March 24, 2021
Laura Schopp, professor and chair of the Department of Health Psychology in the School of Health Professions, will retire this summer, after 26 years of service at MU.
“I moved to Columbia in 1989 for graduate school wondering if I could possibly spend three years in the same place after having moved a lot in the previous years,” said Dr. Schopp, who earned her master’s degree and PhD from MU. After completing a clinical internship at Duke University, Dr. Schopp returned to MU in 1995 for a post-doctoral fellowship before transitioning to a full-time faculty position.
“MU has given me a home — a place where I can participate in meaningful work and forge incredible relationships with colleagues, trainees, patients, and others,” Dr. Schopp said.
A health psychologist and board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Schopp has spent her career studying health promotion and health service delivery for persons with chronic health conditions and neurologic disabilities. In recent years, she expanded this focus to include health and well-being of persons in community and workplace settings, launching a UM System-wide wellness program in 2007. She served as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on more than $6 million in grants and contracts, and most recently received a $1.2 million grant to address the opioid crisis in underserved Missouri communities.
“Dr. Schopp has done it all,” said Dean Hagglund. “Her research has made important contributions to the fields of wellness and rehabilitation. Her work as a rehabilitation psychologist and neuropsychologist has improved the lives of hundreds of patients and their families. And her leadership has driven MU forward in accomplishing its mission.
“I am especially appreciative of Dr. Schopp’s work to strengthen the Department of Health Psychology,” Dean Hagglund continued. “She pulled together an effective team of faculty and staff members and re-established the department as one of the best in the nation.”
Over the years, Dr. Schopp has received national and local awards including the American Psychological Association Rehabilitation Psychology Early Career Award, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Mary Switzer Fellowship, the Brain Injury of the United States Young Investigator Award, the School of Health Professions Research Award, and the City of Columbia Mayor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health Award.
“It has been an honor to be a part of the School of Health Professions and the Department of Health Psychology and to have a chance to work alongside so many others who hone and apply their skills in the service of discovering, training and serving in the world,” Dr. Schopp said. “The opportunity to do challenging work that aligns with my values is a treasure, and I am so grateful.”