Awards conferred on three at Pittsburg State University – Newstalk KZRG


Three Pittsburg State University alumni accepted the “Meritorious Achievement Awards” on Friday, April 15. The awards were presented by PSU Alumni & Constituent Relations.

The general manager of a highly successful home building company, a longtime leader in health, safety and environmental management, and an award-winning superintendent of one of the nation’s largest school districts were chosen by Pittsburg State University Alumni and Constituent Relations as recipients of the Meritorious Achievement Award.

Alumni are Scott Bailey of Palm Desert, California, Joseph Harris of Carl Junction, Missouri, and Michael Robbinson of Lenexa, Kansas.


Bailey, who grew up in Kansas, graduated from PSU with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1988 and a master’s degree in education in 1990.

After 32 years in school, he has served as superintendent of schools for the Desert Sands Unified School District since 2017, overseeing a $400 million budget, 27,000 students, 2,800 employees, and 34 schools. In 2018, he had the opportunity to dedicate a new $31 million elementary school and facilitated bond sales of over $150 million to support several school modernization projects.

His district won the District of Distinction Award from District Administration Magazine. He also oversaw an LTE network construction project that created equity and access for students regardless of their socio-economic status, resulting in all 28,000 students now having high-speed connectivity via devices issued by the district.

He annually funds two scholarships to PSU and one scholarship for a high school FFA officer in his school district in honor of his late father, a former high school FFA president in Kansas.


Harris graduated from PSU with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1995 and a master’s degree in business administration in 1996.

He went on to become a much sought-after leader in business, especially mergers and acquisitions, before becoming owner and then CEO of Schuber-Mitchell Homes in southwestern Missouri.

His career includes working for Koch Industries in Wichita, Sprint in Kansas City, and Leggett & Platt, where he spent 17 years first as an analyst and later as associate director of mergers, acquisitions and strategic planning. In 2005, he was promoted to director of business development, overseeing new product lines, new technologies and geographic expansion here and abroad.

In 2005, while still at Leggett & Platt, he and his wife, Danica, formed Harris Homes to provide quality, affordable single-family homes to families in Carl Junction, Joplin and Webb City. In 2015, he purchased a third of Schuber Mitchell Homes and became a member of the company’s management team.

Today, he is CEO and a member of the board of directors. It has grown to have a presence in 17 cities in southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas. The company is on track to build about 800 homes this year, making it one of the top 100 homebuilders in the United States.

Harris, whose family also includes PSU alumni, sits on the Kelce College of Business advisory board and supports Campus Christians.


Robbinson graduated from PSU in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the Department of Biology and in 1983 with a master’s degree in biology.

For more than 25 years, he worked with major manufacturing companies in the aerospace and defense sectors, where he developed and maintained environmental and safety compliance and best practices. He served as vice president of health, safety and environment for Honeywell International and corporate vice president of environment, safety and health for Alliant Techsystems, Inc.

He spent the last eight years of his career at Jones Lang LaSalle, a $16 billion global facilities management and commercial real estate company with 88,000 employees, where he developed environmental and safety best practices, performance metrics and tools across multiple facilities, as well as compliance with regulatory requirements.

When he retired from JLL, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award for Safety. He is a member of the PSU Heritage Society, and he and his wife, Carol, are legacy members of The Nature Conservancy.

Robbinson has been a leader in many professional societies and organizations and has been a sought-after speaker. He was chosen as one of two global experts to carry out an audit of the management systems in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, of the Burj Khalifa tower – the tallest building in the world – and the Dubai Mall – the largest center world trade.

He still found time to volunteer, including with a stormwater runoff prevention program in his hometown and at PSU’s Sperry Herbarium, helping Professor Neil Snow process plant specimens. collected.


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