Lora Hobbs is truly about the business of instilling the public affairs mission in the lives of our students. A member of the Religious Studies Department since 1997, she became a Senior Instructor in 2009 and has immersed herself, her students, the Ozarks community and global citizens alike, in the three pillars of MSU’s public affairs mission. She inspires and motivates students into active community engagement and engages them in understanding what forces shape societies that may be very different than our own.
Highlights of her public affairs accomplishments include supporting the creation of an interfaith student organization, serving on the Common Reader Committee, developing the Religious Studies internship program, connecting students to local and international projects and developing the project The Religious Lives of Ozarks Women, where she trains REL 370 Women in Religion students to document women’s impact on religious life in the Ozarks. In addition, she was instrumental in the creation and success of the first campus-wide community service project, the Friends Against Hunger Meals-A-Million Pack-a-Thon, as well as the 2013 Stomp Out Hunger: All Collegiate Shoe Drive which collected nearly 15,000 pounds of shoes resulting in funding 32,000 packaged meals.
These projects and many others are examples of how Lora utilizes creative approaches in connecting students to field experience, applied research, engaged scholarship and active citizenship. As Lora noted, “I believe we can best serve our mission and our students, when we as faculty not only teach, but embody the public affairs mission within the classroom, on campus, and in both the local and global communities.”