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Fritz faculty scholar fund set to draw top-notch faculty

Sept. 28, 2022

Dana Fritz (right) and her husband, Scott Fritz (left).

Story by Gracie Hedenberg

Dana Fritz, clinical professor, and her husband, Scott Fritz, have made a generous financial pledge to establish a faculty endowment fund in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (SLHS). This gift is intended to help recruit and retain top-notch faculty for the SLHS program in the years to come. Though this gift is currently at the faculty-scholar level, the Fritzes plans to grow it to a professorship-level fund in the future.

“I feel like people who want to reinvest [in education] feel like they have been given a lot,” Dr. Dana Fritz said. “And I think that is true for me, especially as an employee here for so long and as a student prior to that.”

Faculty endowment funds such as the Fritz Faculty Scholar in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences help students, the university as a whole and, of course, the professors and faculty scholars who receive them. The funds can provide faculty researchers with useful resources like new equipment or a graduate research assistant, and they can attract more experienced and prestigious faculty to teach at MU.

The Fritzes both say they know the value of the kind of good teachers their fund will attract.

“I’ve had excellent models as a foundation for my teaching, and I’ve appreciated the opportunities to keep up to date with new teaching innovations and technology Mizzou has to offer,” said Dr. Fritz, BHS ’87, MHS ’90, PhD ’00. 

“I think it’s important to give back what you get,” said Scott Fritz, BA ’87, M Ed ’92. “We’ve been given many benefits from the University of Missouri over time, so it’s not surprising that we think they are deserving of receiving something back from us.”

The most successful teachers in SLHS, Dr. Fritz explained, have three core qualities: clinical expertise, knowledge of academic content, and an awareness of innovations and updates in the field of SLHS.

“People who embody the School of Health Profession’s mission — to teach, to serve, to discover — have been my best teachers,” she said. “They have those three tenets at the forefront.”

Dr. Fritz had great teachers who influenced her long before she ever met her college professors: her parents. She is a first-generation college student and says that her parents always valued education and lifelong curiosity.

“Education was fundamental for my parents, even though they didn’t get to go to college,” Dr. Fritz said. “They were so excited to know what was going on, to keep up with the way science was going. They were very nerdy people! Scott and I always joke about how much my dad loved Jeopardy. He loved to watch it, loved to do well on it. [Learning] is not just facts, it’s a mindset, and I want to honor that mindset.”

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Dana Fritz

Dana Fritz

Clinical Professor