Chorale to tour Europe; local concert set for Nov. 6

DURANT, Okla. – The Southeastern Oklahoma State University Chorale will make its European debut in December.

The public is invited to attend a preview when the Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Stacy Weger, will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall on campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

The concert, Lux Arumque, will feature the seasonal music the Chorale is preparing in anticipation of the upcoming European tour.

The European tour has been two years in the planning and execution stages. After submitting audition tapes through Music Celebrations International, the Chorale has been selected to perform in some of the most noted churches and cathedrals in Europe.

Concerts are scheduled for the beautiful Baroque St. Michael’s Cathedral in Budapest, Hungary; St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Minoritenkirche in Vienna, Austria; and St. Michael’s in the Wall in Prague, Czech Republic.

Southeastern’s Chorale performance at the Minoritenkirche has now been designated a fundraiser for a Romanian orphanage.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of the most beautiful and significant cathedrals in the world and the Chorale has been asked to perform in concert immediately following Mass.

Southeastern will also tour and perform at Schloss Esterhazy, the summer home of the Esterhazy royal family in Eisenstadt, Austria. The performance will be in the Haydnsaal, named after the court composer Josef Haydn.

Other appearances include attending the New Year’s Eve Kaiserball at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna and a tour of the Terezin concentration camp outside of Prague.

The Southeastern Chorale recently completed its annual fundraiser “A Night at the Copa” to assist in raising additional funds for the trip.

Two completely different concerts are planned for the trip. The first is a concert of seasonal music appropriate to cathedral venues; the second focuses on the American Church Music Tradition, raging from Sacred Harp to Spirituals.

Weger said, “I am so proud that this particular group of students will be the ones representing Southeastern in such a notable endeavor.

“They have worked tirelessly toward this goal and are singing beautifully. How fortunate we are that the community and University have also noted the value of this experience and have supported us in all ways.”

Vicki Hudson receives Higher Education award

Vicki Hudson, left, receives congratulations from Dr. Virginia Peters.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Vicki Hudson has been recognized as the Virginia Peters Higher Education Professional for 2012-13.

The award is named in honor of Dr. Virginia Peters, a longtime professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and former coach at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Hudson received the award at the State Convention held at UCO on October 16.

“It was an amazing honor to receive the Higher Education Award named for and presented by a woman whom I have long admired,” Hudson said. “She has been an outstanding leader in our profession for years and has served as an exceptional role model for all of the professionals in our discipline.”

The recipient of the Virginia Peters Higher Education Professional Award must prepare Oklahoma public and private school physical education teachers; oversee, direct and/or advise student teachers in the field of physical education; serve as a positive role model epitomizing personal health and fitness; share the enjoyment of activity; and demonstrate sensitivity to the physical and emotional needs of all students.

The recipient must also be a current member of the Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, as well as the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education who regularly attends and/or presents at state/district/national conventions and workshops.

Hudson has served as chair of Southeastern’s Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation since 1997. She is in her 43rd year with Southeastern and has coached several sports over the years.

She started women’s tennis, volleyball and basketball in the modern era and has served on numerous athletics- and academics-related committees.

In 1995, Hudson was presented the OAHPERD Honor Award in recognition of outstanding leadership and service to the profession and association. In 1996, she received the Pathfinder Award from the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports.

In 2012, she was inducted into Southeastern’s Athletics Hall of Fame.

Hudson is a two-time recipient of the Southeastern Faculty Senate Award for “Excellence in Service” and in 2012 was presented the “Lifetime Achievement” award by the Faculty Senate.

“My career at Southeastern has been an awesome experience,” Hudson said. “ I’ve had the opportunity to work with excellent administrators, wonderful colleagues and great students. I appreciate the opportunities that I’ve had, and the support through the years of my husband, Don, and my family and friends as well as the University community.”

SE Live, Native American Visitation Day set for November 7

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University has scheduled the SE Live Open House and Native American Visitation Day for Wednesday, Nov. 7, on the Durant campus.

Native American Visitation Day allows students the opportunity to learn about Native American benefits, attend a class on Native American studies, and play a traditional game of stickball.

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, Cat 5, 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.

To view an event schedule, get directions and register, go online to or contact the Admissions and Recruitment Office at 580-745-2060.

Southeastern participates in National Indian Education Association convention

Representing Southeastern at the NIEA convention were, left to right, Troy Ward, Chantelle Standefer, Caley Wesberry, Anthony Nonahan, Dakota Estrada, Brenner Builly, Leslie Wesberry Ethan Ruth, Evan Staples, Jennifer Kemp, and Robert Ferguson.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University was well represented at the 43rd annual National Indian Education Association convention and trade show.

