First-Year Experience

UE 100 Instructors

Faustina Abrahams

Faustina AbrahamsFaustina Abrahams is the First-Year Advising Coordinator and Counselor in the Advising, Counseling and Testing Services (ACTS) department. She coordinates the Early Alert Program, Path to Academic Success (PASS), and Southern Welcome. She is also an advisor for Undecided/Exploring students, and conducts personal counseling. Faustina speaks with a Ghanaian accent because she is originally from Ghana, West Africa and has been in the US since 1991. She has two teenage boys and is married to Nii Abrahams, a professor in the School of Business. Faustina completed her bachelor's degree Summa Cum Laude at Southern and obtained her Masters in Community Counseling at Pittsburg State University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Prior to coming to Southern, Faustina was a Counselor with Ozark Center, New Directions.
Faustina believes in people and commits to encouraging, supporting, assisting, and guiding people to reach their goals. "I am dedicated to and enjoy working with students; to assist them in finding and utilizing all the resources available to help them reach their goals. I love my job."
Finally, to all incoming students, AKWAABA!!! (Meaning 'welcome' in my native language).

 

Dr. Terri Agee

Terri AgeeWelcome to MSSU! My name is Dr. Terri Agee and I joined the School of Business as a full-time faculty member in the Spring of 2010 after serving for 18 years as an administrator at MSSU. I enjoy interacting with students and getting to know students on a personal level. My desire is to help each of you get the maximum benefit from your college experience. The atmosphere of my classroom is designed to provide students with a supportive, nurturing environment that will help propel all students towards achieving their college dreams. My greatest reward is seeing you succeed!
Born and raised in Kansas City, I graduated with honors from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri where I double-majored in Business Administration and in Public Relations. I earned my Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Utah College of Law in Salt Lake City. My administrative roles at MSSU included serving as the Senior Vice President (chief financial and business officer); the Acting President from August 2007 to February 2008; the Vice President for Business Affairs for six years; and the Director of Human Resources for nine years. Currently, I am serving as part-time in-house legal counsel for the university in addition to my full-time teaching responsibilities.
In my free time, I enjoy being with my husband of 29 years and my two children, ages 18 and 19. I like interior design, gardening, and spending time in the country on my parents' farm. I love to laugh and sip fine coffees. So come by my office in Plaster Hall, have a cup of java, and tell me a good clean joke!

 

Katie Aranda

Katie ArandaWelcome to MSSU! I am Katie Aranda, and I am an Outreach Specialist with the MSSU Educational Talent Search, a TRIO program working within the middle and high schools in the surrounding area. I was born and raised in Illinois and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I graduated with a degree in Sports Management and a master's degree in Higher Education Administration. After graduation, I worked as a Residence Hall Director and then spent the past two years working for the University of Kansas as an Academic Advisor for Educational Talent Search. I am married and have an energetic puppy named Ramona. When I'm not working, I like to shop, bake, and spend time with friends and family. I love sports and reality TV, and when I grow up I want to be a talk show host!

 

Dr. Marsi Archer

Marsi ArcherMy name is Dr. Marsi Archer. I am a Chemistry Professor and the Department Head of Chemical and Physical Sciencess. I have taught the First-Year Experience course for two years and am a member of the First-Year Administrative Team. I look forward to working with first-year students and helping them adjust to life at Missouri Southern State University.
I am originally from Severna Park, MD and have my B.S. in Chemistry from James Madison University and my Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Ohio State University. I am married to Matt Archer and we have two children. Don is 11 and plays football and baseball. Jenny is almost 8 and dances. In my spare time, I enjoy baking, cake decorating, needlework, gardening, and reading.

 

Dr. Fran Bartholet

Fran BartholetI am Dr. Fran Bartholet. I have a B.S. in education from St. Cloud State University, M.ED. from the University of Minnesota and an Ed D. from Nova Southeastern University in Distance Learning.  My wife and I have four children; our oldest teaches music for McDonald County Schools, our middle daughter graduated from the Missouri School for the Deaf in 2009, the youngest daughter is a senior at McCauley High School in Joplin, and our son is in fifth grade.  Both my wife and oldest daughter are graduates of MSSU's education program.  My family enjoys traveling, camping, canoeing, and cooking both indoors and out-of-doors.
My philosophy towards teaching the UE 100 class is that students, who have grown up with unlimited access to the world through communication networks and computers, need to also learn about the cultures and customs of the world.  Students need to better understand how to evolve opportunities into solutions for tomorrow's problems.
I have traveled abroad, and anticipate encouraging everyone to maximize their opportunities while a student at Missouri Southern State University.  I challenge the incoming freshman to open their minds to the world around them.  I will help get you off on a positive beginning to your university career, and the rest of your lives.

 

Steven Benfield

Steven Benfield

Steven Benfield began work as the Recreational Services Director in the Summer of 2011. He graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 2005 with a degree in Health Promotion & Wellness. He continued his education at Emporia State University with a Master of Science degree in Physical Education. Steven has worked as a Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and has served as the Wellness Director for the YMCA for 6 years. Along the way, Steven has developed a genuine passion for helping others become physically active and adopting healthy behaviors.  He stays active by running, playing basketball and golf, and lifting weights, but nothing compares to the workout he gets trying to keep up with his 3 young boys, Maddox, Kai, and Cruz.

