Public Affairs Integration

Blake Mycoskie talking with students in the Union Club
Blake Mycoskie is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the person behind the idea of One for One, which has turned into a global movement. He gave the 2013 Public Affairs Convocation.

Some organizations and institutions embed their mission statement on every possible surface. At Missouri State University, public affairs – ethical leadership, community engagement and cultural competence – is who we are and what distinguishes us from all the rest.

Public affairs signature events

How do you keep public affairs fresh all year? We didn’t ever want it to become stale. In order to engage the Missouri State community and local community, we developed seven signature events. These annual events share a common thread to be not only educational, but also aspirational.

Students packing food at Convoy of Hope
Public affairs distinction
New Student Convocation
It’s the official campus welcome for new Bears. The New Student Convocation marks the official start of the academic year and introduces the year’s public affairs theme.
Public Affairs Week
This is an annual, week-long series of events developed for, and in conjunction with, Missouri State students. The week consists of events, speakers and presentations to kick-off the year’s public affairs theme.
Community Engagement Project
Our university community joins students from Southwest Baptist University, Ozarks Technical Community College, Drury University and Evangel University to make a difference.
Speakers come to Missouri State to inspire the campus and local community to embody public affairs in their daily lives.
Top professionals teach diversity best practices, share research, provide intervention and lend training techniques to expand cultural competence in the state of Missouri.
Based on the theme of the year, this conference brings together experts from around the world to share differing viewpoints.
So many world changers have a tie to the state of Missouri. This event recognizes those individuals who saw a problem and developed a remedy.

In the classroom

In 2012-13, we adopted a new general education program which emphasizes the public affairs mission and integrates student learning outcomes. We also added High Impact Educational Experiences, or HIEE, as a consideration for new courses, which includes service learning, learning communities, internships, study away and interdisciplinary courses.

These measures ensure that we stay on track as we push toward our goal of educating our students and instilling a broad personal sense of ethics in their daily interactions.

The Honors College path

Honors students are subject to rigorous curriculum, but a new pathway was formed during this period that enhances the tangibility of public affairs in the honors courses as well.

  • Interdisciplinary special topics courses that only exist in the Honors College
  • A shared public affairs experience in UHC 397 Honors Colloquium
  • Experiential learning opportunities for academic credit, including unique study away programs for honors students

In addition to encouraging awareness and involvement in becoming a global citizen, we also made significant changes to build more of a community within the Honors College.

  • A four-year experience for students, as opposed to two in the old program
  • A mixture of introductory and upper-level courses, as opposed to all introductory level courses in the old program
  • An accelerated program for transfer students and other students wishing to complete their program in fewer than four years
  • The introduction of living-learning communities on every honors residence floor

Breakdown of undergraduate students participating in High Impact Educational Experiences: collaborative assignments and projects at 6%; student-faculty research and creative activity at 25%; study abroad at 2%; service learning at 14%; internships, practica and student teaching at 19%; focused field experiences at 8%

In fiscal year 2015, 46.35% of undergraduate students participated in High Impact Educational Experiences (HIEE). At the beginning of the long-range plan, only 21.87% participated.


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Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame

What is the hallmark of a Missourian? To us, it’s someone who’s genuine, tenacious, engaged and values-driven. It only makes sense to highlight people who embody these characteristics and become world changers.

In 2014, the first inductees were added to the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame, honoring individuals, who through their academic, personal or professional achievements, demonstrate active civic engagement to improve the lives of others.

Though spearheaded by leaders at Missouri State, these recipients are not just alumni – in fact, it’s only a requirement that the recipient has some tie to the state of Missouri. 

It’s been our way of saying thanks to all the great Missourians who’ve made such an impact. We believe that the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame showcases that Missourians uphold what our mission stands for.

Inspiring speaker series

One way to promote more integration of public affairs into everything we do has been to bring amazing speakers to campus. These individuals challenge members of the Missouri State and local community to think differently, to stand out and to make a difference! 

We are proud to bring speakers of national (or international) acclaim to Missouri State to teach life lessons, share a global perspective and motivate crowds.

Cal Ripken, Jr.

Former baseball player
"You can't always get the game-winning hit, and you can't always make the game-saving catch. It's all the things you can do in between those two that will define your value."
John Goodman
John Goodman
Eric Greitens
Eric Greitens
Nancy Lublin
Nancy Lublin
Kyle Dean Massey
Kyle Dean Massey
Jillian Michaels
Jillian Michaels
Wes Moore
Wes Moore
Blake Mycoskie
Blake Mycoskie
Colin Powell
Colin Powell
Douglas Rushkoff
Douglass Rushkoff
Warren St. John
Warren St. John
  • Dr. Goodman

    John Goodman, a native of Affton, Missouri., came to Missouri State in the 1970s to play football. In 2013, he accepted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the New Student Convocation.

  • Humanitarian and Navy SEAL

    Eric Greitens penned "The Heart and the Fist," a memoir. He spoke before a large crowd at the Public Affairs Convocation. In 2015, he was inducted into the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame.

  • ‘Nashville’ actor offers advice

    At the 2015 New Student Convocation, Kyle Dean Massey offered words of advice to students at his alma mater: "This is a chance to redefine yourself – a chance to change."

  • Building an exceptional life

    When fitness expert Jillian Michaels opened the 2016 Public Affairs Conference, she took off her shoes and got real with the audience: "I cannot motivate you. But I can help you find your motivation."

  • Speaking about ‘The Other Wes Moore’

    Wes Moore, author of the 2015 Common Reader, presented the Public Affairs Convocation. His book examines the lives of two children of the same name who had disparate fates.