Professor Rigel Oliveri is among the faculty members across the universities of the University of Missouri System to receive the UM System President’s Award for 2020. President Mun Choi presents these highly competitive annual awards to recognize faculty who have made exceptional contributions in advancing the mission of the University. President’s Award recipients will be recognized at a Board of Curators meeting on their university campus, as well as at a faculty awards event hosted at their home institution.
Professor Oliveri is receiving the the President’s Award for Community Engagement. Her research focuses on civil rights, with emphasis on fair housing law and sexual harassment. From the time she joined MU, Professor Oliveri has been deeply involved in community outreach and education as well as working with government officials and civil rights advocates at the local, state and national level. Recently, Professor Oliveri published a groundbreaking paper on the sexual harassment of low-income women by their landlords, showing that 10% had been victims of actionable sexual harassment by their landlords. Her work in providing education about housing law has played an integral role in the City of Columbia’s fair housing efforts, and she has also worked with the Missouri Human Rights Commission, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). In addition to a full teaching load, she regularly teaches Continuing Legal Education sessions for state and local bar associations and has taught many seminars for high school civics teachers as part of the Missouri Bar’s Law Forum for Teachers. Professor Oliveri’s research and teaching efforts provide an invaluable resource for social service workers, lawyers and government officials who are committed to establishing fair housing practices.