 

Heather Bullock

Heather BullockMy name is Heather Bullock. I was born, raised, and educated in Kansas.  I had the most unconventional, yet unbelievable college experience. Those experiences are what make me excited to be a part of MSSU's First Year Experience program.  I have a B.S. in Psychology as well as an M.S. and Ed.S.  in Counseling.  I am also a Licensed Professional Counselor.  I work in the Advising, Counseling, & Testing office as a Clinical Counselor/Academic Advisor, serving the mental health needs of students as well as the academic needs of undecided majors.  Prior to coming to MSSU in 2008 I worked at Heartland Behavioral Health Services in Nevada, MO.  I have a fantastic husband, a wonderful step son, and a puppy who teaches me something new on a daily basis.  I absolutely love to cook and have deemed myself a Master Chef; I enjoy trying new recipes and love putting my own spin on them. I collect cookbooks and have a brain full of useless trivia information.

 

Sam Claussen

Sam Claussen

Sam Claussen teaches all manner of technical classes: Stage design, stage lighting, stage management, theatre technology, as well as theatre laboratory and theatre appreciation. Students enjoy his contagious energy and can-do attitude. Mr. Claussen holds an M.F.A. from the University of Virginia. Set design, lighting design, and general problem-solving are his strengths. He is now retired but still serves as adjunct faculty for the department and sponsor of the "Backstage" club for theatre students. His interests both inside and outside of the theatre are numerous, and his enthusiasm is boundless.

 

Dr. Susan Craig

Dr. Susan Craig

Greetings and welcome to MSSU!  I am Dr. Susan Craig and I was born in Iowa, but grew up in Southwest Missouri. I attended MSSU (with the assistance of a debate scholarship), graduated with a degree in English Education, and then went on to get a masters degree in Counseling from Missouri State University and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  I'm also a Licensed Professional Counselor.  My life philosophy is simple:  life is not a dress rehearsal and should be lived with intention and purpose!  I am married and have a wonderful dog and a brilliant and beautiful niece.  When I'm not working I like to vacation at the beach, play my drums, and try new baking recipes.

 

Josh Doak

Josh Doak

Josh Doak was born and raised in the Branson, Missouri area.  In the fall of 2000 he moved to Joplin to attend Missouri Southern State University.  During his undergraduate studies he was heavily involved in campus activities and worked as a resident assistant in the residence halls.  After graduating in 2003, Josh immediately made the transition from student to full-time staff as a resident director in the residence halls of Missouri Southern.  While working as a resident director he completed his MBA at Pittsburg State University.  This past July he was promoted to the position of Director of Housing. In his free time Josh enjoys working out, watching movies, shopping on eBay and volunteering as a leader with Joplin Area Young Life.  Josh's favorite television show is The Office.  He explains that the humor in the show mirrors his whimsical personality. The biggest influences in Josh's life are his parents and Jesus.

Cheryl Dobson

Cheryl Dobson

Hello, my name is Cheryl Dobson and I am excited to become a University Experience instructor! I have been associated with the University since 1990, that's over 20 years of experience in higher education. My previous experience as a financial aid counselor, part-time work in two academic departments, and now as the Registrar, will benefit my students as they learn to navigate Southern and discover the amazing world of higher education. My educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Marketing from Southwest Missouri State University in 1985 and a Master of Science degree with a major in Human Resource Development from Pittsburg State University in 2005. Along the way, I have also completed course work at Crowder College and Southern and enjoyed the uniqueness of each school.I grew up as an Air Force brat, so traveling and discovering new places brings great joy to me . . . which is just one reason I am a big supporter of Southern's International Mission. One of my goals is to encourage students to take advantage of all that Southern has to offer regarding our internal focus. In addition to travel, I also enjoy reading, scrapbooking, cooking, volunteer work, and being with friends. I am married and have two teenage sons

 

Dr. James Donelson

James Donelson

Hi everyone and welcome to MSSU! I'm Dr. James Donelson and I'm a chemistry professor in the Chemical and Physical Sciencess department. I was born and raised in Little Rock, AR and graduated from the University of Arkansas with a double major in biochemistry and microbiology. Like many of you, I was a first generation college student and became the first of my family to graduate from college. I will have plenty of interesting stories and helpful advice for all of you. After graduation, I married my wife and dragged her up to Indiana where I earned my PhD in medicinal chemistry from Purdue University. I started teaching at MSSU in the fall of 2010. I really enjoy teaching and am looking forward to getting to know all of you. I teach a number of chemistry courses at MSSU including: chemistry for allied health professionals, general chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry, so look for me in the catalog if you will be taking any of these courses. I always have an open door policy in my office and welcome all of you to drop by anytime for any reason.
I spend most of my free time hanging out with my beautiful wife Karen, our little son Jaden, and our two dogs, Abby and Cowboy. I love reading sci-fi novels and drinking coffee, working out, hiking and other outdoor activities, playing videogames, golfing and watching the Hogs play football.

 

Robin Douglas

Robin Douglas

My name is Robin Douglas.  I am a 1991 graduate of MSSU.  I studied communications and graduated with a B.A. in the field, thus I spent a lot of time in the local television and advertising fields.  I have lived in North Carolina, which is one of my favorite states.  NC has great college basketball, beaches, mountains, and southern hospitality.   I lived in the Cincinnati/Kentucky area and found the weather to be too cold to my liking.  I have lived in a few more places and traveled around the U.S., but 14 years ago I came back to Joplin and began working in the TV area at MSSU.  While traveling I investigated many colleges and universities and none of them could offer me what MSSU did in the sense that I could walk right in and start producing, directing and editing my own TV shows and any topic or format that I chose.  Since starting in TV at MSSU in 1995, I have moved to the Distance Learning area and assisted in developing correspondence and off-campus courses.  I got my Master's Degree in Education in the summer of 2009, so I know what it is like to work full-time, attempt to have a social life, and work in homework and studying!  I am an animal rights activist, have an adopted daughter in Africa that I support with a small monthly check of $32.  I find that it is best to give back to humanity and community and so I am usually volunteering for one organization or another.  I look forward to this semester. 

