Julie Weathers - Associate Professor - AgricultureDr. Julie Weathers, associate professor of agriculture at Southeast Missouri State University, has been named chair of the University’s Department of Agriculture, making her the first woman to hold this post and one of the few female agriculture department chairs in Missouri.

She replaces Dr. Mike Aide who stepped down as chair of the department effective March 17.

Weathers is in her sixth year in the Department of Agriculture, where she has served as the animal scientist, teaching coursework focused on cattle, hogs and sheep. Her leadership roles have included working with the beef herd and providing outreach to the beef producers of southeast Missouri. She recently was awarded membership in Missouri’s Agriculture Leaders of Tomorrow. Weathers comes by the profession naturally as the daughter of an agricultural sciences teacher in a lineage of educators and having been raised on a small, family farm in Texas.

She holds doctoral and master’s degrees in animal science with a focus on reproductive physiology, both from Texas Tech University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science with honors from Texas Tech University, where she also served as a teaching assistant and research assistant.

She came to Southeast in 2010 as an assistant professor, where her research has focused on cattle reproduction and genetics, and improving minority success in agribusiness leadership. She says Southeast’s agriculture program has grown tremendously in the past few years, not just in animal science but agribusiness in general. Agriculture students can pursue agribusiness options in animal science, horticulture, plant and soil science, and agriculture industry. Students also can major in agricultural education and pre-veterinary medicine.

“Agribusiness is a growing field, and it’s becoming more technologically advanced,” she said. “It’s becoming more science minded because you really have to think through the decisions you’re making. It’s no longer just, ‘oh we own a couple of cows and farm a couple of acres.’ That’s not an option if you want to make a living anymore.”

Southeast has expanded its agricultural facilities with the David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center in Gordonville, Missouri; the Charles Hutson Greenhouse and the Charles Nemanick Alternative Agriculture Garden on the main campus; the Horticulture Incubator Lab at Kennett, Missouri; the Rice Research Farm at Malden, Missouri; and the Sikeston Irrigation Canal.

Aide served as chair of the Department of Agriculture for more than 10 years. During his tenure as chair, Aide worked diligently developing and growing the Department of Agriculture.  Under his leadership, the number of majors in the department more than doubled, and he was responsible for offering the Bachelor of Science in agribusiness at the regional campuses in Kennett, Malden and Sikeston, Missouri. While he was chair, he hired several new faculty who are innovative and student-centered.  He also has been a tireless fund raiser and grant writer, improving the David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center and the new rice research greenhouse in Malden.


Eclipse LogoSoutheast Missouri State University will kick off its celebration of the Great American Solar Eclipse– an event promising the sight of a lifetime on Aug. 21 – with a slate of eclipse-themed events beginning on campus next week.

Those wishing to get a head start on what to look for in the night sky are invited to attend “Astronomy in the Suburbs: An Introduction to Star Gazing” being offered from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, and again from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30. Dr. Peggy Hill, professor of physics at Southeast, will teach the sessions in Magill Hall Room 228.

Participants will get a basic understanding of the night sky and how to enjoy it from their own neighborhood. Hill will guide participants through the constellations and how to use a sky chart to locate the major stars, locate the major planets and observe the phases of the moon. Those who attend also will learn basic astronomy concepts to further their enjoyment of the night sky and participate in a discussion on what to expect during the total solar eclipse here in August. A textbook is not required, although a list of recommended books is available by request. The cost is $30.

A second primer is planned for noon-1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, as part of Kent Library’s Athenaeum Series. This free presentation titled “Citizen CATE: Solar Eclipse Science for Everyone” is planned in Sadie’s Place in Kent Library. Hill and Dr. Mike Rodgers, professor of chemistry, will discuss the Citizen Continental America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) project involving citizen astronomers from more than 60 sites taking images of the brightness of the inner solar corona as the eclipse passes over various locations across the United States.

One of the Citizen CATE experiment sites will be located in Perryville, Missouri, on Aug. 21, and Southeast and its students will be a part of the research at this site. The National Solar Observatory with support from the National Science Foundation is funding the cost of equipment for Southeast students and faculty to use to collect data while in Perryville during the eclipse. Sixty identical telescopes across the path of totality will be used to collect images of the lowest layers of the solar corona during the eclipse. These layers have been challenging for astronomers to previously capture in images. While the totality phase of the eclipse will only last about two minutes at each site, data will be collected from each site and combined in a 90-minute movie to reveal for the first time how this part of the solar atmosphere changes during 90 minutes, Hill said.

She, Rodgers and the Southeast students collecting data in Perryville on Aug. 21 will participate in training April 29-30 at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale to learn more about their research efforts during the eclipse.

