Missouri State University
Diversity Blog

Workshop: Strategies in Minority Faculty/Staff Recruitment and Retention

MinorityR&R WorkshopWednesday, April 23, 2014
Location TBD

Presented by
Dr. Sonel Y. Shropshire, President
The Academic Network
RSVP by Monday, April 21, 2014
to Tabitha Haynes at 6-3736 or
For questions about this workshop, contact
Julie Masterson at 6-4589 or

Workshop topics include:
Faculty Recruitment:
• Creating applicant referral programs with HBCUs, HSIs and Tribal Colleges
• Finding where to advertise positions to attract diverse candidates
• Deconstructing effective job postings (what to write/what not to write)
• Incorporating current faculty, staff and administrators into recruitment
• Using grant funding as a valuable recruitment tool

Faculty Retention:
• Building a Supportive Retention Infrastructure for the Institution
• Exploring what leads to failure in retaining diverse talent
• Creating incentives for diverse outreach
• Developing publications which highlight the campus’ diverse atmosphere
• Keeping diverse members involved with the growth of the institution

Brought to you by the Offices of the Provost and the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

Those with disabilities who may not be able to fully participate because of the instructional format or design of the program may request accommodation by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at diversityandinclusion@missouristate.edu or 417-836-3736.


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Campus Climate Survey for Students

Climate Study Flyer_StudentWe need YOUR input!

Missouri State University Students are invited to participate in the Campus Climate Project!

We want to know…

  • What is it like to go to school here?
  • What are the strengths of the MSU community?
  • What are the issues, concerns, and challenges that must be addressed?

How can YOU participate?
Follow the link in an email you received on March 31.
Completing the survey will take approximately 30 minutes.

Everyone that participates will be entered in a drawing for various prizes including an iPad, various gift certificates, MSU apparel, suite tickets for JQH or Plaster Sports Complex, and much more.

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Bridge Springfield – Brother 2 Brother



Francine Pratt
For Immediate Release

Bridge Springfield, Brother to Brother Program

Springfield, Missouri, April 7, 2014 — Bridge Springfield, Brother to Brother Community Presentation!

On April 23, Diversity MODES presents the Bridge Springfield – Brother to Brother Program (B2B) to the Springfield community. B2B is a new program in Springfield that provides a system of support for males attending Missouri State University, Ozarks Technical Community College, Drury University, Evangel University, Southwest Baptist University and our Springfield Public Schools District high schools. The program is one of the newest chapters of the Student African American Brotherhood/Brother to Brother Program (SAAB/B2B).

The SAAB/B2B organization was established in 1990 by Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe in response to low African American male college attendance and graduation rates in the 1980s. Today, SAAB/B2B is open to men of any race and is focused on preparing the next generation to be globally competitive. Chapters have an option of using the name SAAB or B2B. Diversity MODES chose B2B because they want the program to be inclusive for the Springfield area high school and college students.

Today, SAAB/B2B has 280 chapters in 39 states with an 86% college graduation rate compared to the national average of 42% for African American males. The program offers professional advising and mentorship to assist the young men to excel academically, socially, culturally, spiritually, and in the community. In addition, one of the main objectives of SAAB/B2B is to help all members become role models for each other as well as for other males in their communities. SAAB/B2B also helps these young men become well prepared to enter the workforce of professionals and compete as positive contributors with the best.

Dr. Bledsoe, the founder and CEO of SAAB/B2B, has personally come to Springfield twice to work with the community and students who have been in training since January for leadership roles to ensure that the requirements of a SAAB/B2B chapter are aligned with the Bridge Springfield, B2B Program. At the 10th annual SAAB/B2B National Conference in Dearborn, Michigan last month, Dr. Bledsoe was quoted saying, “Now, once again, there is a sense of urgency surrounding the subject of education (in reference to President Obama’s announcement of My Brother’s Keeper as a critical US initiative). Since the beginning, our national conference has been about a call of action to break down the barriers between these culturally versatile groups and an opportunity for widespread engagement. Awareness leads to consensus building.”

