Southeastern Occupational Safety & Health hosts Hazmat training

Thirty-two graduate students participated in the HAZMAT training at Southeastern.

Thirty-two graduate students participated in the HAZMAT training at Southeastern.

DURANT, Okla. – Students from as far away as California came to the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University recently to participate in HAZMAT II graduate course training.

The Department of Occupational Safety and Health welcomed 32 students to the hands-on HAZWOPER Training course. The students, enrolled in the HAZMAT II graduate course, gathered for their weekend practical exercise session to embrace the opportunity to take charge and implement a full scale response to various emergency chemical releases.

The hands-on exercise is required for the completion of the HAZMAT II course.

The lab included scenarios in hazardous materials recognition, preparedness, mitigation, recovery, and rescue. Students were required to respond to various emergency incidents involving chemical releases during the two-day exercise. The response included an incident command structure with the commander, information officer, safety officer and response personnel.

The exercise allows students to suit up with full chemical protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatuses and experience the difficulties associated with equipment, communication, and lack of information.

The weekend exercise was led by Southeastern faculty members Dr. Chris Bradshaw and Dr. Hal Poovey. The Durant Fire Department also offered assistance.

Candlelighting scheduled for December 7

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate one of its oldest traditions on Monday, Dec. 7, as Candlelighting begins at 7:30 p.m. in Montgomery Auditorium.

This event dates back to December 18, 1921, and is an annual highlight for the University and community.

Candlelighting is anchored by the Southeastern Symphonic Choir, the largest of the University’s choral ensembles, which includes members of the greater Durant community. The auditorium will be decorated with the banners of the event from past years, and the candelabras are lit by members of the Cardinal Key Society.

This year’s program is titled “Gloria! Song of the Angels.’’ The Symphonic Chorus will present the Gloria by John Rutter, scored for chorus, brass, percussion, and piano/organ. The instrumentalists are also student members of the music department. Additional choral works by Haydn, Rachmaninoff, Jennings, Clokey, and Chilcott will be sung, as well as a Chinese Christmas carol.

The SHARE Children’s Chorus will open the program. As always, there will be a carol sing-along for the audience.

The director of Candlelighting is Dr. Joshua Nannestad. Dr. Kate Stubbs (piano) and Dr. Michael Sheuerman (clarinet) will also perform. Dr. Jeri Walker is conductor of the SHARE Children’s Chorus.

The event is free and open to the public.

Prior to Candlelighting, a tree-lighting ceremony will be held on the front lawn art 7:15 p.m.

Colorado Literacy Director, Southeastern graduate Alisa Dorman to address Fall graduates on Dec. 12

Alisa Dorman

Alisa Dorman

DURANT, Okla. – Alisa (Frank) Dorman, Executive Director, Office of Literacy for the Colorado Department of Education, will be the speaker at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Fall Commencement.

Two ceremonies will be held on Saturday, Dec. 12, in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.




The two ceremonies will be held as follows: 

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. School of Education & Behavioral Sciences

John Massey School of Business

Master of Business Administration

Master of Science (Aerospace Administration and Logistics)

Master of Arts (Clinical Mental Health Counseling)

Master of Education

Master of Arts (Teaching)

Master of Science (Sports Studies and Athletic Administration)

Master of Science (Native American Leadership)


2:00 – 3:00 p.m.             School of Arts & Sciences

Master of Technology

Master of Science (Safety)

Master of Music Education


Dorman holds three degrees from Southeastern — a Master of Education in School Counseling (’95), a Master of Elementary Education in Reading (’95), and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (’90). She is a graduate of Bokchito High School.

“We are delighted that Alisa is returning to Southeastern as our commencement speaker this fall,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “It’s very meaningful for our graduates to hear from someone who has been where they have been, so to speak. And for Alisa to be a product of Southeastern’s teacher education program makes it even more special.  I think we all look forward to hearing her success story and the role that the University may have played in her impressive career.’’

Upon graduation, Dorman  began her education career as an elementary teacher in Texas and later in Oklahoma.   In 1997, she  was named Teacher of the Year for Durant Public Schools and was later named runner-up in the State Teacher of the Year program.

She left the classroom to join the Oklahoma Department of Education in 1998 as an early childhood and family education specialist.  In 2002, Dorman  became Director and Team Lead for Reading First, a federal reading initiative.

Dorman  spent nine years at the Oklahoma Department of Education before moving into education research and development.

She joined  Oregon-based Dynamic Measurement Group (DMG), where she worked as the Liaison to Partners, as well as Director of Training Events and Institutes. While at DMG, Dorman  served as a member of the Executive Team, as well as the Research and Development Team.  She contributed to the development of multiple literacy assessment tools and professional development materials for educators.

In her current position, which she has held since September 2014, Dorman oversees the Office of Literacy at the Colorado Department of Education. Part of her duties include leading  the state’s early reading initiative, along with several special projects related to early learning.  She is a member of the Education Commissioner’s Cabinet and co-leads the implementation of the department’s strategic plan.

