Spring commencement at Southeast Missouri State University is planned for 2 p.m. May 17 in the Show Me Center arena. Some candidates for graduation have reported interesting feature stories about themselves that could be developed in conjunction with commencement. These story tips with contact names and information are listed below. Students will begin assembling for commencement at 1:15 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center-North. With advance notice, the Southeast News Bureau is happy to make arrangements for you to meet and interview any of the graduates listed below between 1:15 and 1:30 p.m. May 17 in the Student Recreation Center-North. Call the News Bureau at (573) 651-2552 with any questions about these or other commencement stories.
Joseph Adams of Dexter, Mo.,took eight years to graduate because he served three military deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He will graduate from Southeast with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice with an option in law enforcement. Adams can be reached at email@example.com.
Marrianne Bruce of Dexter, Mo., will graduate with a Master of Arts in secondary education with an option in education studies. Three members of her family will graduate the same weekend, including her older son, Hunter Bruce, who will graduate with her from Southeast with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in economics. Marrianne Bruce’s younger son, Holden, also will graduate from Dexter High School. Marrianne Bruce can be reached at (573) 820-2958 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jami Conley of Washington, Mo., will graduate magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry and biology. She also will graduate from the Jane Stephens Honors Program. While at Southeast, she participated in “green chemistry research” for two months in Kolkata, India. She next plans to pursue a doctoral degree in biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida beginning in the fall. Conley hopes to help develop treatments and cures for neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases. Conley’s younger sister has a type of muscular dystrophy and has been her inspiration for her career goals. Conley can be reached at (636) 221-2656 or email@example.com.
Benny Dorris of West Frankfort, Ill., will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in mass communications. He has landed a position teaching math education in rural Mississippi in conjunction with the Teach for America program. He wants to have a meaningful experience after he graduates and make a difference in the lives of students, he says. Dorris is the immediate past president of Southeast’s Student Government Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (618) 694-6277.
Grant Eudy of Cape Girardeau, Mo., will graduate with a 4.0 grade point average with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in accounting. He is following in the footsteps of his mother, Debra Eudy, who graduated from Southeast in 1978 also with a 4.0 grade point average with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in accounting. Grant was the valedictorian at Notre Dame Regional High School in Cape Girardeau in 2010. He plans to begin working full time as an accountant with his mother at Beussink Hey & Roe PC in Cape Girardeau. He can be reached at (573) 450-2924 or email@example.com.
Mary Farmer of Scott City, Mo.,will graduate with a Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She says she has completed the second phase of her life. She now wants to pursue a career as a mental health counselor. She was a successful business chief executive officer for 30 years and has been a cancer survivor since 2010. Farmer can be reached at (573) 225-4306 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nathaniel Hamilton of Mexico, Mo., will be behind the camera instead of in front of it like his peers on commencement day. Hamilton will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in commercial photography but will spend his commencement day working with Lifetouch photography, the company that now employs him, documenting the events of the day. “I discovered Lifetouch about three and half years ago. I was asked if I wanted to be an assistant to the photographers during a previous spring commencement and I said ‘yes.’ From there, I have been an assistant with the company every year,” says Hamilton. He next plans to pursue a Master of Science in technology management at Southeast beginning in fall 2014. He will remain in Cape Girardeau until the completion of his degree, upon which he plans to move to Des Moines, Iowa, the district office of Lifetouch he currently works from, or another district within the company. Hamilton can be reached at email@example.com.
