Missouri Southern Athletics has the Lionbacker Booster Club, the George A. Spiva Library has the Friends of the Library, and the Alumni Association has a Board of Directors. Now, the Institute of International Studies has an International Mission Advisory Board.
There are at least 20 such advisory boards on campus, including ones for biology, communication, environmental health, marketing, dental hygiene, law enforcement, nursing, and radiology. Nearly all meet bi-annually or annually.
The International Mission Advisory Board (or IMAB) was established in May 2010 to assist in “the care and feeding” of MSSU’s international mission. Richard Walter, a member of the MSSU Board of Governors, was asked to serve as the board’s chair, and he graciously agreed to give even more of his time to the university.
Although it originally intended to hold quarterly meetings, the IMAB met monthly May through September 2010 in order to get up to speed on all the international programs and activities on campus. Faculty members who had led short-term study abroad trips gave reports, as did the international student advisor and the coordinator of international admissions. The Board spent a considerable amount of time discussing ways for sustaining MSSU’s Spanish Village with director Leslie Parker.
The board’s primary purpose is to support the Institute of International Studies and its endeavors both on campus and in the community.
Here are the 13 current board members:
John Patrick is manager of the Administrative Sales, International Export Components, Home Furniture Components Unit at Leggett & Platt in Carthage. He was chair of the IMAB from March 2011 to April 2015.
Lisa Nelson holds degrees in journalism, women's studies, international relations, and history from Boston University and the University of London. For the past decade she has worked at Freeman Health System, helping teams develop innovative healthcare solutions for patients, family, and the community. She was elected chair of the IMAB in April 2015.
Richard Walter (former member of MSSU Board of Governors) retired as a district engineer from the Missouri Department of Transportation in 2005. He served as chair of the IMAB from May 2010 to March 2011.
Nancy Perry (former member of MSSU Board of Governors) is a vice president of Grace Energy Corp.
Jack Crusa is senior vice president of Leggett & Platt and president of its Specialized Products Segment. He was MSSU’s Outstanding Alumnus in 1999.
- J. Alan Brady is manager of human resources at CFI, a North American full-truckload carrier and division of TFI International Inc.
Jeré Marcum taught in the Joplin elementary system for 18 years, retiring in 1986. The rest of his career has been spent learning modern languages, traveling, and teaching. He has been an adjunct instructor in MSSU’s Intensive English Program.
- Aaron Baker is marketing manager for Walmart in northwest Arkansas. A 2004 graduate of MSSU with a degree in International Business and a minor in Chinese, he has previous experience as an international sales manager in the Asia-Pacific region.
Christopher Young is a French instructor and Foreign Language Department head at Joplin High School. He is also the co-founder and co-president of a local non-profit organization, Immersion in Cultural Education.
Pedro Pantoja spent most of his life in international business and currently serves as an international consultant. He graduated with an agricultural major from the Institute of Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.
- Robert Goar is plant manager, operations, for Schreiber Foods in Carthage.
Dr. Paula Carson is provost and vice president for academic affairs at MSSU (ex-officio member).
- Dr. Chad Stebbins is director of the Institute of International Studies at MSSU (ex-officio member).