Merit Awards

Merit Awards

Alumni Merit Award

Glenn Campbell ’87 of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, graduated from Southeast with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.

His career shows crazy business ideas work. After getting rejected by numerous mall executives, his ridiculously ambitious business proposition to sell hats has evolved into a multi-million conglomerate that serves a wide variety of sectors in today’s continuously booming headwear market. Campbell’s career launched in the late 1980s at Foot Locker where he recognized baseball-style caps were a largely untapped niche in mall retail. Along with partner Scott Molander, the idea for Hat World evolved, allowing shoppers to find any hat at anytime and anywhere.

Today, the retail business now operates nationally as LIDS Sports Group, a leading omnichannel sports licensed retailer. The brand has sold nearly 300 million hats since its founding through its more than 1,300 locations across North America and robust e-commerce store. Campbell still presides over his wildly successful hat empire that continues to grow precipitously. Since Hat World’s inception, he has held nearly every major position within the company and currently works with the field operations team for the various retail divisions while also serving as the chief merchandising officer.

Campbell also helped launch and serves on the board of directors for the LIDS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and the philanthropic support arm of LIDS that promotes healthy lifestyles as well as leadership and growth opportunities.

Throughout Campbell’s impressive reign at LIDS, he has invoked a contagious “Have Fun, Sell Hats” mentality that has labeled the company as a top place to work. With its national headquarters in Indianapolis, Campbell, along with the Lids Leadership team, has stamped the brand’s legacy in Central Indiana by transforming the city into “Captown USA”.

Given his remarkable achievements in the retail industry, Campbell was recognized as one of Ernst & Young’s “Indiana Heartland Entrepreneurs of the Year” in 1999 and 2002. He was also inducted in “Indiana’s 40 Under 40” in 2002.

He resides in Cape Girardeau with his wife Lee Ann. They are parents to four children: Maryssa Essner, Kyle, Elijah and Paige Campbell.



Faculty Merit Award

Dr. Jeremy Barnes is a professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation at Southeast. He received his doctorate in health education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and began teaching at Southeast in 1996. He teaches classes in the health promotion option of the Bachelor of Science in Health Management Program and the Master of Science in Nutrition and Exercise Science Program. He serves as the Health Management Unit coordinator for the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation and the graduate coordinator for the Master of Science nutrition and exercise science program.

He has been the director of the grant-funded Southeast Regional Prevention Center to promote and facilitate the development of community prevention initiatives concerning the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

He has served on and chaired numerous committees in his 21 years at Southeast, including the Eating Disorders Awareness Week Planning Committee, which he has chaired since 2008. He has also served as the faculty advisor to the Southeast Missouri State University Health and Wellness Association since 1996.

Barnes is active in the community with many organizations. He serves on the board of directors and is past president of Project CHARLIE (Chemical Abuse Resolution Lies In Education). This is a substance misuse prevention program for elementary school students. He has taught a weekly Project CHARLIE class at Franklin Elementary School in Cape Girardeau since 2007.

Barnes has co-authored 29 articles and 43 abstracts in peer-reviewed journals, three book chapters and has received more than $2 million in external funding. He has given dozens of national, regional, state and local presentations. He has authored more than 40 articles for The Best Years, a monthly supplement to the Southeast Missourian newspaper. He has served on 21 graduate thesis committees.

He resides in Jackson, Missouri, with his wife Pamela who have three children: a daughter Taylor who is a freshman at McKendree University, and twins Matthew and Emma, who are juniors at Notre Dame Regional High School.



Alumni Merit Award

Dr. Maude Harris ’85 of Sikeston, Missouri, is a nutrition and health education specialist with the Scott County, Missouri, Extension Office. She received a Bachelor of Science in home economics, food and nutrition from Southeast. Ten years later, she received a Master of Arts in home economics with a food and nutrition emphasis. In December 2008, she received her doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Harris has been employed by the Scott County Extension Office since 1996. She has served with numerous community service organizations and boards aimed at improving the quality of life for local citizens. Those include Ward IV Councilman for the City of Sikeston and Mayor Pro Tempore (2013-2014), City of Sikeston Department of Economic Development Board, Secretary/Treasurer of Open Door Fellowship ministries, Martin Luther King Day Planning Committee, Missouri Department of Health and Human Services Diabetes Advisory Board (president in 2016-2017 fiscal year), board member of Regional Arthritis Center at Saint Francis Medical Center, Scott County Transit board member, Bootheel Counseling Center and Mission Missouri House of Liberty. Harris also is the facilitator of the Multi-County Women’s Health conference held each October in Sikeston, Missouri.

