Member Testimonials

To show you how being a member of SAA extends beyond your four years at Missouri State, we reached out to some of alumni members and invited them share the positive impact they feel SAA has had both on their college experience as well as life beyond college. 

Taylor Breshears and friends at a MSU tailgate

"My name is Taylor Breshears. I currently live in Baton Rouge, LA and work for Louisiana State University as an academic counselor for TRIO Student Support Services. I was involved with Student Alumni Association (SAA), formerly known as REAL Bears, for a total of 5 years; I served in a few leadership positions for my undergraduate career and I advised the organization during graduate school.

I learned many leadership skills in SAA, which became the foundations for my leadership today. During my time as President of the organization, I helped organize the first Missouri State Birthday Party, which is now a tradition of the University. Event planning involves a lot of coordination, delegation, problem solving, and interpersonal skills. I am thankful for my experience with SAA and the advisors because I use those skills every day in my career. 

I would recommend new students to this organization because of the wealth of opportunities! Some of my favorite opportunities and memories were planning major events like the Birthday Party, networking with alumni at Missouri State football games, and attending conferences with other student alumni organizations. The advisors care about their students and invest in leadership and growth for the organization. SAA is great way to be involved and connect to the larger Missouri State community!"

Molly Reddick and Friend at a MSU Football Tailgate

"Hello! My name is Molly Reddick and I currently live in Kansas City where I am a Senior Organizational Development Specialist at SS&C Technologies. I was a member of the Student Alumni Association (then R.E.A.L. Bears) from 2010-2014.

R.E.A.L. Bears played a huge role in my college experience, and I loved being part of a great organization! R.E.A.L. Bears was one of the first organizations I joined at Missouri State. I am from a small town in Northwest Missouri so when I came to Missouri State I didn’t know anyone and didn’t know how to start making new friends. I quickly found R.E.A.L. Bears and I joined to network with alumni and feel more connected to Missouri State. What I didn’t anticipate was the great friendships I would gain along the way! I have so many great memories from working the sky boxes at games to the speed networking events. I was even able to hold a leadership role in R.E.A.L. Bears which not only gave me great leadership experience, but it also helped me with my current career! I work in organizational development where I help build leadership development programs for associates at SS&C Technologies. The foundation of that leadership development experience came from my time as a student leader. I am forever grateful to Missouri State, and R.E.A.L. Bears, for that experience.

I would encourage any student to join the Student Alumni Association! You will feel a stronger connection to Missouri State both when you are there and when you become an alumnus. You will also make some great friends along the way!

Best of luck during your time at Missouri State! All hail maroon and white!"

Tara Long and friends watching fireworks at MSU event

"My name is Tara, and I am a Graduate Assistant for MCHHS Technology Services at Missouri State currently pursuing a Master's in Speech-Language Pathology, and I will graduate in May 2022. I was involved in SAA from Fall 2018 to May 2020. I met so many incredible people through SAA, both members and alumni! During my time with SAA, I developed a large sense of pride for MSU and giving back to the University. I also furthered my leadership and professional communication skills through the organization’s events and activities.

Through SAA, I also received the opportunity to work at the MSU Foundation, and I received a plethora of professional development guidance from Dinners with Eight Bears and the Alumni Association Board. My favorite part of SAA was the close-knit group of members and advisors that became and still are some of my favorite people – a group of people who care so much about MSU and understand the importance of alumni and how much of an impact giving back has."