Dakota Bates, Missouri State University-West Plains
Dakota Bates, a second year student at Missouri State University-West Plains, is a student leader active in issues of student academic success, student involvement, community service, and public affairs. As president of the Student Government Association, Dakota actually strives to improve student academic persistence and graduation by promoting student involvement in extra-curricular activities; improving communication among students attending the various campuses of the Missouri State University system; and serving an impressive variety of leadership roles that permit him to better interface with students. Dakota inspires and engages others through leadership of Operation 50K, a University initiative to provide 50,000 hours of volunteer service during its fiftieth anniversary year. He continually demonstrates the interest, motivation and potential for effective and long-term civic engagement in a many meaningful ways. He is an accomplished public speaker who is frequently asked to preside over campus activities. During a recent campus celebration event, Dakota even appeared on the same podium with the Chancellor of the University and the Governor of Missouri. Dakota’s poise and articulate delivery were openly recognized by the Governor in the presence of the large audience in attendance. His potential for effective and long-term civic engagement is unlimited.