Missouri State University
Leadership Development Blog

LeaderBear Spotlight: Mackenzie Eisel

This week’s LeaderBear is taking initiative and using her leadership skills to serve in many areas of the community!

Mackenzie Eisel is a Health Communication major with a Spanish minor looking to graduate in May of 2018!  Her top five strengths are communication, activator, competition, woo, and futuristic.  She has been a great addition to our Emerging Leaders program!  Mackenzie has also served as the 2015 Homecoming Philanthropy coordinator.  Her greatest accomplishment since Emerging Leaders is her participation in bringing St. Jude’s Up ’til Dawn back to Missouri State’s campus.  She served as the 2015 Recruitment Director for this organization.  She now serves as the Executive Director  for 2016!!ME3 (2)

With being a member of traditions council, Mackenzie serves as the Publications Chair, to update and strengthen Missouri State’s traditions book as well as incentive program.  This has a lasting affect for student’s looking to invest in Missouri State’s traditions.

“The relationships I created during Emerging Leaders have fostered my successes since then. Emerging Leaders was an opportunity to work hand in hand with Missouri State’s greatest go-getters. Each person I had the pleasure of going through the program with inspired me in some way to get involved and work hard during my time here.”

Mackenzie has some words of advice for younger students!

“The advice that I would give to younger students is to jump right in! There’s no sense in wasting time getting accustomed to your schedule, or a lifestyle at college. These opportunities come and they go, but they are what will create the best life possible while you’re here at Missouri State!”

We are so proud of Mackenzie for putting her leadership skills into action and taking initiative to get involved at Missouri State!

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Leader Bear: Landon Swearngin

This weeks #LeaderBear is hoping to make a meaningful impact on Missouri State’s Campus as well as the Springfield FullSizeRender(6)community in our Distinction in Public Affairs program!

Landon Swearngin is a Criminology and Criminal Justice major and is expected to graduate in 2018.  He has been a great addition to our Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders program as well as Distinction in Public Affairs.  His strengths include competition, achiever, analytical, focus, and futuristic.

During his freshman year, Landon was initiated into Theta Chi fraternity and was elected to serve on the executive board as Secretary.  He then began participating in Phi Sigma Upsilon, and Emerging Leaders.  Landon was elected as the IFC Liason for Traditions Council and serves as a delegate for SGA and IFC.  His volunteering takes place with Big Brothers Big Sisters where he spends 2-3 hours each week spending time with an underprivileged 8 year old from northwest Springfield.  Landon serves as an intern for Oak Star Bank and Eric Greitens who is running for the governor of Missouri.  He was recently elected as the Theta Chi president!  He is currently working towards a project in Distinction in Public Affairs that will be presented at the Public Affairs conference.

Landon is looking forward to beginning the Accelarated Master’s program in Criminology and Criminal Justice next year!

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

“Emerging Leaders taught me invaluable skills and allowed me to develop connections with many influential leaders on campus.  Through interactive and thought-provoking sessions, my peers and I refined our skill sets in order to be equipped with the ability to impact our campus and our community.  Now, as a participant in the Distinction in Public Affairs program, I have the opportunity to apply the abilities I have developed and see the impact of implementing the Public Affairs Mission within the Springfield community.  The leadership development opportunities that these programs provide have impacted me the most and, without them, I would not be the leader I am today.”

His advice for younger students is…

“Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.  Don’t be afraid to fail or make a fool of yourself.  I do both on a daily basis.  Be ambitious, be bold and be different.  Being normal is far overrated and very little can be accomplished in life if you refuse to step out of your comfort zone.  When I first arrived at Missouri State, I did not know many of my peers, I had no intention of getting involved on campus and I had no clue what it was like to be a leader.  Through joining Theta Chi Fraternity and capitalizing on opportunities through other leadership programs, I have been able to develop a ton of new skills, discover what I am passionate about and set myself up for a more successful future.”

Thank you Landon, for contributing your leadership skills on and off campus!  He is a great example of putting his quality leadership skills to action and working in the community.  Thank you for all you do!

If you are interested in applying your leadership skills, keep an eye out for applications coming out for Distinction in Public Affairs in the next few months!



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Leader Bear: Tai Thrasher

This weeks #LeaderBear has been an outstanding addition to our Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders Program and Distinction in Public Affairs! Tai Thrasher is currently a Junior expected to graduate in Spring 2017.  Her major is in Public Realtions with a minor in Advertising and Promotions.  Her top five strengths are belief, harmony, developer, adaptability, and responsibility.

She has been involved in SOAR for the past two summers, peer leaders, Alpha Tai Leader BearChi Omega, Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society, University Ambassadors, Cru campus ministry, Distinction in Public Affairs, and an Emerging Leaders participant as well as a facilitator!  Tai also works for the MSU Real Life office as a Peer Financial Mentor.

When asked what part of our programs has impacted her the most, she responded with…

“Emerging Leaders was the first thing I got involved with during my Freshman year at Missouri State. If it weren’t for Emerging Leaders, I know I wouldn’t have the college experience that I’ve had thus far. This program introduced me to some of my best friends, helped me learn a lot about myself, taught me how to use my strengths to better myself as a leader, and encouraged me to think about issues from someone’s perspective other than my own. I have been able to bring the skills and knowledge I gained from Emerging Leaders to the organizations and leadership positions I have been involved with throughout my time at Missouri State. As an Emerging Leaders Facilitator this spring, I am so excited for the opportunity to make sure this year’s participants have a wonderful experience in the program as well.”

The advice she would have to offer to younger students includes…

“For those of you who are participating in the Emerging Leaders program this year: First off, congratulations! Second, be excited about this opportunity, and take advantage of all it has to offer.”

We are lucky to have Tai as an Emerging Leader facilitator: she brings a lot to the table with her leadership skills.

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Rachel Porting

This week’s #LeaderBear has been a great addition to our leadership leader bear rachel 2programs! Rachel is an elementary education major who plans to graduate in the Spring of 2017.  Her top 5 leadership strengths are communication, positivtiy, activator, inclusion, and WOO.  Rachel has participated in our Distinction in Public  Affairs program and was a selected scholar for our Centennial Leaders program for her freshman and sophomore year.  She served as the 2015 Alpha Chi Omega Vice President of Philanthropy, where she was able to plan a 5K that raised over $1,800 for Harmony House.  She was previously the Assistant Panhellenic Delegate for Alpha Chi Omega, as well as the Student Activities Council representative.  She has been the captain of the Alpha Chi Omega Relay for Life team for the past 2 years.  Rachel was a part of Phi Sigma Upsilon and served as a Centennial Leaders facilitator for Fall 2015.

When asked what part of our programs has impacted her the most, her response was:

“I have been able to learn ways to be more involved on campus, and use the leadership skills I have gained!  I have also been able to meet so many wonderful people on campus, which helps to make Missouri State seem very small!”

When asked what advice she would give to younger students, her response was:

“GET INVOLVED! Find organizations that you are interested in and invest. You will never regret getting involved in an organization because you gain so much from the experience.  You meet new people, you are able to gain leadership experience, and make an impact on our campus.”

Thank you Rachel for your participation with community service and participation in our Centennial Leaders and Distinction in Public Affairs program!  If you are interested in applying for Distinction in Public Affairs program, check out the application and apply by this Friday, December 4th!

Download the application

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Todd Euglow

5557This week’s #LeaderBear has been continuously giving back to Missouri State University.

Todd Euglow is a current alumni of Missouri State, where he received both his Bachelors’ in Sociology in 2010 and his Masters’ in Student Affairs in 2013.  Currently, Todd works as a Career Resources Specialist for the Career Center right here on campus.  Throughout his time at Missouri State, Todd has been a participant in Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders, and has served as a facilitator for our Distinction in Public Affairs program.

While an undergraduate student, aside from being an Emerging Leader, Todd was the Residence Hall Association President and Programming Communications Coordinator and was apart of the MACURH (Midwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls) Planning Team in 2010.

During his graduate studies, Todd served as Chi Sigma Alpha Honors Fraternity Vice President.  He also was a previous Co-Advisor for the Residence Hall Association and Advisor of the National Residence Hall Honorary.

During his professional career at Missouri State, Todd has been a past advisor for MSU-St. Baldrick’s student organization and served as a facilitator for Distinction in Public Affairs this past Spring semester.  He currently serves as one of the current Co-Advisors of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, and is apart of NASPA, a professional organizations for student affairs professionals in higher education, and NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

When asked how Distinction in Public Affairs and Emerging Leaders has impacted him, Todd responded:

“My involvement in the Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders program came at a pivotal time in my undergraduate career. Up until this leadership program, my only involvement on campus was through my Hall Council executive board and a general member of the Student Activities Council. Being a part of the Emerging Leaders program challenged my perception of involvement as well as allowed me step outside of my comfort zone. The program encouraged me to continue my involvement on campus on a larger scale. Had it not been for the leadership skills and connections I gained through Emerging Leaders, I would not have been as prepared to tackle my future leadership roles. Last year, I had the opportunity to serve as a facilitator for the Distinction in Public Affairs program. It was phenomenal to witness the impact that students can have on the campus and the city of Springfield through assessing and addressing the critical needs that exist within our community.”

Todd’s advice for younger students looking to get involved is:

“I am constantly challenging students to find opportunities to step outside of their comfort zone. I know from personal experience that once you begin to explore opportunities outside of your comfort zone, such as Emerging Leaders and Distinction in Public Affairs, your awareness of the possibilities that exist on campus will increase exponentially. It’s also important to remember that everyone has to do this at their own pace. Many students can get overwhelmed when they see their roommate or other students involved in an extensive number of activities. I think it’s important to start with one or two organizations that you really connect with initially. As someone who also works with students in the career development process, I try to educate students on the impact that involvement in leadership opportunities and student organizations can have on future employability. You do not have to be involved in 5 or 6 opportunities or organizations to accomplish this. Sometimes quality over quantity makes all the difference.”

If you are wanting to work with excellent faculty and staff such as Todd, and are interested in participating in our Distinction in Public Affairs program, look online at: http://www.missouristate.edu/studentengagement/leadership/dpa.htm.

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Marli Coonrod

This week’s #LeaderBear has been doing a LeaderBear_MarliCoonrodlot in her short time here at Missouri State.

Marli Coonrod is a Public Relations major expecting to graduate in Spring of 2017.  She plans to continue her education at Missouri State University to receive a Master’s Degree in Public Relations.  This past Spring she became a graduate of our Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders and found her strengths to be positivity, futuristic, restorative, includer, and woo. She got to use these strengths when she went through our LeaderShape Conference,which occurred this summer.

Aside from being an Emerging Leader and participant of LeaderShape, Marli has been involved in Student Government Association as Director of Student Affairs.  Within this, she helped to develop URSA, which is a student engagement camp hosted by Missouri State right before the start of the academic year.  She was selected as SGA’s January Senator of the Month and served on Parent’s Weekend Committee and multiple student hearing panels.  Marli is also involved in her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, and serves on the Executive Board as Senior Panhellenic Delegate.  She was a 2015 Playfair Assistant, developed MSU: I’m First Generation organization, and currently is on the Dean’s List, volunteers regularly at the Ronald McDonald House, and is the Public Relations and Marketing Intern for March of Dimes and Campus Coordinator for the online blogging site, Studentrate.

When asked about the impact Emerging Leaders and LeaderShape has had on her, Marli responded:

“I think the most important thing I took away from these programs is realizing how important our Public Affairs Mission is. We hear and see our mission all over campus, but through these programs, I had the opportunity to put this mission into practice and understand why it is such an important aspect that makes our University as great as it is. I know I wouldn’t be holding the leadership positions or have the confidence to go after the things I want without these programs giving me the support and push I needed. Even if one thinks they are not a leader, I encourage them to apply for these programs. They will change your life and show how easy it is for one to make an impact on campus, no matter where they are in their college career.”

Marli’s advice for younger students looking to get involved is:

“Get involved! Our university is lucky to have over three hundred organizations on campus. I promise you will find your passion through one. Getting involved is one of the easiest ways to feel more connected to the University, build your resume, and the best part…..to have FUN. These organizations are meant to be something that you enjoy doing. Connecting with others who share the same passion as yourself is an exciting thing, and something everyone should take advantage of. After college, you will graduate and you’re most likely not going to remember all of the classes you took, but the friendships you make now are ones that you will carry for the rest of your life.”

If you are interested in gaining leadership skills and getting more involved with the Emerging Leaders program like Marli, you can find more information on our website at: http://www.missouristate.edu/studentengagement/leadership/CBEL.htm.  Applications are due TODAY in the Office of Student Engagement (PSU 101), where you will also sign up for an interview slot.

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Emma Torno


This week’s #LeaderBear is the newly hired Leadership Student Specialist in our office.

Emma Torno is a Sophomore majoring in Communications and working towards her minor in Religious Studies.  She is expected to graduate in May 2018. Emma’s strengths are Arranger, Responsibility, Restorative, Harmony, and Includer.  A second year Centennial Leader, Emma has been very involved in a few different organizations.  Her involvements include being an active member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, and helping with daycare and ministry at Northpoint church.  During Spring Break, she will be taking a mission trip to Nashville, TN, to serve individuals living in poverty and homelessness.

When asked how her experience in Centennial Leaders has impacted her, Emma responded:

“With being a part of Centennial Leaders, it has taught me a lot about uncovering strengths of not only yourself, but people in your team as well.  If you notice that someone is excelling in something, tell them!  They may not realize it themselves, so being able to give them the push of encouragement is important in letting the group run effectively.”

Emma’s advice for younger students looking to get involved is:

“Be proactive and look for things that interest you.  Experiment with activities on campus, classes, and community involvement to find where your passion lies.  Let each experience be an opportunity for personal growth.  Whether the experience is little or big, good or bad…there is something to be learned from everything.  Take time to reflect on those kinds of things.  It is important to never forget where you came from because that is what creates your story!”

Emma is very excited to be apart of the Leadership Development Team, and we are very excited to have her.  She is going to bring a lot of great enthusiasm, ideas, and strengths to the table, and we know with her passion for our leadership programs, she is going to excel and do great things within this position.

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Troy Korte

This week’s LeaderBear is one of our newest Commerce Bank Emerging Leader Facilitators!

Troy Korte is an active Missouri State University student studying Construction Management expected to graduate May 2017.  He is a graduate of the Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders program and Distinction in Public Affairs program.  His strengths are communication, significance, positivity, adaptability, and arranger.

While at Missouri State, Troy has been a very active leader.  He is the President and member of the Missouri State Division 1 and Division 3 Hockey Clubs and serves as the captain of the Division 3 Hockey team.  He is the President and member of Missouri State Men’s Club Soccer and Missouri State Women’s Club Soccer.  Troy is also a Multicultural Leadership Scholar and a brother of Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity.

When asked how our leadership programs have impacted Troy, he responded:

Emerging Leaders was definitely my favorite leadership program at Missouri State. Through the sports I have played you learn things like leadership and team building but those Emerging Leader Monday sessions taught me so much about communication and maximizing different people’s strengths to reach an end goal. The retreat was a great cap on the program with being able to spend an entire weekend with everyone and how we focused on our weaknesses then the last day was all building ourselves up.”

Troy’s advice for younger students looking to get involved is:

“My advice to younger students would be to get involved as much as you can and have fun. I have met so many interesting people and learned so many things through the programs and clubs I have been a part of. There is a club out there for everyone. Also college is supposed to be the best time of your life. You have to prioritize and get things done but go out and have fun. If you have all your homework done go to out on a Tuesday night or go the park on Thursday afternoon. Reward yourself after finishing a big test.”

If you are interested in getting involved with Emerging Leaders or Distinction in Public Affairs, check out the website at: http://www.missouristate.edu/studentengagement/leadership/.  Our first informational meeting and applications will be available on Monday, October 26th from 5-6 in PSU 308.

Applications for Distinction in Public Affairs can be found at: http://www.missouristate.edu/studentengagement/leadership/DPA.htm.

To be an Emerging Leader, please find our application at: http://www.missouristate.edu/studentengagement/leadership/CBEL.htm.

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Jordan Wolfe

This week’s LeaderBear LeaderBear_JordanWolfe is teaching young Bears leadership skills.

