Barbara Stewart (Staff)
After working in a local family business for nearly three decades, Barbara Stewart found a new calling at Mississippi State when she joined the College of Arts and Sciences and began making a meaningful difference in the lives of students.
Previously, Stewart helped run a local florist owned by her husband’s family. When the family sold the business in 2004, the university alumna and Starkville native began looking for a new career and applied for a job in the university’s largest academic unit.
After adapting to the busy routines of the Arts and Sciences dean’s office, Stewart realized how fulfilling it is to help students as they navigate through their college years. In 2009, she moved into the academic coordinator role that she continues today.
“I love dealing with students,” Stewart said. As an adviser, she enjoys looking over students’ transcripts and helping them identify course options and make decisions about their degree programs.
“I try to help students navigate the curriculum to stay on the right track toward graduation,” she said.
While Stewart may work with any student in the College of Arts and Sciences, one of her special focuses is helping those getting bachelor degrees in interdisciplinary studies. She and a colleague also make final transcript reviews for all majors scheduled to graduate, usually about 1,000 annually.
Stewart said she feels that helping others actually provides rewards that are greater for her than for those she assists. “Sometimes it’s hard for students who are facing a lot of challenges, but it’s wonderful to see their eyes sparkle when they realize there is a way to finish and get a degree.
“It feels great to see them accomplish their goals,” Stewart said. “I get chills at graduation.”
Outside of campus responsibilities, Stewart spends considerable time supporting the Bulldogs as an active supporter of Bulldog baseball, basketball and football. “We love our sports, and we bleed maroon,” she said of her entire family.
Two family members also work on campus. Daughter Kylie Crosland is an academic coordinator at the University Academic Advising Center, while brother Bill Green is a longtime member of the Transit Services staff.