There’s an approach to good storytelling that involves bringing things full circle – tying things up neatly in a way that corresponds with how the story began.
For Lisa Olliges Green, that kind of full-circle story also represents her career path, which has led to her being named general manager of KGCS, the campus television station at Missouri Southern State University.
A longtime broadcast journalist with KOAM, her role there has intersected with the university in a variety of ways.
“Years ago, I had an interesting experience here at Missouri Southern while working at KOAM,” Olliges Green said. “I was host of ‘Academic Challenge’ on the campus television station. It was basically ‘Jeopardy’ for high-school students in the area.
“It was a great experience. I was able to host events in other states and at a national-level tournament. It helped me grow and hone my skills as a presenter.”
Later, as an education reporter for the station, MSSU was part of her beat.
“I came here to do stories, and interviewed students and faculty members,” she said. “As a reporter, I appreciated how the university is a very important part of our community.”
Olliges Green got her start in broadcasting in St. Louis as an intern with KMOX-AM radio and for KSDK-TV. Her broadcast journalism career took her to KTVO in Kirksville, Mo., before joining KOAM, where she served in a variety of roles – including reporter; anchor for morning, news, 5 p.m. and weekend broadcasts; weekend producer; and assignment editor – spanning 31 years from 1988 to 2019.
Prior to joining Missouri Southern, she served as a media specialist for Freeman Health System in Joplin.
Dr. Maureen Wieland, chair of the Communication Department at MSSU, said the experience Olliges Green brings to the table is a major asset.
“Our department is incredibly excited to have Lisa on our team,” said Wieland. “She brings to our department over 30 years of experience as a news reporter and anchor serving the Joplin and Southeast Kansas communities. She is passionate about education and community engagement, and her positive energy is already motivating our students and faculty.”
Olliges Green said she hopes to collaborate with other areas within the Communications Department to create well-rounded multimedia journalists.
“Today, you don’t just work for a TV station,” she said. “You don’t just write for a newspaper. What you do is going to be shared online. I want students to be trained in all aspects, so their work can be shared in other multimedia formats.
“But while we have new technology, the heart of being a good journalist is to be a good storyteller. You need to listen when interviewing people so you can ask good questions. You need to be able to share someone’s story without twisting it … to be fair and interesting and creative, and to make sure their story comes full circle.
“That’s what my career path has done. Being at Missouri Southern has brought me back to what I know and love.”