Missouri Community Service Commission appoints three new commissioners

April 6, 2022

The Missouri Community Service Commission (MCSC) announced today the recent appointment of three new commissioners to its board: Abigail Bidwell, of Kirksville, Samantha Ferguson Knight, of St. Louis, and Dr. Robin Smith, of Jackson. Commissioners are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Missouri Senate, and provide oversight and strategic vision for MCSC.

“Our commissioners are Missouri’s ambassadors of service, and we’re excited to grow our ranks as we promote volunteerism statewide,” said Scott McFarland, Executive Director of MCSC. “Our board is supported by diverse backgrounds and experiences, and these appointments bring valuable insight on our state’s youth, seniors, and educational needs. Congratulations to each of our new commissioners, and thank you for your dedication to service.”

Abigail Bidwell is a senior at Truman State University studying international education with minors in applied linguistics and women’s and gender studies. Bidwell has been accepted into the Master of Arts in Education program at Truman State and will be certified to teach elementary and English as a second language. Abigail is also Peace Corps Prep Certified through the Missouri Peace Corps Office in the areas of education and youth development. Abigail grew up in Kansas City and is a lifetime Girl Scout.

Samantha Ferguson Knight is the Director of Senior Programming at LifeWise StL, an organization helping individuals and families to achieve economic wellbeing. She also manages programming with AmeriCorps Seniors and has advocated for older adults since 2012. Ferguson Knight earned a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in older adults and aging societies from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a member of various groups advocating for seniors in the St. Louis area.

Dr. Robin Smith is an assistant professor for the Department of Leadership, Middle, and Secondary Education at Southeast Missouri State University. Dr. Smith’s professional research agenda includes teacher preparation, retention and attrition, school culture, and best practices in face-to-face and online learning. Dr. Smith holds an Ed.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a master’s degree in educational technology, and a bachelor’s degree in English. Dr. Smith serves both students and teachers through a variety of professional and volunteer initiatives.

MCSC’s commissioners serve 3-year terms, with no more than half of voting members belonging to the same political party. Appointments are intended to reflect the race, ethnicity, age, gender, and disability characteristics of Missouri’s population. Member slots include representatives of various communities and interests, such as local government, education, and youth. Members of the commission receive no compensation for their services, but can be reimbursed for ordinary and necessary expenses. To learn more about MCSC’s Board of Commissioners or to apply, visit showmeservice.org/commissioners.

About the Missouri Community Service Commission

MCSC is a bipartisan commission appointed by the Governor and administered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Its mission is to strengthen Missouri communities through volunteerism and service. Through its AmeriCorps and volunteer programming, MCSC invests more than $41 million in Missouri communities annually. For more information or to find a place to volunteer, visit ShowMeService.org.

How can we help?