A year ago a shock went across the University of Arizona campus, with many aftershocks since. It has been a year now since UA Atmospheric Science Department head Tomas Meixner was shot and killed on campus. An expelled graduate student is awaiting his murder trial in the killing.

The memorial service at the UA Catholic Newman Center honored Thomas Meixners commitment to science and to his faith. What led up to the murder shook faith in the University administration. Now there are signs of progress to restore that faith.

Thomas Meixner drew strength from his Catholic faith.

Meixner was an expert on how water affects the world. Father Emmanuel Taylor compared Meixners commitment to teaching and to environmental research to the power of water to move things and to help them grow.

Chris Castro is acting chair of Atmospheric Sciences now. He talked of the joy of working with his colleague and friend, and the pain he still feels from the trauma of Meixners murder.

And once I got through to the other side of acute PTSD, I discovered recovery from there didn’t happen in a straight line. They’re the good days where you feel the world’s getting better. An embrace from your kids, getting an email or card of support from an old friend. Seeing a monsoon storm and hearing a thunder that reminds me of Tom and his loud voice. And then there are the bad days when the triggers come, pull you right back into the pain.

After the murder, investigators found there was a series of threats before the murder from the man now charged with the killing.

That led the Meixner family and the Faculty Senate to criticize the administration for not moving effectively to protect the campus before threats escalated to murder.

Professor Jennie Lee led the Faculty Senate committee that wrote a report very critical of the administration but she says since then theres been progress to make the university safer.

Among the challenges was who was that key point person that we can go to and we call UAPD. We call this or that office and there wasn’t clarity and now we have a chief public safety officer who I know has been quite responsive. And now we have strengthened a unit called TAMT (Threat Assessment and Management Team). And I have heard from those around campus that they do feel they’re being heard in ways that they didn’t before.

University of Arizonas administration commissioned an independent report that noted shortcomings, and missed opportunities to avert the Meixner shooting. The report made numerous recommendations to enhance campus safety. UA has implemented many of those.

KGUN9 has done stories about some of those changes. They involve physical things like panic buttons and remote locks, but also human factors on how to better assess a human threat before someone is hurt.