The renewable scholarship will be awarded to a graduate student attending Southeast Missouri State University and enrolled in the University’s Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program. Recipients must be in good academic standing with an overall minimum 3.0 grade point average. Preference will be given to students from the Southeast Missouri Service Region from Ste. Genevieve County and south, and financial need will be considered. The Department of Psychology and Counseling Scholarship Committee will select the recipient.
The scholarship was established by Bruner’s parents, Jay and Kathleen Wolz, and her grandmother, Mrs. Lu Ruzicka, all Southeast graduates from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, who made a $10,000 gift to establish the award.
Bruner earned a Bachelor of Arts in musical theater in 2015 and a Master of Arts in applied behavior analysis in 2018, both from Southeast. She is a member of the Behavior Intervention Services team at Southeast’s Autism Center for Diagnosis and Treatment where she is a behavior analyst, providing clinic-based behavior intervention services for individuals with autism and their families. She and her husband, Brandon, a 2018 Southeast graduate, live in Jackson, Missouri.
Jay served as Southeast’s director of Alumni Relations from 2012 until his retirement in 2018. He is a 1977 graduate of Southeast with a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies. He earned a Master of Business Administration in 1998 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. As a student at Southeast, Jay was editor-in-chief of the Capaha Arrow, forerunner to the Arrow, and was a member of the KRCU staff, the Golden Eagles Marching Band, University Players and Phi Sigma Epsilon. He also served on the University’s Alumni Association Board of Directors and National Alumni Council.
Kathleen is a 1979 graduate of Southeast with a Bachelor of Science in Education, secondary education, with majors in English and mass communications. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale School of Law in 1985 and is a partner in a Cape Girardeau law firm. While at Southeast, she was a staff member of the Capaha Arrow and was editor of the 1979 Sagamore, the University’s former yearbook. She was also president of Delta Delta Delta, secretary of the Student Government Association and was a member of Kappa Delta Pi. Additionally, she served as Towers North head resident, Greek Housing coordinator and has been a member of Southeast’s National Alumni Council.
Ruzicka is a 1951 graduate of Southeast Missouri State College, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education, majoring in speech pathology. She also attended graduate school at Saint Louis University. During her years at Southeast, she was active in Black Mask, Collegiate Players, the Debate Team, Sorosis Society (which later became known as Alpha Chi Omega), the Golden Eagles Marching Band, Centenary Methodist Youth and the Capaha Arrow. Ruzicka is a charter member of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation’s Copper Dome Society and a member of the President’s Council, as was her late husband, Leonard Ruzicka, Sr. She was awarded the University’s Distinguished Service Award in 2009 and the Friend of the University Award in 2013.