The recipient of the Staff Person of the Year award is chosen based on their cultivation of active citizenship and mentorship of student leadership through alternative break programs on campus.
Bryan Goers at the University of Missouri
Staff Person: Bryan Goers - Leadership & Service and Venture Out Coordinator, University of Missouri
Nominator: Kelsey Kupferer - Graduate Assistant for Leadership & Service, University of Missouri
“I am more of an active citizen, a stronger leader, and a better person because of the unrelenting support and investment of Bryan Goers. I am not the only person who would tell you this either: Bryan has directly and profoundly changed the lives of countless Mizzou Alternative Break students, ranging from executive board members to site leaders to participants ...Through his mentorship, coaching and everyday interactions with students, he has inspired and instilled in students what a true citizen leader is.” -- Caleb Phillips, 2011 - 2012 Site Leader; 2013 President; 2013 - 2015 Graduate Assistant
Highlights: During Bryan’s tenure working with Mizzou Alternative Breaks, he sparked incredible growth in both quality and quantity - unmatched across the Movement.
- Built MAB from 8 trips to the largest alternative break program in the country - sending over 150 trips.
- Altered recruitment practices to ensure the program’s population matches the overall demographics of the university.
- Forged partnerships with Mizzou Extension offices to send alternative break trips to every county in the state.
- Led the development of the SEC compact - which coordinates trips over a five-week period to make a more sustainable mark on community organizations.
- Used his unique position as alternative breaks advisor to speak out for the rights and safety of all students in a controversial year for justice on University of Missouri's campus.
- Supported, above all else, strong student leadership.
Built MAB from 8 to over 150 trips and altered recruitment practices to ensure the program’s population matches the overall demographics of the university:
“Bryan has single-handedly grown the Mizzou Alternative Breaks program from sending fewer than 10 trips in 2010 to sending 161 trips in 2016. The program has grown not because we as program leaders have forced growth, but because our students have demanded it. Throughout this growth, the quality of the program has maintained its life-changing level. This is Bryan’s last year as the coordinator for Mizzou Alternative Breaks - he is switching jobs in May. Because this is his last year, we hope to honor him and all he has done with this nomination.” -- Kelsey Kupferer
Forged partnerships with Mizzou Extension offices to send alternative break trips to every county in the state:
Bryan created a partnership between Mizzou Alternative Breaks and University of Missouri Extension offices across the state to provide students with the opportunity to become leaders in communities across their home state. Thanks to Bryan’s unwavering commitment to local service, Mizzou AB now sends alternative break trips to every county in the state of Missouri.
“Mizzou Alternative Breaks had always sent students to lead in other states, but there was a distinct void within Missouri. Because of Bryan’s work, students are now empowered to find issues within Missouri and to serve in whole new ways. It has given a whole new meaning to active citizenship within Mizzou Alternative Breaks and communities across the state are now able to see the incredible student leaders at its flagship university.” -- Caleb Phillips
Led the development of the SEC compact - which coordinates trips over a five-week period to make a more sustainable mark on community organizations:
“Under Bryan’s supervision, the Mizzou Alternative Breaks program started the SEC Compact, which coordinates SEC schools with different spring breaks to send alternative break trips to the same site over a five week period. In this way, we’ve helped build the culture of alternative breaks at other SEC schools, developed partnerships with the other SEC alternative break programs, and made a huge positive impact on one community.” -- Kelsey Kupferer
Used his unique position as alternative breaks advisor to speak out for the rights and safety of all students in a controversial year for justice on University of Missouri's Campus:
“This year has been a transformational year at the University of Missouri. We have faced bouts of racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, anti-semitism and a variety of other oppressive acts on our campus… Bryan Goers did not sit back and watch as students continued to perpetuate this narrative, he acted. Instituting a new policy, Bryan took it into his hands to ensure that all Mizzou Alternative Breaks trips are free of hate by creating a new zero tolerance policy for hateful speech on trips… He utilized his ability as a citizen and as an advisor to act and to make our program a safer and more accessible program to all students at Mizzou regardless of any identity they may hold. I am extremely proud to call Bryan my advisor and to be a part of a program that stands up against oppressive structures and teaches students the importance of reflecting upon societal issues and how they impact the individuals we serve, as well as the individuals we sit next to in class every single day.” -- Matt Mckeown, Site Leader 2014, 2015; Director of Weekend Service 2016
Supported, above all else, strong student leadership:
“During my senior year in undergrad, I was fortunate enough to get to work with Bryan as President of Mizzou Alternative Breaks. Throughout the course of that year, Bryan shaped the type of leader I would become and am today… Bryan encouraged me to make a strategic plan for the program… He gave us ownership of the year, the future, our successes and our failures. And never have I seen a group of students and leaders become so unified, so motivated and so passionate. Our board that year created the MAB Mission and Principles, a need-based scholarship, diversity initiatives, and much more still in place today. These weren’t because of us students, but because of how Bryan encouraged us to grow, to dream, and to lead." -- Caleb Phillips
“I feel, along with the countless students who Bryan has directly impacted, that it is time for him to be recognized for his selfless, unabating support and development of students as leaders. The program, the school and now the communities in which those thousands of students live are better places, because they have leaders who have been encouraged and shaped by Bryan Goers.”
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