Southeast President Delivers Admittance Packets via Drone to Richland Seniors


Southeast President Carlos Vargas, right, delivered Southeast admittance packets to Richland High School seniors Emily Blunt, left, and Lillie Sherfield, center.

Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast Missouri State University, visited Richland High School in Essex, Missouri, Nov. 8, using a drone to deliver admittance packets to two Richland seniors.

Vargas took advantage of Southeast’s drone technology to welcome Richland students Emily Blunt and Lillie Sherfield, both of Essex, Missouri, to the Redhawk family.

Using the drone was a nod to Richland’s developing Drone Program and Southeast’s Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones), launched in fall 2017.

Emily Blunt, second from right, is joined by her parents, Jason and Shiela Blunt, and Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast Missouri State University, far right.

Richland, a National Blue Ribbon School in 2016 and 2018, is an ideal partner for Southeast due to its investment in drones as a training tool, according to Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for enrollment management and student success. The school purchased four drones and is actively engaging students in drone technology as part of its college preparatory curriculum and career and technical education programs.

Southeast’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems program trains students on maintenance, customization, acquisition and use of drones in a commercial setting. Students gain experience in electrical and electronic systems, mechanical operations, software, and drone specific coverage of aviation, system design, safety, policy and sensor systems, preparing them to become professionals in Unmanned Aircraft Systems and other forms of automation.

Lillie Sherfield, center, is joined my her mother, Christina Bollinger, left, and Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast Missouri State University, right.

Vargas has made several similar visits to schools in the region to deliver acceptance packets and meet with students, faculty and administration. Vargas discussed students’ academic and personal needs with Richland staff as well as how Southeast can help their students reach their future career goals.

Southeast is now accepting applications for the fall 2019 semester, and students are encouraged to apply before midnight Dec. 1, to meet the deadline for early scholarship consideration and on-campus housing. Apply online at Prospective students are encouraged to take advantage of the Common Application and the benefits of the University’s new Copper Dome Scholarship Program.

Southeast encourages incoming students to plan now to attend a Show Me Day on campus Feb. 16 or 18 and March 23. Show Me Day is an opportunity to visit Southeast and learn about the variety of academic programs and services offered. For more information on becoming a Redhawk at Southeast Missouri State University, contact the Office of Admissions at (573) 651-2590 or