Brett Bruner, Ed.D.

Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Missouri Western State University

Bio: Brett Bruner

Brett Bruner, Ed.D. serves as the Assistant Vice President and Dean of Student at Missouri Western State University. In this role, he provides oversight for staff in the functional areas of residence life, diversity and inclusion, international student services, campus life, parent and family relations, civic engagement and service, fraternity and sorority life, new student orientation and transition, first-generation student success, post-traditional and commuter student services, spirit programs, student activities and organizations, student leadership, campus recreation, veteran services, student union and event management, student employment, and student affairs divisional marketing and technology. In addition, he serves as the assessment coordinator for the Division of Student Affairs and co-directs the Every Student Counts student success and retention plan with the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Prior to his work at ATU, he served as the Director of First Year Experience, Persistence, & Retention and then Director of Transition & Student Conduct for 6 years at Fort Hays State University, a regional comprehensive university of 7,000 students. He has been actively involved with student success work through presenting on student success topics at NASPA Annual and Regional Conferences, the NASPA Closing the Achievement Gap Conference, the NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education, the NASPA Assessment & Persistence Conference, annual and regional conferences for NODA: The Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education, state and annual conferences for ACPA, the Kansas Student Affairs Conference, the Arkansas Student Affairs Association, and the Learning Communities Association. He currently is co-chairing the NASPA Orientation, Transition, and Retention Knowledge Community and the NASPA Excellence Awards Program and will chair the 2021 NASPA Region IV-West Conference. In addition, he serves on the Advocacy Group for the Center for First-Generation Student Success. He holds an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Baker University, an M.S. in College Student Personnel Administration from the University of Central Missouri, and a B.S. in Business Administration from Emporia State University.

Speaker Travels From


Brett is available for in-person and virtual engagements! Contact us today.

Speaker Topics

Parents & Family Members of First-generation College Students

This session explores how parents and family members of first-generation college students perceive their role as their students’ transition into college. The session explores how traditional parent and family programming intersects with first-generation student success.

Creating Drive-In Programs Supporting First-generation Students Pre-College

This session explores how institutions can better support first-generation college students pre-arrival to the institution through community and admissions partnerships.

Developing a Comprehensive First-generation Student Program

This session explores how an institution (and an office of 1 person) can begin to develop a comprehensive first-generation program.

Orientation & Transition Experiences of First-generation Students

This session explores how new first-generation college students are oriented and transitioned into the college.

First-generation Learning/Living-Learning Communities

This session explores the process of developing, implementing, and cultivating a first-generation learning/living-learning community.

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