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February 8, 2013


High Scores for MSSU Business Students

Officials at Missouri Southern State University’s Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center are impressed with the results of nationally-recognized tests given to upper-division students.

John Groesbeck, Dean of the Robert W. Plaster School of Business (PSB), says the scores from the summer and fall senior semester Educational Testing Service capstone tests (ETS Major Field Test) are the highest they have been over the last four years.

“The overall result is that our students scored in the 82nd percentile nationwide,” Groesbeck said. “That means our students performed collectively in the top 20 percent.”

The highest indicator areas included Finance and International Business at the 85th percentile, Marketing at the 84th percentile, and Economics at the 82nd percentile. 

Groesbeck says every business subject area indicator at MSSU ranked above the 65th percentile.

The ETS Major Field Tests are comprehensive undergraduate and MBA outcomes assessments designed to measure the critical knowledge and understanding obtained by students in a major field of study. The Major Field Tests go beyond the measurement of factual knowledge by helping evaluate students’ ability to analyze and solve problems, understand relationships and interpret material from their major field of study.

ETS offers comprehensive national comparative data for the Major Field Tests to evaluate students' performance and compare a program's effectiveness to programs at similar institutions nationwide. Offered in more than a dozen undergraduate fields of study, including the Associate Degree in Business and the Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA), the Major Field Tests help prepare students to succeed by using test results to improve curricula; demonstrate the strengths of a program to prospective students and faculty; compete for performance funding; help ensure students have mastered their fields of study; and allow programs to focus on other aspects of accreditation.

“This is a very important team success,” Dr. Groesbeck stated.

Phonathon Begins Saturday, February 16

The dialing is almost ready to begin!

The Missouri Southern Foundation will conduct its annual Phonathon from Saturday, Feb. 16 to Wednesday, Feb 27.

Michael Fontana, Development Officer – Annual Fund/Scholarships, says this year’s Phonathon will have a 75th Anniversary theme in keeping with this year’s celebration of MSSU’s 75th year of existence.

Fontana says the Phonathon will include at least 25 current MSSU students calling alumni and friends to ask their support for the University. All calls will be made from the MSSU campus.

The Phonathon has been the centerpiece of the Southern Annual Fund campaign for over 30 years. The Fund helps to address critical and strategic needs on campus. These needs include scholarships, facilities improvements, and general operations.

“Having our students do the calling makes annual fund more real, intimate and immediate,” Fontana says.  “It’s about supporting the students and building relationships.”

The goal for the Phonathon callers this year is $82,500. The goal for the Southern Annual Fund drive, which includes includes the Phonathon as well as separate solicitations for faculty, staff, businesses, Board of Governors, Foundation Board and others, is $106,700.

Fontana says the Phonathon can accept payments by check and credit card.   

For more information on the Phonathon or to make a pledge to the Southern Annual Fund, please contact Fontana at (417) 659-4436 or

Students Needed for Phonathon

Do you know an MSSU student looking to make extra money? 

The Phonathon annual fund drive is looking for Missouri Southern students to work evening and weekend hours, up to 20 hours a week from Feb. 16 through Feb. 27.

Students are needed for on-campus positions making calls to alumni and friends on behalf of Missouri Southern.

A training session will be provided. Only MSSU students may apply. 

They will be working with other students in a positive, upbeat atmosphere.

To apply, visit MSSU Hire a Lion and follow the instructions on screen.

Be a learner, be a leader, be a Lion!

VITA Offers Free Tax Assistance

Do you go into crisis mode each year when income tax time rolls around?

If you're in need of assistance and make less than $51,000 as an individual or family, free help is just around the corner.

David Smith, head of the Accounting & Finance Department at Missouri Southern State University, says a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) team from MSSU will be available on Saturdays from Feb. 16 to April 13 to help Joplin area residents fill out their tax forms.  The VITA team will not be offering assistance on Saturday, March 16 (Spring Break).
The forms will be prepared from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturdays in the computer labs on the third floor of  the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center at Missouri Southern.
Another group is partnering with the VITA team to make the experience as helpful as possible. The Missouri Southern Spanish Club will provide Spanish language interpreters.

