Five Alumni to Receive 2013 Young Alumni Merit Awards


by News Bureau on Wednesday, May. 01, 2013

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 1, 2013 – The Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association has selected five alumni to receive the University’s 2013 Young Alumni Merit Awards.

The five will be honored at a commencement luncheon at noon May 11 in the Student Recreation Center-North and will be recognized during spring commencement exercises at 2 p.m. May 11 in the Show Me Center.

Alumni to receive the awards are: Eugene Amano of San Diego, Calif., Dr. Kelly Bender of Carbondale, Ill., Shana Kight of Marble Hill, Mo., Dr. Emily Machen of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Mogens Madsen of Stockholm, Sweden.

The Young Alumni Merit Award is given annually to honor those alumni 37 years or younger who have brought distinction to the University through professional growth, service and individual character. The Alumni Association chooses the recipients from a list of nominees representing each college. Nominations may come from faculty and staff members and alumni.

Eugene Amano, College of Health and Human Services

Eugene Amano received a bachelor’s degree in general studies and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with an emphasis of law enforcement, both from Southeast in 2006. Amano, who is entering his 10th year with the Tennessee Titans, played on the Southeast football team from 2000-2003. He said he plans to pursue a career in law enforcement after he leaves the National Football League.

Dr. Kelly Bender, College of Science, Technology and Agriculture

Bender graduated summa cum laude and received a Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in cell and molecular biology from Southeast in 1999. She continued her education in the Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry graduate program at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (SIU-C), where she received a doctorate in molecular biology, microbiology and biochemistry in 2003. During the next two years, Bender completed a post-doctoral fellowship in biochemistry at the University of Missouri-Columbia and a transatlantic biotechnology fellowship at Uppsala University in Sweden researching gene expression in bacteria. In 2006, Bender joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology at SIU-C.

Shana Kight, College of Education

Kight earned a Bachelor of Science in middle school education at Southeast in 2000 and a Master of Arts in elementary administration and supervision with honors at Southeast in 2004. She is the principal at Advance High School in Advance, Mo.

Dr. Emily Machen, College of Liberal Arts

Machen graduated magna cum laude and earned a Bachelor of Arts in history with a minor in French from Southeast in 2000, a Master of Arts from the University of Mississippi in 2002 and a doctorate from the University of Mississippi in 2006. She received a year-long Chateaubriand Fellowship sponsored by the French government in 2005-2006 to conduct research for her doctoral dissertation in Paris, France. She is currently an assistant professor of history at the University of Northern Iowa.

Mogens Madsen, Harrison College of Business

Madsen received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Aarhus School of Business in Denmark in 1999, a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in general management from Southeast in 2001 and a Master of Science in business administration and information science from Aarhus School of Business in in 2002. He is the head of business intelligence for the Electrolux Compass program in Stockholm, Sweden.