April 28, 2022–Missouri Western State University presented awards to nine individuals and honored 15 retirees with more than 300 years of combined service during the annual Faculty and Staff Awards and Retiree Reception on April 21.

Awards presented include:

Outstanding Academic Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Jackson, associate professor, Communication

Missouri Western State University recognizes academic advising to be a critical component of the educational experience. This award is to encourage and recognize an academic advisor who demonstrates a pattern of excellence in academic advising.

Missouri Western Award for Staff Service to the University: Katie Miron, director, Counseling Center

This award recognizes an employee who serves as a true ambassador for the University.  The employee promotes the mission and image of Missouri Western in the daily interactions with others both on campus and throughout the community.  

Missouri Western Award for Staff Service to Students: Luke Theis, director, Griffon Esports

This award recognizes outstanding commitment to helping students grow as individuals in and out of the classroom. It also recognizes employees who enhance the physical, social, and intellectual experience for students and make a difference in their lives.

Missouri Western Award for Staff Service to Colleagues: Noël Cross, administrative assistant, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities

This award recognizes outstanding assistance to fellow employees, helpfulness to coworkers, creating a sense of community among employees and quality customer service.

Missouri Western Award for Teaching Excellence

This award is presented to up to three faculty members each year. It honors extraordinary teaching ability and also outstanding contributions in either scholarly and professional activities or institutional and community service.

  • Dr. Adrienne Johnson, associate professor and chair, Education
  • Dr. Madeline Rislow, associate professor, director of art history, art education coordinator and assistant chair, School of Fine Arts

Missouri Western Foundation Dr. James V. Mehl Award for Outstanding Faculty Scholarship: Dr. Corey White, associate professor, Psychology

Named in honor of a long-time faculty member and chair of what was then the Department of Communication Studies, Theatre and Humanities, this award honors a full-time faculty member who demonstrates unusually significant and meritorious achievement in professional scholarship.

Missouri Western Foundation Dr. James J. Scanlon Award for Service to the Community

Named in honor of Missouri Western’s president from 2001 to 2007, these awards to one staff member and one faculty member recognize outstanding community service performed during the past year along with a consistent pattern of service over time. 

  • Staff: Evan Banks, campus visits program coordinator, Admissions
  • Faculty: Dr. Michael Ducey, professor and chair, Chemistry and director, Griffon Office of Applied Learning

Also during the reception, 15 people who have retired or will retire in the 2021-22 academic year were honored. Together, they have served Missouri Western for 335 years.

  • Elaine Bryant, director, ATLAS (Advising, Tutoring, Learning and Academic Support)
  • Dr. Gary Clapp, director, Innovation Stockyard at the Kit Bond Science and Technology Incubator
  • Cathy Gann, academic advisor, Academic and Career Planning Center
  • Aurora Kerns, custodian, Physical Plant
  • Peggy Leland, administrative assistant, Craig School of Business
  • Karen Luke, administrative coordinator, Center for Academic Support
  • Dr. Shiva Nandan, associate professor, Craig School of Business
  • Dr. Evan Noynaert, assistant professor, Computer Science
  • Steve Potter, counselor, Counseling Center
  • Maureen Raffensperger, professor and director, Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Robert Sample, custodian, Physical Plant
  • Stacy Turner, special credit program coordinator, Early College Academy
  • David Tushaus, professor, Criminal Justice and Legal Studies
  • Tom Williamson, special assistant to the dean and MBA director, Craig School of Business
  • Barbara Young, administrative assistant, Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit missouriwestern.edu.