Alumni Association Honoring Alumni, Faculty with 2012 Merit Awards


by News Bureau on Monday, Oct. 08, 2012

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 8, 2012 — Nine alumni and one faculty member will receive Merit Awards presented by the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association Oct. 19 at the Copper Dome Society/Merit Recognition Program during the Homecoming celebration.

Since 1958, Alumni Merit Awards have been presented to Southeast graduates who have brought distinction to themselves and the University.

This year’s Alumni Merit Award recipients are: Dr. Terry Adams, ’75, ’80 and ’84, of Lake St. Louis, Mo., superintendent of the Wentzville R-IV School District; Dr. William Barry Aycock, ’91, of Parma, Mo., owner of AgXplore International, LLC; Gregg Billmeyer, ’83, of Columbia, Ill., vice president of strategic initiatives with Anheuser-Busch InBev in St. Louis; Dr. Cynthia Marie Fox, ’92, of Tucson, Ariz., vice president and co-founder of LSVT Global, Inc.; Dr. Judith Matthews Gallagher, ’70 and ’73, of Arlington, Texas, dean of Humanities at Tarrant County College’s South Campus in Fort Worth, Texas; Dr. Jerry L. Kinder, ’57, of Cape Girardeau, a retired general surgeon; Joseph E. Pappas of Festus, Mo., ‘72 and ’79, owner, publisher and composer of JPM Music Publications and adjunct music instructor, director of concert band and core academic advisor at Jefferson College; Onésimo V. Sánchez S., ’82, of Panama, manager of the Economic Intelligence and Research Unit, Department of Corporate Planning and Marketing, Panama Canal Authority; and Dr. Kerwin Urhahn, ’91 and ’97, of Columbia, Mo., executive director of the Missouri State High School Activities Association. Receiving the Faculty Merit award will be Dr. James Stapleton, executive director of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and associate professor of entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University.

Dr. Terry Adams

Adams, a 1975, 1980 and 1984 graduate of Southeast with Bachelor of Science in Education, a Master of Arts in education, guidance and counseling, and a Specialist degree in educational administration, is the superintendent of the Wentzville R-IV School District.

“To receive an Alumni Merit Award from Southeast Missouri State University is truly humbling,” Adams said. “The preparation I received at Southeast and the people I have had the opportunity to work with in my career, many of them also educated at Southeast Missouri State University, have been responsible for any success I have achieved.”

Over the course of his career, Adams has been a teacher, coach, guidance counselor, athletic director, principal and superintendent. During the past 25 years, he has been a superintendent of schools in the Arcadia Valley R-II School District, the Central R-III School District, the Rolla Public School District and the Wentzville R-IV School District.

Earlier this year, he was named 2012 Missouri Superintendent of the Year by the Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA).

“I have had the honor and privilege of working with outstanding colleagues to educate the best students our state and, in fact, our nation has to offer,” he said.

Adams’s Southeast degrees led to certifications in physical education, health, driver’s education, guidance and counseling, K-12 principal and the superintendent.

“While these degrees and certifications opened the doors to various career opportunities, what I learned at Southeast Missouri State University has been significantly more important to my career,” Adams said. “Degrees and certifications open doors, but it is what you know and can do that leads to success in any career.”

Adams has been active as chairman of the MASA Program Committee. He also has been elected by his peers to represent Missouri on the Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators. He was the Missouri School Public Relations Association Superintendent of the Year in 2010. He has served as president of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Hospital Board while at Arcadia Valley and chair of the Wentzville Rotary Vocational Committee.

Adams and his wife Donna have two daughters. Donna Adams earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degree, one daughter earned her bachelor’s degree and both of their sons-in-law earned their bachelor’s degrees from Southeast.

Dr. William Barry Aycock

Dr. William Barry Aycock, a 1991 graduate of Southeast with a Bachelor of Science with a major in agronomy, is owner of AgXplore International, LLC. He founded AgXplore International, LLC in 1999 following a cotton consulting trip to Bolivia where he lived for six months working with farmers and government officials. The company is involved with fertilizer, research and agricultural consulting.

“Winning an Alumni Merit Award is such an honor for me,” he said. “It is a great feeling to be recognized in this way by my alma mater and peers for my life’s work.”

Aycock also holds a Master of Science from the University of Missouri and a doctorate from Southern Illinois University.

