- From the Mosh Pit
- Provost thoughts
- Teaching and Learning
- The Privileged Voice
- Food for Thought
- SGA Stripped
- Dr. Bruce's Musings
- President Vargas' Blog
- Question All
- Mental Matters
From the Mosh Pit
by Dr. Debbie Lee-Distefano
I'm a professor of Spanish. I have two kids. Social justice is very important to me. I believe in community. We can't better society if we don't engage it.
by Dr. Karl Kunkel
I completed a Ph.D. in Sociology with emphasis in Criminology/Deviance from the University of Missouri and then spent 22 years as a faculty member, including 2003-2011 as a Department Chair. Seventeen of these years were spent at Missouri State where I received two university-level teaching awards. In 2011, I was named Dean of Arts and Sciences at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, spending 4.5 years in that position before becoming Provost (Chief Academic Officer) at Southeast in February 2016.
Teaching and Learning
by Brooke Clubbs
I am originally from Kankakee, Illinois. I came to Southeast on a Governor's Scholarship in 1994 and graduated with my BSEd in speech and theatre education in 1998. I met my husband, Bob, who is from Malden, MO, when we were both in the education program. We went away to Western Illinois University to complete our Master of Fine Arts degrees. In 2001, his MFA in Directing led to teaching speech and theatre at Jackson High School and my MFA in Acting took me on a tour of the East Coast as Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol. I started teaching adjunct at Southeast after our first daughter was born. One thing led to another and I ended up with another degree (a Master of Science in Health Communication from the University of Illinois), two more kids, two dogs, a house, and a full time job at the university where I started the health communication program for the Department of Communication Studies. I am currently back in school again pursuing my doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. I write for the special publications of The Missourian and host a weekly two minute segment called "To Your Health" on KRCU. I advise for and volunteer with Jimmy's Friends, the student volunteer organization I created to provide social support to hospitalized children, their providers, and their families. I regularly raise the ire of Southeast Missourian commentors with my efforts for social justice.
In my free time I love cooking, running, trying to learn Spanish, scrapbooking, going for coffee, and spending time with my family. Also, I break out into show tunes and Disney songs...seemingly randomly.
The Privileged Voice
by Dr. Kirsten LaMantia
Chicago is my home. I love tattoos and hairless cats (I have many tattoos, two hairless cats, and one tattoo of my two hairless cats). I am a counselor. I am an assistant professor. I am an advocate. I live in Cape Girardeau with my (soon to be) wife.
Food for Thought, Words of encouragement, Motivation
by Dr. Shonta Smith
Dr. Shonta Smith is a tenured Associate Professor in the Elementary, Early and Special Education Department. She is the "Essence of Education". Her mantra is One Team-One Goal-One Band-One Sound. She has been an educator for over 25 years and has worked at the elementary, middle school, high school and collegiate levels. She is passionate about inspiring and encouraging individuals to be the best they can be.
by Peyton Mogley
Peyton Mogley, pronounced Mow-gli like the character from the Jungle Book, is a sprightly and quirky Senior happily studying Corporate Communication and Marketing Communication at Southeast Missouri State University. Over the course of her almost four years at this institution she has learned to embrace diversity in every facet of the word and looks forward to meeting new people from new places in an effort to aid them in their conquests to be the best people, students, and leaders they can be! She enjoys giving hugs, admiring the adorable nature of other people’s children from afar, consuming mass quantities of extra chunky peanut butter in one sitting, working collaboratively to create goodwill campaigns, and waking up early in the morning to run around in joggers and watch the sunrise atop buildings. Nothing gets Peyton more excited than an opportunity to talk about the University she loves most...not even a free trip to a Taco Bell for a discounted 5 buck big box, though it comes as a close second.
Dr. Bruce's Musings
by Dr. Bruce Skinner
Dr. Bruce Skinner joined the University in 1999 as a graduate student in Public Administration working with the Office of Residence Life as a Hall Director. Skinner has served in a variety of roles within the Office of Residence Life before moving into his current role of as the Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Auxiliary Services in 2013. In his current role, Skinner is responsible for the direction and efforts of a variety of campus departments, third party service providers and university initiatives. In addition to SkinnerÂ’s administrative role he shares time teaching graduate classes higher education administration program for the College of Education and undergraduate courses in United States Political Systems and First Year Student Seminars on law, policy, and decision making.