Each chapter has an Executive Committee and a strategic plan with measurable goals that must be achieved every academic school year. Each member is required to create a five-year individual development plan that is monitored by their mentor. The chapter has student leadership with oversight by the Diversity MODES Council. Each chapter must have six required committees. For the Bridge Springfield Chapter, a minimum of one advisor and one mentor is assigned to each Committee Chair to provide immediate access for the needs of the students in leadership roles. The six committees are: Academics, Personal Development, Spiritual, Finance, Membership and Public Relations. The SAAB/B2B National Headquarters requires continuous assessment of the program with performance measures.

The Springfield community is encouraged to attend the “Bridge Springfield, B2B Program Presentation to the Community” to recognize the young men who are the founding members of this new program. Diversity MODES celebrates the start of a new beginning with the Brother to Brother Program on Wednesday, April 23 at the Missouri State University, Meyers Library, Room 101 from 7:00 to 8:30 P.M. B2B Membership applications will be available at this event. For more information, please contact Francine Pratt at fpratt@missouristate.edu or 916.541.1675.


Bridge Springfield, Brother to Brother delegation at the SAAB National Conference

Javeon England, Vikas Jagwani, David Valenciano, Dallas Duncan, Roy Hardy, Cadarrius Dotson and Derrick Johnson

Posted in Campus Focus, Community Focus, Diversity Perspectives, Multicultural Programs | 1 Comment

Office of Multicultural Programs Meet & Greet

On March 22, 2014, the Office of Multicultural Programs (OMP) partnered with the City of Springfield, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Career Center and City Utilities to host a Meet and3 Greet event to connect diverse students to area employers. The event was held at the Missouri Career Center and transportation was provided for students to ensure access to the event.

Over 20 employers participated and approximately 30 students participated in the event to learn about job opportunities and possible student internships. This initiative supported goals of the OMP office to expose diverse students to job opportunities that should be considered to stay in Springfield after graduation from college, which also supports diversity initiatives for the partners that helped make the event a success.

Many students commented on how much they enjoyed the event because it was a mix of informal and formal interactions. The students enjoyed being able to have long conversations with the employers and learning more about the opportunities in Springfield. We hope that we can make this an annual event.

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Bear Breaks in New Orleans, LA

During the week of spring break 2014, Global Studies/Spanish student V. Thomas Uthipratuma and 13 additional Missouri State students were involved with one of five annual community-service Study Away 2oriented Bear Breaks programs. Thomas, who is also currently a valued student worker in Study Away Programs, and his group traveled south to New Orleans, Louisiana, and he has generously agreed to share his account of the experience with Diversity Perspectives:

Each Bear Break program has a select location, along with a specific issue(s) that the group wishes to address and improve for the benefit of the local community and culture. Our group primarily focused on the prevalent problems of social oppression and injustice and racism, especially how these multiplied nearly a decade ago starting in immediate post-Hurricane Katrina. Overall, the project took many of us through emotional and psychological extremes as we gradually came to uncover the nuances of New Orleans’ culture, people, and politics.

Each day our leaders presented us with different projects around the parish of New Orleans. Having learned much on different levels, I can safely generalize two categories of projects in which we became involved: social and technical. Of course, each and every project invoked conversation or work touching various aspects of human concerns (e.g. wealth inequality, corruption in politics, communal resilience, etc.). On the social side of our projects, the most powerful one, in my opinion, had us located right outside downtown New Orleans in which we spent time with at-risk youth in an after school “safe” program. On the technical side of our projects, our most informative project paired us with local Tulane professor Dr. Stephen Nelson. With him, we visited the areas of the New Orleans’ levee system which broke in 2005, and he shared with us the results of his own research findings regarding why this happened and how it could have been/can be prevented. To say the least, we also received a great deal of information concerning how politics and money work in the city of New Orleans, and how this too contributed to the disastrous surges during Hurricane Katrina. On the whole, we could say that the issues really weren’t “issues” until they hit home. Our experience gave us a small taste of the day-to-day social and economic problems the city continues to experience. Ultimately, we hope to have contributed positively to New Orleans, and we continue reflecting on ways in which we can improve our own communities as well.

