The Office of Academic Programs plays an integral part in numerous aspects of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, including student recruitment, study abroad opportunities and showcasing careers for students.
The CAFNR Office of Academic Programs has three new hires on its team, each of whom began their respective roles in August: Matt Arri, coordinator of career services; Julie Scroggs, coordinator of student recruitment; and Shanon Dickerson, director of study abroad.
‘A Wonderful Transition’
Matt Arri received his bachelor’s degree in French from MU before earning his master’s in human resources development from Webster University. He has more than 20 years of corporate human resources experience, including stints with Ameren, SSM Healthcare and MasterCard International. Most recently, he served as the career services coordinator for the MU College of Engineering, a position he had held since 2012.
“My background working in the engineering career services office has been invaluable and has helped me with the transition to my current role,” Arri said. “During my time in the College of Engineering, I utilized the Hire Mizzou Tigers website extensively, and I use this site every day in my job in CAFNR.”
With the College of Engineering, Arri worked to plan, develop and administer career-related services for students. Arri will do the same for CAFNR, with a focus on helping current students connect with future employers.
“I spent almost 20 years in human resources in the areas of recruitment, staffing, workforce planning, employer relations, and training and development,” Arri said. “As a former recruiter and as a Mizzou graduate, I spent quite a bit of time recruiting on the MU campus and thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Mizzou students. Now as a career services professional with CAFNR, I have the opportunity to share the knowledge I gained in the corporate world with the students that I work with every day. My goal is to help them become as ‘career ready’ as possible to attract as many employers to our campus to positively influence student outcomes.”
Arri’s experience in the corporate world will play an important role in his new job. He’s excited to bring that experience to CAFNR and work with the students.
“For me, it’s been a wonderful transition from my previous college to the CAFNR Office of Academic Programs team,” Arri said. “The faculty, staff and students here are very friendly, helpful and resourceful. Before I even considered working in CAFNR, I was aware of the high caliber of CAFNR students. During the short time that I have been here, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with some outstanding students, and I am looking forward to working with more students in the days ahead.”
Arri will help with career fairs, professional development workshops, interview programs and career counseling.
“Career and professional development is a significant piece of the CAFNR student culture,” said Bryan Garton, associate dean and director of academic programs. “We’re excited that Matt has joined the CAFNR family to work with our students, faculty and industry partners. Matt brings more than 20 years of corporate human resources experience, including working with many of the industries that hire our graduates, such as hospitality management and animal and human health. I’m confident that Matt will make a positive difference in helping our students achieve their career goals and be a great ambassador with our industry partners.”
A Supportive Culture
Julie Scroggs also earned degrees from Mizzou. She has bachelor’s degrees in communication and psychology and a minor in business. Scroggs received her master’s in higher education administration from the University of Kansas.
She joins the CAFNR team after more than a year with the University of Nebraska as an academic advisor.
“I’m grateful to be a part of this team,” Scroggs said. “The culture in this office is incredibly supportive and refreshingly student-centered. It’s all about the students, and I love that. I’m excited to see what I can add to CAFNR and the student experience.”
Scroggs served as a summer welcome leader during her time at MU, providing tours for possible students and leading group discussions among those students and their parents. Right after graduation, Scroggs worked with the Missouri College Advising Corps through the University of Missouri. In that role, she was a college advisor who worked with North Kansas City High School staff to increase the number of students enrolling in postsecondary education.
She met with and advised more than 500 students in that role, working with them on college planning and financing. Scroggs also implemented college-related workshops and planned campus tours.
“Moving from advising to recruiting is exciting,” Scroggs said. “My knowledge of academic processes and my experience in the Missouri College Advising Corps gives me an understanding of what students encounter before and after they start Mizzou. I’m looking forward to sharing my insights with prospective students and their families.”
Scroggs will have a focus on reaching out to high school students about the many advantages of Mizzou and CAFNR in her new role with the Office of Academic Programs. She recently traveled to Portageville, Mo., to talk to more than 400 students at the Fisher Delta Research Center Field Day.
“I’m looking forward to working with CAFNR students and recruiting them,” Scroggs said. “My goal is to bring in the best and brightest to CAFNR.”
Scroggs has also served as an academic advisor for the University of Kansas for two years before moving to Nebraska. She is happy to be back in her hometown.
“It’s beyond exciting to be back with MU,” Scroggs said. “I’ve been away from Columbia, my hometown, for the past five years, and it’s great to be home. Every day I walk by Johnston, where I lived my freshman year, and it’s kind of full-circle. I love Mizzou. It’s the best.”
“Julie brings a passion for Mizzou and bleeds black and gold,” Garton added. “She earned two undergraduate degrees from Mizzou and was a student leader in many campus-wide activities and events, all of which will prove valuable when sharing the Mizzou experience with prospective students and families. In addition, her education and work experience at two other major universities will prove valuable in her new role of coordinating our efforts to recruit the best and brightest to our degree programs.”
A Welcoming Team
Shanon Dickerson has traveled many miles in her professional career, including trips to Cuba, Brazil, Costa Rica and Ecuador. Dickerson earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Illinois College. She earned minors in business administration and sociology as well. Dickerson has master degrees in Spanish and sociology from Northern Illinois University.
Dickerson most recently served as an international advisor for Carl Sandburg College, in Galesburg, Ill., a position she has held since 2010.
“What interested me most in the director of study abroad position with CAFNR is being able to bring my experience in study abroad into a new area of study,” Dickerson said. “Most of my past work has been in humanities, and I am eager to learn more about the field of agriculture, food and natural resources.”
As an international advisor, Dickerson promoted study abroad opportunities for students and professional development abroad for faculty. She also created the first ever International Education Week at Carl Sandburg College. Dickerson also worked as the coordinator for international programs for Heartland Community College, in Normal, Ill.
Dickerson has study abroad experience herself, with trips to Costa Rica and Spain in 1999 and 2001, respectively.
“I look forward to growing the CAFNR study abroad programs and to awarding more scholarships than ever before,” Dickerson said. “I believe every student should be given the life-changing, career-building opportunity to study abroad that I had as a student. Whether exploring new locations or promoting our wide array of programs, what matters most is maximizing the student experience.”
Dickerson has been traveling professionally since 2000. She served as a leader on a majority of the trips and helped coordinate the trips as well. Dickerson also brings teaching experience to CAFNR. She served as a foreign language instructor at Carl Sandburg College from 2009-2015.
All of that experience will be vital for her new role as the director of study abroad.
“I enjoy being a part of a college within a university,” Dickerson said. “It has a family-like feel that I believe will allow me to get to know each study abroad student individually.
“The CAFNR team has been very welcoming. Everyone is kind, helpful and just as delighted to have me here as I am to be here. Faculty have invited me to visit their classes, students are interested in knowing more about study abroad opportunities, and the staff has been wonderful in assisting me in every way possible. This is an exciting time to be part of CAFNR.”
Dickerson will oversee a vast study abroad program at CAFNR and help students find the program that is the best fit for their academic and career goals.
“We are excited to have Shanon leading our efforts to develop and provide quality study abroad programs for our students,” Garton said. “Shanon brings a wealth of experience in developing and leading study abroad programs. She has more than 15 years of professional experience in planning and coordinating study abroad programs.”