Missouri State University
Staff Senate

Research and Economic Development Area Candidate for 2015-2018 Senate Seat

Staff Senate has representation from Divisional Areas of Missouri State University. There is one (1) seat available for the Research and Economic Development Area for the term starting July 2015.  Learn more about your candidate below!

Phil Bridges
English Language Institute Academic Specialist
I am something of an MSU “lifer,” coming to campus as a student in 1999, serving as a member of the Pride band for several years before graduation, coming back as a graduate assistant in the English department, and finding my way to the English Language Institute, where I have been working since 2007 – full-time since 2009. It has been great to be a part of MSU’s partnership with downtown Springfield and its growing international presence. My time here has fostered an appreciation for the wide range of services, events, and opportunities university staff provides students and the community. I have continually witnessed the importance of our University’s staff – to students, to administrators, to faculty, and to each other. I’d be honored to represent my downtown colleagues as part of Staff Senate.

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University Advancement Area Candidate for 2015-2018 Senate Seat

Staff Senate has representation from Divisional Areas of Missouri State University. There is one (1) seat available for the University Advancement Area for the term starting July 2013.  Learn more about your candidate below!

Andrew Garton
Director of Development
I started my career at Missouri State in June 2010 as the first Foundation Scholarship Coordinator.  In March 2014 I became a Director of Development working with our alumni and friends in Southwest Missouri, Kansas City, and California.  I was elected to Staff Senate in 2012 and during that time I served as the Staff Senate Scholarship Committee Chair, leading an incredible team that increased fundraising more than 10-fold for scholarships benefitting staff and their dependents.  I would love the opportunity to serve my constituents in the University Advancement Division for a second term, representing their concerns, serving as their voice, and helping improve our campus community.

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President’s Area Candidate for 2015-2018 Senate Seat

Staff Senate has representation from Divisional Areas of Missouri State University. There is one (1) seat available for the President’s Area for the term starting July 2015. Learn more about your candidate below!

Brenda Stewart
Administrative Assistant III, Institutional Equity and Compliance
The MSU community has been an important part of my life, as I was raised in this area. I received my BS in Communications from MSU, and am now pursing completion of my Masters in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. I’ve been fortunate to be a full-time staff member since May 2007, where I worked in the offices for Facilities Management. I gained a lot of knowledge and experience with different departments and the physical culture and needs of the campus. During this time, I received the MSU Admin Excellence award, IAAP Certified Administrative Professional,  and became an alumni of the  USA program.  In July 2011 to present, I was promoted to the Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance. In both positions, I have the opportunity to work with Faculty, Staff and Students. As a past and current member of staff senate, I have enjoyed providing and giving back to the university and representing my staff colleagues by serving as a Staff Senator.  I have worked on various work groups, committees, and served as committee chair.

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Job Family 4 Candidates for 2015-2018 Senate Term

We have one (1) seat available in Job Family 4 for the term starting July 2015. Learn more about your candidates below:

Barb Jones
Director of COAL Special Events
I have been a Bear for most of my adult life. As a non-traditional student, I received my BS in Communications in 1991; I returned in the fall of 1999 to begin my MSED degree; and in November of 2002 I was hired as the event coordinator for the College of Arts & Letters. In my position I have had the opportunity to work with faculty, staff, and students from all areas of the university. We have so many wonderful people on this campus, many who have served as volunteers for my events. I see Staff Senate as an opportunity to give back to the university and the people that have given so much to me. I would consider it such an honor to serve as a member of this wonderful organization.

Ryan Reed
Co-Curricular Student Ombudsman
I started working at Missouri State University in August 2006 as a Residence Hall Director. I am currently the Co-Curricular Student Ombudsman in the office of Multicultural Student Services.  I help students that participate in college access program be successful in school.  I have a passion for to help students, especially first-generation and low-income students. I have served as a Staff Senator in the past and I really enjoyed helping improve the campus for staff and the community at large.  Staff Senate is important enough to me that I conitune to serve on committees after my term as a senator ended two years ago.  I would be honored to serve the Missouri State University  community again as a Staff Senator.

