Joplin, MO (SNS) – Dr. Anna Cunningham, assistant professor of biology at Missouri Southern State University, has been selected for 417 Magazine’s annual “20 Under 30” list.

Each year, the magazine selects 20 people under 30 years of age who are “making waves in our community.” This year, the editorial staff received more than 100 nominations for the recognition.

“This is a huge honor,” said Cunningham. “My sister (Student Services administrative assistant Maggie Ritzman) is the one who nominated me. They choose people who are involved in the community and have what they define as successful careers.”

Teaching in Missouri Southern’s Biology Department has been a “dream job,” she said.

Cunningham graduated from MSSU in 2008, and received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She worked as an adjunct instructor at MSSU starting in January 2014, and as an adjunct at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College that summer before taking a full-time position in Southern’s Biology Department.

In addition to teaching, she volunteers for downtown Joplin’s monthly Third Thursday event, works with students through the Missouri Southern Regional Science Fair and is a member of the American Association of Immunologists.

“All of the recipients were featured in this month’s issue of 417 Magazine,” she said. “They asked us about how we define success, our work ethic and how we got where we are today.”

This year’s honorees will be recognized during an event on April 23 at the Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield, Mo.

-WWW.MSSU.EDU-