He started his first business – Aycock Agricultural Services — as a cotton consultant in 1989, and in 1996 he was named the National Cotton Consultant of the Year by Cotton Farming Magazine, the youngest to ever receive the award and the only person from Missouri to ever win the award.

“That exposure catapulted me into the opportunity of being asked by the Bolivian Ambassador to the United States to come to Bolivia and work with eight farms as a cotton crop consultant,” he said.

After completing that job, Aycock returned to the United States to continue his cotton crop consulting business. He also launched a company to provide places like Bolivia, along with the United States and other countries, with high-quality fertilizers and additive products.

“What once was a ‘hobby has turned into a satisfying and successful business,” he said, adding his Southeast degree paved the way for his agriculture career.

“My degree from Southeast helped me develop skills such as rhetorical and critical thinking skills and communication skills which have aided me a great deal in succeeding in my career path and in life,” said Aycock, who also has served on the Parma City Council and on Gov. Jay Nixon’s transition team.

Aycock is a Copper Dome and Redhawk Level Alumni Association member at Southeast.

Gregg Billmeyer

Gregg Billmeyer, a 1983 graduate of Southeast with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in marketing and minors in management and speech communication, is the vice president of strategic initiatives with Anheuser-Busch InBev in St. Louis.

“It’s really a surprise and a great honor, and I’m sure there are many people that are more deserving, but I’m very proud to be recognized by the University and to represent the Donald L. Harrison College of Business,” he said.

Billmeyer is currently responsible for managing special initiatives in the Marketing department. He previously served as vice president of Premium Light Brands, directing the development and execution of the strategic marketing plan for the company’s premium light brand portfolio, including the Bud Light, Mich Ultra and Bud Select Brand Families. Under his leadership, the brands grew market share, increased consumer preference and innovated with new products and packages.

Billmeyer has been an employee of Anheuser-Busch InBev for 27 years and has worked across the organization in procurement, sales promotion, new product development, geographic marketing, marketing strategy and communications and brand management as well as working in the Office of the President and Chief Executive Officer.

He is an active member of Southeast’s St. Louis Corporate Advisory Board. Additionally, he has assisted the Department of Management and Marketing by serving as a guest speaker at the University as well as speaking at marketing conferences hosted by the department. He is a 2007 recipient of the Southeast Salutes Award, a member of the Copper Dome Society and a Redhawk level Alumni Association member.

“I think there’s a strong work ethic that’s a real part of the fabric of Southeast that has served me well throughout my career. You don’t always have to be the smartest person in the room to get ahead. Hard work still counts for a lot no matter what you do in life,” he said.

“My degree from Southeast has been very important to me, but it’s more than the degree,” Billmeyer said. “It’s the total experience you get from a university like Southeast: the faculty, the community, the students, the activities, the friendships you make, the sports and everything that makes up the college experience. Those are the things that you carry with you your whole life. The degree is important, but it’s growing up and the life lessons that are more important.”

After matriculating at Southeast, he earned his Master of Business Administration at Lindenwood University. In addition, his executive education has included studies at Harvard Business School and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Dr. Cynthia Marie Fox

Dr. Cynthia Fox, a 1992 summa cum laude graduate of Southeast with a Bachelor of Science with a major in speech pathology, is the vice president and co-founder of LSVT Global, Inc. The company has nearly 12,000 speech, physical and occupational therapists trained in LSVT methodologies in more than 54 countries. These clinicians have helped thousands of patients with Parkinson’s disease improve their communication, movement and quality of life.

Fox is also a research associate with the National Center for Voice and Speech in Denver, Colo., and executive vice president of the LSVT Foundation.

“It is an amazing honor,” she said. “To be recognized by my University for my accomplishments is humbling. I believe my experience at Southeast gave me the confidence to go out and develop the career that I have today.”

A native of southern Illinois, Fox is considered to be a leading authority in speech treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease and has published and presented extensively in this area. In addition to her work with the National Center for Voice and Speech, Fox also serves on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association in Tucson and is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Arizona Speech-Language-Hearing Association and The Movement Disorder Society. In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

“I really feel like I am just getting started, and there are greater goals to achieve, and the best is yet to come,” she said.

“The support and direct attention I received from being in a smaller University department at Southeast was highly valuable and evident when I moved on to the master’s level. I actually had more academic and clinical experiences than many of my classmates who came to the University of Colorado-Boulder from larger universities. For example, I recall starting my master’s degree program with a significant number of clinical hours, whereas other students had never actually worked with clients in their undergraduate programs. I felt very grateful for this background from my undergraduate program and empowered by my experiences,” she said.

