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Desma R. Reno has been named this year’s Three Rivers College Alumni Star. She will be honored at the Alumni Reunion festivities on Feb. 24, including a reception that day.

“We are excited to honor Desma as this year’s Alumni Star,” said Michelle Reynolds, Director of Development at TRC. “She has strong roots in the Poplar Bluff area and is well-respected in the entire Southeast Missouri region for her contributions to nursing education.”

The Alumni Star Award was created to showcase those who got their start at Three Rivers College. Recipients are chosen based on their civic and professional involvement, and their lasting connection to Three Rivers College. Reno requests that any donations in her name be made to the Three Rivers Endowment Trust’s Student Nursing Leadership Endowment.

Reno graduated from Three Rivers in 1974 with an associate degree in applied science.  While at Three Rivers, she was active in various organizations and served as Vice President and President for Phi Theta Kappa, Vice President of the Student Government Association, Secretary of the Science Club, and an officer in the Student Nurses Association.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1978 from Southeast Missouri State University, a Master of Science in Nursing in 1986 from the University of Central Arkansas, and completed doctoral work at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale as a PhD student in Workforce Education.

Reno has been a registered nurse for 49 years, served as a faculty member at Southeast Missouri State University for 37 years, and taught associate, baccalaureate, and graduate programs. She retired in June 2020 as Professor Emerita in Nursing. Post-retirement, Reno is a Nurse Consultant and a certified instructor/trainer for Mental Health First Aid for youth and adult programs.

When Reno joined the faculty at Southeast Missouri State University, she was instrumental in creating a partnership with Three Rivers to help students advance and earn their Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Throughout her career, she has inspired nurses to embrace the powerful influence they can have on health policy by making their voices heard by public policy officials.

Reno’s consistent, steady leadership for nearly five decades has benefitted nurses and patients throughout the state and nation. She has been a tireless and committed champion for the Missouri Nurses Association (MONA), the American Nurses Association (ANA), the Missouri Nursing Students Association (MONSA), and in the Southeast Missouri area. She has consistently worked to build the power of nurses across Missouri to speak up for themselves and their patients in their workplaces, in the state legislature, and Washington, D.C.

“I am blessed to have had an opportunity to start my nursing career at Three Rivers College,” Reno said. “Almost 50 years later, I know that my success as a nurse educator, nurse clinician, nurse leader, community leader, and advocate was due to where it all started. I am very thankful for this opportunity and am very proud to be a TRC Alumni Star in Nursing.”

The reception for Reno will be at 2 p.m., Feb. 24 at the Tinnin Fine Arts Center on the Poplar Bluff Campus, with the award presentation taking place at 2:30 p.m. To RSVP, contact Michelle Reynolds, or 573-840-9077. All are welcome, and Three Rivers Raiders apparel is appropriate for the reception and the Alumni Reunion events that follow.

Reno will also be honored during halftime of the women’s basketball game, which starts at 5 p.m., Feb. 24 at the Libla Family Sports Complex. For this event, TRC alumni and former students receive free admission to the Lady Raider game and the Raider game at 7 p.m.

The Alumni Reunion also features special activities and giveaways. For more information on all the events, visit

Main Campus
2080 Three Rivers Blvd., Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Summer Office Hours (June and July): Monday – Thursday,
7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

P: (877) 879-8722 View all locations