Six Alumni to Receive 2014 Young Alumni Merit Awards


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 5, 2014 – The Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association has selected six alumni to receive the University’s 2014 Young Alumni Merit Awards.

The six will be honored at a commencement luncheon at noon May 17 in the Student Recreation Center-North and will be recognized during spring commencement exercises at 2 p.m. May 17 in the Show Me Center.

Alumni to receive the awards are: Dr. Daniel Rottig of Bonita Springs, Fla.; Robert French of Pass Christian, Miss.; Emily Greenwald of Chicago, Ill.; Dr. Matthew McKnight of Highland, Md.; Joey Smith of St. Charles, Mo.; and Dan Connolly of Wrentham, Mass.

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, staff members and alumni.

Rottig Danie editedDr. Daniel Rottig, Donald L. Harrison College of Business

Dr. Daniel Rottig earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in international business from Southeast’s Donald L. Harrison College of Business in 2004. He is currently an associate professor of international business and strategic management in the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Fla., where he teaches courses on international business, global organizational issues and strategic management in the undergraduate, graduate and Executive MBA programs of the Lutgert College of Business. He also teaches in the Executive MBA program at Florida Atlantic University, where is on the associate graduate faculty, and he has taught in the graduate and executive programs at California State University-Long Beach.

In addition to his MBA from Southeast, he holds a doctorate in management with an emphasis on global strategy and international business from the Kaye College of Business at Florida Atlantic University and an undergraduate degree (German Diploma) in business administration with emphases in international economics, finance and marketing from the School of Business and Economics at the University of Applied Sciences in Schmalkalden, Germany. He conducted research at the Lee Business School of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas for his diploma thesis, which was supported by a scholarship from the German government. He also holds a diploma in international studies.

Rottig’s research focuses on the institutional and cultural environments of multinational corporations, the performance determinants of international acquisitions, emerging markets, and global social and ethical organizational issues. His work has been published in multiple journals.

He has received several awards and award nominations for his scholarly work from leading academic institutions, including the Richard Farmer Best Dissertation Award of the Academy of International Business, which honored the world’s best dissertation in the field of international business completed in 2008. He has earned two consecutive William Ziegler Best Paper Awards from the Academy of International Business Southeast USA Chapter (AIB-SE), nominations for AIB-SE’s Rollins Best Paper Award, the Monmouth Best Paper Award and EducAsian Best Thematic Paper Award on Emerging Markets Research. He has been nominated for the Academy of Management’s International Management Division Barry Richman Best Dissertation Award, the Douglas Nigh Best Paper Award, SERI Best Paper in Strategy/International Business Theory Award, SKOLKOVO Best Paper Award, and Best Paper in OB/HRM/OT Award.

Rottig is actively involved in the academic community and currently serves as the immediate past chairman of the Academy of International Business Southeast United States of America Chapter, which recently inducted him as the youngest Fellow in its 38-year history. He serves as the associate editor of the “Academy of International Business Insights,” as an area editor of the “International Journal of Emerging Markets,” and an editorial review board member as an active ad-hoc reviewer for a number of leading academic journals and conferences, and has earned numerous Best Reviewer Awards. He further serves as the associate director of the Institute of Emerging Market Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University.

He was born and raised in Germany and has traveled to nearly 50 countries. Rottig and his wife, Anja, enjoy international travel, food and culture, outdoor activities and exploring the nature around their home in Bonita Springs, Fla.

Robert French, College of Education French Rob

Robert French graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in elementary education from Southeast in 2004, and a Master of Arts in elementary education and supervision from Southeast in 2010.

A Crystal City, Mo., native, French currently serves as the principal of CARES School in Gulfport, Miss. The school is an accredited, non-public therapeutic day school operated by Mississippi Children’s Home Services, providing educational, behavioral and therapeutic services to students with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) categorical eligibilities of emotional disturbance and autism.

French began his teaching career in 2004 at South Elementary in the Jackson (Mo.) R-2 School District while serving as a baseball coach at Jackson High School. In 2009, he was promoted to be the assistant principal intern for South Elementary and the principal at Millersville Attendance Center. The positions became permanent the following school year. French was tabbed as the principal of Orchard Drive Elementary in 2011.

French has worked with children as a division leader at Chestnut Lake Camp in Beach Lake, Penn., and has volunteered with the Jackson American Legion baseball program. He has given back to his alma mater by delivering several presentations to undergraduate and graduate education classes at the University.

He is married to Shelley French, who is a 2011 graduate of Southeast.

Greenwald EmilyEmily Greenwald, College of Health and Human Services

Emily Greenwald graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in sport management from Southeast in 2003, and a Master of Business Administration from Southeast in 2005. She is currently the vice president of capital markets and policy analysis at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Greenwald oversees capital markets supervision, which includes market, liquidity and investment risks at banking organizations. The group assists bank examination staff by lending subject matter expertise on supervisory reviews and is responsible for emerging macro risk identification.

She also oversees the policy analysis unit within supervision and regulation, a group that analyzes and communicates supervisory policy issues internally to staff and senior management, while also using public and regulatory intelligence to stay in front of banking industry trends. Individuals within her reporting line also hold responsibilities for Federal Reserve System training initiatives and recovery and resolution planning work of banks with total assets greater than $50 billion.

