Conversations is named after its founder and inspiration, Sandra K. Abell. As a Science Education professor at MU, she valued the scientist community and directed the MU Science Education Center to enhance both K-12 and college teaching and learning. In 2002, with professors Jan Weaver, Environmental Sciences emeritus, and Mark Volkmann, Science Education emeritus, she initiated a small group of scientists who facilitated lunch time discussions of teaching.  Her group quickly grew to include regular members from across campus.

Sandi nurtured a vibrant interdisciplinary community of scientists to develop, share, and celebrate best practices in teaching science.  As Director of the MU Science Education Center, she championed science education on campus and around the globe.  In Loving Memory, Sandra K. Abell, 1956-2010.


Chair: Dr. Marcelle A. Siegel, Science Education and Biochemistry

Marcelle has led Conversations for over ten years on a volunteer basis.

Co-Organizers for 18-19:

  • Mojtaba Khajeloo, Science Education
  • Mandy Peel, Science Education
  • Kate Kelley, Religious Studies and Folklore

Recent Co-Organizers:

  • Dr. Heather Hunt, Bioengineering, 16-18
  • Mandy Peel, Science Education, 16-17
  • Dr. Karen King, Physics & Astronomy, 14-16
  • Mojtaba Khajeloo, Science Education, 15-18
  • Julie Birt, Science Education, 2014-2018
  • Dr. Ellie Nguyen, Science Education, 13-15
  • Deepika Menon, Science Education, 13-14
  • Nicholas Linke, Science Education, 13-14
  • Shannon Burcks, Science Education, 13-14
  • Dr. Mark Milanick, Medical Pharmacology and Physiology, 13-14


College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources | College of Education | Department of Physics and Astronomy | Division of Biological Sciences Office of Undergraduate Studies  | HHMI THRIVE Project | MU Science Education Center (Past Sponsor/Founder)