Missouri State University

SOAR: Student Orientation, Advisement and Orientation

SOAR Leaders

SOAR leaders inform freshmen about Missouri State and campus life, they help students build their first semester’s schedule of classes, and they assist students with building long-term relationships with faculty, staff members and their peers.

SOAR team leaders

Our SOAR team leaders are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations and preparations of the program.

Katie Hash

Katie Hash

Bio coming soon

Kelley Gierer

Kelley Gierer

Bio coming soon

SOAR leaders

Nyunyu Adiang

Nyunyu Adiang

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Major: Sociology, Global Studies

Before SOAR, I wish I would have known... SOAR's first day is jam-packed with activities, so make sure to get enough sleep the night before. Also don't forget a sweater - the buildings can get cold, especially in contrast with the hot weather.

Cody Applegarth

Cody Applegarth

Hometown: Osawatomie, Kansas

Major: Marketing (Advertising & Promotion emphasis)

Before SOAR, I wish I would have known... Before attending SOAR, I wish I would have known how much it would help me my first semester. At first I thought it was just a bunch of unnecessary information, but what I learned at SOAR really helped me set a foundation to my college career. I really advise paying attention to the little details.

 

Thomas Baack

Thomas Baack

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Major: Communication (Health emphasis)

My best advice for new students is... Be open to new, diverse people because you're going to meet some you never thought you would. Don't limit yourself - trust me, everyone has SO much potential.

Kimmy Brake

Kimmy Brake

Hometown: Osage Beach, MO

Major: Anthropology

My best advice for new students... Go to office hours! When you have that one-on-one interaction with your professors and instructions, understanding their material and lectures becomes a lot easier, and you'll find that they're more than willing to help you. It's also a great way to start developing connections for recommendation letters!

Zane Clark

Zane Clark

Hometown: Cameron, MO

Major: Entrepreneurship; Socio-Political Communication

I'm proud to be a Bear because... Missouri State gives every student who comes to her campus a warm welcome and a fresh start. You can determine your own future here amongst people who will help you achieve whatever it is you set out to do.

Adam Coffman

Adam Coffman

Hometown: Lebanon, MO

Major: Political Science

I'm proud to be a Bear because... I am proud to be a Bear because as Bears we are all taught to be ethical leaders due to the public affairs mission that the University offers. I believe our generation will have a grand opportunity to rise up and make a better world for ourselves and our fellow man. In order to seize this opportunity we must be educated on how to be leaders.

Becca Cole

Becca Cole

Hometown: Swansea, IL

Major: Athletic Training

Before SOAR, I wish I would have known... I wish I had known that everyone would be as awkward and nervous as I was! Also, there's no need to worry because you are soon about to experience a great time in your life.

Brandon Dick

Brandon Dick

Hometown: Peculiar, MO

Major: Undeclared

Before SOAR, I wish I would have known... I wish I had known a little more of what direction I wanted to take my life before SOAR but thankfully my SOAR leaders were able to keep a lot of doors open for me. I would just tell students not to worry so much if they don't have much of an idea of what they eventually want to do with their life because the SOAR leaders are trained to make sure all of a student's needs are met.

Paige Dimmitt

Paige Dimmitt

Hometown: Shelbina, MO

Major: Elementary Education

I'm proud to be a Bear because... I am proud to be a Missouri State Bear because of the people and community on this campus. Everyone is always willing to help each other and people are always encouraging others to get involved. Not only do the students take an interest in each others' lives, but the faculty do, as well. Professors are always willing to help their students, and they really take the time to get to know us.

Mary Disney

Mary Disney

Hometown: Wentzville, MO

Major: Elementary Education

Before SOAR, I wish I would have known... Don't be "too cool for school". I came to my SOAR session with attitude, but when I saw everyone else having fun I ditched it pretty quickly. SOAR is what you make it - you can either have fun and meet a lot of people, or you can come with a bad attitude, make no friends and be miserable.

Brianna Duda

Brianna Duda

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Major: Political Science

My best advice for new students is... Stay on campus as much as possible. You'll miss out if you go home all the time! It helps you meet people, be independent, and succeed in school.

Bob Eberling

Bob Eberling

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Major: Public Relations

I'm proud to be a Bear because... I am proud to be a Missouri State Bear because this school has such an open environment. I love how easy it is to make new friends and how friendly everyone is on campus.

Miranda Elliston

Miranda Elliston

Hometown: Carl Junction, MO

Major: Psychology; Cell and Molecular Biology

Before SOAR, I wish I would have known... I wish I had known how much useful information I was going to hear in  such a short amount of time. I would have gotten more sleep the night before, for sure. Also, I didn't realize what a great opportunity SOAR was to make friends until it had already started. SOAR is such a good opportunity to make connections and start to become involved in the university.

