Missouri S&T announces 2021 Honorary St. Pats, Honorary Knights

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The St. Pat’s Board at Missouri University of Science and Technology has announced that Kevin and Meg Brady will serve as Honorary St. Patricks and parade marshals for the 113th St. Pat’s celebration. The two were originally scheduled to serve in the 2020 event before it was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. 

The board also announced the 2021 Honorary Knights of St. Patrick. The eight Honorary Knights are Dr. Mo Dehghani, Deanne Jackson, Floyd Jernigan Jr., Dr. Merilee Krueger, Dr. Bruce McMillin, Helene Hardy Pierce, Sandy Simmons-Gamble and Dr. John Wagner. 

The new knights will be honored during a public coronation at 7 p.m. Friday, March 12, at an online event. The event’s website or video conference link will be available online at stpats.mst.edu closer to the event.

The Honorary St. Pats will be a part of the 2021 St. Pat’s Reverse Parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 13, at Rolla Lions Club Den and Park located at 512 W. Lions Club Drive in Rolla, Missouri. Biographical information is as follows: 

— 2021 Honorary St. Pats and parade marshals Kevin and Meg Brady 

Kevin Brady of Rolla, Missouri, is retired senior finance and accounting manager in student affairs at Missouri S&T, where he guided the budget and fiscal operations for the division and advised the S&T BBQ Club on campus. He is also the former advisor for Theta Tau Omega, now known as the Fraternal Order of Leaders. Brady earned bachelor’s degrees in accounting and finance from Missouri State University and an MBA from Lindenwood University. He was named an Honorary Knight of St. Patrick in 2005, along with his wife, Meg. Brady attended S&T as an undergraduate student and his familial S&T ties include his father Stan Brady, who earned a bachelor of science degree in metallurgical engineering from S&T in 1949; his wife Meg, who is an alumna; his daughter Lauren, who earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology from S&T in 2008; and his son Mitchell, a 2017 St. Pat’s Court student member, who earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering management from S&T in 2019. 

Meg Brady of Rolla, Missouri, is retired senior director of global learning at Missouri S&T. Brady served S&T for over 36 years, holding positions in information technology, global learning and the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFE). While at S&T, she helped establish the first IT help desk on campus staffed 24-hours a day by students, served as advisor to Lambda Sigma Pi for nearly 30 years, earned a staff excellence award and was the recipient of the 2018 Women’s Advocate of the Year Award. In 2007, Brady established the educational technology department on campus, which specialized in directly supporting faculty in teaching with technology. Brady earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in computer science from S&T in 1983 and 1989, respectively. She also taught courses for the computer science department in the 1990s as an adjunct faculty member. Her father, Don Sparlin, is a professor emeritus of physics at S&T who served for over 30 years and then taught as an adjunct in S&T’s mathematics and statistics department another 14 years after retiring. 

— 2021 Honorary Knight Dr. Mo Dehghani

Dr. Mohammad (Mo) Dehghani of Rolla, Missouri, has served as chancellor of Missouri S&T since 2019. A mechanical engineer, Dehghani is a research and academic leader who has years of experience leading organizations and building collaborative teams. He joined S&T from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, where he served as vice provost for research, innovation and entrepreneurship from 2013 until his appointment as S&T chancellor. At Stevens, he led the university’s development of research programs and implementation of the research and scholarship component of the university’s strategic plan. Prior to Stevens, Dehghani led the New Technologies Division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and then served as a professor of mechanical engineering and founding director of the Johns Hopkins University Systems Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Louisiana State University, where he also earned his master of science and bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering. Dehghani is married to Mina, a pharmacist. They have one son, Devon. A licensed pilot, Dehghani enjoys flying planes. He also enjoys fly-fishing. 

— 2021 Honorary Knight Deanne Jackson

Deanne Jackson of Rolla, Missouri, is the registrar at Missouri S&T. Jackson, originally from Edwardsville, Illinois, moved to Rolla to join the university in 1995. She earned her master’s degree of education in higher education administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Jackson is active with Missouri and national associations for university registrars and continually looks for ways to enhance the student experience at Missouri S&T. She has chaired numerous committees, both on campus and nationally, and tries to frequently volunteer for student programs on campus. Jackson met her husband, Jim Jackson, at Missouri S&T and they married in 2004. She has two sons, Austin Lohr of Kansas City, Missouri, and Bradley Lohr of Rolla, Missouri. Austin recently married Madison Rich and the two are the parents of Wilson the German shepherd. Bradley is married to Meggy Ross and they are the parents of Bodi the miniature goldendoodle. Jackson enjoys dog sitting, spending time outside hiking and visiting national parks. 

— 2021 Honorary Knight Floyd Jernigan Jr. 

