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May 11, 2012

58th Commencement Saturday, May 19

Missouri Southern State University will conduct its 58th Commencement ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 12 noon Saturday, May 19 at Leggett & Platt Athletic Center on the MSSU campus.
The 9:30 a.m. ceremony will include graduates from the Robert W. Plaster School of Business Administration, the School of Education and Bachelor of General Studies Degrees.
The noon ceremony will include graduates from the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Technology, Associates Degrees and Masters Degrees. A total of 671 graduates for May and July (including graduate students) will receive 770 degrees.
The speaker for the 58th Commencement will be James Jackson, professor of Biology and Environmental Health and a longtime member of the faculty of Missouri Southern State University. Dr. Jackson has been on the faculty of Missouri Southern for 36 years. Dr. Jackson received his bachelor's degree in botany from Colorado State University, his masters in botany from the University of Northern Colorado and his Ph.D. in botany from Rutgers University. 
Jackson has won several awards from the University.  These include Outstanding Teacher of a Freshman Class (1983); the Governor's Award for Excellence in Higher Education (1994); Outstanding Academic advisor (spring 2008) and Outstanding Teacher (spring 2011).

An interview with Jackson will air next week on KGCS-TV.  During the interview, he reflects on his career and his work with students at MSSU.  

The program may be seen at 9:30 p.m. on Monday, May 14 and 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15 on KGCS-TV.  It will also air other times in the upcoming weeks. 

KGCS programming may be seen over the air on digital channel 22, as well as regional cable television systems such as Cable One, Mediacom and Suddenlink.  The station operates as a service of the Department of Communication at Missouri Southern State University.

For a list of those receiving associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees and master's degrees, read more.

MSSU Inks Agreement with Springfield's OTC

 Students who have completed an associate's degree can now transfer seamlessly into a four-year online degree program at Missouri Southern State University, following the signing of a new agreement between MSSU and Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield.
The MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between Southern and OTC was made official Wednesday morning of this week when administrators with both institutions approved the agreement at a special ceremony at OTC's Information Commons building located at their Springfield campus.
The new agreement, designed for OTC graduates who have earned Associate of Applied Science or an Associate of Science degrees, means they can easily transfer into MSSU's Bachelor of Applied Science degree programs.
Tia Strait, MSSU's dean of the School of Health Science, Public Safety and Technology, along with Richard Miller, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at MSSU, first approached OTC last year about creating an agreement that would make it easier for two-year applied science graduates to earn a bachelor's degree. The institutions had collaborated in the past and MSSU administrators knew an online program would be convenient and cost-effective.

Reception for Anglin, Lipira Next Wednesday

A reception will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16 to thank AJ Anglin for his work as vice president for academic affairs and to welcome Pat Lipira to the position.

The reception will be held in the Ralph L. Gray Alumni Center beginning at 2 p.m.

Anglin will move to a new position in the department of chemistry and physical sciences.

Pat Lipira, head of the kinesiology department, has been serving as interim dean of the school of education.

Faculty and staff are invited to attend the reception. 

Cake and punch will be served.

Tennis Day Tomorrow in Joplin

Tennis Day in Joplin will take place from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m on Saturday, May 12.

The event will take place at three locations. They are the Joplin Athletic Complex at 3301 West 1st Street in Joplin; Millennium Tennis Club at 1227 Range Line Road; and Missouri Southern State University.

Area residents are invited to take part in this special day of tennis.

Also, don't forget to sign up for a USTA First-Year Junior Membership.

The event is free and open to the public.

Activities at Missouri Southern will last from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Staff Senate Election Results

Balloting was held for the most recent elections in the Staff Senate.  The Election committee of the Senate announces the following results:

Professional Staff
Natalie Bruce
Aaron Lewis

Classified Staff
Tonya Nickle
Nancy Rainey

Alicia Hughes

Physical Plant
Robert Frossard (appointed by Staff Senate executive committee)

Mason Bound for France's Institut Pasteur

Joshua Mason, junior biochemistry major from Carthage, is packing his bags for a summer-long trip to France

In the same way as many travelers, he will no doubt enjoy a view of French countryside or a walk in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.
Unlike most travelers, he’ll be involved in an internship to study immunotherapy for viral-induced cancers. This would include the Epstein Barr virus which has been found in Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, nasopharyngeal cancers and other more obscure cancers primarily seen in the undeveloped countries of the world.

Joshua will study at the Institut Pasteur, one of the world’s most prestigious medical research and microbiology research facilities.

