The Dr. Willard J. Morgan and Dr. Craig M. Morgan Graduate Studies Endowed Scholarship has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

Dr. Craig Morgan of Huntington, West Virginia, made a $10,000 gift to establish the scholarship in honor of his father Dr. Willard Morgan, Professor Emeritus of Education Administration & Counseling, of Cape Girardeau.

Dr. Craig Morgan says he is pleased to be able to honor his father and acknowledge his service to the University through this scholarship, adding he hopes his support through this scholarship will encourage graduate students at Southeast Missouri State who share the passions and interests that both he and his father have pursued throughout their lives.

The renewable scholarship will be awarded to a graduate student enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University who has been accepted into the graduate assistant program in the Department of Athletics (preference for football), College of Education or College of Science, Technology and Agriculture.

The Graduate Studies Scholarship Committee will select the recipient through an interview process. First preference will be given to a student with a Christian affiliation. Second preference will go to an active duty military service member, guardsman or reserve member, or an honorably discharged military veteran. Recipients must have a minimum 2.0 grade point average.

Dr. Willard Morgan:

 Dr. Willard Morgan joined the faculty of Southeast Missouri State University in 1963.  During his 28-year tenure, he served in many roles, including coordinator of student teaching, professor of educational administration, director of school services, dean of Continuing Education, director of summer sessions, and coordinator of the specialist program. Under his leadership, more than $2 million in funding for the University and area public schools was garnered for various programs unique to the region, state or nation.

Dr. Willard Morgan was the recipient of many honors, including the first Service to Secondary Education Award presented by the Missouri Association of Secondary Principals and the Distinguished Service to Education Award given by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In addition, he was appointed to membership on the National Association of Secondary School Principals Committee of Professors of Secondary School Administration and Supervisors.  He was the only faculty member at Southeast to be selected as a member of this prestigious committee.

He was a graduate of Crete Community High School, where he was the first four-sport athlete in the school’s history and captain of the school’s first football team. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, lettering in football and baseball.  Both his master’s degree and his doctorate were earned at the University of Wyoming. In addition, he served in the Army during the Korean Conflict and, after separation, served in the Wyoming National Guard and the Active Reserves until his honorable discharge at the rank of Captain in 1968.

Dr. Willard Morgan is enjoying his retirement concentrating on traveling, fishing and lawn work.  He married the former Diane Biddison in June 1954, and they have three children and seven grandchildren.

Dr. Craig Morgan:

Dr. Craig Morgan is the son of Dr. Willard and Diane Morgan. He was born in Laramie, Wyoming, and raised in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where he graduated from Cape Central High School in 1973. From 1973-1977, he attended Southeast Missouri State University, and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in pre-medical education.

Throughout his high school and college careers, Dr. Craig Morgan excelled in both academics and athletics. At Southeast Missouri State, his extracurricular activities included participation in academic organizations such as the American Chemical Society as well as playing on the varsity football team.  He graduated as valedictorian of his graduating class, and his academic success at Southeast was further acknowledged in Who’s Who Among American Colleges and University Students, as member of the Tri Beta Biological Honor Society and as recipient of Cardinal Key, Southeast’s former honors fraternity.

Dr. Craig Morgan went on to receive a medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where he graduated second in his class in 1981. He completed his ophthalmology training through an internship with Presbyterian Hospital of Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, a residency at University of California San Francisco and a fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Craig Morgan is an ophthalmologist in Huntington, West Virginia, who specializes in the treatment of retinal disorders. In addition to his medical practice at Eye Consultants of Huntington, he has been ordained as a pastor at Christ Temple Church in Huntington, where he lives with his wife Rhonda Morgan. He has dedicated his life to serving God through both his personal and professional life.

Southeast Missouri State University will elevate its STEM education initiatives to a new level with a test launch at 1 p.m. today, June 21, of a tethered StratoStar high-altitude weather balloon in collaboration with Space Center Houston—Manned Space Flight Education Foundation.

The test mission will be held in preparation for the launch of two such balloons into the stratosphere prior to the Great American Solar Eclipse at Southeast. That event will help teachers and students go to the edge of space to view the eclipse and conduct science experiments at 100,000 feet.

The balloon will be launched today from the former Southeast band practice field in the center of campus near Scully Building.

Kaci Heins, education supervisor with Space Center Houston – the official visitor center to NASA Johnson Space Center, and a Southeast graduate, will lead the launch along with 25 southeast Missouri school teachers from 17 local school districts.

