Missouri State University
Leadership Development Blog

LeaderBear: Jewel Perkins

This week’s LeaderBear was a great addition to our Emerging Leaders last year!

Jewel Perkins is currently a Fashion Merchandising and Management major and expecting to graduate in May of 2018.  Her top 5 strengths include learner, achiever, communicator, focus, and futuristic!  Her involvement includes being a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha, on the Homecoming committee, jewela SOAR leader for the past two summers, and a member of the Association of Fashion and Design.

As she reflects back on her past experiences, she looks back at a few specific experiences. Jewel explains, “I was nominated by my chapter for the Outstanding Sophomore for last year’s Star Awards, I felt incredibly honored.” 

Another one of her favorite leadership opportunities takes a leap back to this summer.  “I was the Entertainment Coordinator for the SOAR Program, and as a part of my responsibilities I taught a 6-minute dance to 40+ college students with very little dance experience. It was definitely an interesting challenge but I think it turned out great, not sure if the SOAR Students thought it was as cool we did! Definitely a leadership opportunity I wouldn’t trade for anything.”

With her role as a Vice President of Public Relations and Recruitment, she had a huge role during recruitment in her sorority. “I loved being able to oversee spirit week and recruitment for Alpha Sigma Alpha.  We recruited over 90 awesome new Alphas!”

When asked how our programs have impacted her the most, her response included…

“I love how Emerging Leaders focuses some on personal exploration in leadership. It was really helpful to discover and solidify who I am as a leader. I was able to use these things to not only to effectively lead to my full potential but to improve my leadership skills as well.”

The advice Jewel would give to younger students is…

“Never think that you are not a leader; everyone is leader in their own way. Just because you’re not super outgoing or feel like an influential person does not mean you are not a leader. Take opportunities to lead and you may really surprise yourself.”

Apply for Emerging Leaders HERE!


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LeaderBear: William Heideman

Our #LeaderBear spotlight this week was a past participant of Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders!

William Heideman is a sophomore planning to graduate in Spwillring 2019 and is majoring in Computer Information Systems.  His top 5 strengths include developer, positivity, belief, harmony, and woo.  His past leadership experience includes being a MSU URSA Experience participant and facilitator, member of Emerging Leaders, SGA senate, Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and the PSU house crew.  His role in Pi Kappa Phi includes being the current director of membership experience and scholarship as well as the justice on the Standards board.  William was also selected to attend the Pi Kapp College for Emerging Leaders, which is a national leadership workshop for brothers from across the country.

When asked how our leadership programs has impacted him, his response included…

“Being a participant in the Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders program was one of my favorite experiences from my freshman year. The Emerging Leaders experience gave me the skills I needed to bring my passion for guiding my peers to other organizations, and it gave me the confidence to initiate change and think outside of what the accepted norm was. The program helped to teach me many skills that I know will be utilized in life during and after college.”

William’s advice he would give to younger students includes…

“My biggest advice for younger students is to get involved in any way that you can. I personally felt very lost on campus when I first arrived, because I went to a small high school. In joining organizations and participating in stuff like Ursa and the Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders program, I met so many people and gained so much in terms of tangible skills that can be carried over to life after college. Getting involved on campus not only made the university feel smaller, but it made me fall in love with the school as well.”

Keep an eye out for Emerging Leader’s applications which will launch on October 31st!


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LeaderBear Spotlight: Bailey Becker

This week’s #LeaderBear spotlight has a heart for leadership in the fraternity and sorority life community!

Bailey Becker is a senior studying Health Communications and is planning to graduate in May 2017.  Her top 5 strengths include achiever, harmony, developer, positivity, and WOO.

Bailey participated in the Commerce Bank Emerging bailey-beckerLeaders which was allowed her leadership skills to blossom before taking on her current leadership positions.  Bailey is wrapping up her term as Missouri State University’s Panhellenic Association President.  She is also currently a member of Order of Omega, and Sigma Kappa.  She has previously been a Panhellenic Delegate for her sorority, PlayFair facilitator, and on the planning committee for Colleges Against Cancer.  

When asked what about our programs has impacted her the most, her response included…

“What has impacted me the most is understanding others strengths and weaknesses and how they use them. Through better understanding how others use their strengths and weaknesses I have been able to understand their leadership approaches and how my approaches can work with theirs.”

