MWSU hires new director of external relations

Institutional News

Missouri Western State University has successfully completed its search for a new director of external relations after having the position vacant for the past two an a months.

Since the departure of former Director of External Relations Brandt Shields, who took a position as the Kansas City District Director for U.S. Senator Roy Blunt in mid August, the admissions department has been on patient scavenge for a replacement. Midway through the month of October, admissions has announced that the search has concluded and that Steve Johnston, director of the community alliance will be the successor to Shields.

“Im excited for the opportunity its a position that I am well prepared for and I thank Missouri Western State University for the opportunity,” Johnston said.

Back at the start of the 2018 fall semester, Dr. Vartabedian remained adamant that while this position was of most importance to the university him and his group 0f admissions faculty would be patient in selecting the right candidate.

“When he saw the opening for the position he contacted me to express his interest in the position, and after reviewing his resume, while there were other candidates that had very qualified resumes, Mr. Johnston clearly stood out the most,” Vartabedian said.

Johnston, a Kansas native and alum of Kansas State University, has been a member of the St. Joseph community for the past 42 years. His endeavorers consist of 20 years of experience with Wire Rope Corporation of America, chairman of the Heartland Foundation Board, member of the United Way of Greater St. Joseph, Missouri Western State University Foundation Boards and of course his nearly decade tenure as Director of the Community Alliance of St. Joseph.

Along with a laundry list of credentials on his resume, Johnston’s experience with local and national officials elevated his stock when it came to getting the position.

“His very interesting professional experience and connections with the locals,state and national legislators that can be very helpful to us,” Vartabedian said.

With so much experience, Johnston should be able to “hit the ground running” according to Dr. Vartabedian and with plans to continue the architectural renovation of Potter Hall that was funded under the former director of external relations, Johnston will definitely have his hands full right out the gate.

“My goals at the moment are to prioritize strategies and build on relationship and expand relationships on and off campus,” Johnston said.

Johnston will begin his duties at Missouri Western on Jan. 1.