Southeastern News

Graduate school shows impressive growth with new online programs in Business, Education

DURANT, Okla. – Earlier this fall, Southeastern Oklahoma State University reported an increase of  6% in enrollment over last fall.

Southeastern’s official fall 2017 enrollment is 3,956 students and

represents the largest overall enrollment at the University since 2012.  In addition, Southeastern experienced an increase of 3.2% in student credit hours this fall, a critical component in the state funding formula.

The enrollment increase included gains in a number of categories, including new freshmen, Bryan County freshmen, Texas freshmen, and transfer students.

But the most significant growth came in the graduate school with the recent introduction of online programs in business and education to complement popular degrees in such areas as aviation sciences, Native American Leadership, and occupational safety & health, to name just a few.

According to Dr. Tim Boatmun, Dean of the Graduate School/E-Programming and Academic Support, enrollment in the Graduate School is 64% higher than last fall, while the Master of Business Administration saw an increase of 134% (408 students this fall compared to 174 last fall).

The University has also revamped its Master of Education programs in Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, School Counseling, and Educational Leadership  this fall. All programs are now 100% online.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage, who is in his fourth year at the University, said that online degree programs are greatly impacting colleges and universities across the nation, particularly at the graduate level.

“In today’s world of higher education, there is great demand for online learning opportunities,’’ he said. “The higher education model is changing, and our faculty members deserve a great deal of credit for adapting to this change. We expect this trend (in online delivery) to continue as we explore the possibility of offering additional academic programs online.’’

To that end, in January, 2018, the Master of Science in Sports Administration will begin being offered 100% online.

In addition to the convenience of online delivery, there is flexibility in scheduling as students have multiple start dates to enter the program throughout the year.  This is important to the large number of students who are balancing family and work responsibilities with classes.

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Southeastern student earns top speaker, Lincoln-Douglas honor at Sooner Showdown

DURANT, Okla. – Jacob Morrison of Southeastern Oklahoma State University was the top overall speaker and also took first place in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate at the Sooner Showdown Speech and Debate Tournament.

The event was held Nov. 3-5 at the University of Oklahoma.

Competing for the Southeastern Speech and Debate team (SSDA) were Jacob Gooch, a sophomore from Durant; Christopher Rhodes, junior from Sulphur Springs, Texas; and Morrison, sophomore from Durant.

Twenty-six schools and independents competed at the tournament: . Arkansas     State University, Arkansas Tech University, Butler Community College, California State University-Long Beach, Central Texas College, Drury State College, East Central University, Glendale Community College at Arizona, Houston Baptist University, Kansas Wesleyan University,  Northeastern State University, Oral Roberts University, Southern Methodist University, Sterling College, Texas Christian University, The University of Texas at Tyler, Tulsa Community College, University of Arkansas at Monticello, University of Central Arkansas, Valdosta State University, Wayland Baptist University, West Texas A&M University, and Whitworth University. Events ranged from International Public Debate Association, National Parliamentary Debate Association, and the National Forensic Association’s Lincoln-Douglas Debate to all 11 American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament.

SSDA next competes Friday through Sunday, December 1-3, at the Cameron Christmas Classic Tournament at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma.

For more information about SSDA activities or to learn more about becoming a member of the speech and debate team, contact advisor Dr. Randy Clark (580) 745-2556 or

Southeastern student broadcasters earn state awards

Southeastern’s top broadcasters for 2017 are, left to right, Jay King, Brandon Green and Charles Jackson.

Southeastern’s top broadcasters for 2017 are, left to right, Jay King, Brandon Green and Charles Jackson.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Brandon Green was awarded the Gene Dillehay Scholarship as a top broadcaster in the state.

Green, a senior from McAlester,  received his award at the OETA (Oklahoma Educational Television Authority) Student Broadcasting Day in Oklahoma City on October 14. He joins senior Jay King of Aledo, Texas, and senior Charles Jackson of Fort Worth, Texas, to give Southeastern a trio of top broadcasters in this school year.

OETA, Oklahoma’s public television network, annually hosts the student day, which is filled with workshops and presentations from industry professionals. The award is given each year to a student  who exhibits the highest standards and professionalism in broadcasting the long-time Oklahoma media personality Gene Dillehay.

Green had to submit an application that went through two screening committees and participate  in an onsite interview with the director of OETA.

King received the Mark Rawlings Scholarship and Jackson earned the Sadie Adwon Award. King and Jackson picked up their awards at the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters annual convention in March.

Southeastern’s Director of Theatre & Broadcasting Dell McLain said, “This has been a great year for the broadcasting program.”

Southeastern’s broadcasting program features campus radio station U92 FM, digital and online video production, plus sports and brand media management.

SE Live open house scheduled for November 15

DURANT, Okla. Southeastern Oklahoma State University will host SE Live on Wednesday, November 15.