Her advice she would give to younger students includes..

“I would tell younger students when they have a chance to get involved in an organization or club to do it. It might be out of your comfort zone, but getting out of my comfort zone has been the best thing for me in college. You will never know your potential if you stay in your comfort zone.”


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LeaderBear: Blake Shepheard

Blake is a senior public relations major planning to graduate in May 2017.  His top 5 strengths include communication, connectedness, deliberative, futuristic, and responsibility.  He has been highly involved in our leadership programs including Emerging Leaders, LeaderShape, and our newest Leadership opportunity beginning next week called iLead Connect.  blake

His freshman year, he was elected to be a Boomer Bear.  He took initiative and became a Founding Father and first chapter president of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity.  He became the Marketing and Community Engagement intern at LeaderShape.  He is also the Citizen Scholar nominee, Pepsi-Cola Public Affairs Scholar, and VP of Membership Development for the Intrafraternity Council.

When asked what about our programs has impacted him the most, his answer included…

“I really loved all of the leadership programs hosted by Missouri State. They provide an excellent way to meet the future leaders of the university while also learning about who you are, how you lead, and how you can make the most of your time at Mo State. All of the students I met during both Emerg
ing Leaders and LeaderShape are the leaders of nearly every student organization on campus. They are all doing awesome things through internships, community projects and initiatives, and living out their visions throughout the world. They provided a space for students to see their potential as leaders early on in their college career. The programs also provided a lot of opportunities to develop genuine connections with other leaders on campus.”

His advice to incoming freshmen include…

“It’s so cliché but it is so true – don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. In fact, step into your uncomfortable zone. Get involved in things that you never thought you would. Talk to people that you never thought you would have the chance to meet. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way and stay in the moment.”

We can not wait to have Blake with us at the iLead Connect conference happening next weekend!

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LeaderBear: Joshua Johnson

This week’s #LeaderBear loves to be a part of all things Missouri State and can sing the fight song backwards and forwards.

Joshua N. Johnson is an Administrative Management major expecting to graduate in December of 2017.  His top 5 strengths include being10170783_10201823829336813_4930305303920142177_n an achiever, analytical, competition, deliberative, and significance.

He is currently starting his third year as a member of Traditions Council and has served on the Executive Council for all 3 years and he is currently in his second year as President of the organization. Josh is proud to have grown in this organization from the ground up and made it into a recognized organization on our campus which supplies students and staff with some of the most exciting and memorable experiences they will have here at Missouri State. He is also currently working in the OSE as the SOFAC Student Specialist which has afforded him a vast amount of real world skills that he will be able to apply in his future career. He has also been a part of Phi Beta Lambda, serve on the Executive Council of Student Leaders, been a part of the SGA Elections Commission, and has been on the Dean’s list every semester of my college career.


When asked how the leadership positions has impacted him, his response includes..

“As President of Traditions Council I have been blessed wi
th an endless amount of opportunities to grow personally and professionally. What I have learned from these opportunities is that most of us only listen to others so we can respond, but I have learned to listen to really hear what somebody is saying. This concept is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned in my time as a student leader and I am sure that it will be one of my most unique skills as a leader in my career.”

His advice to underclassmen includes…

“Failure is an option. And sometimes, it is the only option we have. Student leaders, whether they be leaders of organizations or leaders in academics, must learn to accept failure and must be willing to learn from those failures. As college students and as human beings in general, we are not gifted with an endless amount of time or energy and as a result we cannot see everything through to completion or even always make sure that it is a success. You need to learn to pick your battles, learn your strengths, and put those strengths to work for both yourself and others. Your strengths are unique to you and you should use them and build relationships with others who have strengths that you might not have so that you can build yourself up as a leader and build up those you surround yourself with.”

Thank you Josh for helping keep the Missouri State tradition alive and allow students on campus to enjoy their four years here knowing what it means to be a bear.  Bear up!



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LeaderBear: Summer Harvey

This weeks Leader Bear involves herself in many areas on campus!

Summer Harvey  is a senior studying psychology and communications.  Her top 5 strengths include positivity, individualization, empathy, arranger, and woo.  She completed the Emerging Leaders program in which she applied summerher skills as an Emerging Leaders facilitator as well.

