Staff List Phone
J.D. Bowers, Director 573-882-4333
Heidi Appel, Senior Associate Director 573-882-8066
Steven Keller, Associate Director 573-884-6893
Megan Boyer, Academic Adviser 573-882-6770
Kristina Bradley, Academic Adviser 573-882-3893
Susan Geisert, Medopp Program Manager and Chief Health Professions Adviser 573-882-3863
Darcy Holtgrave, Associate Health Professions Adviser 573-882-3863
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 J.D. BowersJ.D. Bowers, Director

Dr. J.D. Bowers came to the Honors College in August 2015. Prior to this, he was the Associate Vice Provost for University Honors, taught Genocide Studies in the History department at Northern Illinois University for thirteen years, and was also the director of NIU’s Genocide and Human Rights Institute. He holds a Ph.D. and MA in history from Indiana University and a BA in government from The College of William & Mary in Virginia.

With eight years of Honors teaching and administration behind him, Dr. Bowers is an award-winning teacher and mentor, who is passionate about making sure that honors students at MU succeed in their academic and co-curricular pursuits. He is a 2005 recipient of a Fulbright Teaching Award, a recipient of two awards for outstanding international teaching, and also received NIU’s highest award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

In addition to his role as director of MU’s Honors College, Dr. Bowers holds an adjunct teaching position in the History department and maintains an active scholarly career, leading study abroad programs, teaching courses, and conducting research. For the past three years he has led a program of students, in partnership with The Hague University of Applied Sciences (Den Haag, Nederlands), in an examination of the dimensions of post-genocide justice and conflict resolution, and he is currently working on a book manuscript exploring the last fifty years of the unresolved Cyprus conflict.

Dr. Bowers is excited to be living in Columbia with his wife, Dr. Kristy Wilson Bowers, a visiting professor in History, and their two daughters, and to be a part of the Mizzou family!

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 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, Medopp Program Manager and Chief 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 Darcy HoltgraveDarcy Holtgrave, Associate Health Professions Adviser

Darcy Holtgrave originally comes from Breese, Illinois, a town 40 miles east of St. Louis. For the sake of convenience she used to say that she was from St. Louis, but she quickly discovered at MU that many people immediately asked what high school she went to, and then the jig was up.

She completed a B.A. in English from Eastern Illinois University, an M.F.A. in Poetry from George Mason University, and a PhD in Folklore from the University of Missouri. Her research interests include health belief systems, narrative theory, and online communities; a portion of her dissertation research, an exploration of YouTube vlogs about bipolar disorder, will be included in the edited volume Diagnosing Folklore: Perspectives on Disability, Health, and Trauma.

Darcy has taught college courses in composition, literature, folklore, professional writing, and creative writing, and she has also tutored extensively for the MU and GMU Writing Centers as well as private English language schools. In her spare time, Darcy enjoys taking classes at the Craft Studio, punching trees in Minecraft, and listening to The Late Night Benedictions, a local “soultry and western” band.

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.