Southeastern News

BrainStorm at Southeastern

Film-1DURANT, Okla. – Nick Growall addresses the audience Monday night at a Film Production Premiere at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. The event was part of the University’s “BrainStorm,’’ which continues through April 25. “BrainStorm’’ offers everything from student art exhibits to various presentations, discussions, poster exhibitions and musical performances. Topics  include science, literature, business, and history, among others. All activities are free and open to the public. For a complete list of events, visit

Musical Arts Series presents “Fifth House Ensemble’’ on April 25

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Musical Arts Series will present the Fifth House Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 25, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

The Fifth House Ensemble will be the final event in the 40th year of the Musical Arts Series. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Fifth House Ensemble combines flute, cello and piano. The Chicago-based ensemble is a versatile and dynamic group praised by the New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and finesse.”

Having pioneered the art of narrative chamber music with its signature series, Black Violet, The Weaver’s Tale, and In Transit, the group’s innovative performances engage audiences through their connective programing and unexpected performance venues.

The program is entitled “Exotic Americas and Beyond” and opens with a trio full of light and bubbly melodies that set the stage for the music to follow.

Each player has a feature work that shares both instrument and personality with the audience.

The program builds to George Crumb’s Voice of the Whale (Vox Balaenae), a semi-staged work where masked performers explore the sounds of their instruments in unexpected ways.

Crumb’s iconic work was the first piece these instrumentalists performed together, years before the forming of Fifth House, and it remains one of the most popular performance pieces.

The Fifth House Ensemble will also present two workshops for all interested artists. “Curriculum Integration on the Assembly Stage” is scheduled for 10-11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 24, in Fine Arts 116. The discussion will include concert design tips, tricks and ideas for the entire process.

“Arts Start-Up” will be presented from 10-11:30 a.m. Friday, April 25, in Fine Arts 116. The topics will include finding your artistic voice, ways to create business and funding structures, networking and marketing.

As a part of this two-day residency, Southeastern students will be coached by Fifth House musicians and perform one of Fifth House’s signature in-school concerts, entitled “Music Can Tell a Story” at Durant Intermediate School. The performance is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Friday, April 25.

The workshops are also open to the public free of charge.

The Musical Arts Series programs are made possible by generous donations from state and local arts funds, businesses and individuals. For information on becoming a supporter, contact Dr. Tristan Eggener at or 580-745-2240.

Southeastern closed on Friday, April 18

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed on Friday, April 18, for the Good Friday holiday.

Classes will resume and offices will re-open on Monday, April 21.

Spring Commencement scheduled for Saturday, May 10

DURANT, Okla. – Spring Commencement will be held at Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Saturday, May 10.

One ceremony for all schools will begin at 10 a.m. at Paul Laird Field.

Dr. Larry Minks, president of Southeastern, will deliver the commencement address.

In the event of bad weather, two ceremonies will be held in Bloomer Sullivan Arena as follows:

10 a.m.

School of Arts and Sciences

Master of Technology

Master of Science (Safety)

2 p.m.

School of Education & Behavioral Sciences

John Massey School of Business

Master of Arts (Clinical Mental Health Counseling)

Master of Education

Master of Arts (Teaching)

Master of Science (Sports Studies and Athletic Administration)

Master of Business Administration

Master of Science (Aerospace)

Southeastern’s Taylor Scalf named Newman Civic Fellow

Taylor ScalfDURANT, Okla. – Taylor Scalf of Southeastern Oklahoma State University is one of just 15 Oklahoma students named 2014-15 Newman Civic Fellows by Campus Compact. The honorees from Oklahoma are part of a group of 197 students from 36 states in the program, and were nominated by their college or university president as inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

The Newman Civic Fellows Award is named for Dr. Frank Newman, one of the founders of Campus Compact, who dedicated his life to creating opportunities for student civic learning and engagement.

“Southeastern has a long history of producing academically talented and civic-minded students and Taylor proudly carries on that tradition,’’ said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “She is a wonderful representative of our University and is most deserving of this recognition.’’

Scalf, a sophomore from Marlow, Oklahoma, and an Early Intervention and Child Development major, has made significant contributions to her campus and local community. She helped established R.A.K. (Random Acts of Kindness) on campus, an organization that encourages fellow students to embrace small acts of kindness and to never underestimate the power of simple gestures. One example is house and yard work for elderly community members who live close to campus. Scalf also serves as a Savage Storm Leader, assisting incoming freshmen with the transition into higher education and as a Community Hall leader in University housing.

She is also a Southeastern cheerleader and actively involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Baptist Collegiate Ministries.

