Advisory Board

We are excited to begin welcoming members to our MOST Advisory Board. We will rely on our advisers for guidance and advice as we continue to develop our program and promote evidence-based policy in Missouri.


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Jeni Hart, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies
Associate Vice Provost for Advanced Studies
Professor, Higher Education
University of Missouri, Columbia

Jeni Hart serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies and the Associate Vice Provost for Advanced Studies at the University of Missouri. She is also a full professor of higher education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA). Prior to her current position, she served as the department chair for ELPA and as the Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

She completed her BS in Foreign Service at Georgetown University, her MEd in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration at University of Vermont, and her PhD in Higher Education Administration at the University of Arizona. She worked for 9 years as a student affairs educator at a number of colleges and universities, and one year as a faculty member at Southeast Missouri State University prior to joining the faculty at the University of Missouri.

Her scholarship is centered on three mutually reinforcing themes: faculty work, gender and feminism, and campus climate. She has published 43 peer reviewed articles and edited book chapters and presents regularly at the Association for the Study of Higher Education and American Educational Research Association meetings.

Jeni has supervised 29 doctoral dissertations and has regularly taught courses including The Professoriate; College Teaching; and Race, Gender, Ethnicity in Higher Education. Jeni has served on the University of Missouri’s Faculty Council, Graduate Faculty Senate, and College of Education’s Strategic Planning Committee. Jeni is also an alumna of the HERS Wellesley Institute and was an SEC Academic Leadership Development Program fellow.

My interest in MOST comes primarily from my current role, leading graduate studies at the University of Missouri. In that capacity, I am an advocate for graduate students, public policy that affects them, and the new knowledge that is created as a result of the important scientific, creative, and technological discoveries of which they are a part. In addition, as a higher education scholar, the future of the academy as a public good is fundamental to my ontological philosophy, and is at the heart of the MOST Policy Fellow program.


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Representative Kip Kendrick 
House District 45 – Columbia, MO
Missouri General Assembly

Rep. Kip Kendrick, a Democrat, represents part of the City of Columbia and Boone County in the Missouri House of Representatives. He was elected to his first two-year term in November 2014 and re-elected for a second term in November 2016. Kendrick currently serves as the Minority Whip of the Democrat Caucus.

Kendrick holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Columbia College and a graduate degree in Education Leadership & Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri.

Kendrick is a Board Member to the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan and was appointed to the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee. Kendrick serves as the ranking Democratic member on the Budget Committee. He serves on the Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Pensions Committee, and Higher Education Committee.

With a long-term history of civic engagement in Columbia, Kendrick comes to the House of Representatives having served as President of Benton-Stephens Neighborhood Association, Chair of the Columbia Neighborhood Leadership Program, a member of the City of Columbia Environment and Energy Commission, and Public Policy Chair for the Association for Persons in Supported Employment for the State of Missouri. Kendrick was named to the Columbia Business Times 20 under 40 class of 2015.

Kendrick’s professional resume includes administrative positions with Job Point as an Employment Advisor, with Boone County Family Resources as Support Coordinator, with Columbia College as an Assistant Director of Admissions, and with the University of Missouri School of Journalism as a Study Abroad Advisor. Kendrick currently works as Special Projects Coordinator for the Office of the General Counsel at Columbia College while he is not in session.

Kendrick, a native of Monroe City, Missouri, is married to Sarah Kendrick. They have a son, Abram Andrew Kendrick.


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Zora Mulligan
Commissioner of Higher Education
State of Missouri

Zora Mulligan was appointed Commissioner of Higher Education by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education in August 2016.

Mulligan served as assistant commissioner, general counsel and legislative liaison for the Missouri Department of Higher Education from 2007 to 2010. During that time, she participated in the development of the state’s coordinated plan for higher education; assisted in establishing policies to implement landmark higher education legislation, including a new need-based financial aid program; and conducted a review of the state’s public college and university facilities to develop a process for prioritizing capital projects.