Southeast is planning a third event on April 10 to prepare for the total solar eclipse. Titled “Eclipse 101: Preparing for Darkness at Noon,” this Continuing Education course will help participants learn there is more to the skies than just star-gazing.

Some of nature’s most spectacular astronomical phenomena were, at times, terrifying to our ancestors, said Hill, who also will teach this course. This free information session will help people understand the science of the upcoming solar eclipse. Hill will help participants cut through the superstition and learn valuable tips for safe-viewing, as well as offer educational activities the entire family can enjoy.

“We will also talk about local astronomical resources, upcoming events, and opportunities to learn more,” she said.

“Eclipse 101” Preparing for Darkness at Noon” is planned for 7-8:30 p.m. April 10 in Rhodes Hall Room 121.

To register for both “Astronomy in the Suburbs: An Introduction to Star Gazing” and “Eclipse 101: Preparing for Darkness at Noon,” visit eclipse.semo.edu. For more information, contact Dr. Peggy Hill at (573) 651-2394.

Plans for events occurring Aug. 21 at Southeast are still being finalized. Please visit eclipse.semo.edu for regular updates.

Join members of the Southeast and Cape Girardeau communities from 5:30-7 p.m. March 29 in the Oscar Hirsch Room in the Cape Girardeau Public Library in a moderated panel discussion on “Feminist Thought vs. Radical Intolerance.” The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Kirsten LaMantia. Panelists will include Dr. Shonta Smith, Dr. Debbie Lee-Distefano, Dr. Hamner Hill, Ms. Jada Wan, Ms. Breanne Bleichroth, Dr. Quantella Noto and Dr. Rachel Morgan Theall.

In 1984, feminist writer bell hooks wrote, “too many women have ceased to support the feminist struggle because the ideology has been too dogmatic, too absolutist, too closed. [They] have left feminist movement because they were identified as ‘the enemy.”

Feminist movements, like all social movements are constantly evolving, ebbing, and shifting. With each decade and each generation, we see women and occasionally men, taking on the “feminist” label for various reasons…voting rights, reproductive rights, pay disparity, in protest of sexual and domestic violence, or to propel the various female candidates running for political office. The micro-political messages associated with the term “feminist” sometimes seem endless, they change decade to decade, or by what’s trending on Twitter. Although many people may choose to label themselves a “feminist”, do they truly have a deep understanding of what the term means? Do they understand the historical connotations, the power of the word, the power of those who have used the label throughout history, the fights and the struggles of the early feminists over the years? Or have some appropriated the word and its power, making it the label du jour? Has it become just another label used to keep the “others” out? Has the former equality-seeking feminist become a weak symbol, replaced by the modern day radical feminist who is intolerant and alienating?

To register for the event, visit: http://www.semo.edu/diversity/news-events.html.

For more information, please contact Sia Sharma at equityissues@semo.edu or (573) 651-2606.


malden_greenhouse (1)A dedication ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Monday, March 27, for the new Rice Research Greenhouse at Southeast’s Malden Campus. The 1,500-square-foot facility will help broaden rice breeding research efforts of Missouri rice spearheaded by the Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council with support from Southeast’s Department of Agriculture. The greenhouse will assist in furthering new high yielding rice varieties and will enhance student knowledge about rice and plant breeding. Numerous Southeast classes will use the facility, which is funded in part with a $100,000 USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG).

GetEducatedcom-psychology-online-bachelors 2017Southeast Missouri State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Psychology has been ranked the #21 “Best Buy” among similar distance education programs by GetEducated.com’s national online degree review team.

Southeast’s program was among 69 Best Affordable Online Psychology Degrees ranked by GetEducated.com and the top-ranking institution in Missouri, indicating it falls below the national average cost of similar programs. The affordability ranking is based on a comprehensive review of 167 competing online regionally accredited psychology bachelor degrees from 127 regionally accredited online schools.

According to GetEducated.com’s survey, the average cost of a bachelor’s degree in psychology – calculated by totaling full-time tuition and fees — is $51,596.58. All degrees ranked on the list of the 69 Best Buys are less than $52,000.

“Southeast Online is committed to providing a quality distance education experience to students at an affordable cost,” said Chelsea Caile, director of Southeast Online Programs.

Dr. Leslee Pollina, chair of the Department of Psychology at Southeast, added, “Students can receive a high-quality, comprehensive degree that places them in a competitive position for a wide variety of employment opportunities.”

Faculty in the department of psychology provide excellent opportunities for students to engage with content via the online course platform, including posting videos, case studies, and current news articles.

Southeast’s online Bachelor of Arts in psychology prepares students for a variety of careers in social services, human resources and business areas. This degree provides a general background in basic processes, cognitive processes, social psychology, developmental psychology, clinical/personality psychology, and statistics and research design.

hardscape installationA team from Southeast Missouri State University finished fifth March 15-18 in Hardscape Installation at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Patrick Hoffmann, from Sedalia, Missouri, a recreation major with minors in horticulture and historic preservation, and Marty Aide of Cape Girardeau, an agribusiness, agriculture industry major, teamed up to take the fifth place honor.

