Spring Commencement Tip Sheet

Spring commencement at Southeast Missouri State University is planned for 2 p.m. May 16 in the Show Me Center arena. 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 either phone numbers or e-mail addresses are listed below. Students will begin assembling for commencement at 1:15 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center-North. 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 16 in the Student Recreation Center-North. Please do not hesitate to call the News Bureau at (573) 651-2552 with any questions about these or other commencement stories.

Alison Holliman of Anna Ill., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science in nursing degree.  Her husband who is currently on duty in Afghanistan will be returning home to attend her graduation.  Holliman can be reached at (618) 833-2331.

James “Joe” Gholson of Harrisburg, Ill., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science degree with a major in biology, biomedical sciences option. Gholson has been accepted to and plans to attend Harvard Medical School beginning in the fall. Gholson says he will be the first person in his family to attend a graduate program. The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, one of the oldest and most distinguished interdisciplinary honor societies, recently recognized Gholson’s achievements with its Slater Fellowship, awarded to the top ranked student nationally in the biological sciences. The $5,000 fellowship is to assist in covering the costs of the recipient’s first year of graduate or professional study. Gholson was nominated by Southeast’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter to compete for the award. He scored in the 97th percentile on the MCAT exam, placing his score among the top four scores to be achieved by Southeast students over the past 17 years. Only three percent of the 20,000 students internationally who have taken the MCAT in the past five years have scored at the 97th percentile or higher. Gholson spent last summer in Southeast Asia aboard the USNS Mercy, a Military Sealift Command hospital ship which serves as an enabling platform to assist humanitarian operations ashore in collaboration with host nations and international relief organizations. Gholson worked as a research intern for NASA at the Marshall Space Flight Center last fall for 15 weeks, studying West Nile Virus. While on campus, he founded the Southeast Dance Marathon which has raised approximately $44,000 for medical care over the last three years. He co-founded the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-professional health honor society with Andrew Valleroy and currently serves as co-president. Also at Southeast, Gholson served as vice president of and a senator on Student Government. In addition, he has been the student representative to the Southeast Missouri University Foundation Board. Gholson can be reached at (618) 841-1349 or joegholson@gmail.com.

Jennifer Miller and Jessica Miller, twin sisters from Dongola, Ill., will both graduate from Southeast with bachelor of science in business administration degrees with a major in international business.  While at Southeast, the twins have taken every section of every class together.  They have both studied abroad in China, Taiwan and Spain, and were among a select group of Southeast students chosen to participate in a unique spring break seminar in 2008 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonpartisan and nonprofit think tank based in Washington, D.C. They will both graduate with a 4.0 grade point average.  They can be reached at (618) 827-4726.

Brittni Peck of Sparta, Ill., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science degree with a major in biomedical sciences. Her twin sister, Chelsea Peck will graduate the same day with a bachelor of science degree with a major in dietetics.  Brittni has been accepted to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a Governor’s Scholar and was a cross country and track athlete for two years. Brittni is a student worker in the athletic ticket office, has served as the president of the University’s Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club, and works during school breaks at the Sparta Animal Clinic.  In addition, she volunteers at the Humane Society here in Cape Girardeau, and has completed an internship as a zookeeper for the Great Apes at the St. Louis Zoo. Her sister, Chelsea is treasurer of the Student Dietetic Association, works in Southeast’s athletic ticket office and plans to complete a dietetics internship next academic year in Cape Girardeau. The twins both participated in intramural sports at Southeast. They can be reached at (618) 443-4833.

Victoria Boren of Jackson, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science degree with a major in psychology.  Boren was the second Victoria Boren to be on the Homecoming Court for Woman of the Year.  Her aunt, who shares the same name, received this honor in the 1960s when she attended Southeast.  Boren can be reached at (573) 270-8969.

Carrie Brown of Sedgewickville, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science degree with a major in psychology.  Brown is the third of three sisters to graduate as a non-traditional student from Southeast.  Two of her sisters graduated from Southeast after receiving the GED scholarship.  All three graduated with honors.  Brown can be reached at (573) 866-2002.

Donna Carpenter of Advance, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in organizational administration.  Carpenter is a single mom to three sons, has attended Southeast online full time, and works full time as a human resource and safety manager.  Her oldest son will graduate from Southeast this summer and will participate in the May ceremony.  Carpenter can be reached at (573) 722-3931 or donnascarpenter@sbcglobal.net.

Jeremy Dohogne of Delta, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science degree with a major in biomedical sciences.  Dohogne, a non-traditional student, served in the Missouri Army National Guard for six years.  He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from February 2004 through February 2005, as well as aiding in Hurricane Katrina relief in New Orleans.  Dohogne will be the first in his family to graduate from college and is doing so with a 3.75 grade point average.  Dohogne will be attending medical school after graduation.  Dohogne can be reached at (573) 794-2463.

Judith Dorn of St. Peters, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of general studies degree.  After 30 years, Dorn returned to Southeast to finish her degree.  Dorn can be reached at (636)279-3550.

Samuel Hunter of Cape Girardeau, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of general studies degree.  Hunter returned to Southeast after having spent a year fighting cancer.  Hunter was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in the spring of 2008, but is now in remission and is taking care of his two daughters.  Hunter can be reached at (573) 339-4590.

Norman Popp of Jackson, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of arts degree with a major in history.  Popp will be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force from the Air Force ROTC on the same day as graduation.  Popp can be reached at (573) 243-7473.

Jenna Russell of Cape Girardeau, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science in family and consumer science education degree.  Russell is a third generation graduate from Southeast.  Her grandfather, Joseph Russell not only was an alumnus, but also served as the University’s attorney until his death.  He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, to which she also belongs.  Russell can be reached at (573) 270-3430.

Blair Schuppan of St. Louis, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of general studies degree.  Schuppan was part of the 2006 Southeast women’s soccer team, the first in Southeast’s soccer history to win the Ohio Valley Conference tournament and participate in the NCAA Tournament.  Schuppan can be reached at (314) 962-3635.

Alexander Skelton of Jackson, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science degree with a major in sport management.  Skelton co-created the first collegiate fishing lure in the nation, the proceeds of which are supporting for the Southeast Bass Anglers club.  Skelton can be reached at (573) 243-1684.

Katherine White of Chatham, Ill., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in industrial education.  White’s sister graduated from Southeast in 2007 and has since gone on to receive her master’s degree from the University of Illinois-Springfield.  Unfortunately, their graduations fall on the same day, so Katherine’s sister will be missing her own graduation to attend Katherine’s.  White can be reached at (217) 483-6484.

Sean Winstead of Cape Girardeau, Mo., will graduate from Southeast with a bachelor of science degree with a major in historic preservation.  Winstead, a non-traditional student, is a military veteran with service in Iraq .  Winstead can be reached at (573) 450-7124.