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Director of Recreational Services
Steven Benfield

steven benfield photo


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 and his daughter, Sailor.

Director of Fitness
Cindy Webb

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Cindy Webb started working part-time for MSSU in February 2000. She graduated from MSSU in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology. She did social work for four years immediately following college, working in psychiatric facilities that focused on adolescents and pre-adolescents with behavioral disorders. In the midst of her social work, she found she needed to continue in Wellness, but in a more up-beat and physical way. Thus began her fitness journey. Cindy has worked in fitness now for over 25 years. She has the following certifications: ACSM Health Fitness Specialist; AFAA Personal Trainer; AFAA Group Exercise; AFAA Step; American Red Cross Aqua Fitness; and American Red Cross Lay Responder First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor. She keeps her certifications current through continuing education and is a firm believer in this. She had 14 years experience in the health club environment, working as a personal trainer, weight room supervisor, fitness class instructor, Aerobics Coordinator, and a Fitness Director, before coming to MSSU. She is currently MSSU’s full-time Fitness Director for Recreational Services and adjunct faculty for the Kinesiology Department. 

Director of Aquatics & Wellness/Prevention Coordinator
Heather Arnold

Heather Arnold (headshot)


Heather Arnold has been the Director of Aquatics & Wellness since July of 2009. She received a Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis on Aquatic Management and minors in General Business and Administrative Management, as well as a Master of Education with an emphasis on Recreation-Sport Management from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. She holds several certifications and owns/operates her own business, related to her field; she has worked in various sectors of recreation for over 18 years. She is also a member of many professional organizations and is actively involved as a member of several local committees and organizations. She is currently a NIRSA Registered Collegiate Recreational Sports Professional and adjunct faculty. She also enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and playing with her min-pin “child”, Saki. She has a passion for helping both the University and its community of students, faculty, and staff grow to their full potential & lead well-rounded lifestyles.

Office Manager/BSC Reservationist
Melanie Epperson

Melanie Epperson (headshot)


Melanie Epperson moved to the Joplin area from Anchorage, Alaska in 1985. She worked at TAMKO and Leggett & Platt corporate offices prior to starting at Missouri Southern in 1998. Before her transfer to the Recreational Services office at its 2009 opening, she served as the Administrative Assistant for the Health Center and Student Activities offices. Melanie also keeps busy as a Joplin area Realtor.