2010 Alumni and Faculty Merit Awards
Merit Award recipients are graduates and faculty who have brought distinction to themselves and to Southeast Missouri State University.
“Just tell me a story.” Those words from 60 Minutes founder Don Hewitt sum up Dan Bussell’s passion. Bussell has been telling a visual story in his role as photojournalist for the last 25 years.
Bussell majored in mass communication: radio/television at Southeast. He began his career at local television stations KFVS in Cape Girardeau and WREG in Memphis before moving to New York.
Currently, he is a photojournalist for CBS’s 60 Minutes. Bussell’s career has seen him travel extensively and cover many major events, including the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has also interviewed and profiled entertainers and politicians, including Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, President Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush, Clinton, George Bush, Reagan and
Bussell says his favorite stories to tell are those that help people such as advancements in medicine, though he also enjoys bringing the viewer closer to someone they may have never met.
He has been recognized for excellence in television photojournalism with Emmy, Peabody and National Press
Photographers Association awards.
Smith DeLine believes in being true to his roots. This third-generation farmer maintains strong support for the places where he has learned throughout his life.
While earning his Bachelor of Science degree in agribusiness at Southeast, Smith worked in the Southeast Missouri Regional Crime Lab, on whose board he would later serve. While he was a commissioned officer in the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Reserve, DeLine’s real pursuit was agriculture. He started his own farming operation after graduation and later added an agricultural products company. The business grew from a small office in his home to a much larger corporation, which he sold to Delta Growers Association in 2007. He still serves as location manager.
He currently owns DeLine & Sons Farms, DeLine Agri Products and DeLine Realty. His nephew leases the farming operation, keeping the family business securely in the family. The business was named the “Farm Family of the Year” in 1985.
DeLine has not been focused strictly on work. Service is also an important component of his life. He’s been involved in Lion’s Club, Future Farmers of America, Farm Bureau and has even assisted in fundraising for Southeast’s Sikeston campus, the Crime Lab, the Charles L. Hutson Horticulture Greenhouse and the River Campus.
Gloria DuCreux has truly implemented what she learned at Southeast in her current field.
After graduating with a degree in psychology and earning her master’s degree at Southeast, she returned home to Panama to teach in the Department of Defense schools in the Canal Zone. In 1999, she founded Balboa Academy, a private school structured on the American model of Pre-K through 12th grade. The elite academy offers students advanced placement classes.
DuCreux serves on the Board of Trustees for the school, which has 800 students of diverse economic, social and cultural backgrounds.
DuCreux says it was her education at Southeast that has helped her succeed. She is currently working with the University’s College of Education on study abroad and international student exchange opportunities. Many of Balboa’s graduates enroll in four-year universities in the United States.
While many careers have an impact on others, Larry Ferrell’s career has had an impact on an entire country and, quite possibly, the world.
Ferrell served as one of two assistant United States attorneys in Iraq who assisted and advised the Iraqi team prosecuting Saddam Hussein and members of his regime. He returned to Iraq again in 2008 to lead the Department of Justice effort to implement the rule of law throughout Iraq as justice attache.
Ferrell began his career with a degree in sociology from Southeast. After receiving his law degree, he was first assistant prosecuting attorney for Cape Girardeau County before serving four years as prosecuting attorney. He is currently chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorneys’ Office for the Eastern District of Missouri. Ferrell is designated as an organized crime and drug enforcement task force attorney and oversees prosecution of all federal crimes occurring within a 16-county area.
Throughout the last 25 years, Ferrell has been a frequent instructor in Southeast’s Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology, teaching courses in criminal procedure, criminal law and courtroom evidence.
When it comes to Michael Lincoln, two things are certain. He has a long history with Southeast, and he’s very accomplished in his career.
Lincoln graduated from Southeast with a degree in marketing. He is one of 25 members of his family to have attended the University going back to the early 1900s. His grandfather T.S. Hill is also an Alumni Merit Award recipient.
When it comes to his career at Cooley LLP in Washington, D.C., Lincoln has received numerous accolades. He’s been named the top dealmaker in the Washington, D.C. area by Legal Times, “Top 150 Most Powerful People in the Washington, D.C. area” by Washingtonian Magazine and has consistently been placed on lists such as “The Best Lawyers in America,” “Leading Lawyers for Business” according to Chambers USA and “Smart Lawyers” by SmartCEO magazine.
Lincoln heads up Cooley’s East Coast Business and Technology Group as partner in the venture capital and mergers and acquisitions practice groups. His practice focuses on venture capital, public and private offerings, mergers and acquisitions and the representation of technology and emerging growth companies.
Lincoln also serves as adjunct professor in the School of Law at the University of Virginia, where he teaches a course on emerging growth companies and venture capital.
When CNN, BBC or ABC World News needs an expert on genomes, Dr. Greg May steps forward. Dr. May has been a contributor to each of those networks along with interviews and commentaries published in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal and Scientific American.
Dr. May is president of the National Center for Genome Resources in Santa Fe, N.M. He has been successful in obtaining numerous research grants, contracts and patents from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Dr. May’s research includes collaboration to patent multiple formulas for the repair or enhancement of plant DNA or genes. He was named “Inventor of the Year” in 1999 by the New York Patent Law Association. He serves as the associate editor of The Plant Genome and guest lectures both nationally and abroad.
Dr. May received a degree in biology from Southeast and earned his doctoral degree in plant physiology and plant biotechnology from Texas A&M University.
Dr. John Vallentine is an accomplished musician who has shared that knowledge with students for two decades.
Dr. Vallentine graduated from Southeast with a degree in music education before serving as director of bands for the Waterloo Community School District, director of symphony and marching bands at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and assistant director of bands at the University of Kentucky.
Today, Dr. Vallentine is the director of the University of Northern Iowa’s School of Music, where he has been the recipient of the Faculty Merit Award.
He has national and international experience in conducting, performing, classroom teaching and private applied instruction. Dr. Vallentine continues to perform locally as pianist and has been invited to offer clarinet master classes in St. Petersburg, Russia, and San Jose, Costa Rica.
Dr. Vallentine’s marching bands have performed for the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings. He has served as guest conductor for bands throughout the Midwest and abroad.
Dr. Vallentine’s applied music research has been recognized nationally by the Music Educators National Conference and published in The Quarterly.
“Your profession is what you do. What you do with that talent is who you are,” says Dr. Jim Dufek. What he has done with his talent has led him to being honored for excellence in his 28 years of teaching mass communication and video production at Southeast.
Dr. Dufek also says, “Talk a little, work a lot,” and that is just his philosophy in teaching and learning. His students get real-world experience on a weekly public affairs program and an award-winning monthly news magazine show he produces. These programs address important issues in the community and give students experience in multi-camera studio production.
Dr. Dufek says it is also important his students not just learn the job but also be involved. His work with the University’s TV and Film Association has led students to help local churches, volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and produce countless videos for many civic and community organizations.
The spirit of helping the community is one Dr. Dufek applies outside of teaching. He serves on numerous civic boards and committees and has also become known as quite the baker, donating thousands of his specialty cinnamon rolls for community fund-raising activities.