Missouri State University - West Plains

Hunter Fears, BS

Hunter Fears

Hometown: Winona, MO

Currently Resides: Winona, MO

Occupation: Deputy Juvenile Officer/School Resource Officer for the 37th Judicial District

Academic Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Political Science, Minor in History, Missouri State University, 2004
  • Associate of Arts in General Studies, Missouri State University-West Plains, 2002

Family Information:

His parents are Oscar and Connie Fears and he has one sibling, a younger brother named Chance.

Why did you choose to attend Missouri State-West Plains?

The most important factors were the close proximity to my hometown and the ability to use the A+ program to pay for my classes. I also had positive experiences while attending interscholastic competitions held on campus during my time in high school, along with the Grizzly Student Ambassador Program that gave Missouri State students the opportunity to come and speak at my high school about attending there.

How did the West Plains Campus help you accomplish your goals?

The first two years of college, I was able to commute and stay at home. This was very helpful to me, as I was able to continue to work on my family farm and continue my education. The West Plains campus also gave my family and I the opportunity to "learn the ropes" of being in college, as I was a first-generation college student. It allowed for a much smoother transition to a four-year university than I believe I would have experienced had I begun as a freshman at the Springfield campus.

Were you involved on campus during your time here?

Unfortunately, no. The long 60-mile commute and my other obligations didn't leave much time for extracurricular activities.

What are your fondest memories of your time at the West Plains Campus?

My fondest memories would be the friends I made while attending the West Plains campus, many of which were welcome, familiar faces in a sea of strangers when I moved to the Springfield campus. I still keep in touch with some of them to this day, 8 to 10 years later.

I also will never forget the snowstorm that came the day of my first finals week in December 2000. A large snowstorm had been predicted, and our professors told us that finals could not be postponed or made up, as the university never closed due to inclement weather. There were several inches already on the ground with more heavily pouring down as I made the 60-mile trip from home in a four-wheel-drive truck wearing my insulated hunting boots. I left very early in the morning, and it was a good thing I did as it took me almost two hours to get to campus. Upon returning from winter break I was a little miffed to find out that, in fact, finals were being allowed to be made up due to the heavy snow. Now I see the university closes all the time for snow days, and I am glad that current students no longer are forced to risk life and limb for the sake of their grades.

How would you sum up your experience at Missouri State-West Plains?

I would have to say that my experience at Missouri State-West Plains was a very positive one. I enjoyed the classes and had fun learning. My professors were very caring and concerned and were always easily reached and made time if necessary for individualized help with a problem. The classes I took at the West Plains campus transitioned seamlessly into the curriculum at the Springfield campus. The friends I made at West Plains were a big part of my experience, also.

Do you have any advice for potential students?

Learn to write! Almost every upper level class I had required at least one major written report. Fortunately, my high school English teacher was a writing fanatic and required us to write