Meet the AVP and Directors

Michele D. Smith, Ph.D. PortraitMichele D. Smith, Ph.D.

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Multicultural Services
Assistant Professor, Student Affairs in Higher Education
Pronouns: she/her/hers/herself/Dr.

Michele D. Smith, PhD, serves as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Missouri State University. She has supervision over the Multicultural Services Unit that includes the offices of Multicultural Programs, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ Student Services, TRIO Support Services (Upward Bound and Student Support Services), and Access Programs & Scholarships (Wyman, Kauffman, and College Bound) that serve first generation, low-income students. She also is a tenure track Assistant Professor in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Masters’ Program in the Department of Counseling, Leadership and Special Education. Dr. Smith is housed in the Dean of Students Suite in the Plaster Student Union. Dr. Smith oversees the Inclusive Excellence Leadership Scholarship.

Rabekah Stewart, Ph.D. Executive Director, TRIO Student Support ServicesRabekah D. Stewart, Ph.D.

Executive Director, TRIO Programs and Multicultural Student Retention
Pronouns: she/her/hers/herself/Dr.

Dr. Rabekah Stewart serves as the Executive Director of TRIO Programs and Multicultural Student Retention. Dr. Stewart's research is in the intercultural and career experiences of African-American women in leadership at predominantly white institutions; as well as minority student identity development on the college campus. Throughout Dr. Stewart’s career, she has served as a high school and college English instructor; and for the last 11 years as a TRIO professional. Her focus is on helping the underserved student and staff populations in higher education. As a leader in education access and attainment, she strives to create opportunities and support change initiatives for the betterment of all students.

In her spare time, Dr. Stewart loves to travel, attend cultural activities and events, listen to live jazz and R&B music, cook and bake new healthy recipes, and spend time with family and friends. Her quote to live by is, “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” Keep moving forward!

Ryan R.G. Reed, Ed.D PortraitRyan R.G. Reed, Ed.D.

Director, Access Programs
Pronouns: he/him/his/himself/Dr.

Dr. Ryan Reed serves as the Director for Access Programs at Missouri State University. Dr. Reed's work focuses on providing support services and advising students who are participants in several Missouri State community partnerships, including the Kauffman Scholars, Wyman Scholars, College Bound, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Big Brothers & Big Sisters students. Dr. Reed supervises the Bears L.E.A.D. Coordinator and program. Dr. Reed holds a Doctorate of Education in Instructional Leadership from Lindenwood University and a Master of Science in College Student Affairs from Eastern Illinois University. His research interests focus on first-generation, low-income, and urban students; education equality in access and affordability; student leadership development; and student conduct. Dr. Reed is housed in the Multicultural Resource Center Annex in the lower level of Freddy House.