Missouri State University

Citizen Scholar Statue
Missouri State University

In our monthly program Engaging the Community with Missouri State University President Clif Smart, we discuss the university's reopening of campus during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Listen below as Smart discusses the factors he and the MSU Board of Governors are keeping a close eye on, including the criteria that could potentially lead to a "pause" on in-person learning.  Those factors include COVID-19 case data, testing resources, advice from local, state and federal health officials, local hospital capability, and above all, safety of students, faculty and staff, Smart said.


Missouri State University president, Clif Smart, has announced that he and his wife, Gail, will make the first contribution towards a George Floyd Scholarship at the school.

His message on Twitter Friday is in response to a challenge issued during Floyd's memorial Thursday in Minneapolis.

Scott Hagan, president of North Central University in Minneapolis, challenged all colleges and universities in the U.S. to establish a scholarship in memory of Floyd.

Smart said he'll share details next week on how people can donate to the scholarship.

A group of ladies meditating outdoors.
janeb13, Pixabay / Used With Permission

While some stress is good for you, too much of it for too long will harm your physical, mental and emotional health.

There are several helpful ways to relieve stress, such as yoga and meditation. 

Dr. Stephen Berkwitz is the department head of religious studies at Missouri State University, with expertise in South Asian religions and culture. He offers some insights about yoga and meditation, as well as tips and advice for practicing them.

A hand holding some freshly harvested vegetables.
Skitterphoto from Pexels / Used with permission

Spring is here and for many, that means it’s time to spend more time outdoors and start gardening again. 

Jennifer Morganthaler, clinical instructor in the department of environmental plant science and natural resources at Missouri State University, offers some helpful gardening tips and advice.

Read the full transcript

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.

Unless you have a medical background, you likely feel slightly uneasy and confused when you, or a loved one, are in the hospital or are facing a new diagnosis. As doctors, and others on the care team, spout off procedures, you may catch only a portion. 

Tara Stulce and Jeanie Skibiski from the McQueary College of Health and Human Services at Missouri State University participate in an interdisciplinary committee that focuses on healthcare teams and creating better overall cooperation and communication among team members.

Tax documents along with a pen, mouse, coffee mug and laptop.
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay (used with permission).

Tax season is upon us. It’s time to gather the documents, be aware of any changes that affect you and decide how you’ll file. 

Dr. Kerri Tassin, assistant professor in the School of Accountancy at Missouri State University, offers taxpayers some helpful tips and advice.

Read the full transcript

Natalie Powers, National Endowment for the Arts and The American Theatre Wing

At age 10, Emalee Flatness became interested in music. It soon grew into a passion for the native of Willard, Missouri, who’s now a freshman history major at Missouri State University.

Last summer, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and its partner, the American Theatre Wing, announced that Flatness was one of only six winners—out of almost 200 applicants nationwide—of the 2019 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for her original song “Carolina.”

A happy African American couple spending time outdoors.
Pixabay (used with permission)

When we think of a healthy relationship, words like commitment, honesty, respect and trust come to mind. Keeping a romantic relationship strong takes a lot of time, effort and patience. 

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s a good time to evaluate the state of your relationship with your partner to see what’s working well and what can be done to make it better.

Missouri State University

Every year in February, people all across the country observe Black History Month, also known as African American History Month. This month grew out of Negro History Week in the mid-1920s.

Missouri State University will host several events and activities on campus to highlight the accomplishments and culture of the Black community. 

Wes Pratt, MSU’s chief diversity officer, shares more about Black History Month and its significance.

Do you have something you hope to change or build upon this year in your life?

If you've ever struggled to make a substantial life change, it might be because you're too focused on correcting your weaknesses rather than investing in your strengths. That's according to Clifton Strengths Finder.

Nora Cox, senior instructor of communication at Missouri State University, is a certified Strengths Finder coach. She says awareness of ourselves makes us more productive at whatever we hope to achieve.


China has identified a new strain of coronavirus that has led to at least 17 deaths and hundreds of others falling ill. The first cases appeared in the industrial and transporation hub of Wuhan, in central China.  

An official at Missouri State University, which has hundreds of Chinese students, says there haven’t been any reported cases at MSU yet.

Carrington Hall
Scott Harvey / KSMU

The Missouri State University Board of Governors voted to continue work on the outdoor Tent Theatre pavilion that will be located outside of Craig Hall. 

The project is in the pre-design phase and is expected to be done by the summer 2022, according to Matt Morris, a university administrator.

According to MSU President Clif Smart, actor John Goodman is funding the lead gift for this project. Smart expects construction for the pavilion to cost around $4 to $5 million.

In our changing world, how can teachers be confident they are still teaching and reaching their students?

Dr. Stefanie Livers, assistant professor of childhood education and family studies at Missouri State University, researches teacher preparation and professional development of those already in the field. Her goal: to improve access and equity for all students.

Not seeing eye to eye with someone? Need to find a solution without going to the courts? Dr. Stan Leasure, business law professor at Missouri State University, says alternative dispute methods might be your best bet.