Missouri State University
Public Affairs Blog

April Staff Spotlight: Debra Horn

WLC_DebraHornPicDebra Horn

Academic Administrative Assistant II,  Modern and Classical Languages

A Debra Horn, a member of the Greene County Family Violence Task Force, partners with organizations such as the Springfield Police Department, the United Way, Harmony House, and the Victim Center to raise awareness regarding service and support needs in southwest Missouri. Recently, she helped create a training video used by local law enforcement on the benefit of using the lethality assessment tool for domestic violence situations.

Debra’s work has been recognized with the 2013 Newman Civic Fellowship and 2014 MSU Woman of Distinction award. Debra’s open and honest dialog about her experience surviving and breaking free from an abusive marriage gives a transparent perspective on where we stand as a community in dealing with this issue.  As April’s Public Affairs Staff Spotlight, we are honored to recognize Debra for her commitment to ethical leadership and community engagement.


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April Faculty Spotlight: Carol Daniel

CarolDanielPicCarol Daniel

Clinical Instructor, Nursing Department

Carol has a heart for the homeless.  Her influence on the health needs of the homeless and underserved is felt throughout the Springfield community as she actively volunteers with the Kitchen, Inc., Victory Mission, the Salvation Army and Rare Breed.  Not only does she serve on boards and provide fundraising efforts, she offers direct care to those in great need such as annually providing a medical clinic for the Rare Breed Sleep-Out to help raise awareness for homeless youth.

Most recently Carol’s dream of creating a medical respite center, where homeless women can recover after being discharged from the hospital, is developing into reality.  After a successful pilot program, Carol and a fellow nurse from Mercy, are moving forward to raise funds, space, volunteers and employees to give a safe place for recovering women to receive nutrition support, transportation and assistance in following doctors’ orders.  The respite center covers a gap in services where many are not sick enough to be in the hospital, but are too ill or frail to recover from physical illness or injury on the streets.  In the future, they hope to expand services to help men as well.

As an extraordinary example of living the public affairs mission, we are honored to recognize Carol Daniel as April’s Faculty Public Affairs Spotlight.

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April Student Spotlight: Samantha Nichols

Samantha Nichols top right

Samantha Nichols

Senior, Religious Studies Department

As she nears graduation, Samantha is a great example of how students are living the public affairs mission while at Missouri State.  Inspiration to create Linked, a newly formed student interfaith service organization, came from attending Interfaith Youth Core’s (IFYC) Interfaith Leadership Institute in Chicago, the summer before her junior year.

Linked brings together young people of different religious and moral traditions for cooperative service and dialogue around shared values.  Student members take part in various volunteer activities in the community as well as campus projects such as working with Myer Library to create monthly displays that will boost interfaith literacy on campus. Samantha says, “It’s been awesome to see our mission come alive on campus as we work to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. We don’t gloss over differences, we explore and celebrate them while also discovering shared values.”

Samantha has been selected as a member of the IFYC National Leadership Team and coaches and mentors other interfaith leaders to help shape and model the interfaith cooperation campaign.  We are proud to recognize Samantha Nichols as April’s Public Affairs Student Spotlight for her cultural competence and community engagement to create a sustainable impact on campus and in the community.


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March Staff Spotlight: Addie Douglas

AddieDouglasAddie Douglas

Custodian I, Foster Recreation Center

Addie has a long history of serving her community. While her contributions are numerous, below are a few of the projects and activities that Addie finds ways to serve and give back:

  • MSU’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
  • Parent Teacher Association
  • Coaching local youth sports programs.
  • Local 5K’s, the Diva Dash and marathons for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Girl Scouts of America as a scout leader
  • Miracle League Network creating scrapbooks
  • The Meals-A-Million annual event
  • Adopt a Family program during the holidays

Addie has long provided support to our military by sending support letters through Operation Write Home, and since 1996 has been volunteering at Crosslines of the Ozarks within the holiday store and serving Thanksgiving meals. As a colleague states, “Addie’s drive and selflessness makes her an asset to every organization she helps!” As the March Public Affairs Staff Spotlight we are pleased to recognize Addie’s dedication to making a positive difference and serving as a great example of living public affairs mission!


