Southeastern News

Southeastern participates in MLK Day activities

DURANT, Okla. –  Southeastern Oklahoma State University celebrated the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday.

This marks  Southeastern’s 15th consecutive year as a part of the MLK Jr. Day of Service.

The Day of Service is organized by Southeastern’s Office of Student Life and the Multicultural Office. More than 1,000 University students, faculty, staff and community members have participated in this event over the years.

Service areas were the Wapanucka City Water Project and local food banks.

Southeastern students load up water as part of MLK Service Day.

Southeastern students load up water as part of MLK Service Day.

Southeastern students volunteered their time at several local food banks Monday.

Southeastern students volunteered their time at several local food banks Monday.

Southeastern hosts Minnie Baker Art Show on Jan. 27

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will host the Minnie M. Baker Art Show and Dessert Reception from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, January 27, in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

The event is “Come and Stay as You Please” and will be held in the Centre Gallery at the VPAC, 1614 N. 1st Avenue.

Everyone is invited to attend.

Baker was a renowned artist and educator whose contributions to the Durant community, the state of Oklahoma and the field of American Art are immeasurable.

She was born in Ardmore, earned her bachelor’s degree from Southeastern and her master’s degree from Iowa State University. She continued graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma and attended several prestigious schools.

Her teaching career included public schools in Oklahoma and Washington, D.C., along with 21 years at Southeastern, where she served as chair of the Art Department and was named Associate Professor of Art Emeritus.

Her art work included portraits of Southeastern president Kate Galt Zanies, recognized as the first female president of a public college or university in the nation.

Baker’s work is represented in numerous permanent collections, including Southeastern and Durant’s Three Valley Museum.

Upon her death in 1983, Baker left a lasting legacy of artistic excellence through her art and the art of her students.

Southeastern has chosen to honor her memory and her art with the Minnie M. Baker Art Show.

Musical Arts series continues with Feb. 5 concert

DURANT, Okla. –  Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Musical Arts Series will present Armonia Celeste, an early music vocal and instrumental ensemble, in concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5.

The performance is scheduled for the Fine Arts Recital Hall. The group will perform for the Durant Public Schools that afternoon.

There is no admission and everyone is invited to attend.

The Musical Arts Series is sponsored by Southeastern, the Donna Massey Music Education Support Fund, Oklahoma Arts Council, Red River Arts Alliance, Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, private donors and friends.

Delighting audiences with spirited performances, Armonia Celeste (ar-mo-nee-a che-les-tay) is an emerging ensemble specializing in rarely heard repertoire from the Italian Renaissance and early Baroque.

The group is comprised of three distinct female voices accompanied by period instruments: lute, theorbo, guitar, and the rare arpa doppia (Baroque triple harp. Each of the five members is a highly experienced solo performer. Together, the musicians create an unforgettable combination of varied vocal and instrumental colors, florid ornamentation, expressiveness and  noticeable passion for this repertoire.

The ensemble has been featured in a concert of Monteverdi’s Il settimo Libro di Magrigali with the Dallas Bach Society performed at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, in conjunction with the museum’s exhibit “Art and Love in Renaissance Italy” and has offered many concerts throughout Oklahoma and Texas.

Armonia Celeste appeared in and provided the music for an educational PBS documentary presented by Early Music Television entitled “Culture Wars of Venice and the Birth of Public Opera.”

Eugene Enrico, Early Music Television organizer and Professor of Musicology at the University of Oklahoma School of Music, said, “(The) new professional ensemble Armonia Celeste is the finest group I’ve heard performing early baroque Italian music.”

Chancellor Johnson to provide update on higher education at Southeastern event on Jan. 24

DURANT, Okla. – Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, regents, and tribal leaders are scheduled to be on the program Jan. 24 for “The Celebration of Student Success Through Partnerships’’ event at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

This event will also highlight Oklahoma’s “Complete College America’’ (CCA) initiative with examples of successful programs and partnerships in place at Southeastern and around the state.


Activities begin at 3 p.m. with a reception in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union loft, while the program begins at 3:30 p.m. in the atrium of the union.

Scheduled to be on the program with Southeastern president Larry Minks are Chancellor Johnson, State Regent John Massey, Regional University System of Oklahoma Regent and Chair Terry Matlock, Chief Gregory Pyle of The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and Governor Bill Anoatubby of the Chickasaw Nation.

At the event, Chancellor Johnson will provide an update on higher education as well as the CCA initiative.

