The recipients of the Power of Women Scholarship are Taylor Alexander of St. Louis, Missouri; Megan Chisum of Chaffee Missouri; Samantha DeMarco of DeSoto, Missouri; Heather Gillock of Puxico, Missouri; Katie Glover of Kennett, Missouri; Melissa Lukes of St. Charles, Missouri; Veronica Moore of Benton, Missouri; Emma Petree of Springfield, Missouri; Magdalen Pike of St. Louis, Missouri; and Tripti Shakya of Kaski, Nepal.
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, and Judy Aslin, vice president and chief nursing officer at SoutheastHEALTH, presented the scholarships. In its sixth 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. Janet Perez Eckles, a 1975 Southeast graduate, motivational speaker, author, “master interpreter,” radio host, missionary, life coach, and founder of JC Empowerment, Inc., served as the keynote speaker.
Eckles encouraged Southeast students and graduates to find their strengths and weakness in life’s struggles, and find success by changing their thoughts.
“Embrace the struggles. They make you stronger,” Eckles said. “My years at Southeast taught me tenacity to overcome hurdles.
And all the ‘cardiac hills’ along my career were conquered with perseverance, hard work and good habits learned from Southeast faculty. The quantity of your success depends on the quality of your thoughts. Face the obstacles, they bring opportunities. Your thoughts have the power to allow you to soar to higher heights.”
Alexander is a senior pursuing a degree in biomedical sciences. She is a member of the Southeast chapter of Southeast’s Student Medical Society, Iota Sigma Chapter of Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society, Missouri Delta Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Professional Honor Society and the Student Alumni Association. Alexander, who expects to graduate in December 2017, plans to become a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon. She hopes to start a nonprofit charitable foundation to raise awareness and funding for congenital heart defects in children. Alexander is the daughter of Tarron and Stephanie Alexander of St. Louis, Missouri, and is a 2013 graduate of Metro High School.
Chisum is a senior pursuing degrees in psychology and global studies. She serves as the public relations chair for Southeast’s Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology and is a member of the #260 Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, the American Psychological Association, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the American Association of University Women and the Global Organization for Humanitarian Work Psychology. She is a volunteer for A+ Tutoring Services, the Southeast Area Special Olympics, the Southeast Missouri Food Bank, and the Vintage Now Fashion Show. Chisum was a participant in Southeast’s 2016 Center for Strategic and International Studies program, and has completed internships with the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI National Academy Associates and the Cottonwood Residential Treatment Center. She is a volunteer and registered behavioral technician student worker at the Autism Center for Diagnosis and Treatment at Southeast Missouri State University. Chisum, who graduates this May, plans to pursue a master’s degree in law or international studies. She hopes to one day work for a federal law enforcement agency focusing on intelligence. Chisum is the daughter of Jesse and Misty Chisum of Chaffee, Missouri, and is a 2015 graduate of Chaffee High School.
DeMarco is a senior pursuing a degree in exceptional child education. She is a member of Southeast’s Alpha Eta Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honor Society and has served as president of the Student Association of Math Educators. DeMarco, who graduates this May, plans to become an elementary special education teacher. She is the daughter of Michael Rosen and Dannise Dremann, and is a 2013 graduate of DeSoto High School.
Gillock is a senior pursuing a degree in art and a minor in psychological services. She serves as facilitator of the Art of Aging Gracefully Program and is a member of Southeast’s Art Guild and Clay Club. She is a volunteer with the Parkinson’s Support Group of Southeast Missouri. Gillock is a recipient of the Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship, the Wanda Glenn and R. Chamberlain Award, and the Wilma Glenn Endowed Scholarship. Gillock, who graduates this May, plans to become an art therapist and one day open her own practice. She is the daughter of Robert Gillock of Roseville, Illinois, and Debra Barry of Puxico, Missouri, and is a 2013 graduate of Puxico High School.