Mark Woolsey
Assessment Learning Outcomes Consultant
My desire to serve on the Staff Senate is a natural extension of my profession and interests. Though I am a relatively new member of the campus community, I’ve spent most of the last decade in public policy, research, and organizational psychology working to find realistic solutions to everyday problems. My work as a Consultant in the Office of Assessment has a similar goal: helping MSU staff and faculty improve students’ experiences here by making their own work easier. Working with Staff Senate would extend that service further by focusing on ways to improve staff satisfaction and to further MSU’s role as a center of public affairs leadership in the community and the state.

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Job Family 1 Candidate for the 2015-2018 Senate Term

We have one (1) seat available in Job Family 1 for the term starting in July 2015. Learn more about your candidate below:

Shelly Deckard
Executive Assistant III, VP Research and Economic Development
I have been employed with MSU since June, 1998.  I started in the Student Affairs Division in the Financial Aid Office where I assisted students with their financial aid and scholarships for 10 years.   I then was promoted to the Office of the Registrar where I was able to assist students with their degree audits and graduation questions.   I currently work in Research and Economic Development at JVIC as an Executive Assistant III, where I get to serve MSU in a different capacity.  When I was asked if I would be willing to be nominated for a seat on the MSU Staff Senate I jumped on the opportunity to serve.  Missouri State University has helped me grow and learn new things through the years and I feel it would be an honor and a privilege to serve as a member of Staff Senate.

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2015 Staff Senate Nomination Form

Staff Senate is now accepting senator nominations for the term beginning July 2015.  Those elected will have the chance to serve Missouri State University by advocating for continuous improvements  to personal and professional development opportunities for staff and by initiating or assisting in programs and changes that benefit staff at the university.  Senators must be able to fulfill all three of the following criteria:

  • commit to a three-year senate term
  • attend one Staff Senate meeting each month (usually the first Thursday of the month from 11 AM to noon)
  • serve on at least one Staff Senate committee each year

If you or another staff person that you know would like to get involved by becoming a Staff Senate senator, fill out the nomination form below by May 1, 2015, or request a paper form by sending an email to StaffSenate@MissouriState.edu.  Elections will take place after May 1, 2015.

The following Staff Senate seats are available for the term beginning July 2015:

1 seat – Job Family 1 (administrative support positions)
1 seat – Job Family 2 (skilled crafts/trades positions)
1 seat – Job Family 4 (executive, administrative, and managerial positions)
1 seat – President’s Area
1 seat – University Advancement
1 seat – Research & Economic Advancement

If you do not know the job family of the person you wish to nominate, you can refer to the Office of Human Resources web page on job descriptions.  Follow this link, and then enter the job title of the person you wish to nominate.  Locate and click on the appropriate job description page, and then scroll down until you find the heading “Job Family.”

For more information about Staff Senate, please visit our website, or contact us by email at StaffSenate@MissouriState.edu.

Your Name (required)

Your Email Address (required)

Nominee's Name (required)

Nominee's Email Address (required)

Nominee's Job Title (required)

Nominee's Department (required)

Nominee's University Division (if known)

Nominee's Occupational Category/ Job Family (if known)

Why do you think this nominee is a good candidate?

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Job Family 4 Candidates for 2014-2017 Senate Term

We have two (2) seats available in Job Family 4 for the term starting July 2014. Learn more about your candidates below:

Kami Gollhofer

Academic Advisor- Marketing, Recruitment and Retention Specialist, Nursing Department

I started my employment at Missouri State University in July 2012 as a part time Academic Advisor in the Department of Nursing. In September of 2013, I accepted the full time Advisor- Marketing, Recruitment and Retention position within the same department. It is my goal while at MSU to not only learn and grow as an individual but to also give back, supporting the University’s continued growth and development. I believe the Staff Senate serves as a backbone to the University by supporting staff members through initiation of policies and creating staff involvement on campus to promote a sense of belonging and empowerment. I would love the opportunity to serve on Staff Senate and be a part of the culture and history of an outstanding University!