Fox continued her studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she received her Master of Arts in speech pathology. She earned her doctorate in speech and hearing sciences with a concentration in neuroscience and motor control from the University of Arizona-Tucson in 2002.

Fox is a Copper Dome and a Redhawk level Alumni Association member. At Southeast, she sang in the University Choir; was a member of Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Chi Academic Honorary, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Order of Omega and Greek Honorary; was chapter president of the year and Woman of the Year in 1991; named to the Dean’s Honor List; and the recipient of the Dorothy Shaw Leadership Award, the Regent’s Scholarship, Dean’s Scholarship and Luther Hahs Speech Scholarship. She also participated in the Missouri London Program and was honored with a Young Alumni Merit Award in 2007.

Dr. Judith Matthews Gallagher

Dr. Judith Matthews Gallagher, a 1970 and 1973 Southeast graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in English and a minor in history and a Master of Arts with a major in English, has served as the dean of humanities at Tarrant County College’s South Campus in Fort Worth, Texas since 2000.  

“Southeast has taken me on the path to my dream job in higher education – as an academic dean in a community college – Tarrant County College in Ft. Worth. My husband’s job took us to Texas, but the education I received at SEMO and the purpose that I discovered were the valuable elements that I carried with me as I pursued my career goals,” Gallagher said.  

A native of Sikeston, Mo., she completed her doctorate in higher education administration at the University of North Texas in Denton.  

Since joining Tarrant County College (TCC), Gallagher has held various faculty and administrative positions including instructor of English at TCC-Northwest, department chair of English and Philosophy and department chair of Liberal Arts, including English and Fine Arts, at Tarrant County College-Southeast in Arlington.   

“When I majored in English to become a teacher, I thought I would teach high school English, but when I returned to earn my master’s and had a graduate teaching position, I discovered that I wanted to teach at the college level – which I did for many years and still do as an adjunct for Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Gallagher said.  

She continued, “I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. … For little girls in the 1950s, the primary choices for careers were in secretarial work, nursing or teaching. Little did I know that the world would open up so that I could pursue a career in administration, but I’m glad that I have benefited from the opening of opportunities to women in education.”  

Earlier in her career she served on the teaching staff of several schools in this area including Sikeston and Bloomfield in Missouri and Graves County Schools in Mayfield, Ky.  

Gallagher is an active member of the Southeast Missouri State alumni chapter in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  

She encourages Southeast students to get involved on campus in clubs and activities. From these experiences, she says, students can “develop leadership skills, build their organizational abilities and learn from every person they encounter.”  

Gallagher says that winning the Alumni Merit Award “means that I’ve begun to accomplish what I was called to do. When I finished my degrees, I set out to make a difference – to make a contribution – to empower others to reach their goals and realize their dreams – to pay forward the vote of confidence that I received from my parents, my teachers, my family. This award tells me that I’m off to a good start, but I know that I have much yet to do.”

Dr. Jerry L. Kinder

Dr. Jerry L. Kinder, a 1957 summa cum laude graduate of Southeast with a Bachelor of Science with a major in zoology, has been medical director of the Wound Healing Center of Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau since 2001 and is a retired general surgeon.

Kinder attended the University of Tennessee’s College of Medicine in Memphis where he earned his medical degree in 1959. Kinder completed his internship at St. Louis City Hospital. He served two years in the U.S. Army and completed his surgical residency. Kinder served as Captain in the U.S. Army from 1961-1963.

In February 1969, Kinder received his certification from the American Board of Surgery. He was employed by the Cape Girardeau Surgical Clinic for more than 30 years from 1966 to 1997. Over the years, he has participated in short-term medical missions to Jamaica and Mexico. Kinder formerly served as chairman of surgery, chairman of vascular surgery and a member of the Executive Committee of Southeast Missouri Hospital, now SoutheastHealth in Cape Girardeau. At Saint Francis Medical Center, he formerly served as chairman of surgery, chairman of vascular surgery, president of staff and a member of the Executive Committee.

Kinder has published a number of scientific papers, including “Carotid Endarterectomy,” “Aneurysm of the Abdominal Aorta,” “Acquired Arteriovenous Fistula,” “Arteriosclerosis Obliterans of Lower Extremities,” “Effect of Vagotomy on Glucose Tolerance” and “Carcinoma of the Male Breast.”

