Six alumni and one faculty member will receive Merit Awards presented by the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association Oct. 13 at the Copper Dome Society/Merit Recognition Dinner during the University’s Homecoming celebration. The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Show Me Center.
Alumni Merit Awards have been presented annually since 1958 to Southeast alumni who have brought distinction to themselves and the University.
This year’s alumni recipients are: Glenn Campbell, ’87, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, co-founder of LIDS; Dr. Maude Harris, ’85 and ‘95, of Sikeston, Missouri, nutrition and health education specialist with the Missouri Extension Office in Scott County, Missouri; Suzan Noel Knese, ’93, of Waterloo, Illinois, chief operating officer with Osborn + Barr Communications in St. Louis, Missouri; Dr. Shelton “Butch” Smith, ’67, ’73 and ’78, of St. Louis, Missouri, professor and director of educational leadership programs at Missouri Baptist University; Steve Taylor, ’81, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of First Missouri State Bank in Cape Girardeau; and Dr. Mark Wildhaber, ’81, of Columbia, Missouri, research ecologist and quantitative ecology section chief with the U.S. Geological Survey.
Receiving the Faculty Merit Award will be Dr. Jeremy Barnes, Southeast professor of health, human performance and recreation. The Faculty Merit Award is presented for excellence in teaching.
Campbell, the co-founder of LIDS, graduated from Southeast with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in marketing. His career shows that crazy business ideas work. After getting rejected by numerous mall executives, his ridiculously ambitious business proposition to sell hats has evolved into a multi-million conglomerate that serves a wide variety of sectors in today’s continuously booming headwear market.
Campbell’s career launched in the late 1980s at Foot Locker where he recognized baseball-style caps were a largely untapped niche in mall retail. Along with partner Scott Molander, the idea for Hat World evolved, allowing shoppers to find any hat at anytime and anywhere.
Today, the retail business operates nationally as LIDS Sports Group, a leading omnichannel sports licensed retailer. The brand has sold nearly 300 million hats since its founding through its more than 1,300 locations across North America and robust e-commerce store.
Campbell still presides over his wildly successful hat empire that continues to grow precipitously. Since Hat World’s inception, he has held nearly every major position within the company and currently works with the field operations team for the various retail divisions while also serving as the chief merchandising officer.
Campbell also helped launch and serves on the board of directors for the LIDS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and the philanthropic support arm of LIDS that promotes healthy lifestyles as well as leadership and growth opportunities.
Throughout Campbell’s impressive reign at LIDS, he has invoked a contagious “Have Fun, Sell Hats” mentality that has labeled the company as a top place to work. With its national headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, Campbell, along with the Lids Leadership team, has stamped the brand’s legacy in central Indiana by transforming the city into “Captown USA”.
Given his remarkable achievements in the retail industry, Campbell was recognized as one of Ernst & Young’s “Indiana Heartland Entrepreneurs of the Year” in 1999 and 2002. He was also inducted into “Indiana’s 40 Under 40” in 2002.
Campbell is as passionate about the St. Louis Cardinals as he is about hats. He attends many games a year and has not missed an opening day or playoff game this century. He resides in Cape Girardeau with his wife Lee Ann. They are parents to four children: Maryssa Essner and Kyle, Elijah and Paige Campbell.
Dr. Maude Harris
Dr. Maude Harris received a Bachelor of Science in home economics, food and nutrition, from Southeast in 1985. Ten years later, she received a Master of Arts in home economics with a food and nutrition emphasis. Her thesis was titled, “Nutrition Practices of Rural Elderly Scott County African Americans in the Missouri Bootheel.” In December 2008, she received her doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her dissertation was written on “A Descriptive Analysis of the Dining with Diabetes Program in Southeast Missouri.”
Harris has been employed by the Scott County Extension Office since 1996 as a nutrition and health education specialist. She has served with numerous community service organizations and boards aimed at improving the quality of life for local citizens. Those include Ward IV Councilman for the City of Sikeston and Mayor Pro Tempore (2013-2014), City of Sikeston Department of Economic Development Board, Secretary/Treasurer of Open Door Fellowship ministries, Martin Luther King Day Planning Committee, Missouri Department of Health and Human Services Diabetes Advisory Board (president in 2016-2017 fiscal year), board member of Regional Arthritis Center at Saint Francis Medical Center, Scott County Transit board member, Bootheel Counseling Center and Mission Missouri House of Liberty. Harris also is the facilitator of the Multi-County Women’s Health Conference held each October in Sikeston, Missouri.
Harris received the Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Tau Chapter Outstanding Regional Faculty Award in 2014, the Human Environmental Science Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 from
Missouri Bootheel Healthy Start, Beverly Piepenbrock Health Professional Provider Award for Outstanding Commitment and Volunteerism in 2007 and the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation Outstanding Human Environmental Sciences Specialist Award in 2000.
Harris served as the Southeast Region Family and Nutrition Program interim coordinator in 2001 and again in 2003. She has been involved in leadership development with Missouri Extension Leadership Development (MELD), National Extension Leadership Development (NELD) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) leadership academy.