At the inception of the initiative, state colleges and universities annually awarded 30,500 degrees. CCA’s goal is to increase that number 67 percent so that by 2023 Oklahoma colleges and universities will annually award 50,900 college degrees. During the 2011-12 academic year, state colleges and universities awarded 33,499 degrees/ certificates.

Major initiatives toward this goal are already under way, including working with K-12 by focusing on college readiness, transforming remediation, expanding collaboration with CareerTech, enhancing adult degree completion efforts, and tracking and rewarding improvements in degree completion.

Due to Oklahoma’s high level of collaboration, policy framework and long-term commitment to completion goal, CCA has designated Oklahoma as its national model for degree completion.

Established in 2009, CCA is a national nonprofit organization working to significantly increase the number of Americans with a college degree. The organization focuses on state policy change and building consensus among state leaders, higher education and the national education policy community.

Following this event, a ribbon-cutting for the Center for Student Success building, located in the old Campus bookstore/Magnolia Room, will be held at approximately 4 p.m. This one-stop facility includes the Academic Advising and Outreach Center, the Native American Center for Student Success, the Learning Center, the Writing Center, and the Office of Freshman Programs. Tours of the facility will also be offered.

The public is invited to attend both events.

Survey reveals Southeastern ranks high in student satisfaction

DURANT, Okla. – The survey says that students at Southeastern Oklahoma State University are satisfied that the University is meeting and, in many cases, exceeding their expectations.  In fact, student satisfaction is higher at Southeastern when compared to results nationally at other four-year institutions.

The Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) was administered to 447 Southeastern students in the spring and fall of 2012. The SSI is one tool utilized in assessing student satisfaction and priorities among various categories.


When asked if their college experience has met their expectations so far, 88% of Southeastern respondents said expectations were met or exceeded, compared

to the national satisfaction average of 84%.

According to the survey results, Southeastern students listed the following categories as most important: Academic Advising, Instructional Effectiveness, Safety and Security, Registration Effectiveness, Recruitment and Financial Aid. In all five areas, Southeastern rated above the national average in satisfaction percentages.

Among the highest level of satisfaction were Academic Advising and Institutional Effectiveness – the two categories that Southeastern students also ranked as most important.

Southeastern students also gave the University high marks in such categories as Concern for the Individual, Student Centeredness, Registration Effectiveness, Recruitment and Financial Aid, Campus Life, and Service Excellence.

“I think these survey results confirm that our students are pleased with the quality of educational opportunities they are being afforded at the University,’’ said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “We strive to provide an environment and support system that assists students in reaching their highest level of potential, both in and out of the classroom.  As we recruit new students, we emphasize the importance of the individual attention they will receive from their professors and advisors at Southeastern.  The results are also a reflection of the dedication of the faculty and staff that we have in place at Southeastern.’’

This is the first time the SSI has been administered to Southeastern students since 2007.

Kathy Jo Daniel, a junior nursing major from Coleman, Oklahoma, says Southeastern has more than met her expectations.

“Academically, it has definitely met my expectations – all of my biology classes have been very challenging, but also very rewarding. I chose Southeastern for several reasons: First of all, I wanted to stay close to home.  I came from a small school (graduating class of nine) and if I had questions I wanted to be able to visit with my professors outside the classroom.  And I knew Southeastern would have all the classes I needed for my major.’’

Daniel is a member of the President’s Leadership Class (PLC) and also received the O.J. Harvey Native American scholarship. Last fall, she was honored with the Top 10 Freshmen Award. Outside the classroom, she is employed in the Southeastern Admissions Office, where she assists prospective students in a variety of ways.

Daniel’s parents are also Southeastern graduates.

Katie Whitley, a freshman from Durant, has also been pleased with her experiences at Southeastern.

The Durant High School graduate is undecided on a major, but in addition to her studies, has been active in the Student Government Association and PLC.

“I’ve only been here one semester, but I have been able to meet new friends and build new relationships in my classes and through my involvement with SGA and PLC,’’ she said. “I looked at a couple of other schools, but I wanted a smaller school with familiar surroundings.’’

Like Daniel, Whitley’s parents are Southeastern graduates.

Southeastern Chorale completes successful tour of Europe

The Southeastern Chorale performed at a number of venues in Europe in December.

The Southeastern Chorale performed at a number of venues in Europe in December.

