Week of April 09, 2001




Gaylon Lawrence Sr. of Sikeston, Mo., and Clinton Futrell, president of First National Bank, Malden, Dexter and Clarkton, recently presented checks and pledges totaling $250,000 to the Southeast Missouri University Foundation's $35 million capital campaign.

The "125 Years: Prologue to the 21st Century Campaign" is designed to advance several major projects at Southeast Missouri State University, including enhancements to the Harry L. Crisp Bootheel Education Center (CBEC) in Malden, expansion of scholarships and the development of the River Campus

"This is a substantial gift and will contribute significantly to reaching our campaign goals," said Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University. "We thank Mr. Lawrence and the First National Bank for their generosity, which will enable the University to realize its vision."

Dobbins, who accepted the checks and pledges today in Malden, said that based on today's gift, funds raised at the CBEC's "Growing Again for the New Millennium" Annual

Fund-Raising Dinner April 6 will be matched dollar for dollar by the Foundation. In addition, a room will be named for Mr. Lawrence when the CBEC is expanded.

In a joint statement, Lawrence and Futrell said, "It is an honor and pleasure to give back to the community in a way that will help build additional classrooms at the Bootheel Education Center in Malden. We can make no greater impact for our young people than by providing funds and facilities necessary for higher educational opportunities."

Lawrence and First National Bank have a long history of generosity and have been very supportive of the University Foundation and the University over the years. Both are members of the Foundation's prestigious President's Council. In 1997, the First National Bank/Gaylon Lawrence Endowed Scholarship was established with the Foundation. The fund has en endowment of over $100,000 and currently provides $6,000 in scholarships annually for students at the CBEC.

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In an incredible display of academic ability, Southeast Missouri State University senior Christopher Hittinger of Indianapolis, Ind., has captured two of the most coveted and competitive awards in the field of science, virtually guaranteeing his choice of any university in the United States for entry into a doctoral program.

Hittinger has received both a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Fellowship and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship. He plans to accept the Hughes Fellowship.

"It is certainly an honor for someone from a smaller liberal arts institution to be selected," Hittinger said. "I think it reflects well on this program."

The NSF Research Fellowship provides $30,000 for four years of doctoral education expenses. Competition for the award is stiff, and requirements for consideration are extensive and demanding. Hittinger is among just 234 to receive the award from some 2,000 quality candidates.

"Winners represent the best of the best," said. Dr. Walt Lilly, Southeast professor of biology, adding that NSF awards are presented in a wide range of disciplines, including economics, psychology and engineering.

In addition to the NSF Research Fellowship, Hittinger also has received word that he has won the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship. This award focuses on persons who pursue doctoral studies in biology with an emphasis on molecular biology and microbiology. The Hughes award is even more competitive with 92 awards presented nationwide from some 1,088 exemplary applicants. Nineteen recipients were from Hittinger's area of research - genetics. At any one time, there are only about 400 of these fellows in the country.

The Hughes Fellowship pays $34,000 for five years of doctoral study and ensures Hittinger's entrance into any doctoral program of his choice.

"These are the most prestigious fellowship awards that a person interested in biology can earn," Lilly said.

A Governor's Scholar at Southeast, Hittinger holds a 4.0 grade point average and is set to graduate from the University in May with a bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry. His primary focus has been in molecular biology where he has worked under the guidance of Dr. Allen Gathman, Southeast professor of biology.

Hittinger is responsible for authoring and co-authoring 29 gene sequence records for the national DNA sequence data base known as GenBank. Last summer, he completed a NSF-Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellowship at Landick Laboratory in the Department of Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At Southeast, he is an undergraduate researcher in the Southeast Fungal Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Group, where he has served for the past three years. He has authored and coauthored several publications.

"I have had an outstanding undergraduate research experience. We do an excellent job of providing these opportunities to students here," Hittinger said. "I want to thank Drs. Gathman and Lilly

for the research experience I have had here. It has been invaluable. Without that, I would not have been competitive for either one of these fellowships. This University has some excellent labs going here."

He is a Robert C. Byrd Scholar, participates in Southeast's Honors Program, was named Organic Chemistry Student of the Year in 1998-1999 and has been named to the College of Science and Mathematics Dean's List consistently since fall 1997.

