This website is best viewed in a browser that supports web standards.

Skip to content or, if you would rather, Skip to navigation.

Northwest Missouri State University


Student Spotlight

Emily Meyers

Emily Meyers (Photo by Carly Hostetter/Northwest Missouri State University)

April 25, 2017

Meyers establishes motivational speaking career through Speaking Bearcats

By Lexi Ryan, media relations assistant

Excelling with the Speaking Bearcats at Northwest Missouri State University helped prepare Maryville native Emily Meyers to be an exceptional motivational speaker.

The Speaking Bearcats speech and debate team has pulled in an astounding number of national titles for Northwest and Meyers has contributed significantly to them.

Meyers had no plans of coming to Northwest until Brian Swafford, instructor of communication and director of the Speaking Bearcats, approached her to offer her a place with the team. She said having her own “big adventure” in her own small town was one of the best decisions she ever made.

“A lot of memories were made on the speech and debate team,” Meyers said. “Whenever you get to travel with those same people every single weekend, you create friendships and a lot of memories just in that time together.”

Meyers said Swafford is more than a speech and debate coach and became a great life coach as well. Speaking Bearcats also helped Meyers find her own voice.

“You’re able to really find out what’s important to you and how you can actually make an impact,” Meyers said. “It’s so easy to feel passion about something and not know what to do about it. Speech and debate has given me the tools to not only be passionate about something, but also know how to go about it, which is something I can use for the rest of my life.”

Through the Public Communications Speech and Debate League, Meyers has eight national titles. In 2014, 2016 and 2017, she claimed national titles with partner Nick Van Ross in public forum debate. In 2016 and 2017, she won national titles in improv duet acting with partner Mersadie Moore. Meyers was also a national champion as top overall speaker in public forum debate, PowerPoint sales, and overall sweepstakes in 2016. In 2014, she became a Pi Kappa Delta National Champion in improv duet acting with partner TyQuan Baskin.

This spring Meyers became a Pi Kappa Delta All-American. This award is given to ten students every two years who show excellence in academics, competition and community service.

“It is a huge honor,” Meyers said. “It shows all of my hard work that I have put in these past four years in competition, the classroom and my community.”

Throughout her time at Northwest, Meyers has also worked to establish herself as a motivational speaker at churches in the Northwest Missouri area. Meyers is engaged to be married in June and will move to Kansas City, Missouri, where she hopes to work for a nonprofit company and build a client base for a speaking career.

She said her classes at Northwest really helped her prepare for her career.

“My social media class really helped me build my own social media platform for my business,” Meyers said. “All of the event planning has really helped me connect with those churches and really create those relationships.”

Meyers says she will miss the Northwest community.

“One thing I really loved about Northwest was the all of my professors knew me personally, knew my goals and would help me reach that. I think I’m going to miss that sense of security,” Meyers said.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468