DURANT, Okla. – The Southeastern Chorale’s recent performance tour to Europe was a huge success.  Performing in front of full houses in Budapest, Vienna, and Prague, the Chorale gave multiple encores in each venue.  The Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Stacy Weger, performed a varied repertoire ranging from Christmas music to American church music and spirituals.  As is often the case with European audiences, the spirituals were the most eagerly received, according to Weger.

The choir began its tour in December in Budapest, singing at the Baroque church St. Michael’s.   For many of the students this became the highlight of the tour musically.

“I was overwhelmed for the level of response from the audience members,’’ said Nicholas Vance, a Music Education major from Denton, Texas. “We were connected to them to them in a very noticeable way.  Their faces showed that connection and inspired us to sing at even a higher level.”

The audience, which was full at the beginning of the concert, continued to grow as the concert progressed, with more people crowding into the nave of the church.

From there, the Chorale moved on to sing at Haydn Hall in the Esterhazy summer palace in Eisenstadt.  The group performed a short set in the space where Joseph Haydn, one of the most prolific composers during the Classical period, conducted and premiered many of his works.  While there, they also toured Haydn’s home and burial site.

In Vienna, the Chorale sang at two memorable venues.  The first was St. Stephen’s Cathedral, one of the most noted cathedrals in Europe. The Chorale used this time to focus on sacred Christmas music, with a performance taking place immediately after mass.

The second performance took place in the Minoritenkirche, which was still beautifully decorated for the Christmas season with greenery and candlelight.  The space lent a special ambience for performance.

“I was most concerned about performing for the Viennese,’’ Weger said. “They are, as a whole, a very knowledgeable and discerning audience.  So much of our Western music has originated in Vienna, and those ideas spread around the world.  The Chorale was up to this challenge, giving two encore performances at this concert.  I was so pleased and proud of their efforts.”

While in Vienna, the students had the opportunity to visit the gravesites of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, and Strauss, and the memorial to Mozart. They also were granted the opportunity to bring in the New Year by attending “Le Grand Ball’’ in the Hofburg Palace.  The huge palace serves as the traditional venue for the Viennese debutantes to be presented at New Year’s Eve.  The entire palace was filled with people waltzing in the New Year to “The Blue Danube.’’  Southeastern students were up to this challenge thanks to Riley Coker, Assistant Professor in Theatre at Southeastern, who taught the students the Viennese Waltz before their departure.

From there, the Chorale moved on to Prague in the Czech Republic.  For many, this was a favorite place to visit because so much of its original architecture remains, creating a magical venue when lit up for the holiday season.  The choir performed at St. Martin’s in the Wall. Once again the choir sang in front of  a full audience and gave several encores.

“We were so close to the audience you could hear their reactions to our singing,’’ said Aaron Williams, president of the Chorale. “When we sang “Amazing Grace,’’ you could hear audience members humming along quietly with us.  That choked many of us up a bit.”

Fellow Chorale member Brenna Dougherty added, “It became so clear that we did not have to share a spoken language to communicate, the music spoke for itself.  However, it was great to watch the audience get excited when we sang a piece in Czech for them.”

The Chorale concluded its Europe experience with a visit to the Terezin Concentration camp.  This somber atmosphere left a lasting impression on all in attendance.  Terezin was noted for the number of musicians and artists who passed through before being sent to Auschwitz.  It was also a camp which received many children.

“It has always been an emotional experience to watch movies dealing with these camps,’’ said Chorale member Cynthia Estrada. “To actually be inside of one, to more clearly see the inhumanity that was taking place is something I will never forget.  It was an experience that is difficult to put into words.”

The Southeastern Chorale was joined by several Southeastern professors and administrators on this journey.

Sharon Robinson, Vice President of Student Affairs said of the experience: “The concert venues were amazing and hearing our students sing in these historic and beautiful spaces in Europe was memorable beyond words.’’

Weger agreed, saying, “I believe that sentiment is one that is shared by all.  This trip exposed our students to a different world view, placed them in the very cradle of the art form they are dedicated to pursuing, and offered a musical experience that cannot be obtained in this country.  We are so grateful to all those who supported us in making this trip a reality.  This includes private donations, administrative support, and assistance from the Presidential Partners.  I would like for them all to know they have made a difference in these young people’s lives.”


Music Education students conducting research

DURANT, Okla. – Music Education students, led by Dr. Jeri Walker, Donna Massey Professor in Music Education at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, will be conducting research throughout the month of January.

These students are gathering information to improve music teaching and learning and are seeking help from anyone age 18 or older who is interested in this project.

