Passion propels Southeast Missouri State University alumnus Nick Palisch of Perryville, Mo. When he’s not chasing storms and witnessing tornadoes, he is creating a daily weather forecast on his Facebook page or writing for the Perryville News to let people know what to expect when they head outside.
He recently accepted a position with the Republic-Monitor in Perryville, Mo., as staff meteorologist and columnist. He will produce the FirstWarn weekly forecast for the area. He also manages his own weather page on Facebook and has more than 3,500 followers in addition to working full-time as the director of student services for the College of Optometry at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
“My hobbies include weather and storm chasing—by far my favorite thing to do. While most people are hiding in the basement, I am out chasing tornadoes. In my chase, I have seen over a dozen tornadoes. In order to have the best of both worlds, I embarked on creating a weather page on Facebook where I put together a daily weather forecast and extended forecast. The page has taken on a life of its own and this is my true passion,” Nick says.
Nick began his career at Southeast pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in journalism to enhance his skills while working full-time with Zimmer Radio Group. He later changed his degree to a Bachelor of General Studies and, after graduating from Southeast, he attended Saint Louis University and earned a bachelor’s degree in meteorology.
“I always loved meteorology and while Southeast did not offer this degree – I pursued this degree at another institution. Meteorology is my true passion and the fascination of weather is huge. I love all aspects of weather and weather forecasting,” Nick says.
“I also love to travel and write. I believe we all have stories to tell, and to be able to put our life in words truly captures the value,” Nick says.
Nick is living his life as abundantly as he can by accomplishing his dreams and desires.
“I think one of my favorite memories thus far in life is the ability to do what I set out to do. Our dreams and goals are the true inspiration of who we are. I can honestly say that I have done most of my bucket list,” Nick says.
Southeast fostered several of Nick’s current passions. While at the University, he realized he loved education as much as weather.
“My time at Southeast could not begin to compare with my other educational experiences. At Southeast, I learned invaluable aspects of education and it showed me a path I never thought of taking—working in higher education. My other passion will always be meteorology and my ability to share my forecast through my Facebook weather page and through the Perryville newspaper, which allows me to share my passion with others,” Nick says.
Although he received a master’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix and is currently pursuing another master’s degree in public relations from Webster University in St. Louis, Southeast and the surrounding region remain in his heart.
“Southeast taught me more than any book could—I learned a lot from experiences working in various offices at the University and networking with individuals,” Nick says.
In addition to working full time while attending Southeast, he was involved with the University’s student newspaper, The Arrow, elected to the Student Government Association and was appointed as the student liaison to the Faculty Senate. He was a student employee in the Office of New Student Programs and the Office of Admissions, assisting with orientation, testing services and the student ambassador program. He was a member of the graduation committee and helped other students as a peer mentor.
“The best advice I can give another person is never stop believing in yourself or what you want to do with your life—anything is possible. While cliché, we are often our own critic and inhibitor of our dreams and goals. In my life, I have experienced and done a lot, and each day is a new adventure. It is our responsibility to go for what we want in life and do whatever it takes to achieve our desired results. Roadblocks will pop up, challenges will present themselves, but dedication and commitment will get you to your goals,” Nick says.