Chickasaw Student Leadership Academy held on Southeastern campus

Danny Wells, administrator of the Chickasaw Nation Division of Education, addresses students at the Academy Thursday afternoon.

Danny Wells, administrator of the Chickasaw Nation Division of Education, addresses students at the Academy Thursday afternoon.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Native American Center for Student Success, in partnership with the Chickasaw Nation, recently hosted the third-annual Chickasaw Student Leadership Academy (CSLA).

Eighteen Chickasaw high school students from 11 different schools stayed in University residence halls and attended classes during the day.

Highlights of the two-week event included visiting the George W. Bush Presidential Library and spending a day at Six Flags Over Texas.

Participating high schools were Ada, Allen, Ardmore, Byng, Choctaw, Davis, Latta, Pauls Valley, Plainview, Roff and Stonewall.

Students attending the CSLA learned advanced leadership skills, rhetoric, research and writing, and using technology to improve communication skills. They also studied the Chickasaw language, culturally related crafts and participated in Native American games.

Students also attended classes to prepare for the ACT.

“This is a significant partnership between the Chickasaw Nation and Southeastern,’’ said Chris Wesberry, Director of the Native American Center for Student Success. “The Academy provides valuable opportunities for Chickasaw students that not only prepare them for college, but to be leaders in their local communities.”

Broken Bow team wins SE Presidential Golf Classic

2015 PGC Winners

DURANT, Okla. – T.J. Construction of Broken Bow fired a 50 to take first place in Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s 2015 Presidential Golf Classic at Chickasaw Pointe Golf Club. Team members, from left: John Callaham, James Reyes, Jimmy Langford, Tommy Julian, Steven Weeks and Dameon Scott. Sarah Bonner won closest to the pin and Megan Marshall was the long drive winner for the women. Quaid Ogletree (closest to the pin) and Dameon Scott (long drive) were winners in the men’s division.

Southeastern named to President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

Southeastern students work in the community to help others on a regular basis throughout the year.

Southeastern students work in the community to help others on a regular basis throughout the year.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University was recently named to    the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Honor Roll is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).        The President’s Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition an institution of higher education can receive for its commitment to community, service learning, and civic engagement.

Southeastern was selected to the 2014 Honor Roll in the area of General Community Service because of the extensive involvement of its students, faculty, staff, and administration in serving those in need in southern Oklahoma and north central Texas.

This recognition was for activities reported during the 2012-2013 academic year. More than 900 individuals from Southeastern (students-faculty-staff-administration) completed, collectively, approximately 7,500 hours of community service activity.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage believes that such community involvement through volunteerism makes the University and Durant a special place to work and live.

“The culture of volunteerism at Southeastern is contagious and fosters effort to serve those in need of assistance,’’ Burrage said. “Our campus community realizes that it has both an opportunity and obligation to give of its time and effort for the betterment of others.”

From community service data collected by Dr. Bryon Clark, associate vice president for academic affairs and graduate dean, it was estimated that the Southeastern community directly or indirectly served more than 41,000 individuals during the reporting year.

“Southeastern is truly a unique learning environment because the faculty, staff, and administration are actively involved in community service and this clearly demonstrates what it means to be responsible citizens to our students,’’ Clark said.

The Southeastern community readily pitches in to help those unexpectedly struck by disaster, but long-term sustained efforts such as Families Feeding Families, St. Catherine House, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, volunteer income tax assistance program, Special Olympics, and campus blood drives are ongoing testaments to Southeastern’s commitment to the region.

CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

Safety students, faculty attend professional development conference

Dr. Wayne Jones, right,  visits with Tim Doan, a graduate of the safety program at Southeastern.

Dr. Wayne Jones, right, visits with Tim Doan, a graduate of the safety program at Southeastern.

DURANT, Okla. – Faculty, students, and alumni from the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Department of Occupational Safety & Health recently attended the 2015 professional development conference of the American Society of Safety Engineers in Dallas.

Department chair Wayne Jones greeted 65 alumni at the Southeastern EXPO booth and hosted a very well attended occupational safety alumni meeting .

In addition, Southeastern faculty member Dr. Nick Nichols presented a program on construction safety modules at the Academic Forum.