The purpose of the study is to learn what “traditional” American songs people know and can sing.

Participants will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire and then be asked to complete a short activity.

Participation is strictly voluntary and any data gathered will be confidential. There are no risks, benefits or compensation for participation, but it will be fun and will not only contribute to the Music Education profession, but help Southeastern students learn to create scholarly research.

The results of this study will be presented at conferences in Brownsville, Texas, and in Brazil. Participants will not be identified in any way.

For further information or to schedule at time to participate, contact Walker at or 580-745-2385.

Southeastern plans activities for MLK Day of Service Jan. 21

DURANT, Okla. –  Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 21.

Although classes will not be held, the University invites everyone to make it a “Day On,” honoring King’s memory by joining the Day of Service.

Southeastern will join the nation in pausing for the celebration of his legacy. In the spirit of King’s vision, the Corporation for National and Community Service has sponsored the Day of Service since 1994.

This will mark Southeastern’s 15th consecutive year as a part of the MLK Jr. Day of Service.

As King once said, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”

The concept of service was at the heart of his philosophy. He believed that a person’s worth should not be measured by his or her color, culture or class, but rather by his or her commitment to making a better life for all.

King said that a definition of a successful life must include service to others. He sought to forge the common focus of service to others by breaking down the social and economic barriers that divide our nation.

The Day of Service is organized by Southeastern’s Office of Student Life and the Multicultural Office. More than 1,000 University students, faculty, staff and community members have participated in this event over the years.

Registration is scheduled for 9-9:30 a.m. Monday (Jan. 21) in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union auditorium. Breakfast will be from 9:30-10 a.m. and the service aspect of the program is set for 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Service areas will be the Wapanucka City Water Project and local food banks.

Dr. Camille Phelps, Dean of Students at Southeastern, said, “One of our local communities is in dire need of water and as a result, we will collect water at the GDJ Student Union until the date of distribution on Jan. 21.

“Please bring 1-gallon (or more) water jugs and cases of bottled water to the Office of Student Life, room 307,  (M-F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) in the student union.’’

For further information, call 580-745-2947 or 745-2266. Groups and individual volunteers are welcome.

Southeastern hosts Celebration of Student Success event, ribbon-cutting on January 24

DURANT, Okla. – Dignitaries from throughout Oklahoma are expected to be in attendance at Southeastern Oklahoma State University Jan. 24 for “The Celebration of Student Success Through Partnerships’’ event.

This event will highlight “Oklahoma’s Complete College America’’ initiative with examples of successful programs and partnerships in place at Southeastern.  A reception will be held at 3 p.m. in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union loft. The program will begin at 3:30  p.m. in the atrium of the  Student Union.

Scheduled to be on the program with Southeastern president Larry Minks are Oklahoma Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, State Regent John Massey, Regional University System of Oklahoma Regent and Chair Terry Matlock, Chief Gregory Pyle of The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and Governor Bill Anoatubby of the Chickasaw Nation.

Following this event, a ribbon-cutting for the Center for Student Success building, located in the old Campus bookstore, will be held at approximately 4 p.m.

SE Live scheduled for February 6

DURANT, Okla. –  Southeastern Oklahoma State University has scheduled SE Live Open House for Wednesday, Feb. 6, on the Durant campus.

High school seniors and juniors, along with their parents and families, are invited to experience life as a student at Southeastern during SE Live Open House.

More than 500 students attended last year’s event.

“Students who come to SE Live will get the chance to attend college classes, meet current students and really experience what life is like as a Southeastern student,” said Southeastern recruiter Amity Smith.

Highlights include programs on Scholarships and Financial Aid, Southeastern Traditions, Residence Life, and Life as a Student Athlete. Campus tours will be offered throughout the day.

In the afternoon, students will have the opportunity to visit Eaker Field, home of the award-winning Southeastern Aviation Program.

Choir and band students will have a chance to rehearse with those programs and audition for music scholarships in the fall.

Entertainment throughout the day will be provided by performing groups from Southeastern, including the Sparks Dance Team, Chorvettes Stageworks Company, Cheer Squad, and the band.

All students attending the event will receive an SE Sackpack and one free lunch ticket. Lunch is sponsored by Durant’s First United Bank.

Registration and check in start at 8:15 a.m. in Morrison Hall lobby.  To view an event schedule, get directions and register, go online to or contact the Admissions and Recruitment Office at 580-745-2060.