Each year, enrollment in Mary Grigsby’s Introduction to Rural Sociology course increases steadily, now numbering nearly 200 students per section in the fall semester. As one student quickly points out, the class isn’t an easy A. It’s popular because Grigsby teaches it. Students praise the variety of teaching styles Grigsby employs; the group discussions she prompts, even in a large lecture class; her buoyantly cheerful demeanor; and her contagious enthusiasm for her subject. “Her fervor in watching her students learn and grow is only matched by her eagerness to learn and grow herself,” one student says.
Grigsby’s colleagues admire the care she takes in preparing her curriculum. “She is constantly reflecting, revising and redoing individual classes, looking for ways to better engage students and thinking about how to improve her classes,” several colleagues wrote in a joint statement. Grigsby’s dedication has not gone unnoticed by her students either. “She continually strives to provide the best possible learning environment for her students, never accepting mediocrity,” one student says. “Teachers guide the future, and as long as Dr. Grigsby teaches, I feel that our future looks bright.”
Grigsby earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from MU and joined the MU faculty in 2000. She has received numerous teaching awards, including the Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award and her college’s Outstanding Teaching Award and Golden Apple Master Teacher Award. In 2005, one of her students received the Mizzou 39 Outstanding Senior Award and chose to honor Grigsby as her faculty mentor.