Missouri State University - West Plains
Kinli Simmons

Kinli Simmons

  • Hometown: El Dorado Springs, Missouri

Kinli Simmons

“I’m really going to miss it here.”

Academic Program: Associate of Arts in General Studies

What is your hometown?

El Dorado Springs, Missouri

Why did you choose to attend Missouri State-West Plains?

My sister actually attended Missouri State-West Plains for two years and played volleyball. I always refused to follow in her footsteps, but here I am… I always loved the culture here and really wanted a chance to play for Coach Paula Wiedemann and Coach Bri Walsh, so when the opportunity came my senior year of high school, I couldn’t pass it up.

How would you describe your experience here?

It’s a place that really grows on you. When I moved here at 18, all I wanted to do was go back home, but after like three weeks, I really started to feel the hospitality from the community, so it made West Plains feel like home. The campus is fairly small, so it’s easy to have a more personal relationship with professors and classmates, which I love. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I’m really going to miss it here.

What has been your favorite thing about Missouri State-West Plains?

I love that Missouri State-West Plains, specifically volleyball, brought people into my life that I never expected, or knew I needed. The girl I hated in high school because of a basketball rivalry is now my best friend, and I know we’ll stay friends forever! I have met so many great people and supportive families that make me wish I could stay here longer. Playing here for Coach Paula and Coach Bri has been the biggest blessing, and has opened a lot of doors for me that aren’t volleyball related. I really owe everything to them for bringing me here, especially having already dealt with one Simmons.

What has been your favorite course?

My favorite course has been Sociology with Danny Hobbs. He is the coolest teacher I’ve ever had. He made class a lot of fun, and even though his tests were difficult for me, I recommend his course to every person who asks because it was just that great.

How have faculty and staff helped you during your time at Missouri State-West Plains?

I have always felt like everyone on campus genuinely cares about my success. Any time I’ve ever had to talk to a professor about getting caught up from missing class for volleyball, they have been so great. Cindy Bridges… I can’t say enough about that woman. She has stuck by me when I changed my mind 28 times about what I want to do with my life, and she goes above and beyond to make sure I’m prepared for whatever college I decide to attend after West Plains. She has been amazing.

How did you choose your major?

I’ve wanted to go to pharmacy school since my junior year of high school. I played around a little bit with maybe wanting to teach/coach or even go into accounting, but I always come back to pharmacy. I’ve been a pharmacy technician at Evans Drugs in my hometown since I was 16 and I really like the atmosphere and the feeling of helping people when they’re sick or at their lowest.

What are your plans after graduation?

I really do not know where I will be next year, but I do know I’m hanging up the jersey and focusing on school. I have another year, at least, of taking prerequisite courses to apply to pharmacy school. I don’t know where yet. I would really like to get involved in coaching club volleyball wherever I go, to stay around the game a little bit longer.