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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

April 1, 2014

Toomey to address Missouri Academy commencement May 31

Dr. Richard Toomey

Dr. Richard Toomey

The Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing at Northwest Missouri State University will celebrate its 13th graduating class – the Trekkers – during its annual commencement ceremony Saturday, May 31, and Northwest Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Richard Toomey will address the 48 graduates and their families.

“Dr. Toomey has had a tremendous and positive influence on the life of the Missouri Academy since its inception,” Dr. Cleo Samudzi, dean of the Missouri Academy, said. “He has taught chemistry to Missouri Academy students from the beginning, he has been on a faculty committee that deals with many Academy-related issues, and he is a big part of the Bridge Program and our Summer Orientation program.”

Toomey joined the Northwest faculty in 1999, and he teaches courses in general chemistry, laboratory safety and physical chemistry. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 1991 and a Master of Science degree in chemistry education in 1994, both from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy (MCP) and Allied Health Sciences in Boston. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Brandeis University, in Waltham, Mass., in 1999.  

Toomey has received numerous awards for his dedication, commitment and talent in undergraduate education. Some of his awards include the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education in 2014, the Dean’s Faculty Award for Teaching in the College of Arts and Sciences in 2013, the Mortar Board Award in 2013 and 2012, and the Dean’s Faculty Award for Service in 2010. He also is a member of the American Chemical Society and the National Science Teachers Association.

In addition to his University service, Toomey’s service to the Missouri Academy has been outstanding. He taught chemistry to the first class of Missouri Academy students in the fall of 2000 and continues today. He also has been chair of the Missouri Academy faculty advisory committee, which advises the Missouri Academy staff on curriculum matters.

Toomey lives in Maryville with his wife, Dr. Deb Toomey, who is an assistant professor at Northwest, and his stepson, Ryan Collier, who is a first-year student at the Missouri Academy.

The commencement ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. People interested in attending the ceremony are to contact Sue Smith, administrative secretary at the Missouri Academy, at 660.562.1960 or

In addition to the Saturday commencement ceremony, the Missouri Academy Class of 2014 will attend a graduation banquet with their families and Missouri Academy staff at 6 p.m. Friday, May 30, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom.

The Missouri Academy was established in 2000 as a two-year residential, early-entrance-to-college program on the Northwest campus. The program replaces the junior and senior year of high school. Academy students enroll in the same classes as traditional students and are held to the same academic expectations while living, socializing and studying in a learning community of peers. For more information about the Missouri Academy, visit

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468