Missouri State University
Leadership Development Blog

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!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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!



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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!!!


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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.


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

LeaderBear Spotlight: Connor Aller

This weeks Leader Bear is an individual with a lot of heart for the FSL community.

Connor Aller is a sophomore pursuing a major in Accounting and a minor in Chinese.  His top five strengths are competitive, analytical, restorative, futuristic, and achiever.  Connor has many past, current, and future accomplishments to be proud of.  His leadership roles in his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, include secretary (2014-2015) and president (2015-2016).  He has earned outstanding accomplishments through his fraternity including Brother of the Year for two years in a row as well as the David D Morgan “Extra Mile” National Scholarship ConnorRecipient.  He plays an important role in SGA with being the current Director of Research and Development.  The position duties include creating surveys for over 3,000 Missouri State students to take.  He is a member of the Improv Team where he has learned to be a more confident speaker and performer.  Connor also works as the Fraternity and Sorority Life Student Specialist.

When asked what has impacted Connor the most, his response included..

“Working in the Office of Student Engagement has given me a behind the scenes look into Missouri State’s amazing leadership programs. Students who go through the Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders programs learn leadership lessons, life skills, and how to interact with peers. I have always had a passion for leadership development and it is nice to work in an environment that fosters that same success.”

When asked what advice he would give to younger students, his response included..

Don’t be afraid to admit when you are wrong. Owning up to your mistakes as a leaders is one of the most challenging and rewarding things you can do. It isn’t easy, but you will learn a lot about yourself in those moments, I know I have.”

Thank you Connor for all that you do within each area that you place your passions.  Your work does not go unnoticed!


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on LeaderBear Spotlight: Connor Aller

Leader Bear Spotlight: Zach Stout

Our LeaderBear for this week has been a wonderful addition to our Emerging Leaders and Centennial Leaders program!

Zach Stout is a sophomore planning to graduate in Spring 2018!  He is pursuing a major in Psychology with a minor in Child and Family Development.  Zach is cu
rrently the LEAD chairman for his fraternity and holds an exec position.  Before that he was the Public Relations and Brotherhood chairman.  He participated as a Greek God in last years Greek Week and sang during his performance!  Zach was a part of our Emerging Leaders program last year and then went on to become a Centennial Leaders facilitator.

When asked what has impacted Zach the most about our Leadership programs, his response included…

“What impacted me the most was how differently I view situations. In the Emerging Leaders program, I learned so many interesting things and got to understand just how different yet similar everyone is on campus.”

When asked what advice he would give to younger students, his response included…

“My advice to younger students is to GET INVOLVED! Whether it be through clubs, charity, greek life, etc. Getting involved on campus not only makes your college experience a thousand times better, but it also allows you to network and make new connections to better your future.”

If you are interested in becoming a Centennial Leaders facilitator like Zach, keep an eye out for applications coming out soon!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Leader Bear Spotlight: Zach Stout

Leader Bear Spotlight: Tyler Jones

TyThis weeks Leader Bear is down-to-earth, motivational, and has a whole lot of passion for anything he involves himself in.

Tyler Jones is a Marketing major and has an emphasis in Sales and Sales Management.  He plans on graduating in May 2016.  He was a part of the Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders program in which he found out his top 5 strengths which are Individualization, Achiever, Relator, Learner, and Belief.

His past accomplishments and involvements include being the social chair, public relations chair, and recruitment officer for his fraternity (Pi Kappa Alpha).  He served as the 2014 PR coordinator and the 2015 External Greek Week Director.  He was the a past Relay for Life Team Captain and a Ronald McDonald House Volunteer.  Tyler also held a summer internship at Centene Corporation for the past three summers.  Tyler currently holds the position of president for Pi Kappa Alpha.

When asked how our leadership programs has impacted Tyler the most, his response included:

“I could not be more thankful for the Emerging Leaders program. As a younger student, Emerging Leaders was the first step I took to truly know myself. The program challenged me to identify my strengths and weaknesses and pursue value-guided leadership.”

When asked what advice he could give to younger students, his response included:

“There is no greater value than knowing yourself. Be hungry to learn, live your values, serve others, seize opportunities, and reflect often. Most importantly, take it as obligation to lift others up along the way.”


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Leader Bear Spotlight: Tyler Jones