Southeast Missouri State University alumna Jeannine Cinco began life after college half-way across the world. Jeannine, a native of St. Charles, Mo., graduated in December 2003 with a bachelor's degree in German and recreation. After graduation, she became the athletic director for the U.S. Naval Base in Juffair, Bahrain. Jeannine’s responsibilities included overseeing all the facilities on the naval base, including the three work-out rooms, the pool, tennis courts, intramural fields and the bowling alley. She also planned all the activities for the ships that pulled into the base for a week before being deployed to Iraq.
“My favorite part of the job was planning events like flag football games or helping with the concerts for the troops who were stationed at our base for three or four days while they waited for their orders,” Jeannine explained. “It was their last big hoorah before going into combat.”
Jeannine currently lives in Affton, Mo. She is doing a year of volunteer service with the Vincentian Service Corps, volunteering fulltime at Marian Middle School as a librarian, physical education teacher and even a cafeteria supervisor.
“The school’s main goal is to prepare girls from low-income families who want to attend high school,” she explained. “The job is very rewarding for me because I feel like I am giving back to the community.”
Working on a naval base was not a first experience for Jeannine. She completed a six-month internship with La Maddlena U.S. Naval Base in Sardenia, Italy, as part of her degree requirements. Jeannine was in charge of all the outdoor recreational activities for the base ranging from bike rides to mountain climbing excursions. She also was in charge of the intramural sporting activities. In addition to her normal activities, Jeannine orchestrated the Single Sailor Program, which provided alternatives for alcohol and tobacco by offering a comprehensive program of social, cultural and recreational activities to encourage the sailors to know the area and the fun possibilities available to them.
Jeannine says Southeast prepared her for life in recreational sports through her academic courses.
“My classes really helped me become more organized and more efficient,” she said. “The clubs and organizations I was involved with helped me realize I wanted to be involved with the community wherever I go.”
The social work program at Southeast was the initial reason Jeannine decided to attend the University. After having several recreational classes, she knew social work was not the area for her.
“I completely loved my recreational classes,” Jeannine said. “I especially appreciated the guidance and education I received from my professors.”
While attending Southeast, Jeannine kept herself busy with numerous activities. She worked at the Student Recreational Center on campus, joined the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority her sophomore year, was a member of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, held the presidency for Habitat for Humanity and was involved with Catholic Campus Ministries.
Jeannine says one of her favorite things to do her senior year was going to Buffalo Wild Wings in the Town Plaza Shopping Center with other recreation majors for trivia night every Tuesday evening. The professors from her department would attend a few of the sessions too, she said.
Some of Jeannine’s favorite activities and hobbies are hiking, rock climbing, reading, helping friends find new jobs, and most recently, learning how to quilt.
“I’m still in the learning process with this hobby and the only thing I have accomplished so far is a place mat,” she said.
Giving back to the community is something Jeannine says she strives for in both her personal and professional life. Her best advice for future Southeast students is to get involved with the campus community as much as possible.
“The events and parties are fun, but the professors and the people you meet will be what you remember the most from college,” she said.