The South-East welcomes new department directors

Four university departments in the state of Southeast Missouri have new chairs this fall. The new management and the departments it chairs are:

  • Dr. Connie Drury, Department of Nursing
  • Dr RD Nordgren, Department of Leadership, Middle and Secondary Education
  • Dr. Shonta Smith, Department of Elementary, Early Childhood and Special Education
  • Dr Jason Wagganer, Department of Kinesiology, Nutrition and Recreation

“We are extremely excited and grateful that Drs. Drury, Nordgren, Smith and Wagganer fulfill these respective roles of President, ”said Dr Mike Godard, Southeast Marshal. “Their leadership will be essential as we continue to transform and improve our university programs in Southeast. I am sure their contributions will be important and look forward to working with each of them this academic year and beyond.

Dr Connie Drury

Drury replaces Dr Gloria Green who recently retired. Drury moved to South East Shawnee Community College where she served as Director of Nursing. She has also been a faculty member at Chamberlain University and has practiced as a nurse at St. Francis Medical Center, SoutheastHEALTH, and Missouri Delta Medical Center. She holds a doctorate in nursing from the University of Missouri – Kansas City; and a master’s degree in nursing and a bachelor’s degree in nursing, both from South East. She also holds professional nursing licenses registered in Missouri and Illinois.

Dr RD Nordgren

Nordgren replaces Dr Bill Bratberg who served as Interim President since January 2020 following the death of Dr CP Gause. Nordgren joined the southeast of Piedmont College where he was dean of the School of Education. He was also previously department chair at Cleveland State and National University. Nordgren holds a doctorate in curriculum and teaching with the approval of a specialist in school management, a master’s in education in pedagogical leadership, and a bachelor of science in teaching English, all from l ‘University of South Florida.

Dr Shonta Smith

Smith replaces Dr. Julie Ray who recently retired. Smith arrived in the South East in 2009 and most recently served as an elementary education teacher and coordinator of the UI100 first year experience. She holds a doctorate in education and pedagogical leadership from St. Louis University; a master’s degree in counseling education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis; and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Harris Stowe State University.

Dr Jason Wagganer

Wagganer has served as the Acting Chair of the Department of Kinesiology, Nutrition and Recreation since 2019, when former chair Dr. Joe Pujol was appointed Acting Dean and then Dean of the College of Education, Health and Recreation. human studies. Wagganer arrived in the South East in 2010 and has taught courses in exercise physiology, kinesiology and cardiovascular exercise physiology. He is also director of the South East Human Performance Laboratory. He holds a doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; a Master of Science in Nutrition and Exercise Science and a Bachelor of Science in Health Management, Exercise Science option, both from South East.

In addition, three university departments have new interim chairs this fall:

  • Dr Indi Braden, Department of Agriculture
  • Dr Willie Redmond, Department of Marketing
  • Dr Nic Wilkins, Department of Psychology and Counseling

Dr Indi Braden

Braden replaces Dr. Sophia Scott who has stepped down as interim chair of the department to become faculty director at the Center for Teaching and Learning. Braden arrived in the Southeast in 2003 and was most recently a professor of agriculture. She holds a doctorate in agronomy from Iowa State University; Master of Science in Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences from the University of Arkansas; and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the College of the Ozarks.

Dr Willie Redmond

Redmond replaces Dr. Judy Wiles who recently retired. Redmond arrived in the Southeast in 1999 and was most recently a professor of economics and director of international business programs. He holds a doctorate in economics, an MBA with a concentration in finance, and a bachelor of arts in economics, all from the University of South Carolina.

Dr Nic Wilkins

Wilkins replaces Dr Alison Whiteford Damerall who has stepped down as chair of the department. Wilkins arrived in the Southeast in 2013 and was most recently an associate professor of cognitive psychology. He holds a doctorate and an MA in cognitive psychology from Kent State University; and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Montana.


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