Missouri State University
Leadership Development Blog

LeaderBear Spotlight: Stephanie Goss

Stephanie GossThis week’s LeaderBear is Stephanie Goss.  Stephanie is currently pursuing her Doctoral in Audiology at Missouri State planning to graduate in 2016. She graduated with her Bachelors degree in communication sciences and disorders. Stephanie completed both the Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders and the Distinction in Public Affairs program from our office.  She says that both really impacted her, especially the Distinction in Public Affairs because it showed her how important the public affairs mission was in her daily life. Stephanie is pictured to the right (middle) with her DPA presentation group.  If you would like to have this same experience we are currently accepting applications for the Distinction program until November 20, 2014.  You can apply online at www.missouristate.edu/dpa.

Stephanie also got involved in many other things during her time as an undergraduate at Missouri State. She was a University Ambassador, Director of Research and Development for Student Government Association and a teacher assistant in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Pre-School at Missouri State University.  She is currently working as a graduate assistant for the Office of Multicultural Programs where she helps plan, promote and organize diverse and inclusive events for students. Assisting with multicultural organizations through budgeting, planning and setting goals for the academic year is also part of her job. Stephanie enjoys helping students reach their goals and planning events that she believes make a difference on the campus of MSU.

Her top strengths that help her in all her leadership roles are: Command, Competition, Restorative, Self-Assurance and Significance.

When asked what about our programs impacted her the most she replied,

“Being involved with Emerging Leaders helped me evolve as a person and as a leader.  I was able to better see my weaknesses and I was given the tools and support to work on those areas for growth.  During Emerging Leaders I was also taught how to be proud about the strengths that I possess and how to encourage others to use the strengths that they hold.  Emerging Leaders taught me how to truly be a team player and how to effectively play my position on the team!  Being involved in Distinction in Public Affairs helped me to break down the Public Affairs Mission and to realize how important the mission was to my daily life.  What impacted me the most Distinction in Public Affairs was that I got to work closely with faculty members and students that I did not know.  We took the journey together and created friendships while we learned about the Public Affairs Mission.  It was important for me to understand how they interpreted themes and concepts in the mission vs. how I viewed those same themes and concepts.  This is ultimately what helped as grow as we went along the process.”

Her advice to younger students:

“Some advice that I would give to younger students is to get involved as much as possible.  The academic side of college is important but gaining different perspectives, meeting people with diverse lifestyles and cultures and discovering something that you are passionate about is invaluable.  Every student has something to offer and every student has something they need to gain before they graduate.  I would advise students to make sure they are giving to others and learning from each other throughout their time at Missouri State University.  This will help the student body grow together and become whole.”

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Taylor Moody

Taylor MoodyMissouri State University recently crowned it’s newest Homecoming Queen, Taylor Moody, who also happens to be this week’s LeaderBear! Taylor was sponsored by her sorority Alpha Chi Omega, and spent the week following the yellow brick road with her playful theme that was a take on the Wizard of Oz. She was crowned during halftime of the homecoming game on October 18, 2014.  Taylor’s charm and playful theme are not solely what won her the crown though.  She has been involved in a lot during her time here as an undergraduate.

Her freshman and sophomore year she completed our Centennial Leaders Scholarship Program which inspired her to go on and become a great leader.  Taylor served as the president for her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, her sophomore year.  Taylor has also been a returning SOAR Leader and served as Student Panel Coordinator this past summer.  Her junior year she took part in another role for our leadership programs and served as a Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders Facilitator.  She will return in the spring for a second year as a facilitator, serving this time as the chair!

This semester, along with being crowned queen, Taylor also won the Dr. Don Aripoli Award for Impactful Leadership.  This award is given to a nominee that shows continued exemplary leadership in an organization or campus area for an extended period of time helping the organization/area grow.  She plans to graduate in December 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in entertainment management.

Her top strengths that help her in all her leadership roles are: Adaptability, Woo, Positivity, Includer, and Developer.

When asked what about our programs impacted her the most she replied,

“Being involved in programs like Centennial Leaders and Emerging Leaders has allowed me to put my leadership skills to use and has given me the experience needed to make a difference in the organizations I am involved in.  I am so thankful that I was a part of the Centennial Leaders program my first two years at MSU, because it gave me the confidence I needed to take on leadership roles during my college career, and to impact Missouri State in a positive way.”

