Skip To Top Navigation Skip To Content Skip To Footer

Meet the Staff

Heather bullock, m.s. ed.s., lpc14425611320_63e5f493e4_c.jpg


Lead Mental Health Counselor 

Heather began her career at MSSU in 2008. She has a B.S. in Psychology with an emphasis in Developmental Disabilities, a M.S. in Community Counseling, and an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Counseling all from Pittsburg State University. Heather is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri and completed her licensure requirements in 2005. As an adjunct, she has taught University Experience, and Career and Life Planning courses. She is passionate about reducing the stigma of mental health, believes that all conversations are valid, and in helping students find balance managing their mental health while achieving their educational goals. In her free time, she likes to bake, cook, read, and spend time with her family.

Room: Hearnes Hall Room 314D
Email: Bullock-H@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-3157
Fax: 417-625-4456 


Jonathan case, ms. ed.49019784932_107a157703_k.jpg


Academic Success Coach/Student Employment Coordinator

Jonathan started his career at MSSU in 2019 in the Admissions Office as the Admissions Processor. He has since worked in the Financial Aid office as the Withdrawal Compliance Counselor, and now in the Student Success Center as an Academic Success Coach and Student Employment Coordinator. He earned his Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from MSSU in 2022. He also has a Bachelors Degree in General Studies from the University of Central Missouri. In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and two dogs. He is also a writer, actor, and amateur outdoorsman. Jonathan takes great pride in assisting his advisees and the student employees across campus. In addition to his duties within the Student Success Center, Jonathan also serves on Staff Senate as the Executive at Large, as well as serving on multiple committees, such as the Communications Committee, Governance Committee, and as co-chair of the Elections Committee.

Room: Hearnes Hall Room 308A
Email: Case-J@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-9398
Fax: 417-625-4456


alex gandy, m.s.27818438084_7b983123e5_k.jpg


Director of Career Services

Room: Spiva Library 219
Email: Gandy-A@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-3137
Fax: 417-625-4456

 

preston hamiltonpreston


Academic Success Coach & Special Population Programming Coordinator

Preston began his career at Missouri Southern State University in the Spring of 2024. He is also an alumnus of MSSU and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing in 2021. Before coming back to MSSU as staff member, he worked in Social Media Marketing with Paradox Media Group, and Disaster Relief/ Emergency Rental Assistance with Viriya Consulting.  In his free time, Preston enjoys spending time with his dogs, thrifting, and watching or performing in theatrical productions.

Room: Spiva Library 413
Email: Hamilton-p@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-3516
Fax: 417-625-4456

 

stephanie hopkins, ed.s.Stephanie-Hopkins.jpg


Director of Student Success

Ms. Hopkins began her career at MSSU in 1995.  She has earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing from Missouri Southern State University, a Master of Science in Human Resource Development and a Specialist in Education with an Emphasis in Industrial Education from Pittsburg State University.  Before becoming the Director of Student Success in 2022, she held previous positions at MSSU as a Financial Aid Counselor, Student Accounts Manager, Academic Support Specialist, and Director of the Student Success Center.  In addition, she has taught the University Experience class, College Academic Skills, Tutor Training, Leadership and Professional Development, and Business Communication classes.  Ms. Hopkins serves on various committees on campus.  In 2013, she received the Superior Service Award.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, exploring new places, running, and shopping.

Room: Hearnes Hall Room 314J
Email: Hopkins-S@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-9670
Fax: 417-659-4456


Mackenzie keough, M.s.


Academic Success Coach and Orientation Coordinator 

Mackenzie began her career at MSSU in 2024. She comes to us from Texas and attended The University of Texas at San Antonio, where she earned both her Master of Science in Health and Kinesiology and Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. She was also a cheerleader for the 2018-2019 season at UTSA! Before beginning her position as an Academic Success Coach and Orientation Coordinator, she held multiple positions within UTSA and coached competitive cheerleading. Mackenzie originally aspired to be a Physical Therapist but turned her passion for helping people towards higher education. She is thrilled to share her knowledge with incoming students and help make the first-year experience memorable. In her free time, she enjoys working out, reading, and taking her dog for walks.  

