Geography, Geology and Planning Advisory Board

Tim Bixler (BS - Geography, 2003)

Tim BixlerGIS Specialist
Missouri Dept. of Conservation
Resource Science Center
1110 S. College Avenue
Columbia, MO 65201

“The education I received from the Geography, Geology, and Planning Department (GGP) at Missouri State University (MSU), the good people I met along the way, and the abundance of outdoor activities within a short drive, all worked together to make my time in Springfield a pleasant experience. With the demand for GIS knowledge increasing, the opportunity for a successful career in the geospatial sciences is an achievable goal and the MSU GGP program is committed to not only providing you with all the necessary tools and knowledge to be successful, but it will also help you make the connections you need to get a good start.

It’s an honor for me to be a part of the GGP Alumni Advisory Board and I’ll do everything I can to help both the department and its students.”

Russell Caton (BSEd - Geography, 1983)

Russ CatonU.S. Geological Survey
National Geospatial Technical Operations Center
1400 Independence Road, Mail Stop 701
Rolla, MO 65401

"Dynamic and diverse programs have been hallmarks of the MSU Geography, Geology, & Planning Department for years. Such a broad based academic foundation has provided solid ground for my career with the U.S. Geological Survey, strengthening my ability to work in a variety of roles within the many scientific tasks undertaken by the USGS.

It is an honor to be able to serve with the MSU GGP Advisory Board -- a reconnection to a rewarding academic and collegiate experience that was one of my most memorable life experiences. I truly enjoy the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing successes of the department for the benefit of its students and graduates."

Michael Duffy (BS - Geography, 1988)

Mike DuffyDirector of Community Development
2950 NW Vivion Road
Riverside, MO 64150

Joseph A. Gillman (BS - Geology, 1992)

Joe GillmanState Geologist and Director
Division of Geology and Land Survey
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 250
Rolla, MO 65402

"Many of us can attribute success in our careers to the education and experience we received while at Missouri State. The geology program offers an outstanding classroom education and provides a unique faculty/student interaction and opportunities to apply classroom instruction to “field” experiences. This comprehensive educational culture is not available at many universities. The department is committed to excellence in teaching and actively pursues program review by consulting industry, government, and research professionals in order to ensure students are afforded the opportunity to stay at the forefront of scientific and educational needs to be successful in today’s global marketplace.

Being a member of the Alumni Advisory Board has provided me with the opportunity to give back to the department and Missouri State. In addition, it has given me the chance to reconnect with faculty and classmates and establish new friendships with GGP Alumni."

Olivia Hough (BS - Planning, 2001)

Olivia HoughSenior Planner/Brownfields Coordinator
City of Springfield, Dept. of Planning and Development
840 Boonville Avenue
Springfield, MO 65802

"The Community and Regional Planning Program provided me with a solid foundation of planning principles and well rounded skill set that were immediately applicable to my first planning job and continue to serve me well. The program solidified my decision to pursue a career path that would allow me to positively impact the future every day."

Jason Jaggi, AICP (BS - Planning, 1997)

Jason JaggiCity Planner, City of Clayton
10 N. Bemiston Avenue
Clayton, MO 63105

“The Community and Regional Planning Program at Missouri State University prepared me well for my career and its graduates are highly regarded by employers. Many graduates are in high-level positions helping to make a difference in the communities they serve!”

Jenni Jones, AICP (BS - Geology, 2000)

Jenni JonesSenior Transportation Planner
Missouri Department of Transportation
PO Box 270
Jefferson City, MO 65102

"Looking at my background, you could say that I'm a hybrid of the Missouri State University Geography, Geology and Planning program. I have a Geology degree (from MSU) and a Planning degree (from another institution). Though the two are different disciplines, the underlying themes for success in both are the same: attention to detail, comprehensive problem solving, and effective oral and written communication skills. The preparation I gained from the Geology program helped me tremendously in Planning school and subsequently as a transportation planner for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

It's a privilege to be part of a group of professionals who value the quality education provided by the MSU GGP department. Knowing that I can help students and the success of my alma mater is immensely rewarding. I've been very fortunate in my career, and am glad to give back."

James D. Kendall (BS - Geology, 1994)

Jim KendallExploration Manager
Samson Resources
2 West 2nd Street
Tulsa, OK 74103

Dr. Gary W. Krizanich (BS - Geology, 1983; MS - RPL, 1986)

Gary KrizanichInstructor of Earth Science
Department of Biology and Earth Science
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093

"The academic training that I received as both an undergraduate and graduate student in the Department of Geography, Geology, and Planning at MSU prepared me for a successful career as a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey. The relationships built with faculty have continued throughout my professional career and inspired me to earn a Ph.D. in geology and now have the opportunity to teach the next generation of geoscience students."

Dot M. Lofstrom (BS - Geology, 1981)

Dot LofstromDepartment of Toxic Substances Control
California Environmental Protection Agency
Sacramento, CA

"What sets the MSU Geology Program apart from other schools is the quality of the faculty and their interest in seeing each student succeed as a geologist. I got a first-rate education here, one that compares favorably with that of my staff and colleagues at DTSC who are primarily graduates of either UCLA or UC-Berkeley. Being a student in the MSU Geology Program was a great start to my geology career."

Kent D. Morris, AICP (BS - Geology, 1974; MS - RPL, 1981)

Kent MorrisDirector, Greene County Planning Department
940 Boonville Avenue
Springfield, MO 65802

Video Interview

"The education I received as an undergraduate and graduate student at MSU has enabled me to be successful. In addition, I have hired several graduates from the Geography, Geology, and Planning programs at MSU because they were academically well prepared and a cut above graduates from other institutions."

Ralph Rognstad, Jr.

Ralph RognstadDirector, Planning and Development Department
City of Springfield
P.O. Box 8368
Springfield, MO 65802

“We have hired several graduates of the Missouri State Planning Program through the years. Graduates have competed well in the hiring process, and those we have hired have been well-prepared to begin contributing to our work program.”

Scott D. Smith (BS - Cartography, 1986)

Scott SmithGPS/Mapping Representative
Seiler Instrument
918 N. Scott Avenue
Belton. MO 64012
816-331-3383, ext.16

"MSU is 'home away from home' for me. I met my wife at MSU and we still go to MSU/Springfield for weekend get-a-ways. It’s a hard feeling to explain how this area feels to me, so I will simply say 'it feels like home to me.'

"In 1986 I graduated from then SMSU with a little known degree in Cartography and Map Technology. I soon discovered that the education I received would prepare me for a long career in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Twenty-five years later, I firmly believe that my education at MSU was a huge factor in getting my foot in the door for future employment for all of the jobs I applied for, interviewed for, and landed. I am very fortunate to be an MSU Alumni.

"Now, as part of the GGP Advisory Board I get to visit my old stomping grounds, meet with former and current professors, as well as discuss ways in which we (former alumni) can help the GGP program. It is an honor for me to be part of such a group."

Kristina Weger (BS - Geography, 2004)

Kristina WegerLegislative Assistant
260 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

"Although I took a different career path than many of my fellow Board members, I believe it is a great example of the varied opportunities a Geography degree can provide to students. I really enjoy having the chance to be an active part of the Missouri State community with membership on the GGP Advisory Board."