2016-2017 Citizen Scholars

Living the Public Affairs Mission

The six students selected for the 2016-2017 Citizen Scholar Award were chosen based upon their dedication to the Public Affairs Mission of the university through coursework, activities, and service-learning opportunities.

2016-2017 Citizen Scholars

The 2016-2017 recipients are:

Jaggar Deeds 

Jaggar attended high school in Republic, Missouri and is concurrently working towards a Bachelor of Science in Finance & Financial planning and a Master of Science in Health Promotion & Wellness Management. Following graduation in May 2017, he plans to pursue an M.B.A. degree at Missouri State University. In explaining why she nominated Jaggar, Kim Stagner, Academic Advisor for the College of Business Graduate Programs, wrote, “One attribute that is often overlooked but is extremely important when it comes to the Public Affairs Mission and fulfilling the role of Citizen Scholar is humility. This outshines all other traits when it comes to Jaggar because he is always thinking of others before himself. His name sums up his outlook on life. He knows the importance of doing good “deeds” for others.” 

Kimberleigh Eng

Kim is a graduate student from Woodbridge, Virginia. She received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing degree from Missouri State University before being accepted into the accelerated Masters of Business Administration program, with a special certification in Marketing. Kim plans on working for a global advertising agency for a few years then becoming a brand manager for a larger corporation. Her nominator, Dr. Ronald Coulter, professor and Marketing Department Head, expressed that, “Kim Eng has certainly made the ‘Community Engagement’, ‘Ethical Leadership,’ and ‘Cultural Competence’ pillars of the MSU Mission Statement come alive to both the students and the faculty she works with at Missouri State University, as well as the local people she helps in the greater Springfield Community in which she lives.” 

Caroline Finnell 

Caroline is a junior from Chesterfield, Missouri. She is majoring in Dietetics. Post-graduation, she hopes to be matched for a Dietetic internship, then take the RD exam to become a Registered Dietitian. She is not sure which specific path she wants to pursue after becoming an RD, but she knows that she wants to help people. Caroline’s nominator, Daniel Raines, the Director of Academic and Student Services-Athletics, expanded on this idea by saying, “To me, the most impressive thing about Caroline is that she cares so much about helping the people around her and making the world a better place. Where many students seem to get involved so that they can add lines on a resume, it’s always been very clear that Caroline is simply looking for ways to help those that need it.” 

Alexis (Ali) Jemes

Ali is a senior from Independence, Missouri. She is majoring in Religious Studies and will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Following graduation, Ali plans to take a year off from school in order to gain work experience in the non-for-profit field, before pursuing a Master’s degree in that same field. Her passion for children and students provides many exciting options for her future career. Dr. Stephen Berkwitz, the head of the Religious Studies department nominated Ali because, “her long list of extra-curricular and volunteer activities demonstrates her concern for public service and her willingness to assume leadership roles to make a difference with the groups in which she is involved. She possesses a seemingly tireless dedication to act on behalf of the wellbeing of others.”

Michelle Pellegrino

Michelle, is a senior, from Saint Peters, Missouri, majoring in Economics, Mathematics, and Modern Language. The next step in her career is to pursue a PhD in economics, but she also looks forward to her plans of walking across northern Spain. Her nominator, Dr. Mahua Mitra, a professor of Economics, expressed, “It is extremely rare to come across a student who has Michelle’s intellect coupled with her humility and a passion to make our community a better place. Furthermore, given that women are truly a minority in mathematics and somewhat in economics, Michelle is a role model who can inspire many women to follow her path.” 

Victoria (Tori) York 

Tori grew up in Highlandville, Missouri and attended Spokane High School. She is majoring in English Education, which she hopes will allow her to teach at a nearby high school. She also plans on pursuing a Master’s Degree following graduation. In explaining why he nominated her, Dr. Gary Phillips, a professor of Communications at the West Plains campus, stated, “The thread that I see and hear the most with Tori is her desire to interact with others, whether the next generation of students, or youth at her church, or students from and in other cultures. As seen in her GPA and work choices, she has a readiness to learn in the classroom. Beyond that, she has a desire to learn and experience outside of the classroom which has a carried from this campus to the Springfield campus.”