Ten Southeast Missouri State University students were honored with scholarships today during the eighth annual Power of Women luncheon at the Show Me Center.
The recipients of the Power of Women Scholarship are Lauren Cooper of O’Fallon, Illinois; Alexis Dilg of Yorkville, Illinois; Ellen Gieselman of St. Louis, Missouri; Grace Grzywa of Fenton, Missouri; McKayla Hunt of Bell City, Missouri; Johanna Oster of Fenton, Missouri; Naima Peuly of Dhaka, Bangladesh; Emily Sanders of Caruthersville, Missouri; Emilia Schempp of Normal, Illinois; and Logan Wascher of Gibson City, Illinois.
The Power of Women Scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate a passion for a life of service, are attending Southeast full time and have completed at least 30 credit hours with a minimum 2.75 grade point average. Each recipient submitted an application demonstrating significant academic achievement, involvement at the University and commitment to volunteerism and community service. The Power of Women Scholarship Committee selected the recipients based on these factors as well as their future aspirations for success in their career and personal life.
The Honorable Abbie Crites-Leoni, U.S. magistrate judge and president of the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association, Maria Sudak, chief operating officer of SoutheastHEALTH, and Shauna Hoffman, vice president of marketing and business development at SoutheastHEALTH presented the scholarships. In its eighth year, the annual Power of Women luncheon connects female students at Southeast with opportunities, women mentors and resources in the community. The luncheon highlights philanthropists, entrepreneurs and extraordinary women of Southeast. Kimberlee (Joos) Shaneyfelt, a 1991 Southeast graduate and retired U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, served as the keynote speaker.
Shaneyfelt encouraged Southeast students, alumni and attendees to prepare for the moments that life has in store by strengthening their physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being that serve as pillars in facing life’s challenges.
“The time to prepare for the moments of stress or tough choices is now,” Shaneyfelt said. “Think of the things that put you at ease, give you confidence and inspire you. Those are your foundation, which must be built before anything of substance can be placed upon it.”
By focusing on these pillars, individuals can be prepared each day to face the choices ahead, whether they are easy or difficult. They then should prepare those who come behind them to take up the challenges of tomorrow, she said.
“It’s about the best we can be and paying that forward to those around us,” she said. “When you help others around you build their foundations, you’re unstoppable. We can all do something inspirational and touch others’ lives no matter who we are.”
Dilg is a senior pursuing a major in commercial multimedia with an option in computer multimedia graphics. She is a member of Southeast’s Delta Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega sorority; the National Honors Society for Leadership and Success; All University Judicial Board; Order of Omega national Greek honors society; Rho Alpha Sigma National Resident Assistant Honor Society; and Southeast’s Jane Stephens Honors Program. She is a Resident Assistant in the Group Housing residence halls, and a senior student ambassador for Southeast’s Office of Admissions. She is a volunteer with the Southeast Missouri Food Bank, SoutheastHEALTH’s Gala and Princess Tea, and Senior Matters’ Expo. She was a 2018 finalist for Southeast’s Woman of the Year and has been named to Southeast’s Dean’s Lists for five consecutive semesters. Dilg, who graduates this May, plans to pursue a master’s degree in higher education administration. She hopes to one day work for a university and help future college students. Dilg is the daughter of John and Gail Luna of Yorkville, Illinois, and is a 2015 graduate of a homeschool high school program.
Gieselman is a senior pursuing a major in middle school education, language arts concentration, and minors in Spanish and history. She is a member of Southeast’s Beta Xi Chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority; Order of Omega national Greek honor society; Jane Stephens Honors Program; and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. She has served as a Student Government Association senator; was a presenter at Southeast’s 2016 Student Research Conference; has been named to Southeast’s Dean’s Lists for seven consecutive semesters; and is a volunteer with the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri. She is a recipient of Sigma Sigma Sigma’s 2018 Martha Trent Featherston Award for Campus Leadership and the 2017 Margaret Lee Batten Award for Loving, Giving, and Sharing; the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education 2018 Medal of Distinction; the Walter Webb Memorial Scholarship for Future Educators; and Educational Access Programs Merit Scholarship. Gieselman, who graduates this May, aspires to become a middle school English language arts teacher. Gieselman is the daughter of Kurt and Catherine Gieselman of St. Louis, Missouri, and is a 2015 graduate of Mehlville High School.
Grzywa is a senior pursuing a major in child development. She is a Student Government Association (SGA) senator and serves as chair of SGA’s Student Safety Committee. She is a member of Southeast’s Jane Stephens Honors Program, and is a student representative on Southeast’s Parking Appeals Committee, Academic Assessment Committee, Academic Appeals Committee and the Student Safety Task Force. She is a student assistant with Southeast’s Office of International Education and Services, staff member with the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Missouri, and is a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri and the St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Grzywa, who graduates this May, hopes to work for a nonprofit organization that helps children of all ages and backgrounds and their families in need. Grzywa is the daughter of Thomas and Deborah Grzywa of Fenton, Missouri, and is a 2016 graduate of Rockwood Summit High School.
