Kristen Stout chose Missouri State because of its excellent debate program, but the faculty and the opportunities offered through the department of communication solidified her decision.
“I chose Missouri State because of debate,” said Stout. “I met one of the coaches, Dr. Eric Morris, at a summer camp for debaters, and he encouraged me to look at the University. Once I came on my school visit, I saw the campus, the team and the academic depth of the department and was totally hooked!”
By pursuing a degree in social-political communication, Stout blends her love of politics with her skills in debate and interest in people. She applies the communication and presentation skills she learns in the classroom to help her win debate rounds. The debate experiences, then, allow her to further sharpen her public speaking and argumentation skills.
“I enjoy being able to travel the country and engage in intellectual discussion with other students about the topics that we debate every year,” said Stout. “I think engaging in some form of public speaking activity is really important because every career, no matter what it is, requires the ability to speak in front of other people.”
In addition to debate, Stout finds it easy to get involved in the department of communication. The faculty members in the department of communication are supportive of her debate and academic career and always willing to answer any questions. Through a communication course, Stout made a connection with a health agency, which offered her a summer internship. Furthermore, the department’s annual COM Week connects students to professionals in the field, many of which are alumni of the department.
“The experiences the communication department provides for its students give them a big leg up over other institutions because we leave with not only a degree but also essential contacts with the business world,” said Stout.
When Stout completes her degree at Missouri State, she will not only receive an undergraduate degree in socio-political communication but a Master of Arts in Communication as well. Through the accelerated master’s program, Stout eases her transition into graduate school by taking some courses for both undergraduate and graduate credit. She plans to be ready for the next political cycle as she follows her passion for political communication and campaigns.