Southeastern News

Archives for 2012

Honor graduates recognized at Commencement

Dr. Cordell Adams (’82), left, was guest speaker at Commencement. In this photo, he is joined by Southeastern president Larry Minks.

DURANT, Okla. – Forty-two students graduated with honors Saturday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Fall Commencement, held in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Guest speaker was Dr. Cordell Adams, a Dallas ophthalmologist and 1982 graduate of Southeastern.

The honor graduates are listed by permanent hometown (Oklahoma, unless otherwise noted):


Summa Cum Laude: Alexandria Cassell, Friendswood, Texas; Brooke C. Cooper,

Durant; Richard Clinton Gasway, Idabel.



Magna Cum Laude: Derek M. Coleman, Moore; Jennifer Fangying Tsai, McKinney, Texas.

Cum Laude: Amanda Marie Anderson, Achille; Kara Renee Broome, Atoka; Pricilla G. Harris, Valliant; Susanna Noel McDaniel, Tishomingo; Casey Leigh Updyke, Oklahoma City.


The graduates walk across the stage Saturday at Bloomer Sullivan Arena.




Summa Cum Laude: Riley Denae Brooks, Durant; Marshall Cody Brown, Kingston; W. Scott Fomin, Mustang; Hunter G. Hampton, Kingston; Paige Michelle Hedrick, Valliant; Stormie Leigh Milne, Oregon, Missouri; Michael P. O’Dea, Grapevine, Texas.

Magna Cum Laude: Sara Laure Be-Ndong Djenno, Dallas, Texas; Erin Michele Christensen-Lopez, Van Alstyne, Texas; Jessica Dawn Coonrod, Achille; Danielle Elizabeth Fogarty, Denison, Texas; Michael Lee Harold Jr., Gillham, Arkansas; Lindsey Renee’ Lacy, Tom Bean, Texas; Samantha Darlene Moore, Madill; Hem Raj Sapkota, Durant; Keith David Todd, Nashoba; Carrie D. Williamson, Durant.


Cum Laude: Tetchi Huguette Assamoi, Abidjan; Tracey Marie Aviles, Plainview, Texas; Steven Daniel Baker Jr., Kingston; John B. Bradfield III, Denison, Texas; Alisha Marie Cockrill, Antlers; June A. Dobbins, Bennington; Ashlee Michelle Hale, Denison, Texas; Secret Lang, Atoka; Lindsey J. Logan, Paden; Jessica Lynn Miller, Boswell; Ann Millington-Nutt, Tushka; Matthew Blake Polk, Ravenna, Texas; Kristi Rae Rothrock, Durant; Sara Elizabeth Schmidt, Sand Springs; Cheryl Rose Thompson, Leon.

University closed for holidays Dec. 24-Jan. 1

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed for the holidays Dec. 24-Jan, 1.

The University will re-open on Wednesday, Jan. 2, and spring classes will begin on Jan. 14.

Fernando Braxton Music Scholarship endowed at Southeastern

A scholarship has been endowed in memory of musician Fernando Braxton.

DURANT, Okla. – The Fernando Braxton Music Scholarship has been endowed through the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Foundation to benefit students attending Southeastern.

The scholarship was established by friends and family of “Nando,” a full-time musician who lived in New Orleans.

After graduating from Denison (Texas) High School, he attended Grayson College before continuing his study in the Department of Music at Southeastern in

the late 1990s.

Many of Braxton’s friends and fellow musicians staged benefit concerts to establish and endow the scholarship.

The scholarship is established for students who have declared music education or music performance as their major field of study.

Students must be juniors or seniors and have a minimum 2.75 grade-point average to qualify.

The scholarship is to be awarded on the basis of merit with special focus on individuals of high character who will positively represent the name of Fernando Braxton.

Southeastern’s School of Arts and Sciences Scholarship Committee shall determine the recipient according to donor-approved guidelines.

Southeastern’s Allen Fritts takes top prize in Norton Anthology poetry reading contest

Allen Fritts

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University junior Allen Fritts has earned first place honors in the Norton Anthology Publishing Group’s world-wide oral interpretation (poetry reading) contest.

In the competition, Fritts was one of three finalists with his recitation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “Annabel Lee.” The other finalists were from Elmira (NY) College and Western Michigan University.


The contest was opened to a world-wide on-line vote with the Norton Group making the final decision.