Tornado Documentary Screening Tonight on Campus

A special screening of the documentary "Joplin Missouri: A Tornado Story" at 7 p.m. tonight, Friday, May 11 in Taylor Performing Arts Center.

The screening is free and open to the public.

The film was directed by Christopher “Chip" Gubera, the son of Conrad Gubera, longtime member of the faculty of Missouri Southern State University.
The film is narrated by George Noory, host of radio’s internationally-broadcast "Coast to Coast A.M." 

The documentary was produced in the days and weeks following last May’s devastating storm.

Special limited edition DVDS will be on sale for $20 with a portion of any profit directed to

Voice Master Class this Afternoon

The Missouri Southern State University Music Department will present a Voice Master Class featuring Jennifer Bird-Arvidsson, soprano, at 1 p.m., Friday, May 11 in Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall at MSSU.

The event is free and open to the public.

American soprano Jennifer Bird enjoys a busy and varied singing career in the U.S. and Europe, having built a reputation as a charismatic, intelligent and versatile performer of more than 50 roles in opera, operetta and musical theater, as well as much of the standard oratorio and concert literature.        

As the recipient of a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship, Jennifer studied in Germany in the Opernklasse of the Hamburg Musikhochschule, where she joined the vocal studio of renowned soprano Judith Beckmann.  Soon thereafter she began singing at the Landestheater Coburg and then at the Bremer Theater where she became a pillar of the soloist ensemble, singing major roles in the lyric and lyric-coloratura soprano repertory and, in Coburg, twice earning the Audience Favorite Prize.

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Service Impact Award Competition

Online voting is open for the national “Service Impact Award” competition. Missouri Southern State University’s Resource Development Center project is among the contenders. The competition entry, entitled “Our Community: Paying it Forward in Service from Joplin, Missouri," details plans for the funds awarded through the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) for the 2011 project, “Remembering 9/11 from Joplin’s Ground Zero.”

From May 5 to May 15, members of the public can vote for the project and show support for continued volunteerism in Joplin and beyond.  Voters need to create a secure account with CNCS. The process only takes about one minute.  It is important campus and community members vote and help spread the word in support of this online voting opportunity.

As Joplin continues to recover, the 2012 National Day of Service and Remembrance projects will focus on local efforts for rebuilding and recovery. There will be many projects to consider: parks to restore, trees to replace, homes to repair and construct.

TV Station to Air Southern Symphony Orchestra

KGCS-TV will feature a recording of the Southern Symphony Orchestra concert "B-7" starting the week of May 13.  The concert was held on May 1 and featured music from Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. 

Airings on KGCS that week include 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 13 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15.

KGCS programming may be seen over the air on digital channel 22 and on regional cable television systems including Cable One, Mediacom and Suddenlink.  KGCS operates as a service of the Department of Communication at Missouri Southern State University.

Nursing Students Winning Scholarships

For three consecutive years, Missouri Southern nursing students have won competitive scholarships from Missouri League for Nursing (MLN).  The state wide, competitive scholarship is based upon the student writing a compelling essay about their choice of the career as nursing.  Only two or three scholarships are awarded each year, with amounts ranging from $1000 to $2000 per award.

Last year, (2011) Julie Sheldon won this scholarship as a junior nursing student.  She is now a graduating senior nursing student.

This year, (2012) Savannah Vinson won this scholarship award as a senior nursing student.  She is also graduating this May.

Lynne Duffield, who graduated with her BSN in May 2011 won the award as a junior 2010.

 "It is RARE for a school of nursing to have winners three years in a row when one considers that there are over 150 schools of nursing in Missouri whose students are competing for these MLN scholarships," says Mari Beth Linder, Nursing Department head.

Cloud Computing Dropbox Session Slated

An informational session on Cloud Computing Dropbox application will be held at 12 noon on Thursday, May 24 in room 341 of the Billingsly Student Center.

Come learn what cloud computing is and what resources are available for MSSU employees to use the “cloud”.

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. Any file you save to your Dropbox will also be automatically saved to all your computers, phones, and even the Dropbox website. You can update your file from anywhere

A free buffet lunch will be served.

RSVP by May 18 to Judy Wilmoth at ext. 3167 or email

Newsmakers Focuses on Child Safety Issues

The upcoming edition of the Newsmakers interview program focuses on programs at the Alliance of Southwest Missouri to deal with youth and child safety.  The first part of the program provides information about the expansion of the drug collection boxes, where residents may drop off prescription and non-prescription drugs for safe disposal.  The program was started last fall in Joplin as a response to increased problems with youth abuse of prescription drugs.    

