The Citizen Bear public affairs mission at Missouri State University is more than talk. Faculty, staff and students live it every day.
The Board of Governors recently awarded its Faculty and Staff Excellence in Public Affairs award to six Missouri State employees. Each recipient established a track record and demonstrated distinctive work and accomplishments in support of the university’s public affairs mission.
Each winner receives a $1,500 grant to be used for travel and/or projects related to their public affairs activities.
Staff Excellence in Public Affairs winners
As director of community involvement and service, Alex Johnson creates diverse learning experiences for students, faculty and staff. He fosters opportunities for active citizenship, leadership and community-building.
He challenges students to understand the complexities of social issues and how they can create change on a local, national and global scale.
These experiences help students and the community learn and appreciate different cultures. Liu serves the campus as a cultural consultant and a communication liaison. She also helps Chinese students cross cultural barriers and accomplish their academic and cultural exchange goals.
As director of international services, Patrick Parnell is responsible for admitting and supporting international students. He is dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive campus environment and provides personal guidance, advice and resources to students.
He is an advocate for tolerance and acceptance of cultural differences and is a valuable ambassador to local and global communities.
Faculty Excellence in Public Affairs winners
Dr. Cathie English
Dr. Cathie English is an assistant professor of English and co-director of the Ozarks Writing Project. The cornerstone of her work is to infuse community engagement into all levels of classroom learning.
Through innovation and creative programming, she affects community literacy and social justice issues in public and higher education classrooms.
Paula Rector, a senior instructor in the criminology department, lives the public affairs mission as an advocate and educator on domestic violence issues. Her expertise in gender-based and family violence has led to innovative course development, increased student engagement, boosted community resources and improved policy development.
Through student volunteerism and service-learning, students leave her classes empowered to make changes in their own lives and in their communities.
Dr. Adena Young-Jones
The public affairs pillars are Dr. Adena Young-Jones’ guideposts in teaching, advising, research and service. An associate professor in the psychology department, her passion for inclusion opens new opportunities for students to understand multiple perspectives, confront stereotypes and implement meaningful change.
Her work impacts the community through junior high school diversity trainings and various research projects. Young-Jones creates a better and safer environment to celebrate diversity, unite communities and encourage critical thinking.