Mulligan served as the executive director of the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) from 2010 to 2014. MCCA represents Missouri’s 12 community colleges and provides professional development opportunities for community college employees at all levels and assists community college leaders in developing consensus on shared issues. Mulligan secured $50 million in federal grants for job-training programs, successfully lobbied for a special appropriation from the state general assembly to provide community colleges with more equitable funding, and increased individual and organizational membership in the association.

Most recently, Mulligan was the chief of staff for the University of Missouri System. In that role, she advised the president, coordinated activities that involved multiple departments within the system office and multiple campuses within the four-campus system, and assisted with the ongoing implementation of the system’s strategic plan.

Mulligan holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and psychology from Drury College and a master’s degree in education and juris doctor from the University of Kansas.


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Susan Renoe, Ph.D. 
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research, Extension & Engagement
University of Missouri

Dr. Susan Renoe is Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research, Extension & Engagement at the University of Missouri, a joint position between the Office of Research and the Office of Extension & Engagement. In her role, Susan works to strengthen the university’s impact on the state of Missouri. She is also Principal Investigator for the NSF-funded National Alliance for Broader Impacts.  Previously, Susan served as Executive Director of The Connector (formerly the Broader Impacts Network) for six years.  She serves on several advisory boards including the AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute for Public Engagement Fellows Program, the Network for Advancing & Evaluating the Societal Impact of Science, and the University of Missouri Museum of Anthropology. She also served as a jury member for the 2017 Swedish Impact Award.  She received her BA and MA in Anthropology from MU and a MA and PhD in Education from the University of California-Santa Barbara.


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Senator Caleb Rowden 
Senate District 19 – Boone & Cooper Counties, MO
Missouri General Assembly

Senator Caleb Rowden was elected to the Missouri Senate in 2016, representing Boone and Cooper Counties.  Prior to his election to the Senate, Rowden served two terms in the Missouri House of Representatives.  He was first elected to the Missouri House in 2012, becoming the first Representative in the history of Missouri to beat two former State Senators in a Missouri House race.  Rowden was reelected in 2014 by an impressive 63-37 margin.

Senator Rowden is married to Aubrey Rowden, the co-owner of Love Tree Studios, a wedding photography company based in Columbia, MO. They are proud parents to Willem Keane.  In addition to his legislative duties, Senator Rowden owns Clarius Interactive, a media and marketing company also based in Columbia.

Senator Rowden has spent his life in service to others.  He enjoyed a successful career in full-time ministry as a touring Christian singer/songwriter.  During that time, he played in 45 states, selling thousands of records and garnering two top 20 national radio hits.  He also participated in multiple mission trips, ranging from serving the homeless in Atlanta, GA to a month-long internship ministering to the people of Reynosa, Mexico.

Senator Rowden’s passion for serving others is what has motivated and informed his career as an elected official.  He is as committed and passionate as he has ever been in his resolve to see this community continue to be a great place to live, work and raise a family.  Senator Rowden has been steadfast in his support for K-12 and Higher Education and has played a significant role in creating a positive environment for Missouri’s small businesses through his work as Chairman of the Missouri House Economic Development committee.


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Hallie Thompson
Co-Founder
Missouri Science & Technology Policy Fellowship

Hallie is a doctoral candidate in plant science at University of Missouri. In research supported by the Pioneer Maize Biology Fellowship, she assessed corn’s responses to drought stress in local soils. Hallie has advocated tirelessly for students and scientists in Jefferson City and in Washington, D.C. She served as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, working with Congress on issues like student debt, visas, and health insurance coverage, and training other students from across the country to advocate successfully for themselves. She was also the Early Career Representative to the American Society of Plant Biologists Science Policy Committee, and represented post-doctoral researchers and graduate students at meetings on Capitol Hill. She served as Research Network Coordinator for the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Plant, Algae, and Microbial Metabolomics Coordination Network and founded the Early Career Ambassadors Program for the International Society of Root Researchers. She is an alumna of the 21st Century Sue Shear Leadership Academy and the University of Missouri’s CAFNR Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders for Science (PTLS), and has worked in various capacities to mentor, connect, and aid skill-building in other young leaders.