Fritts is a junior pre-med major from Mililani, Hawaii, Oahu High School. He was selected Outstanding Freshman and Top General Chemistry student in 2010 and awarded the Kaiser Scholarship Award in 2011.

“This is a great honor for Allen and the entire University,’’ said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “This type of recognition reflects the quality of work produced by our students, faculty, and staff. Everyone who contributed deserves our congratulations on a job well done.’’

A student in Skip Robinson’s Center for Rhetoric and Professional Development, Fritts volunteered to enter the contest outside of his class schedule.

“As much hard work as I put into this, there are five other groups of people who deserve recognition for this great honor,’’ Fritts said. “First are all the people who supported me verbally and through voting.  Second are my wonderful collegiate level speech teachers, professor Robinson and Dr. (Lacinda) Brese-LeBron, who greatly improved my confidence and ability when speaking in public.  Third is Dr. (Meg) Cotter-Lynch for suggesting this contest.  Fourth is my mother, who taught me everything during my entire pre-collegiate learning career and encouraged me throughout this whole process.  Finally, and this is perhaps the most important of all, recognition and all praise go to Christ, who made me with an ability to speak.  Without Him, I am nothing.”

“Allen Fritts is a talented, hard-working young man who deserves such a high honor,’’ Robinson said. “He accepted this challenge in addition to a demanding pre-med academic schedule. Allen’s performance proves that our Southeastern students can compete successfully in any venue, even the world-wide stage.  The University administration, faculty, staff and students share in his accomplishment through mentoring, filming and transmission of video (Wayne Williamson and Dina Roman), and voting.   In a sense, it is a victory and recognition for the entire Southeastern family.’’
College and high school students were invited to submit an original video recitation between September 15 and November 1. Eligible submissions were judged by W. W. Norton in-house editors, who selected finalists for each of the works.

Southeastern Staff Association makes donation to SODA Senior Project

DURANT, Okla. – The Southeastern Staff Association (SSA) held its Fall Luncheon recently. Because of the efforts of the SSA Executive Team, the SSA Hospitality Committee and the campus staff, approximately $615 was raised and donated to the SODA Area Agency on Aging’s Surprise a Senior Project.

The purpose of the Southeastern Staff Association is to enable non-faculty employees to participate effectively in the achievement of the goals of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Serving as SSA officers this year are Stephanie Makke, president; Jason Hicks, president-elect; Dana Bell, treasurer; Thomas Wines, secretary; Michael Stout, past-president and historian; Karen Vazquez, professional representative; and Dyanna Bowen, secretarial/clerical representative.

Members of the SSA present a donation to the SODA Surprise A Senior Project. Front row, left to right, Penny Bridwell, Amy Ramos, Karen Vazquez, SODA representative Debbie Odom, Stephanie Makke, Lyndi Standefer-Scarberry, and Heather Smiley. Back row, Dana Bell, Thomas Wines, and Jason Hicks.

Traditional events highlight holiday celebration

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the community celebrated the holiday season Monday with a number of traditional events. This included receptions at the Magnolia House, a visit from Santa Claus, Christmas story readings, the lighting of the tree on the front lawn, and the Candlelighting event in Montgomery Auditorium.

Treelighting was held on the front lawn of campus.

Historic Montgomery Auditorium was the site of the 91st annual Candlelighting ceremony.









Dell McLain reads stories to children gathered on the front steps of the Magnolia

Poetry Reading & Book signing

Poetry Reading & Book signing
This Thursday,
December 6th, 2012 ~ 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Join us at the Southeastern Library & enjoy Ron Wallace’s

NEW Collection, Cowboys and Cantos*

*This would make a wonderful stocking stuffer!





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Top 10 Freshmen recognized

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Office of Freshman Programs hosted the Top 10 Freshmen Awards Ceremony Friday afternoon in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union.

The Top 10 Freshmen were selected by a committee of representatives from faculty, student government and University administration. The honorees have a collective grade-point average of 3.85 and are involved in numerous activities and leadership roles across campus.

The goal of the Top 10 Freshmen Award is to recognize, celebrate and nurture the success of first-year students. All students meeting the minimum requirements were invited to submit an application.

To be eligible, students had to be first-time freshmen in summer/fall 2011; enrolled at Southeastern in fall of 2012; complete a minimum of 24 hours in fall 2011 and spring 2012; and have a 3.25 cumulative GPA.

