Southeastern News

Southeastern enjoys successful Super Saturday

The Science Olympiad attracted junior high and high school students from across Oklahoma.

The Science Olympiad attracted junior high and high school students from across Oklahoma.

DURANT, Okla. – Despite the rain, one of the biggest campus events of the year – “Super Saturday’’ – went on as scheduled over the weekend at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

An estimated 600-plus junior high and high school students and parents were on campus for a variety of events.

More than 200 students participated in the State Science Olympiad, which Southeastern hosted for the third consecutive year. Students from 14 schools competed in 46 events across campus, with assistance from University faculty and staff, who volunteered their time.

Meanwhile, high school students were vying for scholarships in the President’s Leadership Class, Honors Program, Music and Theater departments.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., an Academic Department Fair was held in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union. During this time, faculty members provided information about their specific programs to the visiting students.

Professor Jack Ousey visits with a prospective student Saturday at the Academic Fair.

Professor Jack Ousey visits with a prospective student Saturday at the Academic Fair.

The Academic Fair was held in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union.

The Academic Fair was held in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union.

Pianist Christopher Atzinger to perform at Musical Arts event on March 6

DURANT, Okla. – Pianist Christopher Atzinger will perform as part of the Musical Arts Series on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Tuesday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m.  in the Fine Arts Recital Hall. Atzinger will perform works of Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, John Knowles Paine, and Samuel Barber.

Atzinger is widely celebrated for his insightful performances and has earned a  reputation for excellence. He has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe, highlighted by recital performances at Carnegie Hall (New York), Salle Cortot (Paris), St. Martin-in-the-Fields (London), National Concert Hall (Dublin), American Academy (Rome), Liszt Museum (Budapest), Barocco Cultural Arts (Valletta), the Smithsonian Gallery of American Art and Phillips Collection (Washington), and the Dame Myra Hess Series (Chicago).

His discography includes three highly praised albums released on the MSR Classics label – a debut solo recording of Bach, Beethoven, Barber and Fritze; and all-Brahms album; and “American Lyricism” featuring works by Christopher Theofanidis, Richard Danielpour, Monica Houghton, Pierre Jalbert, and Justin Merritt. He has also recorded works of Judith Lang Zaimont for Naxos and music of Amy Beach for Centaur Records.

Atzinger earned degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and University of Michigan, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. He currently serves as Associate Professor of Music at St. Olaf College.

This performance is sponsored in part by Southeastern Oklahoma State University, the Ruth Steger Piano Institute and the Clark & Wanda Bass Foundation Lectureship. 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 or <>.

U.S. Senator James Lankford speaks at Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. –  U.S. Senator James Lankford made a brief stop in Durant Wednesday. In these photos, Sen. Lankford addresses students, faculty, and staff at Southeastern Oklahoma State University during the afternoon in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

Southeastern student to receive broadcasting scholarship

Jesse Risner is shown at work in the studio.

Jesse Risner is shown at work in the studio.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University junior Jesse Risner is one of only six students to receive an Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters (OAB) scholarship for 2018-2019.

The scholarships are memorials named for Oklahoma broadcasters – Risner, from Durant, will receive the Mark Rawlings Scholarship.  Rawlings’  broadcasting career began in 1981 and he was very active with OAB, serving on the board or directors and chairman of the awards committee for two years.

The scholarships will be officially presented in April at the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters convention in Tulsa.  Risner and five other Southeastern students will be attending workshops, meeting industry professionals and having their production work evaluated in an annual competition during the two-day event.

Risner has distinguished himself in audio and video production while at Southeastern. He has launched his own media company, and is on the staff of campus radio station KSSU.

His various duties include facilitating station training focused on FCC compliance, along with station rules and production best practices. Risner also assists in live remotes, Office of Student Affairs events, assists department promotion and recruiting, as well as serving as on-air talent and producer and working with community organizations in need.

“Jesse is without question a student I can hand an assignment to and know that it will be seen all the way to completion with creativity and passion, ” said Dell McLain, who  serves as Southeastern Director of Broadcasting.

After earning his degree, Risner plans to join his brother Tanner (another Southeastern grad) in Los Angeles working in media production.

Also receiving scholarships were students from the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University.

Southeastern to host Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament on Saturday

DURANT, Okla. – More than 200 middle school and high school students from 15 public and private schools across Oklahoma will compete at Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Saturday, February 24, in the Oklahoma Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament.

The tournament is being hosted by the University’s Department of Chemistry, Computer, and Physic Sciences.  The students will compete in 2-4 person teams in one or more of 46 events that include most areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

Oklahoma has been involved in Science Olympiad for 17 years and this is Southeastern’s third year to host this Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament.

