Southeast Missouri State University will hold its fall commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Show Me Center during which 702 students – 581 undergraduates, 113 master’s degree candidates and eight specialist candidates — will be graduating.
The 10 a.m. ceremony is for candidates in the College of Education, Health and Human Studies, and the Harrison College of Business and Computing. The 2 p.m. ceremony is for candidates in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; and the Holland College of Arts and Media.
Dr. Shonta Smith, professor of elementary education, will deliver the 10 a.m. address. Dr. Susan Kendrick, professor of English and chair of the Department of English, will deliver the 2 p.m. address.
In total, 190 students will graduate with honors — 48 will graduate summa cum laude (3.9 to 4.0 cumulative grade point average); 57 will graduate magna cum laude (3.75 to 3.89 cumulative grade point average); 84 will graduate cum laude (3.5 to 3.74 cumulative grade point average); and one will graduate with honors in associate degrees.
Also recognized during the ceremony will be 11 students graduating with a 4.0 grade point average and 12 Honors Scholars.
Dr. Shonta Smith
Dr. Shonta Smith was raised in the inner-city of St. Louis, where she participated in the voluntary desegregation program from the seventh through 12th grades, allowing her to interact with various cultural groups and develop an appreciation for everyone’s cultural uniqueness. This opportunity set the foundation for Smith’s passion for culturally responsive teaching and resulted in the creation of Dr. Shonta Smith International LLC.
She is a tenured professor in the Department of Elementary, Early and Special Education, College of Education, Health and Human Studies, at Southeast. She has more than 27 years of experience in education, with 17 of those years at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She has been a teacher, team leader, department head, coach, administrative intern and principal with the St. Louis Public Schools, Normandy School District, and the Ferguson-Florissant School District. She has spent 10 years at the collegiate level as an adjunct professor at Lindenwood University and as a tenured professor at Southeast Missouri State University. Her research interests are African Centered Rites of Passage Programs, Culturally Responsive Teaching and Instructional Leadership. She earned her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University, Master of Education in Counseling from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Bachelor of Science in Education from Harris Stowe State University. She is passionate about educating communities. Her motto is “One Team – One Goal – One Band – One Sound.”
Dr. Susan Kendrick
Dr. Susan Kendrick joined Southeast Missouri State University in 2014 as a professor and chair of the Department of English, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She teaches courses in Shakespeare and other early English writers. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in English Renaissance Literature from the University of Oklahoma and is the author of a monograph on the imagery of Queen Elizabeth I. Her most recent publication is a four-volume bibliography of British and American women writers who published novels before 1900, and her current research explores Shakespeare’s history plays in performance onstage and on film.
Since her arrival at Southeast, Kendrick has served as the interim director of University Studies and as a member of numerous committees, including Academic Council, the Academic Effectiveness Team, the Equity and Student Affairs Subcommittee, College Council, and the Faculty Honors Council. She is also the faculty advisor to Sigma Tau Delta, the national honor society for English majors.
Kendrick grew up in Longview, Texas, and, as a first-generation college graduate, earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Tyler. She completed a Master of Arts in English from Stephen F. Austin State University. She is a member of various organizations, including the Renaissance Society of America, the Queen Elizabeth I Society, the Popular Culture Association, Phi Kappa Phi, the Modern Language Association and the Harley Owners’ Group.