Heins led the teachers in designing mini experiments during the Collaborative Regional Education (CORE) Academy conference which concludes today at Southeast. The experiments will be loaded onto the tethered balloon. After the conference, the teachers will return to their schools where they will develop experiments with their students to be loaded on to two high-altitude weather balloons to be launched to the edge of space, as high as 100,000 feet, at noon on Aug. 21 from Southeast’s Houck Field. The launch of the balloons will coincide with the Great American Solar Eclipse when Cape Girardeau is expected to experience totality at 1:20:21 PM (CDT) on Aug. 21.

The educators will then track and recover the payload containing the experiments and, together with their students, will analyze data collected and video recorded during the flight.

An upgraded Budget Data Download is now available for the University’s accounting/budgeting system. The Budget Data Download is a secure Microsoft Access application that includes reports designed to help financial managers monitor budgets and expenses. Reports provide information on current budget availability, budget transfers, and revenue and expense transactions. New reports will include two-year point-in-time comparisons and three-five year comparisons.

To access the Budget Data Download and appropriate approval form, visit

Training on how to use this budget application is recommended but not required. Training sessions will be held at 8:30 a.m. June 29 and 1:30 p.m. July 5 in Dempster Hall Room 003. To register through Skillport, visit

For additional information, contact Todd Brucker in Southeast’s Budget Office at (573) 651-2457.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to their complex nature, this application is not available for multi-year funds such as grants, GRFC’s, and FFR’s.

Southeast faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the speakers-only sessions of the Missouri Green Industry Alliance’s (MoGIA) 2017 Summer Professional Conference today, June 21 in the John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center at Southeast’s River Campus.

The conference is hosted by Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Agriculture, Charles Hutson Horticulture Greenhouse and the Charles Nemanick Alternative Agriculture Garden.

Tickets are $10 at the door, and allow admittance to the speaker’s programs and sponsor/vendor tables from 8 a.m to 12:30 p.m.

Heather Holm

Holm’s keynote presentation titled “The Native Pollinator – Native Plant Connection” is scheduled at 9:45 a.m. today, June 21. Holm is a biologist, landscape designer and consultant specializing in native plant landscapes and landscape restorations.

She is the author of “Pollinators of Native Plants” and her recently published book “Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide.” In additional to taking part in native bee research projects, Holm informs and educates audiences in the Midwest and Northeast through her writing and many presentations about the fascinating world of native bees and the native plants that support them.

Guy Sternberg

Sternberg will give presentations titled “Chinkapin Oak: Our Most Versatile Oak and its Friends” at 8:45 a.m. today, June 21, and “Believe In Miracles: Maclura Pomifera” at 11:15 a.m. June 21. Sternberg served on the staff of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for 32 years and currently is the owner and manager of Starhill Forest Arboretum which holds the most extensive oak genus (Quercus) living reference collection in North America. He has worked with the National Famous and Historic Tree Program to promote awareness and appreciation of special historic trees and is the tree consultant and propagator for Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, the setting of Abraham Lincoln’s tomb.

He is the principal author of the reference books “Landscaping with Native Trees” and “Native Trees for North American Landscapes.” Sternberg is a tree consultant, writer, lecturer and photographer. He and his wife, Edie, have propagated and grown thousands of species of trees, both native and non-native, at Starhill Forest.

He was the first president of the International Oak Society and is a life member of the International Dendrology Society, International Society of Arboriculture and American Forest.

Southeast Missouri State University senior Breiona Catching of St. Louis, Missouri, is getting a jumpstart on her future this summer, learning new laboratory techniques and conducting cardiovascular research at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Catching, a double major in microbiology and medical laboratory sciences, began her internship with the Medical University of South Carolina Summer Undergraduate Research Program May 30.

“I wanted to do this undergraduate research program because I wanted to be better prepared for graduate school, and increase my chances of getting into a great graduate program,” said Catching.  “My entire life will be geared towards research, so if I learn techniques now, they will be beneficial in my future.”

She expects to graduate from Southeast in May 2019 and is looking towards doing graduate work at the University of Maryland or the University of Alabama-Birmingham because of their excellent pathology assistant programs.  She plans on applying during her clinical year of school in summer 2018.

Some of the new laboratory techniques she is learning include immunohistochemistry, Western Blot, mounting, embedding, and sectioning samples to perform histology.

Catching is conducting her research with Dr. Chip Norris, assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina.

“Our focus in mainly on the left atrium of the heart, and diseases such as bicuspid calcification and mitro valve prolapse,” she said. “A typical day, thus far, involves going to classes to help us become better researchers from 8:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. Afterwards we are to conduct research which ends around 4 or 4:30 p.m.”

“I am enjoying the team that I work with as they are extremely talented and brilliant,” she said. “I am also loving that I actually get to perform tasks on a huge project.”