Science Olympiad competitions are similar to academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in each division (Division B is middle school; Division C is high school).  Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology.  By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved.  Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation.

Teamwork is a required skill in most scientific careers today, and the Science Olympiad encourages group learning by designing events that forge alliances.  In the Towers event, an engineering whiz and a kid from wood shop can become gold medalists. Similarly, a talented builder and a student with a good science vocabulary can excel in Write It Do It, one of Science Olympiad’s most popular events.

Schools from Calumet, Claremore, Jenks, Moore, Norman, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Warr Acres in Oklahoma are among the entries.

Faculty and staff from the Department of Biological Science and Department of Chemistry, Computer, and Physical Sciences have volunteered to design events, write and grade exams, and provide the support to make this event happen.  In addition, more than 12 Southeastern student volunteers are signed up to help with the competitions.

Local school teachers and administrators interested in learning about the Science Olympiad are encouraged to visit and watch the competitions.  The goal is to promote enthusiasm toward science so that more students consider STEMs careers.

For more information about the Science Olympiad event, contact Dr. Tim Smith at

“Super Saturday’’ set for February 24 at Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. – An estimated 1,000 students, parents, and school officials are expected to be on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University February 24 for an event known as “Super Saturday.’’

On that day, a number of activities will be taking place on campus, including the State Science Olympiad competition, which is expected to attract 300 high school and middle school students.

Also on that day, the Southeastern President’s Leadership Class, Honors Program, Music, and Theater departments will be holding auditions for high school students interested in earning scholarships to attend the University.

Throughout the day, students and other visitors will have the opportunity to go on campus tours and lunch will be available.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., an Academic Department Fair is scheduled in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union. During this time, faculty members will be available to provide information about their specific programs.

The tours, fair, and lunch will be in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union.

The Savage Storm basketball and baseball teams will also have games on campus in the afternoon.

“This event provides a wonderful opportunity for prospective Southeastern  students and their parents to learn more about what the University has to offer,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “Our faculty, staff and current students look forward to visiting with all our visitors and will be glad to answer any questions.’’

“Super Saturday’’ is hosted by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.


Southeastern receives “excellence’’ certification in Healthy Campus program

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been designated as a Certified  Healthy Campus and in doing so, earned the top rating of excellence.

The Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program is a free, voluntary statewide certification. The certification showcases businesses, campuses, communities, congregations, early childhood programs, restaurants, and schools that are committed to supporting healthy choices through environmental and policy change. These entities are working to improve the health of Oklahomans by implementing elements, policies, and programs that will help Oklahomans eat better, move more, and be tobacco free.

The Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program began in 2003 as a collaborative initiative with four founding partners – the Oklahoma Turning Point Council, the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma State Chamber, and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

According to April Lehrling, director of student wellness services, Southeastern has been involved in the certified healthy program since 2011.  Among the initiatives the University has implemented to help meet the criteria of a healthy campus are:

Designated walking trails on campus

Increased tobacco/drug/alcohol/depression screening efforts in Student Health Services

Offered free fitness classes

Offered Intramural activities

Encouraged positive eating habits by offering choice of healthy snacks in campus vending machines

In addition, the University offers a popular “Commit To Get Fit’’ exercise program and is a tobacco-free campus.

Southeastern hosts prospective students at Aviation Visitation Day

Airline pilot and Southeastern graduate Chris Ferguson addresses the crowd of high school students and their parents Friday at Aviation Visitation Day. Ferguson is a first officer with American Airlines and also president of the Southeastern Aviation Alumni Association.

Airline pilot and Southeastern graduate Chris Ferguson addresses the crowd of high school students and their parents Friday at Aviation Visitation Day. Ferguson is a first officer with American Airlines and also president of the Southeastern Aviation Alumni Association.

DURANT, Okla. – An impressive group of 70 high school students learned more about higher education and potential careers Friday as Southeastern Oklahoma State University hosted Aviation Visitation Day.

The informational event attracted visitors from as far away as San Antonio and Houston, Texas, as well as Arkansas.

The day’s agenda included tours of the main campus, as well as of the Aviation Sciences Institute facilities. Students visited with faculty and staff members, learned more about aviation careers from airline pilots who were in attendance, and received information regarding admissions, financial aid and scholarships at Southeastern.

Students experience the flight simulator Friday afternoon.

Students experience the flight simulator Friday afternoon.


Southeastern AAUP chapter to host state event March 10

On Saturday, March 10 from 9:00 to 4:00, the Southeastern Oklahoma State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) will be hosting its fifth consecutive AAUP Statewide Event on our campus.  This year’s theme is Values and the University:  Academic Freedom and Shared Governance.