Study Away 1Overall, I was very lucky to have been a part of this group. As for New Orleans itself, we all agreed that there is a strong vibe and pulsing energy that comes from the city and the people, and even after staying for only a week, one comes to understand why the city is referred to as “The Big Easy”. Personally, I could see myself living there and continuing the work I started during our spring break. The people of The Big Easy truly know how to enjoy life while moving along through their regular work day. It is not uncommon that someone will arbitrarily introduce him/herself to you first and start thought-provoking conversation that I can only assume is daily gab for residents. The power and soul in their music, food, and character only reflects the resilience that continues to work to mend the wounds, social and economic, of Hurricane Katrina that were so openly and gut-wrenchingly displayed back in 2005.​

Vinai Thomas Uthipratuma


Posted in Campus Focus, Diversity Perspectives, Student Focus, Study Away | Leave a comment

Political Science Students Spring Break Trip to Amsterdam and Belgium

Spring BreakDrs. Kaatz and Calfano accompanied MSU students on a Spring Break trip to Amsterdam and Belgium during the week of March 9th. The trip to the Low Countries offered MSU students Amsterdam’s governmental arrangements are quite different from those found in the United States.  The municipal government of Amsterdam is divided into districts which have their own governing councils, while the city has one city council that rules on most of the larger issues.  This government then operates within the Dutch federal system which in turn is part of the European Union. Also, Amsterdam and the Netherlands have a history of political and religious tolerance that is being challenged by recent political developments. The political and economic status of immigrant minority groups in The Netherlands is a topic with particular resonance for US students. Finally, both countries have to deal with environmental challenges from the North Sea and man-made challenges from war and occupation. Becoming and staying a livable place for their citizens has been and continues to be a challenge. Students traveling to the Low Countries received first-hand knowledge of public works projects, city planning, social issues, and wars’ effects on land and society.  The group visited numerous sites during the week, including the Royal Palace, Parliament, Peace Palace, Rijksmuesum, and the Ypres Battlefield.

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5th Annual Tarang


Saturday, April 12, 2014

The evening will begin with a banquet of authentic food prepared by students.  It will feature both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes from India. The menu this year includes Naan, Jeera rice, Aloo chana chaat, Gobhi takatak, Chettinad chicken curry, Chicken 65, Kheer and Chai.

The banquet will be followed by traditional cultural entertainment.  The show will include dance routines, musical offerings, skits, and other types of performance that highlight the uniquely diverse culture of India.

Tickets (dinner and show included) are:
Adult- $15
Students- $12
Children (ages 5-12) – $8

Tickets will be available for purchase starting March 31st, 2014, Monday through Friday, at the following campus locations:

  • ISA ticket booths on the second floor of Plaster Student Union (in front of Bear Tech) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The International Center in the Jim D. Morris Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Posted in Campus Focus, Diversity Perspectives, Student Organizations, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Interfaith Jeopardy

interfaith jeopardy posterJoin Linked, Missouri State’s Interfaith Dialogue and Service Club for a night of interfaith trivia! There will be prizes!

Voice your beliefs, engage with others, and help serve the community on Friday, April 25 in the Traywick Parliamentary Room (Plaster Student Union 313) from 7-9pm.

Donations are suggested to help rebuild the Islamic Society of Joplin Mosque which was burned to the ground in 2012.

Email questions to LinkedMSU@gmail.com


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Hillel of Southwest Missouri Presents: “Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home” by Ethan Bensinger

April 21, 2014
Plaster Student Union, 312A&B

Hillel of Southwest Missouri invites you to share in their Yom Hashoah event – “Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home” by Ethan Bensinger followed by a discussion led by Dr. Ken Elkins, adjunct professor of Holocaust Studies at Missouri State University.

REFUGE is a one-hour documentary that reaches back more than 75 years to give a voice to the last generation of Central European, Jewish Holocaust survivors and refugees. The film explores the lives of six Chicagoans against the context of the Nazi cataclysm, and the resourceful community that came together to create a singular place those fleeing persecution could call home. Warm, moving and deeply personal, REFUGE interweaves remarkable testimony, archival footage and expert commentary. Refuge won the Award for Excellence at the Beloit International Film Festival, Best in Fest and Best Documentary at the Sycamore Film Festival, and were Official Selections at the Crystal Palace International Film Festival and Zagreb Jewish Film Festival.

This event is open to the public and we invite you to come with friends.

Posted in Campus Focus, Diversity Initiatives, Featured, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment