Missouri State University
Leadership Development Blog

LeaderBear: Jessen Miller

Jessen Miller is a senior expecting to graduate in May of 2017!  He is a general mathematics major with minors in general business and interior design.  His top 5 strengths include positivity, competition, strategic, futuristic, and achiever.  Jessen is very active on campus with immersing himself into several organizations that help mold himself and others into better leaders.  He has held the position of president in University Ambassadors and Alpha Tau Omega.  In addition to that, he is a cabinet member of Student Government Association, SOAR Leader,  2016 Homecoming King and a runner up for the 2016 student employee of the year.

Jessen’s key advice to younger students includes…

“The key to college is all about time management! A student can have the same level of “busyness” or stress being involved with one organization as another student that has leadership roles in six. Time is valuable, but if managed well, you can honestly accomplish a lot! Never let “I’m too busy” stop you from following a dream. There’s always time to catch the next episode of your Netflix Show later, live while you’re young!”

Jessen is such a positive person who continues to put his whole heart into the organizations that he is a part of.  His role on Missouri State’s campus has impacted many and we look forward to seeing what he will continue to do through life.



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Leader Bear: Amy Brown

This week’s Leader Bear has a passion for using her leadership abilities within the organizations that she involves herself in.  Amy Brown is a junior expecting to graduate in Fall of 2018 who is currently studying History Education with a minor in Diversity Studies.  His top 5 strengths include context, contentedness, responsibility, consistency, and discipline.  She completed the Distinction in Public Affairs program in the spring of 2016.  She has involved herself in several areas on campus which have lead to incredible accomplishments in and out of the FSL community.

“I believe that some of my greatest Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetaccomplishments have been through leadership in the FSL community. My freshman year after joining Sigma Kappa, I joined Phi Sigma Upsilon and was elected to the executive board as the VP of Recruitment. This was my first taste of leadership in college and I loved it! My sophomore year I decided to run for the Panhellenic executive board and was elected as the Director of New Member Education. Through this position I planned two New Member Day events, helped organize bid day, and served as an advisor to Phi Sigma Upsilon. This is my second year on the Panhellenic executive board, after deciding to run again as the VP of Recruitment. This year I will oversee all things recruitment for the Panhellenic community!  

Outside of FSL, I have served as a representative in the Student Government Association for Sigma Kappa, participated in the Distinction in Public Affairs Program, and have served as a Peer Leader assisting first year students in GEP classes for two years.”

When asked what has impacted her through the leadership development programs, her response included..

“The Leadership Development Programs at Missouri State have helped me to discover what kind of leader I am and what kind of leader I can aspire to be. Through conferences and retreats, I have learned the value of many different styles of leadership and the ways in which we can all work together to reach a common goal. I have improved the ways in which I set goals, communicate with others, use my critical thinking, and consider overall what is most important to me.”

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

“My advice to younger students would be to go after the things that interest you. College is the time to try out a lot of different things that you might not have time for in the future and make connections with people that will last beyond your time at Missouri State. Also, try to take on some sort of leadership. And don’t look at leadership opportunities as just resume builders, but as a chance to grow as a person. It is the times that I have been challenged within these positions that I have had my proudest moments and realized my true potential, which I would have never imagined that I possessed!”

Amy is an incredible example of what it means to lead with commitment and passion!  Thank you Amy for your great example on leadership!

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LeaderBear: David Lovelace

This week’s #LeaderBear has been a strong asset to several Missouri State campus leadership roles!

David Lovelace is an elementary education major looking to graduate in May of 2018.  His top 5 strengths include includer, positivity, David Semiformalactivator, respectful, and compassionate.  His current involvement includes serving as the Alumni Secretary for Lambda Chi Alpha, President of Kappa Delta Pi, Order of Omega, and a Jumpstart Ambassador.  His past involvement includes serving as the president and new member educator for Lambda Chi Alpha, 2 years serving as a Peer Leader, and 2 years serving as a Resident Assistant!

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

“One leadership
program I was a part of at Missouri State University was being a Peer Leader. Peer Leader program shaped me into a leader, and gave me the opportunity to gain more experiences in public speaking and leadership qualities. It has also helped me develop resources and present topic with: time management, leadership, and community service.”

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

“Be active in the community and always be open to new experiences and change. Make sure to be positive and expect anything, towards your major and/or new events, it will always prepare you for your future.”

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LeaderBear Spotlight: Zoë Pixler

We are kicking off our first Leader Bear of the spring semester with  Zoë Pixler!  She is a junior photography major expecting to graduate in 2018.  Her top 5 strengths include empathy, strategic, ideation, developer, and individualization.   Zoë has completed SOAR Leader Training and spent her summer of 2015 greeting new students as they are transitioning to Missouri State.  She is an asset to the New Student and Family Programs office where she works as a Family Assistant.

Among other things, Zoë has spent her time with ZoeSigma Sigma Sigma serving as the Honor Council  Resource and Goals Coordinator as well as the VP of New Member Education.  On top of that, she was a recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award in 2014.

When asked what about leadership programs has impacted her the most, her response included..

“I know many, including myself, who have come out of these programs more confident and equipped with the skills necessary to lead ethically. I am impacted by the plethora of Bears that are able to get the opportunity to better themselves as leaders and choosing to use those skills to better their communities around them.”

Her advice that she would give to younger students is..

“I highly advise younger students to take advantage of these and many other leadership opportunities that Missouri State has to offer. Leadership comes in all forms and sizes, which means everyone has potential when it comes to being a #LeaderBear”

Congrats Zoë!  BEAR UP!

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Leader Bear: Lily Cozad

Lily is public relations major with an advertising and promotions minor and planning to graduate next December.  She takes pride in her strengthslily which include strategic, achiever, communication, individualization, and competition.  It doesn’t end there though.. Lily’s creativity truly sets her apart and she is not afraid to step into those opportunities where her skills can be displayed.

With that being said, Lily has gone onto neat organizations and activities that have provided her with growth and development.  She has been an Emerging Leaders participant, Centennial Leaders facilitator, Vice President of PR and Marketing in Alpha Chi Omega, SOAR Leader, Peer Leader, Phi Sigma Upsilon, and Lambda Pi Eta member.

With being involved in both Emerging Leaders and Centennial Leaders, Lily has been able to take out just as much as she has put into them.

“I have learned so much from each leadership program I have participated in and position I have served in. The program that really sparked my involvement was The Commerce Bank Emerging Leaders program. Through Emerging Leaders, I really was able to understand what it meant to be an ethical leader at Missouri State. I learned a lot about myself and my leadership style. I also learned how to integrate my leadership style with others to provide an effective experience with the people we are leading.”

Lily’s has awesome advice for underclassmen who are looking to get involved.

“Get involved—which is extremely cliché and something they have heard a thousand times. Have persistence, patience and work extremely hard for what you want. With just as many leadership positions I have been lucky to serve in, I have been denied from just as many. The important thing is to never let a “rejection” keep you from being involved. Let it motivate you to keep applying for leadership positions because being a campus leader isn’t always easy but it’s extremely rewarding.”

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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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