Hunt is a junior pursuing a major in nursing. She has been named to Southeast’s Dean’s Lists for three consecutive semesters and is Sunday school teacher and volunteer with Bell City Baptist Church. Hunt, who expects to graduate in May 2020, plans to continue her education and become a nurse practitioner specializing in pediatrics, women’s health or midwifery. Hunt is the daughter of Kevin and Stacey Hunt of Bell City, Missouri, and is a 2017 graduate of Bell City R-II High School.
Oster is a junior pursuing a major in business management. She is a member of Beta Xi Chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority; a volunteer with the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri, Southeast’s Special Olympics and the Special Needs Soccer Association; and has participated in local Highway Clean Up activities, Friends of the Park Day and The Great Cape Clean Up. She has been named to Southeast’s Spring 2017 Dean’s List and received the Sigma Sigma Sigma Beta Xi Chapter 2018 Unsung Heroine award. Oster, who expects to graduate in May 2020, wants to become a training and development consultant. Oster is the daughter of Tom and JoAnn Oster of Fenton, Missouri and is a 2016 graduate of Rockwood Summit High School.
Peuly graduated from Southeast in fall 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in biology, microbiology, cellular and molecular biology option with minors in physics and chemistry. She served as secretary for the Southeast’s Iota Sigma Chapter of Tri Beta Honors’ Biological Society and Southeast’s Bangladesh Student Organization and was named to Southeast’s spring and fall 2018 Dean’s Lists. She was a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and was a volunteer with Youth of Bangladesh, Dhaka Leo Club and JAAGO Foundation in Bangladesh. Peuly, who plans to pursue her master’s degree and doctorate, hopes to work in a research lab where she can apply her skills and continue to make a positive impact. Peuly is a 2013 graduate of Oxford International School.
Sanders is a senior pursuing a major in general studies. She is a member of the National Society for Leadership and Success and Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society. She has been named to Southeast’s Fall 2015 and Fall 2016 Dean’s Lists. Sanders, who graduates this May, plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration. She is married to Michael Sanders and is the daughter of Rick and Anita Dunavant of Caruthersville, Missouri. She is a 2002 graduate of Caruthersville High School.
Schempp is a senior, pursuing majors in physics and dance with a minor in mathematics. She is vice president of Southeast’s University Dancers United and treasurer of Southeast’s Physics and Engineering Club. She has served as a Student Government Association senator; is an Emerging Leaders graduate; and was a participant in Southeast’s 2018 Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) program and 2017 Solar Eclipse Citizen Continental America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) project. She is a member of Southeast’s Jane Stephens Honors Program, Southeast’s #260 Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the National Society of Leadership and Success and the National Honor Society for Dance Arts. She is a volunteer for Southeast’s Regional Science Olympiad and the Southeast Missouri Regional Science Fair. Schempp, who graduates this May, hopes to continue to combine her passion for the arts and science and pursue a master’s degree in biomechanics. Schempp is the daughter of Daryle and Stephanie Schempp of Normal, Illinois, and a 2015 graduate of Normal Community West High School.
Wascher is a senior pursuing a degree in elementary education. She is a member of Southeast’s ASCD: Teachers of Tomorrow and the Student Missouri State Teachers Association. She is a volunteer for Camp Connect, a summer camp for children with autism. She has been named to Southeast’s Dean’s List for seven consecutive semesters and is a recipient of the Midwest Achievement Award, Missouri Association of Rural Education Scholarship, James M. Drickey Elementary Education Scholarship, Louise Bender Roth Early Education Scholarship, and Thelma and Paul H. Sturgeon Scholarship. Wascher, who graduates this May, plans on becoming an elementary teacher and hopes to inspire and encourage children to reach their full potential and to love learning. Wascher is the daughter of Jason and Amy Wascher of Fisher, Illinois, and Angela and Kevin Schultz of Gibson City, Illinois. She is a 2015 graduate of Rantoul Township High School.
Cooper is a junior pursuing a major in nursing.
The eighth annual Power of Women event was sponsored in a collaborative effort by the Southeast Missouri University Foundation, Southeast’s Department of Athletics, Southeast Student Government and SoutheastHEALTH.
This year’s event is also sponsored by community businesses including Bold Marketing, Southern Bank, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Fox 23 My 49, River Radio, Chartwells and many others.
For more information about the Power of Women Scholarship and luncheon, visit http://www.semo.edu/powerofwomen.
** Photo Unavailable for Lauren Cooper and McKayla Hunt.
Top Photo Caption: From left are the Honorable Abbie Crites-Leoni, U.S. magistrate judge and president of the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association; Kimberlee (Joos) Shaneyfelt, a 1991 Southeast graduate, retired U.S. Air Force intelligence officer and 2019 Power of Women luncheon keynote speaker; Southeast students Alexis Dilg, Ellen Gieselman, Grace Grzywa, Johanna Oster, Emily Sanders, Emilia Schempp and Logan Wascher; Maria Sudak, chief operating officer of SoutheastHEALTH; and Shauna Hoffman, vice president of marketing and business development at SoutheastHEALTH.