“Success is helping others be successful,” said Judy Buck, director of Sikeston Area Higher Education Center (SAHEC) in Sikeston, Mo. This is a motto she lives by each day when she walks into her office. Judy says the ability to help students overcome obstacles so they can continue to move forward with their education provides the greatest satisfaction and feeling of success.
“Serving as director has provided me with the opportunity to meet and work with many wonderful people who share the same vision of helping others through education both personally and professionally,” she said.
Judy is an Osceola, Ark., native and received her bachelor’s degree in education from Arkansas State University. Upon graduating, she moved to Southeast Missouri to teach. She obtained her master’s degree in teaching and specialists in education from Southeast Missouri State University. In July 1998, she began working for the University as director of SAHEC. Judy’s responsibilities consist of everything from assisting with coordinating class scheduling and room usage for both classes and industry training to communicating with departments on any issue or development that arises at the Center.
Judy says her favorite aspect of the job is working with everyone to make the Center a success.
“It’s great to see people achieve their goals, particularly students who never thought they would be able to pursue higher education,” Judy said. “I do this by collaborating with students, faculty, Southeast employees and everyone who supports the Center and its services.”
Judy explains her time at SAHEC has contributed to her success in and away from her job by offering her the opportunity to meet and work with people who share the same visions of helping others through education.
“Challenges encountered and solved demonstrate to me the importance of working with others to bring about change in a positive manner,” she said. “This position is not about success but about the success of everyone who has worked and continues to work together to provide educational opportunities.”
When Judy isn’t working hard to help provide educational opportunities to students at SAHEC, she is enjoying the waters of Kentucky Lake.
“I love swimming and water skiing, so the lake provides ample opportunity to do both,” she said. “My family and I travel up and down the lake and river in our open-bow ski boat visiting with friends, checking out new restaurants, enjoying beautiful scenery and watching the grandchildren ride the tube.”
Judy says she plans to travel overseas to London, Amsterdam and Hawaii. When she isn’t enjoying the lake, Judy likes to catch a St. Louis Rams game or enjoy her membership activities through the Sikeston Rotary Club and P.E.O.
As a professional in higher education, Judy’s advice to future Southeast students is to set goals, write them down and make a plan. "You are never too young or too old to dream and make things happen."
“Hopes and dreams can become a reality,” she said. “Change takes time and patience because it’s not always easy. Just remember to share a smile and a ‘hi’ with everyone and know you can make a difference.”