Becky Dunn was recently named Missouri Western's chief communications officer. Dunn has an impressive background in higher education, a passion for writing and history, and is excited to become a significant role in the future of Missouri Western's success.
University President Dr. Kennedy told Griffon Weekly, "Communication is more important than ever, and Becky has the combination of skills and experience to help Missouri Western communicate clearly with our internal and external audiences."
Dunn is from Conway, Missouri, and has always enjoyed writing short stories. In high school, she was the community newspaper editor and had a part-time job working for a city newspaper. Her experience led her to double major in journalism and history at Northwestern Missouri State University. While at Northwestern, she became the editor for the online edition of the campus newspaper and worked on the yearbook. She then became the managing editor of a travel and leisure magazine, where she traveled to many states in the Midwest and created features on people and businesses they encountered.
After graduating with her double major, she began working for Northwestern to coordinate their new student orientation programs and recruit transfer students while earning her master's degree in history. Later she moved to Jefferson City, Missouri, and began working at the State Technical College of Missouri, where she was in charge of recruiting students, campus tours, orientation, and worked on the marketing committee. After a few years, she switched positions to teach American history and government and explained how she worked as a legislative liaison.
"I was the legislative liaison, so I advocated for State Tech at the Missouri Capitol … I got a chance to understand the legislative process, how an institution is supported by the state, and how it's impacted by legislation that's passed and policy. And then I was able to share that in the classroom."
After seven and a half years of teaching, she became the Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Communications at the Missouri Department of Higher Education. She helped drive the state's initiative to focus on workforce and economic development, which resulted in the department becoming the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. This was a significant change that involved many messaging about the department's role and vision and how they would serve Missourians. She continued her position until 2021, where she became the Commissioner's Chief of Staff. She then had the opportunity to become a part of Missouri Western staff.
"I've been a part of higher education my entire career, and working at the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development was fantastic, but certainly not the same as being on a college campus. So having an opportunity to come back to a campus where you have the opportunity to work with students and faculty, the vibrancy is great. Even though I'm from southwest Missouri, northwest Missouri is a second home to me."
Dunn is a member of Missouri Western's cabinet and the COVID-19 response team. She is excited to work with the university's marketing and communications team and see everyone succeed.
"My primary focus is learning more about the institution, the people, our mission, and where we're headed. And then how marketing and communications can play a role in that, in helping us accomplish that mission, and helping us ultimately welcome new students and see them successfully start their careers after they graduate."
Dunn provided the following message to the students of Missouri Western.
"I'm excited to hear your stories. I want to know why you chose to come to Missouri Western. I want to know what your experience is like and how we can use those stories and share your stories with future Griffons."