Alex Embree radiates passion when she discusses her job as the Senior Student Service Coordinator within the College of Human and Environmental Science at the University of Missouri.
“Your college years are such a time of growth and discovery,” Embree said. “No one leaves college the same person they were when they came in. My favorite part [of my job] is seeing growth in students, watching them overcome challenges, make changes in their lives, and make discoveries within themselves, especially when students really come in with the idea of what they want to be.”
Embree has many responsibilities as senior student service coordinator. She works with students who are interested in changing their majors, individuals who are experiencing crises that come with college, and manages the student ambassador team, all while teaching student success and business administration classes.
Her passion for this work stems from her college lifestyle. She had to formulate her actions and decisions regarding college on her own, as she was the first person from her family to attend.
“I didn’t have anyone around me to help me plan for college,” Embree said. “I was the first person in my family to go to college and that influenced my decision to go for my first job.”
Since graduating from MU in 2009 with her bachelor’s in communications, Embree has dedicated her career to helping young adults and college students seriously think through what they want to do with their lives. She started by working as a counselor in a rural Missouri high school helping students there decide their college paths. Shortly after, in 2011, she was hired by MU as the Senior Student Service Coordinator, which she accepted as she completed her master’s in higher education administration.
“One hundred percent not having anyone that helped me with my college decisions has helped motivate myself to want to help college students now,” Embree said.
This passion for helping others with opportunities and resources she did not have is evident in the work that she does with students.
“I definitely felt comforted by what she was saying,” said Anna Gerstenkorn, an MU student who attended one of Embree’s mental health talks. “She was pretty funny and relatable. It made talking about a scary topic easier.”
Often students are not aware of all of the support available at MU.
“I didn’t even know Mizzou had that many resources for struggling students,” said Kendall Lownds, another MU student who attended Embree’s mental health talk. It was nice to be told about [the mental health options for students] and I for sure want to use some of those in the future.”
Embree continues to help young adults on their difficult journies as they experiment and discover exactly what they want to do with their lives.
“If I had one piece of advice for students struggling, it would have to be find a faculty or staff member to be the jumping off point to helpful resources on campus,” Embree said. “Don’t go at it alone.”
Alex Embree is one of these resources. In addition, her trained peer student ambassador advisory team, and many other individuals on the MU campus can connect students to helpful resources to assist in times of crisis, career development, and over all well-being.