Hittinger also has participated in a number of activities outside of the science field including holding office as a student senator and participating in several student organizations such as the

Mansfield-Kunzig Forum, a philosophical and political debate and discussion platform; Preserving Our Planet, a student environmental organization; and Beta Beta Beta biological honor society.

Gathman, Hittinger's mentor, has expressed his admiration of Hittinger's successes.

"He is an intellectual, in the sense of someone who is excited and curious about a wide range of subjects," Gathman said. "I have never taught a student who showed more promise to make a home for himself as a research scientist. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be hearing more about him in the future."

Hittinger applied to several prestigious doctoral programs including at the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Washington, University of California -- San Diego, The University of Chicago and Stanford. He received competitive offers from all of them but has chosen to attend the University of Wisconsin, to study with renowned molecular biologist Sean Carroll, concentrating on problems regarding molecular regulation of development.

Eventually, Hittinger says he would like to pursue a faculty position, where he will have the opportunity to both teach and conduct research.

Hittinger's academic success extends back into high school in his native Indiana. Hittinger arrived here as valedictorian of Southport High School in Indianapolis. He was the recipient of the

Indiana Academic Honors Diploma, was a National Merit Finalist, was a member of the National Honor Society, is an Eagle Scout and received the Indiana Academic All-Star Award, denoting him as one of the top 40 high school graduates in Indiana. Hittinger also received two department awards during his high school tenure -- the Departmental Award for Science and the Departmental Award for Mathematics.

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Dr. Ginny Moore, associate professor of accounting, finance and business law at Southeast Missouri State University, has been named coordinator of the Women's Studies Program at Southeast.

Moore began teaching business law at Southeast five years ago and was promoted to the position of associate professor last year. Her desire to serve as a positive role model for women led her to become involved in The Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life in St. Louis. As a result of her connection with the institute, she organized and now advises a new student organization, Women in Public Life (WPL), for women on campus. Earlier this month, WPL hosted the "Empowering Women" seminar at which U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson delivered the keynote address.

The Women's Studies Program offers a 15-hour minor that includes classes in speech communication, literature, history and women's studies. Because of the variety of classes offered in the minor, many of which are offered as University Studies courses, this is a minor in which anyone can participate. Moore says she hopes to spread the word about this minor so more students will get involved with the program.

"One of my main goals is to create a broad appeal for any student on campus to find that a minor in women's studies is an important asset to them and should complement whatever major they have declared," said Moore. "I also hope to organize events that will provide mentoring and networking for female students to meet successful women in all walks of life."

Moore will begin her new position by meeting with students in the minor and with a committee of faculty members who are currently involved in the Women's Studies Program. The committee will work to revise and update the curriculum and inform students about the possibilities of women's studies.

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The second program of a two-part Family Business Seminar on Estate Planning will be held May 1 at Southeast Missouri State University.

Co-sponsored by the Harrison College of Business and the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and Small Business Management, the seminar is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall.

Topics for the seminar include: (1) Tax saving strategies for the family business; (2) The optional new 401K rules and the new IRS rules that can save you $1,000 in taxes; (3) Do you have a trust?; (4) Will your trust work?; (5) How to avoid the 13 points of failure in living trust planning; (6) How business owners can reduce litigation expenses; and (7) Can your business survive without a strategic plan?

For additional information and registration, call the Department of Marketing at Southeast Missouri State University at (573) 651-2924 or (573) 651-2915. There is a $25 charge for the seminar and luncheon. Pre-registration is required.

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The Southeast Missouri State University Department of Nursing, in conjunction with Lambda Theta Tau Chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, and the Margaret Woods Allen Nursing Endowments, will host a Nursing Research Conference April 20 on the Southeast campus.

The purpose of the conference is to emphasize to nurses the importance of leadership and scholarship in nursing. The conference is designed to help identify the significance of nursing research in contributing to development of a unique body of nursing knowledge; to identify the importance of scientific inquiry in establishing nursing contributions to health promotion and quality of life; and to share findings of nursing research relevant to nursing practice across the health care continuum.

The conference is planned for 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Robert A. Dempster Hall. Conference registration is planned for 8 to 8:30 a.m.

At 9 a.m., a welcome and opening remarks will be presented in Glenn Auditorium by Dr. Linda Heitman, program director; Dr. Jane Stephens, Southeast provost; and Dr. Louise Hart, chair of the Southeast Department of Nursing.

