Southeast Missouri State University

The Glass is Always At Least Half Full for Cheryl Reinagel

Sr. Administrative Assistant, School of Extended Learning/ School of Polytechnic Studies

Cheryl Reinagel, of Kelso, Mo., is the senior administrative assistant for the School of Extended Learning & School of Polytechnic Studies. Although her duties and responsibilities have evolved throughout the years, her work philosophy has remained the same.

“Having a clear perspective and positive attitude has a huge impact on the pulse and rhythm of the office each day,” she says.  “To me, the glass is always (at least) half full.”

Reinagel, a graduate of Jackson High School, started work in Southeast’s personnel services in1998.  As senior administrative assistant for the schools of Extended Learning and Polytechnic Studies her work has changed significantly.

“Most often, I’m referred to as ‘the go-to person’ for a variety of entities in two different schools and among four remote and regional campuses, the Cape Girardeau Partnership for Higher Education, Agriculture Research Center, the Technology Research Center and the Horticulture complex,” she explains.

In 2010, Reinagel was nominated and presented with an Employee Recognition Award in recognition of her extraordinary and significant accomplishments. She was nominated for her academic work, when she took on additional responsibilities in the absence of the administrative assistant in the Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology, as well as her commitment to the student experience.

Reinagel, who has herself taken classes at Southeast, knows about the struggle most students have balancing work and school.

“Our students often balance classes and homework, with one or two jobs, and I think it’s important for them to always remember to be a student first,” she says. “I enjoy working with students in our office, and often become a ‘campus mom’ to them.”

“We have many international students taking classes in our building, and I enjoy learning more about these students and their cultures,” as well, she said.

It was the campus’s cultural diversity that strongly impacted Reinagel’s decision to work at Southeast.

“I chose Southeast because it offers a unique opportunity to work in a culturally diverse setting filled with opportunities to grow and develop professionally,” she said.

Her desire to help and teach extends far beyond her position at Southeast. She dedicates much of her spare time to teaching cooking classes with her sister-in-law and to working with two global ministries, Operation Christmas Child and Soles4Soul.

“I’m quite passionate about the ministries and I love teaching cooking classes,” she explains. “It’s our hope that the cooking and baking doesn’t become a lost art.”

An avid Cardinals fan she likes blending her vacation time with her hobby.

“I hope to return to Jupiter, Florida, to Cardinals spring training.  Spending a week on a tranquil beach, is very therapeutic for me, I hope to return to Jupiter, Florida, to Cardinal spring training as this is the best of both worlds for me...the beach and Cardinal baseball!” she says.

Reinagel concludes by offering her “work-in-progress” philosophy on life:  “live more simply that others may simply live.”