Academic-Year Staff

Abby Bidwell (she/her)

Coordinator at Macon

Abby grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated from Truman State University where she studied international studies and education. She is now a graduate student at Truman in the Masters of Education program studying elementary education!

Her favorite subjects have to do with social studies (specifically anthropology and political science, and geography)! She is also involved with a lot of organizations at Truman!

A few fun facts about Abby:

She is a citizen of three countries (US, Canada, England)!

She is planning to join the Peace Corps after graduation!

She is the youth representative on the Missouri Community Service Commission!

MaKenna Carnes (she/her)

Coordinator at Putnam Co & Schuyler Co. 

MaKenna grew up in Kirksville, Missouri. She is a junior at Truman State University studying vocal performance and music education!

Her favorite subjects are anything in the humanities and any course that allows her to engage in social discourse.

A few fun facts about MaKenna:

She fosters stray cats with her roommate!

She has Chromesthesia, which means she can see sounds as she hears them!

Nate Komar

Coordinator at Milan

Nate grew up in Farmington, MO. He graduated from Truman in 2017 and now works full-time for Campus Christian Fellowship. While at Truman, he studied exercise science!

His favorite subjects are anatomy, physiology, and math. He loves being active any way he can! He also loves to play board games with anyone who is willing to join him!

A few fun facts about Nate:

Cereal is his favorite food!

He absolutely refuses to wear open-toed shoes under almost any circumstance.

Wingspan is currently his favorite board game!

Whitney Rowland (she/her)

Coordinator at Moberly, Westran, & Virtual Meetings

Tutor at Knox

Whitney grew up in Unionville, Missouri. This year is her second year at Truman where she studies psychology with minors in education and public administration!

In her free time, Whitney loves to crochet, read, and play board games/cards!

A few fun facts about Whitney:

She is a UB alum!!!

She started riding horses when she was only six months old!

She has also played the flute and piano for over 10 years!

Casey Voichahoske (he/him)

Coordinator at Kirksville & Knox Co.

Tutor at Milan

Casey grew up in North Sioux City, South Dakota. He is a senior at Truman State University where he studies history! After graduation, he wants to become a teacher in Des Moines, Iowa, and eventually go to grad school at the University of South Dakota!

His favorite subjects are history and education. During his free time, Casey likes to read, exercise, and watch sports.

A few fun facts about Casey:

He is related to David Koechner and Guy Fieri!

He enjoys bird watching! His favorite bird is the kingfisher!

He was a four-year starter on the Truman State Bulldogs football team!

Rachael Colley (she/her)

Tutor at Milan & Moberly

Rachael grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a sophomore child studies major at Truman State University!

Her favorite subjects are language arts and history!

A few fun facts about Rachael:

She has had a pet pig!

She participated in an exchange program in Germany!

She is one of Dr. Pepper’s biggest fans!

Kellie Helmick (she/her)

Tutor at Putnam & Schuyler

Kellie is from Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She is a senior communications disorders major at Truman State University.

Her favorite class she’s taken in her major was “The Speech Mechanism,” but she also loves art classes because it allows her to express her creativity! In her free time, she likes to read, write, cook, spend time with friends, spend time outside, and do yoga!

A few fun facts about Kellie:

She is a vegetarian!

She thinks orcas are the coolest animal!

Her favorite show is Avatar: The Last Airbender!

Ethan Kershaw (he/him)

Tutor at Macon

Ethan grew up in Smithville, Missouri. He is a senior environmental policy and economics major at Truman State University.

His favorite subject is English! His mother worked as an English teacher and encouraged Ethan to start reading at a young age!

A few fun facts about Ethan:

He collects fun socks (he has over 40 pairs)!

His favorite Candy is Reeses Cups

He just spent a semester studying abroad in Turku, Finland!!!

Ms. Mitchell (she/her)

Tutor at Kirksville

Ms. Mitchell grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. She is an alum of Truman State University and now teaches English at Kirksville High School!

Her favorite subject is English because there is a lot of grey area and room for people to form their own ideas about things! In her free time, she loves watching “cringy” reality TV shows and playing with her dogs!

A few fun facts about Maggie:

She is getting married in 2024!!!

She worked with Upward Bound as an undergrad!

Her dogs are named after James P. Sullivan (Sully) and Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc.!

Mrs. Ridgway (she/her)

Tutor at Moberly

Mrs. Ridgway is from Cairo, Missouri and went to high school in Milan, Missouri. She currently works at Moberly High School and is a grad student at MU studying educational leadership, policy analysis, and administration!

Her favorite subject in school is math. Some of her hobbies include cheerleading, volleyball, softball, farming, and construction!

A few fun facts about Nora:

She has fully remodeled eight houses in her life!

She is a UB alum!!!

She is a goat farmer!

Mikayla Schmidt

Tutor at Westran

Mikayla grew up in Huntsville, MO and is an alum of Truman State University. While at Truman, she studied psychology and elementary education! 

Her favorite subjects are math and science. She also enjoys golf, crafting wedding decor, and wedding decoration!

A few fun facts about Mikayla:

She is a UB alum!!!

She knew she wanted to go to school at Truman since she was in middle school because their colors are purple, their mascot is the bulldog, and they help with Special Olympics!

Also, she loves cows!!! (Her and Owen pictured)

Alyssa Shellabarger (she/her)

Tutor at Kirksville & Macon

Alyssa grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a junior English major at Truman State University with minors in psychology and child studies.!

Her favorite subject is English because she loves reading, writing, and learning new grammar rules. In her free time, Alyssa likes to dance, read, and bake!

A few fun facts about Alyssa:

She has been dancing since she was three and has studied 18 different dance styles!

She loves watching Formula 1 Racing!

She likes to take the time to take pictures of sunsets!

Tenzin Tamang (she/her)

Tutor at Schuyler Co. & Virtual Meetings

Tenzin is from Kathmandu, Nepal! She is a senior biology major at Truman State University with a minor in chemistry.

Her favorite subject is math because she enjoys the problem solving required. In her free time, Tenzin enjoys cooking and baking plant-based recipes!

A few fun facts about Tenzin:

She is fluent in four different languages (Tibetan, English, Nepali, and Hindi)!!!

She has been zip-lining in one of the most intense zip-line courses in the world (Pokhara, Nepal)!

She loves K-Pop and K-Dramas!

Murtuza Taqi (he/him)

Tutor at Westran & Macon

Murtuza grew up in Lucknow, India. He is a senior physics major at Truman State University.

His favorite subjects are mythology, history, and astronomy. In his free time, he loves gardening and reading!

A few fun facts about Murtuza:

He has several pet fish!

He loves hiking (and is in no way addicted to it in any sense)!