 

Dr. Willie Edwards

Willie Edwards

Dr. Willie Edwards has worked primarily with struggling readers in a variety of settings ranging from the traditional classroom, to felony-delinquent youth programs, to university clinical settings. Willie earned his doctorate from University of Nevada, Reno in 2003. His area of expertise is Curriculum & Instruction in Reading. He holds a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (1988) in Curriculum & Instruction in Reading Disabilities. His undergraduate degree is also from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is a Bachelor of Science in Education.
Dr. Edwards has been a member of the MSSU faculty since 2002. He teaches classes in general education and diagnostic reading techniques for struggling readers. He is an active member of the International Reading Association (IRA). Through the IRA International Development Division, Dr. Edwards travels internationally in support of the MSSU International Mission. In that regard he has traveled to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Mauritius since 2007. 

 

Cherona Hicklin

Cherona Hicklin

Cherona Hicklin is an Assistant Professor in the Teacher Education department. Mrs. Hicklin graduated from Missouri Southern with a Bachelor's Degree in Education. She spent eleven years in the K-12 realm as an elementary teacher and administrator. Mrs. Hicklin has devoted her career to helping others reach their goals in an academic setting. She earned a Master's degree in Education Administration from Pittsburg State University and a Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Southwest Baptist University.
She looks forward to furthering her education and plans to begin pursuing her doctorate degree in the near future.

 

Robin Hicklin

Robin Hicklin

Robin Hicklin is the Director of Upward Bound at MSSU. Mr. Hicklin graduated from Southern Arkansas University with a Bachelor's in Secondary Education Social Studies. Additionally, he earned a Master's degree in Student Personnel Administration from the University of Central Missouri and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership Superintendency from Southwest Baptist University. Mr. Hicklin has ten years of experience in Public Schools as a high school teacher and middle school administrator. He has also served as an admission counselor, financial aid coordinator and adjunct professor in higher education.

 

Stephanie Hopkins  

Stephanie Hopkins

Stephanie Hopkins is the Director of the Student Success Center.  She has worked at Missouri Southern since 1995.  Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing degree at MSSU as well.  She also attended Pittsburg State University where she received two degrees, a Master of Science in Human Resource Development and a Specialist in Education with an emphasis in Industrial Education.
Stephanie enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping, traveling when she gets the chance, and reading.  She also enjoys volunteering and has served with several organizations over the years including Horses of Hope and the Single Parent Scholarship Fund. 
 

 

Nancy Kenney

Nancy Kenney

My name is Nancy Kenney. I work in the Division of Distance Learning at MSSU. I've worked for the University for 8 years full-time and 2 years as a sub-contract employee. This means I had my own business and one of my customers was MSSU.
This first year is an exciting year for you. This class will provide me with the opportunity to review lots of interesting things with you such as, learning about what type of learning style you have and the need for managing time. What do you do with all that freedom in front of you, how do you use it to benefit you? How do you become a Master Student! We will learn about different cultures and we will try to form a community within the classroom. I will be there to help you, guide you and hopefully…make your First Year Experience a wonderful experience! We are happy you have chosen MSSU to begin your educational career.
I have a background in Adult Learning Theory. My full time job consists of assessing organizations and helping those organizations figure out where training and development of their employees will benefit them and when it will not. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Communications, a Master's Degree in Education and have been accepted as a Doctoral student at the University of Arkansas in Educational Leadership.
We will have fun and learn all at the same time, so welcome and thank you for getting to know me a bit! 

 

Dr. Jim Lile

Jim Lile

Dr. Lile joined the Theatre Faculty in the Fall of 2004. He now serves as the Dept Chair for both Theatre and interim chair for the Art Department He earned his B.A. and M.A. in Theatre at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University-Commerce) and his Ph.D. in Theatre History and Criticism at Kent State University. Equally at home in rehearsal or in the classroom, Dr. Lile brings a wealth of teaching, acting, directing, and design experience gathered over three decades from schools and theatres in Texas, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. For Dr. Lile, Theatre is a way of life. To study the theatre is to explore our humanity and to celebrate the richness of our experience. It is a great journey, and Dr. Lile is happy to be one of the guides.

 

Josie Mai

Josie Mai

Josie Mai is an artist and teacher from Kansas City. She received her undergraduate degree and certificate in art education from the University of Kansas. She then taught art to urban and suburban high school students in the Kansas City area's public schools and not-for-profit organizations such as Studio 150 and Chameleon, Inc. Ms. Mai received her Masters of Fine Arts degree at Parsons School of Design in New York City in order to explore new territory, develop as an artist, and earn a degree to enable her to teach at the college level. Ms. Mai is currently Associate Professor of Art and Art Education at Missouri Southern State University and serves on the Board of Directors at George A. Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin, Missouri where she continues to teach, make art, curate, and exhibit. She is thrilled to be the owner, creator, and facilitator of The Beehive Collaborative, a new art education lab in Carthage, Missouri.

