Odem to move to president’s office

Rebecca Watts

As Nancy Messick, secretary to the president and Board of Governors, steps down after 30 years of service, a new but not unfamiliar face will be taking her place.

On Jan. 1, Sharon E. Odem, secretary to the assistant vice president for academic affairs, will be utilizing her 12 years of Missouri Southern experience to assume Messick’s position.

Odem, a Missouri Southern alumna, began her career at Southern in 1994 intending to send her two children through college debt-free. She worked in the criminal justice department processing and typing paperwork for the police academy. In 1995, Odem transferred across the street to the psychology department, where she worked until 2002 when she assumed her current position.

“Missouri Southern is very important to me,” Odem said. “It’s a great place to work. And it just seemed to always fit.”

Messick’s retirement came as a surprise to Odem because of Messick’s known love for the University.

“She’ll be really good,” Messick said. “She’ll work very hard in helping students.”

Odem said her wide spectrum of the campus has prepared her for the position.

“It’ll be different but I’m looking forward to it,” she said.