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December 7, 2012


Rod Smith to Speak at Commencement

rod smith portraitNationally known football star and MSSU alumnus Rod Smith will be the featured speaker at Winter Commencement ceremonies, scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec.15 at Missouri Southern State University. Smith graduated from Missouri Southern with many awards. He not only was an All-American in football but was an All-American in the classroom, completing three degrees with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Economics and Finance and Marketing and Management.

His accomplishments in the classroom led him being awarded the Outstanding Graduate Award in 1994.

A native of Texarkana, Ark., Smith enjoyed a stellar career at Southern, where he set MIAA records in career receiving yards (3,122) and touchdowns (35). He also still holds school records for catches in a game (13), receiving yards in a game (254), receiving yards in a season (1,439), highest average gain per reception in a season (24.0), touchdown receptions in a season (15) and longest pass reception (98 yards). He finished his career with 158 receptions for 3,122 yards and 34 touchdowns, which is now third all-time in Division II.

Smith helped the Lions to their last MIAA title and NCAA post season appearance when the team went 9-1-1 in 1993. That season, he was named first-team All-America by the Associated Press, Kodak, Football Gazette and NCAA Division II sports information directors. In 1993, Smith caught 63 passes for 986 yards and 13 touchdowns, and was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, given annually to the top football player in Division II.

Smith entered the NFL with the Broncos as a college free agent on May 3, 1994. He holds Broncos' franchise records for career receptions (849), receiving yards (11,389), touchdown catches (68) and overall touchdowns (71). He also leads all undrafted players in NFL history in every major career-receiving category.  Read more.

Over 350 to Graduate December 15

Missouri Southern's 59th graduating class will include 359 unduplicated students receiving 389 total undergraduate degrees. 

Twenty-eight students will receive master's degrees at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15. 
MSSU's Book store in Billingsly Student Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the purchase of Southern memorabilia, apparel and other items. Graduates and families are invited to shop in the new store before and after the graduation ceremony.
For the convenience of graduates and their families, a Spirit Store will be available near the main entrance of Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Commencement ceremonies will air live on KGCS-TV. KGCS programming may be seen over the air on channel 22. The station also appears on local cable television systems, including Cable One, Mediacom and Suddenlink. Graduates have been given forms to order DVD copies of the ceremony.
For information on DVDs, contact Judy Stiles at 417.625.9777 or email\

Legislative Interns to Sign Service Contracts Today

Legislative Interns from Missouri Southern State University will put pen to paper to execute service contracts for the upcoming year today on the MSSU campus.

The ceremony will be held today at 2:30 in room 223 of Webster Hall.

The Missouri Legislature will be in session from the first Wednesday following the first Monday of January through mid-May. During this time, more than 1,000 bills will be written and filed, and around 100 of them will actually be passed. Interns are a key part of the legislative session, as offices are understaffed and there is much to be done in five months.

Interns are given a wide variety of tasks, depending on the needs of the office. The following students will sign contracts today:

Tristan Routledge, senior political science major from Joplin:  
Assigned to Rep. Charlie Davis

Johnny Boyer, junior political science major from Goodman:
Assigned to Rep. Michael Butler

Cory Garr, freshman political science & international studies major from Joplin:  
Assigned to Rep. Mike Kelly

Brenna Barksdale, senior social science K-12 education major from Carthage:
Assigned to Rep. Tom Flanigan

Laurna Alumbaugh, freshman political science major from Duenweg:
Assigned to the joint offices of Rep. Reiboldt and Rep. Lant

Keegan Tinney, freshman political science major from Joplin:
Assigned to Senator Ron Richard

For more information about legislative interns from MSSU, call Joanna Derfelt, assistant professor of political science, at (417) 625-9794.

"Seasonal Choral Flourish" Tonight

The Missouri Southern State University Concert Chorale and Chamber Singers, under the direction of David L. Sharlow, Director of Choral Activities, will present their third annual "A Seasonal Choral Flourish" at 7:30 p.m. tonight at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, 812 S. Pearl St. in Joplin.

This Festive community outreach performance is a benefit concert to help those in need through MSSU, the Crosslines Churches of the Joplin Area and St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church. 

The performance is free and open to the public. 

Special guests include Brian Fonzaglia, Jeff Macomber and Phil Wise of the Missouri Southern Music Department.

Featured soloist will be the Director of the MSSU Wind Ensemble, Ron Montgomery, trumpet. 

