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Faculty and Staff Updates

Chrystal Irons named Missouri SBTDC State Star

ChrystalIronsChrystal Irons, director of the Missouri State University (MSU) Small Business Technology & Development Center (SBTDC), Springfield, has been named the 2016 Missouri State Star, or the state’s outstanding business counselor, for her contributions to local business growth. The award is conferred by America’s SBDC, the national association for all SBDC programs throughout the country.

“Chrystal is simply outstanding in every way,” said Greg Tucker, MO SBTDC interim state director. “She regularly exceeds all goals in helping new businesses get off the ground, boosting existing businesses’ profitability and ensuring all area economic stakeholders work together to achieve regional prosperity and stability. It’s no exaggeration to say she has been instrumental in southwest Missouri’s continued economic success, and I expect even greater things from her as director.”

The state star award follows Irons’ recent promotion from MO SBTDC business development specialist for Christian and Taney counties to MSU SBTDC director.

Irons will receive official state star recognition at the ASBDC national conference in Orlando, Fla., this September. The award is given annually to a small business and development counselor in Missouri who shows a strong commitment to business and makes a significant contribution to the economic health of the region and state.

Irons is regularly recognized for excellence. In 2015, she won the Associated Industries of Missouri Extension Industry Award, which recognizes faculty and staff whose educational programming supports the economic viability of Missouri businesses.

Over the past two fiscal years, Irons far exceeded all her economic goals. Her goal of increasing sales for area companies was $6.5 million, and she achieved $10.6 million. In the same period, she helped create or retain more than 200 jobs and start 16 new businesses.

She partnered with the city of Hollister, Taney County Partnership and Missouri Enterprise, among others, to obtain grant funding to start a farmers’ market in Hollister. She also partnered with the Branson Chamber of Commerce and Taney County Partnership to celebrate SBA’s National Small Business Week in the Taney County area in past years, as well as bringing new educational programs to area small businesses.

Irons is also a business owner and entrepreneur in a family business, A-1 Walls & Landscaping, Ozark, Mo. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA from Drury University.

The Missouri State SBTDC is designed to deliver up-to-date consultation, training, and technical assistance in all aspects of small business management.  Assistance is available to owners interested in improving or expanding an existing small business and to prospective business owners.  The Management Development Institute is a collaborative effort between Missouri State University and Springfield Innovation, Inc. to support the successful development of small and growth-stage companies.


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New assistant vice president for student affairs appointed

A head shot of Dr. Smith.

Dr. Michele Smith has been appointed as assistant vice president for student affairs at Missouri State University.

Smith will assume responsibility for overseeing the units in the multicultural cluster within student affairs:  multicultural programming (including the two multicultural resource center locations and the LGBT Resource Center), TRiO and Access Programs. Smith will also sit on the VP Staff team and the Student Affairs Leadership Team.

Smith will continue her role as a tenure-track faculty member in the College of Education.

“Dr. Smith has a wealth of experience in the areas of student development and student success,” said Dr. Dee Siscoe, vice president for student affairs. “In addition to her faculty positions at Ohio University, Alliant International University and now Missouri State University, Dr. Smith has served as the director of Upward Bound and the director of student diversity, recruitment and special programs at Ohio University and the director of academic advising and retention at Delgado Community College, West Bank Campus in New Orleans.”

Effective July 1, Smith assumed Juan Meraz’s duties as he moved to the department of diversity and inclusion, focusing primarily on diversity training initiatives.

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The Personnel Action Form (PAF) is Changing!

The Personnel Action Form (PAF) is Changing!

While the automated BearPAF systems to appoint Graduate Assistants and Per Course are up and running, Human Resources continues to work with Computer Services to automate all types personnel actions currently completed on paper PAFs.  For those actions that currently require using paper PAFs, beginning July 1, 2016, PAF initiators no longer need to make color copies of the PAF!

If the department, college, or cost center wishes to have a copy for their records, they will need to make their own copy when creating or signing the PAF.  Color copies will not be returned to departments for PAFs created after August 1, 2016.

The PAF form itself has been revised to only accept BearPass numbers; social security numbers are never needed on the PAF.

Initiators are requested to begin using the revised form immediately by downloading it at http://www.missouristate.edu/human/PersonnelAction.htm

If you have any questions, please contact:

Lyn McKenzie

Assistant Director, Human Resources-Compensation and Information Management

Office of Human Resources

120 Carrington






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Assistant director honored for work with LLC

A head shot of Ross Hawkins.The department of residence life, housing and dining services recognizes the outstanding contributions of faculty and staff partners to the Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) with the inaugural Living-Learning Community Partner of the Year Award. This award is given to an LLC partner who has demonstrated commitment to enhancing learning outside the classroom. This individual provides quality experiences that promote growth and student success within their respective community. Nominees should be student-centered and engaged within the living-learning community.  This award was presented at the RHA Spring Awards Ceremony on May 1.

