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.

  • Tyler Adams
    Hometown: Mokane, MO
    Major: Finance

    Be prepared to have an open mind. You will learn about a lot of different people, and even more about a University that will quickly become your second home.

  • Jessica Armstrong 
    Hometown: Indepedence, MO
    Major: Human Resources Management

    Don't be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes older students can forget that incoming freshman don't know certain things. If you are struggling with a class, a roommate, getting involved, etc., reach out! There are many people who are willing to help.

  • Zak Baldwin
    Hometown: Springfield, MO
    Major: Physical Education
    Major: Electronic Arts/Video Studies

    My favorite secret about Missouri State is the garden behind Club Meyer. It's my favorite place to escape school life and one of the few spots no one knows about.

  • Lauren Barrett
    Hometown: Strafford, MO
    Major: Chemistry/Biochemistry

    My favorite thing about being a student at Missouri State is knowing that I am never alone. The students and faculty are so diverse and understanding. No matter what I need help with, someone will be there to guide me in the right direction and offer support. Being a student here has given me the opportunity to meet new people from all around the United States and the world!

  • Kaley Brandt
    Hometown: Owensville, MO
    Major: Psychology
    Minor: Communication

    Since starting college, I've gotten a lot better at getting to know new people! MSU contributed by surrounding me with people I didn't know and making it easy to meet them.

  • Pierce Bryant

    Pierce Bryant
    Hometown: St. Louis, MO
    Major: Computer Information Systems

    I chose my major because I love technology and the advancements that is contributes to everyday life. I felt that I wanted to learn more about how things work and learn all the back end things of how they were originally created. 

  • Stephanie Bube

    Stephanie Bube
    Hometown: Valley Park, MO
    Major: Mathematics Education

    I have found that the library has been the most useful to me on campus. There are so many resources and people to help you find what you need. Not to mention, I get my best studying done there!

  • Darryl Burkes

    Darryl Burkes
    Hometown: St. Louis, MO
    Major: Hospitality and Restaurant Administration

    My favorite thing about being at Missouri State is the amount of resources provided to us to help us feel at home and reach success. Everyone here is rooting for you to succeed, from your R.A., to the tutors down at the Bear CLAW, your professors and all your friends!

  • Matt Campbell

    Matt Campbell
    Hometown: Clarkton, MO
    Major: Professional Writing
    Minor: Philosophy

    My favorite thing about being a student here is seeing my Professors every day. On top of being incredibly intelligent about their own areas of academia, Professors offer some of the best life advice and are so friendly that even if you don't like the class, you can still find joy in getting to be around these amazing people. I've never had a Professor that didn't make student success their top priority inside and outside the classroom.

  • Mitchell Canada

    Mitchell Canada
    Hometown: O'Fallon, MO
    Major: Biology
    Minor: Chemistry

    I think that Missouri State has an amazing staff team. I think that the advisors and professors are amazing and have helped me not only academically, but also in creating an environment in which I am comfortable.

  • Sierra Chitwood

    Sierra Chitwood 
    Hometown: Hollister, MO
    Major: Child and Family Development/Child Development

    I have become much more confident since starting college. In part this is because I have more experience making decisions and being on my own, which has increased my confidence in my abilities. I also have more self-esteem because I have realized that not everything I do has to be perfect, and that whether or not I'm happy comes first. MSU has helped me change by offering so many different options and opportunities for choice, while still providing services and benefits that I can come to when I get stuck.

  • Lily Cozad

    Lily Cozad
    Hometown: Kearney, MO
    Major: Public Relations 

    We are an inclusive campus that makes everyone feel welcome and at home. Our faculty is encouraging and wants to see you suceed during your time at Missouri State University. 

  • Josh Crotty

    Josh Crotty
    Hometown: St. Joseph, MO
    Major: Journalism 

    Since I first arrived at Missouri State, I've become more comfortable with who I am as a person. Missouri State challenges its students to disregard and defy stereotypes, which allowed me to find myself and be more accepting of others.

  • Cassidy Cunningham

    Cassidy Cunningham
    Hometown: Rogersville, MO
    Major: Psychology
    Major: Modern/Second Language

    Try and soak in every bit of your SOAR session. Don't be afraid to ask questions. College can be scary and it is okay to not be sure about things. Also talk to everyone you can, and do everything you can. You never know, your roommate at SOAR might end up being your best friend in college.

  • Sarah Disney

    Sarah Disney
    Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
    Major: Theatre

    From the start, establish a good relationship with your teachers. If you are active in class and participate they will be more willing to help you out if ever needed.

  • Chase Dobler

    Chase Dobler
    Hometown: Airdrie, Alberta, Canada
    Major: Socio-Political Communication

    University has helped me mature in a big way. Growing as a player and as a student, MSU allowed me to excel in so many aspects because of the help from the faculty members and my fellow students. The one piece of advice I would give students is to make sure they stay focused on their grades. It is a lot harder to get your GPA back up after you have a bad semester. Not saying they shouldn't have fun but staying focused is key to success at MSU.

