Southeast Alumni Association Presenting Distinguished Service Awards


EVT-AlumniBreakfastCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 22, 2014 – The Alumni Association at Southeast Missouri State University will honor eight individuals with Distinguished Service Awards during Homecoming festivities Oct. 4.

Recipients will be Dr. Linda Lattin Burns, Southeast professor emeritus of English and secondary education; Dr. Dan and Paulette Cotner of Cape Girardeau.; and the team physicians for Southeast athletics — Dr. Jimmy Bowen, Dr. James Edwards, Dr. Patrick Knight, Dr. Brian Schafer and Dr. Andrew Trueblood, all of Advanced Orthopedic Specialists in Cape Girardeau.

Distinguished Service Awards are presented to individuals who have made lasting contributions to their communities and to the University.

The awards will be given at an All Alumni Breakfast to be held at 7:30 a.m. in Kem Statuary Hall in the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center at 926 Broadway. Cost of the breakfast is $10 per person. Reservations may be made by calling the Alumni Association at (573) 651-2259 or emailing

Linda Lattin Burns

Dr. Linda Lattin Burns

Dr. Linda Lattin Burns began teaching English at Southeast Missouri State University in 1968 and retired as professor emeritus of English and secondary education in 2001.

Born and reared in McPherson, Kansas, she holds both a Bachelor of Science in Education, English, and a Master of Arts in English, both from Emporia (Kansas) State University and a Doctor of Philosophy in English education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. While at the University of Missouri, she was the first female to be initiated into Phi Delta Kappa on their campus.

At Southeast, she served as executive secretary for the Southeast Missouri English Teachers Association, faculty advisor for Students of Language Arts (SOLA), developer and coordinator of the Missouri Writing Achievement Awards, and acting chair of the Department of Secondary Education.  She was recognized by the College of Humanities and the College of Liberal Arts for her public service and outreach activities.

Burns has served or is currently serving on the boards of the following organizations:  the National Council of Teachers of English, the Missouri Association of Teachers of English, Assembly on Literature for Adolescents, Children’s Literature Association, League of Women Voters of Southeast Missouri,  Friends of the Cape Girardeau Public Library, PEO—Chapter JN, and the Southeast Missouri Symphony.

Both Burns and her husband, Dr. Robert Burns, also professor of English, were enthusiastic supporters of the arts: the St. Louis Symphony, Opera Theater of St. Louis, River Campus performances, and frequent trips to New York for theater and Metropolitan Opera presentations. Following their retirement, they traveled extensively internationally to the Balkan countries, Egypt, Greece, Peru, China, and several trips to Europe.  Dr. Robert Burns passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2011.

Upon retiring in 2001, the Drs. Burns established the Robert A. and Linda L. Burns Scholarship for English majors, the Robert Burns Scholarship for theater majors, and the Linda Burns Scholarship for English education majors.  Dr. Linda Burns also has contributed to scholarships for music majors and internships for students working at KRCU Radio. She recently began traveling again, to Spain last year and to England this past summer.

Dr. Dan and Paulette Cotner

Dr. Dan and Paulette Cotner

Dr. Dan and Paulette Cotner of Cape Girardeau, are now retired after lengthy careers as a dentist and Kent Library instructional materials librarian respectively.

The Cotners met in 1946 while on a bus carrying students of Southeast Missouri Teachers College to attend the St. Louis Municipal Theatre. Dr. Cotner earned a doctoral degree in dentistry from the St. Louis University School of Dentistry before returning to Southeast Missouri State University to receive a Bachelor of Science in summer 1977. Mrs. Cotner earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Southeast in 1946 and a master’s degree in 1977. The Cotners son, Dr. Paul Cotner, also graduated with a bachelor’s degree.

Dr. Dan Cotner served three periods of military service before beginning a 60-year career as a dentist in the Cape Girardeau area. Mrs. Cotner served 28 years as instructional materials librarian in Kent Library at Southeast.

Both Dr. and Mrs. Cotner have a family tradition of attending Southeast. Dr. Dan Cotner’s mother, Bertha Kassel Cotner, attended the Southeast Missouri State Normal School. His father, Barrett Cotner, founded Auto Tire & Parts, now Cape Girardeau’s oldest business in continuous existence for 105 years.

Both of Mrs. Cotner’s parents, Thelma and Paul Sturgeon, received undergraduate degrees at Southeast Missouri State Teachers College in the 1930s. Lifelong educators, Mrs. Sturgeon taught music and Mr. Sturgeon served as both a public school superintendent and principal. The Thelma and Paul H. Sturgeon Scholarship at Southeast was established in memory of Mrs. Cotner’s parents. This scholarship is awarded to a teacher education student at the University who demonstrates promise as a teacher and exhibits a genuine concern for children.

The Cotners have four children, who are all involved in dentistry. Dr. Danna Cotner-Blackwell received degrees in dental hygiene and dentistry at the University of California-San Francisco School of Dentistry. Danel Burch received a degree in dental hygiene at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. Danice Dean received a master’s degree in dental hygiene at the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Dentistry. Dr. Paul Cotner received his doctorate at Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine after graduating from Southeast with an undergraduate degree. Dan and Paulette also have a son-in-law who is a dentist. They have six grandchildren, with one granddaughter who is a dental hygienist, and four great-grandchildren.