Her advice to younger students:

“Be yourself and take advantage of all of the amazing opportunities Missouri State University offers you. Be kind to others, do your homework, and make friends! Leave your mark on this campus and have the best time of your life!”

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Scott Turk

Scott TurkWith Missouri State’s Homecoming well under way, one graduate will definitely be making the trip back to celebrate. That alumni is this week’s LeaderBear, Scott Turk.  Scott was very involved as an undergraduate and can’t miss an opportunity to come back and show some of his bear pride.  As an undergraduate he was awarded the high honor of Student Body President. He was also very involved in fraternity and sorority life serving as a Greek Week Director and the Vice President of his fraternity, Theta Chi.  His fraternal achievements eventually won him the highest award that Theta Chi nationals awards to an individual.

His passion for politics also took him on a trip Washington, D.C. to lobby on behalf of Theta Chi on a fraternal housing initiative. This passion led him to working in the Missouri House of Representatives as well as helping with various political campaigns in Missouri after his graduation from Missouri State in 2013.  He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in socio-political communication and recently starting law school this fall at the University of Missouri.

As an undergraduate Scott completed both the Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders and Distinction in Public Affairs programs. His top strengths are: Individualization, Achiever, Ideation, Woo, and Input.

When asked what about our programs impacted him the most he replied,

“I will continue to utilize the many things that I learned throughout my time at Missouri State through programs offered from the OSE; however, by far the biggest thing that I have learned is the importance of incorporating and understanding that the best team is a diverse team. Too many fall into the pit of surrounding themselves with like minded individuals in order to reaffirm their own ideas. I learned that everyone is able to bring a unique perspective that will challenge the group and bring them to an entirely new level of growth. Diversity is not merely a benefit, it is a necessity.

His advice to younger students:

“My biggest advice can be a lesson and important quote that I heard from an incredible role model of mine, Jim Anderson. When doing our Distinction in Public Affairs Project, he is quoted as encouraging students to “be a sponge” when it comes to interacting with the multitude of different individuals that we encounter during our time at college. Nothing is more important than the lessons that others carry, as everyone can teach us something different.”

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Hailey Wexler

Hailey WexlerWe just selected our newest group of Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders Facilitators and Hailey Wexler is one of them! Hailey has been very active in our leadership programs completing the Emerging Leaders program her freshman year then going on to complete the Distinction in Public Affairs program and facilitate the Centennial Leaders Scholarship Program. She will now return and help facilitate the 2015 Emerging Leaders program this Spring.  If you are interested in being a participant in this program and having Hailey teach you some great leadership skills, the deadline to apply isn’t until October 31, 2014 and you can apply online at: www.missouristate.edu/emergingleaders.

Leadership programs isn’t all that Hailey has been involved in during her time as an undergraduate degree.  While pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Missouri State, her other involvements which she is most proud of include:

  • Studying abroad in Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Greece
  • Being a character performer for a semester in the Disney College Program
  • Director of Human Resources at OPAL Agency
  • Member of Sigma Kappa Social Sorority
  • Panhellenic Recruitment Counselor (Pi Chi)
  • On the Dean’s List (all semesters)
  • Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS) Leader for a semester
  • GA for the Department of Fashion and Interior Design
  • Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society
  • National Society of Collegiate Scholars

Her top strengths that help her in all her leadership roles are: Communication, WOO, Significance, Positivity, and Achiever.

When asked what about our programs impacted her the most she replied,

“Being able to do hands-on activities that taught me how to work as a group and as an individual while learning how different people have different leadership styles has made me able to better understand how to work with others who respond to situations differently than myself. I was also hugely impacted by our public affairs projects in Distinction in Public Affairs – creating our project, itself, and then presenting it during Public Affairs Week, as well as seeing what other groups had come up with, made me realize that students at Missouri State really have the ability to make a difference, which is such a powerful thing to learn.”