Nominations were written by students and staff members who work directly with partners in the LLCs and were evaluated by a committee. This committee unanimously chose Ross Hawkins, assistant director of the Academic Advisement Center, for his work with the Transitions Community.

Ross’s work with Transitions included creating two advising panels for transfer students, participating in Human Bingo as part of a welcome back social in January and helping to formulate the curriculum for a brand new Peer Mentor program for students living in Kentwood Hall. Ross was recognized by those who nominated him as “an extremely dedicated partner” and “a true definition of what it means to be a proud Missouri State University faculty member and, furthermore, a LLC partner.”

The department of residence life and the office of student success initiatives is excited to award Ross Hawkins with the inaugural Living-Learning Community Partner of the Year Award.

If you’re interested in becoming a partner with one of the 14 Living-Learning Communities, please fill out the partner interest form and you’ll be contacted by a staff member to discuss joining our team

For more information about Living-Learning Communities, visit us online.

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University buildings honored at bi-annual program

A picture of the complete Pummill renovations.
The completed Pummill Hall renovations.

The recent bi-annual Design Awards, sponsored by the Springfield Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, honored several Missouri State buildings.

At the awards ceremony, the public jury cited five projects for recognition and the professional jury (from the east coast) also recognized five projects for recognition for a total of 10 awards given. MSU received five of those 10 awards.

  • Davis-Harrington Welcome Center – Public Recognition Award, Professional Jury Merit Award
  • Pummill Hall – Public Recognition Award, Professional Jury Merit Award
  • O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center – Professional Jury Merit Award

Any architect living within the geographic limits of the chapter could submit their project or, alternatively, any project built within the geographic limits could be submitted by any architect. A total of 34 projects were submitted for consideration.

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Interim Location for Compliance Courses during PLMS Implementation 

The “My Learning Connection” link to the Avatar system was disabled on May 23rd as part of our transition process to the new PLMS powered by Cornerstone  OnDemand.  In order to provide continued support to our workforce, we have set up an interim location for new employees to access and complete their online compliance courses during the implementation process.  Please visit the My Missouri State portal to access the compliance training site by clicking on the “My Learning Connection (compliance courses only)” link located in the Professional Development Channel.

Questions/Assistance: Contact HR Employee Development and Performance at hrtraining@missouristate.edu or 417-836-4592/5779 if you have questions or need assistance with this process.


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General Benefit Changes

Benefit Eligible Employees:

A friendly reminder on Benefit Changes

The best time to submit changes are usually prior to the 15th of any given month. It is important to note that changes cannot be made any time during the year, and must be as a result of a Life Changing/Qualifying Event or during Open Enrollment. These include a change in family status, change in employment status, or loss of other coverage by you or other family member. Please refer to the Medical Handbook for a complete list of Qualifying Events.

If your request comes in after the 15th of the month, please expect the change to be made and reflected on the following payroll.

Please contact the Office of Human Resources @ 6-6616 if you have any questions.


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CAP Review Course Orientation on May 25th –  Open to Job Family 1 Employees

The Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) Review Course is open for registration in My Learning Connection, search under the “Human Resources” category to locate.  This review course and certification is available for full-time regular employees who are  in a non-exempt, administrative support position.  Please visit this site to learn more about the CAP Certification process and education benefit.

Please contact the Office of Human Resources at 6-4592/5779 or hrtraining@missouristate.edu if you have any questions.

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Mercy/Med-Pay Onsite Support – July Session

Mercy/Med-Pay onsite support will be available again from 10am – 12pm July 28 in Carrington 110.

This support may be helpful to you if you:

  • Currently participate in the medical health insurance provided by the University
  • Have had any issues with claims or the processing/billing of your claims
  • Wish you had a better understanding of how your benefits worked

No appointment necessary, just show up.

For a complete schedule, please visit the Human Resources site.

Please contact the office of human resources at 6.6616 if you have any questions.

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Reminder – Employees have until May 22 to utilize FY16 noncredit fee waiver.

Change to noncredit fee waiver deadline

As a reminder to all our full-time employees; you will be able to utilize your FY16 noncredit fee waiver benefit when registering for classes until May 22, 2016, this fiscal year.  New opportunities have been added to the catalog in My Learning Connection occurring in May and June that you can now register for using your FY16 noncredit fee waiver benefit.

Please check out our HR website for  newly posted updates and news and contact the Office of Human Resources at 6-4592/5779 or hrtraining@missouristate.edu if you have any questions.

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