News & Announcements
Aug. 22, 2023
This is part of a series of Q&As introducing faculty who have joined the College of Health Sciences for the 2023–24 academic year. Meet all of our new faculty members.
Assistant teaching professor, Department of Health Sciences and Department of Occupational Therapy
What classes are you teaching this semester?
For the Health Sciences department, I am teaching HLTH SCI 3900, Research Methods. For OT, I am teaching OCTHR 4120, Older Adult Practice.
Tell us about yourself. What is your background?
My name is Rebbecca Fenton, but I go by Beck. I was born in Colorado, and my family transplanted to Missouri when I was young.
I didn’t go to college straight out of high school; I began my journey as a dental assistant in 1993, which provided an introduction to patient care. I eventually transitioned to the administrative side of the dental office. In 2009, I decided to pursue my own specialty and began my career in occupational therapy as an occupational therapy assistant at CoxHealth Hospital. This career fueled a passion for patient advocacy, educating students, interdisciplinary teamwork and leadership studies.
In 2015, I stepped into an academic leadership role and developed two OTA programs from the ground up at Central Methodist University. In fall 2022, I joined the ranks of MU Extension by becoming a community health educator with the Mobile Health Unit’s Health Disparities project. I am now full-time faculty in the College of Health Sciences, where I work as an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy and Department of Health Sciences.
What brought you to Mizzou? To your field?
I am an MU alum — I graduated with my MHA in 2014. I am excited to teach in the same building where I completed my graduate coursework.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I find joy in contributing to the student education experience. Teaching allows me to share my passion and experience with the next generation of practitioners and educators. I love to see students find their niche! I also enjoy advocating for health sciences education and occupational therapy!
What has you excited for this semester?
I am excited to meet new colleagues, cultivate new relationships and teach at the institution where I earned my graduate degree. I look forward to shifting away from an administrative role into one that allows me to focus more on teaching and student mentoring. I hope to build collaborative relationships and expand my professional community.
What is a fun hobby or activity that you enjoy outside of work?
In my free time, I like to spend time with my immediate family — my husband and my German Shepherd dog (GSD), as well as my extended family. I enjoy cooking, gardening, sewing, hiking, listening to music and sailing. My husband and I live in a historic home that we are restoring, we love to spend time on our sailboat with our GSD and we have a farm in southern Missouri where we enjoy hunting seasons.