Dr. Marilyn Hunt Retirement Profile

Dr. Marilyn Hunt, Chair of the Communication & Journalism department, colleague and friend, is ending her near twenty year tenure at Missouri Western State University this year.

Drawing from her incredibly varied experience both personally and professionally, Hunt taught a wide range of classes during her career with distinction. Her favorite was Organizational Communication. She enjoyed building on her previous graduate work and research at California State University of Los Angeles (CSULA) that looked at organizational relationships by explaining how those between supervisors and subordinates flourish and falter.

Maybe that knowledge is what helped Dr. Hunt understand her students so well and drew them to her.

“Dr. Hunt is someone that brings joy and excitement to the department every single day,” former student and program alumni Alex Atkinson said. “Multiple times she met with me before, between or late after classes to help me with classes and projects or just to discuss topics we covered. I’m sad to see her leave Western, but she has without a doubt left her mark on our campus.”

Current student Ali Fowler reiterated Atkinson’s sentiments,

“Dr. Hunt is very knowledgeable while being personable. She is very easy to talk to and learn from. The department will miss her but she has definitely earned her retirement!”

Even after so many years teaching communications, Dr. Hunt still enjoys interacting with students and staying current on the ever shifting trends in the industry:

“It has been gratifying to talk with students and read their research over the years as they reflected on the changing views of leadership and followership.”

Originally from Kansas, Hunt moved to California in the late 70’s to complete her undergraduate degree. During her fifteen years in California, Hunt lived in Altadena, Long Beach, Alhambra, Seal Beach, Downy, Newport Beach, and West Los Angeles.

Hunt served as Field Office Manager for United Professors of California, worked a part-time summer job driving a bread truck for Oroweat Bakery that necessitated getting up at 4:30 a.m. to deliver product to grocery stores all over L.A., and served as an instructor at LA Southwest College (Watts), Cerritos College (Norwalk), Pasadena City College and CSULA, somehow finding time to compete in the Rose Bowl half marathon.

Hunt finished her Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky in 1994 and arrived just a few years later at Western with the goal of getting her students as prepared as possible to make immediate impacts at their new organizations post graduation.

Hunt says she will miss the energy the students give off the most; they challenge her to look at things from new perspectives and invigorate her to seek new answers,

“Connecting with students and learning about the lives they lead has been a privilege. I will miss hearing about how communication theories and constructs apply to their lived experience.”

Entering retirement Hunt is looking forward to traveling, remodeling her home, contributing more to the community and, of course, continuing to learn. Now, there’s the added perk that it is all at her own pace, and every day is a new adventure.

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