The event is open to all SE faculty (full and part-time), and to all AAUP members.  There is no registration fee! Presentation proposals are also welcome (Call for Proposals) and are due by February 17.  Each proposal will be acknowledged and reviewed by the event planning committee.

The event will be an excellent opportunity for professional development, for communing with colleagues, and to participate in discussions about issues facing higher education and the professoriate.

This year’s event includes:

  • Guest speakers: John Covaleskie, Professor Emeritus, the University of Oklahoma, and Dr. Neil Houser, Professor of Education, the University of Oklahoma.
  • Keynote speaker: Rachel Buff, Associate Professor of History, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and editor of The Journal of Academic Freedom.
  • “Going Phoenix?” by Christala Smith, and a panel discussion “Values, Pedagogy, and Accelerated Online Programs,” with Dr. Tim Boatmun, Dean of E-programing; Dr. Brett Elliot, Professor of Mathematics and Director of General Education, and Dr. Meg Cotter-Lynch, Professor of English and Director of the Honors Program.
  • Jesse Snowden, “Values and the University: The wisdom of Henry Rosovsky.” Dr. Snowden first joined the AAUP in 1963!
  • Friday, March 9, from 2:00 to 4:00 in Russell 100, a panel discussion on the event theme, featuring guest speakers, Dr. Bryon Clark (VP for Academic Affairs), Dr. Dan Althoff (Chair, Faculty Senate), Dr. Randy Prus (Chair, Academic Council), and Ms. Carolyn Fridley (President, SE AAUP chapter). Everyone is invited!  Reception will follow at the Durant Hampton Inn.

These events have been a great success due to excellent speakers, and the participation of faculty and administrators, working together to improve colleges and universities in Oklahoma and in the region.  Thanks to funding from SE professional development grants and–for the second year—a generous grant from the AAUP’s Assembly of State Conferences, we are able to offer this top-notch event at no charge to you!

To register, simply email SE AAUP chapter president Carolyn Fridley (, Registration Flier) by March 3.

SE AAUP Chapter website:

Rachel Burr

John Covaleskie

Neil Houser

Jesse Snowden

Spring enrollment climbs 9% at Southeastern to reach seven-year high

Prospective students and their family members tour the campus at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Prospective students and their family members tour the campus at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University received some good news last fall when enrollment increased 6.2 percent.

Southeastern received even better news this week with the announcement that spring enrollment has jumped 9 percent over last spring to reach a seven-year high.

“While we were very pleased with the numbers last fall, we didn’t want it to be a one-shot deal,” said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “We knew it was important to not only sustain that success, but to build on it. Our enrollment had been flat or down slightly for a few semesters prior to that. What that (6.2 percent increase) did was two-fold: it validated what we are doing as far as expanding our online programming to meet the changing needs of our students, and it provided the campus with some energy, excitement and momentum as we moved forward. We still have some challenges, especially in attracting more undergraduate students, but I feel really positive about where we are and the direction we are going.”

This spring, Southeastern’s enrollment has increased significantly over last spring in both head count and student credit hour (SCH) production.  SCH is important as it plays a key role in the amount of state allocations the University receives each fiscal year.

Southeastern’s official Spring 2018 enrollment is 3,722 students – an increase of 9 percent (307 students) over last spring. This represents the largest spring enrollment at the University since 2012. In addition, SCH increased 5.9 percent.

While undergraduate student enrollment remained basically flat, graduate student enrollment soared with an increase of 52.1 percent (319 students).

The University now offers online master’s degree programs in Business, Education, Sports Administration, Aerospace Administration and Logistics, and Native American Leadership, as well as select undergraduate programs.

These programs are complementing other traditional popular degrees in such areas as Aviation, Occupational Safety & Health, and the sciences, to name just a few.

Burrage emphasized the fact that online degree programs are greatly impacting colleges and universities nationwide, particularly at the graduate level.

“The higher education model continues to change and we as a University have to continue to respond,’’ Burrage said. “In terms of course and program selection, delivery and costs, students today have more options than ever before. We have adapted by continuing to offer quality academic programs through a variety of delivery methods, including traditional face-to-face instruction and instructional television, while expanding our online presence. But as I’ve said many times before, even though the delivery format of instruction may be changing, the most important learning component remains the same – the professor.  And at Southeastern, that is one of our real strengths – faculty members who have not only the necessary knowledge and experience, but the desire to help students be successful.’’

Southeastern will submit its preliminary enrollment report to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on February 9.