Vargas Presents Southeast Shout-Out Awards


Southeast Missouri State University President Carlos Vargas recently presented seven Southeast Shout-Out Awards to University faculty and staff.

Congratulations to Ryan Heslinga, assistant registrar in the Registrar’s Office; Amy Hancock, senior buyer in Purchasing; Janie McGaugh, administrative assistant in the Department of History and Anthropology; Dr. Dena Hale, associate professor of marketing; Brenda Glastetter, administrative assistant in the Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance; Marcy Ball, academic advisor, and Jamie Birkman, senior administrative assistant in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

President Carlos Vargas (left) and Ryan Heslinga (right)

Southeast Shout-Out awards celebrate University employees who put forth the extra effort to help, challenge and inspire students, and do whatever it takes to get the job done while encouraging others. To nominate a deserving faculty or staff member who goes above and beyond supporting students, visit To view previous award recipients, visit

Heslinga was nominated by Dr. Bruce Skinner, associate vice president for Student Life, for taking on extra duties due to a colleague’s absence, including his efforts in covering all elements of veterans and military-affiliated student benefits. “I do not know what the campus or our students would have done without Ryan’s leadership, follow through, and commitment to ensuring our benefits processing was accomplished in a professional manner,” said Skinner.

President Carlos Vargas and Amy Hancock

Hancock was nominated by fellow colleague Floyd Davenport for her dedicated service and professionalism in the purchase of campus technology. The nomination noted Hancock’s enthusiasm, positive attitude and outcomes-based approach, in addition to meeting short timelines for Information Technology.

President Carlos Vargas and Janie McGaugh

McGaugh was nominated by Dr. Toni Alexander, professor and chair of the Department of History and Anthropology, for her unwavering dedication to students and faculty, and her outstanding achievements in the successful transitioning of the department during academic restructuring. Alexander commented that McGaugh is “the glue that holds the Department of History and Anthropology together, while continuing to assist modern language faculty and students, especially those studying abroad.” Additionally, she noted that McGaugh successfully handled an increased workload to assist the Department of Communication Studies and Modern Languages during an absence of that department’s administrative assistant.

President Carlos Vargas and Dr. Dena Hale

Hale was nominated by student Austin Marler for inspiring and motivating her students, and encouraging them to leave their comfort zones and try new things. “She made me realize my potential and gave me the confidence to do things I never imagined I would do,” said Marler.

President Carlos Vargas and Brenda Glastetter

Glastetter was nominated by Southeast Associate Professor of Economics and Finance, Dr. Natallia Gray. “I chose to come to Southeast because of Brenda’s kindness, warm welcoming personality and her genuine desire to help me with whatever it is I need,” said Gray. She noted that Glastetter is positive, grateful and always kind.

President Carlos Vargas and Marcy Ball

Ball was nominated by a student’s parent for her commitment to students, especially during some very challenging family issues. The parent outlined Ball’s timely response to parental concerns with well researched responses, great communication skills and her expertise in working with her fellow advisers to assist with student challenges. “She was so pleasant, reassuring, knowledgeable and helped me resolve our situation in one day,” the parent wrote.

President Carlos Vargas and Jamie Birkman

Birkman was nominated by Dr. Jim Champine, chair of the Department of Biology, for her outstanding service to students, her fellow colleagues and to the success of the college.  Champine noted that Birkman has exceptional customer service skills, demonstrates an  ability to break down barriers and makes the impossible possible in her position and in her support of the Department of Biology and the Department of Agriculture in the absence of their administrative assistants.