Foreign Service Officer — College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Explain your career path
After graduating from Southeast Missouri State University, I joined the Peace Corps and served as an agriculture volunteer in a small village in Panama for three years. Afterward, I returned to Southeast to work as a host and reporter for NPR station KRCU. I later took the role of news director at public radio station KGOU in Norman, Oklahoma. After four years in the Great Plains, I accepted a new role as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. State Department, and I have served overseas in Israel and Mexico.
What was your major at Southeast and how would you characterize the quality of that program to prospective students?
At Southeast, I majored in Anthropology and Spanish. Both were excellent programs that prepared me for my careers in media and diplomacy.
Why did you choose to attend Southeast?
I chose Southeast because it is close to my hometown of Cobden, Illinois. Additionally, I received the Regents Scholarship which covered the cost of tuition, so I graduated with minimal student debt.
Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?
My anthropology professor Warren Anderson had a profound influence on me. I often work in different countries and speak languages other than English as part of my job. His lessons on culture and linguistics shaped how I approach language and working in other cultures. He also taught me the power of storytelling and how to be a good interviewer.
Share your best college memory.
There are too many! Classes with Dr. Anderson, working at KRCU as a student announcer, a semester abroad in Queretaro, playing music with friends, exploring St. Vincents College before it was the River Campus.
What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?
Southeast gave me a glimpse into the diversity of the world's cultures, which played a huge role in shaping my aspirations to become a diplomat.
Describe Southeast in three words.
Broadening my horizons
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
Stick with it, find mentors, and get a wide variety of experiences under your belt.