Name: Alison Eckert
Hometown: Licking, MO
Currently Resides: West Plains, MO
Occupation: Registered nurse in the emergency department at Baxter Regional Medical Center
All Degrees Received: Associate of Science in Nursing and Associate of Arts in General Studies, Missouri State University-West Plains
“The West Plains campus of Missouri State was unique in every way.”
Alison Eckert had always heard great things about Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) when she was a student at Licking High School, but it wasn’t until she began attending the campus that she discovered just how unique a place it really is.
“The faculty and staff always knew my name and made sure to go out of their way to ask how I was doing every time we came into contact,” Alison said. “The staff of the nursing department was especially incredible, becoming more like family to me than professors. I will forever owe my success to their great mentorship over the last few years.”
The campus’ smaller size and overall personal atmosphere were two of the reasons Alison was drawn to MSU-WP, and they gave her the opportunity to discover ways to become involved in campus life.
She joined the Grizzly Madness student pep club and sat with her peers to cheer on the Grizzly Basketball and Volleyball teams from the student section inside the West Plains Civic Center. She also was a member of the Welcome Week Committee, which develops a variety of events and activities for students to participate in during the first week of the fall semester.
“Reaching out and becoming involved in several things on campus made it much more welcoming. I connected with so many new people in doing that. Participating in these organizations allowed me to make life-long friendships with others I would have never known otherwise,” Alison said.
“I feel I have grown into a much more confident individual now!”
Alison admitted she was nervous when she first arrived at MSU-WP. “I had just graduated high school and was a nervous wreck to move away from home. I was anxious about having to make friends the most.
“I was a pretty outgoing person then, but I feel as if I have grown into a much more confident individual now. I am excited for new adventures and not concerned about stepping out on my own,” she added.
That confidence, coupled with her newfound knowledge in nursing, has led Alison to a position as a registered nurse in the emergency department at Baxter Regional Health Center in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She’s also pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing at another university.
“The West Plains campus provided me with copious amounts of knowledge that allowed me to receive my degree in nursing and become a registered nurse in a short amount of time. This has been my goal for as long as I can remember,” she said.
“I was also able to take extra classes, allowing me to graduate with a second degree that will go toward my bachelor’s. This puts me one step closer to accomplishing my next goal,” she added.
“Jump all in!”
Alison said she couldn’t be more pleased with her experience at MSU-WP. “I was so happy to be able to connect with others on campus and have a second home in a completely new place!”
She encourages new and future students to “jump all in” and get involved. “Break out of your shell and take every opportunity thrown at you. Be involved in all that you can handle because, I promise, it will not be regretted!
“Also, always go get the free pizza and donuts!!!”