Community engagement serves as a key pillar of Missouri State University’s Public Affairs mission.
He recently received the 2022 Faculty Excellence in Community Engagement Award as recognition for his quality service efforts.
Leading support of community service
The Adopt-A-Stream program fosters cleanup of area streams. Pierson has led the program’s cleanup efforts at Jordan Creek since 2013. He “adopted” the stream in 2017 and initiated three cleanups of the stream per year.
To date, 20 cleanup events have occurred at Jordan Creek. The efforts have resulted in 1,800 bags of trash removed by more than 400 local affiliates as participants.
This includes the following participants:
- The cooperative engineering program at MSU and Missouri University of Science and Technology.
- MSU’s Ozarks Environmental and Water Resources Institute.
- Watershed Committee of the Ozarks.
- City of Springfield.
- TREKK Design Group, LLC.
- Anderson Engineering.
- MSU Living-Learning Communities.
- MSU Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society.
- Local residents.
“It’s nice to know so many others in the community value these activities as much as I do,” Pierson said.
Discover Engineering Day
Discover Engineering Day is a free, community-wide outreach event. The event brings knowledge of engineering to students enrolled in kindergarten through 6th grade.
Pierson began hosting the event’s “Edible Concrete” activity in 2012.
He then took over organizing the full event in 2014 and moved the activities to the MSU engineering facilities.
Since that time, the event has grown to engage more than 200 students annually.
Pierson has coordinated 175 activities to date hosted by engineering students and professionals within the field.
“It’s important to continue with both of these programs,” Pierson said. “They each address different types of needs in our community in fun and unique ways.”
About the award
The Faculty Excellence in Community Engagement Award is awarded annually to up to two MSU faculty members.
The award serves to recognize excellence in community volunteer work with organizations, including those that lead charitable, nonprofit or religious efforts.
Recipients of the award receive a $1,500 honorarium.
“I’m thankful for MSU’s public affairs mission, as it highlights the need for us all to engage with our community,” Pierson said. “I would like to use the recognition to thank the volunteers who have helped me support this mission and to raise awareness of the important issues we address.”