Savannah Gomez

Savannah Gomez

Hometown: Rogersville, MO

Major: Undecided

My tweet to new students... Share your obsessions, even if you think it's "weird". I promise you'll make friends faster if you're passionate about something.

Josh Hammack

Josh Hammack

Hometown: Ballwin, MO

Major: Management

I'm proud to be a Bear because... This campus is such a "homey" campus. It is easy to find a place where you belong, and it really has an "everybody knows everybody" feel.

Allie Hammond

Allie Hammond

Hometown: St. Peters, MO

Major: English Secondary Education

My tweet to new students... Wake up early on the weekends for the waffle bar! #chocolatechipsplease #yumm

Reina Hill

Reina Hill

Hometown: Lee's Summit, MO

Major: Communication; Public Relations

I'm proud to be a Bear because... I am proud to be a Missouri State Bear because I truly believe there is no other college or university that works as hard as we do to get every single one of its students involved and make their college experience the best it can be.

Byron Himes

Byron Himes

Hometown: Billings, MO

Major: Computer Science; Spanish

My best advice for new students... My best piece of advice is to leave ten minutes earlier than you need to for everything. You'll be less stressed and feel more free to walk slower and take in the sights our beautiful campus has to offer on your way to classes!

Matt Hinken

Matt Hinken

Hometown: Blue Springs, MO

Major: Psychology

My best advice for new students is... Don't be "that guy" and tell everyone that you're a "sophomore... well, by credit hours". It's okay to be a freshman, and don't feel like you need to try and be something that you're not.

Mandisha Hocklander

Mandisha Hocklander

Hometown: Nixa, MO

Major: Elementary Education

I'm proud to be a Bear because... I absolutely love the tight-knit community here on campus. There's nothing like walking to class and seeing at least one person you know. It's wonderful knowing that the students and faculty here on campus are so welcoming and inviting. I also love our amazing athletic programs. It's so much fun to cheer on our teams!

Ashton Lafeber

Ashton Lafeber

Hometown: Saint Charles, MO

Major: Elementary Education

Before SOAR, I wish I would have known... I wish that I would have known that SOAR is about more than just getting your schedule. If I would have known this, I would have tried harder to make connections and get to know more people. My advice for students attending SOAR would be to interact with your group, be yourself, and go to night activities!! Night activities is a really chill environment where you can interact with new students and make some awesome first connections.

Chase Marable

Chase Marable

Hometown: Nashville, TN

Major: Political Science

Before SOAR, I wish I would have known... I thought it would be like high school orientation - you visit the teachers and find out where your classes are going to be. It's so much more! SOAR opens your eyes what college is really like. SOAR helps you experience college, and it prepares you for a normal day at Missouri State.

Rachel Margolies

Rachel Margolies

Hometown: Aberdeen, SD

Major: Communication (Interpersonal Communication emphasis)

I'm proud to be a Bear because... Our campus has a true dedication for Public Affairs. I personally have a passion for learning about other people and cultures, accepting all people as valuable to society, and lending a helping hand when needed. Missouri State gives me the opportunities to explore all those passions and is always encouraging others to do the same. That is why I am always proud to call myself a Bear.

Amellia Martin

Amellia Martin

Hometown: Branson, MO

Major: Digital Film Production

My best advice for new students is... Don't be scared to admit that you need help. College classes are WAY tougher than high school classes, and it's okay to feel stressed. It's NOT okay to continue to feel that way, though - ask for the help you need to be successful, whether it's from your advisor, your professor, a tutor or another person on campus. You can do it!

Taylor Moody

Taylor Moody

Hometown: Holcomb, MO

Major: Entertainment Management

My best advice for new students is... Stay true to yourself. It is easy to get caught up in everything that college offers, but you will go far if you be yourself and go after what you want to accomplish!

Kristi Patrickus

Kristi Patrickus

Hometown: Camdenton, MO

Major: Music Education

I'm proud to be a Bear because... I'm proud to be a Missouri State Bear because this university has given me so many opportunities to become a student leader. I love this university and I am very proud to give back to it through student leadership.

Jess Ratliff

Jess Ratliff

Hometown: Naylor, MO

Major: Animal Science

My best advice for new students is... Get organized, and find a way to keep track of stuff! There's a lot going on in college, and it's easy to forget something important. I always write due dates and appointments down in my planner. Keeping organized will saved you from a lot of stress!

Addison Reed

Addison Reed

Hometown: Columbia, MO

Major: Marketing (Advertising & Promotion emphasis)

Before SOAR, I wish I would have known... I should have been more involved in the evening activities at SOAR, because they are seriously a blast. Make an effort to have fun and get to know the other people in your group. You'll have a great experience with the positive attitude.