The event was held Oct. 18-21 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. “Maintaining Traditions in a Digital Era’’ was the theme of this year’s convention.

Southeastern president Larry Minks joined more than a dozen students, faculty, and staff from the University in participating. Some 2,500 people attended the convention, which provided opportunities for visibility, networking and recruiting.  A number of workshops and forums were offered as well.

Representatives from Southeastern presented four workshops, and Chris Wesberry, Director of Southeastern’s Native American Excellence in Education program, also participated in a one-hour live “Native America Calling’’ radio broadcast.

President Minks spent two days assisting in the Southeastern recruitment booth.

Southeastern ranks annually among the nation’s leading universities in producing Native American graduates. Approximately 30 percent of Southeastern students are Native American.

“The conference provided an excellent opportunity for our students, staff, and faculty to learn and share with other Native people who attend higher education or work as professionals in Indian Education,’’ Wesberry said. “The workshops that we held were well attended and we had a great response from fellow educators regarding President Minks being in attendance.’’

Workshop presenters from Southeastern included Wesberry, “Creating a Native American Center for Student Success: Why, How, What;’’ Academic Advisor Chantelle Standefer, “Facilitating the Development of Culturally Competent Educators;’’ and Academic Advisor/Retention Specialist Jennifer Kemp, “Improving Retention Rates Among Native American Students.’’

Kathleen Hardgrove, Assistant Professor in the Department of Arts, Communication and Theatre at Southeastern, and a group of students presented the play “To Us It Wasn’t Code.” This is a collaboration between Southeastern students and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma on the Code Talkers of World War II, which debuted to high acclaim at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian as part of last summer’s Choctaw Days.

Also attending from Southeastern were Liz McCraw, Dean of Enrollment Management, and Tim Boatmun, Associate Dean of Academic Services.

Incorporated in 1970, NIEA is the oldest education organization focused on advancing education for Native students.

Southeastern to celebrate Native November with variety of events

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Native November celebration opens with a performance of “To Us It Wasn’t Code.”

The play, a collaboration between Southeastern and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, debuted last summer at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian as part of Choctaw Days.

The production covers the history of the World War II Choctaw Code Talkers and the vital role they played in the war.

The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Fine Arts Little Theater on campus.

Events are scheduled throughout the month and all are free and open to the public.

Nov. 3 – Recognition of Native American Scholarships (Harvey and Parsons Scholars) between the third and fourth quarters of the Southeastern-Harding football game.

Nov. 6 – Professional Development: Chickasaw Department of Homeland Affairs (2-4 p.m., Russell Building Room 300). The presentation will be an overview of Chickasaw history, in particular, some recent discoveries in the tribal Homelands of current day Mississippi.  The Chickasaw Nation Department of Homeland Affairs is responsible for consulting with federal agencies when they take actions that might cause impacts to sacred sites and culturally significant historic sites in the homeland states of Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi under the National Historic Preservation Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Nov. 7 – SE Live and Native American Student Visitation (9 a.m.-3 p.m. , Montgomery Auditorium). This is an event in which Native American students are invited to learn more about campus.

Nov. 17 – Chickasaw Cultural Center field trip to Sulphur (8:15 a.m.-3p.m.) Visit Traditional Village; see demonstration of the “Stomp Dance;” view 17-minute film “Behind the Scenes” on 40-foot by 60-foot screen; lunch at noon; Chikasha Poya Exhibit Hall tour; explore the CCC campus, visit Honor Garden, Gallery and Gift Shop.

Nov. 26 – Mini-Choctaw Days on campus as Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma will present dancing, artists and other cultural demonstrations.

For more information, contact Chantelle Standefer, Academic Advisor for the Native American Excellence in Education program, at 580-745-2812, 580-745-2316 or

Southeastern’s Bryon Clark shares knowledge through “batty’’ presentations

Dr. Bryon Clark talks bats with first-graders at Washington Irving Elementary School in Durant.

Dr. Bryon Clark talks bats with first-graders at Washington Irving Elementary School in Durant.

DURANT, Okla. – Bryon Clark’s interest in bats dates back to his childhood days on the family farm in Iowa.

“We were renovating our farmhouse and one day as they pulled the shingles off the roof we discovered a bat in between the rafters,’’ Clark recalled. “I was in the first grade at the time and I took it in a box to school for show and tell. Afterward, I took the bat home and released it. I guess I’ve been interested in bats ever since.’’

