2020 DOSA Awards

On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, the Division of Student Affairs held its annual and first virtual All-Staff Meeting. This meeting allowed divisional staff members the opportunity learn about the new initiatives occurring within the division, and celebrate the success of peers. A signature event at the meeting was the announcing of the 11th Annual DOSA Awards. These unique awards recognize students and staff from within the Division of Student Affairs for exemplary performance during the previous academic year.

Promotion of Public Affairs Award

This award is presented to an individual or team for promoting an appreciation, understanding, or celebration of the Public Affairs Mission through delivery of a program and/or through personal actions focused on the three pillars that created a positive impact on our campus.

This year’s winner is the Campus Recreation Unified League. Team members included: Ashleigh Lewellen, Lauren Easter, Galen Martin, James Lowery, Mary Kay Frey, Konya Knackstedt, Teresa Brandenburg, Julie Krisch, and Austin Money. The FRC has a strong history of excellent programming but a shift in focus was needed to meet the ongoing needs and interest of the Missouri State community. By joining forces with Special Olympics, they developed a new “Unified” division of recreational sports. Quoted from the nominator: “After one season of basketball the feedback was incredible. Members from organizations started to attend games as spectators. The athletes displayed the highest level of sportsmanship and the officials actually enjoyed being yelled at. The goal is to continue growing this program so that Missouri State students have multiple opportunities to improve cultural competence, ethical leadership, and community engagement all through the lens of sport and competition… Missouri State Campus Recreation is the first school in the state to adopt this programming model.”

Innovation by a Team

This award recognizes the combined cooperative efforts of a team to develop and/or deliver an innovative response to student needs.

This year’s winner is the Office of Admissions. Staff include Teresa Haney, Matt Magruder, Ben Metzger, Bart Tibbs, Sean Kliethermes, Kristin Roop, Alicia Saitta, Kirstie Hunter, Sam Schrum, Emma Torno, Courtney McCormick, Tai McCoy, Jim Welch, Amy Keene, Michelle McDonald, Megan Barnette, Meagan Campbell-Hicks, Lori Day, Julie Spinabella, and Marsha Hope. The Office of Admissions was on the front line of changes that needed to be implemented due to COVID‑19. They took fast action and were able to institute many programming and policy changes. They hosted live Q&A YouTube events and virtual visits twice weekly via Zoom, they minimized admission barriers by finalizing our ACT/SAT test optional admission and superscore policies, assisted in creating our YouCanBook.Me virtual appointment site, and recorded various versions of our admission presentations and information sessions to post to our YouTube site.

The nominator stated: “I know that COVID‑19 made most of us innovators by necessity, but I truly believe that our Admissions leadership and staff members went above and beyond this recruitment year to innovate in the interest of serving students, guiding them to attend Missouri State, and ultimately helping them feel confident that they had made the right choice.” Congratulations Admissions!

Outstanding New Program or Initiative

The Outstanding New Program or Initiative Award recognizes a new program to meet specific outcome(s) in accordance with our Public Affairs Mission.

This year the award goes to Dr. Muegge and the Magers Team. The Magers Health and Wellness Center staff are an incredible team of medical professionals. Missouri State University is very fortunate to have such quality health care for our campus community of faculty, staff, students and dependents. While many of us were able to move our work environment home for several months this past spring/summer, Magers remained open and actively serving the MSU community throughout the COVID‑19 pandemic. They provided an important resource for testing and healthcare.

As we all know, Magers Health and Wellness Center is the medical home for the MSU community… all the time, not just during a global pandemic. But, even now, during a global pandemic, Dr. Muegge and his medical team are working tireless to provide healthcare and establish policies and procedures working in conjunction with Greene County Health Dept and the MSU Crisis Team. Thank you Magers Team!

Student Affairs Bridge Builder

Our next DOSA Award is for the Student Affairs Bridge Builder. This award is given by the Bridge Building committee to someone who has demonstrated support for the division of SA through collaboration in the development of programs or services. We certainly appreciate all of you and the relationship we are cultivating with each other. The nominees were:

  • Dr. Tracey Glaessgen-is the Associate Director for the Center for Academic Success and Transition. She sits on our Student Affairs Council. Teaches GEP 101 and has been recognized as an NACADA Outstanding Advisor
  • Dr. Lyle Foster - is an Assistant Professor in the Sociology and Anthropology department. He has facilitated numerous Tough Talks, and was named one of the 12 People you need to know in 2019 by the Springfield Business Journal and recognized as one of the 100 most powerful and influential business leaders in 417-land by Biz417 Magazine.
  • Suzanne Mwengi- is the Academic Administrative Assistant in the Center for Academic Success and Transition. She was very involved in making SOAR a success.

This year’s Bridge Builder award goes to Dr. Lyle Foster. His nominator said it well: “Dr. Foster is a champion for student success both inside and outside of the classroom and has a demonstrated track record of support and collaboration with those in the Division of Student Affairs. … Dr. Foster is observant and addresses the needs of our community, especially those who need to be heard the most and have their voices amplified. Dr. Foster holds hope and brings that hope to us throughout his initiatives. These events are things we all point to within the Division of Student Affairs to encourage our students and staff members attend. He is making a tremendous positive impact and is truly building bridges between us.”

Outstanding Advocate Award

The next award goes to the Outstanding Advocate for Social Justice and Inclusion award. This award is given to the staff member who actively seeks opportunities to increase knowledge of social justice and inclusion and incorporates this knowledge into their practice, brings awareness and/or takes action to remove barriers to social justice and inclusion within and/or outside of MSU.

This year Dr. Rabekah Stewart is awarded this designation. Her nominator stated: “She demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to her university community as well as the community outside the University. Dr. Stewart would like to see opportunities and support change initiatives for all students, but her heart is in the under-served student population…Dr. Stewart also fosters success with her students continually encouraging them to strive for a better tomorrow. Her favorite quote is ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.’”

Outstanding Graduate Assistant

This award recognizes a graduate assistant who has completed at least one semester of graduate work and demonstrated superior job performance. As always, we have many wonderful graduate assistants.

The award goes to…Shelby Philbrook. Shelby is a graduate student pursuing an MBA and is serving as a graduate assistant in the Foster Rec Center. Her nominator noted “During the spring semester, when most GA’s went home due to the pandemic, Shelby remained close to campus and was an important part in helping get the word out about our facility closure and made sure the signs were made and posted. In addition, we had just hired Shelby’s replacement and she continued to work through the semester, to train our incoming GA.”

Outstanding New Staff Member

The Outstanding New Staff Member Award is presented to an exempt or non-exempt staff member employed within the Division of Student Affairs for less than three years who has demonstrated superior job performance.

This year we have two nominations who rose to the top. The first recipient is Dr. Jeri Arnold-Cook. Dr. Arnold-Cook is a Career Resources Specialist in the Career Center. Her nominator stated “ Jerri is an excellent communicator and presenter, and she always takes the initiative to improve the services we provide to our students. She has built strong relationships with faculty, staff, and students in both colleges she works with, and she has taken great strides in working with our Fraternity and Sorority life offices to better serve that population in a more cohesive, intentional manner.

The 2nd recipient is Dr. Carole Douglas. Carole is the Asst. Director of Residence Life in charge of Education and Development. The person who nominated Dr. Douglas stated “This past year has been full of trying times for everybody across the University and when we think of our individual departments across campus, there are likely specific people that have been impacted more by the changes due to COVID-19 and having to shut down the campus early. For those of us in Residence Life, the first person that came to mind was Carole Douglas… After a lot of thinking, we were able to pinpoint a laundry list of large projects that Carole jumped into and coordinated without hesitation. Please keep in mind that these are all out of the scope of her typical job responsibilities: COVID‑19 Move-Out, COVID‑19-related changes, Residence Life Staff Training, Coordination of external processes and Coordination of internal processes”. Dr. Douglas also spearheaded the Residence Hall move-in process this fall and it went extremely smooth. Thank you Carole.

Outstanding Non-exempt Staff Member Award

The Outstanding Non-Exempt Staff Member Award recognizes a non-exempt staff member employed within the Division of Student Affairs for three or more years who has demonstrated superior job performance above and beyond expectations.

Anna Simmons is our award winner. Anna is an Administrative Assistant in Residence Life. Her nominator stated: “Anna Simmons is a friendly and inviting voice that answers the phones with an upbeat attitude and a positive smiling face that greets guests in the Facilities Office…Within the last year, our office has had some extreme position changes and Anna has stepped up to the plate to assist in these missing roles by attending meetings, helping our students, advocating for them, and improving her leadership.”

Outstanding Exempt Staff

The Outstanding Exempt Staff Member Award recognizes an exempt staff member employed within the Division of Student Affairs for three or more years who has demonstrated superior job performance above and beyond expectations.

This year’s winner is Rob Moore, known as EXTRA ROB. Rob is the Director of Financial Aid and one of his nominator wrote: “Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began to disrupt student life in March, the US Department of Education issued guidance to help financial aid personnel react. The guidance seemed to have no end to it, and previous directives were continually updated. Widespread frustration showed across the entire financial aid profession, but Mr. Moore took each piece of guidance as it came and carefully sought to understand it… Delegating is one thing, but Mr. Moore is the first pair of boots on the ground when the time comes to make change happen, and the last to leave the field when the job is done. He himself reviewed emergency funding applications alongside his colleagues, and he was among the first to welcome students to our office when on-campus SOAR began. I can’t say for certain but I don’t think that Rob took a single day for himself or his family this summer.”

Outstanding Friend of Student Affairs

This award is given each year to a faculty or staff member outside of Student Affairs who works diligently with us on a project, program or initiative.

In this case, this year’s recipient has worked campus-wide on new policies and procedures related to COVID‑19. This year’s Outstanding Friend of Student Affairs is David Hall, Director of University Safety and the person leading the COVID‑19 response and coordination. Thank you David for all of the hard work, long hours, and complex issues you have been working with us on. We appreciate you!

Let’s give all of our recipients a big virtual round of applause. Congratulations everyone!