Alumni Awards

Alumni Awards

Each year, the Southeast Alumni Association selects honorable alumni and friends who have brought distinction to themselves and Southeast for recognition during Homecoming.

Alumni Merit Award / Dr. Steven Curtis ’67
Steven has been teaching vocal music since 1968 at elementary, middle, and high schools. He also served as a faculty member for 10 years at Southeast and 21 years at Oklahoma University. He is now retired and stays very active in the community in which he lives.






Alumni Merit Award / Patricia Reinhart ’81
Trish is a retired sales executive with experience at a number of companies, including Brown She, Nestle Purina, Stride Rite, and Procter & Gamble. She received a Bachelor of Science majoring in home economics. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority.






Alumni Merit Award / Jon Robinson ’99
Jon is the general manager of the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, majoring in mathematics education. While at Southeast, he played football for three years. He became a scout for the New England Patriots in 2002 and in 2013 became director of player personnel for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He joined the Tennessee Titans as GM in 2016.





Alumni Merit Award / Don Taylor ’79
Don is a geologist whose most notable achievement in the field are the discovery of the “Taylor Deposit,” named for him and one of the largest zinc/silver/lead deposits in the world, valued around $6 billion. He won the 2018 Thayler Lindsley Award by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. Don also has a dedication to making mining environmentally sustainable. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in geology.





Faculty Merit Award / Dr. Debbie Lee DiStefano
Since joining the faculty in 2001, Debbie has been engaged in efforts to expand the offerings of her discipline and increase collaboration with other fields of study. She created the minor in Spanish for the Health Professions, working closely with Department of Nursing faculty. She has helped initiate international partner exchanges and serves as the study abroad coordinator for the Department of Communication Studies and Modern Languages.





Distinguished Service Award / Abbie Crites-Leoni ’93
Abbie earned a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Spanish and theatre. Then, received a law degree and began her legal career as an assistant prosecutor. She was hired by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and specialized in prosecuting cases involving drug trafficking, child exploitation, and government program fraud. In February 2014, she was sworn in as a U.S. magistrate judge, becoming the first female federal judge appointed to work full-time in Cape Girardeau.





Distinguished Young Alumni Service Award / Dane Huxel ’06
Dane is a State Farm Insurance owner/agent in south St. Louis. Dane graduated with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in manufacturing engineering technology. He currently serves as a member of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation Board of Directors. As a student, Dane was Student Government president, in the Golden Eagles Marching Band, a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and an active member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.





See more at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *