Southeast Missouri State University graduate Sarita Wesley-Scott has experienced a kind of excitement many other college students only dream about. She was a member of Southeast’s 1990-1991 women’s basketball NCAA Division II national finalist team. The team won the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) tournament championship, the NCAA South Central Regional and advanced to the NCAA national championship game. A Southeast women’s record crowd of 7,064 fans attended the national championship game at the Show-Me Center.
“That experience alone speaks volumes,” she says. “How many colleges actually have a Final Four sport, of some sort, take place at their school? Not many! I vividly remember the entire town of Cape Girardeau was very supportive. It was absolutely incredible. Being a part of the 1991 women’s basketball team and program and the support we received from Cape Girardeau are definitely my favorite memories of Southeast. Until this very moment, I don’t think a day goes by in which I don’t think about that particular experience.”
The 1991 women’s basketball team was inducted into the Southeast Missouri State University Athletic Hall of Fame in December 2008.
Being a student-athlete is a task in and of itself,” she says. “That experience alone strengthened my ability to multi-task and effectively complete tasks. Also, it prepared me to work in diverse and team settings.”
Sarita graduated from Southeast in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in social work. In March 2009 she earned a Ph.D. in business with a concentration in organization and management. She currently works in the mental health field as an administrator.
“I wear multiple hats, but my main duties at this time entail serving as a project manager to assist with the implementation of a new software system,” she explains. “Making a difference in the lives of others and creating systems that help the organization accomplish goals is very rewarding.”
Sarita describes her secret to success as “having a strong work ethic, having patience and being a good listener.
“I would advise students to focus on their goals but develop strategies to help them reach their goals. In addition, students should always work hard and never give up working toward their goals, even once they have graduated. Southeast is such an awesome school and a great place to obtain an education,” she says.
Her future professional goals include teaching at the university level and publishing various business articles. Her personal goals entail “positioning myself, throughout life, in such a manner that I can continuously assist others by inspiring and encouraging them to work hard and strive toward their goals.”
Sarita currently resides in Houston, Texas with her husband, James, and her children Tayler and Jordan. In her spare time, she still enjoys working out and continues to play basketball. She also loves coaching youth basketball teams.