COVID-19 Information

See the latest updates and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic at

President's Leadership Academy

Lead Campus & Community

Application Process

President's Leadership Academy (PLA) is a non-credit-bearing leadership program that takes place on Wednesdays from 5:00pm - 7:00pm during the Fall semester.

To participate in the program, students must submit their PLA Application (to be linked here) in April and will be notified by the end of the Spring semester whether they have been selected to be in PLA for the Fall semester. To be considered for PLA, students must meet the following criteria at the time of application:

  1. Be an undergraduate SEMO student in at least their second year of college (preference given to students with at least 2 semesters left to complete their undergraduate degree);
  2. Be an active leader in at least one student organization, team, or community group;
  3. Be in good judicial standing; and
  4. Have a cumulative 2.75 GPA or higher.


As the top tier of the Southeast Leadership Programs, the President’s Leadership Academy (PLA) offers a selective learning experience for up to 20 of Southeast’s most outstanding upper-level student leaders.

PLA participants will:

  • network with and learn from other student leaders as well as University and community leaders.
  • analyze various leadership material, reflect on their experiences, and share their thoughts and perspectives.
  • learn how to apply leadership competencies to improve their competitiveness for employment as early career professionals.
  • become responsible leaders within their respective university communities and beyond.
  • put their leadership skills into action by working together on a Southeast Success Project, aimed at enhancing the student experience at Southeast, and pitching their detailed proposal to University leaders, including the University President.
PLA 2021 Major Hometown

Ainiwaer Ailixier


Yining, China

Kate Appleman

Biomedical Sciences

Jackson, MO

Madelyn Asbury

Health Communication

Vergennes, IL

Garion Beatty

Corporate Communications

Steelville, MO

Callista Borst


Jackson, MO

Layla Bouzihay


Jonesboro, AR

Charles Luke Collins

Social Studies

Jackson, MO

Philip Francis

Business Administration

Cape Girardeau, MO

Daniel Frew

Political Science

Swansea, IL

Douglas Gray


Swansea, IL

Kayda Joseph


St. George's, Grenada

Nolan Knupp

Biomedical Sciences

Jonesboro, IL

Elvis Maina

Engineering Technology: Mechanical/Manufacturing Systems

Nairobi, Kenya

Mohammed Osman


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Logan Phillips

Corporate Communications

St. Louis, MO

Joel Philpott

Finance and Entrepreneurship

Collinsville, IL

Grace Powderly

Biomedical Sciences

Cape Girardeau, MO

Shadan Roumany

Biomedical Sciences

Cape Girardeau, MO

Cragin Steed


Collierville, TN

Justin Tuschhoff


Cape Girardeau, MO

Thoughts from Past PLA Participants

"During this class, I had the opportunity to improve my leadership skills by meeting with many influential people and carrying out a project of our choosing. Our project raised awareness at Southeast and in the Cape community about the safety and parking issues on Normal Street. Working with members of the school and city, and even appearing before the City Council, this class put my leadership skills to the test."
— Maja Lundell from Stockholm, Sweden
Former SEMO Tennis Athlete and Research Assistant for the Dept. of Biology

"My incredible PLA group was able to organize a piloted STEM mentoring program in the hopes to take our data and what we learned to help the retention rate of the college of STEM. 100% of the students who participated, both mentors and mentees, stated they benefitted from their experience."
— Andrew Behrman from Belleville, Illinois
Former Theta Xi President, Senior Learning Assistant for University Tutorial Services, and Research Assistant for the Dept. of Biology

“PLA has been a wonderful opportunity for me, as it has taught me how to put in the leadership skills I learned in Emerging Leaders and in First-year Leadership Program (FYLP). I would like to encourage everyone to apply for PLA because you meet and work along with some of the best individuals across the University. There’s so much diversity in the way everyone thinks, and putting those ideas together helps you create a wonderful project.”
— Mannat Varshney from Pune, India
Former Presidential Ambassador and Graduate of FYLP and Emerging Leaders


University Center 414

One University Plaza, MS1250
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701