Advanced Orthopedic Specialists-Southeast Athletics Team Physicians


Jimmy Bowen, MD 1Dr. Jimmy Bowen

Dr. Jimmy Bowen joined Advanced Orthopedic Specialists in 2007. A Cape Girardeau native, Bowen received his Bachelor of Science in zoology and chemistry from Southeast Missouri State University and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Bowen completed his medical degree at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Following that, he finished a transitional internship at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, California, and his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

In addition to his medical training, Bowen served as a flight surgeon, captain, medical waiver advisor, and specialty leader/consultant to the Surgeon General for Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation for the U.S. Navy (USN). He also served as a sports medicine team physician and Chief of the Medical Staff for the U.S. Naval Academy. He retired after 24 years of service in the USN.

Bowen is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He also holds a Certificate of Additional Qualification in Sports Medicine, is a Registered Musculoskeletal Ultrasonographer and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

When not seeing patients in the clinic, Bowen serves as a team physician for Southeast Missouri State University. He is also on the Southeast Alumni Association Board of Directors.

A 1978 graduate of Cape Central High School, Bowen, in his free time, enjoys spending time with his family, working out, golfing, and playing racquetball.

He and his wife Kelly Jo have four children: Nicole, Aris, Kelson and Chase.  Aris is a former strong safety on Southeast’s 2010 Ohio Valley Conference Championship football team.


James Edwards, MD 1Dr. James Edwards

Dr. James Edwards, M.D., joined Advanced Orthopedic Specialists in October 2007. A native of Cape Girardeau, Edwards received his Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies from Southeast Missouri State University, where he was also a four-year letterman in baseball as well as a scholar athlete. He received his medical degree from and completed his internship and orthopedic surgical residency at the University of Missouri School of Medicine.  Edwards fulfilled his medical training with a fellowship in sports medicine at Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic in Tennessee.

Edwards is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and is a member of the Missouri State Medical Association, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine.

In addition to teaching students and his clinical commitments, Edwards serves as a team physician for Southeast Missouri State University and Jackson High School. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his children, golfing and keeping up with his favorite sports team.

Edwards met his wife, Monica, of 22 years at Southeast Missouri State. Mrs. Edwards graduated from Southeast in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in medical technology. They have three children: Rebecca, 18; Hannah, 11; and Ian, 8.

Patrick Knight, MD 1Dr. Patrick Knight

Dr. Patrick Knight, M.D., a native of Cullman, Alabama, joined Advanced Orthopedic Specialists in 2002.  Knight received a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.  He went on to earn his medical degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and completed an internship in general surgery at Erlanger Medical School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Knight completed his orthopedic residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he earned the Resident Teaching Award.

In addition to his clinical practice in Cape Girardeau and Sikeston, Missouri, Knight proudly serves the athletes of Southeast Missouri State University and Cape Central High School.  He enjoys participating in informational seminars to educate the community on new trends in orthopedics and providing clinical exposure to medical students on their rotations.

Knight has been married for 20 years to his college sweetheart, Brandis Lynn.  They are the proud parents of Riley, 16, a junior at Cape Central High School, and Cole, 13, an eighth grader at Central Junior High School.  An avid outdoorsman, Knight enjoys all southeast Missouri has to offer.

Brian Schafer, MD 1Dr. Brian Schafer

Originally from Baton Rouge, La., Dr. Brian Schafer, M.D., completed his undergraduate training at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, before obtaining his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.  From there, Schafer completed an internship at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis and a residency in orthopedic surgery at The Campbell Clinic, also in Memphis.

Schafer served as an orthopedic surgeon in the U.S. Air Force, initially ranked as a 2nd lieutenant, before being promoted to captain in 1993.  He became a major in the Air Force in 1999 and left the service with that rank.

He serves as chief of orthopedics and medical director of joint replacement at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau where he is also medical staff vice president.  In addition, he is president of Physicians Alliance Surgery Center in Cape Girardeau.  Schafer serves as a team physician for Notre Dame Regional High School as well as Southeast Missouri State University.  He is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and is subspecialty board-certified in sports medicine.  He also serves as a clinic researcher and product consultant for Biomet Manufacturing Corporation in the area of patient specific joint replacement.

When he is not seeing patients or teaching students, Schafer enjoys spending time with his family, cycling, auto racing and motorcycle riding.

He and his wife Holly are the parents of Eva, 20, and Claire, 18.

Andrew_Trueblood,_MD_2 croppedDr. Andrew Trueblood

Dr. Andrew Trueblood, M.D., joined Advanced Orthopedic Specialists in 2009. He grew up in Cape Girardeau, where, he said, his athletic career “was tragically curtailed by being short, weak and slow. Fortunately, these qualities are conducive to a career in hand, shoulder and elbow surgery.”

Trueblood graduated from Cape Central High School and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in biology. Following college, he completed his medical degree at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. Trueblood then finished both his general surgery internship and orthopedic residency at The University of Chicago. After completing residency, he spent an additional year developing expertise in the fields of hand and upper extremity surgery through a fellowship under Peter Stern, M.D., at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Trueblood specializes in treating conditions of the hand and wrist, shoulder and elbow, and has particular interests in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger and pain at the base of the thumb. He also serves as a team physician for Jackson (Mo.) High School. He is board-certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and holds a Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand.

When he is not seeing patients, he enjoys reading about hand surgery and world events, weightlifting, watching college basketball and cooking.

He and his wife, Amy, are the parents of two sons, John and Tom.

“I cherish the strong working relationship that our group has forged with Southeast, dedicated to helping our young athletes get the most out this brief, intense portion of their lives by spending the least amount of time sidelined with injury,” Trueblood said.