  • Kolby Eller

    Kolby Eller 
    Hometown: Springfield, MO
    Major: Socio-Political Communication
    Minor: International Relations

    I have become a more professional and competent individual since enrollling at Missouri State. MSU has contributed to this change because of the professional opportunities and leadership experiences I have participated in since attending this university.

  • Richard Garcia

    Richard Garcia
    Hometown: Marshall, MO
    Major: Marketing Management

    My favorite thing about being at Missouri State is the amount of resources provided to us to help us feel at home and to reach success. Everyone here is rooting for you to succeed, from your RA, the tutors down at the Bear CLAW, your professors, and all your friends!

  • Macy Hankel

    Macy Hankel
    Hometown: Rogersville, MO
    Major: Middle School Education/Language Arts and Social Sciences
    Minor: Diversity Studies

    The Bear Line routes and buses can be tracked with the MSU Mobile app! It's a great tool to make sure you will get to class on time while saving the walk across campus!

  • Logan Harrod

    Logan Harrod
    Hometown: Buckingham, IL
    Major: Communication/Health Communication
    Minor: Biomedical Studies

    On my tour, people were screaming BEAR UP or simply saying hello to me. At any other university, I never received that treatment. After accepting that the decision was my own and that I would have fun wherever I went, Missouri State was my choice and not once have I regretted that. This campus is unlike any other institution, and gives an individual experience to anyone and everyone.

  • Allison Heimsath

    Allison Heimsath
    Hometown: Imperial, MO
    Major: Hospitality and Restaurant Administration/Lodging
    Minor: Spanish

    Make as many friends as you can and say hi to everyone because they are all just as nervous as you. I made some of my best friends at SOAR, don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.

  • Tyler Janssen

    Tyler Janssen
    Hometown: Nokomis, IL
    Major: Undecided/Undeclared

    I definitely changed a lot in college. When I came here, I was somewhat quiet and reserved and was always trying to hard to fit in so I wouldn't face judgement. But through the people I've met here, I've become more involved and outgoing.

  • Ciara Jungermann

    Clara Jungermann
    Hometown: Moscow Mills, MO
    Major: General Agriculture/Agricultural Communications
    Minor: International Relations

    To parents: Its ok if your student struggles, college is a time to learn how to over come obstacles. There will be times when your student still needs your guidance, but some problems they will have to overcome themselves.

  • Kelsey Kraatz

    Kelsey Kraatz
    Hometown: Independence, MO
    Major: Mathematics/Statistics
    Minor: Political Science

    I've changed by gaining knowledge in cultural competence. With Cultural Competence being one of MSU's three pillars in the Public Affairs Mission, MSU gave me courses, professors, and faculty that live out the Public Affairs Mission everyday.

  • Devin Mart

    Devin Mart
    Hometown: Lee's Summit, MO
    Major: Chemistry/Biochemistry
    Minor: Biology

    Originally, I attended Missouri State because financially it was the best choice for me. The people I met and the welcoming community that Missouri State offers is what made me stay.

  • Trevor Martin

    Trevor Martin
    Hometown: Lee's Summit, MO
    Major: History
    Minor: Political Science

    The Career Center has helped me extremely with deciding the career and education path I want to take.  I am not great at being decisive, and the career center helped me make hard decisions about my future.

  • Jessen Miller

    Jessen Miller
    Hometown: Edina, MO
    Major: Mathematics
    Minor: General Business

    I absolutely love the opportunities that Missouri State offers students to get involved and make a difference on our campus. Our administration and staff are always willing to meet with students to discuss current situations and future growth ideas.

  • Kien Nguyen

    Kien Nguyen
    Hometown: Hanoi, Vietnam
    Major: English/Literature

    Missouri State had welcomed me and gave me the encouragement I need when I first came to America. The people, the environment and the connection available on campus allows me to fully understand both my personal strength and the drawbacks that I can work on.

  • Thomas Orr

    Thomas Orr
    Hometown: Chesterfield, MO

    Keep an open mind, when I attended SOAR i had a close minded approach that really limited my ability to enjoy all parts of the transition and with a more open approach you will see that SOAR is fun and a great opportunity to start building friendships.

  • Zoe Pixler

    Zoë Pixler
    Hometown: Liberty, MO
    Major: Photography & Art
    Minor: Design

    I would advise students to try not to go home all the time. Stay in Springfield and immerse yourself in college life. By staying over weekends and such, you will have the opportunity to grow in more than just an academic way.

  • Mickie Plummer

    Michaela Plummer
    Hometown: St. Charles, MO
    Major: Socio-Political Communication
    Minor: Music

    My professors themselves. By reaching out to my professors one on one, I was better able to understand the material that was taught in class while forming a relationship with them. I once got an internship because of my relationship with one of my professors!

  • Kennay Proctor

    Kennay Proctor
    Hometown: St. Peters, MO
    Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders/Speech-Language Pathology
    Minor: Sign Language Studies

    I chose to attend Missouri State because of the energy I experienced when I first visited the campus. I originally planned to attend a different University closer to home that I had visited 2-3 times but I didn't know how I felt about it. I decided to visit Missouri State just once and instantly fell in love. I love the campus, the people, the energy, and I still love it every single day.

