Nicki Donnelson

Co-host of "Missouri State Journal"

Nicki received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from Missouri State in marketing, in 2002 and 2004 respectively. After gaining experience in writing, marketing, special event planning, fundraising and public relations, she returned to the university to work as the public relations specialist in the office of university communications. There she tells the university’s story by sharing the stories of individuals at Missouri State. 

Ways to Connect

Many runners find themselves drawn to races and long runs – like marathons. But how do you begin to tackle the intense physical and mental hurdles that come?  

Dr. Sara Powell, assistant professor of kinesiology at Missouri State University, says that the distance is just one of the challenges to crossing the finish line.

In addition to getting fitted for good footwear, Powell provides some tips for training:

Battling a sedentary mindset? Ready to get active?

Dr. Sara Powell is ready to help you set some goals. 

Powell, assistant professor in the kinesiology department at Missouri State University, encourages people to not take on too much too soon, as it’s a recipe for being discouraged.

Even if you’re working out with a partner, Powell emphasizes that you should set individual goals. Genetics, body type, physical abilities and diet are all unique to you, so you shouldn’t compare yourself, she says. 

Want to truly walk a mile in someone else’s shoes? Try an ethnographic field school. It’s an immersive experience where you live within another culture.

Dr. William Meadows, professor of anthropology and Native American studies at Missouri State University, leads a 6-week experience for his students, living with a Kiowa family. He also integrates them with members of the Plains Apache and Camanche tribes as well. He tells a bit about the experience.

Whether you’re a CEO, public relations professional, truck driver or preschool student, you are always communicating. Intentionally or not. Verbally or nonverbally. You have the skill the moment you enter the world.

Dr. Carrisa Hoelscher, director of graduate communication studies at Missouri State University, sets her target on competent communication to help others improve their skill.

Society has developed into a difficult place for many individuals with autism. Socialization and communication are fundamental, and these skills can be a hurdle.

Dr. Megan Boyle, associate professor of special education at Missouri State University, is a board-certified behavior analyst. She runs a clinic for children with autism spectrum disorders and prepares the next generation of educators for behavior issues in the classroom.

Individuals with autism experience the world differently, and often have challenges with social situations or communication.

Dr. Megan Boyle, associate professor of special education at Missouri State University, is a board-certified behavior analyst. She runs a clinic for children with autism spectrum disorders and prepares the next generation of educators for behavior issues in the classroom.

Hip-hop is its own unique culture, complete with music, fashion and art.

Dr. Ashley Payne, assistant professor of psychology at Missouri State University, studies hip-hop based education and identity development of Black adolescent girls and college-aged women.

Runway models, social media influencers, pageant queens, celebrities and even Barbie support troubling body image ideals. They are almost unequivocally identified as beautiful, as evidenced by the money we spend and who we choose to idolize.

We all know that physical activity is good for us and necessary for a healthy lifestyle. So why do we let it falter?

Dr. Sara Powell focuses on sport and exercise psychology in the department of kinesiology at Missouri State University.

Even outside of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals struggle with mental barriers to initiating and maintaining a physical activity routine, Powell noted.

Higher education continually needs to innovate to recruit and retain its students while making education accessible to more people. Sometimes this involves new programming, scholarships and other resources. Other times, it is reimagining curriculum and standards.

To understand the human experience, one of the most important things is for children to learn to identify emotions – what they feel, why they feel that way and how to validate and regulate the emotions in themselves and those around them.

It’s a big job, and every person a child comes into contact with plays a role in it.

Dr. Elizabeth King teaches in the College of Education at Missouri State University and researches the language preschool teachers use that either validate or dismiss emotions.

She starts by explaining gendered language.

Systemic racism: It’s even present in the way we gather data.

Dr. Kyler Sherman-Wilkins, assistant professor of sociology at Missouri State University, recently gained grant funding to incorporate anti-racism modules into his statistics and methods course. works to empower more people of color on the university’s campus and one step is incorporating anti-racism into the curriculum.

The grant funding will be used to assist with resource building and professional development.

Ancient farmers, through trial and error, determined the best fit between a crop, the soil and weather conditions. They had plenty of land to choose from to find the perfect fields for their crops.

But as the availability of cultivable land diminishes and as climates change, our ability to grow enough food is becoming limited, too.

A teacher's job is complex. Not only does the teacher need to communicate subject matter clearly, he or she must do so in a manner that keeps attention. He must minimize distractions, answer questions as they arise, provoke students' critical thinking skills and perhaps most importantly, notice.

Music tells a story. It is a narrative that inspires and moves many. 

Daniel Ketter and Emlyn Johnson, faculty from the department of music at Missouri State University, share about their work with Music in the American Wild and how they are celebrating the Centennial of the women's suffrage movement.

They began Music in the America Wild in 2016 as a celebration of the National Park Service Centennial.

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