Commencement Tip Sheet

Spring commencement at Southeast Missouri State University is planned for 2 p.m. May 13 in the Show Me Center.  An Honors Convocation is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. May 13, also in the Show Me Center.  Some candidates for graduation have reported interesting feature stories about themselves that could be developed in connection with commencement.  These story tips with contact names and phone numbers are listed below.  Students will begin assembling for commencement at 1:15 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center.  The Southeast News Bureau is happy to make arrangements for you to meet and interview any of the graduates listed below between 1:15 and 1:30 p.m. May 13 in the Student Recreation Center.  Please do not hesitate to call the News Bureau at (573) 651-2552 with any questions about these or other commencement stories.

Gregory Smith of Cape Girardeau, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science degree with a major in recreation.  Smith is a 35-year-old single father who survived an accident in 2003 in which the loaded concrete truck he was driving flipped, crushing him underneath.  Smith has undergone two back surgeries and spinal fusion, and almost two years of rehabilitation.  Smith can be reached at (573) 225-8245.

Karen Stover of Jackson, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of general studies degree.  Stover will graduate with both of her children, Lonnie Andrew and Shannon Stover.  Shannon Stover will graduate with a bachelor of science in nursing degree.  Lonnie Andrew Stover will graduate with a bachelor of science in education degree.  Karen Stover can be reached at (573) 243-7676.

Susan McCormick of Campbell, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of general studies degree.  McCormick attended college while her husband, Major Frank McCormick, served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from November 2004 to November 2005.  McCormick can be reached at (573) 276-6424.

Christopher Hinkle and Layne Strattman, both of Cape Girardeau, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with bachelor of science in education degrees.  Hinkle majored in social studies, while Strattman majored in elementary education.  The two have attended school together since they were three years old, attending Cinnamon Bear Pre-School, St. Mary Cathedral School, Notre Dame Regional High School, and finally, Southeast Missouri State University.  Hinkle can be reached at (573) 335-1368 and Strattman can be reached at (573) 382-2662.

Patricia Lasher of Pilot Knob, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science degree with a major in mass communication and an option in video production.  Lasher is a first-generation high school and college graduate.  Lasher can be reached at (573) 631-7545.

Todd Boyer of Potosi, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science in industrial technology degree with a major in technical graphics.  Boyer will graduate with his mother, Mary Roxana Boyer, who is receiving her specialist degree in counseling education from Southeast.  Todd Boyer can be reached at (573) 631-4675.

April Hemmila of Jackson, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of arts degree with a major in chemistry.  She will be graduating with her father, Dan Swatzell of Cape Girardeau, Mo., who is receiving his bachelor of science degree in education with a major in middle school education – social studies.  Hemmila is the daughter of Dr. Lucinda Swatzell, assistant professor of biology at Southeast, and her father, Dan Swatzell. Hemmila can be reached at (573) 579-3925.

Stephana Deckard of Fairdealing, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science degree in education with a major in elementary education.  Deckard is a wife and mother of five children, ages 10 to 16, who has worked full-time continuously throughout her education.  Deckard attended most classes in the evenings and spent weekends doing homework.  Since returning to school in 2001, Deckard has attended Southeast full time, worked full time and attended functions and activities with her children.  Deckard anticipates a final grade point average of 3.95.  Deckard can be reached at (573) 399-2505.

Teresa Meere of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in elementary education.  Meere received all of her elementary school education in Guatemala and is bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English.  Meere can be reached at (573) 883-7169.

Sean Becker of Swansea, Ill., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science degree with a major in criminal justice and a minor in criminology.  Two of his brothers also have graduated from Southeast, earning degrees with an emphasis in criminal justice.  His oldest brother, Scott, is employed by the Illinois State Police.  His other brother, Ryan, is employed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  All three have pursued law enforcement, following in the footsteps of their father who also is employed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Becker can be reached at (573) 579-0316.