Cherng Distinguished Scholars and Visiting Faculty

Each year we invite one leading scholar to campus to engage the campus, as deeply as possible, in an issue of contemporary importance. They spend several days on campus engaging with our students and faculty in a variety of settings, including a public lecture, brown-bag seminars, classroom visits, and more casually over meals and during receptions.

Future Cherng Distinguished Scholars and Visiting Faculty will contribute to our ongoing discussions about education, history, medicine, government, agriculture, technology, and economics. They provide a means for MU students and faculty to connect with the broader world of ideas and challenges. And they stimulate deeper discussions between and among the MU community, members of the Columbia community, and people throughout the state of Missouri.

2024 – Andrew Leland

Andrew Leland, who earned his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, started losing his sight while in high school as a result of retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive eye disease that leads to the deterioration of the retinas. His memoir, The Country of the Blind, documents his journey as he prepares for blindness.

MK Czerwiec, RN, MA, joins the Honors College for a symposium on Caring, Community, & Comics: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371. MK Czerwiec worked as nurse at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago at the height of the AIDS epidemic and went on to co-found the field of Graphic Medicine.

Poet, essayist, and former laser physicist Kate Greene has been selected as the 2022 Cherng Distinguished Scholar. Kate’s poetry and prose have appeared in Aeon, The Atlantic Discover, The Economist, Harvard Review, The New Yorker, Pacific Standard, Slate, and Wired, among others. Her essays have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, CBS News Radio, and The BBC World Service. She has taught writing at Vanderbilt University, San Francisco State University, the Tennessee Prison for Women, and at Columbia University as a Teaching Fellow. In 2013, Greene was the crew writer and second-in-command on a four month simulated Mars mission for the NASA-funded HI-SEAS Project. Her memoir in essays based on the experience, Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2020.

H. Washington keynote flyer

The University of Missouri Honors College hosted a week with science writer and ethicist Harriet Washington, who brought to light contemporary issues in American medicine.

Washington is most well-known for her work on the intersections of medical ethics and racism, how those facets play out in the doctor-patient experience, the application of medical technology, medical experimentation (often without informed consent), and bioethics.

She has been a research fellow at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, a visiting scholar and professor at Columbia University, DePaul University College of Law, a fellow at the University of Nevada, and a research scholar at Tuskegee University and Stanford University.

Two of her recent works, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present (2006, National Book Critics Circle Award) and A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind (2019) have been pathbreaking works in offering explanations for how our system continues to perpetuate systemic inequities, and a disparity of outcomes for the nation’s Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans.

Her virtual visit was supported by the Andrew and Peggy Cherng Fund for Honors and the Panda Charitable Foundation.

Dr. Harriet Washington 2021 Cherng Visiting Scholar Itinerary

View recorded keynote lecture here

Dr. Paul A. Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is the second annual Peggy and Andrew Cherng Distinguished Visiting Scholar. Dr. Offit’s public lectureHow to Communicate Science to the Public Or Die Trying, in the fall of 2018 centers on how to effectively deliver accurate, and easily-understandable health information to the population at large.  A brief itinerary of Dr. Offit’s scheduled lectures and discussions can be found below.  To learn more about Dr. Offit’s work and achievements, click here.

Dr. Offit 2018 Cherng Visiting Scholar Itinerary

Dr. Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote, Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, holds the distinction as being the inaugural Peggy and Andrew Cherng Distinguished Visiting Scholar. She visited Mizzou in November 2017 to deliver a public talk, entitled We’ll Show You Boys How to Dance: Kiowa Dance and Painting, 1928-1940, and her visit focused on the issues facing America today regarding Native Americans–their history, treatment, challenges, and possibilities. She brought to light many issues about Native American stereotypes, separation of children from their families, and cultural struggles.  More information on Dr. Tone-Pah-Hote’s work can be found here.