Ultimately, she says, “I want to be a better and more confident researcher and scientist at the end of this experience.”

Before heading to the Medical University of South Carolina, Catching had the opportunity to study in Germany and France in May with Southeast’s short-term study abroad program through the College of Science, Technology and Agriculture. The transcultural trip focused on learning about the scientific contributions of other countries.

She traveled to the cities of Berlin, Munich and Paris, visiting corporate sites and national landmarks, including the German Historical Museum, the Berlin Wall, the Television Tower, the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdam, Checkpoint Charlie, the Topography of Terror Museum, German Museum of Technology, the Humboldt-Museum and the Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden in Berlin, Germany; the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, Marienplatz, the Latin Quarter, Notre Dame Cathedral and St. James Cathedral in Munich, Germany; and the Eiffel Tower, the Curie Museum, Du Louvre, the Museum of Arts and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.

“My favorite part about the trip was actually being in another country and learning about their culture and history,” she said.

The Economic and Business Engagement Center and Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at Southeast Missouri State University announces enrollment opportunities are now available for an upcoming LaunchU class in Kennett, Missouri, for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs.

Enrollment is now open for the next LaunchU, sponsored by Kennett City Light Gas & Water (CLGW) – Economic Development, July 14-Aug. 4 on Fridays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Southeast’s Kennett Regional Campus at 1230 First Street.

LaunchU is a four-week hands-on course that coaches aspiring entrepreneurs and startups through the business planning process to determine business feasibility, including the actual development of a professional, Small Business Administration-approved business plan, pitch and financial forecast. The course consists of instruction from a certified facilitator, small group activities, one-on-one business coaching, including access to market research data from the SBTDC, local experts as guest speakers, the LaunchU Startup Handbook, and a three-month license for LivePlan. At the end of the course, class participants compete with their pitch and plan to win a startup assistance package.

Kennett Class

July 14: all-day session from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
July 21: one-hour one-on-one counseling sessions from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
July 28: all-day session from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Aug. 4: one-hour one-on-one counseling sessions from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and pitch competition and graduation from 5:30-8 p.m.

With the Kennett CLGW sponsorship, the cost of the course is reduced from $149 to free for each participant.

“This entrepreneurship training program provides a great opportunity for us to increase small business startup activity by offering high-quality education to local entrepreneurs,” said Jim Grebing, economic developer for the City of Kennett. “We had great participation when the program was offered in Kennett last year and have seen the positive impact of entrepreneurs who finish the course with a solid business feasibility plan.”

Class size is limited, so advance registration is required. To enroll, visit

For more information, contact Gabrielle Penca at (573) 651-5095 or

KRCU at Southeast Missouri State University was recognized on Saturday, June 10, at the Missouri Broadcasters Association’s Annual Convention and Awards Banquet at the Branson Hilton Convention Center in Branson, Missouri.

KRCU received an honorable mention in the news series category for the station’s production of “Living in the Shadows.” KRCU’s Feature Reporter Marissanne Lewis-Thompson shared the stories of homeless youth in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and the impact its invisibility is having on families and schools.

The four-part series takes an in-depth look at how area schools are working to combat the issue of teen homelessness, the lack of housing options and resources available for homeless teens, and how homelessness at a young age affects their mental health. The series also follows the story of a teen who lived with her pastor in Cape Girardeau so she wouldn’t be uprooted from her school.

Marissanne Lewis-Thompson

“This is an example of what public radio news does best by taking a deeper look at issues in our local community,” said KRCU General Manager Dan Woods. “Marissanne’s reporting shed a light on some of the teens and families being impacted by teen homelessness. I am so glad that she was recognized for her work.”

To listen to the series, visit

This is KRCU’s fifth Missouri Broadcaster’s Award and Lewis-Thompson’s first award since joining the station in 2015.

About KRCU

KRCU is southeast Missouri’s NPR station broadcasting from the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. It broadcasts at 90.9FM in Cape Girardeau and at 88.9FM-HD in Farmington, Missouri. In addition to airing NPR news programs such as “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” KRCU also produces local news and features and broadcasts a variety of music and entertainment programs.

The Dale Pruett Memorial Scholarship for Hospitality Management has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

Friends of Dale Pruett made a gift of $10,821 gift to the Foundation to establish the award. The renewable scholarship will be awarded to students enrolled at Southeast majoring in hospitality management with a minimum 2.0 grade point average. The Department of Management and Marketing will select the recipient.

