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MOREnet Council Member Bios

Dr. Gary Allen

Dr. Gary Allen oversees the information technology infrastructure for the University of Missouri System offices, the four campuses, UM Health System and statewide extension programs, as well as a student enrollment of more than 71,000. He also has overall responsibility for the statewide Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet). Additionally, he serves as chief information officer for the MU campus, where he oversees campus-wide computing and telecommunication operations. Beginning in 2010, he assumed the role of coordination of shared services initiatives across UM.

Allen is an associate professor of veterinary pathobiology at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a Diplomate (specialty of virology) of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (ACVM) and has served as a member of the ACVM Board of Governors. He holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Health Management and Informatics in MU’s School of Medicine and serves on the steering committee for the MU Informatics Institute. Since 2001, he has served as executive director of the University of Missouri Bioinformatics Consortium, a high-performance networking and computational infrastructure for bioinformatics research and collaboration across and beyond the four campuses of the university.

Allen received his B.S. in agriculture (biochemistry emphasis) and a D.V.M. degree from Mississippi State University and a Ph.D. in microbiology from MU. He completed postdoctoral training at Texas A&M University in immunology and biochemistry and at the MU School of Medicine in medical informatics.

Dr. Russ Brock

Russ received a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Theatre Education from Missouri Southern State College in Joplin in 1981, a Master of Arts in Communications from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield in 1988 and a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University in 2002.

He began teaching in 1981, and has taught speech, debate and theatre at Washington High School in Kansas City, Kan., Webb City High School and Monett High School. He served as Assistant Superintendent for the Monett R-I School District and then the Independence 30 School District. Russ became Superintendent for the Fayette R-III School District in Fayette and is currently serving as Superintendent for the Gasconade County R-II School District in Owensville.

Margaret Conroy

Work history:

  • Missouri State Librarian since April 2006
  • Director of Missouri River Regional Library, a 2-county regional library based in Jefferson City, MO from 2000-2006
  • Director of Little Dixie Regional Libraries based in Moberly, MO 1994-2000
  • Before becoming a public library director, worked as a cataloger at Quincy Public Library; a consultant for a regional library system in Illinois, and on a grant project cataloging historical newspapers at the University of Missouri

Professional activities:

  • MOREnet Council, past Chair
  • Member of Missouri Library Association (past president), American Library Association, Western Council of State Libraries, COSLA (Chief Officers of State Library Agencies)

Education:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Humanities Interdisciplinary, Quincy University, IL
  • Master of Library Science from Dominican University, River Forest IL
  • Master of Public Administration, University of Missouri-Columbia

Current Civic activities:

  • Jefferson City Rotary Club (past-president)
  • Ashland Optimists (currently Ashland Optimists Foundation manager)
  • River City Habitat for Humanity, Family Selection Committee member
  • Ashland Garden Club
  • Central Missouri Master Gardeners

Jacque Allen Cowherd, Ed.D.

Jacque Cowherd, since 2009, has served as Superintendent of the Fulton 58 School District. Two years prior he served as General Manager of FairCom Corporation, an international database software company headquartered in Columbia, Mo. Six years prior to joining FairCom he served as Deputy Superintendent for Administration for the Columbia Public Schools with specific areas of responsibility for business operations and budget, building services, nutrition services, safety/security, technology, human resources and transportation. Seventeen years prior to joining the Columbia Public Schools he was Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Missouri School Boards’ Association. He has also been a college administrator and secondary school teacher.

His doctorial dissertation, "Perceptions of School Board Effectiveness," called for "[s]tatewide organizations such as the Missouri School Boards Association to provide in-service education for boards of education in the area of student achievement and how school boards can affect student achievement." That research recommendation evolved into the Certified Board Member Program and legislation requiring specific board of education training.

Cowherd participates in a variety of community and professional activities including the Fulton Rotary Club (president elect), a committee member of Rotary District 6080 RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) and BSA Great Rivers Council Commissioner serving 33 Northeast Missouri Counties and continues to participate in local scout troops as a Merit Badge and Eagle Scout Advisor. He also participates in professional organizations, including the Missouri Association of School Administrators, the Missouri Association of School Business Officials and Phi Delta Kappa.

The Missouri State Teachers Association and the Columbia Community Teachers Association recognized Cowherd as an Administrator of the Year in 2004.

Cowherd is a native of Sedalia, Mo., and grew up with extended family in the Sedalia, Warrensburg and Laurie, Mo., areas. He received his Doctorate in School Administration from the University of Missouri - Columbia and undergraduate and graduate degrees from Central Missouri State University (now known as the University of Central Missouri).