"If you make up to $51,000, we can complete your federal 1040 or 1040A return and file it electronically, including Schedules A and B (interest income and itemized deductions), child credit, child care credit, education credits, and EIC (Earned Income Credit)," Smith says. "We can also prepare and file your Missouri, Kansas and/or Oklahoma tax forms electronically," he adds.

Smith says it has been nearly ten years since VITA was offered by MSSU students in Joplin.
"There was huge demand for it," Smith says. "We wanted our students and community to know we are here to help."  Read more

Budget Committee, Board Meeting Slated

The Budget Audit Committee of the Board of Governors of Missouri Southern State University will meet  at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11 in Room 356 of Billingsly Student Center. 

This is an open meeting that the campus and media are welcome to attend.

The Board of Governors will hold its February meeting  beginning at 1 the Board Room located in Room 310 of Billingsly Student Center, beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15.

This is also an open meeting and the campus and media are invited to attend. 

Final Two Nights for The Patsy Friday, Saturday 

patsy shot 1Southern Theatre will wrap up its performance of The Patsy by Barry Conners at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 8 - 9  in Bud Walton Theatre on the campus of Missouri Southern State University.  The play is directed by Jim Lile.

To mark Missouri Southern's 75th anniversary, Southern Theatre will present a revival of the first play produced at Joplin Junior College. 

The story deals with a middle class American family in which there are two grown daughters and a society-bound mother to complicate matters for the hard-working father.  The turbulent romances of the daughters, the social aspirations of "Mom" and the final rebellion of the hen-pecked father provide the theme for the mad-cap comedy.

This production will include some alumni as cast members.

The Patsy cast includes: alumna Cassie Lynch as Mrs. William Harrington, Hunter Dowell as Bill Harrington, Abby Railsback as Patricia Harrington, Katie Hembree as Sadie Buchanan, Jimmy Zerkel as Tony Anderson, and alumni Lyle Burrow as Mr. O'Flaherty, and Sam Claussen as "Trip" Busty. Read more.

Outstanding Graduate Award Nominations

Established in 1972, the Outstanding Graduate Award at Missouri Southern is an award given out to a graduating senior by the Alumni Association for their outstanding achievements they have accomplished in the classroom, and have made significant contributions to benefit their University and/or community. Awarded each spring at the Honors Convocation, it recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of MSSU's finest student. 

Candidates are nominated for the Outstanding Graduate award by faculty, staff and Administration of MSSU. Information is gathered from many different sources. The Alumni Awards Committee, comprised of Alumni Board members and Faculty, will meet to review all nominations, and recommend recipients(s) to the MSSU Alumni Association Board of Directors.  The top three candidates will be personally interviewed by the Awards Committee.

The nominee must have shown high standard of character and be well respected by peers and faculty, provided service to the college and evidence of leadership on campus and in the community, participated in a variety of campus activities and maintained an above average grade point standing.  Candidates may have graduated December 2012, or are scheduled to graduate either May 2013 or July 2013.

Applications must be received at the Ralph L. Gray Alumni Center prior noon on Feb. 15.  Please fill out the nomination form to recognize a deserving graduating senior and include any additional supporting documentations or letters of support.

A pdf version of the nomination form is available at Outstanding Graduate 

Please print and send to Ralph L. Gray Alumni Center, 3950 E. Newman Rd., Joplin, MO 64801. 

Career Fairs, Workshops and More

After college comes the career. A student's education experience cannot be complete unless he or she is prepared for life after the university experience.

Luckily, Missouri Southern has a variety of activities planned to assist in this endeavor.