Works by Poulenc, Bach, Vaughan Williams, Taverner, Nystedt, Gjeilo, Palestriana, Sweelinck and many more will be included. 

Monetary and non-perishable goods donations for those in need will be accepted at the concert.

The public is invited to a night of exquisite choral singing in an equally beautiful space. 

MSSU Applies to Provide Master of Accountancy Degree

Missouri Southern State University is taking steps to extend educational opportunities in the field of Accounting.

The University has applied to the Missouri Department of Higher Education to provide a Master of Accountancy degree.                                                                                       

John Groesbeck, Dean of the Plaster School of Business, says that the program would prepare students for the field of public accounting and provide the number of credit hours required by most states to allow students to take the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination.

"I am very grateful to our faculty and staff who worked so hard to get this proposal completed," Dr. Groesbeck says. " We have great people here in the Plaster School of Business, and this is a testament to our commitment to serving the market needs of the region."

Pottery Sale Dec. 10-11

pottery 2012The Missouri Southern State University Ceramics Department will present its 2012 Student Pottery Sale from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10 and Tuesday, Dec.11.The sale will take place in the Spiva Art Gallery in the Fine Arts building at  MSSU. 

The unique, handcrafted gifts were created in the MSSU Ceramics Studio and are being offered just in time for the holidays, according to Frank A. Pishkur, associate professor of Art.

"This exhibition and sale of pottery is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn and develop skills needed to make a living as an artist," Pishkur says. "Students learn how to structure a sale, how to price works and how to set up, develop, and present an exhibit. These are all necessary skills that take time and practice to master."

Salvation Army Angel Tree

The Teacher Education department has Salvation Army Angel Trees again this year.

"We have one upstairs and another downstairs," says Vikki Spencer, Teacher Education.   

At present time, there are 100 "Angels" on the tree.

To assist, come to the Teacher Education Department in the main lobby of Taylor Hall. and take an Angel off the tree.  The Angels list whether the child is male or female, his/her age clothing sizes and other preferences.  Then go shopping for the child. Put the items back under the tree with the Angel attached to the sack.

She says the department will have a final pick up of Angel donation items on Monday, Dec. 10.  

For more information, contact Melissa Snow at ext. 9309.

Holiday Office Contest Winners!

Fifteen offices participated in a holiday decorating contest around campus hosted by The Campus Activities Board. 

Craig Gullett, Student Activities, says the winner of the contest was The Bursar's Office and 2nd place was Distance Learning Online Academic Advising Office.  

Areas that decorated offices include the following:

Reynolds Hall - 2nd floor
Library - 3rd floor
ACTS and Student Success Center - Hearnes 3rd floor
Foundation Office & Treasurer's Office - Hearnes 2nd floor
Admissions & Bursar Office - Hearnes 1st Floor
Distance Learning Online Academic Advising & Distance Learning Multimedia - Webster Hall first floor
Recreational Services - BSC 2nd floor
Student Services - BSC 3rd floor
Ralph L. Gray Alumni Center
IT- Plaster - Room 211 & adjacent areas
Switchboard - Plaster Room 124

Congratulations to the winners and the participants for showing their holiday spirit.        

Staff Senate to Meet in January

There will be no December meeting of the Staff Senate. 

The next meeting will be at 9 a.m. on Jan. 9, 2013  in the  Billingsly Student Center Boardroom, according to Brenda McDaniel, Registrar's Office.

Employee Appreciation Brunch

The 2012 Missouri Southern State University Employee Appreciation Brunch will be held at 11 a.m. on Dec. 21 in the Ballroom  of the Billingsly Student Center, according to Debbie Dutch Kelly, Director of Human Resources.
The University will be honoring classified and professional support personnel who have reached milestones in their years of service at MSSU. A total of 37 employees with a combined total of 355 years of service will be recognized.
"Superior Service Awards" will go to six employees in recognition of the exceptional service they provide and the outstanding contributions they make as University employees. 

$500 Awards will go to two Physical Plant employees, two Professional employees and two Secretarial/Office/Technical Employees.  The winners' names will be announced at the Brunch.

Registration Underway for Conceal Carry

Registration is underway for the next Conceal Carry Weapon (CCW) course at Missouri Southern State University.

These courses are open to the public and are located in indoor climate controlled firing range (8 hour course). The program covers:

*Legal and practical aspects of CCW; loading and unloading of weapons; practicing and qualification of live fire which is necessary to obtain the permit; safety and cleaning of firearms; and firearms training simulator  scenarios.

