Students Honored with Scholarships at Power of Women Luncheon

Power of Women scholarship recipients 2015

From left are keynote speaker Karla Bakersmith and scholarship recipients Rachel Buenemann, Mary McKee and Haley Holton.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Missouri, March 11, 2015 – Three Southeast Missouri State University Students were honored with scholarships today during the annual Power of Women luncheon at the Show Me Center.

The recipients of the Power of Women Scholarships are Mary McKee of Roxana, Illinois, and Rachel Buenemann of Washington, Missouri. The recipient of the inaugural Women’s Walk Endowed Scholarship is Haley Holton of O’Fallon, Missouri.

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. Each student received a $500 award.

The Women’s Walk Endowed Scholarship was established last year with proceeds from the annual Walk for Redhawks Athletics, formerly known as the Walk for Women’s Athletics at Southeast Missouri State. The renewable scholarship is awarded to students enrolled at Southeast with first preference given to a student athlete with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. The recipient must be nominated by their coach and must exhibit outstanding leadership and community involvement.

Vicki Boren, president of the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association, presented the scholarships. In its fourth 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. Karla Bakersmith, a 1981 graduate and founder and chief executive officer of Scrubs & Beyond L.L.C., presented the  keynote address with an inspiring message about her passion for helping other women grow in their businesses.

Bakersmith encouraged those in attendance to be “leaders” who inspire their colleagues rather than “bosses” who give direction. The key to successful businesses is providing superior customer service, she said.

McKee, a Southeast senior, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a major in technology management, computer/multimedia graphics option, and plans to graduate in May. She has been active in a variety of initiatives at Southeast. She is currently a Presidential Ambassador as well as a Student Government Association senator, where she also serves on the funding board. Since fall 2012, McKee’s involvement with Colleges against Cancer has led her to hold the roles of Survivorship, event chair, advisor to the new president and president. She is a member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and previously served as a member of both the Agriculture/Farm Bureau Club and the Pre-Veterinarian Club. She has been involved in a number of community service initiatives, including Camp Rainbow Overnight Camp, Camp Rainbow Day Camp, Camp Rainbow Walk-a-Thon and Relay for Life. In fall 2014, McKee was nominated as a candidate for Southeast’s Woman of the Year. Upon graduation from Southeast, she aspires to work in graphic design.

Buenemann, a Southeast senior, is pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a major in human environmental studies with an emphasis in dietetics. Her involvements at Southeast include membership in the Student Dietetic Association, Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Omicron Delta Kappa honor and leadership society and Phi Theta Kappa honor society as well as the Model United Nations Club. She also is the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week risk questionnaire scorer. Buenemann was selected in spring 2014 to serve on the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) student delegation to Washington, D.C. She aspires to work in community nutrition upon graduating from Southeast.

Holton, a Southeast junior, is working toward a Bachelor of Science in Education. She has been active in a variety of initiatives at Southeast. She is a member of the Southeast track & field team, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and volunteered for the first annual Sibs & Kids Activity Day. Her community service activities include volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters Recreation & Health Day 2014 and the Food Pantry at the Osage Community Center.