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March Faculty Spotlight: Dr. David Johnson

Dr David JohnsonDavid Johnson

Associate Professor, Political Science Department

David lives the pillars of civic engagement and ethical leadership through his devotion to improving the safety and security of both man and animal in Springfield, Greene County and SW Missouri.

Since 2009, David has been volunteering with the Springfield-Greene Co. Office of Emergency Management (OEM). His initial involvement as a volunteer evolved into serving as a Community Emergency Response Team member. He soon transitioned to the OEM reserve, where he supports the staff in the event of a disaster and takes part in several responses, drills, and exercises.  His passion for animals has David devoting time caring for the animals housed at Springfield’s Castaway Animal Rescue as well as being a driving force to develop a county-wide Animal Response Team.  David recently wrote a $5,000.00 grant for needed equipment and training.

David also volunteers with the Region D Incident Support Team as a Geographic Information System Specialist and Unit Leader.  During the Joplin tornado in 2011, David’s interest in amateur radio gave him the opportunity to assist in communication efforts via the Greene County Amateur Radio Emergency Services.  He is also called upon during natural and other disasters as a member of the US Health and Human Services National Disaster Medical System to help ensure medical care provisions during a disaster. In 2001 he headed a medical strike team to the World Trade Center attack and another to provide coverage for the 2006 State of the Union address.

Beyond this, David is a Lay Eucharistic Minister for All Saints Anglican Church and voluntarily working toward ordination as a deacon.  We are delighted to recognize David Johnson as the March Public Affairs Faculty Spotlight for his significant contributions both locally and nationally!

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March Student Spotlight: Scott Berndt

Scott-Mar2015Scott Berndt

Senior Economics major, Sigma Phi Epsilon, MO ETA Chapter

Scott thought he’d simply volunteer and go home, but instead that first experience with Community Partnership of the Ozarks (CPO) has led to a passion for serving and opportunities to cultivate key leadership skills.

Making the most of his free time, Scott volunteers the hours he has to assist with CPO fundraising events by helping wherever is needed most.  After he was the only student volunteer to return to CPO for four weeks to help finish what was started during an MLK Day of Service, he recruited 25 of his Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers to help complete the construction of a miniature golf course, which is the centerpiece for CPO’s Golf Tournament.  As this fundraiser finances a major portion of CPO’s educational, drug prevention and community development projects, Scott’s dedication to seeing the job through to completion was a significant factor in the success of the fundraiser, says Will Carter, CPO Director of Communications.  Scott and his fraternity brothers have continued their service commitment by providing much needed manpower for this year’s miniature Golf Tournament as well as volunteering with the HOPE Connection event where they assist with set-up and meal service to Springfield’s homeless.

“I’ve learned that the more I put in to my volunteer experience, the more I get out of it in terms of tangible results and personal satisfaction.  Opportunities to coordinate, supervise and lead others have made the experience even more meaningful” says Scott.  As a great example of living the public affairs mission through community engagement and ethical leadership, we are proud to recognize Scott as the March 2015 Student Public Affairs Spotlight.

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February Student Spotlight: Allyssa Miget

AllyssaMigetICMA Katy trailAllyssa Miget

Graduate Student, Master of Public Administration

Allyssa is passionate about helping people.  Her career path is to make a difference in the community by serving in local government.  “Being in on the local level really keeps you on your toes with having to understand a broad spectrum of problems and issues that affect all different segments of your community.”  From Arnold, MO Allyssa remembers dinner table political discussions and participating in union marches with her mother as foundations for her current interests.