Her advice to younger students:

“Take every single opportunity you’re given! Being busy is a good thing! College goes by so quickly and there are so many things to get involved in while you’re here, so join groups that interest you and allow you to grow as a student, as an individual, and as a member of a team. So many of the most valuable lessons I am taking away from college aren’t necessarily things I learned in the classroom and I am so thankful for joining the organizations I did!”

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2015 Emerging Leaders Facilitators

The 2015 Emerging Leaders Facilitators have been selected!!! Congratulations to: Hailey Wexler, Julie Daoust, Leah ReitmayerDylan Myers, Francis Ahrens, Cody Stout, Layne IvyTaylor Moody, and Bethany Bishop.

Don’t forget to keep spreading the word about the program! Applications are available now for participants until October 31, 2014 at:www.missouristate.edu/emergingleaders


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LeaderBear Spotlight: Jennifer Artman

Jennifer ArtmanThis week we feature a very successful LeaderBear, Jennifer Artman.  Jennifer went through the Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders program as a freshman in 2005 and went on to later facilitate the program in 2008.  She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in History from Missouri State in 2008.  While she was an undergraduate on campus she was very involved being a SOAR Leader multiple times and president of her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, along with many other things.

Following graduation from Missouri State, Jennifer went on to law school at the University of Missouri.  After graduating and passing the bar in 2011, she clerked for a judge on the Supreme Court of Missouri for a year.  She is now an attorney with Shook, Hardy & Bacon, a national and international law firm headquartered in Kansas City, where she practices civil defense litigation.  In her practice, she works on litigation teams to defend companies that manufacture products and are sued in either strict liability or negligence in courts across the country.

Jennifer is honored to represent clients ranging from Fortune 50, 100 and 500 companies to Kansas City small businesses, landowners, and individuals. She has been able to carve out a niche practice where she works for automotive defendants and clients in the construction and industrial services industry. She says, “my work is incredibly diverse and exciting.  Some weeks I am traveling to take depositions in Alabama or Texas while other weeks I am in our Kansas City office, meeting with clients and assessing their risk or liability in specific situations.”

In addition to her work for the firm’s clients, Jennifer spends time working on pro bono cases for juvenile clients in the Jackson County Family Court and participating in the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.  In her personal life she enjoys running and competing in local races.  So far in 2014, she’s ran three half-marathons and achieved a new personal best time for the mile!

Her advice to younger students:

“My advice may seem a bit unorthodox – do it all.  Every bit of it.  Try everything.  Take every chance you can that is offered to you.  I’m talking about classes, events, trips, study sessions, programs, opportunities to be involved on campus, friendships, late nights, seminars, international travel, volunteer activities, dinners, movies, books, thoughts, sports, ideas, food, discussions.  Go to a place you’ve never been.  Read an article you would never pick up on your own. Eat something that looks weird on the menu.  Sign up for a leadership program, or go out for an activity that is different than what you usually do.  How do you know what you like until you try it? You don’t know what you don’t know.  I didn’t know who I was, and I keep trying new things every day to find out who I am.  And I think every day I learn something new about myself that I didn’t know before.”

When asked what about our programs impacted her the most she replied,

“Finding out that I can both be a leader and simultaneously need a leader was something that hit me while facilitating the Emerging Leaders program.  Before that experience I assumed I was either one or the other in a specific situation – and sometimes, the thought of being the “leader” was overwhelming, and other times the idea of “being led” by someone else was boring or stifling.  But while I was facilitating the program, with some other excellent facilitators, I found myself learning more about time management, balance, life skills, motivation, and personal fulfillment than I have ever known from the participants.  Keeping this in mind throughout law school and my practice as an attorney has made me better-rounded.  While sitting in a meeting where I am likely perceived as the leader, I remember to ask for thoughts and suggestions from others.  Meanwhile, I find the correct time to offer my input to others on teams where I am not the designated leader.  By harmonizing these two roles, I feel more fulfilled about my position in my job.  It also helps me take ownership of my ideas and feel like I am contributing to a process.”

Do you want to have the experience that Jennifer had in the Emerging Leaders program and learn things that you will later use in your professional life? We are now accepting applications for freshmen and sophomores for the Spring 2015 program. Applications can be filled out online until October 31, 2014 on our website: www.missouristate.edu/emergingleaders.

