MSU English Alumni Panel and Reception

The English Department’s Alumni Panel and Reception will be held Thursday, April 7th, at 4:30 p.m. in the Plaster Student Union Room 313!

Featured alumni will include Beth Fiset, Ryan LaBee, Taylor Parks Reaves, Sarah Sandidge, Maggie Morris-Owens, Christian Middleton, and Rob Blevins. Additional students, alumni, and faculty will be present to answer any questions and talk with students about major and minor programs, certificates, student organizations, study abroad, internships, and graduate programs and graduate assistantship opportunities.

We hope you can join us and meet these fantastic alumni! A reception will follow either in the PSU or outside in the courtyard, depending on weather!

Meet the Speakers

Ryan LaBee

Ryan Thomas LaBee is the founder and editor-in-chief of the online dark literature publication Pyre Magazine and co-founder of the Springfield-based writer's meetup group Making Pages. Ryan spends his days parenting, writing, and preparing to launch his and his wife's dark literature micro-publishing house sometime in late 2023.

"I loved my time at Missouri State University and my time in the English/Creative Writing department. Everything I do daily regarding the running of my magazine and my professional writing life is thanks to my time and experience in the Creative Writing department." - Ryan LaBee


Rob Blevins

Rob Blevins is the executive director of the Discovery Center of Springfield, a nonprofit, community funded science center located in Downtown Springfield, Missouri, which was one of only two science centers in North America to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic by offering free childcare to healthcare workers and first-responders; launching Learning Support Care for students in Springfield Public School’s blended learning model; creating a tutoring program to help struggling students and families get current on school assignments; and opening a new private STEM school, the Discovery School, which focuses on project based, strengths based, and adaptive in-person learning through full COVID safety models. In December of 2021, the Discovery Center was awarded the Grand Prize for the Center for Education Reform and media partner Forbes Stop Award in New York City, New York.

Rob has always had a passion for science and embraced his inner geek. He worked for NASA predicting dust storms on Mars while in high school and is a NASA certified moon rock and astromaterial handler. In 2019, NASA invited him to take part in the International Astronautical Congress in Washington DC and to Kennedy Space Center where he participated in the Orion Ascent Abort Test. Rob is a graduate of Missouri State University (2008), a 2020 and 2021 Biz 100 honoree, the 2019 Southwest Missouri Nonprofit Excellence Award winner for Emerging Leader of the Year, a SBJ 2019 Men of the Year Award winner, a Biz 417 10 for the Next 10 honoree, a Springfield Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree, a City of Springfield Gift of Time Nominee, a Leadership Springfield Class 36 graduate, and an active member of Downtown Rotary and Springfield Sertoma where he created the fundraising event, Springfield Prom.

Rob will be speaking throughout English Week, see the full schedule for presentation times.

Taylor Reeves

"My name is Taylor Reeves. I graduated from MSU in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Education. I was fortunate to study a semester in Germany, an incredibly impactful experience which informed many of my future decisions. After graduation, I went on to teach at Kickapoo High School in the English department for 5 years. During that time, I was also the Assistant Debate Coach and an online English instructor through Launch. I loved my time at Kickapoo, but I left in 2019 to pursue a lifelong dream of teaching English in South Korea. My husband and I spent a year in Gwangju teaching English Language Learners at the elementary level. I am currently working at Glendale High Schools as the At-Risk Specialist, as well as pursuing two Master’s Degrees through MSU, one in Educational Leadership and the other in English Language Teaching. " - Taylor Reeves