With the Newman Civic Fellows Awards, college and university presidents acknowledge students with the ability and motivation to create lasting change in our communities. Through service, research, and advocacy, these Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.

Each Newman Civic Fellow will receive a $500 monetary scholarship award from Oklahoma Campus Compact and be invited to be recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education at their monthly meeting. The Fellows will be working with Oklahoma Campus Compact to extend service leadership opportunities to other students.

Southeastern Symphonic Winds presents “projekt (n): skylight” April 22

DURANT, Okla. – The Southeastern Symphonic Winds – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s premier instrumental ensemble – concludes its 2013-2014 concert season with a continuation of its ongoing celebration of new music called projekt (n) in a program entitled “skylight” on Tuesday, April 22.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in Montgomery Auditorium, is open to the public and is free.


The program features music written in the past five years by composers of great renown from across the United States. As part of the program, the concert will feature three composers in residence at Southeastern, working with students on performances of their pieces: John Mackey, from Boston; Michael Markowski, New York; and Jonathan Newman, Portland, Oregon. The composers will rehearse with the ensemble prior to the performance and present masterclasses, lectures, and discussions on campus during their two-day residency.

“These are three fascinating and extremely successful composers in the art music world,” said Dr. Jacob Wallace, Southeastern’s Director of Bands. “All three create beautifully diverse and rich music for the wind band palette that demonstrates a vitality and joyfulness that is inspiring. These are three of the people who are going to shape the world of classical music for the next several decades.”

Mackey has two works on the program: Sheltering Sky, which celebrates an American folk song tradition with lush harmonies; and Aurora Awakes, a virtuosic fantasy about a picturesque sunrise built on the repeated groove of a popular U2 song. Markowski’s Remember the Molecules is a bright and spacious rhythmic frenzy designed to evoke the imagery of the Montana wilderness. The program concludes with Newman’s massive Symphony no. 1, “My Hands Are a City,” which takes its inspiration from the beat culture of New York City in the middle of the twentieth century. Also featured on the program is William Pitts’ Conniption.

This program is a part of BrainStorm, and is made possible through the generous support of Southeastern’s Cultural and Scholastic Lectureship Fund.

The Southeastern Symphonic Winds is a performing ensemble consisting of Southeastern students and is open to qualified students in all disciplines pending competitive audition. For more information, please contact the Department of Music at 580-745-2088 or Wallace at 580-745-2084.

BrainStorm events scheduled for April 14-25

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will host the fourth annual BrainStorm Presentations and Poster Exhibitions on the Durant campus April 14-25.

The event offers everything from student art exhibits to various presentations, discussions, poster exhibitions and musical performances. Topics  include science, literature, business, and history, among others.

Among the activities is a presentation by Southeastern faculty members

Dr. Richard Braley and Dr. Halet Poovey on “The Odd and Unusual form the History of Safety” at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 17, in room 118 of the new classroom building.

The Southeastern Symphonic Winds will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, in Montgomery Auditorium.

Dr. Martin Bressler from the John Massey School of Business will discuss “A New Trend in Family Business: Parents Working for Their Kids” from 2:30-3 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in room 100 of the Russell Building.

Dr. Stacy Weger will direct the Southeastern Choral Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

The Musical Arts Series will feature the Fifth House Ensemble in three events, including a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 25, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

All activities are free and open to the public. For a complete list of events, visit

Occupational Safety students awarded scholarships

Scholarship recipients were, front row, left to right, Taylor Matlock, Kiefer Corbin, and Tyler Self. Back row, Walter Smith, Dr. Wayne Jones (department chair), and Tim Rulla. Not pictured, Evan Wakefield and Cam Williams.

Scholarship recipients were, front row, left to right, Taylor Matlock, Kiefer Corbin, and Tyler Self. Back row, Walter Smith, Dr. Wayne Jones (department chair), and Tim Rulla. Not pictured, Evan Wakefield and Cam Williams.

DURANT, Okla. – Seven Southeastern Oklahoma State University Occupational Safety students were recently awarded 2014 national scholarships by the American Society of Safety Engineers in Chicago, Illinois.

“This is the largest number of national scholarships we’ve ever been awarded at one time and I am supremely proud of our outstanding Southeastern students,” said Dr. Wayne D. Jones, Occupational Safety department chair.

“In a year of continued record-setting departmental growth and employer interest, this is just another indication of the superior students Southeastern continues to produce.”

