Dr. Leigh Neier is an Teaching Professor in the Department of Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum at the University of Missouri. Now in her seventh year, Dr. Neier also serves as the Director of Elementary Education. A three-time graduate of the University of Missouri, (B.S. ’03, M.Ed ’04, and PhD ’08), Dr. Neier’s coursework centers upon best practices and pedagogy in the fields of school health and student wellbeing. Whether teaching undergraduate or graduate students, her goal is to foster future K-12 educators who understand the dynamics and outcomes associated with coordinated school health systems—after all, healthier students are better learners. Recently, Dr. Neier shifted her focus to include social and emotional learning as a central course theme; in particular, students study the practice of empathy and its connections to critical thinking and problem solving.
When not in the classroom, Dr. Neier can be found advising multiple student organizations in the College of Education and contributing to student-centered projects and initiatives throughout campus. Mizzou Athletics is another significant part of Dr. Neier’s service to campus. As the Chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, Dr. Neier takes great pride in supporting the “Mizzou Made” vision for Mizzou student-athletes. Dr. Neier has also served on the campus Race Relations Committee, NTT Committee, and as a Tri-Director for the Mizzou United Way Campaign. Dr. Neier has also recently completed the UM System Leadership Development Program. In 2014, Dr. Neier received the distinguished William T. Kemper Teaching Excellence Fellowship. She is also the recipient of the Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award, the Maxine Christopher Shutz Award and Lecture for Distinguished Teaching, an honor tap for QEBH, a four-time recipient of the College of Education’s Instructor of the Year award, and the inaugural recipient of the College of Education’s Commitment to Diversity Award. However, the title of which Dr. Neier is most proud of is that of Mizzou alumnae.
Areas of Expertise
- Coordinated School Health and academic achievement
- Health-related behavior changes as impacted by public health marketing
- Health-related education among diverse student groups