Gubera recognized for helping meet community needs


Della Hagedorn, United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas | Contributer

Duane Dreiling, executive director of the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas, presents Southern professor Dr. Conrad Gubera with a certificate for his contributions to the community.

Morgan Reed, Staff Writer

For the last 40 years, Dr. Conrad Gubera, department chair of the social sciences department at Missouri Southern, has encouraged individuals on campus to get involved and contribute to the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas.

United Way recognizes the needs of individuals in the surrounding area and through donated funds by supporters. United Way is able to meet many of the needs recognized. 

Since 2008 United Way has focused on specific areas or “pillars” where individuals seemed to struggle and areas that were significant to an individual’s quality of life: education, income, health and safety. 

“United Way of Southwest Missouri & Southeast Kansas focuses on advancing the common good, which is less about helping one person at a time and more about changing the system to help all of us,” said Della Hagedorn, director of marketing and communications at United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas. “There are four community pillars that United Way recognizes as building blocks for a good life United Way of SW MO & SE KS recruits people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise, and resources needed to get things done.”

Gubera has been contributing to United Way since he began at Southern in 1967 and states that Southern has always been partnering with United Way and doing what they could to donate. United Way’s database only dates back to the last 17 years when it was established in 1999, however, in the those years alone Missouri Southern has donated a total of $268,944. 

It is a collected effort, calling for team captains over several departments and campus wide involvement. The Social Sciences department, as mentioned before is headed by Gubera and was recently recognized along with Gubera by United Way on Jan. 29th at their thank you luncheon for their contributions.

“The Social Science Department has partnered with several of our partner agencies to provide interns and community service,” said Hagedorn. “Dr. Conrad Gubera has been very instrumental in these partnerships and the Social Science Department also received a certificate of appreciation for their outstanding contribution and dedication to our community.”

For the past eight years. the Social Sciences department has donated more than any other department or collected team at Southern toward the United Way campaign. The department has raised between $27-28,000 of the $93-95,000 total donated from Southern in the past eight years.

Along with financial contribution, the department has helped in providing United Way with interns and volunteers for events and day to day tasks. It is a mutual beneficial relationship. Hagedorn said that this partnership helps students gain real world experience upon graduation, but also gives them knowledge of real needs in their community. 

“Our department services all the students on campus due to our classes associated with the General Studies requirements; we are one of the most ‘cost-effective’ departments on campus and the department has a genuine sense of campus and community commitment…,” said Gubera. “For all of these reasons, I am very proud of our department and to be a member of it!”

Nathan Hicks, Admissions Counselor and Campus Visit Coordinator at Southern, has coordinated the United Way campaign at Southern for the past 3 years and says that the Southern enjoys and does well with supporting the campaign. He also stated that him and his team are always looking for ways to get more people involved and contributing to the cause.

“It’s been a great experience to be involved in,” said Hicks. “We are here for the students and here for the community.”