Under new House Bill 294 requirements, permit applicants must shoot a revolver and semi-automatic handgun.  They must fire 70 rounds through each weapon (140 rounds total).

The cost of the course is:

$100 – If registrant supplies their own weapons and ammunition.    
$125 – If registrant supplies one weapon and ammunition for that weapon.
$150  – If MSSU supplies registrant with both weapons and ammunition.

The Advance Conceal Carry Weapon Course is available to those already holding CCW Permits. This course focuses on shooting and moving techniques, shooting multiple rounds, airsoft scenarios performed in MSSU's mock house, addressing multiple targets, shooting from multiple positions and firearms training simulator scenarios. The cost is $100 if the registrant supplies his/her own weapon and ammunition OR $125 if they are supplied by MSSU.

If interested in registering in the courses please contact Brenda Spurlin at 625.9511. For more information please contact David Newell at 625.9758 or email Payment is due at time of registration.  

Find information online at:

Merit Badge University Held at PSB

The Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) PBL/C-DECA club, sponsored by the Robert W. Plaster School of Business  (PSB), hosted the first annual Merit Badge University (MBU) on Saturday, Dec. 1.
The MBU provided Nih-Ka-Ga-Hah District of the Ozark Trails Boys Scouts of America an opportunity for scouts to earn six different merit badges. Professors and MSSU alumni with assistance from PBL/C-DECA members provided instruction for the scouts to guide them through the requirements of obtaining these merit badges. Total attendance for the day was 66 scouts.
In conjunction with the MBU, the Nih-Ka-Ga-Hah District also held training sessions for over 20 adult leaders in the Robert W. Plaster School of Business Administration. Read more.

Thirty-Nine to Graduate with Honors

MSSU's 59th graduating class includes 39 students who will graduate with honors at the University's Commencement ceremonies.

Nine students earned a four-year grade point average of 3.9 or above on a 4.0 scale and will graduate Summa Cum Laude.
Three of those students had a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Those students are Karen Denise Blumenthal, St. Clair, Mo.;  Audrey J. Buckland, Webb City, Mo.;  and Jeffrey A. Moore, Carl Junction, Mo.

Eleven students will graduate Magna Cum Laude with grade point averages of 3.80 to 3.89.

Fifteen students will graduate Cum Laude with grade point averages of 3.70 to 3.79.

Four students receiving an Associate Degree will graduate with Third Honors indicating a grade point average of 3.70-3.79.  To see a list of honors graduates, Read more.

Hitchcock Renaissance Today on 88.7KXMS

This year has seen a renaissance of interest in movie director Alfred Hitchcock.
The Hitchcock avuncular uncle image was dashed by Tobey Jones' small-screen portrayal of Hitch in October's The Girl.
The television movie chronicled Hitchcock's relationship with Tippi Hendren (Sienna Miller) in the making of The Bird (1963) and Marnie (1964), .Anthony Hopkins is channeling Hitch again, this time in theaters, in the new Fox production aptly titled Hitchcock. This big-screen storytelling revolves around the making of Psycho (1960) and its star Janet Leigh.
"Southern Serenade" this Friday, Dec. 7, will survey some of the music from Hitchcock's canon of films. In chronological order, the program will feature Franz Waxman's music for Rebecca (1940), continuing with Miklos Rozsa's suite from Spellbound (1945), and Dimitri Tiomkin's music for Dial M for Murder (1954).  Read more.

Scholarship Honors Sovereigns

A newly endowed scholarship in Music at Missouri Southern State University honors Oliver and Roberta Sovereign.
Oliver Sovereign was the director of the choir at Joplin Junior College, MSSU's predecessor institution and at Missouri Southern for several decades ending in the 1960s.
Three grateful former MSSU students led the drive to endow the scholarship.  Sue Baker Cowen, Gloria Brittenham Sanborn, and Vicki Buckingham Mays studied with Mr. Sovereign. Nicknamed "The 3 Bs," the women all later chose Music Education as their profession.
Mr. Sovereign also directed choirs at Joplin High School and First United Methodist Church. 

His wife Roberta served as pianist, organist, and Mr. Sovereign's accompanist.  She also was a piano and organ teacher.

Outstanding UE 100 Instructor, Course Assistant Named

Missouri Southern State University has announced the selection of its Outstanding University Experience 100 Instructor and Outstanding Course Assistant.

The UE 100 course focuses on issues such as developing study skills, learning about campus services, understanding the advising and enrollment process and international education.

Cherona Hicklin, assistant professor of Teacher Education from Carthage, was selected as Outstanding UE Instructor.

