President Vargas Presents Four Southeast Shout-Out Awards


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

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. To nominate a deserving faculty or staff member who goes above and beyond supporting students, visit To view previous award recipients, visit

Congratulations to Dr. Jim Champine, professor and chair of the Department of Biology; Nate Saverino, assistant director of Athletics; Dr. Bill Bratberg, associate professor of middle and secondary education, educational technology advisor and middle school education advisor in the Department of Leadership, Middle and Secondary Education; and Dr. Rachel Morgan Theall, associate professor of chemistry.

President Carlos Vargas, left, and Dr. James Champine

Champine was nominated by Dr. Diane Wood, professor of biology, for his dedication and outstanding achievement in leading the Department of Biology for seven months in the absence of four faculty members and an administrative assistant. Wood noted that during this difficult time, Champine “maintained composure and effectiveness in dealing with all the day-to-day requirements of running a large and busy department.”

President Carlos Vargas, right, and Nate Saverino

Saverino was nominated by Andy Sawyers, Redhawks baseball coach, for going above and beyond the call of duty in support of student athletes. The nomination noted Saverino’s efforts in making and providing numerous gallons of hot chocolate to the baseball team during a cold doubleheader in March. Saverino’s extra effort brought “laughter, excitement and warmth to the dugout,” said Coach Sawyers.

President Carlos Vargas, left, and Dr. Bill Bratberg

Bratberg was nominated by student Hannah Eddy for his outstanding teaching, mentoring and support of students. Eddy said that Bratberg is student focused, provides a safe and nurturing classroom environment, and is an outstanding advocate of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) methods and that he visits local public schools to promote the importance of STEAM and LEGO ® robots to teach math and technology.

President Carlos Vargas and Dr. Rachel Morgan Theall

Morgan Theall was nominated by community member Dr. Heather Cugini, a SoutheastHEALTH physician, for her dedication to community education. Cugini specifically noted that Morgan Theall volunteered her time to work on a community project to help inspire interest in the sciences, especially in the young female population. Additionally, Morgan Theall inspired students and fellow colleagues to also assist with this project.