Forge your future: you'll do that here.

Students who come to Southeast Missouri State University are driven. They have goals and the tenacity and work effort to make them happen. They also, sometimes, need a little help. The generosity of a donor gift isn’t always about giving back or paying it forward. On a personal level, it’s about transforming a life.

Sydney Bedillion

Biochemistry, ACS Certified Chemistry, Forensic Chemistry Major


What is it that you feel sets SEMO apart when you were making our college decision?
Several things set SEMO apart as I was making my college decision. I was interested in a medium-sized college campus that still offered the atmosphere of a smaller school. Additionally, SEMO offered several generous scholarship opportunities that allowed me to not stress about the financial burden of attending college and focus my attention on learning, being involved in campus life, and taking part in a variety of college experiences. With a large variety of clubs and organizations, River Campus productions, athletic events, and so much more, there was always something to do and the students, faculty, and staff at SEMO presented a welcoming environment which allowed me to explore and participate in whatever interested me.

What is your major and how do you feel that program is preparing you for a successful career?
In May 2021, I will be graduating from SEMO with a Bachelor of Science in three majors: ACS Certified Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Forensic Chemistry; as well as a minor in Biology. With the knowledge and skills I have acquired during my undergrad, I received offers of admission into PhD programs at multiple universities and medical centers. Those that interviewed me were impressed with the course work, research, and work experiences I have gained while at SEMO. Another great opportunity found at SEMO that was highly praised in my graduate school interviews, was my work experience as a teaching assistant for multiple semesters. I have currently accepted admission to the University of Georgia to begin their PhD program in Fall 2021, and my experiences at SEMO have served as a stepping-stone in reaching my educational goals.

How will your scholarship from SEMO help you graduate with less debt and what will that mean for your life after graduation?
I am extremely fortunate to have qualified for and received scholarships from SEMO that have allowed me to obtain an undergraduate college education while greatly lessening the burden of student debt. The extreme generosity of scholarship donors has given me the opportunity to focus on my future educational goals without carrying forward a financial burden from my four years here at SEMO.

What is your favorite thing about SEMO?
My favorite thing about SEMO has been the atmosphere that has resulted in the relationships that I have built with faculty, staff, and peers. I have found mentors as well as friends at SEMO and intend to continue some of these relationships long after I graduate.

Describe SEMO in two sentences.
SEMO is a four-year university that provides opportunities for its students to grow in their educational development as well as in their personal development. SEMO provides a personal feel while still offering its students the programs and resources needed to succeed professionally.

What makes SEMO faculty great?
Availability and willingness to help are two things that make SEMO faculty great. As an incoming student, I was a bit unsure whether or not a science degree was the right fit for me; however, after meeting and building mentor/mentee relationships with a number of the faculty in the Chemistry department, I quickly realized I had made a good choice and found my fit.

Describe life on campus.
Life on campus is considerably different now than it was before COVID-19. Prior to the Spring semester of 2020, there was always an activity or event that students could choose to join. The numerous athletic events, student organizations, community events, classes, and even study groups were a great way to meet new people and participate in the social aspect of college. As we moved to a new normal of virtual meetings for classes and faculty office hours, SEMO unfortunately lost some of the personal touch that comes with college life. My first couple years at SEMO were filled with in-person experiences and networking opportunities with SEMO faculty, staff, and students. I hope a return to pre-COVID-19 is close at hand as many of the incoming students would benefit greatly from the in-person experiences SEMO once offered as an active on-campus life.

Please tell us about how your extracurriculars have impacted you.
I have been involved in a few organizations at SEMO including Horticulture Club, Alpha Phi Omega, and the Jane Stephens Honors Program. I have participated in numerous volunteer and social activities as well as assumed leadership roles in these organizations. Through these clubs and organizations, I have not only had many enriching personal experiences such as travel and social events, but have also learned many soft skills such as communication and leadership techniques outside of the classroom. SEMO organizations such as these offer students the opportunities to explore their interests, network with peers, and have a positive impact on the University.

Your Gift Makes a Difference!

You choose where your passion is, and we’ll help you make a difference for Southeast students in that area. Whether you’re supporting students through endowed scholarships, donating to the Redhawk Food Pantry, providing funds to Kent Library to enhance student research, supporting students with experiential learning opportunities, or giving to the University Fund to support the immediate area of greatest need, you make a difference in the lives of our students. Thank you!

Wehking Alumni Center
926 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 7300
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701