Departmental Expansion

The Robert W. Plaster School of Business at Missouri Southern State University is pleased to welcome two new departments. Beginning fall 2013 the Computer Information Science and Engineering Technology departments were reassigned to the Robert W. Plaster School of Business.

To meet industry needs, said Dr. John Groesbeck, Dean of the Robert W. Plaster School of Business, universities must occasionally restructure their offerings. "My school now has two additional departments, both of which provide classes that lead to degrees in areas that are part of the world of business as it exists today," Groesbeck added. "It's a very positive, proactive move on the part of Missouri Southern.  I couldn't be more pleased."

No changes in academic programs or class offerings are anticipated as part of the reassignment. "We want to continue to meet the ever-changing needs of our students," Dr. Lipira said.

Incorporating the Computer Information Science and Engineering Technology departments with the Business department aligns all the global drivers into one school. Plaster School of Business is delighted to have all these departments under one “roof” as it offers both students and the community with the opportunity to expand.

Welcoming New Faculty

On August 19, 2013 the Plaster School of Business welcomed more than students to campus. This fall three new professors joined the Plaster School of Business faculty to teach students here at Missouri Southern. Our new professors will be teaching courses in management, economics and international business.

Mr. Blake Nielson – Instructor of Management

Mr. Blake Nielson – Instructor of Management

Mr. Blake Nielson is a new Instructor of Management at Missouri Southern State University. Prior to joining MSSU, he taught business management courses at Jackson State University. He has also voluntarily taught religious courses to high school students on a daily basis. His current research interests are managing pay perceptions and sales motivation. Nielson grew up working on a four generation family ranch in central Utah that mainly produced alfalfa and Black Angus cattle. In his professional career he has worked as both a sales professional and a sales manager in the telecommunication and insurance industries and has operated his own dealer business in the security industry. Nielson’s most recent corporate experience is participating with a team that built and implemented a sales strategy for an entire organization. Nielson is an Eagle Scout and has served as a Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America.

“I left the south to come to Southern and it’s a great place to be.”

Dr. Jonathan Adongo – Assistant Professor of Economics

Dr. Jonathan Adongo – Assistant Professor of Economics

Dr. Adongo received his Ph.D. in Economics from the Jenning A. Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University. Dr. Adongo also holds a MA in Economics and a BA in Economics and Public Administration both from the University of Botswana. His current research interests focus on applied work in financial markets, monetary economics, and labor economics. Within these fields he has investigated topics in venture capital, private equity, and output forecasting using stock market returns. His research has appeared in journals such as Applied Economics.

“I came to Southern to teach students for tomorrow.”

Dr. Scott Kenneth Campbell

Dr. Scott Kenneth Campbell

Dr. Campbell is an Associate Professor of Management and International Business at Missouri Southern State University. His previous academic experience entails teaching courses at Zayed University located in Dubai; in Georgia, South Carolina; and several countries in Europe. Dr. Campbell is original from Montgomery, Alabama. Prior to entering academia, he was a consumer loan counselor for Regions Bank in the early 1990’s. Upon completion of his MBA, he served two years as a Small Business Development Volunteer with the United States Peace Corp in Hungary. He returned to the United States in 1997, as a Corporate Sales Associate with Sprint PCS, and was later a Broker with Morgan-Stanley.

“Expanding student’s knowledge of business builds their future.”

The Robert W. Plaster School of Business is excited to add three new professors to their faculty as they continue to provide exceptional education to the students at Missouri Southern.

PBL Students Place Top 10 in National Competition

Congratulations to the students from Missouri Southern State University’s Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) business organization. During the summer 10 PBL members competed in the National Leadership Conference held in Anaheim, CA, June 22-25. This year's conference theme was "Igniting Innovation” with over 1800 students in attendance representing colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Members of PBL worked all year long fundraising and practicing for the National Competition. With multiple Top 10 finishes it shows that the student’s hard work and dedication to their career field has paid off. The MSSU PBL organization won or placed in several competitions:

  • Ryan Prisock (senior, Joplin) won the National Championship in Economic Analysis and Decision Making and also earned 2nd place in Financial Analysis and Decision Making.
  • Billy Eigenmann (senior, Carthage) placed 4th in Digital Video Production.
  • The team of Hailey Aguinaga (junior, Carthage) and Kyle Prisock (junior, Joplin) placed 5th in Emerging Business Issues.
  • The team of Raycee Thompson (sophomore, Joplin) and Kara Sheppard (sophomore, Poplar Bluff) placed 6th in Business Ethics.
  • The team of Hailey Aguinaga, Kara Sheppard, and Tiffannie Roberts (junior, Webb City) placed 10th in Management Analysis and Decision Making.