David Doennig

David Doennig is the Director of the Stone County Library. Mr. Doennig is a graduate of the University of Missouri - Columbia and holds a Masters degree in Library Science. His first library job was as Adult Services Librarian at the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library. In 1973, he was named Director of the Barry-Lawrence system, a position he held until 1995 when he moved to the Stone County Library. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State University, where he majored in Political Science with an emphasis in state and local government. Mr. Doennig has been active in Missouri libraries, having held offices in the Missouri Library Association, the Missouri Public Library Directors and the Missouri Library Network Corporation.

John Heard

John Heard, Ph.D., was appointed as the Vice President for Research, Grants, and Information Systems at the A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) in Kirksville, Missouri, in 1998. He has been employed by ATSU since 1978 when he started a post-doctoral position within the department of Microbiology and Immunology of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, a school within ATSU. As the Vice President he is responsible for the two campuses of ATSU, one in Kirksville, Missouri, and the second in Mesa, Arizona. He has been associated with the technology infrastructure at the university since its inception in 1985. Prior to that time he taught and did research within the Microbiology department.

John received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston, Texas, specializing in molecular genetics. He also received an M. S. degree in biochemistry from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville and a B.S. in chemistry from Lamar University in Beaumont, both in Texas.

J. Craig Klimczak, D.V.M., M.S.

Craig Klimczak was named Vice Chancellor for Technology and Educational Support Services at St. Louis Community College in September 2003. He oversees district-wide information technology infrastructure, with an emphasis on academic support initiatives, education and training, technical standards, telecommunications, information system security, customer service and support.

Prior to joining SLCC, Klimczak served as the Chief Information Officer for the University of Missouri - Kansas City, where he was responsible for designing, planning and implementing IT and management policies and processes. He also served as the Director of Telecommunications for the University of Missouri System and also worked as an assistant professor of computer engineering, health services management and medical information at University of Missouri - Columbia.

Klimczak has a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Louisiana State University. His master’s degree in computer science is from UM - Columbia. He also has completed post-doctoral training in medical informatics at UM-Columbia.

Joel Lareau

Joel was appointed Vice President, Information Technology in July 2000 and Vice Chancellor, Information Technology July 2011 at Ozarks Technical Community College. He oversees the Information Technology and Telecommunication infrastructure for Ozarks Technical Community College system, including two campuses and three remote sites. Prior to assuming leadership duties in information technology, he worked as an Assistant Dean and faculty member, teaching computer and network technologies. He is retired from military service where he worked in the intelligence community and military aviation.

Joel received a Bachelor in Professional Aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and an MPA from University of Missouri -Kansas City.

Mark Mabe

I am the Information Technology Services (ITS) Director at Missouri Western State University. I am responsible for the management and administration of the ITS and Telephone Services departments. Our staff is responsible for the operation of all PCs, printers, centralized ERP computer hardware and software applications, local area network and associated cable infrastructure, Internet access, centralized servers and software applications and telecommunications equipment and services. Additionally, I am responsible for the development and maintenance of the annual ITS and Telephone Services budgets, the ITS/Telephone Services annual Unit Plan, the ITS/Telephone Services Strategic Plan and the five-year ITS Capital Plan.

I graduated from Missouri Western State University in 1978 with a Baccalaureate degree in Data Processing and an Associate Degree in Mid-Management. I began my career at Hallmark Cards as a computer programmer and then moved to a software consulting firm named TRES Computer Systems which was based in Dallas, Texas. After traveling the country as a software consultant I began my tenure at Missouri Western. I joined the university in 1986 as the MIS Manager and moved into the Director position in 1987.

Mariano Marin-Gomez

Mariano graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science in 1991. In 1992, Mariano joined the Lindbergh Schools' data processing department and in 1993 became the first member of the newly formed Technology Department as the Technology Coordinator. Over the following years, he oversaw the rapid expansion of technology implementation throughout all areas of Lindbergh Schools. He became the first Director of Technology for Lindbergh Schools and in 2006, Mariano graduated from Webster University with a Master of Science degree in Computer Science emphasizing in distributed systems. Mariano has taught for Webster University as Adjunct faculty and is currently an Adjunct faculty member for SBU. Since 1993, Mariano has worked to make Lindbergh Schools a leader in K-12 technology implementation and integration and has worked closely with MOREnet to support student learning for the Lindbergh community and the state of Missouri.

Waller McGuire

Ranked among the top five urban libraries in America for the past six years in the country’s leading study of libraries and literacy, the St. Louis Public library was this year ranked as the number two system in the nation. In the past due to its well-utilized public library, St. Louis was consistently recognized as one of the most literate cities in the United States.

Waller McGuire has been Executive Director of the St. Louis Public Library since 2004 and is responsible for a 16-branch system with 300 employees and an annual operating budget of $21 million. He joined the library in 1989 and held positions as Assistant Branch Manager and Branch Manager before serving for ten years as the system’s Deputy Director. In that role, McGuire had the primary responsibility of developing and implementing a master plan to renovate and rebuild the branch system. Over a period of 10 years, 10 of the system’s 16 branches have been renovated or built anew for a total cost of $30 million.

