Schwieger Named Cape Chamber University Educator of the Year


Dr. Dana Schwieger says her favorite teaching moments are when she sees something click in the eyes of her students.

She also relishes the occasional email from a current or former student telling her how something he or she learned in one of her classes helped them on the job, or to land a job, which she says usually makes her cry, puts a smile on her face from ear to ear, and oftentimes, both.

Schwieger, professor of management information systems (MIS) in the Department of Accounting at Southeast Missouri State University, was honored as the University Educator of the Year Oct. 17 by the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce.

Schwieger was among five outstanding educators honored at the 2017 Educator of the Year Reception at the Show Me Center. The honorees were awarded the prestigious Crystal Apple Award, a $500 check, a resolution of honor from the Missouri Legislature, and a commemorative video shown at the reception.

From left are former State Rep. Billy Pat Wright representing Missouri Sen. Wayne Wallingford, State Rep. Kathy Swan and Dr. Dana Schwieger.

“I think the Lord designed me with the characteristics to be a teacher. I enjoy helping people and working with students.  I have a very inquisitive mind and love to learn new things in a lot of different areas,” she said. “If I felt like I could successfully put things back together, I would always be taking things apart and seeing how they worked, but I know my limitations. I also like to write which comes in handy when one of your roles is to write journal articles for publication.”

Schwieger says she is very honored to be recognized with this award but feels there are many others who are worthy.

This is the 24th year the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce has honored well-deserving area educators with the Educator of the Year Awards. The selection process began with open nominations. A selection committee, made up of volunteers from the Cape Chamber membership, determine the winners each year. Selection criteria was based on educators’ efforts in professional development, educational history, teaching effectiveness and community involvement.

Dr. Dana Schwieger and Southeast President Carlos Vargas

Other 2017 Educators of the Year honored were:

  • Jennifer Hecht, Cape Girardeau Middle School
  • Renee’ Peters, Notre Dame Regional High School
  • Elizabeth Sterr, Alma Schrader Elementary
  • Sara Strohmeyer, Notre Dame Regional High School

The Educator of the Year Award serves as a way for the business community to honor the hard work and dedication of area educators. The Education Appreciation Reception was supported by many companies and organizations, including title sponsor, Wood & Huston Bank.

This is the third recent accolade Schwieger has received. In April, she was honored with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, and in December, she was presented with the Provost’s Research, Instruction and Development for Excellence (PRIDE) Award during commencement exercises at Southeast Missouri State University. The Governor’s Award is an annual recognition of superior classroom teaching.  Each Missouri institution is invited to select one faculty member for the award who demonstrates a commitment to student learning and excellence in the classroom. The PRIDE Award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence as a teacher, an extraordinary level of scholarship and service and whose overall accomplishments are especially noteworthy.

From left are Jason Bandermann, Educator of the Year Selection Committee; former State Rep. Billy Pat Wright representing U.S. Sen. Wayne Wallingford; State Rep. Kathy Swan; and Angie Umfleet, chair of the Educator of the Year Selection Committee.

A member of the Department of Accounting faculty, Schwieger played an instrumental role in the development of the Management Information Systems program at Southeast, where she is dedicated to her students’ success both in and out of the classroom. Schwieger serves as a co-advisor to Southeast’s Chapter of Phi Beta Lambda, taking students to state and national conferences the past five years, and was the founding advisor for the Southeast chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals. She has also supervised MIS internships and numerous graduate papers.

She has been honored with the Outstanding MBA Teaching Award, Student Life and Leadership Outstanding Advisor Award, SoTL Award, Harrison College of Business Copper Dome Research Award, Harrison College of Business Copper Dome Teaching Award, Missouri State Phi Beta Lambda Advisor of the Year twice and has won best paper and best overall paper awards at six national conferences. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society and is a recipient of the Success in Scholarship, Sports, and Service Award.

Outside of Southeast, Schwieger has served as a paper reviewer for the “Accounting Educators Journal” and the “Journal of Information Systems Education” and as a Higher Learning Commission AQIP Project Reviewer since 2013, helping colleges and universities maintain their accreditation, enhance their campuses and improve their action projects.

Dr. Dana Schwieger is the 2017 University Educator of the Year.

While her work has been published in books and journals, she also has shared her knowledge with the worldwide community with service work in Haiti. There, she has worked with Respire Haiti, a school that educates restaveks, orphans and vulnerable children.  They also provide medical care, clean water and job assistance for the local community of Grassier, Haiti. Schwieger has worked with Element74 to develop a website for Respire Haiti and serves as their website administrator. She has also advised and helped bring online schooling and textbooks to the school. She also has participated in the Wenzao Taiwan School of Language summer program and the Boeing Welliver Faculty Fellowship Program.

“I would like to thank God for the skills and opportunities he has provided me throughout my life including the working at Southeast and with Respire Haiti,” Schwieger said.

In her local community, Schwieger has served Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau as an EPIC trainer; has assisted more than 20 organizations; provided technical support for the Persecuted Church Prayer Ministry at La Croix Church; and helped to organize the local Missionfest event.

Schwieger holds a doctoral degree in Management Information Systems, a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in marketing and finance, all from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and Bachelor of Science in computer science and a Bachelor of Science in accounting, both from Southeast Missouri State University.

Before coming to Southeast in 1996, Schwieger served as an information technology computer lab manager at Southern Illinois University. She started at Southeast as a computer services lab manager.

“I first started teaching by working as a technology trainer in Southeast’s IT (Information Technology) department,” Schwieger said. “I was very fortunate to get to work with Regina Smart, who I consider one of the best teachers and trainers I know.”

She became an instructor in the Department of Accounting and Management Information Systems in 2000.

An Olive Branch, Illinois, native, Schwieger is the daughter of Carolyn Schwieger and the late Cecil Schwieger. She is currently a resident of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.