The 2011-12 Top 10 Freshmen honorees are listed below by hometown and field of study:

Kayl Bryant, Antlers, Okla., Medical Sciences; Barbara Bullard, Indianola, Okla., History; Kathy Jo Daniel, Coleman, Okla., Nursing; Amanda Gomes, Durant, Okla., Nursing; and Billy Hashaway III, Pittsburg, Texas, Political Science/Sociology.

Also, Danielle Julian, Valliant, Okla., Communication/Psychology; Taylor Matlock, Garvin, Okla., Occupational Safety and Health; Miranda Reid, Calera, Okla., Elementary Education; Aubrey Tarantine, Sherman, Texas, Communication; and Chance Wimberley, Colbert, Okla., Biology.

Front row, left to right, Barbara Bullard, Miranda Reid, Amanda Gomes, Danielle Julian, Kathy Jo Daniel, and Bill Hashaway. Back row, Southeastern Vice President for Academic Affairs Douglas McMillan, Aubrey Tarantine, Taylor Matlock, Kayl Bryant, Chance Wimberley, Student Government Association President Demetra Wilkerson, and Southeastern Associate Dean for Academic Services Tim Boatmun.

Dr. Cordell Adams to address graduates at Dec. 15 commencement


DURANT, Okla. – Dr. Cordell Adams (’82) will be the guest speaker at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Fall Commencement.

Two ceremonies will be held on Saturday, December 15, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Bloomer Sullivan Arena. A reception for all graduates, their families and friends is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Visual & Performing Arts Center.


Commencement Speaker:    Dr. Cordell Adams


The schedule is as follows:


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

John Massey School of Business

Master of Business Administration

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 (Aerospace Administration and Logistics)


11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Commencement Reception (VPAC)


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

Master of Technology

Master of Science (Occupational Safety and Health)

The second ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m., is starting an hour later than in previous years in order to allow for smoother traffic flow.

Adams is a board-certified practicing ophthalmologist at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, with a subspecialty in glaucoma. He has been in private practice for 17 years, and is a three-time recipient of the Physician Recognition Award from the American Medical Association.

He has distinguished himself for more than 30 years, first as a student at Southeastern, as chief resident in his ophthalmology residency, in his solo medical practice, and as a member of his community, professionally and socially. Adams was in the upper third of his class in medical school and his research, while in residency, fellowship, and private practice, is published in scholarly journals.

In 2009, Adams was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of Southeastern.

At Southeastern, he was a Presidential Honors Scholarship recipient and earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. He was involved in numerous campus activities, including Student Senate, the American Chemical Society, the University Players, and as an undergraduate research participant in Minority Biomedical Sciences. Adams  graduated Summa Cum Laude.

His hobbies include fine arts, music, intramural sports, fitness training, community activities, and recently number one on the list, creative writing. From this last endeavor, Adams has embarked on a literary career, and his first novel, Light Bread, was ranked No. 1 for local paperback fiction in the Dallas Morning News, in which he pays homage to his maternal grandmother’s wit, wisdom, and insatiable curiosity.

His father, the late Claude Adams, was an assistant professor of English at Southeastern.

Vote now for Southeastern in Norton Anthology poetry reading contest

Allen Fritts

DURANT, Okla. – The prestigious Norton Anthology Publishing Group (the gold standard in anthologies since the 1920s) is sponsoring  a world-wide oral interpretation (poetry reading) contest this fall.

In the competition, Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Allen Fritts is one of three finalists with his recitation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “Annabel Lee.”

The contest has been opened to a world-wide vote with the Norton Group making the final decision. Voting is a simple process: Click on Annabel Lee. Click on Allen Fritts. The three finalists are presented. Listen to Fritts (or all three). Click vote.

The other two finalists are from Elmira (NY) College and Western Michigan University.

Voting will be completed on December 7 and the winner will be announced in mid-December.

Voting is world-wide with a strict deadline only eight days away. Your vote will help bring this prestigious honor to Southeastern and our community.

Fritts is a junior Pre-Med major from Mililani, Hawaii, Oahu High School. He was selected Outstanding Freshman and Top General Chemistry student in 2010 and awarded the Kaiser Scholarship Award in 2011.

Fritts, a student in Skip Robinson’s Center for Rhetoric and Professional Development, volunteered to enter the contest outside of his class schedule.

College and high school students were invited to submit an original video recitation between September 15 and November 1. Eligible submissions were judged by W. W. Norton in-house editors, who selected finalists for each of the works.