Missouri State University

Shaley Moore

Accelerated master's helps #CitizenBear take her interests global

Shaley Moore hadn't planned on attending Missouri State, but a campus visit during her senior year of high school changed her mind. 

"I fell in love with the culture of Missouri State and how warm and accepting and welcoming everyone was. It felt like such a great home," Shaley says. "I felt like this is where I belonged and where I was meant to come."

Six years later, she's earned (or is on her way to earning):  

Finding herself through helping others 

"I came out of my shell... I came into who I am now." 

Shaley became particularly interested in interpersonal communication and felt especially drawn to classes on conflict resolution.

"Understanding conflict is a central part of relationships," Shaley says. Much of her graduate research focuses on the effective handling of conflict.

One source of this research: her work as a facilitator for Circle for Girls, which helps young women learn to handle conflict in positive ways. Shaley's research has found that Circle for Girls helps participants listen and consider the underlying issues that are contributing to their interpersonal conflicts.

"We've found that girls are able to handle conflicts much better," Shaley says. "They've learned to take a step back, not react emotionally or physically... But think through the conflict and the underlying problems... They are finding that their relationships have improved immensely." 

The program has also changed her life.

"Being a teenaged girl is not the easiest thing in the world. They really struggle with just having people listen to them. So we try to create a safe environment where they're allowed to say anything they want... We give them the skills to be more mindful of what's going on within themselves so that they can be more mindful of what's going on around them and react appropriately... in a way that's going to help them grow and help their relationships grow." 

Taking her learning global

Next, Shaley will be expanding on her research by studying how conflict affects groups of people. 

She was recently accepted to Ulster University in Ireland; she will spend next year studying peace and conflict there. 

When asked what this means, Shaley answers, "Oh gosh, I'll probably cry!" Not only does she love Ireland's culture, but given its history of conflict resolution, "studying conflict there is an amazing opportunity."

Shaley had hoped to study abroad during her undergraduate years, but that plan didn't come together. "This," she says, "came together organically and just at the perfect time. So I'm very excited to see what next year holds."