Public Affairs

Using your skills to make a positive impact on the world around you.

Missouri State University system

Missouri State University was granted a statewide mission in public affairs in 1995 when Senate Bill 340 was signed into law. The public affairs mission defines a primary way in which an education from Missouri State is different from that of other universities and one way by which we educate our students to imagine the future.

Three pillars of public affairs

The public affairs mission has three pillars: ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement.

Ethical leadership

Goal: Students will articulate their value systems, act ethically within the context of a democratic society and demonstrate engaged and principled leadership. (Adapted from the Center for Ethical Leadership)

Missouri State is preparing students for the future by helping them understand the ethical dimensions of leadership and take what they learn in the classrooms and use it to help solve problems and bring about change.

Cultural competence

Goal: Students will recognize and respect multiple perspectives and cultures.

Missouri State helps students develop cultural knowledge in several ways. Study abroad programs, interactions with international students and opportunities to study different languages, histories and religions, help students broaden their horizons, build relationships and bring about better competition for the future.

Community engagement

Goal: Students will recognize the importance of contributing their knowledge and experiences to their own community and the broader society.

Goal: Students will recognize the importance of scientific principles in the generation of sound public policy.

Community engagement lets students branch out and see how the world is working through a different lens, giving them the opportunity to work with their communities and build up their ability to lead in their careers.

Missouri State-West Plains

As part of the Missouri State University system, the West Plains campus also includes public affairs as part of its Educational Program Focus to:

“Develop educated persons of high character and integrity, inspiring them to serve others and their respective communities through its commitment to the Missouri State University System’s mission in Public Affairs.”

What is public affairs?

Living out the Public Affairs mission

From short-term and long-term study abroad programs, to students volunteering to help with the election process, to student organizations coordinating community service efforts, these are a few of the ways the MSU-WP campus community promotes the three pillars of public affairs.

The Faculty Senate’s Public Affairs Committee* is committed to ensuring that the public affairs missions is something that we do not just something that we say. The committee provides guidance on events, activities and related programs on the West Plains campus. All of these initiatives work together to allow the campus community and the public to explore and open dialogue on how to lead ethically, contribute to community and respect multiple perspectives and cultures.

  • Costa Rica Study Abroad

  • Blood drive

  • India Study Abroad

  • Child Advocacy Day

  • Honors Program's Ireland Study Abroad

  • Ozark Action poverty simulation

  • China Study Abroad

  • OzCon donation

  • PTK and PBL Nursing Home Drive

  • Puerto Rico Study Abroad

  • SGA Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Drive

  • Student Volunteer as Deputy Clerks and Election Judges

  • Face Shields Donation

  • 37th Judicial Circuit Court Service Learning Project

Public Affairs Fellow Awards

The award, sponsored and selected by the Public Affairs Committee and supported by the university’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society, recognizes students who have advanced the university’s public affairs mission both on and off campus and have demonstrated ethical leadership, civic engagement and cultural awareness-update committee web page

2020 Award Winners

Aubrey Craig
Aubrey Craig
Julia Dunning
Julia Dunning

Previous Winners

  • Lyndsey Parker (2019)
  • Jayden Wiley (2019)
  • Sherrie Gregory (2018)
  • Maddy Wiehe (2018)
  • Drew Bledsoe (2017)
  • Alex Priest (2017)