Staff Spotlight: Joni Burch

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On September 22, 2022

Joni posing with Joe Miner.

Dr. Joni Burch’s decision to join Missouri S&T was an easy one for her to make. During the interview, Joni met with the students of the Residence Hall Association and their warm, welcoming, engaged and quirky personalities showed her S&T was the place for her. Working in residential life, she enjoys supporting the students in their curricular and co-curricular development during their time at S&T.

In July 2007, Joni joined S&T as the resident director overseeing the Residential Commons. She was able to move into a department coordinator role taking on additional responsibilities and in 2016 she became the associate director for residential life. As the associate director, she supervises the full-time resident director staff who live in and oversee the residence halls

Joni oversees the residential curriculum, which are the strategies to support students and provide opportunities for learning and engaging in the residence halls. She also collaborates with other departments including student support and community standards and she serves on the UCARE committee that supports students as they navigate challenges.

Joni with Carter, a mini schnauzer mix.

Building and contributing to the residence hall communities, Joni finds her work rewarding and has a great sense of pride in the work her department does to support Miners in their home-away-from-home.

Joni at a glance

Hometown: Chandler, Indiana

Advice to other employees: “I know that it’s often difficult to find time to get out and meet other staff members on campus. This is especially true when we’re navigating change, taking on more due to staffing vacancies or turnover, or balancing our busy times in our own department,” Joni says. “However, as much as you’re able to, reach out and meet folks from other departments on campus. As we’re supporting students, it’s so important we know who to refer them to for questions or resources. Networking with colleagues allows us to better serves students while helping us feel more connected with our campus community.”

Joni and her niece, Sophia.


  • Bachelor’s degree in individual studies with an emphasis in student affairs from Western Illinois University
  • Master’s degree in counseling, adult, and higher education from Northern Illinois University
  • Doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from University of Missouri-Columbia.

Favorite food: Breakfast foods

Hobbies: Joni enjoys artistic activities such as acrylic painting, re-furbishing wood furniture, photography and home décor projects. She also loves being outside, spending time with Carter, her mini schnauzer mix, and working in her flower beds.

Oscar Kemp, assistant chief of University Police, and Joni.

People are surprised to learn: Joni plays the trumpet and with a little practice, she could still play “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash.

Family: Joni shares a cozy home with her long-term partner, Oscar Kemp, assistant chief of University Police. She has a wonderful family and says her 11-year-old niece, Sophia, is the apple of her eye.

About the Staff Spotlight

Missouri S&T’s Staff Council launched the staff spotlight feature in February 2019 as a way to highlight staff members throughout the university. Legends Bank sponsors the staff spotlight. The articles are published in eConnection and shared on Staff Council’s Facebook page.

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On September 22, 2022. Posted in Announcements, Staff Spotlight