Dr. Billye Brown, former dean of the University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing, and former president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, will present the keynote address at 9:15 a.m. in Glenn Auditorium of Dempster Hall. Brown is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and is a past president of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Following Brown's address, poster presentations will be on display until 10:30 a.m. in Glenn Auditorium.

Research paper presentations will be given from 10:30 a.m. to noon, in two concurrent sessions. Paper presentations will cover a number of topics, including "The Effects of Nurses' Professional Beliefs and Clinical Interventions on the Rate of Cesarean Birth for Women at Term With Their First Pregnancy: Phase I"; "Effects of Stimulating Massage in the Sick Preterm Infant"; "The Effect of Experiential Learning on Baccalaureate Nursing Students' Knowledge, Attitudes, Willingness and Perceived Preparedness to Provide Care to HIV Seropositive Individuals"; and "Faculty Attitudes Toward Chemical Dependency Among Student Nurses."

Other paper topics include "Access to Health Care: The Experience of African Americans in the Missouri Bootheel"; "Influencing Factors in Older Adult Decision to Engage in Health-Promoting Behaviors: A Test of Pender's Health Promotion Model"; "Perceived Sense of Control and Mobility Status in Rural Elders"; and "Perceptions of Physical Fitness and Exercise Activity Among Older Adults: A Replication Study."

A networking luncheon in the Dempster Atrium will close out the conference.

Fees for the event are $40 for professionals, $5 for Southeast undergraduate students or $15 for the networking luncheon. Registrations and fee deadline is April 17. To register, call Crystal Kaufman in the Department of Nursing at (573) 651-2585.

The conference provides 3.3 continuing education contact hours. Southeast Missouri Hospital is approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the Missouri Nurses Association, which is accredited as a approver of continuing education in nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

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Officers of the Southeast Missouri State University Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi have announced that invitations to membership have been extended to a select group of students and faculty.

Invitation is based upon academic achievements and exemplary character. Those eligible include last-term juniors in the upper five-percent of their class and the upper ten-percent of seniors. Also eligible are outstanding graduate students, faculty, professional staff, and alumni.

Chapter President, Jewel Eggley, said "Those who are tapped for membership can and should take special pride in knowing that Southeast has chosen to honor them as part of an outstanding group of higher education's best and brightest."

Phi Kappa Phi members are high achievers who number more than one million worldwide. An initiation ceremony will be held in Academic Hall at 3 p.m. on April 22 to honor those students, faculty and professional staff who accept membership. The speaker for the initiation ceremony will be Dr. Perry Snyder, executive director of the National Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi was founded at the University Of Maine in 1897 and currently has chapters on the campuses of 282 colleges and universities in the United States, the Philippines and Puerto Rico. It is the oldest, most selective honor society dedicated to the recognition and promotion of academic excellence within all fields of higher education. Former President Jimmy Carter; Nobel Prize winner George Olah; the director of the National Science

Foundation, Rita Colwell; NFL Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen; and Ellis Marsalis, acclaimed jazz musician, are some of the Society's more famous members.

Phi Kappa Phi awards annually $380,000 in national fellowships for first-year graduate study; offers $50,000 in Promotion of Excellence grants each triennium; sponsors internship and study abroad grants for undergraduates; and recognizes renowned scholars and artists through its Scholar and Artist competitions. In addition to its national programs, Phi Kappa Phi's local chapters award more than $150,000 in scholarships each year.

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The ninth annual Southeast Missouri State University Student Research Conference will be held April 10-11 in the University Center.

The purpose of this conference is to promote and recognize the undergraduate and graduate students who devote their time to research. The conference is open to students of all areas of study.

The conference gives students the opportunity to share their ideas with a wider audience," said Dr. Martha Zlokovich, faculty chair of the Student Research Conference committee. "It also allows them to communicate their findings in a professional format."

The research conference will include empirical and review works. The research must have been conducted at Southeast Missouri State University, Three Rivers Community College or Mineral Area Community College, and may have been conducted independently, as part of a course or in collaboration with a faculty member.

Students will present their paper or poster in a conference format April 10-11. The conference will be held 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 10 and 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on April 11 on the fourth floor of the University Center.

