Staff Member loves seeing students grow


As the administrative assistant in the music department, Boyer enjoyes working with the students each day. She enjoys watching them grow into adults. She “loves them like they are my own.” She also enjoys keeping in touch with graduates and the friendships.

Every teacher hopes to see his or her students grow, learn and eventually graduate. 

The administrative assistant in the music department at Missouri Southern hopes for the same things.

Rita Boyer has been at Southern since 1998. 

She worked in the Registrar’s Office for five years before taking the administrative assistant position in the music department.

“Missouri Southern is well respected in the community, so I guess you could say their reputation for being a great university, as well as great employer drew me to Southern,” Boyer said.

Boyer came to Southern after seeing a job posting in The Joplin Globe. 

At that time, she and her husband had a young daughter at home, and Boyer was looking for something with set hours, benefits and weekends off.

“I was actually offered three positions at the same time, including the one at MSSU, so I had to make a decision about which one I wanted,” Boyer said. “It was a nice problem to have.”

Boyer has a background in music. She began her career as a voice major at Ozark Christian College. 

Because of her love of singing, she spent time with the praise team at College Heights Christian Church.  

She also began working in administrative functions at a young age. 

All together, she has 40+ years experience in the administrative field.

Boyer enjoys seeing students starting out in the music department.

“I really love the students here at Southern,” Boyer said. “Specifically for me, the music majors. I love seeing them when they come in as freshman and watching them grow in their musical abilities as well as becoming young responsible adults.”

Boyer also is praised from her peers.

“She is the ‘voice’ of the music department and is among the most consistently pleasant and helpful individuals one could ever hope to meet,” said Dr. Jeffrey Macomber, interim chair of the music department. 

“I call her the ‘woman that knows everything’ and that is totally accurate,” said  Dr. Cheryl Cotter, associate professor of music at Southern.

“We have been very fortunate to have had Rita with us for such a long time,” Macomber added.

In addition, another staff member offers even higher praise.

“I was serving as department head and hired Rita many years ago. The best hire I ever made,” said Dr. Phillip Wise, professor at Southern.

Just as many adults hope to do, Boyer wants to give something to each student.

“I hope to give them a smile, a shoulder to lean on, an encouraging word, and a listening ear,” Boyer said.

“I have been blessed and privileged to be a small part, of the big puzzle, in our students’ academic careers at Southern,” Boyer added.