Explain your career path
B.S. Secondary Education, taught 4 years high school science and coached football and track; 1 year Mizzou (Molecular Genetics Ph.D. program); Inside Sales at Fisher Scientific Company while working on an M.S. MIS at UMSL (1988); Computer Programmer/Analyst (Consulting) for various firms until early retirement 01/01/2017. Companies Included McDonnell-Douglas Health Information Systems, McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Information Systems, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri, Purina Mills, National General Insurance Company, GMAC Insurance, Wells Fargo Advisors, and Edward Jones, all located in St. Louis, Missouri.
What was your major at Southeast and what led you to that?
Biology - I wanted to teach high school and coach sports. I was advised that History and English majors were a "glut" on the market and I enjoyed my Into to Biology class.
Why did you choose to attend Southeast?
Southeast was one of 4-year schools in Missouri (along with School of the Ozarks) that I felt I could afford and it was well-known for it's programs in Education at the time. It was also relatively close to home yet conveniently distant to give me a comfortable separation.
Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?
Dr. Norman Braasch, my Intro to Biology professor and subsequent professor for two graduate biology classes and Tom Thrower, Head Football Coach.
Share your best college memory.
There are so many but I fondly remember working with my dorm mates to decorate the Apache floor of Myers Hall for Christmas (on the creative cheap) It was a great group effort, a lot of fun, and it turned out pretty well!
What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?
That it is possible to find common ground, and learn from, people with widely diverse backgrounds and ideas and that everyone does better when working together.
Describe Southeast in three words.
Transformative, Affordable, Comfortable
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
Wrote a complete subsystem to convert a legacy, COBOL-based hospital system to a turn-key system written in FORTH.
How did your education at Southeast prepare you for what you are doing today?
At Southeast I learned how to study and learn, how embrace the challenges of setting and meeting new goals and I gained the confidence to pursue new challenges, not to let fear of failure hold me back.
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
Embrace the concept of life-long learning. Rapid change, especially in technology fields, is the new normal so expect to have to continually improve your skill set. However, one thing that will never change is the need in any endeavor to be able to effectively communicate and collaborate with others and the need to do so with people with very different backgrounds, world-views, and agendas. People skills never become obsolete.
What do you wish you had known before graduating and entering the "real world"?
There is a saying, paraphrased, "No Battle Plan Survives Contact with The Enemy". When I graduated, I thought I had my life's path already figured out. Life is not the enemy but it is full of surprises and has turned out to be much richer and more varied than I could have guessed. Thanks to my early experiences at Southeast I found myself able to adapt to these surprises and evolve to meet new challenges.