Southern faculty offer advice to graduates

Missouri Southern faculty offered advice for Southern’s spring 20221 graduates. 

Dr. Mikh Gunderman, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Faculty Senate President  

My words of wisdom or advice to graduating seniors would be to always try to help wherever they can and to always try to keep an open mind and seize all the opportunities that are presented to them whether they are expected or not.” 


Dr. Amy Gates, Assistant Professor of English 

” Well, congratulations! This is exciting and I think the future, despite a rocky of couple of years, the future looks bright. My advice would be to stay curious to keep learning. Don’t stop now. There are always new things to learn, and new experiences to have. Seek those out and gain as much as you can from them.” 


Dr. Ward Bryant, Department Chair of Communication 

“I think the best advice I would give to seniors would be to keep your connections. Connections that you have made at school. From your friends to the faculty to your teachers even staffed individuals here because it is always good to have that. It could help in the future. It could help job wise, reference wise, and it’s always good to just kind of keep those personal and professional connections going.” 


Dr. Will Fischer, Professor of History  

“I think you need to find something that you are good at, and something that values the fact you that you are good at those things. But you don’t have to get your fulfillment and your identity out of your work. Your work can just be your work, and I hope the one thing that you have gotten from your higher education at Missouri Southern is some experience with various aspects of life beyond just working. I hope that you will remember some things that you may have learned in a biology class even if it isn’t relevant to your career. I hope that you may remember some things that you have learned in a English class or History class even if it isn’t relevant to your career because these four years of education are going to affect you beyond just your career, and you really are never again have again the opportunity to spend so much time learning about various topics. And some of the things that you’ll have learned in these past four years will pay off for you in the ways you don’t expect down the road. As you go out and pursue a career, be flexible, keep an open mind about the kind of work you can do. Apply for jobs even if you don’t seem like a perfect fit. Just show some passion for something in your job applications and in your interviews. Like I said, your passion doesn’t have to be for your work. You just have to do a good of job demonstrating that you are passionate about being good at something. Not necessarily that your feelings of self-worth and identity are going to be derived from your job. So, keep an open mind, be flexible, and let your higher education rich your entire life rather than just your career.