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Spencer J. T. Orr

Spencer OrrThis week’s LeaderBear is Spence J.T. Orr. Spencer came to Missouri State in the fall of 2008 as a Music Major and a Centennial Leaders Scholarship recipient. During his time in the Centennial Leader’s program, he was active in a variety of university bands and ensembles including the pride marching band, concert band, symphonic band, and wind symphony.

Over time he gained increasing amounts of responsibility through involvement in residence life. He was a student desk receptionist in Wells House and an RA in Woods House and Hutchens House. Through his involvement in residence life, he discovered his passion for helping others and the field of student affairs. After graduating in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in geography/geotourism he continued at Missouri State studying student affairs in the Masters in Student Affairs in Higher Education Program. His first year in the program he was a graduate assistant in Residence Life as the Assistant Hall Director for Sunvilla Tower.

This year Spencer was promoted to a full time role as the Residence Hall Director of Wells House. He says, “I’m right where I need to be, being a champion for student success and going to school to finish my master’s degree in student affairs.”

It was recently announced that Spencer won the NASPA IV-West Region Graduate Student Rising Star Award.  This award recognizes outstanding student affairs professionals in higher education.  There is only one winner for each state and Spencer won the award for the state of Missouri.  If you would like to learn more about NASPA and the award process please visit: http://www.naspa.org/about/awards/regions/region-iv-west-awards.

Spencer’s top strengths are: Strategic, Relator, Responsibility, Analytical, and Maximizer.

When asked what about our programs impacted him the most he replied,

“Coming to college can be a scary thing. I was worried I wouldn’t know anybody. Being a part of the Centennial Leader’s program helped ease this fear of mine. Immediately before even stepping on campus, I knew I’d meet people who were Centennial Leaders with me. We learned many things in Centennial Leaders, from leadership styles to our own strengths and how those strengths can impact the ways we interact with one another. One of my favorite take-aways would be working together as a group to plan a leadership conference for high school students. The centennial leaders program challenged me to grow and develop into the professional I am today.”

His advice to younger students:

“Get involved. You’ll find you have a lot of free time coming into college, maybe more than you were expecting. There are so many opportunities to become a part of something here at Missouri State, don’t let them pass you by! If you’re looking for something to join, ask your RA, ask me, ask anybody! Don’t be afraid to reach out and try new things. Especially majors…. If you’re looking for a cool one, go to Temple Hall and check out the Geography, Geology, & Planning Department. In my own slightly biased opinion, Geotourism is the best major on campus”

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Sara Sabulsky

Sara SabulskyWith Emerging Leaders Facilitator applications out now, this week we feature one of our program facilitators from last year, Sara Sabulsky. After completing the year as a facilitator she said she could easily say it was one of her favorite experiences at Missouri State so far.  As a facilitator she joined a team of eight other upperclassman students to plan and facilitate the entire Emerging Leaders experience for two separate groups of underclassman. She decided to become a facilitator after going through the program as a participant her sophomore year. It’s an eye opening experience that allows leaders to grow themselves and help other younger students grow as well. For anyone interested in being a facilitator you can apply online right now until October 1st, at www.missouristate.edu/studentengagement/leadership/CBEL.

Being involved in Emerging Leaders isn’t all that Sara has done during her time at Missouri State.  She is an active member of Delta Zeta sorority serving as the ritual chair this semester and president her sophomore year.  Sara is also currently serving as the Vice President of Regular Tours for University Ambassadors (you know, the people who give tours backwards on campus) through the Spring semester. She also completed the Distinction in Public Affairs Program.

But the biggest thing that Sara has going on right now is her role as the Co-Director for Homecoming 2014.  She will serve as the co-leader of the 2014 Missouri State Homecoming Committee that will plan all of the great events and competitions during homecoming week this year.  Sara says this year “will be the best Homecoming Week yet!” Be sure to go check out all the awesome things going on October 12-18th.

Her top strengths that help her in all her leadership roles are: Competition, Relator, Futuristic, Consistency, and Deliberative.