It is now expanded to area towns, with collection boxes in area police departments.  The second part of the program features a discussion about Alliance programs to educate the community about the problems of child sexual abuse.

Guests on the program are Crystal Ipock-Ludiker and Sally Hughes from the Alliance of Southwest Missouri, and Matt Stewart from the Joplin Police Department.

Newsmakers may be seen the following times next week on KGCS-TV:

Sun., May 13- 6:30 p.m.
Mon., May 14- 5:30 p.m.
Tues., May 15 – 5:30 p.m.
Wed., May 16 – 5:30 p.m.

KGCS programming may be seen over the air on digital channel 22 and on regional cable television systems including Cable One, Mediacom and Suddenlink. 

Campus Closed May 21/Book Deadline Extended

President Obama will be on campus on Monday, May 21 to speak at this year’s graduation ceremony for Joplin High School. For security purposes, campus will be closed that day. This is the first week of summer hours so that means the University will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 22-24 that week. The start of intersession also will begin on May 22, as noted in the schedule booklet.

"Thank you for your assistance in making possible this historic day for the students of Joplin High School," says JoAnn Graffam, Vice President for Development and Executive Director, Missouri Southern Foundation.

Greg Needham, Bookstore, says the previous May 21 deadline for students to return books has been extended to May 22.

"The book drops will remain open on the 21st," Greg says, "but they may be difficult or impossible to reach. For that reason, students will have until May 22 to turn in their books."

SBTDC Newsletter

The Missouri Southern Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) provides free and confidential counseling to for-profit small businesses in Jasper, Newton, McDonald, Vernon, Barton, Cedar, Dade and Lawrence counties. The Center also works with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, the Joseph Newman Innovation Center, and other local agencies in partnership to offer low cost training opportunities to area small businesses.

The most currently Update Newsletter includes stories on the Steven S. Little Business Seminar, Veterans' Enterprise Forum 2012, the 25th Anniversary of the SBTDC and counseling and training statistics for October 2011 through March 2012.

See; SBTDC Newsletter.

Quarterly Coffees Planned

The Appreciation Committee has received a suggestion from Nicole Brown, Director of Career Services:

“Once a month, host a free coffee and doughnut social for all employees to offer time for fellowship and networking….”

Nicole’s idea was presented and approved for implementation as a quarterly event! The Appreciation Committee will host free a coffee and doughnut morning social hour in the Billingsly Student Center on the fourth Thursday of July and the fourth Fridays of October, January and April.

Flyers will be posted in buildings and announcements will be made via University Announcements and Accents.

Event times will begin slightly before office hours at 7:30 a.m. and extend just beyond the opening of campus offices until 8:30 a.m. This will allow for offices to be flexible and small offices to rotate personnel so everyone has a chance to enjoy the coffee and doughnuts!

Since summer hours differ, the July event will always take place from 7 a.m. - 8 a.m., supervisors and department chairs are asked to work with their areas in regard to coverage and release time for campus fellowship.

All faculty and staff are invited to the first Quarterly Coffee at 7 a.m. on July 26.

Battle of Badges Football Game

The Joplin Enforcers Football Team will be taking on the Springfield Guns in the 1st Annual Battle of the Badges Football Game, benefiting the Tim Nielson Memorial Scholarship Fund on May 19 at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.

Tickets are $5, ages 12 and under are free.

Starting at 10 a.m., the Family Fun Fest begins in the stadium parking lot and includes face painting for the kids, fire & police vehicles on display, and many more activities prior to the game starting at 12 p.m. The fun fest with feature Bucky Heard of Branson.

There will be a pre-game Family Fun Night at Qdoba, located at 3102 E. 7th, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on May 18. The team will be on hand to sign autographs and other activities are planned. Visit the link for more information!


Mike Fletcher, biology and environmental health faculty member, was recognized at the annual Missouri Milk Food and Environmental Health Association conference held in April in Columbia.  He is the first-ever recipient of the Hainline Award. This award is sponsored by the Hainline Foundation and was created in memory of Joe Hainline, a beloved employee of the Missouri Department of Health who recently passed away. The Hainline Award was bestowed on Mike for his outstanding contribution to environmental public health. In addition to being a faculty member within the department of biology and environmental health, Mike also serves as the director of the environmental health program. Mike attended the conference with Haley Velez, a senior environmental health major, who was the recipient of a scholarship and read her winning essay.  He did not know that he also was going to be honored at the conference.