 

Wendy McGrane

Wendy McGrane

My name is Wendy McGrane and I'm the Library Director at Missouri Southern State University. I've worked at MSSU since 1999 and even attended for a couple years as an undergrad. I have a Master's Degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma, a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Mercer University, and I'm currently pursuing my PhD in Leadership for Higher Education from Capella University.
I was born in Germany and have lived and traveled in many countries due to my father's military service; however, Joplin is home. My husband and I have three awesome children who keep us busy with a multitude of activities such as soccer, swimming, band, and theater. In my free time I enjoy watching movies and gardening. I also participate on a very competitive trivia team.

 

Sarah Neldeberg

Sarah Neldeberg

Sarah Neldeberg grew up in South Texas before moving to the Joplin area in 1998. She attended MSSU and completed her Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology in 2006. Sarah went on to obtain her masters degree in Community Counseling from Pittsburg State University in 2009. She is a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor, worked in private practice in Joplin, and then came to work at MSSU in September 2010.  She is in the Advising, Counseling, Testing Department as an Academic Advisor/Clinical Counselor.  She is excited to add teaching UE 100 to her list of responsibilities and help even more students through their college experience!
Sarah enjoys volunteering at her church, watching movies with her husband, and taking walks with their dog, Oliver.

 

Charles Nodler

Charles NodlerCharles Nodler is the archivist at Missouri Southern State University in charge of planning, selection and evaluation of donations for the Archives, and Special Collections at MSSU where he has worked since December of 1978.
Mr. Nodler served as a project archivist for the George Washington Carver National Monument to set up their Archives from 1981-82.  He worked on the steering committee for the planning and establishment of the Gene Taylor Library and Museum in Sarcoxie, Mo. from 1989-90. In 2006 he served as an Archival Consultant for Newton County, MO. and did preservation needs assessments for their records.  Mr. Nodler has also served as an adjunct professor of history for Southwest Baptist University, Missouri Southern State University, and Crowder College.
He is the author of Bracing the Cornerpost (1992), co-author of Field of Teams (2006), and was a guest author/contributor for Joplin Keepsake Album (2000).  He has also written several articles related to mining history of the Tri-State area.
Mr. Nodler was named the "Outstanding Alumnus of Crowder College" in 2007. He is listed in "Who's Who in America".
Mr. Nodler received an Associate of Arts from Crowder College in 1973, a Bachelor of Arts from Missouri Southern State College in 1975, and received a Master of Arts in History from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1979.  Mr. Nodler also received a Certificate of Archival Administration in 1979 and a Master of Arts in Library Science in 1995 from the University of Missouri.
Mr. Nodler likes to work out, watch sports, and read.

Heidi Oakes

Heidi Oakes

Heidi Oakes started her career in the Counseling Dept at MSSU in 1989, having graduated from SMSU with a BS in Organizational Communications. She was a part-time counselor under the direction of Dr. Earle Doman. She completed her Master's in Communication Education at Pittsburg State University and began full-time employment as the NCAA Compliance Coordinator for men and women's athletics. Several years later, her interests shifted to Financial Aid where she was the Student Employment Counselor/Patron's Scholarship Counselor. In 1995, Heidi decided to turn her attention to adjunct teaching. She has taught Oral Communication 100, Professional Interviewing 307, Return to Learn, and Professional Development in Project Stay. Heidi has homeschooled her three kids: Jared 17, Katelin 15, and Danae 4, for the last 10 years. Her hobbies include reading biographies, baking, cooking, gardening and spending time with family. She looks forward to meeting and teaching the future class of MSSU graduates.

Dory Quinn

Dory Quinn

My name is Dory Quinn and I have been with MSSU since 2007.  I started with Southern as an Outreach Specialist in the Educational Talent Search program.  In 2009 I moved to a position with Project Stay and currently serve as the Director of the program.  I received my bachelor's degree in Finance from Missouri State University in 2000 and my master's degree in Social Work, also from Missouri State University, in 2006.  I am currently pursuing my licensure in Clinical Social Work.  I grew up in Joplin, and other than the 5 years I lived and went to school in Springfield, I have lived in Joplin my whole life. 

In my spare time I am active in several organizations, including the Joplin Young Professional's Network and a local chapter of PEO – Philanthropic Educational Organization.  I also enjoy reading, watching movies, cooking, spending time with friends and family, and cheering for the LSU Tigers.  My husband and I love taking road trips and working in the yard together.

 

Stephen Schiavo

Stephen Schiavo

Stephen Schiavo, Associate Professor of CIS, spent half of his first 18 years abroad, completing jr. high and high school in Germany. As a teenager he traveled throughout Europe with friends. He returned to the States as a freshman at Texas A&M, a complete stranger to Texas, US football, marching bands, and rodeo! He earned a BA in Math & German from Trinity University, funded by playing honky-tonk piano, tutoring math, and building racing sail-boats. Graduating in the midst of the Viet Nam war, he served with the NSA overseas. After the service, he worked all over the country in systems consulting firms. He worked on the Northeast Corridor project, the recovery of Union Carbide from the Bhopal disaster, and on the defense of the Dow-Corning silicone breast-implant case among other things. In 1994, he retired to the Texas Hill Country to train horses and raise exotic livestock. In 1995, he took up teaching at Schreiner College, and later at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, before moving to MSSU in 2001 where he specializes in Systems Analysis & Design, and in Database Management Systems. Over the years he has sponsored SAGA, ALPHA CHI, and the CIS CLUB. He currently serves as president of the MSSU chapter of the American Association of University Professors. In 2006 he was named Carnegie Professor of the Year in the College of Technology. In 2009 he received the Missouri Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has taught the first-year experience every Fall since it began.