Glover is a senior pursuing a degree in business administration. She is a member of Southeast’s #260 Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and was a participant in Southeast’s 2016 Center for Strategic and International Studies program. Glover, who graduates this May, plans to pursue a career in marketing in the healthcare industry. She is the daughter of Gene Glover of Holcomb, Missouri, and Kimberly Glover of Kennett, Missouri, and is a 2013 graduate of Holcomb High School.
Lukes is a junior pursuing a degree in social work. She is president of Southeast’s Social Work Club, member of Southeast’s Alpha Psi Chapter of Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority and Chi Lambda Chapter of Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society. She is a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, and a volunteer with the Early Prevention Impacts Communities Coalition EPIC Pals program and Animal Squad, and the Mississippi Valley Therapeutic Horsemanship organization. Lukes, who expects to graduate in May 2018, wants to help make a difference as a social worker and hopes to change people’s lives and influence policy for the better. She is the daughter of John and Sharon Lukes of St. Charles, Missouri, and is a 2014 graduate of Francis Howell North High School.
Moore is a December 2016 graduate of Southeast where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She is a member of Southeast’s Gamma Nu Chapter of Alpha Zi Delta Sorority and a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri. Moore, who graduated last December, is a medical intensive care unit registered nurse at Saint Francis Medical Center and someday would like to work as a traveling nurse while exploring the country. She hopes to continue her education and training throughout her career. Moore is the daughter of Alan and Yvonne Moore of Benton, Missouri, and is a 2013 graduate of Notre Dame Regional High School.
Petree is a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in exceptional child and a minor in military science. She is a member of Southeast’s Show-Me Gold Missouri Army National Guard Leadership Development and Officer Training Program and the Southeast chapter of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development – Teachers for Tomorrow. She has twice been recognized on the Officer’s Merit List, and is a recipient of the James M. Drickey Scholarship, Charles E. and Evelyn R. Whipple Scholarship, Show-Me-Gold Housing Award and Residence Life Leadership Award. Over the next two years before her expected graduation in May 2019, Petree plans to continue her commitment to school and the military. This spring, she will begin Officer Candidate School training in order to gain her commission as an officer in the Missouri Army National Guard. She hopes to continue her education and pursue her master’s degree. Petree is the daughter of Chase and Kimberly Petree of Springfield, Missouri, and is a 2015 graduate of New Covenant Academy.
Pike is a junior pursuing degrees in public relations and Spanish. She is midfielder/defender on the Redhawks women’s soccer team and is a volunteer for Southeast Area Special Olympics and Franklin Elementary School in Cape Girardeau. Pike, who expects to graduate in May 2018, plans to pursue a career as a public relations professional. She is the daughter of Martin and Terri Pike of St. Louis, Missouri, and is a 2014 graduate of Oakville Senior High School.
Shakya is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She is a member of Southeast’s Nepalese Student Association; an event organizer of Southeast’s Nepali Night, International Week, WOMAN UP 2016 panel discussion and Carpe Diem; and has served as senator for the International Student Association for Southeast’s Student Government Association. She is a recipient of the Saint Francis Healthcare Scholarship. Shakya, who graduates this May, plans to pursue her master’s degree in nursing. She hopes to utilize her Southeast education and experience in the health care industry for the benefit of others. Shakya is the daughter of Suman Kaji and Beena Shakya of Lalitpur, Nepal, and is a 2012 graduate of United Academy.
The sixth 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 was also sponsored by community businesses including Edward Jones–Cheryl Mothes, Bold Marketing, Fox 23 My 49, River Radio and many others.
For more information about the Power of Women Scholarship and luncheon, visit http://www.semo.edu/powerofwomen.
Featured Photo Caption: (from left to right) Judy Aslin of SoutheastHEALTH, premier sponsor of this year’s event; Southeast students Taylor Alexander, Megan Chisum, Heather Gillock, Katie Glover, Melissa Lukes, Emma Petree, Magdalen Pike and Tripti Shakya; and Janet Perez Eckles, 1975 Southeast graduate and keynote speaker during the luncheon. Not pictured is Samantha DeMarco and Veronica Moore.