Priddy Scholars grad found MSU Texas just right

Kari Bell embraced campus life, earned business degree through Priddy Scholars

Years ago, Kari Bell could see that Midwestern State University was a great fit for her, as many students from the Dallas-Fort Worth area find out. It’s close enough to get back home, in her case Plano, and far enough to feel like you’re venturing out on your own.

Beyond graduation, Bell remains a part of the MSU Texas family, and she’s even closer to home as the Assistant Director of Student Services at MSU Texas Flower Mound.

She credits The Priddy Scholars program with making that possible. Bell was a part of the inaugural Priddy class, graduating in May 2019.

The Priddy Scholars Program provides scholarships for first-generation students, in addition to supporting students throughout their four years of education at Midwestern State University. Opportunities for The Priddy Scholars include student success workshops, career planning assistance, and study abroad.

“The Priddy Scholars made a way for me,” Bell said. “I come from a middle-class family, the middle child of three, and although Midwestern is significantly more affordable than other universities, there was still a struggle to pay off my balances.”

She wasn’t certain that she would be accepted into the program, thinking so many students apply to The Priddy Scholars. “When I finally got the email that I was accepted, the tears flowed. Not only did Priddy help me financially get through school but I also credit the program for being the reason I became so heavily involved on campus,” Bell said.

Bell embraced the chance to perform her required community hours, believing that it felt more like an opportunity than a duty. “Those connections I made on campus were a big factor in me being able to come back to work for Midwestern in Flower Mound,” Bell said.

Bell didn’t only make memories on campus in Wichita Falls, she made lifetime friends.

“My best memories are those I made with my best friends,” Bell said.

Kari Bell with her MSU Texas Flower Mound team
Kari Bell with her MSU Texas Flower Mound team.
Kari Bell with her family at graduation
Kari Bell with her family at MSU Texas graduation in May 2019. (courtesy photo)

 

“We all met freshman year in Killingsworth Hall. Thanks to Midwestern, I have lifelong friends and we have been blessed enough to still be making memories together six years later.”

She graduated from the Dillard College of Business Administration with a Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in Business Administration. Her advice to future students is to find a study group within their major, especially for a business major. “And for classes like Operations and Strategic Management make note cards and study hard!” she added.

Bell wants a career in something that is enjoyable, not just as a way to make money. “I really believe growing within higher education may be my calling,” she said. “Working at the Flower Mound campus has been my best work experience thus far. There is such a diverse group of colleagues and students, and it’s very nice to be closer to home. I also love how responsive our staff is here to the students. Although we are mainly online, we still love having the interaction with potential and current students.”

Many things have changed for Bell since 2014 when she toured MSU Texas as part of the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program in her junior year at Plano East. She decided that MSU was “far enough from home,” but close enough to get back and see mom. But family and making MSU Texas better are still very much a part of her daily life. “A special shout-out to my mom. She is the main reason I got through school,” Bell said.