Board Guides International Mission
By Dr. Chad Stebbins
Director, Institute of International Studies
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 we 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. We spent a considerable amount of time discussing ways for sustaining MSSU’s Spanish Village with director Leslie Parker.
Fund-raising for the international mission also was a common thread of most meetings. The board debated whether to start a modest campaign − $25,000 or $50,000 – or something more substantial. Board members agreed it was essential to tell potential donors why MSSU needed the funds and to prioritize all the international functions on campus.
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 15 current board members:
- John Patrick is manager of the Administrative Sales, International Export Components, Home Furniture Components Unit at Leggett & Platt in Carthage. He became chair of the IMAB in March 2011.
- Richard Walter (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 (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 recruiting manager of Con-way Truckload in Joplin.
- Donna Davis Browne brings to the board a lifetime of participation and experience in foreign travel and a deep commitment to the benefits of overseas study for MSSU students. In celebration of her recent birthday her children have arranged to provide an annual scholarship contribution to foster international study.
- Jeré Marcum taught in the Joplin elementary system for 18 years, retiring in 1986. The rest of his career has been spent learning foreign languages, traveling, and teaching. He is currently an adjunct instructor in MSSU’s International English Program.
- Fannun Kanan, originally from Bethlehem, is a Joplin developer who attended Joplin Junior College (the predecessor to MSSU) from 1959-61.
- Randy Stanley is a Joplin CPA who works in real estate management. His daughter, April Njari, received a degree in International Studies from MSSU in December 2003.
- Dr. Kent Farnsworth was president of Crowder College from 1985-94 and an endowed professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis from 1994-2010. He is the author of Grassroots School Reform: A Community Guide to Developing Globally Competitive Students (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and currently works with a project called "Achieving the Dream" that provides coaches to community colleges around the country through a grant from the Lumina Foundation.
- Jasen Jones is the executive director of the Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri.
- Paul Whitehill is president and CEO of Images In Tile, a Joplin company that produces custom tiles and murals for locations all over the world.
- 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.
- Dr. Pat Lipira is interim vice president of academic affairs at MSSU (ex-officio member).
- Dr. Chad Stebbins is director of the Institute of International Studies at MSSU (ex-officio member).