  • Kaitlyn Ramage

    Kaitlyn Ramage
    Hometown: Wentzville, MO
    Major: Cell & Molecular Biology
    Minor: Chemistry

    I love that you can make Bear puns and no one looks at you weird. I can BEARLY contain my excitement.

  • Caitlyn Schaefer

    Caitlin Schaefer
    Jefferson City, MO
    Major: Management/Administrative Management

    I changed more in my first year of college than I changed in the first 18 years of my life. I became a more open minded individual. I got the opportunity to enhance my knowledge of other cultures and embrace individuality with open arms. I became a more compassionate, understanding, and appreciative version of myself. Missouri State continues to challenge me as a person everyday and has taught me to embrace change every chance I get.

  • Samantha Siebert

    Samantha Siebert
    Hometown: Fenton, MO
    Major: Mass Media/Media Production
    Minor: Philosphy

    Not everyone's college experience looks the same, so don't worry about what everybody else is taking and getting involved in. You just do you!

  • Samantha Jo Stanton

    Samantha Jo Stanton
    Hometown: Carrollton, MO
    Major: Athletic Training

    The most helpful resource on campus is the Bear CLAW. Even if you're not struggling in a class but need help they are always there and glad to help you out. The best part is you've already paid for it so give it a shot! 

  • Chase Stockton

    Chase Stockton
    Hometown: Macon, MO
    Major: Political Science
    Minor: Communication

    Do not be afraid to talk to people that you usually do not see yourself being around. It is always interesting to learn about other people and their experiences.

  • Haley Swanigan

    Haley Swanigan
    Hometown: Kansas City, MO
    Major: Elementary Education
    Minor: Psychology

    I want to teach elementary students because growing up the most influential people in my lives were teachers. I want to be able to be that person for someone else one day. I also absolutely love working with kids.

  • Sarah Teague

    Sarah Teague
    Hometown: Dallas, TX
    Major: Journalism
    Major: Intercultural Communication and Diversity

    My advice for family members is to trust that you've brought your student this far, and that they will go even farther because of what you have instilled in their life. College is a big transition, but it will be easier with your support along the way.

  • Reece Vadney

    Reece Vadney
    Hometown: Altus, OK
    Major: Theatre

    Have fun. College is your time. It is your time to further your education and take risks and make mistakes and find yourself. You have freedom now, use it responsibly but don't waste it. Go to lectures, go to President's breakfast, go to Bear Bash, make friends, talk to people you wouldn't normally talk to because you might have more in common than you think. "Live free or die hard'

  • Lauren VanHess

    Lauren VanNess
    Hometown: Kansas City, MO
    Major: Public Relations
    Minor: Leadership

    Plan ahead!!  Write everything down including test dates, study sessions, and advisor meetings. No one is going to tell you when you need to be somewhere doing something! You're an adult now. Which means you're expected to kinda have things together, and keeping all your dates/information in a planner will definitely help!

  • Katie Verry

    Katie Verry
    Hometown: Jefferson City, MO
    Major: Middle School Education/Language Arts and Social Sciences

    Get out of your comfort zone. Seek out different kinds of people for friends. Take a class on a subject you haven't learned about before. Try a new sport in intramurals. Find a charity your passionate about. Missouri State and the Springfield community has so many opportunities to expand your interests and view of the world, find them.

  • Conor Wadle

    Conor Wadle
    Hometown: Springfield, MO
    Major: Public Relations
    Minor: Public Law

    MSU has an incredible counseling center that I don't think enough people utilize. They're always willing to talk things through regardless of your situation whether your stressed about school, going through a rough time in a relationship, having trouble adjusting to college or more. They offer 8 free sessions a semester, so it's an incredible and free resource that I would encourage people to keep in mind.

  • Grace Walker

    Grace Walker
    Hometown: Ballwin, MO
    Major: Socio-Political Communication
    Minor: Gender Studies

    Knowing that I belong to a great community of students, and that everyone on campus has a sense of community and respect for each other. Missouri State has great students that care for one another, and I love that.

  • Kezia Wesley

    Kezia Wesley
    Hometown: Blue Springs, MO
    Major: Fashion Merchandising and Design/Fashion Design and Product Development
    Minor: Marketing

    If you are preparing to attend SOAR, come with questions!!! It can be anything whether it's about classes, campus living, or campus organizations. You can never ask too many questions and there are never any stupid questions.

  • Shelby Whittaker

    Shelby Whittaker
    Hometown: Cuba, MO
    Major: Accounting

    My "best kept secret" about Missouri State is the little garden/sitting area behind the library. Not many people know about it, and it's a great place to do homework, especially when the weather is nice!

  • TImothy Wilkinson

    TImothy Wilkinson
    Hometown: High Ridge, MO
    Major: Entertainment Management

    For me the Office of Student Engagement has been my favorite resource at Missouri State. They are in charge of Fraternity & Sorority Life, Student Programming, Leadership, and much more. I have found so many opportunities to grow and lead through the OSE.