Skinner is originally from St. Louis City and completed his Bachelor in Science in Political Science with a minor in economics and criminal justice from Southeast. Skinner completed his Masters in Administration with an emphasis in Public Administration. Skinner received his Doctorate of Education in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri. Skinner was selected a dissertation of the year finalist for his research on the funding of public higher education by the Missouri legislature.
President Vargas' Blog
by Dr. Carlos Vargas
Dr. Carlos Vargas became the 18th president of Southeast Missouri State University July 1, 2015, after having served as acting president at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.
Since becoming president, Dr. Vargas has launched initiatives to marshal the resources, leverage opportunities and address a variety of challenges and needs of Southeast Missouri State University. He has set as primary goals for the institution the support for student persistence and retention.
He has encouraged and supported the identification and development of innovative academic programs, including bachelor's degrees in Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Geographic Information Science, and industrial and systems engineering. He has continued to support the globalization of the campus through expansion of study-abroad experiences, extensive engagement of international students, and encouragement of students on campus and abroad to explore cultural interaction. He has championed the work of the President's Task Force on Diversity Education and continued emphasizing the expectations for enhancement of the teacher-scholar model. Under President Vargas' leadership, regional partnerships and collaborations have been solidified, including several joint initiatives with Three Rivers, Mineral Area and other community colleges.
Prior to assuming the presidency at Southeast, Dr. Vargas served one year as acting president of Kutztown University, where he also served as the provost and vice president for academic and student affairs.
Prior to his tenure at Kutztown, Dr. Vargas was at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, where he served as provost and vice president for academic affairs. He previously served in several roles at Kent State University (Ohio) for a total of 18 years, including founding director of the program on electron beam technology. He was also Kent's associate dean for research, interim assistant dean for research and interim assistant dean for the School of Technology. He started his tenure at Kent State in 1985 as a professor, and continued to teach until his departure from the university in 2003.
Dr. Vargas began his career in higher education at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), from which he received a Bachelor of Science in physics.
He earned his Ph.D. in physics and aerospace science from the University of Michigan and he has Master of Science degrees from Michigan in both physics and aerospace science. He is married to Pam Vargas, who currently serves as director of Research and Grant Development at Southeast, and they have a son, a daughter, and two granddaughters.
by Eli Bohnert
I was born and raised by two wonderful parents in Perryville, Missouri where the course of my life was radically different from most of my peers. Being homeschooled until high school is where I trace my independent, outside of the box thinking roots back to. I believe in challenging all ideals society expects of us as it is the only way we can progress. I enjoy being "that guy" who always has a different outlook on an issue than the majority of people around me. I have a deep commitment to advocating for those who are unable to advocate for themselves and using my privilege for good. My current projects are public health related and I am in the midst of my fellowship with the Truth Initiative, working to reach out to marginalized youth in the project I am working on in the St. Louis region. I occasionally have tendencies to call myself a professional because of my "grown-up" volunteer work in politics, whether it be campaigning, advocating for a change in a law, or political education, but my high school sense of humor pops out sometimes and distorts it all. Back here at Southeast, I have had the honor of serving in Student Government as a First-Year Senator as well as being the Vice President of Finance for College Democrats. Feel free to say "hello" to me whether it be online in the comments section of a post while I'm in the midst of a debate or while walking by me on campus! Society can only improve when we make human connections with others.
by Kennedy Meyer
I came to Southeast as a psychology major in 2015 but quickly altered my path. After pursuing exceptional child education for almost a year, I decided that wasn’t my passion. I was a part of my high school newspaper staff, but never considered journalism to be a career choice. This was the point in my life that I decided to pursue my passion. I’m earning a degree in mass communications with a specialization in multimedia journalism, and I am loving every minute of it.
I’m a bookworm to say the least; although, I just read Harry Potter for the very first time last year (I know, right?) and fell in love with the series. I actively watch nature documentaries, true crime television, and I binge watch series after series. I’m hoping this blog will allow me to develop as a writer and as a person dealing with anxiety. I hope to connect with readers, to help those who seek help and to grow in the process. Mental health matters and I’m here to help spread awareness as to how it affects everyone.