Outstanding students, faculty and staff were honored May 3 at the annual Student Life and Leadership Awards program at Southeast Missouri State University.
The awards honor students, student organizations and University professionals who support the intellectual, professional, personal, social and cultural needs of the campus community.
“It is clear that Southeast has many talented, caring and spirited Southeast leaders at all levels,” said Tiffany Comfort, coordinator of leadership and involvement for Southeast’s Campus Life and Event Services. “This is such a great opportunity to shine light on the academic achievements, leadership and on- and off-campus involvement of our students, faculty and staff, and for the campus community to recognize their amazing accomplishments.”
This year’s winners are as follows:
President’s Spirit of Southeast
Recipients of this award are selected by Southeast President Carlos Vargas. Recipients must demonstrate integrity, leadership and involvement on- and off-campus, encourage others to get involved and embody the best of Southeast. Students must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average and have completed at least 60 credit hours. This year’s President’s Spirit of Southeast Award winners are:
Emilie of Paris, France, will graduate this week with a 3.7 cumulative GPA with a degree in biology: pre-physician assistant. She is currently an undergraduate teaching assistant for the anatomy and biotechnology laboratory courses and is a research assistant for the chair of the Department of Biology. She is captain of the varsity tennis team and member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, where she chairs the fundraising component of the committee. She has participated in the President’s Leadership Academy, is a student ambassador at the Power of Women Exposition and has volunteered with Saint Francis Medical Center’s Pink Up Cape fundraiser to support cancer research. Every week she goes to a local elementary school to eat lunch with children in the community. She has also participated in various community service endeavors, such as Feed My Starving Children, collecting canned goods for the Salvation Army, teaching elementary school children exercises with Literacy Alive, and playing games with children at Rowdy’s Winter Wonderland. She is always eager to participate in campus and community events. She is a very driven individual who wants to serve others and make her community a better place.
Koeller of Jackson, Missouri, will graduate this week with a 3.5 cumulative grade point average with Bachelor of Science in health communication and a minor in Spanish. He is an extremely involved and accomplished Greek Life leader, serving as chair of the Greek Week Committee, and crowned Southeast’s Man of the Year in 2018. He has served as president of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the Order of Omega Honor Society; vice president of Southeast’s Interfraternity Council; vice president of finance of the Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society; selections committee co-chair of the Homecoming Planning Committee; and executive director of the Greek Week Steering Committee. He is a graduate of Southeast’s Emerging Leaders program. Beyond his impact on campus, Koeller has served countless hours in the community, including for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, and projects with Phi Delta Theta’s national philanthropy.
Lamberson of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, will graduate this week with a 3.96 cumulative grade point average with a degree in dance and a minor in political science. She has represented the Holland College of Arts and Media as a senator on the Student Government Association since 2016, and has come to enjoy the political advocacy element required for arts to succeed. In 2018, she found her voice by interning for a lobbyist with the Missouri Citizens for the Arts (MCA) and currently serves as its southeast regional vice president. Additionally, Lamberson coordinated a trip for Southeast theatre and dance students to attend MCA’s 2019 Citizens for the Arts Day at the Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri. In March 2018, she participated in the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Think Tank in Washington, D.C. She is currently president of University Dancers United and has performed in every major dance concert by The Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance since coming to Southeast.
LeGrand of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, will graduate this week with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an accounting major and Spanish minor. He has a 3.98 cumulative grade point average and has been named to Southeast’s Dean’s List for seven consecutive semesters. He is a student employee in in the Office of the President and is the Student Representative to the Board of Regents. LeGrand is a Presidential Ambassador, member of the Harrison College of Business and Computing Dean’s Student Advisory Committee, and executive committee member of Southeast’s Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He has served as treasurer of the Student Government Association and as a Judicial Board member of the Interfraternity Council. He is an Eagle Scout and member of the Lutheran Chapel of Hope. LeGrand plans to pursue an MBA at Southeast in the coming year.
Scholl of Jackson, Missouri, will graduate this week with a 3.8 cumulative grade point average with a degree in corporate communication and double minors in environmental science and geoscience. He is a student intern at KRCU, southeast Missouri’s National Public Radio (NPR) station broadcasting from Southeast’s campus; Presidential Ambassador; senior student ambassador for Southeast’s Office of Admissions; and member of the Student Center for the Public Trust. Scholl is president of the National Residence Hall Honorary and a dedicated Resident Assistant with Southeast’s Office of Residence Life. Scholl co-founded the Environmental Science Association student organization at Southeast in 2015 and currently serves as its vice president. He is a 2017 graduate of the President’s Leadership Academy and volunteers as a facilitator for a youth leadership program. Scholl has completed two study abroad programs in Europe focusing on international business and management. After graduation, he will attend the London School of Economics. Scholl embodies the meaning of the President’s Spirit of Southeast Award through his dedication, academic performance and service to the University.
