Spring Commencement Tip Sheet

Spring commencement at Southeast Missouri State University is planned for 2 p.m. May 14 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.  With advance notice, 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 14 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.

Travis Beard of Scott City, Mo., finished service with the U.S. Air Force with an associate’s degree.  He then began working for Southeast as a custodian and worked his way to earn his bachelor of science degree with a major in computer information systems and a minor in German.  Beard can be reached at (573) 803-8111 or tbeard@semo.edu.

Twin sisters Megan Campbell and Morgan Campbell of Ironton, Mo., will be the first of their family to graduate from a university.  Megan will receive a bachelor of arts degree with a major in anthropology and minors in historic preservation and Spanish, and Morgan will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in human environment studies, housing and interior design option, with minors in architectural design and entrepreneurship/small business management.  Megan can be reached at mmcampbell1s@semo.edu.  Morgan can be reached at mrcampbell1s@semo.edu.

John Casebolt of Scott City, Mo., came to Southeast to work towards a degree after being injured in a work-related accident.  He was encouraged to continue his education by Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation.  Although he started out in developmental algebra, Casebolt will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in physics and mathematics, applied mathematics option, and a minor in political science. Casebolt can be reached at (573) 264-3929 or jacasebolt1s@semo.edu.

Christiana Coffey of Independence, Mo., appeared in the first show – “Big River” – to be performed in the Bedell Performance Hall at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus. She is also a first generation college graduate. Coffey can be reached at cccoffey1s@semo.edu.

Trent Cokley of New Melle, Mo., and Christopher Finn of Marble Hill, Mo., will both be commissioned into the U.S. Air Force following graduation.  In addition, Geoffrey Ogden of St. Louis, Mo., will receive an officer’s commission from the U.S. Marine Corps in July.  Cokley will receive a bachelor of arts degree with a major in history and a minor in aerospace studies.  Finn will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in industrial technology, construction management and design option, and a minor in aerospace studies.  Ogden will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in political science and a minor in history, and bachelor of arts degree with a major in history and a minor in political science. Cokley can be reached at tmcokley1s@semo.edu. Finn can be reached at cwfinn1s@semo.edu. Ogden can be reached at gsogden1s@semo.edu.

Ramona Crumley of Poplar Bluff, Mo., is the first of six registered nurses in her family to complete a bachelor of science in nursing degree with a major in nursing.  She is encouraging her two brothers and three sisters to do the same.  Crumley can be reached at racrumley1s@semo.edu

Todd Cruts and his wife Melissa Cruts of Jackson, Mo., met in 1992 while attending a Southeast production of “You Can’t Take it With You” on the University campus.  They married in 1993, and Todd joined the military service where he was stationed in Arizona while Melissa completed her degree.  After Todd finished his service, he returned to complete his degree. His grandmother and Melissa coerced him into promising he would return to school and complete his degree. He and Melissa will graduate together as Todd will receive a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in management, human resources option, and Melissa will receive a master of arts degree in communication disorders.  They are both first generation college degree students.  The Cruts can be reached at (573) 450-8448.

Christopher Hager of St. Louis, Mo., has had many setbacks in his quest for a degree.  Both of his parents passed away as he started his college education at Southeast while transitioning from work as a brick layer.  He later stopped taking classes to return to bricklaying before he decided to return to finish his degree.  He will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in mathematics.  Hager can be reached at (314) 729-7892 or cthager1s@semo.edu

Benjamin Hooe of Iuka, Ill., spent two months volunteering abroad the USNS Mercy during the Pacific Partnership 2010 humanitarian mission, which brought together medical professionals from around the world to provide free medical care in Southeast Asia.  Hooe will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in biology, biomedical sciences option, and a bachelor of arts degree with a major in chemistry and a minor in biology.  He can be reached at (618) 323-6283 or bshooe1s@semo.edu.

Rian Ketter of Cape Girardeau, Mo., has experienced many milestones, including her high school graduation and her freshman move-in day at Southeast, without her father present because of his tours in Iraq with the U.S. Army.  She will graduate from Southeast with her father, Lt. Col. Kent Ketter in the audience.  Rian Ketter will receive a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in marketing, integrated marketing communication option.  Rian Ketter can be reached at rkketter1s@semo.edu.

Heather Maahs of Poplar Bluff, Mo., will be the only one of her siblings to receive a bachelor’s degree.  She will graduate with a bachelor of general studies degree.  Her late father, who also graduated from Southeast, was the only one of his siblings to receive a bachelor’s degree as well. She says her parents met at Southeast, and her father would be proud that she is completing her degree at age 35. Maahs can be reached at hamaahs1s@semo.edu.

James Maurer of Cape Girardeau, Mo., will be a third-generation Southeast graduate.  He will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in mass communication, television and film option, and a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in marketing, integrated marketing communication option.  Maurer can be contacted at (573) 225-4268 or jrmaurer1s@semo.edu.

Lauren McNamara of Breese, Ill., a pole vaulter on the Southeast track and field team, will graduate with the highest student-athlete grade point average of her graduating class.  She will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in mass communication, television and film option, and a Spanish minor, and a bachelor of arts degree with a major in Spanish and a minor in mass communication. Her brother, Mark, graduated three years ago from Southeast with a double major in mass communication and Spanish and held the highest male student-athlete grade point average of his graduating class.  McNamara can be reached at (618) 789-4200 or lamcnamara1s@semo.edu.

Barbara Meraz of Jackson, Mo., a 47-year-old non-traditional student, will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in human developmental studies, child development option, a day before her youngest child graduates from high school and her son graduates from Southeast’s Police Academy.  Meraz can be reached at (573) 388-2154 or bjmeraz1s@semo.edu.

John Reecht of Crystal City, Mo., is from a family of three generations of University of Missouri alumni, and he is the only one to have attended and graduated from Southeast.  He is also the University’s mascot, Rowdy the Redhawk.  He will receive a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in physical education.  Reecht can be contacted at jdreecht1s@semo.edu

Amy Romenesko of St. Louis, Mo., is a little person and will be a third-generation teacher in her family.  She will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in human environmental studies, child development option, with a minor in family studies. Romenesko can be reached at (573)339-3992 or aeromenesko1s@semo.edu.

Tony Selvaggio of St. Louis, Mo., is blind and has completed two degrees in his three years at Southeast.  He lives in a campus residence hall with his guide dog, Marvel, who faithfully accompanies him to all classes.  Selvaggio will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in mass communication, public relations and advertising options, and a bachelor of arts degree with a major in communication studies.  Selvaggio can be reached at (314) 609-9787.

Jennifer Smith of Doniphan, Mo., had her oldest daughter when she was 16 years old. She will receive a bachelor of science in nursing degree with a major in nursing while her daughter graduates from high school.  Smith can be reached at jssmith8s@semo.edu.

Aaron Stacey of Kennett, Mo., began attending Southeast in 2002.  In 2005, he suffered a spinal cord injury and had to learn how to walk again.  After four years of physical therapy, he returned to Southeast to complete his bachelor of science degree with a major in industrial technology, technological graphics option.  Stacey can be reached at astacey1s@semo.edu.

Emily Williams of Cape Girardeau, Mo., says teaching is in her blood. After all, she will graduate as a fourth-generation teacher from Southeast.  Williams, her mother, grandmother, and great-great aunt received bachelor of science in education degrees with majors in elementary education.  Her father and both her paternal grandparents also received education degrees from Southeast.  Williams can be reached at (573) 275-0436 or ewilliams1s@semo.edu.