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Missouri Academy

Dr. Cleo Samudzi

Dr. Cleo Samudzi



North Complex


660.562.1856 (fax)

Joined Northwest in 2004

Dean of Academy

Dr. Samudzi assumed responsibilities as Dean of the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing on February 1, 2004. He also served as the founding Director of the Honors Program at Northwest Missouri State University (March 2005 through May 2008). Prior to joining the Missouri Academy, Dr. Samudzi served at the Missouri Department of Higher Education (DHE) with three primary responsibilities (August 1998 - January 2004). First, as Senior Associate for Academic Affairs and Planning, he had responsibilities in the area of academic program evaluation (i.e. the evaluation of existing degree/certificate programs, new degree/certificate programs, and degree/certificate program changes, submitted to the DHE by colleges and universities in Missouri). Second, Dr. Samudzi also served as the Commissioner’s Associate for Life Sciences at the DHE. In this capacity, he worked closely with the commissioner of higher education in providing information and coordinating the state’s life sciences initiatives. Third, Dr. Samudzi was the Director of the higher education component of the Title II federally funded Improving Teacher Quality Professional Development Program (formerly known as the Eisenhower Program).

Before joining the DHE, Dr. Samudzi was professor of biochemistry and chemistry at the University of Missouri-Columbia (1993-1998), and Associate Scientist in Molecular Pharmacology at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland (1989-1993). He has also served as a part-time adjunct professor of physics at Shepherd College, a 4-year public regional college in West Virginia (1991-1992), and a part-time biology and chemistry professor at the Community College for Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1983-1989). Dr. Samudzi received his B.A. (cum laude) in Biology and Chemistry from Dakota Wesleyan University, in Mitchell, South Dakota, and his M.S. (1983) and Ph.D. (1990) in biological sciences/x-ray crystallography from the University of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Samudzi is married to Dr. Fungai Chanetsa. Dr. Chanetsa is a Scientific Review Administrator for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Samudzi and his wife have two grown-up children: a son (Shingai) – a CEO of a start-up company in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a daughter (Zoé), a doctoral student at the University of San Francisco. Dr. Samudzi enjoys playing, coaching and watching the world’s greatest sport – soccer!