Shanna Slavings

Shanna Slavings

Shanna Slavings teaches Speech Communication courses. She earned both her Master's in Communication (May 2010) and Bachelor's degree in Organizational Communication with a minor in Management (August 2008) from Missouri State University in Springfield and an Associate of Arts in General Studies (June 2005) from Missouri State University in West Plains, MO.

 

Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith, a member of the MSSU staff since 1998, has over two decades of experience in communications. As Missouri Southern's News Bureau Manager, he informs the public about the University's programs, activities and people.  He also compiles and lays out MSSU's faculty/staff newsletter "Accents." He has taught writing courses as an adjunct instructor in the English Department.
Stephen graduated with a Master of Arts in English from Pittsburg State University.  He received a B.A. in English from Missouri Southern.  As an undergraduate, he served as editor-in-chief of the MSSU student newspaper The Chart  and spent a year as president of the Missouri College Newspaper Association.  He won numerous awards for student writing.
Stephen has worked in public relations/marketing for two hospital systems and has been a radio announcer and News Director. 
He also has worked as a freelance journalist.  (He once interviewed the legendary comedian, Bob Hope!)  Over the years, he has worked as a musician in Los Angeles, Calif., the Kansas City area, southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.  He plays the piano, guitar, banjo and harmonica.
He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and the Missouri Press Association. He enjoys music, history, cooking, travel, and many activities with his wife Robin and son, Oliver.

 

Scott Snell

Scott Snell

Scott Snell is a 1999 graduate of MSSU's Teacher Education program. He became a special education teacher for 8th grade students in local public schools. During that time he grew interested in the uses of new technology in education and earned a master's degree in instructional technology from the University of Missouri. In 2008 he took a position with the Division of Distance Learning here at MSSU and has been here since. Working with MSSU's distance education program is the perfect blend of teaching and technology! He is very happy to be able to add the teaching of this course online to the rest of his responsibilities. Since leaving the classroom, the students are what he misses most! Mr. Snell is also currently working towards earning a doctoral degree in education specializing in educational technology and e-learning. But his main goal in life is to become a model for Macy's. Not really. :)

 

Rachel Stanley

Rachel Stanley

Rachel Stanley is the Coordinator of the Honors Program at MSSU. She graduated from the Honors Program at Missouri Southern in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. In 2007, she received her Master of Arts in Theatre History from the University of Missouri–Kansas City. After several years in counseling and management, she is back at MSSU as the first Honors Program coordinator.
Originally from Grove, Oklahoma, she now lives in Joplin with her husband, Matthew and daughter, Piper.

 

Rod Surber

Rod Surber

Rod Surber joined the pride in May 1999, after nine years as News Bureau Director. He earned a Master's degree in Administrative Studies from Missouri State University in 2004 with a 4.0 GPA. He is a 1981 graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communications with teaching certification in secondary education. He is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) through the Public Relations Society of America.
At Iowa State he was president of the campus chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and led the chapter to a national "Outstanding Campus Chapter Award" for 1980-81. He also earned an award for editorial writing from the Illinois Press Association while managing editor of the Rochelle (IL) News-Leader.
Before coming to MSSU, Mr. Surber was managing editor of two community newspapers, one in Chariton, Iowa, and the second in Rochelle, Illinois.

 

Betsy Wood

Betsy Wood

Betsy Wood is the Application Engineer for the Banner Student Module in the Information Technology department.  Before moving to IT, she spent six years in the Registrar's Office at MSSU as the Systems Coordinator assisting with degree conferral, programming the CAPP Degree Evaluations that students use to monitor their progress toward graduation, maintaining the Registrar's Office website, and evaluating transcripts for transfer credit. Prior to joining MSSU in 2006, she worked in admissions for Cottey College and Saint Louis University. After graduating from Neosho High School, Betsy attended Missouri State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management in 2001, and a Master of Science in Administrative Studies with an emphasis in Applied Communications in 2008. Betsy feels that her undergraduate experience was enriched by taking advantage of extracurricular and study abroad opportunities, and she looks forward to conveying their importance to MSSU students.

Betsy spends her weekends slow cooking chicken, pork, brisket, and ribs as part of a competition barbeque team with her brother, sister-in-law, and husband.  For fun, Betsy enjoys traveling…especially the Caribbean…and has spent recent vacations getting married in the Dominican Republic, sailing around the British Virgin Islands, scuba diving in the Bay Islands of Honduras, and exploring Aruba. Her other hobbies include healthy cooking, working out at the Rec Center on campus, perfecting her Wii skills, and playing with her spoiled cat, Gabby. Betsy's father was in the Air Force, and she has called Nebraska, New Mexico, Alabama, South Dakota, and most recently Joplin, Missouri "home."

 

UE 100 Course Assistants

Shelby Baugh

Shelby Baugh

My name is Shelby Baugh and I am a Biology major here at MSSU. I enoy reading, spending time with my boyfriend and family, shopping, and working out. I am employed at the Carthage Vision Clinic. I plan on graduating in December of 2012 and applying to optometry school. I currently live in my hometown of Carthage, MO. I have two pets, a Chihuahua named Peanut, and a miniature Daschund named Cosmo.