The annual convention of the 36,000-member society is the largest gathering of occupational safety professionals the organization sponsors each year. This year, more than 4,500 industry professionals met to participate in 600 small group training sessions as well as large gatherings and presentations by speakers such as the United States Assistant Secretary of Labor and Administrator of OSHA.

Southeastern’s Taylor Gregory elected to OSRHE Student Advisory Board

Sharon Robinson, vice president for student affairs at Southeastern, accompanied Taylor Gregory to the installation ceremony for the Student Advisory Board.

Sharon Robinson, vice president for student affairs at Southeastern, accompanied Taylor Gregory to the installation ceremony for the Student Advisory Board.

DURANT, Okla. – Taylor Gregory, a junior communication and occupational safety & health major from Ardmore, has been elected to serve on the Student Advisory Board (SAB) of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

She also holds the office of vice president of the Student Government Association at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The Student Advisory Board communicates to the State Regents the views and interests of all Oklahoma college and university students on those issues that relate to the constitutional and statutory responsibilities of the State Regents.

In representing students, the SAB combines the opinions of students with research to develop the best proposals and recommendations for the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education.

Seven members are elected annually by delegates to the Oklahoma Student Government Association. All members serve one-year terms, May through April.

Oklahoma post office murals subject of professor’s research, presentation

Dr. Shannon McCraw lectures during the Spring Symposium.

Dr. Shannon McCraw lectures during the Spring Symposium.

DURANT, Okla. – Dr. Shannon McCraw, Professor of Art, Communication, and Theatre, was the guest speaker at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Spring Symposium.

Dr. Lisa Coleman, Southeastern Honors Program Director, coordinated the symposium, and Sigma Tau Delta and Southeastern Honors Program hosted the event.

McCraw’s presentation, titled, “Cultivating Curiosity: Discovering Oklahoma’s Depression-Era Post Office Murals,” encouraged students to engage in primary research and look for opportunities to connect different areas of academic study. McCraw also discussed his research project on Oklahoma’s Depression-Era Post Office murals.

“This research project is a product of accident,” McCraw said, recalling a visit to the Coalgate Post Office. “I grew up in Marietta and the post

The post office mural in Marietta was painted by Solomon McCombs. (Used with the permission of the United States Postal Service®. All rights reserved.)

The post office mural in Marietta was painted by Solomon McCombs. (Used with the permission of the United States Postal Service®. All rights reserved.)

office has a mural painted by Solomon McCombs, and Coalgate’s mural was painted by Acee

Blue Eagle. I started with a basic set of questions. Are there more post office murals in Oklahoma, and, if so, why are these murals here?”

McCraw discovered there are 31 depression-era post office murals in Oklahoma, and more than 1,100 post office murals nationwide. The closest post office mural to Durant is located in Madill and features a prairie fire, settlers, and their horses and wagons.

The post office mural in Madill features a prairie fire, settlers and their horses and wagons.  (Used with the permission of the United States Postal Service®. All rights reserved.)

The post office mural in Madill features a prairie fire, settlers and their horses and wagons. (Used with the permission of the United States Postal Service®. All rights reserved.)

“It’s a beautiful, but frightening painting, ” McCraw said. “These paintings are more than just decoration. These images are statements about what people confronted in their pasts, and their drive to make a life for themselves in the future.”

Many murals in western Oklahoma depict cowboys on cattle drives and the opening of lands in Oklahoma territory prior to 1907. Other murals show wildlife. Six murals by five American Indian artists depict acts of tribal self-governance and lifeways.

Oklahoma’s post office murals were painted as part of the U.S. Treasury Section of Fine Arts, which was tasked with decorating federal buildings during the 1930s and 1940s. Most of Oklahoma’s 31 post office murals are in rural communities.

“Early in President Franklin Roosevelt’s first term, the Public Works Administration built post offices across the nation,” McCraw said. “These buildings, and other projects, created opportunities for employment. This was especially important to rural Oklahoma. The murals program provided a way to communicate directly to the people – the paintings reflected what was important to the local communities.”

Southeastern ranked seventh in the nation for affordability

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University was recently named the seventh most affordable small college in America.

The list of the “100 Most Affordable Small Colleges in America 2015” was published on the Best Value Schools website (www.bestvalueschools.com). The article ranks the top 100 four-year universities with 4,000 students or less on the basis of net price.

