively in the Honors College, developing courses in the history of science, science and politics, as well as a “big ideas” in science course offered with Prof. David Setzer. He has been co-author of “Chemistry in Context,” the textbook used in Chemistry 1100, MU’s non-science major’s chemistry course, and has been on the staff of the Wakonse Conference on Excellence in College Teaching since 1999. In 2009, a chance meeting with Carl Edwards sparked an interest in NASCAR and the science behind racing, and Steve has developed a seminar in the “Chemistry of NASCAR”; he has toyed with the idea of creating a new honors course on the topic. Steve has been a co-facilitator for the Freshman Interest Groups for over a decade, and served as a faculty advisor to several student organizations including Tiger’s Lair and Zou Crew. He has received several awards since joining the Mizzou faculty in 1995, including a National Science Foundation Career Award (1998), the Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faulty Teaching Award (1999), the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching (2003), and most recently, the Professor of the Year Award from the Department of Athletics (2012). For the past 25 months, Professor Keller’s time away from campus is focused on being Lindsay Grace’s dad, and watching a bit of soccer here and there (he is the cousin of Kasey Keller, former goalkeeper for the U.S. National Soccer team).

Portrait of Megan BoyerMegan Boyer, Academic Adviser

Megan Boyer originally from Jefferson City, Missouri received her Bachelor of Arts from Saint Mary College in Leavenworth, Kansas and majored in English. Passionate about working with students, Megan earned her Master's degree in College Student Personnel Administration from Central Missouri State University. After leaving CMSU, Megan worked as a Residence Hall Coordinator at Mizzou for two years. Megan has been an adviser in the Honors College since 2005. Megan's two major hobbies are film photography and performing as a blues vocalist with the Megan Boyer Band. Megan advises students with last names A-L.

Portrait of Kristina BradleyKristina Bradley, Academic Adviser

Kristina Bradley is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and attended MU, with a double major in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies. As an undergraduate, Kristina was a student in the Honors College and actively involved on campus. After working in Undergraduate Admissions, she continued her education at MU, receiving a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis in Career Psychology and Development. With a passion for student affairs, she has gained experience working in the MU Career Center, Residential Life, Graduate Student Services, and with high-achieving students in the MU Fellowships Office. Kristina is the newest member of the Honors College advising team, and advises general Honors students with last names M-Z.

Portrait of Susan GeisertSusan Geisert, Associate Health Professions Adviser

Susan Geisert is originally from Kearney, Nebraska. She received her B.S. degree in Journalism—News Editorial and her M.S. degree in Mass Communications from Oklahoma State University. Susan worked as an Academic Adviser for the School of Journalism at OSU for 15 years before moving to Columbia. Susan now advises Pre-Health Professions students with last names M-Z.

Portrait of Gina ScavoneGina Scavone, Administrative Assistant and Assistant to the Director

Gina Scavone is a Mizzou Alum and longtime staff member having previously worked for the School of Medicine and Campus Facilities Operations. She and her husband Ed met at Mizzou back in the day and have two awesome children who are students here. She assists the Director as well as works with Honors College Admissions and the MedOpp program.

Portrait of Aleesha CokeAleesha Coke, Administrative Assistant

Aleesha Coke is originally from Southwest Missouri but likes to hail from Kansas City. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from William Jewell College, and a Master of Business Administration degree from William Woods University. Although her undergraduate degree suggests she is a literary connoisseur, she secretly just loves to read trashy romance novels. Her dream job is to be a best-selling author living on a beach in Hawaii. Aleesha has worked in higher education at several different institutions for over ten years in a variety of positions ranging from admissions to student advising. She came to the MU Honors College in December 2014. She now coordinates the Missouri Scholars Academy, as well as prospective student visits for the Honors College.

Portrait of Belquis ElhadiBelquis Elhadi, Student Receptionist

Belquis Elhadi is from Columbia, MO. She is a junior sociology major and honors student. She’s passionate about social justice and loves cats and film photography. Belquis works at the front desk of the Honors College, helping out in whatever way she can.

Portrait of Adilenne GonzalezAdilenne Gonzalez, Student Receptionist

Adilenne Gonzalez is a first generation Mexican American student who has lived most of her life in Pacific, MO, 2 hours away from MU. She is currently a freshman at the University studying Journalism. She is very involved on campus as a member of the Honors College, MU Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO), and also a chaser on the MU Quidditch Team.

Portrait of Eleanor HasenbeckEleanor Hasenbeck, Student Receptionist

Eleanor Hasenbeck is from Piedmont, Missouri. Eleanor is studying Journalism and Anthropology. After Mizzou, Eleanor hopes to work closely with Latin American culture within a government agency or as a foreign correspondent. Eleanor enjoys spending time outdoors, comedy, and consuming copious amounts of spaghetti.

Portrait of Brett KempkerBrett Kempker, Student Receptionist

Born in our state’s beautiful capital, Jefferson City, Brett Kempker graduated from Helias High School in 2013. He is currently a sophomore seeking a degree in strategic communications from the journalism school and a minor in business. Brett is the Honors College’s most experienced front desk staff member and serves as an HC Ambassador. Brett enjoys greeting every student with a smile and eating out of the office’s candy dishes.

Portrait of Sara KrachmalnickSara Krachmalnick, Student Receptionist

Sara Krachmalnick is a senior from the St. Louis area. She has been a member of the Honors College and the Honors College Pre-Med Scholars Program since freshman year. Sara is double majoring in Psychology and Spanish in hopes of one day attending medical school. After assisting with Summer Welcome 2014, she then began working as one of the student receptionists. Outside of the Honors College, she is involved with Mizzou Forte (a coed a-capella group), Greek life, Alternative Breaks, Mizzou Against Melanoma, and psychology research.