Room: Spiva Library 413
Email: Keough-M@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-3176
Fax: 417-625-4456

susan knapps, m.s. ed.52887191558_90c4de0274_k.jpg


Academic Advisor/Athletic Support Specialist

Mrs. Knapps holds a BS degree in Education from Pittsburg State University and a Master of Science in Educational Adm inistration from William Woods University Before becoming an Academic Advisor Athletic Support Specialist, she recently retired as a public educator from Joplin Schools In her free time Mrs. Knapps enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Room: Hearnes Hall Room 308A
Email: Knapps-S@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-9347
Fax: 417-625-4456

 

lori musser, ed. s.28760362570_155cc16688_z_d.jpg


Academic Success Coach/Coordinator of Disability Services

Lori began her career at MSSU in 2012. She serves as the Coordinator for Student Disability Services and as an Academic Success Coach. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (B.S.Ed.) from Missouri Southern and a Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling from Missouri State University. She also holds a Master of Science and a Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. Lori spent 25 years as a public-school educator prior to joining the MSSU Staff. In her free time, she enjoys her grandchildren, the outdoors, and baking.

Room: Hearnes Hall Room 301N
Email: Musser-L@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-9516
Fax: 417-625-4456

 

debra swearengen, m.s.42586044634_2e43e99702_k.jpg


Academic Success Coach/Special Population Programming Coordinator

Ms. Swearengen began her career at MSSU in 2011. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Missouri Southern State University in 1998 and went on to earn a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Avila University in 2000. Before beginning her position as Academic Success Coach and Special Population Programming Coordinator she held positions as Academic Advisor and Mental Health Counselor. She also teaches UE 400 and 401, Leadership Training for Course Assistants. She serves on various committees and received the Southern Service Champ Award in 2020. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, camping, and reading.

Room: Hearnes Hall 314F
Email: Swearengen-D@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-3516
Fax: 417-625-4456

 

lisa sweet, m.s. ed.48080115387_2f16b73d37_k.jpg


Academic Success Coach/Academic Recovery Coordinator

Lisa began her career as an Academic Advisor at MSSU in 2019.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (B.S.Ed.) from Missouri Southern and an M.S.Ed. in Elementary Education from Pittsburg State University.  As a proud graduate of MSSU, Lisa is active in and has served as president of the Alumni Association.  Before joining the Student Success Center, Lisa spent 17 years as a public-school educator for the Carthage R-9 school district. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, creating memories with her three granddaughters, reading, and craft activities.

Room: Hearnes Hall Room 308
Email: Sweet-L@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-9542
Fax: 417-625-4456

 

craig thompson, m. ed.52425711171_650a1fdee1_k.jpg


Director of Advising

Craig has been the director of advising since 2022. Before that, he started his career at MSSU as an adjunct instructor in the International English Program, later serving as international admissions counselor in the International Admissions office and as academic skills specialist in the Student Success Center. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English (Creative Writing) and a Master of Education (Curriculum and Instruction), both from the University of Missouri – Columbia. When not at work, Craig enjoys writing and working on renovation projects at his home.

Room: Hearnes Hall Room 301C
Email: Thompson-Craig@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-9558
Fax: 417-625-4456

 

 

allison van da griff, m.s. lpc52328214467_b67f9164a9_k.jpg


Mental Health Counselor

Allison began her career at MSSU in 2022 as a Mental Health Counselor. Allison is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri and completed all requirements in 2022. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arkansas and earned her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Pittsburg State University in 2011. Prior to MSSU, Allison has been working as a therapist in private practice in the area since 2018. She is passionate about helping students improve their self-esteem and find ways to cope with mental health while pursuing their academical goals. You can typically find Allison outside enjoying nature, reading, and spending time with her family and pets.

Room: Hearnes Hall Room 314E
Email: VanDaGriff-A@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-9610
Fax: 417-625-4456

 

madelynn reisinger53513435456_be1beabaef_k.jpg


Administrative Assistant

Room: Hearnes Hall Room 308
Email: Reisinger-M@mssu.edu
Phone: 417-625-3550
Fax: 417-625-4456