A variety of career-related events are planned for February and March at MSSU. These include:

* Graduation Expo from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 4 – 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25 in the Ralph L. Gray Alumni Center.

* Career Fair “How to Lunch” at 12:20 p.m. on Feb. 26, 27 and 28 in Room 309 of the Billingsly Student Center (BSC). Free lunch is included and no RSVPs are required.

* Career Fair Cram from 5 - 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28 in the BSC Ballroom.

* Spring Career Fair from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 7 in Leggett & Platt Athletic Center

* Education Career Fair from 1 – 3 p.m. on Monday, March 11 in the BSC Ballroom.

* Etiquette Dinner and Networking 101 on Tuesday, March 5 in BSC Room 309. A $10 admission and RSVP are required to be paid at the Career Services office on the second floor of Spiva Library.

* Walk-In Resume Workshops at various times Feb 26, Feb. 27, March 1, March 4, March 5 and March 6.

For information, contact MSSU Career Services at (417) 625-9343. Email or visit

For further details on the activities listed above, Read more.

Stop by the Health Hut

health hutWant to stay healthy and have fun?  Stop by the Health Hut!

The Hut will be stationed in the Lion's Den from 10:45 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14.

Come grab helpful freebies each week and follow the Health Hut on Facebook to earn extra prizes. 

For information, contact Melanie Epperson at 625-9346.

Employee Appreciation Night at Feb. 9 Games

The Appreciation Committee will sponsor an Employee appreciation Night at the basketball games on Saturday, Feb. 9.

The game times in Leggett & Platt Athletic Center are at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Please come enjoy a free jumbo hot dog and a drink.

Employees may pick up their voucher at the main entrance to Leggett & Platt, (lobby) when you scan your Missouri Southern ID on game night. 

Employees must have their Missouri Southern IDs to receive the voucher.   

We appreciate everything you do!

Fine Arts Discovery Day

Fine Arts Discovery Day will be held Friday, Feb. 15 on the MSSU campus.

Designed for fine arts majors, the day will be held in the Fine Arts complex, Spiva Art Gallery beginning at 9 a.m.

Students are invited to discover what a day is like as a fine arts major.  They can listen to the Concert Chorale or Symphonic Band as they rehease and tour the fine arts facilities with current students and meet faculty members.  

Students can receive Admissions and Financial Aid information, view the campus and enjoy lunch.

Music Performance Award Auditions will take place at either 9:30 a.m. or 1 p.m.. To set up an appointment for an audition, please contact Rita Boyer in the Music Department: 417.625.9318 or email

Theatre Performance Award Auditions will take place at 1 p.m. For information on those, contact Terri Spencer in the Theatre Department at 625-9393 or email

Others wanting to take part should reserve a spot.

New Hires for January

A number of new faculty and staff members joined the Missouri Southern State University family in January 2013.  They are:

Hyunjung Kim, Communication General, Assistant Professor Communications
Jessica Young, Chemical & Physical Sciences, Assistant Professor Physics
Cynthia Thompson, Director of Budget & Operations, Procurement & Budget Office Specialist
Alyssa Neely, Office Services, Printing Clerk
Callimay Frye, Teacher Education, Coordinator Instructional TV & Database Manager
Michelle Ducre, Development, Development Officer-Major Gifts
Harold Kinney, Men’s Football, Assistant Football Coach

When you meet or see any of these individuals, welcome them to the team.  We are glad you are here!

FAFSA Frenzy Feb. 17

Next school year, the U.S. Department of Education will make more than $150 billion in postsecondary financial aid available to students throughout the nation.  Dates, times and locations for all events are available at
College Goal Sunday (CGS) makes applying for financial aid easier by providing students with free help filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the first step in applying for federal financial aid and many state programs. 
• The local FAFSA Frenzy event will be held from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17 on the Third Floor Ballroom in the Billingsly Student Center at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.
Families will be able to complete the 2013-14 FAFSA on-site and obtain valuable information in the event at MSSU.
To assist students and parents with the FAFSA process, financial aid professionals will be on hand at over 30 FAFSA Frenzy events on Feb. 17. Read more.