Dorman  has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Oklahoma Child Care Resource and Referral Association Board, the State Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Committee, the Durant Education Foundation, and the Boys and Girls Club of Durant. She is currently serving as a Commissioner on Governor John Hickenlooper’s SERVE Colorado Board, and on the Planning Committee for the Lieutenant Governor Joseph Garcia’s Literacy Week Tour.

Dorman resides in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, with her husband, Chris.  They have two children, Riley and Emma.

She is the daughter of John and Mary Frank of Durant.

Southeastern Aviation Sciences hosts open house on December 4

DURANT, Okla. – The Southeastern Oklahoma State University Aviation Sciences Institute will host an Open House/Visitation Day on Friday, December 4.

The event will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and begin on the main campus in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union.

Participants may tour the flight facilities, meet regional airline representatives, tour campus and residence halls, visit with faculty flight instructors and experience the flight simulator.

The Aviation Sciences program has expanded since its inception almost 50 years ago with courses now delivered in Durant, Tinker Air Force Base and Rose State College in Midwest City and Oklahoma City Community College.

To register for the event, visit

Southeastern closed Nov. 25-26-27 for Thanksgiving

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed Nov. 25-26-27 in observance of theThanksgiving holidays. The University will reopen on Monday, Nov. 30.

Southeastern announces Retirement Incentive Plan, takes other steps to address budget issues

DURANT, Okla. – With decreased state allocations this fiscal year and the possibility of additional cuts in the near future, Southeastern Oklahoma State University is taking several steps to address its budget situation.

In an email to University employees Wednesday, Southeastern president Sean Burrage outlined several strategies, including the introduction of a Retirement Incentive Program; the consolidation/elimination of offices/programs; an additional 5% reduction in departmental operational budgets; and leaving 10currently vacant positions unfilled – one faculty, nine staff.

This is in addition to the University having previously made reductions in departmental operational budgets and imposing travel restrictions.

“These are difficult decisions, but we have made every effort to minimize the impact on our students and core programs,’’ Burrage said. “Many colleges and universities across Oklahoma and the nation are dealing with similar budgetchallenges – it is certainly not a situation unique to Southeastern.’’

A total of 54 full-time Southeastern employees (a combination of faculty and staff) will be offered the opportunity to apply for the Retirement Incentive Program. They will be notified this week of the specifics of the program.

For additional cost savings, Southeastern will combine the functions of the Business Office into other departments of the University. This consolidation will bephased in and should be complete by June 30, 2016.

Also, effective December 31, 2015, the Office of Continuing Education and the Center for Regional Economic Development will be discontinued. This will result in the closing of the swimming pool inside Bloomer Sullivan Gymnasium. For the past several years, Continuing Education and aquatics have not been self-sustaining programs.

Burrage has received input on the budget situation from such groups as the Southeastern Executive Team and the President’s Budget Advisory Committee, comprised of faculty and staff. That group has spent countless hours over the past two months analyzing the entire operation of the University. Their charge was to help prioritize the needs of the University as it related to the possibility of different levels of budget cuts, now and in the future.

Burrage said the committee’s recommendations, which he received Nov. 6, are currently under review. In the meantime, the University will continue to closely monitor the budget situation.

OnOctober 26, 2015, Gov. Mary Fallin issued an executive order to all state agencies to develop a plan for an additional 10% budget cut of nonessentialexpenses for this fiscal year and next fiscal year. This is due to the falling revenues amid the energy industry downturn in the state.

“At this point, it is impossible to forecast our future state allocations and enrollment, but there is a strong possibility that we will face additional cuts in the near future, as well as next fiscal year,’’ Burrage said. “As a university, we certainly want to be more efficient and also grow our enrollment. And we are confident we will achieve both of these goals.’’

TAPS discontinues service in Oklahoma

Southeastern Oklahoma State University received official notification today that TAPS Public Transit will no longer be offering service to Oklahoma. This is effective immediately. According to their spokesperson, it is not likely to be restarted. For updates, you may access the TAPS website at


Envoy Pipeline Program among unique offerings of Southeastern Aviation Sciences Institute

Southeastern president Sean Burrage visits with the Southeastern Flight team.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage visits with the Southeastern Flight team.

DURANT, Okla. – One of the more unique programs offered at Southeastern Oklahoma State University is Aviation Sciences.

The Aviation Sciences program has expanded since its inception almost 50 years ago, with courses now delivered in Durant, at Tinker Air Force Base and Rose State College in Midwest City, and at Oklahoma City Community College. It offers undergraduate degree programs with the Professional Pilot Option and the Aviation Management Option. In addition, a master’s program in Aerospace Administration and Logistics is offered.

One of the newest innovations is the Pilot Pipeline Program, an agreement Southeastern and EnvoyAir (formerly American Eagle Airlines) have in place to develop a career path from student to Regional Airline Pilot. This program gives the pilot a secured position at Envoy, while building time toward the ATP minimum flight experience requirements. Not only does the program provide this streamlined career path, but pilots are guaranteed an interview with American Airlines once completing requirements at Envoy.