The scholarship honors Pruett who strived to serve others in the hospitality and foodservice industry. Pruett grew up in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, in a family that owned Pruett’s BBQ Drive-In. The restaurant, founded in 1946, was famous for their real pit smoked barbecue pork sandwiches, cheeseburgers and milk shakes. The restaurant was located near the Poplar Bluff High School at the intersection of Highway 67 and Highway 60. Pruett’s family home was located right behind the restaurant, so he grew up in the barbecue business. He watched his father and mother, Troy and Pearl Pruett, tirelessly making untold numbers of sandwiches so good that customers still talk about them today. It was in this environment that he discovered his true calling, serving other people.

He soon developed his own brand of a special gift of gab at Pruett’s which he brought with him years later to Port Cape Girardeau Restaurant and Lounge. Pruett became a local icon of hospitality serving up barbecue and adult beverages to thousands upon thousands of customers over his 40 years of service at “The Port.”

For more information, please contact the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (573) 651-2203 or

Photo Caption: Doc Cain (left), owner of Port Cape Girardeau Restauarant and Lounge, celebrates the establishment of the Dale Pruett Memorial Scholarship for Hospitality with Dr. Quantella Noto (right), assistant professor of hospitality management and hospitality management program director at Southeast. 

Southeast Missouri State University classes on both the main campus in Cape Girardeau, the regional campuses in Sikeston, Malden and Kennett, Missouri, the Cape College Center and Southeast courses at Three Rivers College will be canceled and most offices will be closed from noon to 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, as the campuses celebrate the Great American Solar Eclipse. Faculty, staff and students are invited to join in festivities during that time along Normal Avenue and at Houck Field on the main campus and in celebrations at the regional campuses. Essential services will continue as normal from noon-2 p.m.; employees in these areas should consult with their supervisor to determine staffing needs. Many student services areas also will remain open during that period as students get acclimated on the first day of the fall 2017 semester. They include all Southeast dining locations – Houck’s Place, Rowdy’s, Starbucks, Towers Café, University Center Redhawks Market, Kaldi’s Coffee, Panda Express, Subway and St. Vincent’s Commons – in addition to the Student Recreation Center, Kent Library, Textbook Rental, Southeast Bookstore, the Department of Public Safety, Parking Services, shuttle services, the Information Technology Help Desks and computer labs in Memorial Hall Room 107 and the Kent Library Information Commons. ID Services in the University Center will be open from noon to 1 p.m. Cape Girardeau will experience totality (darkness as the moon passes in front of the sun) for one minute and 45 seconds starting at 1:20:21 PM (CDT) on Aug. 21. Classes will resume and offices will reopen at 2 p.m.

Eric Chambers, an institutional researcher with extensive experience in Missouri higher education, has been named the director of Institutional Research at Southeast Missouri State University.

Chambers, of Kirkwood, Missouri, will begin his new duties July 5. He replaces Dr. Chuck McAllister, vice provost, who has been serving as interim director of Institutional Research for the past year, following the retirement of Dr. Kang Bai. With Chambers’ arrival, McAllister will return to his leadership role in the School of Graduate Studies where Dr. Allen Gathman had been serving as interim dean in 2016-2017. Gathman recently retired.

“I am excited for the opportunity to join Southeast Missouri State University as the director of Institutional Research,” Chambers said. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues to leverage my skills and experience in research, policy analysis and predictive analytics. Data and information are valued commodities in the postsecondary landscape, and I believe institutional research serves an essential function in empowering decision makers and helping the institution achieve its goals.”

As director of Institutional Research at Southeast, Chambers will provide senior leadership for the collection, analysis and reporting of information for institutional planning and accountability, administrative decision-making and accreditation. His expertise will be valuable to develop and update predictive models for student persistence and completion. Institutional Research will be instrumental in helping maintain data integrity, compliance and reporting relationships between the University and external constituencies.

“I am excited to welcome Eric as our Director of Institutional Research” said Dr. Carlos Vargas, President of Southeast Missouri State University.  “I want to thank Dr. Chuck McAllister for his leadership as Interim Director and the entire Institutional Research staff for the valuable and important work they do for our university.  I believe Eric has a unique skill-set that will benefit Southeast, and I look forward to him joining our community later this summer.”

Chambers has spent the past four years as a senior research associate at St. Louis Community College, where he has developed, managed and coordinated college-wide research and policy analysis. Prior to that, he was employed as a research associate by the Missouri Department of Higher Education in Jefferson City, Missouri, managing the statewide student record systems, and designing and conducting surveys of postsecondary institutions and stakeholders. He began his career as a graduate research assistant with the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Chambers holds a Master of Public Affairs with a specialization in public policy from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of South Florida. He received the St. Louis Community College Innovation of the Year award for 2015-2016 and the 2015 MidAIR Best Paper Award.