Peng Zhang

China Operations Specialist, Office of Research and Economics Development and China Programs

Although I have been serving at Missouri State as a full time staff for a little over one year, I have been a “Bear” for a while. I started my journey at MSU in fall 2008 as an exchange student from one of our partner universities in China until spring 2012, when I graduated with my Master of Business Administration degree at Missouri State. During these years, I had served as graduate assistant in the office of Research and Economic Development for two years. And before I finally landed in my current position, I had served in the Office of International Programs for one year. Therefore, Missouri State had a significant influence on my education and early career life. Honestly I’m like a “product” made by MSU. Now it’s time to give back to the campus community. I believe serving on the Staff Senate is a great opportunity to support all the dedicated and hardworking staff members and recognize their great value added to our campus community. Also my international background will make me a good representative for international staff members on campus. I personally believe that the more I can get involved, the more I will love this campus.  I will be very proud to get this opportunity to serve the MSU staff family, and hopefully have an impact on the MSU community.

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Job Family 1 Candidate for 2014-2017 Senate Term

We have one (1) seat available in Job Family 1 for the term starting in July 2014. Learn more about your candidate below:

Kelly Bridges

Administrative Assistant II, Safety and Transportation/Transit Operations Center

I have been employed with MSU, in Parking Administration, since November 2011.  I was hired as an Administrative Assistant I and then was promoted to Administration II in February 2013.  When I heard I had been nominated for a seat on the MSU Staff Senate, I went to their webpage to see if it was something I would like to be involved in.  I looked at the Initiatives and was very impressed with what the Senate has done for the employees of this campus, the Campus itself, and the community of Springfield as a whole.  I decided immediately that this was something I would really enjoy putting my time and effort into.  It would be an honor and a privilege to represent my colleagues as a member of the Staff Senate.

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2014 Staff Senate Nomination Form

Staff Senate is now accepting senator nominations for the term beginning July 2015.  Those elected will have the chance to serve Missouri State University by advocating for continuous improvements  to personal and professional development opportunities for staff and by initiating or assisting in programs and changes that benefit staff at the university.  Senators must be able to fulfill all three of the following criteria:

  • commit to a three-year senate term
  • attend one Staff Senate meeting each month (usually the first Thursday of the month from 11 AM to noon)
  • serve on at least one Staff Senate committee each year

If you or another staff person that you know would like to get involved by becoming a Staff Senate senator, fill out the nomination form below by April 15, 2015, or request a paper form by sending an email to StaffSenate@MissouriState.edu.  Elections will take place after May 1, 2014.

The following Staff Senate seats are available for the term beginning July 2014:

1 seat – Job Family 1 (administrative support positions)
2 seats – Job Family 4 (executive, administrative, and managerial positions)

If you do not know the job family of the person you wish to nominate, you can refer to the Office of Human Resources web page on job descriptions.  Follow this link, and then enter the job title of the person you wish to nominate.  Locate and click on the appropriate job description page, and then scroll down until you find the heading “Job Family.”

For more information about Staff Senate, please visit our website, or contact us by email at StaffSenate@MissouriState.edu.

Your Name (required)

Your Email Address (required)

Nominee's Name (required)

Nominee's Email Address (required)

Nominee's Job Title (required)

Nominee's Department (required)

Nominee's University Division (if known)

Nominee's Occupational Category/ Job Family (if known)

Why do you think this nominee is a good candidate?

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Job Family 1 Candidates for the 2013 – 2016 Senate Seats

We have two (2) seats available in Job Family 1 for the term starting in July 2013. Learn more about your candidates below

Jamie Hall   Administrative Specialist II   Institutional Research

For the past year and a half I have worked for Missouri State as an Administrative Specialist II in the Office of Institutional Research. I am a Missouri State Alum (I attended MSU-West Plains for two years and then finished out my Theatre B.A. at MSU Springfield). I’m interested in being a part of the Staff Senate because it seems like it would be a good way to stay on top of things going on in the university, as well as being a way to give something back!