SE Live is an open house event on Southeastern’s Durant campus that is targeted toward high school juniors, seniors, and their parents. Students are requested to register by Nov. 13 at

Prospective Southeastern students will have the opportunity to tour the campus, experience University traditions, learn about academic majors, receive information on admissions, scholarships and financial aid, and meet faculty, staff and current students.

Registration will be from 8-9 a.m. in the auditorium of the Glen D. Johnson  Student Union, followed by the  opening session in Montgomery Auditorium at 9 a.m.

During this time, there will be performances by the True Blue Ambassadors, school mascot ‘Bolt,’ Southeastern band, cheerleaders and the Sparks dance team.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage will also offer remarks during the opening session. There will be a number of breakout sessions throughout the morning and  students can choose to attend those they prefer.

There will also be sessions for parents.

Lunch will be provided on the front lawn at noon, weather permitting. Inclement weather will move the lunch to the ballroom. Academic departments and student life organizations will be set up during this time so students may visit and learn what is offered in their major interests.

The event will conclude at 1 p.m., unless students would like to go on a campus tour or meet with other departments.

Interim director of admissions and recruitment Jeremy Rowland said, “This is a great opportunity for students to get an idea of what college life is all about and more specifically what Southeastern has to offer. I’ve heard many students say that their experience at SE Live was what confirmed their decision to attend Southeastern.

“We typically have more than 500 prospective students and well over 100 faculty, staff and Southeastern students volunteering to make the day a success.”

Southeastern flight team qualifies for national competition

Southeastern’s Flight Team finished third overall in the 2017 Region VI SAFECON competition. Front row, left to right: Josh Tisue, Josh Cook, Captain Blake Scott, Dylan Dean, Luke Carson and Jonathan Hardee. Back row, left to right: Jacob Shiver, Taylor Nelson, Captain Derek Bolin, Joshua Brown, Mitchell Mills and Captain Joseph Hammer. Kyle Thomas (not pictured) is the faculty advisor.

Southeastern’s Flight Team finished third overall in the 2017 Region VI SAFECON competition. Front row, left to right: Josh Tisue, Josh Cook, Captain Blake Scott, Dylan Dean, Luke Carson and Jonathan Hardee. Back row, left to right: Jacob Shiver, Taylor Nelson, Captain Derek Bolin, Joshua Brown, Mitchell Mills and Captain Joseph Hammer. Kyle Thomas (not pictured) is the faculty advisor.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Flight Team took on the big schools and finished third overall in the Region VI SAFECON (Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference) competition on October 16-20.

The National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) event was hosted by the University of Nebraska in Omaha.

Also competing in the week-long event were the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Kansas State University in Salina, the University of Nebraska in Omaha, Parks College in St. Louis, and the University of Central Missouri.

Southeastern finished third in ground events and third in flying events to achieve its  overall third-place rating.

Nebraska-Omaha placed first overall, followed by Oklahoma State.

The top-three finish earned a bid for Southeastern to compete in the national SAFECON next spring. That event will be hosted by Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana, in April 2018.

“I am very proud of the young men on our team, not only because of their impressive finish, but because of the way they represented Southeastern,” said Kyle Thomas, assistant professor and Chief Flight Instructor in Southeastern’s Aviation Sciences Institute.

“This was a total team effort. Everyone contributed. To me, that makes their accomplishment even more special. I am especially happy for our seniors. I wanted them to have one more chance to compete at the national level.”

Derek Bolin (senior, Fort Smith, Arkansas) finished second in Ground Trainer, seventh in Computer Accuracy, ninth in Power Off Landings, ninth in Short Field Landings, and 10th in Navigation with Luke Carson (junior, Plano, Texas). Carson also finished eighth in Power Off Landings.

Taylor Nelson (senior, Owasso, Oklahoma) finished eighth for the Top Pilot Award, competing against more than 100 pilots. He also took third place in Short Field Landings, 10th place in Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation, and fifth place in Message Drop with Joshua Brown (freshman, Van Alstyne, Texas).

Joseph Hammer (senior, Dike, Texas) placed sixth in Aircraft Preflight, sixth in Computer Accuracy, and 10th in Power Off Landings.

Jacob Shiver (senior, Neptune Beach, Florida) finished sixth in Aircraft Recognition.

Mitchell Mills (senior, Friendswood, Texas) took seventh place in Short Field Landings.

Dylan Dean (senior, Bedford, Texas) was 11th in Power Off Landings.

Flute-centric band to perform Nov. 7 at Musical Arts Series

DURANT, Okla. – Injunuity, an award-winning Native American flute-centric alternative band, will perform as part of the Musical Arts Series on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Tuesday, November 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Montgomery Auditorium located in the Morrison Building.

The performance of Injunuity is sponsored in part by Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Native American Institute, Theatre at Southeastern, Oklahoma Arts Council, Red River Arts Council, and National Endowment for the Arts.

Injunuity is forged by composers Brad Clonch (Mississippi Choctaw) and Jeff Carpenter (Chickasaw). Since its inception, Injunuity has released four full length albums; snatched up multiple national music awards; performed across the United Stated and Europe; and has been featured in radio, TV, documentaries, and feature length films.