Hicklin holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Missouri Southern, an M.S. in Educational Leadership from Pittsburg State University and an Ed.S. in Education Administration Superintendency  from Southwest Baptist University.  Prior her appointment as assistant professor at MSSU in 2010, she had worked as a teacher and assistant principal at Carthage R-IX Schools.

Destinie Roque, senior Secondary Education Spanish major from Joplin, was selected as the Outstanding Course Assistant.

Both award winners received a $50 gift certificate to the MSSU Bookstore and a plaque, according to Susan Craig, Director of the First-Year Experience Program.

Tell Us about Your Events!

Beginning this Sunday, Dec. 9, Missouri Southern will begin running a weekly ad in The Joplin Globe called "What to do at MSSU."

"We will be advertising events that are open to the community including concerts, athletics events, seminars, etc. We are pulling information from the online Calendar of Events, but we need your help to make sure we are including details about all events happening on campus that are open to the community," says Cassie Mathes, University Relations & Marketing.

If you have a community oriented event scheduled in your area, please let us know by contacting the Office of University Relations and Marketing at 417-625-9399.

Thank you for your help as we continue to let the region know about the great things happening at Missouri Southern.

November New Hires

David Newell, Criminal Justice, Coordinator Criminal Justice Seminars

Julia Jensen, Financial Aid Office, Title IV Aid & Compliance Counselor

William Lyerla, University Relations & Marketing, Graphic Designer

Randon Coffey, Radio Marketing, Director Athletics Marketing & Corporate Sales

Glenn Rifenbark, Facility Improvements, Maintenance Technician

Abigail Buttle, Registrar Office, Assistant Registrar

Jason Otero, Information Technology, IT Software Installer

Stephanie Workman, Registrar Office, Records Assistant

Wiliam Thrasher, Custodial, Physical Plant

If you see any of these newly-hired employees, take the time to welcome them to the MSSU team!

Family and Emergency Planning Sessions

You could be anywhere when a disaster strikes -- at home, work, school, grocery store or in your car.  How will you know your family is safe?  Do you have the tools and plans in place to make it on your own, at least for a period of time?  Is your emergency plan and supply kit up to date?  All citizens should be ready and prepared no matter where and when disaster strikes.

MSSU in conjunction with Crowder College is offering class on Family and Personal Emergency Planning.  This is a nationally-sponsored class that is approximately one hour in length. 

The two-hour class will be offered on campus at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20 in Billingsly Student Center Room 309. 

This class is being recommended by the Federal Government for all citizens.  Topics covered include:

* Emergency preparedness; Natural (floods, thunder & lightning storms, winter storms, heat, fire); Technological (nuclear power plants, chemical spills, hazardous materials).
* National Security emergencies -- acts of terrorism, active shooters.
* Sheltering in place/evacuation.
* Emergency supply kits and go kits.
* Personal & family emergency plans.

The session is part of a national initiative to delivery emergency management training to citizens at no charge. 

Men's Cross Country Program topic of  Next Newsmakers

Tom Rutledge, Missouri Southern's Men's Cross Country Coach, joins Newsmakers this week to discuss how proud he is of his team for bringing the Division 2 Regional and National Championships to their home turf. Rutledge and Eric Schott, one of the team's runners, discuss hosting the championships and how excited the team is to have placed 8th place.

After 24 years of coaching at Missouri Southern, Rutledge has announced that he will be retiring next summer. Rutledge shares what being the coach of the cross country team has meant to him. He will also talk about being recognized with a special day by the city of Joplin.

This program will air on KGCS-TV on the following dates:

Sun., Dec. 9 - 5:30 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 10 - 5:30 p.m.
Tue., Dec. 11 - 5:30 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 12 - 5:30 p.m.

The program will also air on KOAM at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 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.

The station operates as a service of the Department of Communication.

Value of Diversity Competition

The deadline for the Value of Diversity Competition is  Dec.18.

The "Value of Diversity" Competition encourages MSSU students to express how diversity enriches our community, culture, and lives.  Current MSSU students may submit one original work: essay, poem, song, speech, short video, presentation, sculpture, painting, etc.

This new piece of MLK Day of Service programming is a project of the Diversity Committee and the MLK Subcommittee.  It is sponsored by Student Activities.

There are amazing awards for the students who win the competition. They are:

1st place = $150
2nd place = $100
3rd place is $50

Here is a link to the competition web page which contains the entry form link:

 If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!  Hopefully this exciting competition will become part of our tradition at MSSU, according to Rikki Smith and Nancy Kenney, Diversity Committee.

