By: Kylie Hawes
Every year new Griffons are excited to move in, begin their college career and join the Griffon family.
Although this can be a very overwhelming time, freshmen have the opportunity to participate in a program to help with this transition: Griffon Edge.
Griffon Edge is a five-day program that gives students the opportunity to attend workshops, meet student mentors and engage in interactive activities with fellow students.
Marissa Steimel was the previous events and new student program coordinator at Missouri Western. After three years of serving in her previous position, Steimel decided to apply for a new position as the associate director of admissions. Steimel describes her new role is as challenging but a new experience to grow her personal leadership abilities.
“I’m so excited to work with our new staff member who oversees all of Griffon Edge and she does all of the logistics and I’m more of an overseeing role,” Steimel said. “I help as needed but I help with the vision and the overall making sure everything gets done.”
Steimel’s favorite part of her new position is getting to work with Missouri Western’s new events and new student program coordinator, Melissa Stallbaumer.
“Just working with her and seeing her grow and seeing her acclimate to campus has been amazing,” Steimel said.
Stallbaumer spent most of her life in Gower, Missouri, a small town up the road from St. Joseph, Missouri. Stallbaumer received her undergraduate degree in public relations and her graduate degree in student affairs. The reason Stallbaumer came to Missouri Western to pursue a career was because she was familiar with the people.
“It has that small kind of family feel, I like that a lot,” Stallbaumer said.
This year the duo worked together on Griffon Edge. Even though Stallbaumer just started in May, she got to bring her new and innovative ideas.
Something Stallbaumer is very passionate and excited about incorporating more into the Griffon Edge program is options specifically available to help commuter students. This year a new program that was incorporated into the Griffon Edge was Commuter Connections. Another change that Stallbaumer would like to make to the program would be greater involvement of international students.
Junior Maggie Copenhaver has been a Griffon Edge leader for two years now. She has experienced working with the duo and Marissa alone.
Copenhaver’s favorite part of being a Griffon Edge mentor was interacting with freshmen students.
“I love getting to be the friendly face that they first see when they come to campus and being able to be the person they rely on,” Copenhaver said.
One of the other changes that the two came up with that Copenhaver really enjoyed was Griff Up Downtown. In previous years Griffon Edge had the Taste of St. Joseph, where students got top connect with businesses in town.
Every year students are asked to complete a survey about their Griffon Edge Experience. Based on their feedback, the organizers try to go through, alter and create new events. Greyson Reece, an incoming freshman, attended the program this year. One thing that Reece would change about the program would be the service day project.
“I would make the Griffon Buddies longer,” Reece said. “I helped a little girl go from hating math to loving math and seeing her jump up and down with tears of joy was very moving and enlightening to me.”
The Class of 2024 will be named the class of service.