 

Stephen Bergen

Stephen Bergen

My name is Stephen Bergen. I'm back in school after a 30-year break. I've been raising a family. I have six children and four grandchildren. I am originally from this area. After living in Kansas City, St. Louis and Denver, my family and I have moved back and we live in Carthage. I am the Case Manager and Volunteer Coordinator for Samaritan's Purse Disaster Relief – Joplin Rebuild. I am studying Business. I am excited about being a Course Assistant because I feel that those who are just a little further down the path can offer help and encouragement to those just arriving at MSSU. Have a great first year!

 

Dusty Braddish

Dusty Braddish

My name is Dusty Braddish.  I am a senior Sociology major from Carl Junction, Missouri. I plan on attending grad school with the intent of becoming a college professor one day. For now, if I'm not working or serving Phi Eta Sigma here on campus, you may find me playing or watching soccer. My main advice for freshman is to take an interest in your education. Start by always going to class and the rest will take care of itself.

 

Brittany Bruffey

Brittany Bruffey

My name is Brittany Bruffey.  I graduated from Willard High School in 2008 and then attended Ozarks Technical Community College.  I was a member of OTC's Honors Program.  I graduated from OTC in 2011 with my Associate of Arts degree and then transferred to Missouri Southern.  I am a member of Missouri Southern's Honors Program, as well.  I am majoring in Health Science with a minor in Business.  After graduating from Missouri Southern, I am going to get my Master's degree in Healthcare Administration.  In my spare time, I enjoy shopping, being with my boyfriend, and traveling. 

 

Bethany Burney

Bethany Burney

Hi my name is Bethany Burney. I am a math major with a minor in computer information science finishing my third year here at mssu. I'm great at encouraging and definitely a people-person.

 

 

Seantel Butler

Seantel Butler

Hi Guys! My name is Seantel Butler and I am a sophomore here at Southern. I am a member of the Honors Society Phi Eta Sigma and I am President of Student Library Organization. I currently am an undecided major, but that is only because I am interested in so many things. I really like psychology, anthropology, ceramics, and early childhood education. I usually have a few things going on. I work two jobs, am a full time student and I recently got married. I am really excited for this UE class and I cannot wait to meet everyone!

 

Jesi Davis

Jesi Davis

Hello, my name is Jessica Davis and I go by Jesi.  I am an untraditional student who returned after a long break and making a family.  I am currently undecided in my major but am leaning towards a major in Sociology.  I would like to help the troubled youth or victims of child abuse.  I will be a Sophomore in the fall and I also work full time.  My family keeps me very motivated in finishing my education and are great supporters of my decision to return to school.  I am looking forward to being a peer mentor in the fall and to meeting all the incoming freshman.

 

Hailey DeGraw

Hailey DeGraw

Hey! I'm Hailey DeGraw, a junior accounting and International Business major from Carl Junction, MO. I love going to sporting events and supporting our lions!!  I also like to spend time with my sorority sisters and family and just have fun. If I could give you any advise it would be to get involved on campus and have fun. You only live once so make lifelong friends and most importantly get an education to get the job of your dreams! Enjoy your freshman year and your time at MSSU!

 

Seth Ernst

Seth Ernst

Hi, I'm Seth Ernst from Joplin, Missouri, and I am a piano performance major here at MSSU. My future aspirations include attending graduate school for piano studies, and eventually teaching piano and general music at the university level. Playing music is my favorite activity, but I also enjoy playing pretty much any kind of sport, golf being my favorite. I am a very easy person to get along with, and love to talk with people about anything they might have on their mind. I love to help people in any way that I can, and always try to be there whenever someone needs help. I am grateful to have been selected as a course assistant, and look forward to my time with my UE 100 class!

 

Jessica Glenn

Jessica GlennMy name is Jessica Glenn. I am originally from Springfield, IL and found my way to Joplin to study Nursing at Missouri Southern. I enjoy running, travelling, and experiencing new things. I am so excited to be a part UE Experience, and to share with incoming Freshman the journey of college.

 

Anderea Edward

Anderea Edward

My name is Anderea Edward. I am an accounting major with a minor in sociology. I am a senior and will be graduating in Spring 2013. I am Micronesian American, and I just turned 21 years old. I enjoy playing soccer and spending time with my family. The advice that I want to give incoming freshmen is to get the most out of your college experience and make a lot of friends!

 

Sohaila Etemadi

Sohailia Etemadi

Hi! I'm Sohaila. I am a junior at MSSU. I am a pre-Pa Major, and really enjoy biology. I am so excited to be a Course Assistant this semester. Some of my hobbies include anything outdoors. I also love photography and writing.
Hope you all have a great semester!

 

Deana Fanning

Deana Fanning

My name is Deana Fanning.  I'm a non-traditional student majoring biology with plans to teach at the High School level. I grew up in southern California and I will have been married for eight years on May 22. My husband and I have two children. After being a retail manager for eight years I gave it up to return to school to pursue a career that would meet the needs of my growing family.

 

Daisha Foster

Daisha FosterMy name is Daisha Foster.  I am a junior here at Missouri Southern. I am from Pea Ridge, Arkansas and I'm studying Criminal Justice Administration with a minor in Crime Scene Investigation. I am a tutor in our campus learning center where I help students with math and writing. Also, I am a member of our poetry club here on campus. I am in Phi Eta Sigma, the honors society on campus. And I enjoy dancing Zumba in our campus recreation center with all my friends, and on the weekends I enjoy spending time with my family. When I graduate I plan on joining the military to proudly serve our country.

