A Letter from Associate Provost Keri Franklin
If I could replay my first year of college, I would change some things. I would step up and out. I would ignore whatever fears or judgments I had, and I would try new things. The thing that I understand now is that, at a university, the faculty and staff set the stage for your experience, but the path you take and the challenges you accept are up to you. I have never regretted doing/trying something hard even when, at the time, it feels impossible. Try something new, even if it scares you. There are, what may be invisible now to you, supports all over campus to catch you and help you up when you try new things.
Universities talk a lot about engagement, but at Missouri State, we are the home for public affairs in the state of Missouri since 1995. Yes, I said state. No one else has this. What it means for you is that courses in general education and in your major connect with public affairs. You’ll have opportunities to connect your learning to solve community problems through service-learning. You'll see how public affairs fits into whatever major you choose because we have courses in general education and in your major that help you connect that learning. You’ll learn leadership through your courses and the activities you choose. You’ll increase your awareness and respect for cultures other than your own. Each experience and course that you take will move you toward your future professional life and your role as, what we hope you become, an active citizen. An active citizen solves problems through leadership and engagement with communities. An active citizen understands and respects the beliefs of others. There is a thread through all your coursework here that connects public affairs.
In addition to courses and activities on campus, there are events each year like the Public Affairs Conference. At Missouri State, we have an annual Public Affairs Theme. For 2021-2022, the theme is Bridging the Divide. We ask questions and invite people with all kinds of expertise to campus to discuss. This year, Dr. Beth Walker, an associate professor in Agriculture, whose expertise is in ... will lead this work. So, we hope to see you in September. Each of your departments and colleges has readings and speakers from across the country. Make a goal to attend at least two events per semester. This is your invitation to become a citizen scholar at Missouri State. I’m so glad you are here.
Keri Franklin, PhD
Associate Provost of Public Affairs & Assessment