In October 1970, Kinder was named a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons, Missouri Chapter, and former trauma chairman for Cape Girardeau County. He is a member of the Medical Practice Research Center ad hoc study Topic Committee, former county chairman of the Missouri Heart Association, former president of Cape Girardeau Doctors Park and former president of the Cape Girardeau County Area Medical Society.

He received a Distinguished Service Award from the University in 2006. Kinder is a member of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation Board, the President’s Council and Copper Dome Society, and has endowed a scholarship. He also is a member of the Alumni Association at the Redhawk Level.

Kinder is a member of the Saint Francis Medical Center Foundation Board, and the area founding member and board member of Young Life. He also is a member of the Cape County Area Medical Society, Missouri State Surgical Society, Southern Medical Association, Southwestern Surgical Congress, Christian Medical Society, Missouri Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, Pan American Medical Association, International College of Surgeons, Gateway Vascular Society and Lions Club International.

Joseph E. Pappas

Joseph E. Pappas, a 1972 and 1979 Southeast graduate with a Bachelor of Music Education with a music major and a Master of Music Education with a music major, is the owner, publisher and composer of JPM Music Publications and an adjunct music instructor, director of concert band and core academic advisor at Jefferson College. He also serves as teacher mentoring chairman of the East Central Missouri Educators Association.

Pappas is in demand as a guest director, clinician and adjudicator throughout the upper Midwest. He has had several articles published on topics of music selection for the young bands, school budgets, and preparing the band for sight reading in various professional journals and the Web. He also presented clinics for Austria and German band directors and clinics in 2009 in Costa Rica, workshops at the Missouri Music Educators Association and various music conferences.

As a composer and arranger, his works have been performed in Europe, Australia, South America, Asia and North America. His works are familiar among young band and string ensembles.

Pappas is credited with starting the Jefferson College Viking Band Camp in 2004 for middle school and beginning band students. The Jefferson College Community Band, under his direction, performed for the Missouri Bandmasters Association Convention.

In the spring of 2010, Pappas served as associate director of bands and supervisor of instrumental student teaching at Southeast. He also previously served on the Missouri Ambassadors of Music staff. His additional professional experience includes district manager of Missouri State High School Activities Association for more than 20 years, director of music for the Miss Missouri Pageant, Midwest regional director for Educational Programs and coordinator for the Six Flags St. Louis Music Festival. Pappas also served in various districts in the St. Louis area.

Pappas’ public school teaching experience has been in the school districts of Bell City, Scott City, and Mexico, Mo., and, in 1999, he retired from public school teaching at Eureka (Mo.) High School in the Rockwood School District. His teaching assignments over the years included band, choral, strings, general music, theory and class guitar. He also served as the Fine Arts department chairman at both Mexico and Eureka high schools.

Bands under his direction received numerous honors and awards, including those from Mexico and Eureka high schools, which were named Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville’s Bi-State Band of the Year, and his concert bands, which were named sweepstakes recipients at three national band festivals and finished first place in band division five times.

Pappas’ personal honors include Teacher of the Year in all four districts in which he was employed. In 1994, he was the High School District Teacher of the Year in the Rockwood School District. Also in 1994, Pappas was given the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award for the St. Louis area. He has been named seven times to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Distinguished Service Awards were presented to him from the Missouri State High School Activities Association, Ducks Unlimited and the Mexico Jaycees. Other honors he has received include the Sadie Rafferty Memorial Composition Award and Excellence in String Composition Award from the American String Teachers Association, among other awards and honors.

Pappas’ professional memberships include Missouri Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Beta Mu and the Missouri Bandmasters Association. He is also an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi. He also is a member of Rotary International, Optimist International, Ducks Unlimited, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Music Publishers Association and Retail Print Music Dealers Association.

Pappas began honing his skill early. He was active in the band and choral programs in the Festus R-VI School District and St. Pius X Catholic High School in Festus, Mo., before attending Southeast. Later he pursued additional studies at Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University), Northwest Missouri State University and Southern Illinois University.

Pappas and his wife, Cheryl, have three children and five grandchildren. When not working, Pappas said he enjoys spending time in the outdoors, fishing, gardening and traveling.

Onésimo V. Sánchez S.

