Alumni Association Honoring Alumni, Faculty with 2013 Merit Awards
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Seven alumni and one faculty
member will receive Merit Awards presented by the Southeast Missouri
State University Alumni Association Oct. 25 at the Copper Dome
Society/Merit Recognition Program during the Homecoming celebration.
Since 1958, Alumni Merit Awards have been presented to
Southeast graduates who have brought distinction to themselves and the
This year’s Alumni Merit Award recipients are: Cynthia Boren,
’75, of Alexandria, Va., deputy sports editor of The Washington Post;
Dr. Bernard DuBray, ’69, of St. Peters, Mo., superintendent of the Fort
Zumwalt School District in O’Fallon, Mo.; Dr. Julie Harper, ’91, of
Birmingham, Ala., practicing dermatologist and associate professor of
dermatology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and founding
director of the American Acne and Rosacea Society; Rodney Hudson, ’71,
of Syracuse, N.Y., a faculty member with the Syracuse University Drama
Department; Dr. Randal Otto, ’77, MD, FACS, of San Antonio, Texas,
professor and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck
Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio;
Jim Piatchek, ’63, of Lakeland, Tenn., co-founder and chief executive
officer of the Senior Advisory Group and The Professional Disturber as
well as a Chartered Life Underwriter, a Chartered Financial Consultant
and a Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor; and Dennis J. Kehm, ‘65, of
Festus, Mo., retired Circuit Judge, 23rd Judicial Circuit, Division 4,
Jefferson County, Missouri.
Receiving the Faculty Merit award will be Dr. Michael Aide,
professor of agriculture and chair of the Department of Agriculture at
Boren, a 1975 Southeast graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in
English, is deputy sports editor of The Washington Post, focusing on
real-time national and local sports coverage.
She has spent her career in journalism as a sportswriter and
sports editor and considers herself extraordinarily lucky to be paid to
watch sports and think about sports all day -- and most evenings. She
has worked as a writer and editor at every stop, Kansas City, St. Louis,
Hartford, New York City and Washington, D.C. Since 2000, she has been
employed at The Washington Post, where she began as the editor in charge
of baseball, NFL and Redskins coverage. For the last three years, she
has written The Early Lead for the Post as well as contributing to
Redskins game coverage. Her present mission has been helping The Post
meet the challenge of advancing into the digital age by taking content,
community access, commentary and analysis across all platforms -- to the
Web, mobile devices and social media.
Dr. Bernard DuBray
DuBray, a 1969 Southeast graduate with a Bachelor of Science
in Education with a double major in social science and history and a
minor in biology, is superintendent in the Fort Zumwalt School District
in O’Fallon, Mo.
Subsequently, he received two master’s degrees from the
University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1974 and 1977. He received a Doctor
of Education in 1984 from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
He is completing 45 years as an educator in three Missouri
school districts. During his career, he has served as a teacher, coach,
principal, assistant superintendent and most recently, superintendent.
This year is his 29th year as superintendent in the Fort Zumwalt School
District, and he is currently the longest serving superintendent in the
same K-12 school district in the state of Missouri. At the district
office level, he has experience in special education, personnel,
finance, public relations, federal programs and curriculum.
DuBray has been the subject of three resolutions by the
Missouri House of Representatives and numerous awards from organizations
including the Boy Scouts of America, the St. Charles County Amateur
Sports Hall of Fame, the St. Charles Business Magazine, Phi Delta Kappa,
the St. Peters Chamber of Commerce and the Southeast Missouri State
University Alumni Association.
He currently serves as chairman of the board for the Missouri
United Schools Insurance Council (M.U.S.I.C.), vice chairman of the
Great Rivers Greenway District and chairman of the Twin Rivers District
of Learning for Life Scouting. He is a current and contributing member
to the Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce, the O’Fallon
Chamber of Commerce and the St. Louis Regional Chamber.
He has been married for 45 years to his wife, JoAnn, and has
three children who are all graduates of the Fort Zumwalt School District
and currently in professional positions.
He says he is most proud of directing the school district
through a rapid growth period that has seen the district become the
sixth largest in the state with nearly 19,000 students. During that
time, the district has passed $315 million in bond issues to support the
growth and seven tax increases for operating expenses. He has been
directly involved in designing and constructing eight elementary
schools, two middle schools and four high schools.
Dr. Julie Harper
Harper, a 1991 Southeast graduate with a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies, is a practicing dermatologist and associate professor of
dermatology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and founding
director of the American Acne and Rosacea Society.
After completing her studies at Southeast, Harper earned a medical degree from the University of Missouri in 1996.
