Student Capitalizes on Leadership Opportunities at Southeast

College of Health and Human Services

Wade McElfresh is only a sophomore at Southeast Missouri State University, but he holds more leadership positions than many seniors.

Wade, of Pleasant Plains, Ill., believes that a person’s college experience can only be as good as he or she wants it to be, and in that case, Wade is having the time of his life. 

Some leadership positions Wade holds are a Justice on the All-University Judicial Board in which he hears cases involving infractions of the University’s rules, guidelines and laws and President of the Criminal Justice Association.  Wade is also a Student Ambassador, giving tours to prospective students and mentoring new ambassadors, and a Presidential Ambassador which allows him to work with President Dobbins and his wife to better the University.  Last school year, Wade served as a Student Senator for the College of Health and Human Services.

“I care a lot about Southeast Missouri State University and the direction it is heading,” Wade said.  “I hope to fight for things that will make Southeast a better university.  I want to accomplish this by working with others on key issues.  The positions I hold will also make me a better person.”

Despite being involved in so many organizations, Wade keeps his Sundays free to go to Buffalo Wild Wings with his friends to watch NFL games. 

“That’s my favorite thing to do in Cape Girardeau.  We go there every Sunday to watch the NFL games,” Wade said.  “But I also love playing football and other intramural sports.” 

After graduating from Southeast, Wade aspires to be employed by the United States Marshal Service and obtain a leadership position in the law enforcement field.  Southeast’s co-op between the criminal justice department and the Marshal Service gives him an edge on his competition. 

In high school, Wade received the Regional Achievement Award offered to students in eligible counties in Central and Southern Illinois for high ACT scores and grade point averages.  This award enabled Wade to afford an out-of state school which offers the experience needed for an internship and career in the Marshal Service, Wade said.

“Without the Regional Achievement Award, I would have had to go to an Illinois school that could not provide me with the proper tools and opportunities that Southeast offers,” Wade said.  “It is allowing me to work hard for my dream of one day protecting this country with the United States Marshal Service.  I really must thank Southeast for enabling me to pursue my dream with this award.”

Wade offered a great outlook on the foundation of Southeast’s goal for its students.

“We all want to accomplish great things here at Southeast, and when you can help others achieve their goals while achieving your own is when you stand out the most.  That is something I am working towards,” Wade said.


Crisp Hall 132
College of Health & Human Services
One University Plaza, MS 8000
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701