Onésimo V. Sánchez S., a 1982 summa cum laude graduate of Southeast with a Bachelor of Science with dual majors in computer science and economics, and an Associate of Applied Science in computer technology, is leader of the Economic Intelligence and Research Unit of The Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

He went on to earn a Master of Arts in economics and participated in a graduate fellowship at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Sánchez has lectured in the field of economics at several educational institutions in Panamá: The Universidad Nacional de Panamá, the Florida State University-Panamá Canal Branch and the Universidad Católica Santa María la Antigua.

He says Southeast gave him “a competitive advantage, especially in job-seeking situations … The knowledge gathered through my college years has allowed me to participate in the shaping up of major innovative infrastructure projects that are especially designed to bring growth and provide long term benefits to the region and my country.

“Winning an Alumni Merit Award “is truly an honor,” he said.

He has been employed by The Panama Canal for 20 years, serving in his present position the past 12 years. He leads and coordinates studies on the impact of the Panama Canal in the national economy and social-economic studies of the canal’s expansion project. He has been integrally involved in the creation of key traffic segments analysis units for the ACP and in the development of national maritime strategy.

Sánchez also has played the role of an economist in the former Panama Canal Commission since October 1991, the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean, and The National Directorate of Planning and Special programs of the Ministry of Public Works of the Republic of Panama, including transport and infrastructure/economic projects evaluation and others.

He has completed several executive management programs in logistics, shipping and intermodal transportation at the Cambridge Academy of Transport, the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates; The Transportation Center at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.; an ACP- MEL seminar at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Global Transportation School, Kings Point Maritime Academy, New York; the training program in business competitive intelligence in the Academy of Competitive Intelligence, Cambridge, Mass.; and Computer General Equilibrium Models/Gamss modeling, University of Colorado at Boulder.

Sánchez is knowledgeable in Spanish and English and has basic knowledge of French, Italian and German. He is currently receiving basic training in the Mandarin language.

Dr. Kerwin Urhahn

Dr. Kerwin Urhahn, a 1991 and 1997 graduate of Southeast with a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in mathematics education and a Master of Arts with a major in secondary administration and supervision, is the executive director of the Missouri High School Activities Association.

A native of Oran, Mo., and a graduate of Oran High School, Urhahn also has an education specialist designation and an educational doctorate, both from Saint Louis University.

“I always believed in the importance of being ready to take the next step in a career when it presented itself,” Urhahn said. “The degrees I attained at Southeast have meant I was prepared to walk through a door when it was open to me.”

Urhahn said he believes Southeast’s teaching program is one of the best in the nation because students learn early on what it is like teaching in schools.

“Professors like Dr. Richard Francis and Dr. Tim Rademaker were instrumental in my undergraduate work to open my eyes to new ways of teaching and working with students,” Urhahn said.

He says that in studying for his master’s degree, his role model was Dr. Robert Buchanan.

“I learned from Dr. Buchanan that as a leader you will have to make those tough decisions, sometimes with little information, and be willing to take responsibility for your actions when the situation is scrutinized,” he said.

Urhahn said that those who helped him get to where he is today are Bill Daugherty, retired Coach Ronnie Cookson, Bill Myers, Coach Barbara Dalton, his two brothers Derek and Eric, and his parents Charles and Kay. Urhahn did his student teaching with Daugherty and Cookson, and said they taught him how to deal with students off the court and how to know with what he is dealing. Myers was the first principal who hired Urhahn and gave him a chance, Urhahn said. Urhahn was Dalton’s assistant volleyball coach, and Urhahn said she taught him to be prepared, compete at his highest level and that hard work helps students improve. Derek Urhahn was the first in his family to graduate from a four-year university and persuaded Urhahn to get a degree in mathematics. Eric Urhahn worked all through high school, and, after graduation, showed Kerwin Urhahn that someone can start with nothing, and, through hard work and determination, can have a beautiful home and great family. Urhahn also applauds his parents, saying they taught him hard work can be rewarding.

“I feel very fortunate to receive the Alumni Merit Award because I don’t feel I could have accomplished anything without the people in my life to share their talents and knowledge with me,” Urhahn said. “I am humbled and honored to be a recipient.”

Dr. James Stapleton

Dr. James Stapleton is executive director of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of entrepreneurship in the Donald L. Harrison College of Business at Southeast Missouri State University.

