Three faculty members and two staff members at Missouri State University were singled out for their work in public affairs.
They were honored with the 2022 Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Public Affairs, which is a cornerstone of the university.
Each winner receives a $1,500 grant for research, travel or projects related to their public affairs activities. The honorees include:
Piccolo, professor of childhood education and family studies, has focused on improving the public education system for its students.
In the past decade, Piccolo has worked on mathematics education with more than 50 districts.
She secured $1.5 million in external funding from the Missouri Department of Higher Education to support the teaching of mathematics in middle and high schools. She also received a $4 million grant that supports career outcomes in STEM.
Additionally, Piccolo connected teachers and students to community partners and became a leader in the College of Education by supporting LGBTQ+ students working in public schools.
Spates, associate professor of communications, presented on the topic of speaking up to bias in the workplace and providing leadership for the Ad Team in the College of Business.
Spates’ Ad Team earned a $645,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security’s Targeted Violence and Prevention program. The project, “Fuse: Spark Connection,” is a campaign that encourages conversations on difficult topics to reduce bias and discrimination.
As the faculty advisor for Missouri State’s Phi Beta Sigma Rho Chi Chapter and Zeta Phi Beta Theta Pi chapters, he mentors students as they manage their organizations.
Thomas-Tate, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, helps students develop cultural consciousness to provide services that minimize biases and are responsive to individual and group differences.
She created Ujima, a literacy program that has grown through partnerships with Springfield Public Schools, MSU’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, the Bartley-Decatur Neighborhood Center and the Springfield NAACP chapter.
Through summer literacy camps and family literacy nights, Thomas-Tate has helped MSU students become citizen scholars.
She is also a member of the Springfield school board.
For more than 40 years, Grevillius, clothing and soft goods manager at the Missouri State University Bookstore, has provided customer service to students, alumni and community members at the Bookstore.
His leadership and mentorship extend beyond the store’s walls, as he also works with students through fraternity and sorority advisement.
Off campus, Grevillius coaches, officiates and raises funds for local students at the middle and high school levels. He also mentored students at Glendale High School’s Distributive Education Clubs of America to prepare them for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.
Hains, administrative specialist, theater and dance, volunteers and serves as an advisor for students in the university’s theater and dance program.
She volunteers her time at the Bear Pantry and Counseling Center, and serves as stage manager for Springfield Little Theater and Springfield Contemporary Theatre.
Hains recently participated in the first Unlikely Allies Conference, an event where white women and women of color came together to build relationships and share stories about the difficulties they faced based on skin color and working in higher education.