Dr. Sharon Kosek ’77

Dr. Sharon Kosek ’77 is a proud charter member of the Missouri Western Arts Society. She has a true passion for both the arts and Missouri Western, so her membership was a perfect fit.

As a testament to her devotion to the arts, Kosek received the 2018 Missouri State Award for Leadership in the Arts from the Missouri Arts Council last month. She will also receive the YWCA Women of Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award in June 2018.

The St. Joseph native said, when she was in high school, she wanted to be a band director just like her director at Lafayette High School. When she arrived on campus and learned that Missouri Western didn’t offer that option at the time, she decided on a business major.

But changing her major didn’t dampen Kosek’s love or commitment to the arts. She has spent her life volunteering for the arts and currently, serves as a St. Joseph Symphony Board member, St. Joseph Symphony Friends Board president, Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art Board member and Allied Arts Council member, including a stint as the fund drive chair.

Kosek says instilling the arts in children is where her real passion lies. In 2007, she helped found the St. Joseph Symphony’s Instrumental Infusion, where fifth-graders are introduced to musical instruments. She has also been involved over the years in the Trails West® children’s arts tent and the Performing Arts Association’s annual children’s theatre.

“I like being busy and making a difference in St. Joseph,” Kosek says. “If you’re not trying to lift things up in St. Joseph, you should be. I’m looking to change lives to the positive. Arts does that.”

Although Kosek has a master’s in business education from Northwest Missouri State University and a doctorate of education in educational leadership from University of Missouri-Columbia, Kosek says her heart belongs to Missouri Western. When she names the great arts programs across the community, the University’s are definitely on the list.

“The arts are a passion in my life because of the wonderful experiences I had throughout my life. They bring so much to someone’s life.”