 

Abi Francis

Abi Francis

Abi Francis was born and raised in Joplin. She graduated from Webb City High School where she participated in marching band, jazz band, percussion ensemble and show choir. She's currently attending Southern and studying Graphic Design. Abi lives in Webb City with her dog, Pumpkin and her cat, Penny.

 

Debbie Gaskill

Debbie Gaskill

My name is Debbie Gaskill and I am 48. I am married, have 4 sons, and 1 grandson.  I was born in CA but raised in southwest Missouri on an very rural farm.  I Graduated high school and immediately went to work at a factory that produced electric motors.  I began college at the age of 44 with the intention of only taking a few classes. My first class was a Spanish class at Crowder College in Cassville, Mo. I found that I enjoyed it and was a better student than I was in high school.  After moving to Joplin, I enrolled at MSSU to seek a degree.  I started in Early Child Education but switched to Sociology with a minor in Art.  My goals is to work with or become an art therapist, helping the elderly and autistic children with their difficulties in communicating their wants, feelings, and emotions. 

 

Austin Gibbs

Austin Gibbs

Hello! My name is Austin Gibbs and I'm a sophmore Psychology and Spanish double major in the MSSU Honors Program. I'm an extremely outgoing and friendly person who competes in triathlons, plays golf along with almost every other sport. Also, I'm a Resident Assistant in the dorms on campus, and I'm always willing to lend a helping hand.

 

Beth Hammons

Beth Hammons

My name is Beth Hammons.  I graduated from Smithville High School in Smithville Missouri (Kansas City Area). I am a secondary Education History major, and minoring in Spanish and American Studies. I am a junior at southern and a member of the Women's Soccer team at southern. I spend my free time playing soccer, playing tennis, and reading! 

 

Rowdy Harris

Rowdy is a 26-year-old senior Management major and is on course to graduate in December. Born in Modesto, California, Rowdy has lived throughout the southwestern and midwestern United States and has seen 43 states before settling in Seneca, south of Joplin, in 2007. Away from his studies Rowdy is a dog trainer, entrepreneur and freelance writer, owning three businesses including a gun dog supply company, custom leather dog lead and collar fabrication company and a dog training business (www.StonefaceKennels.com). He has also contributed writings to nationally-circulated gun dog publications and has worked as a small-town newpaper reporter. His career plans after graduation include developing his Stoneface Kennels into a high-end gun dog kennel.

 

Jessica Hursh

Jessica Hursh

My name is Jessica Hursh and I will be your course assistant for UE 100. My major is Biology/Genetics and this year will be my fourth year at Southern. After college I plan on attending graduate school to further my Biology degree. I want to be a peer mentor because I remember being a Freshman and wanting to know answers around campus. I enjoy helping others and I'm always here to help. I hope you enjoy your first semester at Southern and enjoy your college career. Hope this semester will be a fun and learning experience for all!

 

Aji Sophie Jeng

Aji Sophie Jeng

Hails from Gambia, West Africa.  My name is Aji Sophie Jeng.  I was born on April 28th 1990 in Banjul, Gambia. I am the third of four children. My father worked as a Civil servant in Gambia and my mother is a hard working business woman. In 2008, I graduated from Gambia Methodist Academy, one of the best high schools in my Country. Currently an international student at MSSU, I am a senior Biology major with a minor in Chemistry. I am a member of Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Chi Sigma as well as MSSU Honors program and other major clubs. I aim to go to graduate school for Microbiology research to get my master's degree and later further my education to acquire my phD. My impassioned love for the life sciences inspired me to pursue a career in the field of medicine. Being a research scientist will give me the opportunity to contribute my quota to medical advancement. I have a dream to save lives by the time I complete my life journey.  I love making friends, watching movies and reading my Biology notes.

 

Kelsey Jensen

Kelsey JensenKelsey Jensen is a senior with a major in International Studies and Spanish. She is originally from Des Moines, Iowa and the main reason she came to MSSU was because of the low tuition rates and the International Mission. She is currently involved with helping the International students adjust to life in the United States, International Themed Semesters, Toastmasters International, Rotary Club, DARE Role Models, and helping Tornado victims through the Red Cross. Kelsey has interned in China and Brazil as an English teacher and has interned with the US State Department in Brazil. After school at Missouri Southern she hopes to teach English in a different and then continue a career in the US State Department. The best advice Kelsey could ever give to freshman is to get involved in school activities and try to step out of your comfort zone because there is a whole another world out there.

 

Carie Jones

Carie Jones

Carie Jones is originally from Blackwell, Oklahoma. Carie is currently working on completing her Bachelors in Psychology at Missouri Southern State University. As a non-traditional student, Carie has experienced the difficulties that come with trying to balance family, work, and education. Carie has two daughters (Abigayle and Ava) and a wonderful husband (John). She is the Minister of Music at Faith Assembly in Joplin. Carie enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and helping those in need by volunteering at local outreach facilities.

 

Rachel Magness

Rachel Magness

Rachel Magness is from Catoosa, Oklahoma. She is a Senior Criminal Justice major and the Vice President of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society on campus. Her goal is to one day be in the FBI.

 

 

Addy Phillips

Addy Phillips

Hello everyone. My name is Addy Jocelynne Phillips. I am 20 years old and I am an only child. I have been to 37 states, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Australia. I am a music education major and plan to get a masters in music therapy with an emphasis in autistic studies in children. I play the clarinet primarily but can also play piano, bassoon, and the majority of the saxophone family. I am originally from Clever MO, where I have lived all of my life. I live on campus during school and work as a Resident Assistant. When I am at home, I work at a local deli where I've worked since high school. I am a dog lover and my favorite color is green.

