Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 11, 2002 – John Mehner works 50 to 60 hours a week as president and chief executive officer of the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce. In his spare time, he moonlights as a graduate student at Southeast Missouri State University.

“Education at Southeast is not a gift,” Mehner said. “It is hard work, and you really have to earn your degree. Between work and family, I find it a very challenging experience.”

Mehner is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration, a program he began more than a year ago. He rates it as a true quality experience, emphasizing the professionalism of the professors and the positive student-faculty relationship that exists in his program.

“I am impressed with every instructor in the program,” he said. “They are very open and supportive when dealing with students.”

Excellent and caring are other words he uses to describe the University and those who have provided him assistance with his graduate studies.

“I really like the University,” he said. “It is obvious that it cares about the academics and provides a true learning experience to the students.”

Mehner chose to pursue a master’s degree at Southeast based on his previous undergraduate experience at the University.

“When I applied my knowledge in the real world, I found that my undergraduate degree from Southeast was truly excellent,” he said.

After graduating from Southeast in 1981 with a criminal justice degree, Mehner was employed for four years as a police officer by the St. Louis County Police Department. He later worked for eight years in an office equipment business. In 1993, he was hired by the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce to serve in his current capacity.

The Master of Science in Public Administration program provides academic preparation for mid-career managers at the local, state and federal levels, as well as persons involved in the management of non-profit agencies. Mehner says he chose to pursue the public administration program based on his current job responsibilities.

“The content of the program is very applicable with my daily experiences at the Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “The program has helped me do a better job.”

The Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce is made up of about 1,200 members in the Cape Girardeau area with the common mission to serve the Cape Girardeau area as the principal advocate in fostering economic progress, vitalizing jobs and improving the quality of life.

Mehner says he is pleased with the thoroughness of Southeast’s master’s degree program in public administration and encourages all students to make the most of their University experience.

“What you are learning now may not seem to have meaning at the time, but I assure you, it will later,” he said.

The Master of Science in Public Administration is part of the Master of Science in Administration. The Master of Science in Administration is designed to support career shift among persons prepared initially in professional but non-business-related disciplines, and the core classes seek to develop a set of generic knowledge and skills that can be broadly applied to administrative tasks. Based on their professional preparation, students select one of five options: athletic administration, criminal justice administration, health fitness administration, human services administration and public administration.


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