“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”

It’s a lyric from John Lennon’s song “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” and one that seems appropriate for 2020 – a year in which predictability decided to take something of an extended vacation.

It’s doubtful anyone had “global pandemic,” “economic upheaval” or “civil unrest” factored into their resolutions or big picture outlook for the year. And yet here we are.

This fall semester at Missouri Southern looks much different than in years past. Masks, social distancing, the absence of MIAA athletic events … it’s not what we’re used to, but a situation that has found the entire campus community seeking ways to adapt in order to continue to fulfill our mission.

And if you think about it, that’s an important part of life – rolling with the punches and finding ways to deal with whatever obstacles are put in our path.

You’ll find a number of examples of that mindset in this issue of Crossroads.

In the following pages, you’ll meet:

David Goad, whose initial college career in the early 1980s was derailed by a serious car accident. More than 30 years later, he’s returned to MSSU to get a fresh start on his studies.

Dr. Jana Thomas Coffman, a Spanish/French instructor who began the year living with her family in Honduras and this summer took a pandemic-inspired leap of faith with a new house and new job in Southwest Missouri.

Christine Ibeagi and Haylee Plyburn, juniors who took the initiative to team up and address the issue of emotional well-being among their classmates.

And last, but certainly not least, our new president – Dr. Dean Van Galen – who has stepped into the role amid a time of uncertainty to help chart a course for the university that keeps the focus on our commitment to student success.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Crossroads. If you have a story idea, news to share or comments on this issue, we want to hear from you. Drop us a line at crossroads@mssu.edu.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you again in 2021!

Crossroads Magazine
Missouri Southern State University