Brett McKnight hired by student employment office

By Taylor Enyeart

May 5, 2014

Missouri Western has made another hire, this time for the coordinator for the office of student employment. Brett McKnight, William Woods University graduate and graduate student at Missouri State University, will be taking over the position on May 12. Kay-lynne Taylor, director of the career development center, office of student employment and employee relations, is looking forward to what McKnight will add to Western. “He has enthusiasm, he knows what student engagement is and I am excited about the energy he will be bringing to campus,” Taylor said. McKnight is originally from Mississippi, but he grew up in Branson, Mo. He graduated from William Woods in Dec. 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in management with a human resources concentration. He will graduate with his master’s of science in student affairs in higher education with a certification in conflict and dispute resolution from Missouri State next month. McKnight hopes to bring a lot of positive changes to the campus. “I hope to see new student employee orientation implemented, create a handbook and training manual for student employees and perhaps an online manual for supervisors of student employees,” he said. He also said that it is important that student workers feel valued on campus. He hopes to contribute to the already growing recognition of student workers, including implementing a student employee of the month program. “It creates a positive atmosphere. The employees at a university create the culture, and when the students are going around and socializing at the institution, good attitudes of employees and student employees definitely reflect on the university in a positive way,” he said. Taylor said that McKnight exemplified many of the qualities they are looking for in the office, so it was very evident that they should hire him. “I think Brett really has the ability, from speaking to people who know him, work with him and have supervised him, to have a pulse on our campus,” Taylor said. McKnight said that he really felt like he was a great fit for the position and was feeling great about the new job. He also said that a quote from Aristotle really hit his thoughts about working in career development and student employment. “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your calling.” Along with hiring McKnight, the career development center hired Jason Mullin, a graduate student for the operations specialist position. Taylor said that hopefully Mullin will be transitioned into a new position, “learn, serve, change the world,” if the Student Success Act funds it.