Stapleton joined the Southeast faculty in 2006 and is currently an associate professor in the Department of Management and Marketing. Since his arrival at Southeast, Stapleton has extensively revised and expanded Harrison College of Business curricular offerings in the area of entrepreneurship. He developed a 15-credit hour minor in entrepreneurship available to any student on campus; an upper-division University Studies course in entrepreneurship; and, in collaboration with other units across campus, focused minors in entrepreneurship in agriculture, the arts, biology, fashion, health management and industrial technology. He also revised the option in entrepreneurship under the management major and established an option in entrepreneurship under the MBA degree program.

He was appointed director in spring 2008 of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the forerunner to the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). He currently serves as executive director of the CIE, working to advance the teaching, practice and science of entrepreneurship so as to stimulate economic growth and development through new venture formation, technology commercialization and improved competitive performance of entrepreneurial enterprises.

Stapleton’s accomplishments in development and expanding the curriculum in entrepreneurship was recognized with a $1.2 million private gift and the naming of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in May 2011. At that same time, Greene announced the establishment of the James L. Stapleton Endowed Scholarship to honor Stapleton for his tireless efforts in the development and incubation of the innovation and entrepreneurship programs at Southeast.

The CIE offers a wide array of academic and outreach programs and services, including: innovation development and research; entrepreneurship education, training and mentorship; and business consulting, incubation and development services. The CIE supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to accelerate entrepreneurial growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri and the southeast region.

Through Stapleton’s leadership, the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University has grown into one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship-focused university centers in the Midwest, including development of an extensive cross-campus co-curricular program that is transforming the entrepreneurial potential of the University by providing students and faculty the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, events and competitions.

Stapleton has provided important mentoring to students interested in entrepreneurship and has led annual Global Entrepreneurship Week activities in the fall and National Entrepreneurship Week events in the spring. In 2009, Southeast programming during Global Entrepreneurship Week was rated fourth nationally. In 2011, Missouri was ranked third nationally for programming during Global Entrepreneurship Week, and Southeast was ranked number one among participating Missouri colleges and universities.

He also has been integrally involved in the development of Operation Jump-Start, a nationally recognized microenterprise development program that has trained more than 700 aspiring entrepreneurs who led to the launch of over 300 businesses.

Last year, the CIE partnered with ACCION Texas, Inc., to develop ACCION Delta, which is providing microlending services to the 252 counties and parishes of the federally designated Delta Regional Authority. ACCION Delta’s regional office is located in the CIE at Southeast, and satellite offices have now been established on Southeast’s southern campuses to better the region. Because of the expansion of Operation Jump-Start into this area, the CIE was chosen as the top program in Missouri and recognized in May by the Southern Growth Policies Board with a 2012 Innovator Award.

Stapleton also has been successful in attracting more than $2.4 million in competitive grants to support entrepreneurial outreach, focusing on birthing and growth microenterprises in rural areas. Because of this success, the Kauffman Foundation, located in Kansas City, assigned the distribution rights to the Operation Jump-Start materials to the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Through a competitive grant from the Mississippi Delta Regional Authority, the Center has extended its outreach impact to the eight states in the Mississippi Delta Region.

Stapleton received his Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership and management from Friends University and then earned his master’s degrees in business administration and business education from Southern New Hampshire University. He holds a doctoral degree in workforce education and development from Southern Illinois University.

He has 10 years of entrepreneurial and business development experience in a variety of market sectors, including retail, light manufacturing, and telecommunications and information technology services. His academic career includes more than 10 years of secondary and postsecondary teaching experience.

Stapleton’s research interests include business establishment dynamics impact on job creation, microenterprise development, rural innovation and entrepreneurial development, group dynamics, entrepreneurship teaching and capacity building, and online learning. Stapleton has authored several articles for various publications including the “Delta Pi Epsilon Journal,” “National Association of Business Teacher Educator’s Journal” and the “Human Systems Management Journal.” He also received the Best Research Paper award twice at the National Business Education Research Conference.

He was named the 2010 University Educator of the Year by the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce. He has been appointed to the Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus Executive Advisory Committee and elected to the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Board of Directors and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity Board of Directors. He has served MAGNET, the local economic and business development agency, and he has made presentations to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Stapleton seeks to make a difference by sharing his knowledge, experience and passion for entrepreneurship, and teaching others about business. He said he believes strongly in entrepreneurism as a way of life and entrepreneurship as a process, and these are keys to personal and social competitiveness in the 21st Century. This broad-based view of entrepreneurial behavior can lead individuals, organizations and communities to success, he said.