Recruiting representatives from Envoy flew into Durant Friday on a Embraer to visit with Southeastern students about the Pilot Pipeline Program. Students in their sophomore year or higher can complete the Human Resources interview while still in school. Envoy conducts the HR interviews twice a year on campus.

The plane prepares for landing Friday in Durant.

The plane prepares for landing Friday in Durant.

“We’re in the third year of our partnership with our friends at Envoy and we’re seeing the program come full circle,’’ said Kyle Thomas, Chief Flight Instructor at Southeastern. “The majority of the students who first entered the pipeline program in 2013 are already serving as first officers for the airline.  These are amazing times for our students and we’re thrilled to partner with Envoy. “

Dr. Stan Alluisi (Chair of Aviation Management) and George Jacox (Chair of Aviation Flight) serve as co-directors of the Southeastern Aviation Sciences Institute. Other faculty members are Thomas; John Van Bebber, Assistant Professor; Dr. Charles Marshall, Oklahoma City; and Dr. Steve McNeely, Oklahoma City. Lori Rupert serves as program coordinator at Tinker AFB.

Alluisi said when he talks to prospective students, he has three main selling points that are appealing.

“We’re small, we know everyone, and we’re cost-effective,’’ Alluisi said. “That seems to resonate with many of the students and parents we come in contact with.’’

The Institute operates 19 airplanes:

  • 9 Cessna 150/152.  Primary trainers
  • 7 Cessna 172R.  Instrument, Glass Cockpit and Commercial training aircraft
  • 2 Cessna 182RG.  High Performance and Complex trainers
  • 1 Cessna 310R.   Multi Engine Training
  • 1 PFS Modular Flight Deck Advanced Aviation Training Device
A number of students and visitors greeted the Envoy representatives Friday.

A number of students and visitors greeted the Envoy representatives Friday.

The Southeastern Aviation Sciences Institute is accredited by Aviation Accreditation Board International and the curriculum is FAA approved for the restricted (right seat) ATP.

On Friday, December 4, an Aviation Open House/Visitation Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Durant Regional Airport-Eaker Field. Participants can tour the flight facilities, meet regional carrier airline representatives, tour campus and residence halls, visit with faculty flight instructors, and experience the flight simulator.

For more information about the aviation sciences program, visit

Southeastern student attends Women’s Leadership Seminar

Ashley Carranza attended the women’s leadership conference in Omaha, Nebraska.

Ashley Carranza attended the women’s leadership conference in Omaha, Nebraska.

DURANT, Okla. – Ashley Carranza was one of 50 students selected to attend the 8th annual Kiewit Women’s Construction Leadership Seminar in Omaha, Nebraska.

Carranza is a senior at Southeastern Oklahoma State University attending the University Center of Southern Oklahoma and majoring in Occupational Safety and Health.

Kiewit Corporation is an employee-owned Fortune 500 company and one of the largest contractors in the world.

Carranza  was chosen based upon her application, essay, grade point average, resume and letter of recommendation  from her instructor, Dr. Richard Braley.

The participants heard from Bruce Grewcock, CEO of Kiewit, and learned about what it takes to successfully lead a company. Grewcock said a company should try to be the best, not the biggest, and should feel blessed to grow.

He also spoke about the importanc  of PIES, which means People, Integrity, Excellence and Stewardship, and how if you can hit all four points in business, you will succeed.

The group also toured the Omaha Zoo to see the construction projects women were heading and also had several projects during the seminar.

The group was told that there are four steps in anyone’s career: enthusiastic beginner, disillusioned learner, emerging contributor and peak performer.

“There is a stair-step effect in our career paths,” Carranza said, “and as soon as we get to the top, we tend to put a ceiling on ourselves. When we reach the peak performer step, our bosses and mentors notice our hard work and promote us. Then we start all over at enthusiastic beginner.”

Carranza added: “I learned through this seminar that you can gain respect or you can be liked, a position in leadership doesn’t always allow for both. It is important to gain the respect of your employees and co-workers. When you do that, you will succeed in business.”

OCAST Regional Forum set for Nov. 16 at Southeastern with Lt. Gov. Lamb as keynote speaker

DURANT, Okla. – Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb will be the keynote speaker Nov. 16 at the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) Regional Innovation and Collaboration Forum.

The forum begins at 9 a.m. in the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Ballroom. The keynote speech is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

More than 100 community leaders from a cross section of academia, industry and government are expected to attend.  The event  is a way to promote and achieve regional partnerships based on common interests that lead to quality jobs, innovative communities and sustainable growth. It will explore ways to leverage regional strengths to realize economic growth in a region that stretches from McAlester to Durant to Ada to Ardmore.

Among the panelists/moderators scheduled to participate are OCAST executive director Michael Carolina; Oklahoma Secretary of Science & Technology  Dr. Stephen McKeever; Chair of the Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development Steven Hendrickson; Oklahoma Career and Technology Director Dr. Marcie Mack;  President/CEO of i2E Scott Meacham; Branch Executive of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Oklahoma City office Chad Wilkerson; Southeastern president Sean Burrage; and East Central president John Hargrave.