The C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award Honors Commitment to the Land-Grant Mission
By Caroline Murray
The intercampus award recognizes a University of Missouri System faculty member who demonstrates commitment, dedication and effectiveness in advancing the land-grant mission through extension, international education and agricultural economics programs.
The fellowship is presented to a faculty member who personifies the creativity, vision and leadership exhibited by the late Dr. C. Brice Ratchford, UM president emeritus and dean of cooperative extension.
“There are very few people who possess the initiative, drive, and dedication to turn their visions into reality,” Lynda Kraxberger, associate dean for undergraduate studies, said in her letter of support for Cropp. “C. Brice Ratchford had that rare set of qualities. The University of Missouri is fortunate that Dr. Fritz Cropp does, too.”
Since Cropp assumed leadership in the School’s international office in 2001, the School’s global programs operation has grown from one with four program locations that served fewer than 10 percent of students to one with 20 programs in which one-third of journalism students now choose to participate. In the same time period, the number of incoming international exchange students has quadrupled.
Cropp established offices in Brussels and Buenos Aires, two of the most popular options in the School of Journalism, and he has added programs in Australia, Argentina, Chile, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan and New Zealand in recent years. Through his contacts with NewsExchange, the United Nations, the European Union and other organizations, he has generated opportunities for small groups of students to cover major international events, such as the Beijing Olympics.
Cropp has also managed the School’s relations with China. There, the School of Journalism now works with the top media companies and Chinese journalism schools, with 15 students enrolled in a dual-degree program with the School of Journalism and top Chinese mass communication programs.
“He does it all for the university and its students, which he says is the best job in the world,” said graduate student Ryan Schuessler in his letter of support. “That says something about his character, outlook and selfless dedication to students.”
The School of Journalism Policy Committee voted to nominate Cropp for the award, and Dean Dean Mills supported the nomination. Cropp was selected by the UM Board of Curators from a pool of candidates across disciplines and campuses.
For this recognition, Cropp will receive $5,000. He will be presented with the honor at the President’s award dinner on June 25 in the Memorial Union.
Updated: August 21, 2020