Cast Your Vote Now for Mizzou's Nerd of the Year


Last January Nancy Moen, a writer for Mizzou Wire in the university's communication department, had an inspiration. It arrived in the form of math professor Peter Casazza, who walked by her office every day. Casazza has messy hair and 80s-style glasses. He does math research fourteen hours a day. In his spare time, he raises rabbits. He would be a perfect subject to kick off a new series of professor profiles: Nerds of Mizzou.

She wrote at the series' inception:

Think pocket protectors and brainpower because geek is now officially chic. As a "cool" nerd assumes the presidency, the shifting sands of American pop culture decree that nerdy is in. Gosh! Let the Napoleon Dynamites of the world rejoice.
Every month since, Moen has profiled a different nerdy professor. After a couple of months, students began to submit nominations and some professors, like April's Nerd Tim J. Evans, actively campaigned for the honor.

Now the time has come to vote for the Nerd of the Year. You can vote here. But first, let Daily RFT crib terribly from Mizzou Wire and introduce you to the candidates, starting after the jump. Trading cards to follow.

January: Peter Casazza, mathematician, rabbit-breeder

Casazza with fellow mathematician and wife Janet Tremain - MIZZOUWIRE
  • MizzouWire
  • Casazza with fellow mathematician and wife Janet Tremain

February: Lenworth Johnson, neuro-ophthalmologist, wearer of Cosby sweaters


March: Jo Stealey, fiber artist, lives in a straw house


April: Tim J. Evans, veterinarian, superhero


May: Greg Alexander, nurse, makes children wear matching outfits on vacation


June: Nancy Flournoy, statistician, cigar aficionada


July: Robert Duncan, physicist, high-wheel cyclist


August: Anand Prahlad, folklorist, swami


September: A. Mark Smith, historian, sometimes forgets if he's speaking Latin or English


October: Heather Carver, playwright, clown


November: Bobby Torres, researcher, juggler


December: Glen Heggie, director of nuclear medicine, trainer of therapy poodles


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