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EU Alumni Perspective: Ryan DeBoef

Name:  Ryan DeBoef

Graduation Year:  2002

Major:  Double major in Government and Public Administration

Current Position:  Chief of Staff, Missouri State University

City and State:  Springfield, Missouri


Tell us about your career and what you do now.

I have been chief of staff and assistant to the president for governmental relations at Missouri State University since July 2014. In this role, I oversee the university president’s executive communications, facilitate access to the president, and coordinate projects and initiatives as assigned by the president. I am also responsible for facilitating the university’s achievement of its state and federal legislative agendas and coordinating the governmental relations activities of the university.

Prior to becoming chief of staff, I served as legal counsel for Missouri State University from September 2011 to July 2014. Before coming to Missouri State, I was an associate at Husch Blackwell, LLP and a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr.


What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

All of my favorite memories from Evangel involve spending time with the guys on my residence hall floor – Krause 2nd South.  I remember staying up until the wee hours of the morning playing Rook.  The competition was fierce, and we fought to win like our lives depended on it.  I remember wearing jack-o-lantern garbage sacks to homecoming as was the K2S tradition.  I remember the Higgins parties we threw (in fact, Aaron Nieuwsma, my roommate, and I were the founders of the annual Higgins tradition).  I remember making late night runs to Taco Bell, racing to get back to Krause before curfew.  I remember our spring break backpacking trip to the Buffalo River.


How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

I decided before I came to Evangel that I wanted to be a lawyer.  Through my coursework and relationships with faculty, I became even more committed to this vision for my future.


How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

Evangel provided a wonderful place for me to develop and grow.  My first political experiences involved the Evangel Student Government Association, and politics is now half (maybe more) of my job.  I learned how to fund and plan an event by co-chairing the effort to do a food distribution event on campus for Make A Difference Day.  I learned how to take risks, make mistakes, maintain confidence, and develop deep relationships with people from different backgrounds through the interpersonal, community living experience that Evangel provided.  These are critical skills that have served me well professionally and personally throughout life.


What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

Develop relationships with people.  Your success will depend on your ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with all kinds of people.  Learn to appreciate and embrace their differences.


What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

I would look for interpersonal skills, the ability to effortlessly communicate, and a willingness to embrace differences in others.