Happenings Around Mizzou: Learning is a Two-Way Street

Sept. 22, 2023

University mission statements are generally tied to research, instruction, and service.  Faculty create knowledge through research, they share this body of knowledge via instruction, and the research helps improve our communities through service.  At the same time, as many of us know, our classrooms allow for learning that is multidirectional – students learn from each other and from the instructor, and, importantly, the instructor learns from the students.  Every time I run into George Frees, senior Honors student at MU, I am reminded of this multidirectional flow of knowledge. George, aka George the Beekeeper, is (as you rightly guessed) a beekeeper.  He has been interested in bees since he was 8 years old and now tends to all the bees on the botanic garden that is the MU campus. This year, while still a student, George is scheduled to teach an Honors tutorial course on beekeeping called “What’s the Buzz About Bees?: An Interdisciplinary Study of Beekeeping.” This course is about “everything from starting a hive to protecting native plants and harvesting and marketing honey.”  George hopes to do ethnobotanical research, which is the study of how native people use medicinal plants to create pharmaceutical products. Talking to George about any topic related to plants, light, ethnobotany and bees is always informative – you leave knowing more about the world, and you feel good about learning about it from George!  If you have met George, you know what I am talking about and if you have not met him, I suggest you do.