outstanding graduates-accents-newThree students will receive the “Outstanding Graduate” Award this spring from the Missouri Southern State University Alumni Association. The 2013 winners of the Award are Kellen Cox, physical education major from Mt. Vernon; Callie Munson, biology/pre-medicine major from Joplin; and Ryan Prisock, economics/finance major from Joplin. The trio will receive special recognition at the Honors Convocation on Wednesday, April 24 in the Mills Anderson Public Safety Center Auditorium.

Established in 1972, The Outstanding Graduate Award at Missouri Southern is an award given out to a Graduating Senior by the Alumni Association for outstanding achievements in the classroom. The recipient(s) also must have made significant contributions to benefit the University and/or community. The award is given each spring at the Honors Convocation.

Candidates are nominated for the Outstanding Graduate award by the faculty, staff and Administration of MSSU. Information is gathered from many different sources. The Alumni Awards Committee, comprised of Alumni Board members and Faculty, meet to review all nominations. They recommend recipients(s) to the MSSU Alumni Association Board of Directors. The nominees must have shown high standard of character, won the respect of peers and faculty, provided service to the college, demonstrated evidence of leadership on campus and community, participated in a variety of campus activities, and maintained an above average grade point standing.

Kellen Cox
Kellen Cox, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in physical education on Saturday, May 11, has been an All-Conference MIAA Honorable Mention Quarterback at MSSU. He is 2012 Student Athlete Academic Honor Roll member; nine-semester MSSU Football Captain; 2011-12 Sugar Bowl-Allstate good works Team member; 2012 National Football Foundation William V. Campbell Trophy semifinalist; 2012 Missouri Southern E.O. & Virginia Humphrey award winner; and 2012 MSSU John Ware Memorial Scholarship winner.

On campus, Cox has served as treasurer of the Student Athlete Advisory Council. He has been a Lifetime Sports Academy Counselor each year since 2008, Fellowship of Christian Athletes president in 2012 and an organizer of the All-Athlete Talent Show. He has been FCA president since his freshman year and a 5-year member of the Student Advisory Council. He helped raise over $4,000 for the “Make a Wish” Foundation and helped garner over 5,000 canned food products for local food pantries. He holds a 2013 Stewards of Children certification, worked for eight years serving children at Vacation Bible School and for six years helping children with disabilities on Special Olympics Mission trips in the U.S. and abroad. He currently works alongside employees of the Division of Youth Services, helping mentor high school boys.

He also started several programs and services for students to keep they away from drugs, alcohol, gang activities and violence.

He has been named a Regional Director for the headquarters of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Kansas City, Mo. and will start his position soon after graduation.

Callie Munson
Callie Munson, Joplin, who will receive a Biology-Pre-Medicine degree from MSSU on May 11, has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her years at Missouri Southern. Her minor is in Spanish with a medical interpretation emphasis. On campus she has been a member of Epsilon Mu Sigma from the fall of 2009 to the present; a member of Omicron Delta Kappa from fall 2011 to the present; and a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society from fall 2011 to the present.

She has been a Laboratory Prep Technical Assistant for Bio 121/122 classes in 2009-10 and for the BIO 110 class from 2010 to the present. She assisted with Missouri Southern State University Foreign Language Field Day in 2010 and 2011 and was a judge for the Missouri Southern Regional Science fair from 2010 to 2013. She has also worked with the Education Talent Search program on campus.

Munson was a supervisor of the Beimdiek Recreation Center from 2009-12, public relations officer for Epsilon Mu Sigma in 2011 and 2012, and a Lab Technician Trainer for the biology Department this spring. In the community she was a Unit Tech (responsible for a team of patients for 12 hour shifts) at Landmark Hospital in Joplin in 2011-12, a private tutor for 5th and 6th graders in math, science, social studies tutored and Joplin High School students in communications and chemistry.

She took part in Extreme Home Makeover program for tornado recovery in 2011 and worked with the LifeChoices Medical Clinic in 2011-12. She worked at the Joplin Museum Complex through Epsilon Mu Sigma in 2010. In the spring of 2011, she served as a Summer International Health Fellowship in Huancayo, Peru for the Foundation of International Medical Relief of Children. In this capacity she shadowed in local hospitals, taught health-related lessons to children in an orphanage and worked in an HIV home and in local schools. She completed a language immersion course through MSSU’s Spanish department in Quito, Ecuador in June 2012.

She has job-shadowed a local anesthesiologist and a cardiologist and observed procedures in the Freeman Hospital Cardiac Catheter Lab.

Ryan Prisock
Ryan Prisock, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in Economics/Finance from MSSU on May 11, has a 4.0 GPA. He is a member of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society and has won 1st and 2 nd place awards at the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference and the Phi Beta Lambda Missouri Leadership Conference. He also has been a member of the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society and has won first and second place awards in the Collegiate DECA Missouri Leadership Conference. He was a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and the Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honors Society.

As a member of the MSSU Student Senate, he chaired the Capital Improvements Committee and oversaw and wrote legislation for the largest capital improvement project in Senate History. As treasurer of Omicron Delta Kappa, he was responsible for membership dues collection, national dues payments and event purchasing and was fundraising coordinator. As vice president of Phi Beta Lambda he was in charge of membership recruitment and competition coaching and coordination and saw the club double in membership and increase in national competition placement. He served as president of the Collegiate DECA group, as president of the Accounting club and as a member of Epsilon Mu Sigma.

He has worked as coordinator of Teachers’ Assistants in the Business Learning Support Center at the Plaster School of Business at MSSU, assisting the dean, faculty and students. He completed a Tax Internship at Baird, Kurtz and Dobson, LLP, preparing tax returns and extension requests. He also has worked as a laborer in exterior and interior construction. He served as a music leader, Sunday School teacher and in other capacities at Landmark Tabernacle Church in Joplin and was a youth counselor at Shady Springs youth Camp in Bedford, Ind. He studied abroad in Honduras in 2011, worked with Christ Cares World Ministries, and worked as a volunteer at the Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin.

He plans to compete at the 2013 Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference in June and to intern at the U.S. House of Representatives in June and July. This fall, he will attend Washington University School of Law in St. Louis with the aid of a Scholars of Law Merit Scholarship.

For more information, contact Lee Elliff Pound, Missouri Southern Alumni Association Director, at (417) 625-9355 or email pound-le@mssu.edu