Six Southeast students participated in the competition for the first time this year, with each student participating in up to four events. The competition attracted 672 students from 60 colleges and universities.

“For our first year, the students did outstanding!” said Heidi Clark, instructor of agriculture at Southeast. “It is such a wonderful experience for networking, gaining new knowledge and experiencing other universities across the country. The students all worked very hard outside of class time to prepare. We also could not have competed without the help from our sponsor, Montgomery Bank.”

In addition to the competition, events included workshops for students to get hands-on experience to practice their particular event, a networking reception, an opening ceremony and career fair. Southeast students landed five interviews for potential internships and full-time job placement at the event.

National Collegiate Landscape CompetitionOther Southeast teams competing were:

Truck and Trailer Operation: Aide and Tyler Wood, an agribusiness horticulture major from Columbia, Illinois

Landscape Maintenance Operations: Aide and Wood

Computer Aided Landscape Design: Cody Heisserer, an agribusiness, horticulture, major from Scott City, Missouri

Interior Landscape Design: Adam Way, an agribusiness, horticulture major from Jackson, Missouri

Business Management: David Pittman of Frankfort, Illinois, an agribusiness horticulture major and business administration minor from Frankfort, Illinois

Turf and Weed Identification: Way and Pittman

Landscape Plant Installation: Pittman, Heisserer and Aide

Exterior Landscape Design: Hoffmann.

Clark says many of the students plan to return to compete again next year when the National Collegiate Landscape Competition will be held at Alamance Community College in Graham, North Carolina.


PrintThe Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University announces the inaugural Southeast Business Plan Competition taking place April 26.

The Southeast Business Plan Competition is an opportunity for Southeast students in any area of study to develop real-world skills by researching a business idea and developing a business plan. Students can compete as individuals or teams for cash prizes valued up to $2,000.

The deadline to submit business plans online is Monday, April 17.

The top three teams will be notified and will pitch their business plans at a Common Hour program scheduled on April 26 in the University Center Ballroom A. The judges will then award first place with a $2,000 cash prize, second place with a $1,000 cash prize, and third place with a $500 cash prize (cash prizes are taxable).

Interested students must attend one of the informational sessions being held at Catapult Creative House at 612 Broadway at 5:30 p.m. March 28 or at noon March 29.

For more information, visit catapultsemo.com/sbpc.

The annual fiscal year-end deadlines memo has been issued. The fiscal year-end memo outlines the due dates for departments to complete certain transactions related to FY17 activity, such as the last date to request a bid for FY17, due date for requesting reimbursement for travel in FY17, etc. It is available for viewing at http://semo.edu/accountspayable/deadlines.html. Questions should be directed to the appropriate department listed within the memo. We appreciate your cooperation which greatly contributes to a smooth year-end closing.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. April 15 for those wishing to submit proposals for funding to develop fully online courses that could be included as part of an online consortium of class offerings to support the creation of a minor in Middle Eastern Studies in partnership with Southeast Missouri State University, the University of Central Missouri and Missouri State University. The collaborative minor is being funded with support from the U.S. Department of Education’s Undergraduate Studies in International and Foreign Languages program. To review course requirements and to access an application, visit http://semo.edu/pdf/InterdisiciplinaryCourseCFP2017_form.pdf.




Food PantryOn Monday, March 20, the Redhawk Food Pantry opened in Kent Library Room 123 in the Textbook Rental area on the lower level of the library to serve members of the University community.

The Redhawk Food Pantry provides non-perishable food items, hygiene products and school supplies to Southeast Missouri State University students and employees in need. It is the mission of Redhawk Food Pantry to provide supplemental support for members of the campus community who struggle with food insecurity. Additionally, the Redhawk Food Pantry encourages an educational understanding of food insecurity and provides a space for students to volunteer with their peers.

Career Closet The Pantry is made possible through the generous donations of many campus and Cape Girardeau community members who recently made donations during a campus food drive.

In addition, the space also houses Career Services’ Career Closet making “hire attire” available to students seeking a new employment venture. A limited selection of men’s and women’s employment ready options are available, including blazers, shoes and neckties. As donations from faculty and staff continue, the Career Closet will be replenished with additional options.

The Pantry is open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. The Pantry will remain open during the summer, as well, on a limited schedule. For more information on the pantry, please visit their website at http://www.semo.edu/pantry/ or call (573) 651-2236. Questions may be directed to redhawkpantry@semo.edu. For more information on the Career Closet, contact Career Services at (573) 651-2583 or email careerservices@semo.edu.