Kendra Gross Named McCurtain County Campus Director

Photo of Kendra Gross

Kendra Gross

DURANT, Okla. – Kendra Gross has been named director of the McCurtain County Campus (MCC) of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

She has been employed at the MCC since 2000, most recently as Coordinator of Academics/Admissions/Advisement/Financial Aid and Instructional Support. Gross replaces Dr. Bruce King, who is now Executive Director of the Center for Student Success and Native American Institute at Southeastern in Durant.

“We are confident  that Kendra will do an outstanding job in her new role,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage.  “We are committed to meeting the higher education needs of our students and the community in McCurtain County.’’

Gross holds a master’s degree in Native American Leadership and a bachelor’s in general business, both from Southeastern, and both through the MCC program.

“I absolutely love working in higher education and helping others achieve their educational goals,’’ she said. “We have a great staff in place, and I feel very optimistic about the future.’’

Among her professional affiliations, Gross serves as a member of the marketing team committee for the 2016 Association for Continuing Higher Education National Conference and meeting.

As director of MCC, Gross will report to Dr. Robin Plumb, dean and director of Educational Outreach.

Gross, who is from Wright City, and her husband, Todd, have two sons.

The McCurtain County campus originated as a higher education center.

In 2005, the higher education center, through legislative action, was converted to a branch campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Campus facilities include traditional classrooms equipped with teaching tools such as electronic whiteboards, document cameras, sound systems and desktop computers; Interactive television classrooms, capable of receiving and sending courses to and from other teaching sites; two computer labs; science labs; conference room; auditorium and library.

The campus is connected to Southeastern in Durant through fiber optics, which allows students to utilize the BlackBoard learning system and CampusConnect student information system.

Through its unique partnership with Eastern Oklahoma State College, the McCurtain County campus provides students with access to a number of popular associate degree programs, including nursing and psychology/sociology.

Popular bachelor degree programs include business administration, psychology, criminal justice, sociology, liberal arts and applied studies, early intervention and child development, and computer information systems.

Elementary Education is a degree in which most of the courses in the major are taught on the campus by MCC anchor faculty member Dr. Barbara McClanahan.

Master degree programs offered include business administration, school administration, and sports studies and athletic administration.

A new program to be offered this fall from Rose State College through IETV is emergency management.

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Dr. Mac & Colleagues Discover New Species, Publish Article

Dr. Chris McAllister, EOSC-Biology Professor and colleagues recently had a scientific paper published in the Journal of Parasitology entitled, “Two new species of Homalometron (Digenea: Apocreadiidae) from Nearctic freshwater fundulids, elucidation of the life cycle of H. cupuloris, and molecular phylogenetic analysis of some congeners”. This publication is noteworthy in that it included host fishes, Blackstripe Topminnows (Fundulus notatus) collected by Dr. McAllister from Broken Bow at Yashau Creek, McCurtain County, Oklahoma.

Figure 1. Original line drawing of H. robisoni by T. J. Fayton and journal front page. Scale bar = 250 µm.

Figure 1. Original line drawing of H. robisoni by T. J. Fayton and journal front page. Scale bar = 250 µm.

Eleven of 97 (10%) of these topminnows were infected with a new species of parasitic trematode (flatworm) they named, Homalometron robisoni (Fig. 1), after an esteemed colleague, Dr. Henry Robison, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Biology and coauthor of Fishes of Oklahoma, formerly of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas.

The parasite represents the fifth species of the genus known from freshwater in North America. The study included morphological information (measurements) as well as molecular (rDNA) sequences of the worms. The life cycle of these parasites include maturing in the digestive tract of fishes with larval forms using snails as intermediate hosts.

Dr. McAllister and his colleagues continue studying the parasites of fishes of southeastern Oklahoma and have reported new host as well as new state (distributional) records for their parasites in various journals, including the Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science. Future publications will include additional descriptions of new species of parasitic worms from this physiographic region of Oklahoma which contains one of the most distinctive fish assemblages in the state.

The complete citation of this paper is: Fayton, T. J., S. S. Curran, M. J. Andres, R. M. Overstreet, and C. T. McAllister. 2016. Two new species of Homalometron Stafford, 1904 (Digenea: Apocreadiidae) from Nearctic freshwater fundulids, elucidation of the life cycle of H. cupuloris, and molecular phylogenetic analysis of some congeners.  J. Parasitol. 102:94-104.

You can read the published article at http://www.journalofparasitology.org/doi/pdf/10.1645/15-862.

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