This year’s scholarships and recipients are:

Charlie Darnell HSE Memorial Scholarship (Texas Safety Foundation) – Cam Williams, Overbrook, Oklahoma

Edwin P. Locke HSE Scholarship (Texas Safety Foundation) – Tim Rulla, Sherman, Texas

ISNetworld Scholarship – Kiefer Corbin, Calera, Oklahoma

ISNetworld Scholarship — Taylor Matlock, Garvin, Oklahoma

Marsh Risk Consulting Scholarship – Tyler Self, Coweta, Oklahoma

UPS Diversity Scholarship – Walter Smith, McAlester, Oklahoma

Southwest Chapter Roy Kinslow Scholarship – Evan Wakefield, Colbert, Oklahoma


Dr. Minks stepping down as Southeastern President

DURANT, Okla. – Lawrence C. Minks announced today that he is stepping down as President of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.  President Minks has served in this position since January 21, 2010, when he became the 19th President of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.  Minks will remain at Southeastern as President Emeritus and Distinguished University Professor of Leadership. He has also been appointed to serve as the Director of the new Center for Transformational Leadership at Southeastern.

Richard Ogden, Chair of the governing board for Southeastern said, “On behalf of the Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma, I commend President Minks for his service and the many accomplishments achieved during his presidency. He has put Southeastern Oklahoma State University on a secure financial footing through his business acumen and we appreciate his willingness to continue to serve while we begin a search for a new president. In addition, the Regents look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Minks toward greater academic and research success in the future.”

President Minks said, “I’m honored to have served the faculty, staff, and students as President of Southeastern and it has been a joy to work with the executive team here. As President Emeritus and Distinguished University Professor, I will be able to return to my initial love of teaching, research, and service.”

His last day as President will be June 30, 2014.

For more information regarding President Minks, please visit this weblink:

Nashville music executive offers insight at Developing Artist Symposium

Cliff Williamson addresses the crowd at Thursday’s symposium at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Cliff Williamson addresses the crowd at Thursday’s symposium at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

DURANT, Okla. – As far as the music business goes, Cliff Williamson has been around the block a time or two. Throughout a 50-year career, he has worn many hats, including disc jockey, record producer, publisher, and executive. Today, he is Chief Operating Officer of Reba McEntire’s Starstruck Entertainment  and Reba’s Business, Inc., in Nashville, Tenn.

Williamson was on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University Thursday to speak to students at the Department of Music’s “Developing Artist Symposium.’’

“You have to have passion,’’ Williamson advised students interested in a career in music, “but you must also have diligence. Success is relative … you measure your success by how happy you are.’’

Williamson noted that his passion for music began in junior high school and high school in Georgia and Tennessee when he joined the marching band. His professional involvement in the music industry began in 1964 while he was in high school when he was employed as a disc jockey.

The record executive told the audience that there are three keys to success in the music business.

“One key is you’ve got to know who your audience is,’’ he said. “Taylor Swift and Reba McEntire (a Southeastern graduate) are great examples of artists who recognize this. Then you have to know what they (audience) want. Finally, you must have the talent to give it to them.’’

Williamson also touched on “style’’ that makes artists successful.

“If you go back to the early 1970s, Conway Twitty had a lot of style. Today, Reba has a tremendous amount of style, as do artists like Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett, and many others.’’

During his hour-long presentation, Williamson mentioned a variety of other subjects, including the songwriting business, disco, vinyl records, the importance of social media in the record business, and some of the many other changes the industry has seen over the years.

But, according to Williamson: “A song is a song is a song, and a record is a record is a record – the same things that matter to making a hit record today are the same as they were, 20, even 50 years ago.’’

In addition to managing Reba, Starstruck also oversees the careers of such popular  artists as Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson.

Williamson has been associated with Starstruck for 20 years. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Texoma Health Foundation.

Also offering comments from Starstruck Thursday was Justin McIntosh, Creative Media & Marketing Director. He directed his remarks to marketing and creating a brand.

The two-day symposium, geared toward Southeastern students with an interest in the music business, marketing, performance, or songwriting, concluded Friday.

In addition to the lectures, roundtable discussions, singer-songwriting clinics, and musical performances were a part of the symposium.

Guest singer-songwriters  performing were country artist Amber Hayes (an Oklahoma native) from Nashville, and Austin Hartley-Leonard, based in Los Angeles.

This event was made possible through a grant from the Cultural and Scholastic Lectureship Committee, with additional funding from Choctaw Casino and Resort, Sports City Bar and Grill, and private donors.

Austin Hartley-Leonard performed Thursday night at Sports City.

Austin Hartley-Leonard performed Thursday night at Sports City.

Country artist Amber Hayes, an Oklahoma native, takes the stage at Sports City Thursday night.

Country artist Amber Hayes, an Oklahoma native, takes the stage at Sports City Thursday night.