graffam-new3 Last fall, our team in University Relations and Marketing (URM) was invited to a conversation with the MSSU Staff Senate. In a discussion led by Bob Tessman, IT Director of User Services, and Michelle Arwood, Financial Accountant, the Senate wanted to know how campus communication could continue to improve, and how URM could facilitate that.

The URM team has been working hard to spread the word of all the great things happening at Missouri Southern. They send out about 10 press releases each week that tout the good news of MSSU, and they have expanded the University’s social media presence. But those mediums don’t reach everyone and they agreed with the members of Staff Senate that the campus newsletter could be improved. Accents has been a part of Missouri Southern for more than 25 years and has evolved over time from its beginnings of being composed on a typewriter. Simply put, it was time for the next phase of its evolution.

Now, after months of collaborating with IT to develop a new template, brainstorming new content areas and finding a way to showcase the campus photos and videos we’ve been capturing, we’ve developed a new version of Accents that we jokingly refer to as Accents 2.0.

The new Accents features many things you didn’t find before, such as fresh, rotating photos of campus events, news from Athletics, a “Perspectives” column featuring the words of our employees with insights into their work, and even cartoons to brighten your day. All of this is done to improve internal communication with one of our most important audiences: MSSU’s hardworking employees.

Since the new Accents is in blog format, you can check it at any time to catch the latest news and events. We’re updating it all the time, and if you choose to subscribe, you’ll get a notification when we’ve loaded new content. If you prefer to simply get your weekly notification the way you always have, just look for your regular Accents email

Thank you to the team that has collaborated to create this new format. They include Al Stadler, Rod Surber, and Peter Blomgren from IT, as well as Cassie Mathes, Steve Smith, and Brett Lyerla from URM. Also helping in the process were Justin Maskus from Athletics and Bob and Michelle from the Staff Senate.

We hope you enjoy the new version of Accents, and that it is a great source of information for you. If you’d like to suggest a story, contribute a column for “Perspectives” or just give us your feedback, please write to us at

Thank you for all you do and for being part of the MSSU family.

JoAnn Graffam
Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the Missouri Southern Foundation