Harris is married to Southeast alumnus Michael K. Harris, Sr., and has four children: Najawa, Alexia, Sloane and Kellar. She also has a grandson, Brendan; and a granddaughter, Nylah.
Suzan Noel Knese
Suzan Noel Knese graduated from Southeast in 1993 with a Bachelor of General Studies, public relations and political science options. She has more than 20 years of experience in operations, talent management, human resources and business management.
This year, she will celebrate 11 years with Osborn + Barr Communications, where she serves as chief operating officer. In this role, Knese oversees operations focusing on profitability, operational efficiencies, resource management, creative and media deliverables. As a member of the executive team, she is a key contributor in helping shape agency strategy, talent integration and organizational design across the organization. She is charged with tying intellectual capital to business growth.
Osborn + Barr is a full-service marketing, advertising, public relations and digital agency headquartered in St. Louis with offices in Kansas City and Nashville. It is one of the largest privately held marketing firms in the Midwest with $25 million in annual revenue and more than 160 full-time employees.
Prior to joining Osborn + Barr, Knese served as the vice president/director of human resources at D’Arcy Advertising for 10 years. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in leading integration through four mergers and acquisitions for public and private companies.
Knese serves on the board for the 4A’s human resources and training and development committee, is a board member of both Memory Home Care Solutions and the St. Louis chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis, is an active volunteer with the Catholic Charities and St. Vincent de Paul Society and serves as a trustee for her parish, Saints Peter and Paul Church in Waterloo, Illinois.
During her years at Southeast, Knese was active in Student Government and Model United Nations, was a member of the Greek Judicial Board and held several offices in her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta.
She is married to Mark Knese, who is also a Southeast alumnus. They are parents to Hannah, who is a sophomore at Southeast this fall, Katie who is a freshman at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Joey, who is a freshman at Saint Louis University High School in St. Louis.
Dr. Shelton “Butch” Smith
Dr. Shelton “Butch” Smith earned his Bachelor of Science in secondary education, English, in 1967, Master of Arts in education, secondary administration, in 1973 and specialist degree in educational administration in 1978.
A lifelong career educator, Smith is currently employed at Missouri Baptist University as director of Educational Leadership Programs, which includes the master’s degree in educational leadership, educational specialist degree for superintendents and the doctorate in teaching and learning. He is professor of doctoral and educational specialist degree courses, chairs several dissertation committees and serves on several university and state advisory committees.
He is a past president and director of the Missouri Professors of Educational Administration. As a consultant to school districts, Smith has facilitated superintendent searches and school district strategic planning. He has conducted school board workshops and educational leadership training on a variety of topics. At the state level, he has chaired several Missouri School Improvement Program on-site review teams, and he is currently serving on the state Leadership Design Commission, a small group of professional educators who have been principals, superintendents and university professors and who have been charged by the Missouri State Board of Education to revamp and develop a model educational leadership program for Missouri.
Smith served as president of three different Rotary clubs and on a number of community committees and projects, is president of his homeowners’ association, has served as chair of regional Boy Scouts and fundraising chair for several foundations, and has served as education advisor to various senators and representatives.
Prior to his tenure at Missouri Baptist University, Smith served as a high school English teacher, high school principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent of schools in the St. Louis area where he received the highest awards and honors from a variety of professional organizations and the state legislature. In addition, he is a national and state assessment writer and scorer for the Pearson Corporation and Educational Testing Service Corporation.
Smith previously served as associate dean of students at Southeast Missouri State University and is currently president-elect of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. He is past president of the Southeast Alumni Association, served for more than 20 years as an adjunct professor at Southeast and served on various search committees for key Southeast administrators. He has been a national convention and banquet speaker, and his research on the art of leadership has been used by Walmart, Walt Disney and McDonald’s corporations.
He is a Vietnam veteran, having served as a helicopter pilot and aide to a commanding officer. He loves kayaking, biking, music, golf and travel. He is also a licensed airplane pilot.
During his undergraduate years at Southeast, Smith played basketball and baseball, was president of Myers Hall, was a member of the President’s Advisory Council and was elected to Who’s Who in Colleges and Universities.
He also earned his doctorate in educational leadership in teaching and learning from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
Smith and his wife Glenda, who earned an advanced degree from Southeast, have two daughters, Heather and Erika, who both earned their degrees from Southeast, and sons-in-law, Drew and Craig, who both earned their degrees from Southeast. He also has four grandchildren: Alyssa, Connor, Karoline and Wyatt.
Steve Taylor earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in finance and minor in accounting in 1981. He is a 1977 graduate of Cape Central High School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Taylor has more than 30 years of banking experience. Currently, he is president and chief executive officer of First Missouri State Bank of Cape Girardeau County. He began in 2002 as the market president, and since 2006 has served in his current role. He is responsible for all aspects of running the bank, including regulatory interaction and reporting that includes credit, liquidity, compliance, information technology and the personnel areas of the bank.
Prior to his current position, he served for five years as the Cape Girardeau County market president for Bank of America, N.A., and for 15 years he was employed in various positions with Bank One Texas, N.A., including as a credit analyst, consumer lender, commercial lender, branch manager, statewide mortgage production manager and eventually district manager with responsibility for 20 branches and 250 employees.