When asked what about our programs impacted her the most she replied,

“Having gone through Emerging Leaders as both a participant and a facilitator, I have been able to see both sides of the program and make close friendships both years. As a participant, I learned so much about the techniques, skills, and strengths that different leaders have, but as a facilitator I think I learned more. I applied what I had learned the year before and I could make better connections and see how I use those skills and strengths in my leadership roles. Both Emerging Leaders and Distinction in Public Affairs helped me make the Missouri State University Public Affairs Mission my own. Even though we learn about the mission statement in our general education classes, but until I put it into practice through these programs, I didn’t know what it meant to me. Now I am proud to tell others about the Public Affairs Mission and how we live it out at Missouri State.”

Her advice to younger students:

“To younger students, my advice is to find what you are really passionate about and make it yours. This might mean that you have try a wide variety of organizations, or even majors, but sooner or later you will find something that makes you excited to be a part of it. It’s within that organization that you will find people who share your passion and could become your best friends. Be open to trying new things and meeting new people, you never know who you might meet! I have met some of my best friends from just joining different organizations, it didn’t happen overnight, but going into my senior year I can see how my friendships have grown over the past three years and I know we will stay close after graduation next year.”

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Rob Stange

Rob StangeThis week’s LeaderBear is Missouri State Alumni, Rob Stange. He graduated from MSU with his bachelor’s degree in marketing in 2006 and his MBA in marketing in 2007. In 2007, he was an inaugural recipient of the Board of Governors Citizen Scholar Award. Later he had the opportunity to come back to Missouri State and present in two different Public Affairs Conferences. He said, “It was a great opportunity to give back to MSU through service, and I also was able to do some guest lecturing in the marketing department!”

Upon graduation Rob was a global sourcing product manager at Target headquarters for wall décor (art, mirrors, and clocks). He had the chance to travel to China, Vietnam, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Canada and across the U.S. representing Target to the vendor community. He was recognized with a 2012 corporation pyramid leadership award for leading a team through change and demonstrating personal drive and accountability.

Rob now has the dream job of manager of promotional products for the Walt Disney Company. He essentially manage a team that ensures Disney is able to provide specialty merchandise (free stuff!) to guests and cast members that are of high quality, meet Disney brand standards, and also are produced by socially responsible manufacturers.

As an undergraduate he facilitated the Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders program. His top strengths are: Maximizer, Arranger, Futuristic, Individualization, and Positivity.

When asked what about our programs impacted him the most he replied,

“I was a facilitator for emerging leaders, and absolutely loved the experience. Anyone can be “designated” a leader/manager, but a true leader earns the title by gaining the trust and support of people around them. Being a facilitator required me to learn those skills by gaining trust and leading through example to other students. I’ve carried this on into my professional career but making sure that I lead through actions and words versus by a feeling of entitlement. It’s so much more rewarding when you have the belief of others that are you are a leader!”

His advice to younger students:

“Never stop setting goals. Yes, life happens and things change to where you end up in different locations, situations, and circumstances than what you anticipated a few years prior. However, it’s important to always have a path in your mind that forces you to keep moving forward in life while enjoying the present that is around you.”

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Grace Chang

Grace ChangThis week’s LeaderBear is Grace Chang.  Grace is the current president of Student Activities Council on campus.  She has a passion for planning events, especially ones involving music, and hopes to plan music festivals in her future.  She currently leads her team in bringing tons of activities and events to Missouri State’s campus.

Outside of Student Activities Council Grace is the Programming Intern for the Girl Scouts of America: Heartland.  She is a past Resident Assistant and Conference Assistant and led a Bear Service Team for 2 years.  Grace completed the Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders program in the Spring of 2013.

Grace is currently a junior pursuing her Bachelor’s degreee in Public Relations intending to graduate in 2016.

Her top strengths are: Empathy, Harmony, Positivity, Adaptability, and Woo.

When asked what about our programs impacted her the most she replied,

“Emerging leaders helped me branch out and meet other leaders in different organizations. I gained new perspectives from other organizations. It was definitely a turning point in my understanding of leadership.”

Her advice to younger students:

“Everyone is going to tell you to get involved. My advice is try and reach out to an organization you want to be a part of. Help out with little things without being asked to and just ask people if they need help with anything. Being a go-getter is something that people will notice!”

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