Chase Reeter

Chase Reeter

Hometown: Chilicothe, MO

Major: Finance; Management (Administrative Management emphasis)

My best advice for new students is... Follow your heart. College is the first time where most people are exposed to complete independence. Independence can be a great thing, but it comes with a price. So many options and choices will become available, and you are going to have to do what you think is best. Do not let anyone pressure you into doing something you want to do; just do it.

Shannon Reid

Shannon Reid

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Major: Socio-Political Communication

I'm proud to be a Bear because... Being a Missouri State Bear gives you an opportunity for adventure and exploration. There is so much to do on campus and around Springfield that you will never be bored! I am proud to say that I am a member of a university with a diverse group of incredibly interesting people.

Zach Riel

Zach Riel

Hometown: Garden City, MO

Major: Communication (Ethical Leadership emphasis)

My tweet to new students... I hope you're ready for the time of your life, because once you get here, you're never gonna want to leave! #BearsForever #FollowYourPassion

 

Justin Roberts

Justin Roberts

Hometown: Frisco, TX

Major: Undeclared

My best advice for new students is... Stay on top of things and be proactive. Don't slack off and get behind, because it'll only make things worse. It may be your first time away from your home and family, and it'll just be an adjustment to not having anyone keeping a close eye on you. Keep a planner or schedule to know what you have coming up and know when assignments are due.

Brandon Simpson

Brandon Simpson

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Major: Acting

My tweet to new students... I can't wait to meet those new Bears and show them how Missouri State does it! #gobears

Samantha Shadid

Samantha Shadid

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Major: Computer Information Systems

I'm proud to be a Bear because... Missouri State isn't just a school to me, it's my second home. MSU has helped me figure out what I want to do with my life. While being here, I have made connections with some of the best people I will ever meet. Everyone at MSU is rooting for you to succeed and having the support that this school has provided for me is something I will be forever grateful for.

Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith

Hometown: Windsor, MO

Major: Agriculture Education

My best advice for new students is... Come into college with an open mind - when you do, your eyes are opened to what the world has to offer for you and you'll learn things about yourself you haven't realized before. In classes, be willing to learn and change your way of thinking as new options and ideas are presented to you.

Savanna Stanley

Savanna Stanley

Hometown: Ojai, CA

Major: General Agriculture (Agricultural Communications emphasis)

I'm proud to be a Bear because...
I am carrying on the tradition of my grandmother. She always talks about her love for this university and her amazing memories and friends she made while attending. I am so proud to be enjoying myself as much or even more than she did. Missouri State is now home to me, and I love every part of the campus life.

Tai Thrasher

Tai Thrasher

Hometown: Lamar, MO

Major: Public Relations

My tweet to new students... If you don't like drinking coffee or taking naps, don't worry. You will soon have a change of heart.

Brett Turner

Brett Turner

Hometown: Fenton, MO

Major: Undeclared

Before SOAR, I wish I would have known... I wish I had known that you you can visit the Foster Recreation Center during SOAR. It has an incredible pool. If you're attending SOAR, bring a swimsuit and prepare for a fun night of cannon balls and zip-lining.

Kristine Walkingstick

Kristine Walkingstick

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Major: Exercise and Movement Science (Pre-professional emphasis)

Before SOAR, I wish I would have known...
Before coming to SOAR I wish I would have known that it was okay to be outgoing and weird. I was still the quiet person and while being the quiet person is great, during SOAR, come alive and be goofy. It will make your SOAR experience that much better!

Brad White

Brad White

Hometown: Joplin, MO

Major: Public Relations

I'm proud to be a Bear because... I am proud to be a Missouri State Bear because I get this small school feeling at a large D-1 school. You get all the benefits of a large school like lots of organizations, sports programs, and great campus amenities. But you also get the benefits of a small school. Classes aren't large; I get the attention I need from my professors, and I always see familiar faces around campus.

Miranda Wickam

Miranda Wickam

Hometown: St. Joseph, MO

Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders

I'm proud to be a Bear because...
Missouri State is a very welcoming, friendly campus. I've felt comfortable here from the moment I stepped on campus. We have great faculty, administrators and students. We have so many opportunities to succeed and everyone here makes sure that success is the result.

Laura Wolf

Laura Wolf

Hometown: Tipton, MO

Major: General Agriculture

My best advice for new students is...
Make friends with students in your degree program and in leadership positions you admire. You can learn a lot from their perspective and experience, and odds are it would mean the world to them to have you ask about their experience as an MSU Bear.

Cassidy Wrap

Cassidy Wrap

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Major: Administrative Management

My best advice for new students is...
Push yourself outside your comfort zone! This helped me find my best friends and have my favorite memories. Don't be afraid to knock on your neighbor's door or attend a different club. Everyone was once in your shoes. People are totally understanding and welcoming!