Harris received the Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Tau Chapter Outstanding Regional Faculty Award in 2014, the Human Environmental Science Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 from Missouri Bootheel Healthy Start, Beverly Piepenbrock Health Professional Provider Award for Outstanding Commitment and Volunteerism in 2007 and the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation Outstanding Human Environmental Sciences Specialist Award in 2000.

Harris served as the Southeast Region Family and Nutrition Program interim coordinator in 2001 and again in 2003. She has been involved in leadership development with Missouri Extension Leadership Development (MELD), National Extension Leadership Development (NELD) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) leadership academy.

Harris is married to Southeast alumnus Michael K. Harris, Sr., and has four children: Najawa, Alexia, Sloane and Kellar. She also has one grandson, Brendan; and one granddaughter, Nylah.



Alumni Merit Award

Suzan Noel Knese ’93 of Waterloo, Illinois, is chief operating officer of Osborn + Barr Communications.

Knese graduated with a Bachelor of General Studies, public relations and political science options. She has more than 20 years of experience in operations, talent management, human resources and business management.

This year, she will celebrate 11 years with Osborn + Barr Communications. In this role, Knese oversees operations focusing on profitability, operational efficiencies, resource management, creative and media deliverables. As a member of the executive team, she is a key contributor in helping shape agency strategy, talent integration and organizational design across the organization. She is charged with tying intellectual capital to business growth.

Osborn + Barr Communications is a full-service marketing, advertising, public relations and digital agency headquartered in St. Louis with offices in Kansas City and Nashville. It is one of the largest privately held marking firms in the Midwest with $25 million in annual revenue and more than 160 full-time employees.

Prior to joining Osborn + Barr Communications, Knese served as the vice president/director of human resources at D’Arcy Advertising for 10 years. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in leading integration through four mergers and acquisitions for public and private companies.

Knese serves on the board for the 4A’s human resources and training and development committee, is a board member of both Memory Home Care Solutions and the St. Louis chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis, is an active volunteer with the Catholic Charities and St. Vincent De Paul Society and serves as a trustee for her parish, Saints Peter and Paul Church in Waterloo, Illinois.

She is married to Mark Knese, who is also a Southeast alumnus. They are parents to Hannah, who is a sophomore at Southeast this fall, Katie who is a freshman at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Joey, who is a freshman year at St. Louis University High School in St. Louis.



Alumni Merit Award

Dr. Shelton “Butch” Smith ’67 of St. Louis, Missouri, is director of Educational Leadership Programs at Missouri Baptist University. He earned his Bachelor of Science in secondary education, English, Master of Arts in education, secondary administration, in 1973 and specialist degree in educational administration in 1978 at Southeast.

A lifelong career educator, Smith directs Missouri Baptist University’s Educational Leadership Programs, which includes the master’s degree in educational leadership, educational specialist degree for superintendents and the doctorate in teaching and learning. He is professor of doctoral and educational specialist degree courses, chairs several dissertation committees and serves on several university and state advisory committees.

He is a past president and director for the Missouri Professors of Educational Administration. As a consultant to school districts, Smith has facilitated superintendent searches and school district strategic planning. At the state level, he has chaired several Missouri School Improvement Program on-site reviews teams, and he is currently serving on the state Leadership Design Commission, a small group of professional educators who have been principals, superintendents and university professors and who have been charged by the Missouri State Board of Education to revamp and develop a model educational leadership program for Missouri. He is also actively involved in his community.

Prior to his tenure at Missouri Baptist University, Smith served as a high school English teacher, high school principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent of schools in the St. Louis area where he received the highest awards and honors from a variety of professional organizations and the state legislature. In addition, he is a national and state assessment writer and scorer for the Pearson Corporation and Educational Testing Service Corporation.