Keep in mind that this was the 1960s, a simpler time when “show and tell’’ was not regulated like it might be today and all types of exotic creatures appeared in the


Today, Dr. Clark is Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs – Student Learning and Accreditation — at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and a longtime biology professor. His study of bats has taken him across the United States and abroad.

And come Halloween time, he is often asked to share his knowledge of the flying creatures in presentations to students and adults alike.

“I probably make eight to 10 presentations a year,’’ Clark said. “In addition to local schools, I’ve traveled to such places as Ardmore, Stillwater, Idabel, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, and even Florida for programs.’’

His “Amazing World of Bats’’ presentation normally lasts 30-45 minutes, with plenty of time for questions, whether he’s at an elementary/middle school or civic club. Clark’s traveled the educational bat circuit for some 25 years now and the tradition has developed quite a following.

Worldwide, there are approximately 1,100 species of bats, according to Clark, including 22 types in Oklahoma and 32 in Texas.  In southeast Oklahoma, the most common is the Eastern Red bat.

“In many cases, bats get a bad rap,” he said.  “In movies and on television, they’re often characterized as blood-sucking vampires.  There are actually three types of vampire bats but none regularly occurs in the United States.  In fact, bats provide many beneficial services such as eating insect pests and pollinating several economically important plants in tropical areas.

“ One of the biggest misconceptions about bats is that most all of them carry rabies when in fact, a recent scientific study found that only about 1% of bats in natural populations in the United States and Canada are carriers; this percentage increases to about 6% for the bats most commonly encountered by people.  That does not mean that you should not be careful.  If you see a bat, especially one that is on the ground and appears to be sick, do not touch it with your bare hands but carefully remove the bat from the area so that it doesn’t bite an unsuspecting child or pet.”

Other frequent questions that fly Clark’s way are ‘how long do bats live?’ and ‘why do they hang upside down?’

“The life expectancy for bats in this region can range from 20 to 30 years,’’ he said. “By hanging from the ceiling of caves, they are protected from predators.’’

Over the years, Clark has received a number of phone calls from concerned citizens who were fearful that bats had infested their dwellings.

In some cases, he noted that instead of bats, birds known as chimney swifts were the culprit.

However, on other occasions, Clark has discovered  the real thing.

In one such instance, he rescued some 50 big brown bats from a business establishment. It seems that the bats had decided to use the second floor as a roosting site. Clark frantically collected the bats and moved them to a safe location.

Clark encourages everyone to learn more about bats and be bat friendly.

“These are tough times for bat populations in the United States,’’ he said.   “White-nosed syndrome has killed about 5.7 million bats since first being discovered in 2006 and many bats have lost their roost sites in caves and mines.”

Clark is just one of many Southeastern faculty/staff members who lend their expertise volunteering in various capacities in the community.

As a matter of fact, The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education named Southeastern Oklahoma State University to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This honor is in recognition of schools for their commitment to improving their communities through community service and service learning.

During the 2010-2011 academic year, more than 760 individuals from Southeastern (students-faculty-staff) completed approximately 30,000 hours of community service activity.

Clark  joined the University faculty in 1990, after completing his post-docotral studies at Oklahoma State University, and having having earned his Ph.D. at Kansas State University, his master’s at Western Illinois University, and his bachelor’s at Central College (Iowa).

If you would like to learn more about bats or to request a presentation, please contact Clark via e-mail at

Percussion ensemble to perform Oct. 23

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Musical Arts Series will present the percussion ensemble Talujon at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 23, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

The group will offer a master class at 4 p.m. on the same day in the recital hall.

The Musical Arts Series is sponsored by Southeastern, Red River Arts Council, Oklahoma Arts Council, Donna Massey Music Education Fund, and local donors and supporters.

There is no charge for the concert and the public is encouraged to attend.

Described by the New York Times as having an “edgy, unflagging energy,” Talujon has been captivating audiences since 1990.

Based in New York City, the group’s performances have included collaborations with well-known artists in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall.

The group also appears in universities and concert halls throughout the United States, as well as numerous festivals worldwide.

Talujon developed a program called “A World of Influences,” which incorporates its own compositions featuring homemade and traditional instruments.

Dr. Michael Lipsey is the founding member of Talujon Percussion and a full-time professor at the Aaron Copeland School of Music at CUNY Queens College, where he directs the Percussion Program and the New Music Ensemble.

He is a recording artist who has performed throughout the world and presented master classes at many schools, including the prestigious Julliard School of Music.

Other members of the group are Drs. Ian Antonio, Dominic Donato and Matt Ward, along with David Cossin, Matthew Gold and Tom Kolor.