Michelle Van Zandt
Van Zandt of DuQuoin, Illinois, will graduate this week with a 3.67 cumulative grade point average with a Bachelor of Science in healthcare communication and minor in mass communication. She is a 2018 graduate of the President’s Leadership Academy; has served as vice president of marketing for Southeast’s Student Activities Council; held various positions with Southeast’s Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority; and was recently nominated president of the REMIX University Church. As a Southeast Orientation Leader, Van Zandt provides guidance and advising to new students during FirstSTEP Orientation. Additionally, she helped design the Office of Academic Advising’s Peer Advising Support at Southeast (PASS), and will help pilot the program this fall. Beyond her campus engagement, Van Zandt has two internships and volunteers off campus during her free time. After graduation this May, the University will be fortunate to keep Van Zandt as she pursues her Master of Science in Higher Education Administration at Southeast, and will be a graduate assistant with the Office of Academic Advising.
The Provost Award is presented to one student from each college who demonstrates academic excellence, is nominated by the college and approved by the dean. This year’s Provost Award recipients are:
- Alexia Buckner of Memphis, Tennessee, representing the Holland College of Arts and Media
- Blake Henson of St. Charles, Missouri, representing the Harrison College of Business and Computing
- Ke-La Harris of St. Louis, representing the College of Education, Health and Human Studies
- Jasmine Jones of Florissant, Missouri, representing the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Adrienne Brauer of Oakford, Illinois, representing the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
- Sarah Monteiro of Jackson, Missouri, representing the graduate category in the Harrison College of Business and Computing
Experiential Learning Award
Experiential Learning Awards are presented to both undergraduate and graduate students who have participated in experiences that best exemplify the experiential learning goals at Southeast. The learning experience may include, but is not limited to, internships (credit or non-credit), discipline-related service-learning projects, research projects that result in professional journal publications or presentations at professional conferences. The undergraduate awards go to an undergraduate student or group of students and recipients are selected by the colleges. The graduate student award recipients are selected by the Provost with college recommendations. Recipients of the Experiential Learning Award are:
- Students of Southeast’s Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity, representing the Holland College of Arts and Media
- Madison Francis of Farmington, Missouri, representing the Harrison College of Business and Computing
- Myriah Bernard of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, representing the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Students of Southeast’s Holmes Honors Program representing the College of Education, Health, and Human Studies
- Dalton Cowan of Buckley, Illinois, representing the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
- Brigid Toney of Pacific, Missouri, representing the graduate category of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Kevin Hoeing of St. Louis, Missouri, representing the graduate category of the Harrison College of Business and Computing
First-Year Student Award
The first-year student award recognizes exemplary leadership by a first-year student who has completed 30 credit hours or less and has a minimum 2.75 grade point average. The director of New Student Programs selects the recipients. Recipients of the First-Year Student Award are:
- Nur E Afra Anika of Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Daniel Frew of Swansea, Illinois
- Grace Powderly of Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Outstanding Student Organization Award
The Outstanding Student Organization Award recognizes registered student organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the betterment of the University community. Recipients of the Outstanding Student Organization Award are:
- Southeast’s Beta Psi Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity
- Collegiate Cattlemen’s Association
Outstanding Advisor Award
The Outstanding Advisor Award is presented to one or two voluntary advisors whose advising role is not part of their official role at the University. Recipients must be a faculty or staff member or graduate assistant who advises a student organization and who shows a strong commitment to the organization and to the development of student leaders. Recipients of the Outstanding Advisor Award are:
- Dr. Sajan Silwal, instructor of chemistry and faculty advisor to Southeast’s Nepalese Student Association.
Student Life Achievement Recognition Award
The Student Life Achievement Recognition Award is presented to a student, faculty or staff member who demonstrates outstanding achievement in building community at the University. Recipients of the Student Life Achievement Recognition Award are:
- Grace Grzywa of Fenton, Missouri
- Anthony Pulliam of Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Civic and Global Engagement Award
The Civic and Global Engagement Award is presented to one or more students, faculty or staff who see the moral, civic and global dimension of public and social issues, claim an appropriate measure of personal responsibility for addressing these issues, and have worked to make a difference in the civic life of our community through both political and non-political processes. Recipients of the Civic and Global Engagement Award are:
- Dr. Jacqueline Wilson, assistant professor of music
- Gabrione Kent of Warrensburg, Illinois
- Zoey Logan of St. Robert, Missouri
University Contributor Award
The University Contributor Award recognizes students, faculty and staff who have contributed significantly to the University, although the recipient may not hold a formal leadership position. Recipients of the University Contributor Award are:
- Dr. Willie Redmond, professor of economics and director of Southeast’s International Business Programs
- Theresa Messmer, senior administrative assistant with the Holland College of Arts and Media
- Alexis Dilg of Yorkville, Illinois
- Cassie Prock of Mansfield, Missouri