Immediately, this cultural sound and blend of genres drew attention, leading to the addition of two members — Philip Sullivan and Brian Harrison. The inspiration drawn for all original tracks and compositions are based on the ability to experience tribal culture and daily life in Oklahoma, as well as interaction among other tribes, historians, storytellers, and even trips to the original homelands of the Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Cherokee people.

Injunuity’s music promotes the introduction of Native American music and history into popular culture.

Injunuity will also offer an acoustic performance at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8, prior to a reception in the Center Gallery located in the Visual & Performing Arts Center.  This event will fuse Native American music with the featured Hogan and Keithley Native American Collection and art of Choctaw artist Janie Semple Umsted.

Admission is free for all performances of the Musical Arts Series.  For more information about this event, contact Dr. Jeremy Blackwood, MAS Coordinator at 580-745-2096.

Native American Symposium scheduled for Nov. 3

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will host the 12th Native American Symposium: Representations and Realities on Friday, November 3.

The Symposium will feature presentations and discussions on Native American literature, history, education, science, religion, art and film.

All events in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union are free and open to the public.

The Symposium begins at 9 a.m. Friday, November 3, with Native Politics and Native Veterans. It includes such offerings as Native Education and Native History.

Lunch in the loft is scheduled for noon with featured speaker Dr. Amanda Cobb-Greetham in the student union auditorium at 1 p.m. She is the director of the Native Nations Center at the University of Oklahoma and a graduate of Southeastern.

The event closes with the showing of Atanarjuat:  The Fast Runner, the first full-length film ever to be written, directed and acted entirely in the Inuit language.

For more information, contact Dr. Mark Spencer at 580-745-2921 or visit the website at

Opera Southeastern to present Dido and Aeneas on Oct. 27, 29

DURANT, Okla. – Opera Southeastern, a part of the Department of Music at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, will present Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell on Friday, October 27 (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday, October 29 (3 p.m.). The performances will be in the New Theatre Building, which is  located adjacent to the Southeastern Baseball Field and Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Dr. Jeremy Blackwood, Director of Opera Southeastern said, “Dido and Aeneas is based on the fourth book of Virgil’s Aeneid that unfolds the tale of the love and despair that Dido experiences through the journey of her love for Aeneas.  This, of course, means that there will be a very dramatic ending.  It’s opera!”

The role of Dido will be performed by Kristen Simpson, a junior from Guthrie, Oklahoma, and Aeneas,  by Carter Owen, a sophomore from Denton, Texas.  Other roles include Belinda, played by Grace Haynes, a senior from Lone Grove, Oklahoma; Allyson Thomas,  as the Attendant, from Durant; Courtney Mile, from Oklahoma City and Samantha Guerrer,  from Denton, Texas, as Witches; and Spirit played by Haley Moore, First Sailor by Iain Nix, and Sorceress, by D. Chance Eubanks from Cleburne, Texas.

Additional cast members include Jordon Palmer of Carrollton, Texas, Brandon Sears of Little Elm, Texas, and David Wright of Broken Bow, Oklahoma.

Dr. Kate Stubbs will serve as the Collaborative Pianist.

General Admission at the door is $7 (cash/check only). Student admission is free with student identification. For more information about this event and the Department of Music, call 580.745.2088.

Southeastern closed Oct. 19-20 for Fall break

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed Oct. 19-20 for Fall Break.

Classes will resume and office will re-open on Monday, Oct. 23.

Biology Herbarium dedicated to former professors

Dr. Connie Taylor receives a plaque from Southeastern president Sean Burrage and Dr. Teresa Golden, chair of Biological Sciences.

Dr. Connie Taylor receives a plaque from Southeastern president Sean Burrage and Dr. Teresa Golden, chair of Biological Sciences.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University officially dedicated the Biology Herbarium to former biology professors Connie Taylor and the late John Taylor Thursday afternoon. During their combined 50-plus years of service to Southeastern students, the Taylors taught courses not only within, but also outside their areas of specialty.

Dr. John Taylor taught in the Biological Sciences department from 1961-1990

with a specialty in plant ecology. Dr. Connie Taylor, whose specialty was systematic botany, taught from 1970-1998. The Taylors were honored with the Distinguished Former Faculty Award by the University in 2005.

A major lasting contribution of the Taylors was to the herbarium at Southeastern, located in the Biology Building. A herbarium is a research collection of pressed, dried and labeled plant specimens arranged by a classification scheme. The Taylors collected about 100,000 plant specimens, many of which remain in the 15,000-specimen herbarium on the Durant campus. They traded many of their specimens with other herbaria, including the one at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

The Taylors produced these specimens largely on their own time and at their own expense. They also obtained the herbarium cabinets at no expense to the school. To replace these cabinets at modern prices would exceed $107,000.

Offering remarks were biological sciences professor Dr. Stanley Rice, and Southeastern president Sean Burrage. Dr. Connie Taylor attended the official dedication ceremony, along with a number of friends, faculty and staff members.