Jordan Wolfe is a Sophomore at Missouri State University studying Elementary Education.  Throughout her time in college, Jordan has been very actively involved in multiple things.  She first got involved in our Leadership Programs by graduating from the Emerging Leaders program.  This then led her to apply and be selected as one of our Centennial Leader facilitators this fall.  Jordan leads discussions and activities to help Freshman Centennial Leaders grow in their leadership skills.  In her academics, she has already passed the MoGEA and was recently admitted into the School of Education. She is a recipient of the Multi-Cultural Scholarship and was previously able to help interview other potential recipients.  She has also earned the Provost Scholarship and a scholarship from the Olathe Rotary Club for her leadership work.  Jordan is also an active member of Phi Eta Sigma, a scholar program, and this past year, she was accepted in to the National Scholars Collegiate Committee.  She is a member Sigma Kappa, and plans to take on more leadership roles within her chapter.  Jordan currently serves as a representative for FSLSA.  She is involved in StuMo Campus Ministry and participates in the organization’s small groups and was Captain for a co-ed intramural soccer team. Currently, she is serving on the Public Relations Committee and acting as a greeter for their Thursday night sessions.  Jordan is planning to get involved in their Relay for Life Committee and other various clubs available on campus.

When asked how our leadership programs impacted Jordan, she replied:

“I was most impacted within the program during the emerging leaders retreat that we attended in the spring. I was so impacted by the various activities we participated in within the program.  I grew emotional within the activity where we stepped forward and backwards based on our personal life. It showed me that even some of the greatest leaders on campus have weaknesses and characteristics or pasts they overcame. It showed the diversity of the amazing people I was connecting with and truly helped develop a better sense of cultural competence. Another activity I grew from was the activity in which all other individuals were blindfolded and I was there leader. I had to communicate effectively to a large group of people. I learned to guide a large group only using my voice because they were not able to see where they were going or see what I was saying. It was eye opening how easy it became for me to be able to guide all these people through the obstacle course and get them to the finish line. I cannot wait to see what other opportunities impact me as much as this retreat had.”

Jordan’s advice for younger students looking to get involved is:

“The advice I would give to the younger students of Missouri state would be get involved as much as possible. I think students fail to get involved at a younger age and they miss some of the best growth opportunities on this campus.  I would also advice students to check out Campus Link to check out different organization on campus as well as ways to do service in the Springfield area.  I would also advice younger students to really rely on the older member within organizations. Although every student comes into Missouri State with a different leadership background, this campus is able to take an individual and give him or her clubs to grow and become leaders.”

If you are interested in getting involved with Emerging Leaders or Centennial Leaders, check out the website at: http://www.missouristate.edu/studentengagement/leadership/.  Applications to be like Jordan and be in the Emerging Leaders program can be found at:  http://www.missouristate.edu/studentengagement/leadership/CBEL.htm.

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Cody Stout

LeaderBear_Cody StoutThis week’s LeaderBear has been building leaders at Missouri State.

Cody Stout is a senior at Missouri State University planning to graduate this upcoming May with a Bachelor’s in Construction Management.  Cody has played a very active role in numerous organizations and opportunities at Missouri State, including our Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders program.  He was not only a participant and graduated from the program, but he continued to become a former facilitator to help other participants get the same experience he did.  Currently, Cody is the Chief Justice of Inter Fraternity Council and Secretary of Sigma Lambda Chi honors fraternity.  He is a member of Generation Bears, which is put on by the Construction Management program designed to mentor freshman beginning the program.  Cody is a part of the ASC Design-Build Estimating Team for Missouri State, and he and others will be competing against an estimated 20 schools in Nebraska later this semester.  In the Springfield community, Cody will be volunteering at the Bass Pro Outdoor Fitness Festival, which will take place in late October.

When asked how our leadership programs impacted Cody, he replied by saying:

“Emerging Leaders gave me the ability to work with various types of people, towards a specific goal. While working with those individuals, you are able to learn so much about them and in the end each other’s differences no longer matter. It provided me with knowledge and experience that I couldn’t have received anywhere else. The friendships that I was able to form will last a lifetime and provide me with lasting support through my endeavors after college.”

Cody’s advice for younger students looking to get involved is:

“My advice to younger students is regardless if you have found your place or not, keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and keep giving yourself opportunities to thrive. When you are constantly trying to better yourself and take on new opportunities, you allow others to do the same because you are their inspiration. Always be better then what people perceive you as.”

If you are interested in getting involved like Cody, and are a Junior or Senior, applications to be a Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders Facilitator are due TODAY at 4pm in the Office of Student Engagement.  Do not miss out on this great opportunity!  More information can be found at:  http://www.missouristate.edu/studentengagement/leadership/CBEL.htm

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