Missouri State University - West Plains
Samantha Boston

Samantha Boston

  • Patient Account Representative
  • Mountain View, MO
  • AAS-Health Information Technology
  • Hometown: Baltimore, MD
  • Currently Resides: Mountain View, MO

Samantha Boston

“Missouri State-West Plains changed my life.”

Samantha Boston needed a job and decided pursuing a certificate from Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) would help her achieve that goal. Little did she know how impactful that decision would be.

“I chose to attend MSU-WP due to the convenient location. I never realized how important it would be to me,” she said.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Samantha found her way to West Plains after a series of life events. “I used to love school and learning and such, and then life hit me hard with things and I changed,” she explained. “I didn’t want to learn or read and felt like I had no direction.

“When I first applied to MSU-WP, it was initially for a coding certificate, just to get a job, but with some advice and encouragement from Mrs. (Tresa) Ryan, I got an AAS in HIT (Health Information Technology),” Samantha added. Ryan is assistant professor of health information technology at MSU-WP.

Personal relationships made the difference.

Developing personal relationships with the faculty and staff at MSU-WP gave Samantha the support she needed to achieve her goals.

“Mrs. Ryan constantly encouraged me, which made me want to do more. She really, truly does care for her students and what happens to them,” Samantha said. “Mrs. Carla Neff was a wonderful instructor, as well, and Lindsey (Hicks) from the Career Development Center was amazing with the incredible advice she gives and the fact that she was able to teach me how to do a resume, which has since been complimented a number of times.” Neff is an instructor in the HIT program.

“I feel that I am a completely different person, but I became who I was meant to be.”

With the support and encouragement she received, Samantha maintained a grade point average high enough to become a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

She graduated with her HIT degree, as well as certificates as a billing coding specialist, electronic health record specialist and a medical office administrative assistant in May and is now working as a patient account representative and biller at Southern Missouri Community Health Center.

“I absolutely loved my experience at MSU-WP and the feeling of community within the school,” Samantha said. “MSU-WP helped me, well, find me again, who I was, who I wanted to become again. While I am so glad I graduated, it is bittersweet and a little sad. MSU-WP changed my life.”

For those who might be considering whether college is the right choice for them, Samantha had this message: “I am 35 years old and a non-traditional student, and I did it. If I can, you can! Do it!”