“One of our main selling points to prospective students and parents is affordability and quality,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “This ranking certainly reinforces that thought.’’

Southeastern offers 38 bachelor’s degree programs and 13 master’s programs, with traditional and online delivery available.  The University also offers programs at nine locations in Oklahoma and Texas.

Stout receives IT Service Award

Dr. Cynthia Rolfe, chair of the Council on Information Technology, presents the award to Mike Stout.

Dr. Cynthia Rolfe, chair of the Council on Information Technology, presents the award to Mike Stout.

DURANT, Okla. – Michael Stout, help desk director at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, was recently recognized for his commitment to civic engagement.

Stout received the Service Award from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Council on Information Technology. The Service Award is presented at the annual Oklahoma Higher Education Information Technology Summit and recognizes the efforts to promote civic engagement by Oklahoma’s higher education information technology professionals.

“Mike volunteers on a regular basis in the local community,’’ said Dan Moore, executive director of information technology at Southeastern. “He can regularly be found volunteering at the community based “Family’s Feeding Families” outreach center and also at his home church where he helps prepare meals on a regular basis.

“In addition, Mike volunteers with the local emergency management organization as a storm spotter and regularly attends advanced training to help support local emergency management efforts.  He is very deserving of this award.’’

Southeastern student claims first place in Norton Anthology contest

Dr. Lucretia Scoufos presents the Norton award to Joshua Mussett.

Dr. Lucretia Scoufos presents the Norton award to Joshua Mussett.

DURANT, Okla. – Recent Southeastern Oklahoma State University graduate Joshua Mussett has been named a winner in the 2015 Norton Anthology Student Recitation contest for his oral interpretation of “Beat! Beat! Drums!” (Walt Whitman). Mussert took first place in the Whitman Division poetry-reading category.

He is a graduate of Valliant (Oklahoma) High School and is from Idabel, Oklahoma. Mussett received his degree in Political Science from Southeastern on May 9.

He was a student of Skip Robinson, Director of Southeastern’s Center for Rhetoric and Professional Development.

“I feel greatly honored for the opportunity to represent Southeastern in such a large competition,” Mussett said. “Southeastern may be a small school, but we have incredibly gifted students in every area of study and I feel so grateful for all the support I have received from fellow students, professors, and especially director Robinson.

“Mr. Robinson and I spent many hours perfecting the poem and I am extremely happy with the result and all the praise that we have received.”

Robinson said, “Joshua Mussett is extremely talented and hard-working. He accepted the challenge of this competition, in addition to a demanding final semester’s work at Southeastern. This proves once again that our Southeastern students can compete successfully in any venue, even on the world-wide stage.”

Robinson also acknowledged the support and assistance provided by Dina Roman (filming) Dell McLain (revamped studio design) and Will Stacey (technical assistance).

Earlier this year, college and high school students worldwide were invited to submit an original video recitation of one of four selected works. Eligible submissions were judged by W.W. Norton in-house editors, who selected finalists for each of the works.

“In the past three years, Southeastern has had two first place winners and a second place winner in the Norton competition,’’ said Dr. Lucretia Scoufos, Executive Dean of Academic Affairs. “The common denominator, of course, is Mr. (Skip) Robinson, who performs magic with every student who studies under him.’’

In 2013, Southeastern’s Allen Fritts captured first place for his rendition of “Annabel Lee; last year, Sally Pickens was a runner-up in the competition.

Three sessions of Camp SE orientation scheduled

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University has announced the dates for Camp SE (orientation) and Camp SE Online.

The 2015 overnight Camp SE schedule: June 28-29, July 12-13 and July 26-27. All new students are required to attend an on-campus Camp SE or

Camp SE Online for non-traditional or transfer students.

The orientation tradition provides students the opportunity to meet other incoming students transitioning into the college environment.

Camp SE is priced at $85 per student and includes three meals in the University Café, snacks, one-night stay in Shearer Hall and Suites, a Camp SE T-shirt and other materials and supplies. Parents or family members may attend for $25 each. Parents will meet with campus administrators, faculty and Southeastern students.

Parents will enjoy breakfast and lunch in the University Café.

Camp SE Online costs $50 per student and will not start until after the first week of school. For more information, go to http://www.se.edu/campse.