 

Destinie Roque

Destinie Roque

My name is Destinie Roque.  I am from Neosho, Missouri.  My major is Spanish education K-12.  I am also working toward certifications in TESOL K-12, and Medical interpretation.  I enjoy traveling,  My advice for freshmen is that you create a four-year plan for the courses you will take throughout your college career.  This plan does not have to be written in stone; it is only a rough idea.  Some courses are only offered during certain semesters and it is important that you know which courses they are before it is time to graduate!  

 

Malayla Seaman

Malayla Seaman

Hello, my name is Malayla Seaman and this my second year at MSSU. I am working on my prerequisites to apply for the nursing program. I graduated from a small Christian school here in Joplin and have loved the transition from high school to college. My University Experience 100 class was very instrumental and helpful in this transition. I choose Southern because it has one of the best nursing programs in the area and it is close to home. After graduation, I would like to work in the neonatal intensive care unit and be a service to people. I hope to use my nursing degree to further my love of traveling. I love traveling and have had the privilege to see most of the continental United States. I enjoy reading, walking, and driving my dad's Mazda RX-7s. My favorite band in the world is the Canadian rock trio Rush. My college experience has been a lot of fun and I hope that your first year experience will be the same as well. 

 

Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson

My name is Sarah K. Thompson and I am a native of Lakeland, Florida. When I was five, my family moved to Carthage, Missouri and we lived there until I graduated from high school. I currently live in Joplin, Missouri and attend Missouri Southern State University (MSSU). I am seeking an education degree in elementary education and special education. I plan on teaching special education and working with special needs students. Personally, I enjoy activities that include church, nature, and anything with water. I am really excited about attending school and look forward to the fall 2012 semester and meeting everyone. I believe MSSU has a great campus with awesome professors and wonderful activities that will appeal to incoming students. Overall, MSSU offers a great place to learn and have fun!

 

Keegan Tinney

Keegan Tinney

Keegan Tinney was born and raised in Joplin, MO.  He is a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, and is also an E.M.T., Lifeguard, DJ, and Southern Ambassador.  He enjoys camping, going to the lake and anything outdoors.

 

 

Jessica Tyler

Jessica Tyler

Hey my name is Jessica. I am single mother of a handsome 5 year old boy. I'm a junior with a major in Health Promotion and Wellness. After graduating from MSSU, I will be attending grad school to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy. I love attending MSSU and appreciate the pride they take in diversity plus the faculty and staff are awesome! Welcome to Southern!

 

Natalie Ward

Natalie Ward

Welcome to Missouri Southern!
Hi, my name is Natalie Ward. I am a senior majoring in elementary/middle school education with a social studies emphasis. I graduated from Crowder College in May 2011 with an Associates of Arts degree and transferred to Southern to continue my education. I am a Resident Assistant in the dorms.
I grew up in Shell Knob, located on Table Rock Lake. It's about 40 minutes West of Branson, what we call "the quiet side of the lake". I love my family, to travel, the outdoors, and being on the lake.
Have a wonderful semester!! Go Lions!

 

McKenzie Warren

McKenzie Warren

Hey everybody! My name's McKenzie Warren and I'm so excited that you've decided to make MSSU your college home! Here's a tiny bit about me. I am 21 years old and a senior English: General Writing major from Neosho, Missouri. On campus you can find me involved as the Secretary for Phi Eta Sigma First Year Honor Society and Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, Secretary of Student Senate, a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority and also of the Equality Alliance. So if you have any questions about how to become an active member of campus life, I'm your gal! I'm incredibly excited about serving as a Course Assistant and getting to meet all of you awesome people—especially the ones in my own class! This is going to be an AMAZING Fall semester! Welcome to the Pride.

 

Daryl Widener

Daryl Widener

My name is Daryl Widener.  I am from Neosho, Missouri and have lived in the country all my life.  I received an associate's degree from Crowder College and I am now a Spanish Education Major with a minor in English.  I am athletically challenged so I stick to music instead of sports.  I play the violin, the guitar, and the piano.  Everybody gets along well with me and I love meeting new people, but most of the time I prefer to stay home with my family rather than go out with friends all the time.

 

Logan Wilson

Logan Wilson

Logan Wilson grew up in Neosho, MO and graduated from Neosho High School in 2008. He briefly attended Kansas University and transferred to Missouri Southern State University in the spring of 2010. He is currently working on his Bachelor's of Science in Physical Education. His dream job would be coaching elementary physical education and being the head track and field coach at the varsity level. Until that job opens up, he is a jewelry consultant for Gordan's Jewelers in Joplin. He is happily engaged to his best friend, Jessica, and can't wait to get married in September of 2012.

 

Jordanne Wright

Jordanne Wright

Hey, everyone! My name is Jordanne Wright, and I'm looking forward to this experience! I'm a sophomore completing a pre-med degree at MSSU. I graduated from Seneca High School in Seneca, MO and moved to Joplin a week before May 22, 2011. I love playing sports and being active. The outdoors is my favorite place to be, and I can't wait to travel around the world. I'm really interested in health, medicine, and science. That probably explains why I'd like to become a physician one day. My God and family are the best. I'm excited for each and every new student, we are embarking on a journey, together, that'll change each of our lives! Good luck and hope to see you around!

 

Contact Information
Hearnes Hall 315
(417) 625-9731
fye@mssu.edu
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