Floyd Jernigan Jr. of Rolla, Missouri, is the parks and recreation director for the City of Rolla. Jernigan has served as a volunteer assistant coach for the S&T women’s soccer program since 2012, having previously coached at the club level in several states and as a volunteer assistant with the Rolla High School girls soccer team. As parks director, he has partnered with S&T students and professors on civil engineering projects and preservation and cleanup efforts for city parks, remediation efforts at Schuman Park and Frisco Lake in Rolla, and a ground-penetrating radar project and preservation of pre-1900s-era headstones at the city cemetery. Prior to joining the City of Rolla, Jernigan served as publisher of the Rolla Daily News and various other media companies. Jernigan earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Morehead State University and was a member of Gamma Beta Phi Society, Phi Kappa Phi and Theta Chi. He is also a graduate of Leadership Phelps County. He is married to Barbara Jernigan, an escrow officer for Wiggins Abstract Co. in Rolla. They have sons Kyle, who earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from S&T in 2018; Floyd III; and Jay; and daughters Amy, a student services coordinator for career opportunities and employer relations at S&T; Ann; and Holly.

— 2021 Honorary Knight Dr. Merilee Krueger

Dr. Merilee Krueger of Rolla, Missouri, is a teaching professor of psychological science at Missouri S&T.  Krueger began teaching at S&T in 1990 and has taught in some capacity for the last 30 years. Her faculty duties involve teaching and advising students in the areas of developmental psychology. Krueger earned a Ph.D. in leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a master’s degree in developmental psychology from the University of Nebraska. She has been married to her husband, Dr. Jon Wilsdorf, for more than 31 years. They have two sons: Nicholas, who is in dental school following his father’s footsteps, and Sam, who is studying mechanical engineering at Marquette University. Krueger says she considers working with and mentoring students as the greatest part of her job at S&T. 

— 2021 Honorary Knight Dr. Bruce McMillin

Dr.  Bruce McMillin of Rolla, Missouri, is a professor of computer science, director of the Center for Information Assurance, and co-director of the Center for Smart Living at Missouri S&T. McMillin earned a Ph.D. in computer science from Michigan State University and joined the Missouri S&T faculty in 1988. He leads and participates in interdisciplinary teams in formal methods for fault tolerance and cyber-physical security in distributed embedded systems with an eye toward critical infrastructure protection. McMillin has authored over 120 refereed papers in international conferences and journals. He is a senior member and Golden Core member of the IEEE Computer Society. He is also a member of the Computing ABET Accreditation Commission, serves as a director of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB), and is an IEEE Computer Society distinguished visitor. McMillin lives in Rolla with his spouse, Lorie, and a cat they found in a tree. They have two adult daughters. He and Lorie like travel, food and wine, not necessarily in that order.

— 2021 Honorary Knight Helene Hardy Pierce

Helene Hardy Pierce of Sparta, New Jersey, is the vice president of technical services, codes and industry relations at GAF Materials Corp. In her current role, Pierce is responsible for product technical support, testing and regulatory compliance across roofing offerings, as well as industry collaboration and building science research and education. She has been active in the roofing industry for more than 40 years, starting as a co-op engineer with TAMKO Building Products in 1981. Pierce is a Fellow of both ASTM International and the International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants, and in 2019 she received the J. A. Piper award for contributions to the roofing industry from the National Roofing Contractors Association. Pierce earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering management from S&T in 1983, and was granted an honorary degree in 2007. She was inducted into the Academy of Engineering Management in 2005 and served as its president in 2008-2009. Pierce is also active in the Miner Alumni Association, serving on its board of directors and then as president of the association in 2017-2018. She is currently a member of the Missouri S&T Board of Trustees. She and her husband, Riley Pierce, are members of S&T’s Order of the Golden Shillelagh. Pierce has five brothers and sisters, two of which, Kent and Greg, are also alumni of Missouri S&T. 

— 2021 Honorary Knight Sandy Simmons-Gamble

Sandy Simmons-Gamble, of Rolla, Missouri, is a retired fiscal assistant in the international affairs office at Missouri S&T. Originally from the Rolla area, Simmons-Gamble lived in Houston for almost 25 years before returning to work at S&T. She retired from Missouri S&T in 2017 but continues to work part-time in S&T’s facilities operations department as its maintenance accountant. Simmons-Gamble and her Borzoi dogs have made several appearances in the St. Pat’s and Celebration of Nations parades, where she walks with S&T’s international and cultural affairs office. She has owned, bred and shown Borzoi, once called Russian Wolfhounds, for almost 40 years, producing numerous champions. Simmons-Gamble is also an American Kennel Club conformation and coursing judge. She and her husband, Rich, are members of S&T’s Order of the Golden Shillelagh and reside on a farm outside of Rolla. 

— 2021 Honorary Knight Dr. John C. Wagner

Dr. John C. Wagner of Idaho Falls, Idaho, is the director of Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and president of Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC. Wagner is responsible for managing and integrating a large, multipurpose laboratory whose mission focuses on nuclear energy, national and homeland security, and energy and environmental science and technology. He manages the U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory of approximately 5,200 scientists, engineers and support staff in multiple nuclear and nonnuclear experimental facilities, with an annual budget of over $1.3 billion. Wagner has been at INL since 2016. Prior to joining INL, he worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for nearly 17 years, where he held several research and leadership roles in reactor and fuel cycle technologies. Wagner is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and recipient of the 2013 E.O. Lawrence Award. He has authored or co-authored more than 170 refereed journal and conference articles, technical reports and conference summaries. He earned a bachelor of science degree in nuclear engineering from S&T in 1992, and a master of science degree and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in 1994 and 1997, respectively.