Message from Chancellor Shirley Lawler to Faculty and Staff
Happy New Year!
I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday break, and you returned to work rested and ready to start the spring 2020 semester. January 2020—can you believe it?
Our enrollment was looking good on the first day of classes yesterday, with our headcount up 1% over the spring 2019 start date. It takes a lot of hard work by everyone to continue our recruitment and retention efforts. Thanks to all for your work in this area as we remain on course to grow and stabilize our enrollment.
At the end of the fall 2019 semester, we had several exciting things happening on campus. It was thrilling to see the NMR spectrometer being unloaded at Looney Hall. Congratulations to Associate Professor of Chemistry Kip Rugutt and Assistant Professor of Biology Sharath Rongali for being awarded an NSF grant that made the purchase of this marvelous piece of equipment possible. How exciting for our students to have access to this powerful tool to use in their study of chemical compounds! Thank you, Dr. Rugutt and Dr. Rongali!
Thanks again to Associate Professor of Geography Rajiv Thakur for organizing Geography Awareness Week. Dr. Thakur planned many activities, including a great guest speaker and a field trip for the students. I heard very positive feedback regarding all the activities. We look forward to the next event.
We hosted a graduation ceremony for nine students who participated in the first U.S. Registered Apprenticeship program at the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT). We are very proud of this group of students and look forward to them continuing their education here on the Missouri State-West Plains campus.
Last Wednesday, Jan. 8, area FFA students visited our campus for the Green Hand motivational conference. The Student Rec Center was packed with freshman and sophomore students from area high schools. We had a sea of blue jackets on campus—it was a beautiful sight!
Congratulations to Brenda Polyard for receiving MSU’s Staff Excellence in University Service award at the annual Staff Service Awards program on the Springfield campus. We appreciate your hard work and dedication to the university. I look forward to our MSU-WP Employee Recognition awards program on Jan. 24 at noon at the Civic Center. President Smart will join us for lunch.
We are grateful to all the employees who participated in the United Way campaign. Thanks to the generosity of faculty and staff, $6,677 was raised for the Heart of the Ozarks United Way this year, well surpassing our $6,000 goal!
Several events are coming up in the next few weeks on campus. Those events include the following:
- Jan. 14: Grizzly Basketball vs. Labette Community College, 7 p.m., civic center arena
- Jan. 18: Grizzly Basketball vs. Three Rivers, 7 p.m., civic center arena. Former Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Tom Barr will be inducted into the Grizzly Athletics Hall of Fame.
- Jan. 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (No Classes/Offices Closed)
- Jan. 25: Grizzly Athletics Trivia Night, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., civic center arena
- Jan. 28: Performance by mentalist Christopher Carter, 7 p.m., civic center theater.
Always remember, what you do each day for students does make a difference.