Eight Southeast Alumni to Receive Young Alumni Merit Award

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 1, 2006ᾰThe Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association has selected eight alumni to receive the University’s 2006 Young Alumni Merit Award. 

The eight will be honored at a commencement luncheon at 12:15 p.m. May 13 in the Student Recreation Center and will be recognized during spring commencement exercises at 2 p.m. May 13 in the Show Me Center.

Alumni to receive the award are Scott Giles of Dardenne Prairie, Mo.; Russell Grammer of Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Stephanie Manning of Wildwood, Mo.; Dr. Stephen Owen of Christiansburg, Va.; Larry Eby of Sikeston, Mo.; Dr. Jennifer McCluskey of St. Louis, Mo.; Darlene Nelson of Villa Ridge, Mo.; and Chris Simmers of Jackson, Mo.

The Young Alumni Merit Award is given annually to honor those alumni 37 years or younger who have brought distinction to the University through professional growth, service and individual character.  The Alumni Association chooses from the list of nominees representing each college and selects the recipients. Nominations may come from faculty, staff or alumni.

The recipients and the college presenting each award are as follows: Harrison College of Business

Scott Giles of Dardenne Prairie, Mo., treasurer for the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA), has been selected as the 2006 Young Alumni Merit Award winner from the Harrison College of Business. 

Giles received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Southeast in 1994.  He earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2004.  As treasurer, Giles’ responsibilities include overseeing the treasury function, capital structure strategy and financial transactions for MOHELA.  Prior to serving as treasurer, Giles was the director of the Missouri Student Loan Group for the Missouri Department of Higher Education and a bank examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.  He has had the honor of serving as chairman for the Mapping-Your-Future Board of Directors, a national not-for-profit mutual benefit corporation used by 36 federal student loan guaranty agencies across the country. 

College of Education

Russell Grammer of Cape Girardeau, Mo., a fourth grade teacher for Cape Girardeau Public Schools, has been selected as the 2006 Young Alumni Merit Award winner for the College of Education.

“Grammer received a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Southeast in 1998.  During his teacher training, he initiated and piloted a strong, international exchange partnership between Northern Ireland and Southeast that continues today.  Since working as a teacher for the Cape Girardeau School District, Grammer earned a master’s degree for multidisciplinary studies in education from Webster University, graduating with honors in 2001.  

Grammer has served as a committee member for Safe Schools and the Cape Public Schools Steering Committee and has presented at several state level teacher-training workshops. He has been the recipient of multiple awards, including American Legion Teacher of the Year, Sam’s Club Teacher of the Year, National Science Foundation Certificate of Honor, and the nation’s highest honor for teachers of science and mathematics, the “Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in 2004.”

College of Health and Human Services

Stephanie Spalinger Manning of Wildwood, Mo., registered nurse with St. Anthony Medical Center in St. Louis, has been selected as a recipient for the 2006 Young Alumni Merit Award from the College of Health and Human Services.

Manning received a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Southeast in 1995.  She is the current registered nurse educator and quality improvement coordinator for the Emergency Department.  Manning is responsible for leading numerous staff development training programs and seminars, implementing and coordinating ongoing staff education programs, and overseeing quality improvement projects in the Emergency Department and throughout the hospital. She is in the process of creating an RN Emergency Department Fellowship at St. Anthony’s Medical Center. The 12-week fellowship will be designed to prepare new nurses to work in theEmergency Department.   

College of Health and Human Services

Dr. Stephen Owen of Christiansburg, Va., assistant professor of criminal justice at Radford University, has been selected as a recipient for the 2006 Young Alumni Merit Award from the College of Health and Human Services.

Owen received a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice and law enforcement from Southeast in 1996.  He earned a master of arts degree in political science in 2000 and a doctorate of philosophy in political science in 2002 from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  Owen has served on several institutional committees at Radford, including the Task Force on Centers of Academic Distinctiveness, Radford University Faculty Senate Faculty Issues Committee and Radford University Presidential Scholarship Committee.  He has given several national presentations and his work has been published.  He was recently nominated Radford University’s “Rising Star” Outstanding Faculty Award, the highest honor bestowed to junior faculty members in Virginia.      

College of Liberal Arts

Larry Eby of Sikeston, Mo., president and chief executive officer of Galaxy Cablevision, has been selected as a recipient for the 2006 Young Alumni Merit Award from the College of Liberal Arts.

Eby received a bachelor of science degree in mass communication from Southeast in 1991.  After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Eby served as the chapter consultant for Pi Kappa Alpha Memorial Headquarters until 1993, traveling through nine states to advise undergraduate chapters on areas of fraternity management and finances.  He began his career with Galaxy in 1993, eventually serving as executive vice president of operations before earning his current position as president and chief executive officer.  Eby’s many awards and affiliations include the Outstanding Leadership Award for Galaxy Cablevision and serving as a current member of the board of directors for the National Cable Television Cooperative.

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Jennifer McCluskey of St. Louis, director of Retention Initiatives and assistant vice president for enrollment at Maryville University, has been selected as a recipient for the 2006 Young Alumni Merit Award from the College of Liberal Arts.

McCluskey received a bachelor of arts degree in speech communication from Southeast in 1994 and a master of science in education degree from Southern Illinois University in 1996.  McCluskey earned a doctorate in education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2005 while working full time at Maryville University.  Her previous experience in higher education includes serving as director of Student Programs and interim director of Greek Life at the University of Denver, assistant dean of Campus Programs at Arkansas State University and assistant director of Student Center and Student Activities as Quinnipiac University.  McCluskey has excelled in her professional career through various regional and national presentations and through published articles in the higher education arena.       

College of Science and Mathematics

Darlene Nelson of Villa Ridge, Mo., mathematics instructor of Marquette High School, has been selected as the 2006 Young Alumni Merit Award winner from the College of Science and Mathematics.

Nelson received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Southeast in 1993.  She earned a master of arts in education from Maryville University in 1999.  She is currently department chair for mathematics at Marquette High School and participates in numerous committees including the Rockwood Communications Committee and the Marquette High School Technology Committee.  She is one of five St. Louis teachers to receive the St. Louis Science Center award for excellence in teaching science and math.  Her numerous awards include the Hats Off Award in 2005, the Rockwood High School Teacher of the Year and the Emerson Electric Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000.

School of Polytechnic Studies

Chris Simmers of Jackson, Mo., extrusion manager at Nordenia, U.S.A., has been selected as the 2006 Young Alumni Merit Award winner from the School of Polytechnic Studies.

Simmers received a bachelor of science degree in industrial technology from Southeast in 1999.  As extrusion manager, Simmers is responsible for 31 employees and six blown film extrusion lines.  He is also an active member of the Society of Plastic Engineers and has completed several training courses through SPE including New Technologies and Troubleshooting in Blown Film Extrusion.   He has furthered his career training by completing training courses from the American Society of Quality, Perry Johnson, Inc. and Missouri Enterprise.

Photo of Merit Award winnersFrom left to right: Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, Southeast’s 17th president, Dr. Jennifer McCluskey, Larry Eby, Chris Simmers, Dr. Stephen Owen, Darlene Nelson, Russell Grammer, Scott Giles and Michael Price, Alumni Association president. Stephanie Spalinger Manning is not pictured.