New Alumni Profiles

Student to Alumni Transition, Part Two

Supporting Future Students

Even though St. Louis native DeShaunya Ware, BGS ’16, has already relocated to New Orleans where she will teach high school English as a member of the 2016 Teach for America teaching corps, it still hasn’t set in that she’s a Mizzou alumna.

As one of the original 11 members of Concerned Student 1950, Ware finally started to feel like she had found a home at Mizzou her senior year. “Being involved in campus demonstrations showed me how much I truly, truly love Mizzou,” Ware says. “I just want it to be better for the next group of students.”

As a student member of the Griffiths Leadership Society for Women, Ware developed personal and professional relationships with other Mizzou student leaders and alumnae and benefited from the leadership development and mentoring. As an alumna, she wants to be a resource for students of marginalized identities on campus. “I want to let them know that they are there for a reason, and there are people like me who will support them no matter how far apart we are,” Ware says. “That’s so necessary to increase the retention rate and build social change.”

One way Ware hopes to do that is through the Mizzou Black Alumni Network, one of the more than 120 affinity groups, clubs and networks within the Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA). The network was relaunched in November 2015 to offer the opportunity for alumni to connect with one another and to demonstrate support from the MU student body. She also plans to get involved in the South Louisiana Alumni Chapter, which serves nearly 500 alumni living in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas.

Read More:

Part One, Pay it Forward 

Part Two, Supporting Future Students

Part Three, Networking With Fellow Tigers

Part Four, Instant Connection

More Mizzou Memories:

When Jamie Crockett, BJ ’15, was watching what happened on campus this past year from Jefferson City, Missouri, where she is deputy director of communications for the Missouri secretary of state, she was frustrated by the missing connection between the alumni and the current students. Now, as communications co-chair for the relaunched Mizzou Black Alumni Network, Crockett helps bridge that gap. “Having the ability to give back to the university is a way of saying thank you while also staying connected to an organization and to people who have watched you grow over the years,” Crockett says.

For Zach Sharp, BS ME ’16, every stage in life has had an obvious next step, from elementary school to middle school and high school to college. “At this stage, there is no obvious next step,” says Sharp, who has considered everything from pursuing an environmental engineering internship to serving as a Mizzou admissions representative. Wherever he ends up, Sharp hopes the Mizzou Alumni Association can help him keep track of where people go once they leave Mizzou. “A lot of people I know, when they leave, they're gone,” he says. “The biggest thing I really see Mizzou being able to offer new grads is a chance to maintain the relationships they've made while they're here.”

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