He has been active in the community, having served as past chairman and past treasurer of the United Way of Southeast Missouri, past chairman and past treasurer of the Saint Francis Medical Center Foundation Board and a member of the VIP Industries board, member of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation Board and a member and board member of the Cape Girardeau Noon Lions Club.
Taylor and his wife Kim are the parents of a daughter, Haley. They reside in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Dr. Mark Wildhaber
Dr. Mark Wildhaber graduated magna cum laude from Southeast in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in zoology and mathematics with a minor in chemistry. In addition, he holds a master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries science from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, and a doctorate in zoology with a minor in biomathematics from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.
He is currently a research ecologist and quantitative ecology section chief with the U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center in Columbia, Missouri. He has also held adjunct faculty positions at the University of Missouri-Columbia in natural resources, statistics and the Graduate School; at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Texas, in life sciences; and at Emporia State University, Kansas, in biological sciences. In addition, he has been a member of the Executive Board of the Conservation Biology Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia. As adjunct faculty, Wildhaber has mentored dozens of undergraduate students who have gone on to graduate school and more than a dozen master’s degree and seven doctoral students who have gone on to careers in academia, federal and state natural resource agencies, and private environmental consulting firms.
Starting as a tropical fish hobbyist and encouraged through undergraduate research at Southeast under Dr. Fred Janzow and with guidance from Dr. Norman Braasch, Wildhaber has always made fish behavior a central component of his research throughout graduate school and his professional career. The mathematics dual major he received from Southeast served as the basis for the other two central components of his research — statistics and modeling. In collaboration with faculty and graduate students at the University of Missouri, his research has produced new statistical approaches to analysis of behavioral and ecological data. He has used the dual aspects of behavior and mathematical modeling to develop ecological models which use global environmental conditions to forecast regional and local conditions and, ultimately, the response of fish and their populations to changes in those conditions.
He is currently a Fellow of the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists and a member of the American Fisheries Society, American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Animal Behavior Society, and World Sturgeon Conservation Society. He has authored and/or co-authored more than 50 scientific articles in regional, national and international journals, and numerous book chapters along with a similar number of scientific agency reports. Much of this research was published to provide support for conservation and recovery efforts associated with threatened and endangered fish species to help inform the decision processes of federal, state and local natural resource managers.
He was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Wildhaber and his wife Vickie, who graduated from Southeast in 1980, currently live in Columbia, Missouri. Their son, Eric, is a landscape architect in San Antonio, Texas. Their daughter, Rachel, is a mathematics teacher for Wake County Public Schools, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Dr. Jeremy Barnes
Dr. Jeremy Barnes is a professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation at Southeast. He received his doctorate in health education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and began teaching at Southeast in 1996. He teaches classes in the health promotion option of the Bachelor of Science in health management program and the Master of Science in nutrition and exercise science program. He serves as the Health Management Unit coordinator for the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation and the graduate coordinator for the Master of Science in nutrition and exercise science program. He also has served as associate dean of the College of Health and Human Services since 2013.
Barnes has been the director of the grant-funded Southeast Regional Prevention Center (RPC) since 2012. The mission of the RPC is to promote and facilitate the development of community prevention initiatives concerning the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs by serving as a catalyst for mobilization and change in six southeast Missouri counties — Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry, Scott and Ste. Genevieve.
He has served on and chaired numerous committees in his 21 years at Southeast, including the Eating Disorders Awareness Week Planning Committee, which he has chaired since 2008. This committee plans, coordinates, seeks sponsorships and promotes a series of events that educate the University community about eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. He has also served as the faculty advisor to the Southeast Missouri State University Health and Wellness Association since 1996.
Barnes is active in the community with the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce, The Healthy Communities Coalition, Saint Francis Medical Center and SoutheastHEALTH. He serves on the board of directors and is past president of Project CHARLIE (Chemical Abuse Resolution Lies In Education). This is a substance misuse prevention program for elementary school students. He has taught a weekly Project CHARLIE class at Franklin Elementary School in Cape Girardeau since 2007.
Barnes is passionate about improving the health of others. He has directed a wide variety of health promotion programs in corporate, community and university settings. He is also passionate about experiential learning and gets his students involved in most of these programs. His research interests include health behavior change, body composition assessment and weight loss programs, substance abuse prevention and worksite health promotion.
He has co-authored 29 articles and 43 abstracts in peer-reviewed journals, three book chapters and has received more than $2 million in external funding. He has given dozens of national, regional, state and local presentations. He has authored more than 40 articles for The Best Years, a monthly supplement to the Southeast Missourian newspaper. He also has served on 21 graduate thesis committees.
He resides in Jackson, Missouri, with his wife Pamela, and they have three children: a daughter Taylor who is a freshman at McKendree University, and twins Matthew and Emma, who are juniors at Notre Dame Regional High School. In his spare time, he likes to work out, read, fish, cook, play guitar, attend concerts and listen to a wide variety of music.