It was the reputation of the Plaster College of Business that brought Karsyn Ballay to Missouri Southern, but the atmosphere on campus sealed the deal.

“When I took a tour of the campus, they did such a great job of portraying the values of the school,” she says. “I really liked the student-to-teacher ratio and the ‘at-home’ atmosphere.”

Ballay, who graduated from Missouri Southern this fall, arrived with the intention of studying computer science but discovered logistics was her true passion.

“Dr. Elke Howe carved out an hour or two out of her day to introduce me to the Industrial Engineering Technology program and logistics,” she says. “There was an instant feeling that logistics is what I wanted to do.”

While pursuing that field as her major – and a minor in management – she made the most of her college experience.

She graduated as an Honors student with magna cum laude recognition. She earned Six Sigma Green Belt and Continuous Process Improvement certificates and completed internships with Leggett & Platt Inc. and Schreiber Foods.

Ballay also took the opportunity to study abroad. In 2019, she participated in the “Made in Germany” trip offered by the Engineering Technology Department.

“We learned about German engineering techniques,” she says. “We toured Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and other companies and learned about the engineering styles they use.”

“Karsyn was a joy to have in class and also interact with out of class,” says Dr. Elke Howe, professor of engineering technology and chair of the department. “She took the initiative of applying classroom theory into practical applications on multiple projects at her various internship locations and impressed me every time she turned in the end results. She is a real go-getter.”

Ballay is ready to begin putting her knowledge to work in her chosen career field, having accepted a position in lean engineering with Schreiber, where she will focus on areas such as process efficiency and lean coordination.

“I feel like I’ve received a rich education at Missouri Southern,” she says. “The Honors program was a very rewarding experience, because you get to know the people so well. I met some of my best friends in the program.

“I was absorbed into all of my classes, stayed active on campus and really loved the school.”