Last summer, Allyssa traveled to Los Angeles through the Study Away Program where she worked with the Human Relations Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women designing research to better understand the beliefs and needs of the unemployed and underemployed women of the area. She says it was a great opportunity to understand and interact with the city’s unique culture and citizens.

Allyssa is living the Public Affairs mission through involvement in student organizations, campus and community projects and by working to understand and solve the complex problems and issues affecting her community.  For her commitment to ethical leadership and cultural competence, we are pleased to highlight Allyssa Miget as the February Student Public Affairs Spotlight!

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February Staff Spotlight: Lisa McEowen

LisaMcEowenLisa McEowen

Library Associate III, Catalog Department, Meyer Library

“Community involvement and volunteerism is an essential part of creating a full life for me” says Lisa.  She has been sharing her time and talents in numerous ways for over 20 years.  Her passion to serve has inspired a diverse set of interests and projects that has impacted children, families, the environment and cultural heritage.

Lisa is currently President of the Ozarks Greenways’ Board of Directors, working to preserve the Ozarks’ natural heritage by developing a network of greenway trails and on-street bike route system.  For a number of years she dedicated her time as the Volunteer Coordinator and Headquarter Chief for the Ozark Greenways Adventure Race.  She is also active with the Scottish St. Andrews Society of Springfield, having previously served as treasurer and chaplain.  Through programs and events, the SSAS works to keep the memory of the Scots and Scots-Irish heritage alive in the Ozarks.

After being inspired at an MSU performance of the Kansas City Heartland Men’s Chorus, Lisa’s creativity and passion for music motivated her and her two friends, an MSU student and MSU faculty member, to form the Men’s Chorus of the Ozarks in 2011.  She has served as vice-president and public relations director for the local nonprofit choral group that celebrates and values diversity in all things, and even coined their tagline: “Giving Voice to Diversity in the Ozarks”. Other organizations she has worked with include the Greene County District 3 Community Emergency Response Team, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s endurance sports Team in Training program, and the Family Violence Center.

As one friend states, Lisa’s heart is in whatever she does!  As February’s Staff Spotlight, we are proud to recognize all the ways Lisa gives service to her community and is living out the public affairs mission.

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Nominations invited for Faculty Excellence in Community Service Awards

Faculty Nominations – Deadline Friday, February 20th!

Each year up to two faculty members are recognized for their excellence in the area of volunteer work with charitable, nonprofit, church or similar organizations either locally or globally and earn a $1,000 award.  MSU students, employees and members of the Springfield area community are encouraged to nominated MSU faculty who have at least three years of service with the University.  Awardees will be acknowledged during the spring All Faculty Recognition Reception.  View information, previous faculty awardees and the nomination form on the Excellence in Community Service Awards webpage or contact Stacey Trewatha-Bach at 836-8832, staceytrewatha@missouristate.edu.

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December Student Spotlight: MaKenzie Judy

MaKenzie JudyMaKenzie Judy

Senior, Spanish and Exercise & Movement Science Major

MaKenzie is helping members of her community through the organization that helped her own family during their time of need – Ronald McDonald House.  Having earned her 100 hour service pin, MaKenzie gives 2-3 hours every Saturday at the Mercy Children’s Hospital Ronald McDonald House helping check-in new families, providing house tours, cleaning rooms or cooking meals.  She recently was able to use her Spanish language skills to help a Hispanic family understand the check-in process and feel welcomed to RMH.  MaKenzie says, “finding the right organization to volunteer with gives you purpose.  It’s always heartwarming when a family thanks you for donating your time.  Life is short, so I think we should always be doing something that matters!”  In addition to RMH, MaKenzie also volunteers at Ozarks Food Harvest, participates in Delta Zeta service opportunities and has studied abroad in Ecuador learning the culture and language.

For her passion to give back and serve others, MaKenzie Judy is a wonderful example of what living the public affairs mission is all about!  We are proud to recognize her as December’s Public Affairs Student Spotlight.

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