Prior to her current role, Greenwald was a risk specialist and held leadership positions within the Capital Markets Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Her primary areas of focus included treasury risk management and interest rate risk modeling. The liquidity crisis of 2008 brought her additional experience in liquidity risk management and liquidity risk metrics at both troubled community and large institutions.

In 2009, Greenwald received the William Taylor Award for Excellence in Bank Supervision, a national award given annually to five individuals who provide leadership in the conduct of the Federal Reserve System’s supervisory responsibilities. Her interest rate risk and liquidity examination efforts also led to the receipt of the 2010 President’s Award for Excellence, a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago award recognizing staff whose contributions embody the vision and values of the bank.

Greenwald began her career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2005 in the community banking division of supervision and regulation. She is active in the Federal Reserve’s United Way campaign and volunteer activities with youth.She and her husband, Mark, reside in Chicago.

Dr. Matthew McKnight, College of Liberal ArtsMcKnight Matthew

Dr. Matthew of Highland, Md., graduated magna cum laude from the Jane Stephens Honors Program with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and an historic preservation minor from Southeast in 1999. He is currently an archaeologist for the Maryland Historical Trust where he has been working to synthesize more than 40 years of archaeological work conducted as part of publically funded excavations in Maryland during large construction and development projects. His work is helping to make information on the Mid-Atlantic’s prehistory and colonial period more accessible to the general public.

McKnight, a Flora, Ill., native,  is a member of the Archaeological Society of Maryland as well as the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference, and he has worked on several “digs” throughout the state.

He completed a Master of Arts in 2001 and a doctorate in anthropology in 2007, both from Penn State University in State College, Penn. McKnight is a specialist in the prehistory of North America, and his dissertation work focused on trade and exchange in prehistoric North America. McKnight performed trace-element analysis on 1500-3000 year old copper artifacts to determine where Native American groups were obtaining copper and whether it was obtained through trade or long-distance trips directly to the source. McKnight has presented his research findings, both dissertation research and his work at the Trust, at numerous professional meetings and conferences over the years.

Outside of work, McKnight served four years as a member of the Hyattsville, Md., City Council from 2009-2013, with two years as the Council president from 2012-2013. In his capacity on the City Council, McKnight focused most of his energy into improving biking and sidewalk infrastructure and improving the safety at intersections within his community, as well as expanding recreation and arts programming for residents.

McKnight currently lives in Howard County, Maryland, with his wife, Dee, and two children, Clara and Julian. McKnight is also an avid beekeeper, gardener and backyard chicken farmer.

Smith JosephJoseph “Joey” Smith, College of Science, Technology and Agriculture

Joseph “Joey” Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Science in industrial technology from Southeast in 2005. He is currently director of information security for Schnuck Markets, Inc., headquartered in suburban St. Louis.

Smith is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and EnCase® Certified Examiner (EnCE) investigator who started at a data recovery company where he recovered data from failed hard drives. He became interested in the computer forensics side of the business, and after receiving his computer forensics certification, he started managing the company’s computer forensics department.

As his career progressed, he began working for MasterCard running the credit card company’s Incident Response program. From 2008 to early 2012, he was the primary investigator and incident manager for MasterCard’s Global Computer Security Incident Response Team. In 2012, he joined the MasterCard Account data compromise team. In this role he was responsible for Account Data Compromise (ADC) Fraud Investigations and worked closely with merchants, issuers, acquirers and other card brands to issue fraud alerts and respond to global ADC events. He was part of the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) responsible for reviewing the work of various PCI forensic investigation companies to ensure the work being performed met the quality standards of the PCI Data Security Standard.

He joined Schnucks in January of this year and is responsible for enhancing and maintaining a successful security program for the company. Additionally, his experience in information security, investigations and payment card fraud has afforded him the opportunity to be a speaker at security conference and industry meetings, including the Guidance Software Computer and Enterprise Investigations Conference (CEIC), SecureWorld Conference, Gateway Electronic Crimes Task Forces (ECTF) meetings, and InfraGard meetings. His goals are to continue to develop his career as a security leader and ultimately manage larger teams of security professionals.

His wife, Ashley, is also a 2005 Southeast graduate. They live in St. Charles, Mo., and have two children, Audrey, 3, and Logan, who was born earlier this year.

Dan Connolly, School of University Studies

ConnollyDan Connolly of Wrentham, Mass., and originally from Chesterfield, Mo., earned a Bachelor of General Studies from Southeast in 2010. He is currently the starting right guard with the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). Connolly finished his degree six years after he left the University for a career in the NFL through the University’s online programs.

Connolly was a four-year starting offensive tackle at Southeast from 2001-2004 and was an All-Conference selection in each of those seasons. As a junior, he started every game at offensive tackle and all
owed only one sack all season. He finished his collegiate career with 46 consecutive starts. Earlier this year, he was inducted into the Southeast Athletics Hall of Fame.

Connolly joined the NFL in 2005, signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a rookie free agent. He then joined the New England Patriots as a practice squad member in 2007 and has been on the team’s active roster since December 2008.

He worked his way into the Patriots’ starting lineup, a spot he has held for the past four seasons. Connolly became the first Southeast football athlete to play in a Super Bowl when he started at center for the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. He also set an NFL record for the longest kick return by an offensive lineman when he ran 71 yards in the Patriots’ 31-27 victory over Green Bay on Dec. 19, 2010.

Connolly and his wife, Lori, a 2004 graduate from Southeast, have two daughters, Caroline and Caitlin. They are expecting their third child this summer.