“Competing at PBL Nationals was a great opportunity and experience. I was able to learn a lot from it and now have a taste for what business presentations are like in the real world,” said PBL member Raycee Thompson.

The 2013 National Leadership Conference is a great representation of the hard work, talent, and dedication that students at the Plaster School of Business possess. With a new school year underway PSB and Phi Beta Lambda are eagerly anticipating this year’s competitions.

SBTDC Director to be Recognized

Lisa Robinson is the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center’s 2013 State Star and will be recognized at the 2013 America’s Small Business Development Center’s (ASBDC) Annual Conference in Orlando, FL September 9, 2013.

Robinson is the director of the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) in Joplin, MO. Robinson’s service to the MSSU SBTDC began 20 years ago and she assumed the director role within moments of the May 2011 tornado that hit Joplin, which destroyed 8,000 homes and 530 businesses.

“Lisa’s heart is for our community and the small business owner,” said Robyn Paul, owner of Dr. Flys Salon and an MSSU SBTDC client. “She is genuine in her desire to help Joplin grow one small business owner at a time. Not only was she professional and helped us understand business in a different way, she was heartfelt and really cares! Since we have begun to work with Lisa, we opened up two more locations and are talking about another. We even won the small business of the year award from our local chamber. We are so excited about where we came and where we intend to go, and I am so thankful the SBTDC and Lisa gave us a path to get there.”

Robinson was chosen to receive the State Star Award because of her exceptional work and commitment to the small business community in the eight county region of southwest Missouri that the MSSU SBTDC covers. It was because of that work and commitment that she and the others in her office were able to step in so quickly and assist the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce in establishing the Business Recovery Center only days after the May 2011 tornado.

Robinson is very active within her community as well, teaching FastTrac programs to displaced workers, teaching courses at MSSU in entrepreneur finance, judging the Plaster School of Business high school business contest, serving on a committee for the Joplin Regional Prosperity Initiative, Bright Futures, and Webb City School Board, as well as others.

Business Students Visit China

Over the summer 13 students along with faculty from the Robert W. Plaster School of Business traveled to China. The China: Global Economic Leader group visited numerous businesses from the United States that also have buildings in China.

Their first stop was at Leggett & Platt (Shanghai) Machinery and Technology in Shanghai, China. Other businesses included: Shanghai Hongan Auto Parts Factory, Missouri Department of Economic Development, US Department of Commerce, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Carrefour and many more.

“The academic rigor of the study abroad experience was equal to that of any traditional class I’ve taken at Southern,” states Jenny Hosp.

As part of the class every student wrote a paper about the economic and business behavior of China. Chase Cox explains, “The papers we wrote before the trip seemed to come to life while experiencing Chinese culture. My paper discussed the future economic power of China and some of the problems they might need to address before continuing growth. While in the states it was hard to understand the size of China’s economy and why the country is having problems with urbanization and price distortion. Though, as soon as I saw how things worked in the country, it all made sense, and that was a really cool experience.”

Along with traveling to different businesses they also had time to explore the culture and famous landmarks of China. “If I hadn’t gone on this trip then I would have missed out on so many once in a lifetime experiences like trying duck, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and getting to experience the amazing culture,” Jacqueline Brown states.

Hosp describes her experience of climbing the Great Wall the most memorable experience of the entire trip. Her tour guide explained that a Chinese person is not a hero until they climb the Great Wall. Hosp states, “We all became heroes that day and I will never forget it.”

Almost every year the Plaster School of Business provides the MSSU students with an international trip to expand their understanding of business. Watch for updates on future trips and join the numerous students that have already experienced a different culture.