Smith previously served as associate dean of students at Southeast and is currently president-elect of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. He is a Vietnam veteran, having served as a helicopter pilot and aide to a commanding officer. He loves kayaking, biking, music, golf and travel. He is also a licensed airplane pilot.

He also earned his doctorate in educational leadership in teaching and learning from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Smith and his wife Glenda, who earned an advanced degree from Southeast, have two daughters, Heather and Erika, who both earned their degrees from Southeast, and both sons-in-law, Drew and Craig, earned their degrees from Southeast. He also has four grandchildren: Alyssa, Connor, Karoline and Wyatt.



Alumni Merit Award

Steve Taylor ’81 of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, is president and chief executive officer of First Missouri State Bank of Cape Girardeau County.

Taylor earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in finance and minor in accounting. He is a 1977 graduate of Cape Central High School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Taylor has more than 30 years of banking experience. He began with First Missouri State Bank of Cape Girardeau County in 2002 as the market president, and since 2006 has served in his current role. He is responsible for all aspects of running the bank, including regulatory interaction and reporting that includes credit, liquidity, compliance, information technology and the personnel areas of the bank.

Prior to his current position, he served for five years as the Cape Girardeau County market president for Bank of America, N.A., and for 15 years he was employed in various positions with Bank One Texas, N.A., including as a credit analyst, consumer lender, commercial lender, branch manager, statewide mortgage production manager and eventually district manager with responsibility for 20 branches and 250 employees.

He has been active in the community, having served as past chairman and past treasurer of the United Way of Southeast Missouri, past chairman and past treasurer of the Saint Francis Medical Center Foundation Board and a member of the VIP Industries board, member of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation Board and a member and board member of the Cape Girardeau Noon Lions Club.

Taylor and his wife Kim are the parents of a daughter, Haley. The Taylors reside in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.



Alumni Merit Award

Dr. Mark Wildhaber ’81 of Columbia, Missouri, is a research ecologist and quantitative ecology section chief with the U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center in Columbia, Missouri. He graduated magna cum laude from Southeast with a Bachelor of Science in zoology and mathematics with a minor in chemistry. In addition, he holds a master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries science from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, and a doctorate in zoology with a minor in biomathematics from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.

In addition to his role with the U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center, he has also held adjunct faculty positions at the University of Missouri-Columbia in natural resources, statistics and the Graduate School; at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Texas, in life sciences and at Emporia State University, Kansas, in biological sciences. In addition, he has been a member of the Executive Board of the Conservation Biology Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia. As adjunct faculty, Wildhaber has mentored dozens of undergraduate students who have gone on to graduate school and more than a dozen master’s degree and seven doctoral students who have gone on to careers in academia, federal and state natural resource agencies, and private environmental consulting firms.

Starting as a tropical fish hobbyist and encouraged through undergraduate research at Southeast under Dr. Fred Janzow and with guidance from Dr. Norman Braasch, fish behavior has been a central component of Wildhaber’s research throughout graduate school and his professional career. The mathematics dual major he received from Southeast served as the basis for the other two central components of his research — statistics and modeling. In collaboration with faculty and graduate students at the University of Missouri, his research has produced new statistical approaches to analysis of behavioral and ecological data. He has used the dual aspects of behavior and mathematical modeling to develop ecological models which use global environmental conditions to forecast regional and local conditions and, ultimately, the response of fish and their populations to changes in those conditions.

He is currently a Fellow of the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists and a member of the American Fisheries Society, American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Animal Behavior Society, and World Sturgeon Conservation Society. He has authored and/or co-authored more than 50 scientific articles in regional, national, and international journals and numerous book chapters along with a similar number of scientific agency reports. Much of this research was published to provide support for conservation and recovery efforts associated with threatened and endangered fish species to help inform the decision processes of federal, state and local natural resource managers.

He was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Wildhaber and his wife Vickie, who graduated from Southeast in 1980, currently live in Columbia, Missouri. Their son, Eric, is a landscape architect in San Antonio, Texas. Their daughter, Rachel, is a mathematics teacher for Wake County Public Schools, Raleigh, North Carolina.


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