Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Annual Power of Women Luncheon honors nine students

Monday, April 16, 2018

Southeast Missouri State University alumna Tricia Reinhart will be the keynote speaker at the Power of Women Luncheon and Expo.

Reinhart graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science and since she has been a successful business leader with a passion for mentorship, service and philanthropy.

The committee of Power of Women pick from Southeast alumnae who have graduated over 20 years ago and who has had success in their lives.

After establishing an endowed scholarship a year ago at Southeast, Reinhart was asked to speak at this year’s luncheon.

She will be speaking on “Seeds of Intention.” She will discuss how we can make a difference in lives in big and small ways when we talk to people.

There will be nine scholarship recipients honored at this luncheon; Brittany Ellis, Heather Smallwood, Michelle Otte, Mahala Landeros, Rachel Fox, Shannon Kobal, Sadie Roy, Sydney Driscoll and Sarah Monteiro.

The recipients are required to have 3.0 GPA, must be a junior or a senior, submit an application essay and letter of recommendation, and explain how they serve others in their community. These applications are reviewed by the women in the community to decide on who will receive the scholarship.

Fox, a junior majoring in political science with a emphasis in public relations, said she has been inspired by Power of Women since her freshman year after being invited to the luncheon by president Dr. Carlos Vargas.

“I remember my freshman year thinking I want to be on stage, I want to be one of those recipients,” Fox said.

Trudy Lee, interim vice president for advancement said the motivation behind Power of Women was to provide opportunities for Southeast students and young women to interact with community business leaders on and off campus and to transform, empower and connect.

After having a good turnout for Power of Women, the committee saw their luncheon as an opportunity to raise money for their endowed scholarship.

“We have created a scholarship that we have awarded to 34 young women at Southeast now, so that was our purpose,” Lee said

Everything over and above the cost of the event will go toward scholarships for the recipients.

“Last year we made $16,000 off the event, and this year we are going to exceed that,” Lee said. “We are hoping to exceed $20,000 this year in the money we are able to put toward scholarships.”

Michele Irby, director of Campus Life and Event Services, helps with Power of Women by getting young women to work as student ambassadors at the event. She said this is a way for them to network as well as work.

“Work is a really loose term; they sit at tables with women whose job is to tell their personal story. We know that if you feel like you have connected with someone, they are more likely to be a donor,” Irby said.

Power or Women will be hosting it’s 7th annual Luncheon and Expo, Wednesday, April 18, at the Show Me Center, Cape Girardeau. The Expo will take place from 10:30 until 11:45 a.m. and the Luncheon 11:45 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The event by sponsored by Bold Marketing, Edward Jones, Southern Bank, Chartwell, FOX 23, River Radio and SoutheastHEALTH.

The event is free for students and tickets can be picked up at the University Center in Campus Life and Event Services office.

For more information about the Power of Women Scholarship and luncheon, visit