Six Alumni to Receive 2012 Young Alumni Merit Award


by News Bureau on

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 30, 2012 — The Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association has selected six alumni to receive the University’s 2012 Young Alumni Merit Award.

The six will be honored at a commencement luncheon at noon May 12 in the Student Recreation Center-North and will be recognized during spring commencement exercises at 2 p.m. May 12 in the Show Me Center.

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 from the list of nominees representing each college and selects the recipients. Nominations may come from faculty, staff or alumni.

Alumni to receive the award and the college they represent are as follows:

Harrison College of Business

Karim Djerboa of Orlando, Fla., received his Master of Business Administration (MBA), general management option, from Southeast in December 2001. He also earned a Master of Science in management with an option in sales engineering in 1999 and a Bachelor of Science in information technologies in 1997, both from the Universite des Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc in Montpellier, France. He is a freelance business consultant with more than 15 years of experience in business development leadership positions, including successful tenures with Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co. in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Cisco Systems in Orlando, Fla., and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

College of Education

Michael Dittrich of Columbia, Ill., received his Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in elementary education, from Southeast in December 1999. He also earned a Master of Educational Administration from Lindenwood University in 2002. He is currently assistant principal at Hancock Elementary in the Hancock Place School District and will begin a new position in July as assistant principal at Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School. Dittrich also recently was named National Outstanding Assistant Principal by the National Association of Elementary Principals.

College of Health and Human Services

Brad Huesgen of Villa Ridge, Mo., earned a Master of Arts in communication disorders in August 2006 and a Bachelor of Science in communication disorders in 2004, both from Southeast. He has served for more than five years as a speech-language pathologist at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis.

College of Liberal Arts

Marcus Stephens of Chicago, Ill., earned a Bachelor of Arts with a major in theatre and dance and a minor in art from Southeast in May 2003. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in scenic and lighting design from Northwestern University. He is the resident scenic designer at the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival and is a member of the design faculty at The University of Notre Dame, where he has designed more than 15 productions.

School of Polytechnic Studies

Matthew Faigle of Arnold, Mo., earned a Bachelor of Science with a major in industrial technology from Southeast in 2004. He earned a Master of Arts in management and leadership from Webster University’s Walker School of Business and Technology in 2009 and an associate of applied science in computer aided drafting from Jefferson College in 2001. He is employed in material process optimization as a manufacturing process engineer with Capano & Associates Technical Engineering Systems in St. Louis.

College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Jason Alexander of Columbia, Md., earned a Bachelor of Science with a major in physics from Southeast in May 2002. He earned a Master of Science in physics from the University of Oklahoma in 2006 and doctoral degree in physics in 2009 from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is currently an ORAU postdoctoral fellow in the Electro-Optics and Photonics Division of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Md.