She was elected, based on her academic performance, into the
prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha honor society and was the vice president
of her senior medical school class. She completed an internship in
Internal Medicine and a dermatology residency at the University of
Missouri. Upon completion of her medical training she joined the faculty
of the University of Alabama-Birmingham and was promoted to associate
professor of dermatology during her tenure at the university.
Harper is now in a private dermatology practice in Birmingham
where she treats skin cancer, acne, eczema and other common and
not-so-common dermatology maladies.
She is widely published in the medical literature and
frequently quoted in the lay press. She lectures across the country,
South America and Europe and has even made red carpet appearances at the
Grammy Awards, SAG Awards and the Oscars. Most recently, she was cast
in the CeraVe skin care national television advertisement.
Harper is respected as a national and international thought
leader in acne and rosacea disorders, and is a fellow of the American
Academy of Dermatology. She volunteers at annual free skin cancer
screenings in her community, teaches Sunday school and recently
participated in a medical mission trip to Urubamba, Peru.
Harper was named Cape County’s Junior Miss and Missouri’s
Junior Miss in 1987, giving her a full four-year scholarship to
Southeast Missouri State University.
Harper says Southeast was part of Harper’s life even before
matriculation. She took private oboe lessons for many years in the
Department of Music and attended summer marching auxilliaries camps on
campus. Her older sister and now brother-in-law both earned degrees from
Southeast and another sister, brother, mother and two nieces have also
graduated from the University.
She was a member of the Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Chi and Beta
Beta Beta biological honor societies. While at Southeast, she was
involved in the Student Government Association and was elected Student
Government treasurer. She completed the Emerging Leaders program and was
active in the Baptist Student Union and College Republicans. Off
campus, she competed in the Miss Missouri pageant for two years and
enjoyed traveling the state and performing with the Missouri Girls.
Harper is married to Vincent Pappalardo and has two children,
Luke, 9, and Claire, 7. She is the daughter of Paul and Pam Harper.
Hudson, a 1971 Southeast graduate with a Bachelor of Music
Education, has been a faculty member in the Syracuse University Drama
Department for 20 years, teaching musical theatre performance, acting
and directing. Over the years, he has distinguished himself as an actor
playing principal roles in a number of regional theatres and festivals.
He also has performed with several orchestras and operas and has had
television and film roles.
He attributes his success to his Southeast professors, Doyle
Dumas and Donald Schulte, who encouraged him to pursue a professional
career, now lasting nearly 40 years.
After graduating from Southeast, Hudson completed a master’s
degree in theatre in 1974 at the University of South Dakota. He headed
to New York City in 1975 after earning his Equity card. Finding a
theatre home base in Greenwich Village’s 31 Perry Street Theatre, Hudson
acted the title character in Eugene O’Neill’s “The Emperor Jones”
directed by Schulte. He acted at Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre with
composer/director Elizabeth Swados in her “Dispatches” and “Alice in
Wonderland,” playing multiple characters opposite Meryl Streep’s
“Alice,” later televised by NBC as “Alice at the Palace.” He also played
Calchas in director Andrei Serban’s Greek tragedy “Agamemnon” at
In the late 1980s, Hudson joined the acting company of
Harvard University’s American Repertory Theatre for three seasons,
performing Servan’s “The King Stag” and Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame.”
Hudson also worked with theatre auteur, Robert Wilson, in his
“Alcestis,” playing Death, which won Best Foreign Production at the
Autumn Festival in Paris in 1987.
A “character-actor gypsy,” Hudson has spent years on the
regional theatre circuit. He has performed 15 Shakespearean roles,
including Bolingbroke in “Richard II” in the Actor’s Outlet in New York
City, Bottom in “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream” in the Williamstown
Theatre Festival, Malvolio in “Twelfth Night” on the Syracuse Stage, Don
Pedro in “Much Ado About Nothing” at the La Jolla Playhouse and Boyet
in “Love’s Labours Lost.” He also has played dramatic roles, including
Lenny in “Of Mice and Men” at the Cider Mill Playhouse, Mephistopheles
in “Faust” at the 31 Perry Street Theatre, Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot
Tin Roof” at Theatre Virginia and Bynum in “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”
at Theatre Virginia.
A lyric tenor, Hudson has performed musical roles as Tony in
“West Side Story” at the Black Hills Playhouse, Captain Hook in “Peter
Pan,” Fagin in “Oliver!” and the Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz” on
the all Syracuse Stage, Macheath in “The Threepenny Opera” with the
Canadian Stage Company in Toronto and Leading Player in “Pippin” with
the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.
Hudson has sung Broadway repertoire with the Minnesota
Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, 92nd Street Y and Houston Symphony, Omaha
Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Indianapolis
Symphony, Phoenix Symphony and the New Jersey Symphony.
