Engaged Inquiry

Sample of various Mind's Eye editions spread out

There’s an old cliché that says, ‘Never stop learning.’ That’s the root of engaged inquiry: expanding horizons, dreaming, pursuing professional development, asking questions and researching and developing new ideas. At Missouri State, we believe learning is for a lifetime, and we also believe in students gaining opportunities to grow alongside faculty mentors and to get their hands dirty conducting hands-on research.

Highlighting research: A look at Mind’s Eye

One way we showcase the work of faculty and student researchers on campus is through the annual publication, Mind’s Eye. Since its creation in 2013, Missouri State has highlighted the research and scholarly activity of approximately 50 faculty members.

Here are a few highlights of our best and brightest:

A scanning electron microscope focusing on a slide of nanoscale materials

In Dr. Robert Mayanovic’s laboratory, which is one of 12 partner institutions in the United States funded through the Department of Energy’s Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments center, he and his students are researching materials to extract hydrogen more efficiently to make it a readily available energy source.

Graduate student Geoffrey Manani using lab equipment to identify compounds

At the Jordan Valley Innovation Center, Dr. Paul Durham researches why nerve cells become hyperactive and why they cause pain. Durham’s lab is paving the way and discovering new interventions for those experiencing intense, chronic pain.

Julie Masterson talking with a group of elementary school students

From her son’s consistently low marks on his spelling tests, Dr. Julie Masterson found the research question that motivated her. She researched literacy development in young children, and her findings suggested that the way in which we teach our children to spell may be wrong.

Wenping Qiu studying a grape plant with graduate student Shae Honesty

Dr. Wenping Qiu mapped the first DNA virus ever reported in grapevines, named the Grapevine Vein Clearing Virus (GVCV).

What makes their work and stories more incredible is the opportunity students are getting to conduct experiments alongside these faculty mentors. In many cases, these students are attaining grant funding for their projects, and presenting and publishing their findings.


156 books
1,097 journal articles
251 chapters
255 creative works
Faculty members continue to produce outstanding work. Their research and accomplishments continue to be a point of pride for our university.
389 proposals submitted for external grants and contracts during 2015, up from 325 in 2012

Dr. Wenping Qiu

  • Research professor and director of the Center for Grapevine Biotechnology
"We sequenced thousands of those small fragments, and then we compared our fragment sequences with sequences in the gene bank. And then we found, 'oh, this is new!'"

Student research reaches beyond the lab

In many fields, research is essential to learning. You have to hone your curiosity, develop questions, seek methods to answer those questions and then offer solutions. These critical thinking and problem-solving skills are difficult to replicate without hands-on experience. That’s why many fields at Missouri State make research part of the curriculum even at the undergraduate level.

Undergraduate Research Day highlights the hard work of students in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, and it is an opportunity for students to share their research posters with the campus community. The College of Health and Human Services showcases graduate and undergraduate student research during its Student Research Symposium each spring. Several other departments across campus host similar events to allow students in a particular discipline the opportunity to present their research.  

Daniel Hill

Daniel Hill, a senior electrical engineering major, presents his research on harnessing renewable energy during the annual College of Natural and Applied Sciences Undergraduate Research Day.


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Learning through LOGOS

Getting your work published is a learning process: As you research, plan, write, edit, proof, submit and rewrite, you master your craft. In addition, getting your work in front of a publisher can be difficult. We think students should have the opportunity to grow through that experience.

Each year, the Honors College publishes LOGOS: A Journal of Undergraduate Research. Started in 2008, each volume has content such as essays, art, fiction, poetry and scholarly articles. Everything in LOGOS is created by undergraduate students and is selected using a peer-reviewed process. It’s another great example of engaged inquiry.

Cover of LOGOS, volume 1
Volume 1
Cover of LOGOS, volume 2
Volume 2
Cover of LOGOS, volume 3
Volume 3
Cover of LOGOS, volume 4
Volume 4
Cover of LOGOS, volume 5
Volume 5
Cover of LOGOS, volume 6
Volume 6
Cover of LOGOS, volume 7
Volume 7
Cover of LOGOS, volume 8
Volume 8