Sandy Johnson     Administrative Specialist III     Faculty Senate Office

Sandra Leigh Johnson joined Missouri State University in 2007 as an administrative specialist for the Office of the Provost. She had previously worked as an advertising copywriter for 15 years at Noble and Associates in Springfield. In 2008 she transferred to the Faculty Senate Office as an administrative specialist III. She enjoys working for the Faculty Senate and helped bring the office into the Banner age, creating an online tracking system for curricular proposals and Senate Actions, presenting Curricular Proposal Process workshops, and working with a committee to make the curricular challenge packets accessible in Banner, eliminating thousands of hard copies each year. During her three-year term in Staff Senate, Sandy has enjoyed working on a variety of committees, working with others to help all staff members enjoy a better and more balanced work life. Recently she created and co-chairs the new Administrative Professional Forum Committee—a committee that plans and organizes regular forums on the Springfield campus where admins can hear the latest updates from the departments they work with, ask questions, and receive tips and information about the latest opportunities and processes. The first forum is planned for May 29th. Sandy appreciates that this committee has a home with Staff Senate, and looks forward to its future work and the benefits that hopefully many offices and departments will receive.

In her personal time, Sandy is a crafty blogger, a published playwright, and has appeared in many Springfield Little Theatre productions on the mainstage at the Landers Theatre during the last 20 years. Some of Sandy’s favorite roles include Truvy in Steel Magnolias, the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, and a royal wife in The King and I. Her husband and daughter have been active in theatre as well. Daughter Lauren is currently finishing up her freshman year here at Missouri State as a Mass Media/Digital Film major. Sandy is also a member of the Bear Spangled Singers—actually inventing that name on the fly, when the singers were standing on the field the first time, and the announcer asked what the group’s name was—the working title MSU Super Singers had never quite worked, and in a quick huddle everyone agreed, and in seconds, they were announced as the Bear Spangled Singers.

Sharon Lopinot Administrative Assistant III Greenwood Lab School

This is my 20th year working at the University. For the last 18 years I have worked at Greenwood Laboratory School. I served on Staff Senate years ago and was also the Chair for one year. I know change takes time. My group actually started the research and submitted a proposal for changing the vacation accrual policy. I am a good listener and would share information with and from staff in my job family. I know that all staff are an important part of the University.

Janelle Melton Administrative Assistant II Honor’s College

As I write this bio today, April 1, 2013, I am remembering that on this day 10 years ago, I began my employment here at (S)MSU in the Bursar’s Office. I was there for 2 years.

I then found a wonderful and newly created position in the Career Center for the next 4 ½ years as the Admin Asst. II to the Asst. Director of the Career Center as well as the Legislative Internship Director. I then left the Career Center because both of my bosses retired and my position there was no longer needed.

A brand new Admin Asst. II position opened up in the Honors College working with the then Asst. Director. I have been here in this wonderful position for 3 ½ years now and plan on staying here until I retire in December of 2016.

I am married to my college sweetheart for 7 years now and between the two of us we have 6 children and 7 grandchildren. My son is getting married this June in Belfast, Northern Ireland to an Irish lassie and that is the last one of the six to get married. We do anticipate more grandchildren in the next few years.

I am a Master Gardener, along with my husband, and am studying Horticulture here at MSU. We live in Marshfield and have 2 large raised bed gardens where we grow our own salsa makings. My husband cans up wonderful salsa and tomatoes and green beans. I am also a member of the Hawthorne chapter of the IAAP and have my CPS/CAP certification.

Karen Sikes Executive Assistant College of Arts and Letters

I am the Executive Assistant to the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. I have been in this position since January 2012, and was the Academic Administrative Assistant for the Department of Communication the previous 8 years I have been working at the university. I’m very interested in university staff matters, and would like to have a voice on Staff Senate. I feel like my presence on Staff Senate would be of value to the university and my colleagues.

Laurie Wilson Administrative Assistant II Agriculture Department

I moved to Springfield in December 2007 and I have been working at Missouri State University in the School of Agriculture since August 2011. I enjoy working on the MSU campus and interacting with the faculty, staff and students. I look at this as a great opportunity to get to know other staff members on campus. MSU is a great place to work and I want to do my part by serving as a representative for my peers.

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