He was a series regular in NBC’s “Marblehead Manor, and his
acting in the short film, “A Lady in Waiting” won an Academy Award
nomination in 1992.
Dennis J. Kehm
Kehm, a 1965 Southeast graduate with a Bachelor of Science in
Education-secondary with majors in history and social science, is a
retired Circuit Judge, 23rd Judicial Circuit, Division 4, Jefferson
Kehm is a native of St. Louis. He attended the University of
Missouri Normandy Residence Center, renamed the University of
Missouri-St. Louis in 1960 before entering Southeast Missouri State
College, now Southeast Missouri State University, in 1962. He graduated
in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science in Education-secondary with majors in
history and social science.
The next year he pursued a course of study at Washington
University in Chinese and Japanese history and Japanese language. He
then took a job with the Hillsboro R-III School District as a history
teacher. He taught high school the next three years. It was while
teaching that he met, fell in love and married his wife Dorothea.
In September 1969, he entered law school at the University of
Missouri at Kansas City and graduated with a Juris Doctorate in 1972.
He was in private practice until returning to Jefferson
County as an assistant prosecuting attorney. He served as a Prosecuting
Attorney until he was elected Circuit Judge in 1986. During his 20 years
on the bench in a court of general jurisdiction, he served as Presiding
Judge, Judge of the Family Court, Probate and Juvenile Judge and
Administrative Judge of the Family Court. He retired on Jan. 1, 2007,
and served as a judicial educator and consultant thereafter.
Kehm and his wife Dorothea, a career educator, have been
fortunate to work together on a number of innovative programs for the
benefit of young people. They continue to work is this area as
volunteers and are proud of their careers in public service.
While serving as the Chair of the Family Courts Committee of
the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, he hosted five
national conferences on the Family Court. He also has worked in the
field of domestic violence as an instructor, consultant and author. A
life member of the Missouri Juvenile Justice Association, he is
recipient of the prestigious Andrew Jackson Higgins Award for Excellence
in Juvenile Justice. Kehm has been a member of the Missouri Division of
Youth Services Statewide Advisory Board for more than 20 years and
president of the Board for 10 years. He was a recipient of the Southeast
Salutes Award in 2003. He is a board member and immediate past
president of the Jefferson College Foundation.
Kehm and his wife have two children, Laura Flannery and Dennis Kehm, Jr., and five grandchildren.
Kehm says Southeast was a great learning experience in
working with others. His mentors, Dr. Thomas Davis, Dr. George Ketcham
and Dr. Thomas Isreal, imbued him with a sense of duty to students and
provided exceptional support during difficult times. Kehm is a life
member and former trustee of the National Council of Juvenile and Family
“The Alumni Merit Award means a great deal to me. I attribute
my desire to continue my education, my work ethic, my devotion to
public service together with any success I have achieved to my years at
Southeast,” Kehm said.
Dr. Randal Otto
Otto, a 1977 Southeast graduate with a degree in chemistry,
is professor and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck
Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San
Antonio, Texas, a position he has held since 2001. He holds the
department’s Thomas Walthall Folbre, M.D. Endowed Chair.
“Education empowers, and SEMO was one of the many blessings I have received,” he said.
A Sikeston, Mo., native, Otto went on to earn a medical
degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine, followed by
internships in pathology at the University of Hawaii and General Surgery
at the University of Missouri School of Medicine with residency
training in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. His research interests
are in head and neck oncology, diseases of the thyroid and parathyroid,
and paranasal sinus disease; lecturing nationally and internationally
on these topics. He previously has served as physician in chief of the
Cancer Therapy and Research Center in San Antonio and has served as
Major in the U.S. Army Reserve. He is an active participant of
international medical missions and co-founded, with his wife, the
Magdalena House-a shelter for battered women and children located in San
Antonio Texas. He has been honored many times, including being selected
as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, a
professional medical organization recognizing and advocating for
excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of
medicine. He has also been consistently selected among the Best Doctors
in America; America’s Top Doctors and America’s Top Doctors for Cancer
over the last decade.
He is a member of the board of the Association of Academic
Departments of Otolaryngology and Strong Missions, a fellow of the
Triological Society, American Society for Head and Neck Surgery, the
American College of Surgeons and the American Board of Otolaryngology
and a member of the of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and
Neck Surgery, Bexar County Medical Society, the Society of University
Otolaryngologists-Head and Neck Surgeons and the Texas Medical
Piatchek is a 1963 Southeast graduate with a Bachelor of
Science in Business Administration with a major in marketing and a minor
in economics. He, with his wife, Sally, is the co-founder and chief
executive officer of the Senior Advisory Retirement Coach and The
Professional Disturber. He is a Chartered Life Underwriter, a Chartered
Financial Consultant and a Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor.
He is a nationally recognized author, financial advisor and
motivational speaker. He also is a member of the Million Dollar Round
Table, an honor received by less than one percent of the world’s most
successful insurance and financial services professionals in 76 nations
and territories. He has qualified for “Top of the Table,” which means he
earns at least six times the base production required to be in the
He has 40 years of business experience in sales and
marketing. He and his wife, Sally, have conducted hundreds of retirement
seminars for seniors and pre-retirees and reached thousands of
individuals seeking financial advice before and during retirement.
Piatchek started his own publishing company, “The Professional
Disturber,” in 2004, the name under which his four books, CDs and DVDs
are published. In 2011, he was named the “5 Star” Professional Wealth
Manager of the Year by Memphis Magazine. Piatchek and his company also
were selected for the “2013 Best of Memphis Award.”
He has been recognized by “Who’s Who” among Executives and
Professionals and has been a member of the International Association of
Financial Planners, Shelby County Council on Aging, The Memphis Estate
Planning Council and the National and Memphis Association of Insurance
and Financial Advisors. A member of the National Ethics Bureau, Piatchek
has hired and trained more than 1,000 professional advisors.
Piatchek currently serves on the Southeast Missouri State
University Alumni Association Board of Directors. He founded the Memphis
Alumni Association, established an annual scholarship program for needy
students and is a member of the Copper Dome Society and the President’s
Council at the Heritage Club level. In addition, he and his wife have
donated and furnished a separate wing of entrepreneurial books,
materials and courses to the University’s Douglas C. Greene Center for
Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Piatchek has spoken to students and
faculty in Southeast’s Donald L. Harrison College of Business. He is
also known for forming a group of students who dribbled a basketball 180
miles to Evansville, Ind., for the NCAA College Division National
Tournament for the 1960-1961 men’s basketball team which recently was
inducted into the University Hall of Fame. This event has been featured
in his book, “Winning the Rejection Olympics” with many articles
published in newspapers and the Center for Regional History.
He is a permanent ordained deacon in the West Tennessee
Catholic Diocese, serving St. Francis of Assisi and St. Brigid parishes
in Memphis, and is the director of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Mission
in Memphis that serves up to 250 homeless every day. He was also a
founding member and first president of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters in
Mississippi and the originator and first chairman of the St. Francis of
Assisi Oktoberfest, the largest in the Mid-South.
Piatchek and his wife, Sally, are ardent St. Louis Cardinals
fans, motorcyclists and avid runners. They have five children and four
grandchildren, and are 30-year residents of the Mid-South.
Dr. Michael Aide
Receiving this year’s Faculty Merit Award will be Dr. Michael
Aide. The Faculty Merit Award is presented for excellence in teaching.
Aide is an educator and scientist devoted to introducing
students to the discipline of soil science and crop production. He has
undergraduate degrees in mathematics, chemistry and soil science from
the University of Wisconsin and graduate degrees in soil chemistry from
Mississippi State University.
Aide’s professional life began in 1982 when he accepted an
assistant professor position in the Department of Agriculture at
Southeast. Now as chair of the department, he oversees development of
the department’s faculty, programs and auxiliaries. The Department of
Agriculture’s teaching and research holdings include the David M. Barton
Agriculture Research Center, the Charles Hutson Horticulture
Greenhouse, the Charles Nemanick Alternative Agriculture Garden and the
Biomass/Biofuels Research and Demonstration Field at Southeast’s
He also administers the agribusiness program at Southeast’s
Sikeston, Malden and Kennett, Mo., campuses. The Bootheel agribusiness
program was launched in 2010 and has served as a major boost to the
plant and soil sciences curriculum.
Aide and Southeast’s agriculture faculty support the Missouri
Rice Research and Merchandising Council in operating the Missouri Rice
Research Farm and the Missouri Rice Breeding Program.
Aide’s research interests are soil chemistry and rice soil
fertility. He teaches courses on soils, soil fertility and plant
nutrition, plant pathology, weed science and water management. He is the
author of numerous grants, all of which serve the interests of the
Department of Agriculture and Southeast.
Recently, he has had several articles published on modeling
of lead (Pb) speciation and surface adsorption on phyllosilicate
assemblages, the soil chemistry of arsenic and its uptake patterns in
rice, and nitrate mitigation in irrigation systems.
Aide is past president of the Missouri Academy of Science and
an adjunct professor in the Department of Soil Science and Atmospheric
Sciences at the University Missouri-Columbia.