Travis Holland of Dexter, Mo.; Jeremy Wiedner of Imperial, Mo.; Jacob Schnurbusch of Jackson, Mo.; Nathan Ponder of Perryville, Mo.; and Niroshan Rajamuni Dewayalage, Ayodya Prathibhani Rathnasekara Wijeratna Mudiyanselage Don and Nisal Weganthala Watte Gedara, all of Sri Lanka, will be the first students to graduate from Southeast’s cybersecurity program. They will graduate from Southeast with a hot ticket college degree and enter a job field mushrooming by 20 percent annually and with starting salaries of $55,000-$60,000. Southeast launched its cybersecurity program in fall 2011 to address America’s growing demand for professionals to protect computers and computer networks from assault. The program is housed in Southeast’s Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology in the College of Science, Technology and Agriculture. The program has a comprehensive focus integrating topics of security in hardware, software and networking while working on the lines of industrial processes to comply with legal and industrial regulations within an ethical framework. The program also is preparing graduates to meet workforce needs in government, business and industrial sectors. Dr. Vijay Anand, director of the program and assistant professor of industrial and engineering technology, can be reached at (573) 651-2653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joyce Hunter of Cape Girardeau will be the first student to graduate from Southeast with a Master of Arts in career counseling. The program began in January 2011. Hunter serves as coordinator of outreach and events with Southeast’s Career Services office. She says she now has both “a Southeast ID and an AARP ID.” Hunter can be reached at (573) 651-2881 or email@example.com.
Dominique Lacey of St. Louis is graduating with a Bachelor of General Studies. She is a student with a learning disability who overcame many challenges without help, struggled through a tough pregnancy, left the University, and returned to finish her education. She not only obtained a high grade point average, she also became her daughter’s hero. She can be reached at (314) 662-2889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew Mack and his wife Shannon Mack of Benton, Mo., will graduate together. Shannon Mack is graduating with a second undergraduate degree — a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in English education. Andrew Mack is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in industrial technology with an emphasis in technology management. They have two small boys and are expecting another child. Andrew Mack can be reached at (573) 579-4515 or email@example.com. Shannon Mack can be reached at (573) 703-4014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nick Maddock of O’Fallon, Mo., has completed a triple major in four years with a 4.0 grade point average. He is a first generation college student. He will graduate from the Jane Stephens Honors Program with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with majors in finance and management entrepreneurship. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Cameron McConnell of Cape Girardeau is a 41-year-old former police officer and corrections officer injured in the line of duty who returned to college after nearly 20 years. He will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy as well as a major in global cultures and language with an option in anthropology. McConnell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janice McElwrath of Kennett, Mo., will graduate from the University with a Bachelor of Science in agribusiness with an option in agriculture industry; She is completing her college degree 40 years to the month after she graduated from high school. McElwrath can be reached at (573) 344-1208 or email@example.com.
Amber Moyers of Cape Girardeau entered her graduate program with the goal of creating a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning (LGBTQ)-centered nonprofit organization within the region. The organization is still in its beginning stage but she says will one day be a reality. She will graduate with a Master of Public Administration. She can be reached at (573) 587-1329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Logan Myers of Benton, Mo., is the great-granddaughter of the late Missouri Sen. John Dennis. Dennis served as a Democrat in the Missouri Senate from 1976 until 1992. He helped win approval for several facilities on the Southeast campus. Myers will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in human environmental studies with an option in child development. Myers can be reached at (573) 587-1654 or email@example.com.
Reese Palmer of Essex, Mo., will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in agribusiness with an emphasis in plant and soil science. He was injured in a work-related accident in 2007 with a traumatic brain injury and began college in August 2010. He will be a first-generation college graduate. He can be reached at (573) 820-8248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig Robinson of Hayti, Mo., came to Southeast Missouri State University in fall 2009 with a goal of becoming a school principal. He will leave Southeast next month with a teaching job he’s accepted in Memphis through Teach for America and four successful years under his belt as a member of the Southeast track and field team. Robinson will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis in middle school science and social studies. He also was an all-Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) indoor and outdoor player for the four years he competed and earned many track and field honors. Robinson can be reached at email@example.com.
Vera Sterling of Cape Girardeau is a strong advocate for higher education. She entered the University in 1992 and is now completing a Bachelor of General Studies. She says she encouraged her friends to pursue their education as well. Sterling, who also has a child currently in college, will be the first of eight siblings to graduate. She says, “There’s always time to learn.” She can be reached at (573) 290-0026 or firstname.lastname@example.org.