CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 4, 2015 — A total of 1,390 students – 1,113 undergraduate and 277 master’s and specialist students – will receive degrees at Southeast Missouri State University’s spring commencement exercises at 2 p.m. May 16 in the Show Me Center.
Erik Peterson, director of A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council, a strategic advisory service specifically designed for the world’s top chief executive officers and business-minded thought leaders, will deliver the commencement address.
During the commencement ceremony, Doyle L. Privett of Kennett, Missouri, a member of the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents for 16 years, former president of the Board and chief financial officer of Kennett National Bank, will receive an honorary Doctor of Business degree.
Also during commencement, 29 undergraduate students with a perfect 4.0 grade point average will be recognized. In addition, five Southeast alumni will be honored with the University’s 2015 Young Alumni Merit Award. They are Chris Foeste of Cape Girardeau, general manager of Big River Communications, Kaci Heins of Flagstaff, Arizona, who is a sixth grade science teacher at Northland Preparatory Academy in Flagstaff, Arizona, and the 2014 Air Force Association National Aerospace Teacher of the Year Award winner; Jennifer Sides of St. Louis, human resources manager at Anders CPAs + Advisors in St. Louis; Tiffany Bayer of Jefferson City, Missouri, chief of staff to Missouri’s first lady, Georganne Wheeler Nixon,; and Theresa Hassler of Harlem, New York, portfolio manager in the office of the mayor in New York City.
Prior to the commencement ceremony, an Honors Convocation will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Show Me Center to honor 385 undergraduates. Dr. Willie Redmond, professor of economics and faculty associate in the Office of the Provost at Southeast, will present the Honors Convocation address. He was the 2014 recipient of the Faculty Merit Award.
Among the undergraduate students at the Honors Convocation, 81 students will graduate summa cum laude (3.9 to 4.0 cumulative grade point average); 98 will graduate magna cum laude (3.75 to 3.89 cumulative grade point average); and 170 will graduate cum laude (3.5 to 3.74 cumulative grade point average).
Also at the Honors Convocation, six students will be recognized for graduating with Academic Distinction, and 28 will be recognized as Honors Scholars. Graduating members of three honor societies will be recognized as well, including 99 from Phi Eta Sigma, 88 from Phi Kappa Phi and 37 from Omicron Delta Kappa.
The commencement speaker, Erik Peterson joined in the A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council in February 2010. He is also a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Washington-based bipartisan, nonprofit think tank on foreign policy and national security issues. Formerly (1998–2010), he was senior vice president at CSIS. He also held the CSIS William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis, an endowed chair named in honor of Merrill Lynch chairman emeritus Bill Schreyer. From 2003 to 2010, Peterson served as director of the CSIS Global Strategy Institute—a “think tank within a think tank”—which he established in 2003 to assess long-range trends. Previously, he was director of studies at CSIS from 1992–2003, in which he oversaw and coordinated programs, projects and publications across the organization. Before joining CSIS, Peterson was director of research at Kissinger Associates, the international consulting firm chaired by Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state.
Peterson currently serves on several advisory boards, including the X Prize Foundation, the Center for Global Business Studies at Pennsylvania State University, and the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. In past years, he also has served as a fellow of the World Economic Forum and a member of the forum’s Global Risk Network. For the past four years, he has served on the judging panel of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation for its prize in national security reporting. In December 2009, he was named distinguished faculty associate in international business at the Smeal School of Business at Pennsylvania State University. In October 2008, he was appointed visiting scholar at the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
Peterson has addressed numerous groups and lectured in 48 of the United States and 28 countries. He has spoken regularly at a wide array of U.S. government institutions, including the Army Medical Strategic Leadership Program, Army War College, Coast Guard, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of State, Interagency Institute for Federal Health Care Executives, Internal Revenue Service, Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Defense University, Proteus, Reserve Forces Policy Board, USAID and the Western Governors Association. In addition, he has had extensive interface with major corporations and trade associations around the globe.
The author of several publications, Peterson is now completing a book on global strategic trends and their effects on governance structures in societies across the world. Recent writings include “Race to the Future” (The Age, November 2009) and “The World is Dry” (SAISphere, May 2008). Together with Rachel Posner, he is author of “The World’s Water Challenge,” (Current History, January 2010), “Water and Energy Futures in an Urbanized Asia: Sustaining the Tiger” (CSIS, December 2007) and “Global Water Futures: A Roadmap for Future U.S. Policy” (CSIS, September 2008). Peterson contributed a chapter entitled “Scanning the More Distant Future” to “For the Common Good: The Ethics of Leadership in the 21st Century” (Praeger, 2006). He also serves on the editorial review boards of the SAIS Review and Diplomatic Courier. Peterson received his Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, his Master of Arts from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and his Bachelor of Arts from Colby College. He holds the Certificate of Eastern European Studies from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and the Certificate in International Legal Studies from The Hague Academy of International Law in The Netherlands.