Southeastern wins regional flying championship to advance to nationals

Southeastern’s  winning team celebrates at Friday night’s banquet.

Southeastern’s  winning team celebrates at Friday night’s banquet.

DURANT, Okla. – The Southeastern Oklahoma State University aviation program has a long and proud history of excellence.

A new chapter was added to this history last week when the Southeastern Flight Team  was crowned champions of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Region VI competition. Southeastern, which hosted the event, placed first overall, as well as in both the ground and flying events.

The 13-member team now advances to national competition, scheduled for  May 6-11 at The Ohio State University.

May 6-11 at The Ohio State University.

“This is a great accomplishment for Southeastern,’’ said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “Our aviation sciences institute is to be congratulated  for putting together a first-class event to make the city and University proud. And the results demonstrate the quality of programs we have in place.’’

Dr. David Conway serves as director of the Southeastern Aviation Sciences Institute.

“I am extremely proud of the SE Flight Team –- their hard work and dedication resulted in winning first place as well as being named Region VI Champions,’’ Conway said. “Congratulations to all the team members, professor George Jacox (flight team advisor),  professor Kyle Thomas (Region VI competition coordinator), and Amanda Steele (Region VI President).’’

Team members are Jordan Powell (captain), Ping Cheng, Ryan Gornto, Scott Sundstrom, Robert Jacobs (captain), Nathan Alcantara, Douglas Cobb, Alec Maloy, Nikola Topalovic, Michael Odea (captain), Joshua Ashcraft, Greg Eichten, and David Robinson.

“This was such an amazing week for the Southeastern  Aviation Sciences Institute,’’ said Kyle Thomas. “What a great group of young men. Thanks to all who made this week possible.”

Added George Jacox: “This group of students worked very hard and it paid off for them. We look forward to competing in nationals next spring.’’

All flying events and Aircraft Preflight Inspection were  held at Eaker Field; the remaining ground events were on the Southeastern campus.

Flying Events were Power Off Landing, Short Field Approach and Landing, Navigation, Message Drop, IFR Precision Flight, and IFR Simulated Flight.      Ground Events included Computer Accuracy, Ground Trainer, Aircraft Preflight Inspection, Aircraft Recognition, Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN), and Electronic Flight Computer.

On Friday, Oct. 12, the NIFA Region VI awards banquet was held in the Choctaw Resort Conference Center ballroom. Guest speaker was  James Hanny, first aviation graduate from Southeastern (’68) and a Distinguished Alumnus of the University. Hanny is also a former president of the Southeastern Alumni Association.

In the overall competition, Southeastern took first place with 543 points. Kansas State University-Salina was the runner-up with 426 points, University of Nebraska-Omaha third with 380, University of Oklahoma fourth with 320, University of Central Missouri fifth with 290, Parks College of St. Louis University sixth with 232, Oklahoma State University seventh with 225,  and Spartan  College of Aeronautics eighth with 111.

In the flight events, Southeastern claimed first place with 277 points, edging KSU-Salina with 276. Nebraska-Omaha was third with 241 points, University of Oklahoma fourth with 216, Central Missouri fifth with 161, Oklahoma State sixth with 136, Parks College-St. Louis University seventh with 127, and Spartan College eighth with 36.

Southeastern finished first in the ground events with 266 points. KSU-Salina was second with 150 points, Nebraska-Omaha third with 139, Central Missouri fourth with 129, Parks College-St. Louis University fifth with 105, University of Oklahoma sixth with 104, Oklahoma State seventh with 89, and Spartan College eighth with 75.


Fall Break

DURANT, Okla. – Fall Break at Southeastern Oklahoma State University is scheduled for October 18-19. All classes will be cancelled and offices closed during this time.

Normal University operations will resume on Monday, October 22.

Jazz Band presents “A Haunting’’ on Oct. 30

DURANT, Okla. – Halloween gets a head start this year when Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Jazz Band presents “The Haunting: A Jazz Concert,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

The Southeastern Jazz Ensemble is managed and directed by Dr. Tristan Eggener, assistant professor of music.

“I’m very excited to be working with this group of students,” Eggener said. “I believe all of their hard work and dedication entitles them to more than just a semester concert. They deserve a full-blown event.”

There will be a full program of great classic and contemporary jazz music that includes arrangement of “Take the A Train,’’  and “Rock This Town.” There will also be prizes, a costume contest and a spooky reception following the concert.

This interactive performance will be a fun and intimate showcase for the best instrumentalists Southeastern has to offer.

The concert is free and the public is invited to attend.

For more information, contact Eggener, assistant professor of music, at 920-544-1074 or