Newsmakers Focuses on Safety

The upcoming edition of the Newsmakers interview program on KGCS-TV focuses on safety at Missouri Southern State University. 

The program follows up on the active shooter drill held on campus in January, with discussion about plans in place to inform people on campus in the event of an emergency. 

Ken Kennedy, MSSU Police Chief, and Bob Harrington, MSSU Physical Plant Director and Risk Manager, will discuss emergency preparedness efforts. Read more.

Special Mardi Gras Menu for Fat Tuesday

Grab your Mardi Gras beads (if you want), and take part in Missouri' Southern's Mardi Gras menu next Tuesday in the Lion's Den!

The following New Orleans specialties will be featured:

Sauteed Garlic Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich
Crab Salad Sandwich with a side of Red Beans and Rice

Either selection comes with a 22 oz. Fountain Drink.
Only $4.99 plus tax

Also, the soup of the day is Gumbo and, for the sweet tooth, Punch Ki's also will be available.

Staff Senate to Meet

The Staff Senate will meet at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13  in the Billingsly Student Center Board Room. 

All general meetings are open to the campus community.

All staff are encouraged to attend.

SJO SHOWCASE February 28

 The Southern Jazz Orchestra (SJO) Mid-Winter SHOWCASE will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28 in Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall. 

The concert is free. No tickets are required. 

The performance features the SJO and its student musicians. 

This concert includes a variety of big band selections from ballads to funk!  For more information, contact Jeffrey Macomber, director of the Southern Jazz Orchestra at 625-9635.

"Give a Kiss to Get a Kiss" Fundraiser

The Missouri Southern State University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSA) organization will host the "Give a Kiss to Get a Kiss" fundraiser from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Feb. 12 - 13 in the Lion's Den in the Billingsly Student Center at MSSU.
Students, faculty and staff and the public can purchase a Hershey's kiss rose for their friends or special someone for Valentine's Day.
Choose from a single candy rose for $1 or a dozen roses for $10. Arrangements also will be available in vases.
Pre-orders will be taken for the candy roses on the PRSSA Event Page on Facebook or by contacting Nancy Ellis in Room 353 of Webster Hall at 625-3125.

Sorority Raises Funds at Webb City Pizzeria

Members of the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority chapter at Missouri Southern State University raised over $1,100 at an event held earlier this week at JJ’s Woodfire Pizza in Webb City.

The students sold tickets that admitted individuals into JJ’s Woodfire Pizza. They then received all the pizza and soda they could consume buffet style. 

JJ Spurlin, Criminal Justice, stated, “This is just one more event we have sponsored to help the students  at Missouri Southern. Alpha Sigma Alpha members also accepted donations from those enjoying the evening.

Members of the sorority plan to present the funds they raised to the Alpha Sigma Alpha's Foundation at the group’s district meeting on Feb.16 in Kansas City, Mo.

Czech Film to Show February 26

Film showings of the 51st Annual International Film Festival will continue this spring semester on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. in Cornell Auditorium, MSSU. 

The next film, Lemonade Joe (Limonadovy Joe)  is slated for Tuesday, Feb. 26. No admission is charged. 

 The director and comedy specialist Oldrich Lipsky, from Prague’s Satirical Theater, achieved great success with this very funny 1964 Czech musical parody of early Hollywood westerns. 

 Hard-drinking varmints hanging out at the Trigger Whisky Saloon threaten the town’s beautiful temperance crusader. 

Riding to her rescue is Lemonade Joe who drinks Kolaloca lemonade instead of “fire water.” 

As a hero, he believes that “Evil cannot stand against a clean-living man.”  The Los Angeles Times labeled it “…the most offbeat western since Terror of Tiny Town.” 

For information, contact (417) 673-1261.


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