Eight awards, supported by the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi and Funding For Results, will be presented for posters and papers within the empirical and review categories that are prepared by graduate or undergraduate students. There will be 27 paper presentations and 19 posters on display throughout the two-day event. This year's entries cover a wide-variety of topics that cover every area of interest including: test anxiety, road rage, cystic fibrosis, gender differences, children and aggression, molecular biology, the Internet and many others.

On April 10 at 12 p.m. the audience is invited to share a light lunch and participate in a roundtable discussion led by Southeast alumnus Nathan Springer. Nathan is currently a postdoctoral student in the Biology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While a student at Southeast, he presented several times at the Student Research Conference. He will talk about "Undergraduate Research: Why am I Doing all This Work?" and lead a discussion with the audience on the topic of doing research as an undergraduate.

Keynote Speaker Dr. Sally Boysen will present "The State of the Ape: Current Directions in Studying Chimpanzee Cognition," during the Common Hour on Wednesday, from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.

Boysen is a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University. Her research interests include cognitive, neurobehavioral and social development of primates. She has over 70 publications, including articles in scientific journals and book chapters. Her work with chimpanzee cognitive abilities has been featured on numerous television and radio programs over the years, including "The Today Show", three appearances on "Scientific American Frontiers", "NOVA", "Nature", "National Public Radio", "National Geographic" as well as television specials in the United Kingdom on the BBC and specials in Germany and Japan. She is currently working with the Discovery Channel on a three-year documentary of her latest project with two newly adopted baby chimpanzees.

For more information, contact Dr. Martha Zlokovich at (573) 651-2450 or visit the Student Research Conference website at http://cstl.semo.edu/sturesearch/.

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Southeast Missouri State University will test its new outdoor warning siren/alert system Tuesday through Thursday, April 10-12.

Those on or near the campus can expect to hear soundings of the system any time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during these three days. The sirens will sound after a verbal alert that "this is a test." In the event of severe weather next week, the testing will be postponed.

The system is expected to be fully operational beginning April 16. After that, the sirens will be tested regularly at noon on the first Wednesday of each month.

When the system is operational, a three-minute, steady, audible siren will sound when a tornado is imminent, said Doug Richards, director of the Department of Public Safety at Southeast. When the sirens are sounded, a tornado has been sighted on radar by the National Weather Service or spotted by a weather spotter. Immediate action should be taken, he said.

Seven sirens, which also feature a speaker alert system, have been erected on campus to provide 100 percent coverage to the campus. They are located near the Abe Stuber Track and Field Complex, in the pig lot near the Student Recreation Center, in the Group Housing

Complex, at the northwest corner of the Scully Building, on the north side of Crisp Hall, north of Houck Stadium between Kent Library and Houck, and near the new Transit Facility off Washington Street.

Blue Valley (Mo.) Public Safety is the vendor for the project and will be at Southeast next week to conduct the testing.

The outdoor warning sirens are designed to provide a portion of advance alert to severe weather. The sirens at Southeast are designed to provide a warning for several severe weather conditions and are designed to provide outdoor notice. They are not intended for audible warnings inside buildings.

The system is comprised of an array of electromechanical, omnidirectional siren heads. All sirens are equipped with battery back up and internal diagnostics that allow for tests in a quiet or a low power mode.

The National Weather Service, along with storm spotters and local emergency management agencies, will initiate all siren alerts. However, Richards said sirens are only one portion of several weather notices used by emergency services.

Beth Glaus with the Department of Public Safety, stressed that the sirens do not replace the importance of building coordinators on the University campus and the need for them to be aware of weather conditions.

"The sirens are just a part of the University's overall emergency preparedness plan," Glaus said.

The outdoor warning system, in addition to sounding sirens, can provide three types of prerecorded voice message alerts -- for severe thunderstorm warnings for Cape Girardeau

County, dangerous lightning and siren testing. When activated, these messages will be preceded by a short pulse alert tone, after which the message will be broadcast. Additional information about tuning to local weather broadcasts will follow the weather alerts.

Glaus said that University building coordinators with pagers should contact the Department of Public Safety so they may receive the early weather warnings via their pagers. Building coordinators needing a pager should contact Telecommunications to order one or should purchase a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio.

The new outdoor warning system also can be used for public address messages for broadcasting information about some situations on campus. These messages will be preceded by a short pulse alert tone and will be followed by an announcement pertinent to the situation.

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