Improved Functionality Goal of New Efforts

Improved functionality of the smaller mini-features rotating navigation on the Missouri Southern website homepage has been launched. The mini-features section is located on the right side and in the mid-section of the homepage.

A new navigation instrument allows visitors to more easily move from image to image, freeze the image they want to view more closely or for a slightly longer period, stated Rod Surber, Director of Web Content.

The new navigation bar includes forward and back arrows on the left and ride sides, a visible timer that allows browsers to show the 5-second pause over each image, plus individual image buttons number 1 through 5 that allow for quick and easy manual selections of each image. Visitors can hover their computer mouse over the timer to pause the image. Once a mouse is removed from the timer area, the cycle picks up where it was paused.

"What to some might seem a relatively simple maneuver involved many hours of programming investigation and coding on the part of Amanda Gish, Content Coordinator," Surber said. "In addition, Ashley Eriksen, supported the effort with graphic adjustments to images that must fit precise specifications for the content area.

The Web Team is working hard to maintain a fresh homepage in coordination with University Relations & Marketing projects and promotions, as well as drive visitors deeper into the University's site. "For example, when News Bureau Manager Stephen Smith posts a release about an upcoming art exhibit, we have added images and a link to the MSSU Spiva Art Gallery slideshow," Surber explained. "This attracts prospective students and visitors who have an interest in art to dig deeper to learn about the great programs and services we offer," he said.

"We encourage other programs and departments to contact our office to plan and execute similar efforts," he said.

Contact information is available on the Web Services website.

Six Sigma Green Belt Training

Missouri Southern State University hosts Six Sigma Green Belt training in January and February of 2013. Six Sigma is a data-driven methodology used to improve a product or process.

The eight-day Six Sigma Green Belt training will be taught Jan 7-10 and Jan 18, Jan 25, Feb 8, and Feb 15, 2013. from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The training fee is $2,200.

Six Sigma Green Belt course topics include six sigma fundamentals, DMAIC model, project management, team effectiveness, project selection, project charter, process maps, measuring defects, customer analysis, data collection plans, descriptive statistics, check sheets, cause & effect diagrams, histograms, SPC, capability analysis, graphical improvement tools, Pareto charts, root cause analysis, correlation analysis, scatter plots and measurement systems analysis.

The courses are highly interactive. Many hands-on simulations, exercises, and case studies are used to apply theory. Minitab Statistical Software is used to teach Six Sigma.

To request registration forms or inquire further about the program, contact Elke Howe at 417.625.9849 or send an e-mail to

Chef Robert Coming to Joplin

'Tis the season of giving and for Chef Robert's biggest mission to date. He's travelling to Joplin for a show set to run Dec. 9, 10 and 12.

After the tornado hit, the local Boys and Girls Club turned into a safe house for kids of all ages, and while its attendance doubled, its funding did not. Robert's challenge is twofold; to transform the Boys and Girls Club into a space both kids and parents will love, and to create a thank-you dinner for 1,000 volunteers in just five hours! 

With a $30,000 budget, 3 day deadline, and the help of chef Michael Chiarello and some of Robert's old Dinner: Impossible crew, it will be all hands on deck for Joplin.

A team of MSSU Volunteers helped with the party prep and decoration for the thank you dinner.  The following people volunteered:

Christy Philips, Nicole Brown, Cassie Mathis, Dory Quinn, Alex Gandy, Nathan Hicks, Ron Mitchell, Elisa Bryant, Donna Kemm, Kelly Wilson, Dianne Vlasin, Stephanie Hopkins, Heather Arnold, and Samantha Quackenbush.

Tune In:

Dec 09 - 9 p.m.
Dec 10 - Midnight
Dec - 8 p.m.


For Sale: Firewood. Will deliver and stack (in the Joplin area).  Call or text William Dobson at 540-9378.

Accents is published during the fall, spring and summer semesters. For information, email, call (417) 625-9506 or FAX (417) 625-3142. Accents is published by the staff of the University Relations & Marketing Office at MSSU, 3950 E. Newman Rd., Joplin, Mo. 64801-1595.

Accents is a publication for the faculty and staff of Missouri Southern State University.

Stephen Smith, Editor, News Bureau Manager
Cassie Mathes , University Relations & Marketing Director

Those desiring accommodations for disabilities for any event mentioned in Accents are advised to give the sponsor 72 hours advance.

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