Summer Harvey has also been a SOAR leader, Psychology ULA, Peer Leader, and the executive board of Psychology Club.  After graduation her plans are to apply for the Masters and PhD programs in New England.

When asked what programs have impacted her the most, her response included..

“I have been most impacted by the ability to grow as an individual and leader through the challenges of involvement. I am a completely different person than I was when I began my time here at Missouri State, and I am utterly thrilled with this transition.  I’ve been getting to know my true self, and have been having a complete blast doing it.  Throughout my time at Missouri State, I’ve developed a strong passion for campus involvement and all it entails.  I’ve contributed to and been challenged by a handful of organizations, and it is through these involvements and positions that I have really discovered my passions, enjoyed a deeper level of my college career, and fine-tuned my sense of self.  I’ve come to identity myself as a campus leader, and am proud to call this University my home.”

Summer’s advice that she would give to underclassmen include…

“Your college experience is whatever you make of it! The more involved you push yourself to be, the more doors you will open for yourself, and the more you will develop as an individual and leader. You’re only doing yourself a favor by pushing yourself to your limits. Don’t ever be too cool to care about something, and don’t ever be scared to pursue anything. “

Summer is an incredible leader with a TON of passion for Missouri State University.  She has truly made an impact on campus and beyond!  Thank you, Summer!

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Anne Tabora

Anne has been selected as our #LeaderBear this week due to her continued involvement in the Centennial Leaders program to become a facilitator.

Anne Tabora is a Senior, athletic training major, expected to graduate in May of 2017.  Her strengths include, communication, competition, includer, positivity, and woo.  Aside from being a Centennial Leaders facilitator, Anne is Annea member of the women’s unltimate frisbee club team in which her team got 4th place in sectionals this past semester.  She was awarded the best layout of the team!  She also involves herself in Catholic Campus Ministry where she will lead the Fall Awakening Retreat.  In the past, she has held the position of the intramural chair for the student council of CCM.

When asked how our programs have impacted Anne, her response included..

“Being apart of the Centennial Leaders’ program helped me build friendship with other leaders on this campus that I would not normally have met. This program challenged me to get involved and be a leader on this campus whether it is in an organization or in the classroom.”

When asked about what advice she would give to younger students, it included…

“I would say to younger students do something that challenges you every day. You will be surprised at the things you can accomplish when you build up the courage. Great things will be learned and appreciated.”

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Leader Bear: Liz Mayer

This week’s #LeaderBear is doing many things to be involved on campus and is not letting her involvement stop there.

Liz Mayer is a Junior studying Public Relations.  Sheliz has been involved in Distinction in Public Affairs and Centennial Leaders (where she will soon begin her role as a facilitator).  Liz served as the president of Freddy
Hall Council and the programming committee of Xi Omicron Iota. She became the events intern at Big Brothers Big Sisters where she played a part in raising over $600,000 for the local nonprofit.

When asked how this program has impacted Liz, her response included…

“I remember going to a Centennial Leaders session my first day of classes my freshman year; it was really nice being able to meet other freshman leaders and have an instant support group on campus. There is something really special about these programs and the opportunities they provide to students. Distinction in Public Affairs is something I would recommend to all students. While I was a part of the program, I worked closely with The Fairbanks (an up in coming non-profit located in a impoverished area of Springfield). Often times we get caught up in our own little world, so being able to step out of my comfort zone and really help the community for a whole semester was really awesome.”

Her advice to younger students includes…

“Join the club. I know this is thrown at freshman from the very first time they walk onto campus, but it is so important to get involved with something. Whether it is a sports team, fraternity or sorority life, or a religious group, the people you will meet and connect with in these organizations will be there for you during your whole journey on campus. Ten years from now you won’
t remember the silly argument you had with your roommate, but you will remember the experiences you gained from being involved on campus.”

Liz is going to make a wonderful impact on the incoming freshmen as a Centennial Leaders this fall.  Thanks for all you do, Liz!

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Caitlin Schaefer

This weeks Leader Bear has only been a bear for 8 months, but has filled her time with participation in many organizations and areas.

