Student’s memory continues in others

Ryan Brashers

Ryan Brashers

Memories of one Missouri Southern student will live on in his instructors, friends nd family.

On Jan. 28, Ryan Brashers, senior CIS major, died after being involved in an automobile accident.

The news of the accident reached his adviser the next Monday.

J. Stephen Schiavo, associate professor of CIS, was Ryan’s adviser.

“We only see a little tiny part of their lives,” Schiavo said. “He had a very promising future ahead of him.”

He said the faculty members who knew Ryan were all affected by the accident.

“It was pretty sad and quiet,” he said. “They were all pretty stunned by it.”

Ryan was the son of Randy and Carole Brashers.

Randy said his son had become interested in computers during his early years in high school. From there, Ryan went to Northeastern Oklahoma A and M. He graduated from there and transferred to Southern to finish his undergraduate education.

“He enjoyed the work and enjoyed helping,” Randy said.

Ryan worked as a concierge at the Joplin Holiday Inn.

Phillip Butler, guest service manager, hired Ryan in July as a bellboy and has several memories of working with him.

“He had a restrained sort of charisma,” Butler said. “He was a charming young man.”

Butler said Ryan often helped him with computer problems and always kept busy.

“He conducted himself with pride,” he said.

Ryan’s father said Ryan enjoyed working with the customers.

“He could work with people and deal with the customers and make them happy,” Randy said.

Bryan Stammer, front desk supervisor, also worked with Ryan.

“We talked about stuff that was way over my head,” Stammer said.

He said Ryan always took time out to help the customers, putting his work aside to make sure everything went well.

“He loved it,” Stammer said.

He said Ryan would drive from Southern to his home in Miami, Okla. and back to Joplin to work.

“I don’t see anyone doing something like that if they didn’t like their job,” Stammer said.

Schiavo said Ryan enjoyed his study as well.

“He was grown up; more grown up than some,” he said.

Shiavo said the relationship between student and instructor is important even if the two do not know one another very well.

“Every time something like this happens, it brings back all the others,” he said. “The sad part is we don’t know much more about our students.”

Butler, Stammer and Schiavo each gave their condolences to Ryan’s family.

“Our hearts go out to his friends and families,” Butler said.

Holiday Inn will be dedicating a brick with Ryan’s name on it at the new Bridge/John Q. Hammons Sports Park.

“He’s the kind of guy that wouldn’t necessarily stand out in a crowd, but he’d be the one making the crowd laugh,” Stammer said.

Butler also said one of Ryan’s best qualities was his humor.

“Everybody who knew him said he was easy going and fun to be around,” Randy said.

Students are also affected by the incident.

“He was a remarkable, talented individual,” said Jason Givens, senior CIS major. “He would help a fellow student out with homework in the CIS department even when he didn’t have time for himself.”

Givens said Ryan’s intelligence made him a natural in class.

“He was really gifted in what he did,” he said.

Ryan worked as a lab assistant and as a department tutor.

“He really enjoyed the CIS department,” Randy said. “He really enjoyed the time he spent there.”

Ryan’s friends agree.

“He wasn’t stuck up,” Givens said. “He wasn’t that type of guy. If he knew you, he liked you.”

Ryan was 22 years old.

Randy and Carole would like to express their thanks to the students and faculty who donated to the United Way in their son’s name.

“He would want to thank them,” Randy said.