Five to Receive Annual Merit Awards at Southeast Homecoming

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Sept. 12, 2003 –Four alumni and a faculty member at Southeast Missouri State University have been selected to receive the annual Merit Awards presented by the University’s Alumni Association.

The four alumni will receive the Alumni Merit Award and the faculty member will receive the annual Faculty Merit Award when they are honored during Homecoming festivities Oct. 3.  The Copper Dome Society/Merit Award Dinner is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the Show Me Center.  Tickets for the dinner are available by calling the University Alumni Association at (573) 651-2259.

Alumni Merit Awards are presented by Southeast to honor distinguished alumni.  The awards have been given since 1958 to graduates of Southeast who have brought distinction to themselves and to the University.

The Faculty Merit Award is presented for excellence and distinction in teaching.

Recipients of this year’s Alumni Merit Awards are as follows:  Lt. Gen. James Conway of Camp Pendleton, Calif., commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force; Dr. James Jett of Rochester, Minn., professor of medicine at the Mayo Medical School; Dr. Raymond Reiker of Hilton Head, S.C., a private consultant and advisor to the Vatican World Food Supply Organization in Rome; and Dr. Bradley Wigger of Louisville, Ky., associate professor of Christian education and director of The Center for Congregations and Family Ministries at Louisville Presbyterian Theology Seminary.

This year’s recipient of the Faculty Merit Award is Dr. Jack Sterrett, professor of marketing and chair of the Department of Management and Marketing at Southeast.

FACULTY MERIT AWARD RECIPIENT

Sterrett is an expert in entrepreneurship and startup businesses.  He is professor of marketing and chair of the Department of Management and Marketing in the Donald L. Harrison College of Business at Southeast.  Sterrett currently serves as the director for the Center of Entrepreneurial Studies and Small Business Management and director of the Kauffman Entrepreneur Internship Program.

Sterrett received a doctoral degree in education with emphases in marketing and higher education and a master’s degree in business administration at Northern Illinois University.  He earned a bachelor of science degree in business education from Emporia State University. 

Since joining Southeast in 1979, Sterrett has had a distinguished work history.  His accomplishments include completing a national assessment study of the university’s marketing curriculum, serving as the Department of Management and Marketing’s internship coordinator, supervising M.B.A. student applied research  projects,  completing more than 35 business consultant cases through Southeast’s Small Business Development Center, and serving in various capacities for seven professional organizations and three journal associations.

He has been involved with major competitive grant proposals that exceed $2.2 million.

His work has been published in numerous national journals and proceedings.  He also has written a book review for Harcourt Brace Publishers. He has authored several feasibility and market research studies for businesses throughout the region.

ALUMNI MERIT AWARD RECIPIENTS

Conway graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1969 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology.  After graduating from Southeast, he served as an infantry officer with the 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, Camp Pendleton, as a rifle platoon commander and as the Battalion’s 106mm recoilless-rifle platoon commander.  In 1972, he was reassigned as Executive Officer of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63).  He served at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego as a series and company commander in the Recruit Training Regiment, as the aide to the Commanding General, and as Director, Sea School. Conway has also served his country by serving as Senior Aide to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Deputy Director of Operations J-3 for Combating Terrorism.  In 1998, he was appointed the President of the Marine Corps University at Quantico, Va.  He is currently serving as the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.  In the recent war with Iraq, Conway headed the Marine Expeditionary Forces.

Conway graduated with honors from The Basic School, the U.S. Army Infantry Officers’ Advanced Course, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Air War College.  His personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with gold stars in lieu of second and third awards, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Jett graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1969 with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry.  He went on to the University of Missouri, where he received his medical degree in 1973.  In 1980, he received a master of science degree from the University of Minnesota.  Since 1997, Jett has been a professor of medicine at the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn.  In the past, he has served as a consultant in pulmonary disease and medical oncology at the Mayo Clinic.  He has served as the chairman of the Lung Cancer Committee of the North Central Cancer Treatment Group since 1999.  His research activities include clinical and laboratory trials in lung cancer and early detection of lung cancer.  Jett is a reviewer for 14 medical journals, and is currently on the editorial board and the associate editor of two separate journals.  He is the author of more than 100 published articles.

Reiker graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1959 with a bachelor of science degree in education.  He continued his education at Xavier University, where he earned a master’s degree in business administration in 1967.  In 1985, he received a graduate degree in management studies from the American Graduate School of International Management.  In 1986, he received a doctor of letters in veterinary medicine degree from Belgrade University in the former Yugoslavia.  He completed additional studies at Wharton Business School and the London School of Business.  Currently, Reiker is a private consultant for international clients.   He was the president, chief executive officer and owner of the Reiker Group of Companies, which recently sold.  He also serves as an advisor to the Vatican World Food Supply Organization in Rome and the Save the Children Foundation.  Rieker also has authored several publications.

Wigger graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1981 with a bachelor of science degree in social work.  He then continued his education at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and earned a master of divinity degree in 1984.  In 1992, he received a doctoral degree in practical theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.  Currently, he is associate professor of Christian education and director of the Center for Congregations and Family Ministries at Louisville Presbyterian Theology Seminary.  In the past, he has been a teacher, a social worker and an assistant pastor.  Wigger also is a consultant with Lilly Endowment on major research projects and the author and contributor of numerous publications.  He has given many presentations and keynote addresses.