Caitlin Schaefer is currently studying Administrative Management and about to cap off her freshman year at Missouri State next week.  Her top five strengths are positivity, includer, communication, WOO, and futuristic.  She holds a position in our Centennial Leaders program where she contributes mucaitlinch insight to discussion from all of her experiences that are listed below.

Caitlin serves as the Executive Vice President of Alpha Delta Pi where she gets to serve a sisterhood of 240 women and work as a channel of communication to the national office.  She also serves as the Director of Student Affairs-Programming and Services for SGA.  With this position she holds, she gets to work very closely with nine other departments to ensure that their voices are heard as well as oversee the progress and completion of the new Taylor Health and Wellness facility.  Along with these roles, she is an active member on eight different committees as well as a member of a business organization called Phi Beta Lambda.  She continues to stay connected to Missouri State by working in the Office of Student Affairs as a Student Assistant and will serve as a SOAR Leader this summer!

Caitlin has recently passed a question on the spring ballot that has created a $100,000   fund that will be used solely on proposals submitted by students.  Lastly, Caitlin was just named FSL’s Outstanding Sorority Woman of the Year!

When asked what about Centennial Leaders has impacted Caitlin the most, her response included….

“What impacted me the most from the Centennial Leaders Program was the amount of support I received from the other participants, our facilitators, and our advisors. They were my first friends on campus, stood by my side as I was learning about myself, and pushed me to pursue further with involvement opportunities on campus. Beyond the people, the program alone impacted me by teaching me what it takes to be a successful leader. It gave me the opportunity to learn more about my leadership style, my strengths, and myself in one semester than I had learned in my entire life. I was able to gain a better understanding of how I communicate with others, the importance of upholding responsibility, and necessary traits of successful leaders. With that being said, the program impacted me in indescribable ways. It ultimately gave me the confidence to tackle college, and because of that, I am where I am today.”

When asked what advice she would give to incoming freshmen, her response included…

“My personal motto is ‘With every stress comes the opportunity for success.’ Don’t be afraid to accept new opportunities disguised as challenges because with every difficult situation comes the chance to learn a valuable lesson, apply it to yourself, and grow as a person.

Oh, and wake up every day like it’s your birthday and you’ll never have a bad day!”

Caitlin is a joy to be around and truly practices servant leadership with all that she immerses herself in.  She continues to grow as a leader with all that she does and we can not wait to see where she goes with the rest of her three years on campus!  Way to go, Caitlin!!!


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LeaderBear Spotlight: Ali Feris

Our Leader Bear for this week played a huge role in planning the STAR Awards that took place this Monday, April 25th!

Ali Feris is a senior who is studying graphic design and will be graduating in a short two and a half weeks!  Her top five strengths include strategic, responsibility, maximizer, futuristic, and focus.

During her past four years at Missouri State University, Ali has taken several leadership roles with

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Homecoming, Greek Week, co-curricular involvement, and planning the STAR Awards.  Specifically, she was elected the Parade Chair for the 2014 Homecoming (with a counterpart) and the Homecoming Committee Director for the 2015 year.  She was on Greek Week Committee in 2015 as well, in which she created the new, now being used, Greek Week logo, promotional flyer with sponsorship, and assisted in the t-shirt process (with a counterpart).

Ali has worked for the Office of Student Engagement as the Co-Curricular Involvement Student Specialist for the past three years where she works on entering travel paperwork, organization annual registration, and planning the tedious details of STAR Awards.  Those details include color scheme, flowers, linens, presenters, creating the introduction video, logos, invitations, tickets, programs, among many other things.

When asked what advice she would give to younger students, her response included…

“I know that this is something that you hear all of the time, but seriously get involved. But don’t just join something to put it on your resume, make the most of it. Out of the 360+ organizations on campus, there is one out there for you. From there, it is like a snowball effect and you won’t be able to/won’t want to stop. I came from a really small school where I was involved in anything and everything I could be and when I came to college, I thought that it didn’t matter anymore or that there was no way that I would be able to actually get in anything because there are so many students. Although, you have to make that leap and you won’t regret the friendships, memories and leadership skills that you will gain.”

Ali is a delight to be around and puts 110% into anything she does.  She has certainly created an impact on this campus and she will continue to do just that in all that she does with her future.


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