President Vargas Presents Five Southeast Shout-Out Awards


Southeast Missouri State University President Carlos Vargas recently presented five Southeast Shout-Out awards to University faculty and staff.

Congratulations to Tyson Koenig, archival assistant in Kent Library’s Special Collections and Archives; Chelsea McNeely, director of Southeast Online; Michael Simmons, instructor of mass media; Matt Wallhausen, Information Technology senior network specialist; and Dr. Jenn Weber, assistant professor of biology.

Southeast Shout-Out awards celebrate University employees who put forth the extra effort to help, challenge and inspire students, and do whatever it takes to get the job done while encouraging others. You can nominate a deserving faculty or staff member you’ve spotted going above and beyond supporting our students at To view previous award recipients, visit

President Carlos Vargas (right) and Tyson Koenig (left)

Koenig was nominated by Roxanne Dunn, Special Collections and Archives librarian in Southeast’s Kent Library, for his teaching and planning of UI100 classes, his willingness to quickly and efficiently step in to teach classes when needed, mentoring of student employees and his interactions with alumni and the general public. Dunn noted Koenig’s leadership skills when speaking at an alumni event in the Rare Book Room and for his genuine passion for the history of the Southeast campus community. “His readiness to always go the extra mile to ensure users are connected with information they requested about the history of our University and our region is truly impressive,” Dunn wrote. “He is a true asset to our University.”

President Carlos Vargas and Chelsea McNeely

McNeely was nominated by Leah Michel, coordinator of online advising, who submitted the nomination on behalf of her department. Michel commended McNeely for her vision for positive change, advising service to students, expertise in meeting federal guidelines, involvement in a partnership with TG Missouri and for fostering and mentoring faculty and staff. “Her leadership and support are why Southeast Online has been so successful,” Michel wrote.

President Carlos Vargas and Michael Simmons

Simmons was nominated by several students, including Ashley Marlo, Rebecca Sponsler, Haley Edington, Kayla Miller and McKenzie Magnus, for his outstanding service and dedication to his students. His nominators noted his exceptional teaching style, ability to mentor and motivate students to work in teams, his enthusiasm, professionalism and efforts with SE Creative and Riverfront PR. “Mr. Simmons has taught me how to work hard and ethically through my journey here at Southeast,” Marlo wrote. “Because of him, I am a better leader, student, employee and human being.”

President Carlos Vargas and Matt Wallhausen

Wallhausen was nominated by Katie Krodinger, director of New Student Programs, for his efforts in providing outstanding tech support during a March 3 First STEP orientation program when several technical issues arose. He made it possible for 199 new students to enroll that day by coming to campus early and quickly resolving issues while making a dozen trips back and forth across campus. Wallhausen navigated issues with a tech pack, computer labs with software issues, wifi complications, user account errors and a printer station problem, all while remaining patient and persevering. “He pulled out everything in his bag of tricks, calling all the experts he could, and providing work arounds and moral support until we were able to get the issue resolved,” Krodinger wrote.

President Carlos Vargas and Dr. Jenn Weber

Weber was nominated by Drs. Dustin Siegel and Jeremy Ellermeier for her outstanding service and dedication to her fellow faculty members and to her students. Her nominators commended her persistence and professionalism in revamping freshmen and sophomore core lecture classes and labs, prepping for 13 unique academic courses and her efforts in renovating the biology greenhouse so students and faculty can use the facility for course work and research.  “Jenn started her career in the Department of Biology in the fall of 2016 and has been a super-star faculty member since her arrival,” Siegel and Ellermeier wrote.