McGuire’s first task upon becoming Executive Director was to complete a master plan for the restoration and modernization for Central Library, the library’s main headquarters. Opened in 1912, Central Library is located in the heart of downtown and was designed by Cass Gilbert, one of America’s most celebrated architects. Some of Gilbert’s other notable designs are New York’s Woolworth Building, completed in 1913 and the U.S. Supreme Court Building, completed in 1935. McGuire currently oversees the implementation of the $70 million Central Library renovation project, scheduled for completion in late 2012.

McGuire, 53, is a native of Lexington, Ky., and resides in St. Louis’ Central West End. He holds a B.A. from Earlham College and earned his Masters in Library Science from the University of Kentucky.

Paul Mensching

Paul Mensching is currently serving in his fourth year as the superintendent of schools for the East Buchanan C-1 school district in Gower, Mo. His eighteenth year in public education includes service as a teacher, high school principal and superintendent. Paul began teaching at Mexico High School in 1994 where he also served on the inaugural technology committee for the Mexico school district. Mr. Mensching served as teacher and athletic director for Monroe City High School before becoming junior high, and later, high school principal for the Ralls County R-II School district. Paul received a bachelor’s degree from Westminster College in 1994 and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration, along with his Specialist degree in Education from William Woods University. He has been married to his wife Rachel for 15 years and they have four children; Abby, Bryce, Kyle and Jaxon.

Rusty Monhollon, Ph.D.

Rusty Monhollon is Assistant Commissioner for Academic Affairs at the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Before joining the MDHE, Monhollon was Associate Professor of History and Director for the Masters of Arts in Humanities program at Hood College in Frederick, Md. He also has held teaching appointments at Washburn University, Rockhurst University, the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri - Columbia. His book “This is America?”: The Sixties in Lawrence, Kansas (Palgrave, 2002), received the Edward H. Tihen Publication Award from the Kansas State Historical Association in 2003. He also the editor of Baby Boom: People and Perspectives, published by ABC-Clio in 2010.

A native Kansan, Monhollon received his baccalaureate degree at Washburn and master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Kansas. He and his wife Sonja Erickson have four children (two still at home) and three grandchildren.

Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer has spent more than 25 years in technology and management positions. Kevin started at Columbia College in 2006 as the Chief Information Officer. Prior to that, Kevin spent five years as the Chief Information Officer for the Francis Howell School District and six years as the Vice President and Chief Information Officer at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Additionally, he also has experience in technology management and engineering positions at the Federal Judiciary and McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company. Kevin received an Associates of Applied Science in Electronics from St. Louis Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Maryville University, a Masters of Business Administration from Fontbonne University, and executive certificates from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Management & Leadership and Strategy & Innovation. Kevin has 10 years of military experience (active duty and reserve duty) in the U.S. Navy serving as a search and rescue crewman and anti-submarine warfare operator. Kevin serves as the board chair for the Missouri Education and Research Consortium (MERC). Previous committee/community service include Desire2Learn conference committee (2 terms), chairman of the technology committee for the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce, chairman for the Francis Howell School District Technology Committee, board member for the St. Charles County Westplex Information Network (WIN), president of the Information Technology and Network professional association, and a graduate of the Leadership O’Fallon community program.

Barbara Reading

Barbara Reading received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Barbara has had 18 years of experience in public library service. She has also served as the youth services consultant for the Missouri State Library from 1993 to 1996 and as the Director of Library Development from 1996 to the present. She has worked with the State Library’s partnership with MOREnet for the REAL Program since 1996. The Library Development division manages more than $10 million in program and grant appropriations for library services, including the funding for the REAL Program.

Tim Robyn

Tim Robyn is currently Deputy Chief Information Officer for Web Presence, State of Missouri. He is a California native with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a masters degree in engineering from Stanford University. While attending Stanford, Tim achieved the All American status in Golf.

After graduation from Stanford, Tim went on to play professional golf.

For the last five years, Tim has served as a web developer for the State of Missouri. Tim served on teams for the Office of the Secretary of State and Office of the Attorney General. In Tim’s current role as Deputy Chief Information Officer, he is leading the state of Missouri’s web team in a mission to develop a more citizen-centric web presence.

Tim currently resides in Jefferson City, Mo., with his wife Angie, daughters Kayla (16), Emily (8) and Riley (4) and son, Davis (14).

In his spare time, Tim enjoys outdoor activities with his family.

Archie Sprengel

As Assistant Vice President for Information Technology since August 2008, Archie Sprengel is responsible for the administration and management of IT services at Southeast Missouri State University and three of its regional campuses. He began his career at Southeast in 1979, holding four other positions before being named AVP. Sprengel served as Southeast’s institutional representative when the university joined MOREnet as a charter member in 1991.

Sprengel graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics and holds an M.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University.