Southeastern News

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.

Pianist to perform at Musical Arts event on February 8

DURANT, Okla. – Pianist Scott Carrell will perform as part of the Musical Arts Series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 8, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall on the Southeastern Oklahoma State University campus in Durant.

The program is titled “The Magic of the Piano” and will feature works of Franz Joseph Hayden, Felix Mendelssohn, Frederic Chopin, Noel Gallon, Edvard Grieg and Pierre Sancan.

Dr. Carrell has captivated audiences in the U.S. and Europe with his virtuosic flair, expressive playing and informative comments on both works and composers by presenting innovative programs of both classical and jazz works, including discussion of both works and composers.

He has offered numerous recitals as soloist and as collaborator, including concerto appearances with numerous symphony orchestras, including Austin and Fort Worth, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; and the Harding University/Community Orchestra.

An active chamber musician, Carrell co-founded the Searcy (Arkansas) Chamber Music Series and has performed at many of its concerts. He has also appeared in recital and small ensembles in Florence, Italy; Mainz, Germany; and Guangzhou, China.

Additionally, the French Piano Institute awarded him a prize for the best performance of a work by Henri Dutilleux at the FPI Festival in Paris, France.

He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas, where he studied with internationally-known artists and participated in masterclasses. Carrell currently serves as a professor of music at Harding University (Searcy, Arkansas), where he is Coordinator of Piano Studies.

This Musical Arts Series performance is sponsored in part by Southeastern, the Ruth Steger Piano Institute and the Clark and Wanda Bass Foundation Lectureship.

Admission is free for all performances of the Musical Arts Series and the public is invited. For more information, contact Dr. Jeremy Blackwood, MAS Coordinator, at or 580-745-2096.

Southeastern among 43 Teacher Education Programs recognized for National Excellence

DURANT, Okla. – Since its founding in 1909, Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been known as a “teachers college.’’

While the University has obviously expanded since that time, public school teachers and administrators throughout the country proudly hold degrees from Southeastern.

The quality of the Teacher Education Program was validated recently when

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) announced that Southeastern Oklahoma State University was one of 43 providers from 22 states and the District of Columbia to receive accreditation for their educator preparation programs.

The fall 2017 review by the CAEP Accreditation Council increased to 101 the total number of providers approved under the CAEP teacher preparation standards — rigorous, nationally recognized standards that were developed to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs.

“These institutions meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch. “Seeking CAEP Accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider.”

CAEP is the sole nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement.

CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. It is a unified accreditation system intent on raising the performance of all institutions focused on educator preparation. Currently, more than 800 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP Accreditation system, including many previously accredited through former standards.

According to Dr. Stewart Mayers, director of teacher education at Southeastern, the accreditation process began three years ago with the University’s collection of data and analysis. Utilizing that information, faculty members produced a thorough written report on all facets of the teacher education program. A national site team visited the campus last April, with the two-day visit including comprehensive interviews with faculty, staff, students, and others.

All those efforts resulted in the teacher education program at Southeastern receiving accreditation and high praise from the CAEP.

“I think a number of factors make our program unique at Southeastern,’’ Mayers said. “First of all, our institution’s history of preparing teachers for more than 100 years is a big plus. We are also very fortunate to have quality faculty members who excel in scholarship and research, but are also very accessible to students. We take a great deal of pride in that (accessibility), and think it is very important to the success of our students.’’

Mayers noted that the teaching faculty includes professors who are nationally recognized former public school teachers/former public school superintendents.

The Department of Educational Instruction & Leadership offers both undergraduate and graduate programming that prepares students to enter the teaching field/enhance their skills through continued professional development

The addition of completely on-line programs is another plus, attracting students to the program from around the country and also internationally.

For more information, visit


Aviation Visitation Day set for February 9 at Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will host Aviation Visitation Day for prospective students on Friday, February 9.

Faculty and flight instructors at the Southeastern Aviation Sciences Institute are professional pilots and the University has a fleet of 19 Cessna training aircraft and a Modular Flight Deck training simulator.

Individuals attending the event will have the opportunity to meet faculty and staff, learn more about careers in aviation, and receive information on admissions, financial aid, and scholarships.

Following is the day’s schedule:

9:30 a.m. – Registration (Glen D. Johnson Student Union)

10 – Opening Session

10:30 – Campus Tours

11:30 – Lunch

12:30 – Depart for Airport

1 p.m. – Tour Aviation Sciences Institute facilities

1:35 – Breakout sessions (Flight simulator, Careers In Aviation, Financial Aid)

2:45 – Closing Session

3 – Career Information Tables

For more information, go to

Southeastern features 50-plus years of training professional pilots and the Envoy Pipeline Program puts students on a path to employment.

Southeastern closed December 22-January 1 for holidays

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed for the holidays December 22 through January 1.

The University will re-open on Tuesday, January 2, 2018; spring classes begin on Tuesday, January 16.

Sights and Sounds of the Holiday season at Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University celebrated the holiday season Monday with a variety of events, including a community and faculty-staff  open house, visit from Santa Claus, music, and the the traditional Candlelighting ceremony in Montgomery Auditorium.





Southeastern partners to mentor kids in OJA program

Southeastern football player Shane Dixon is participating in the mentoring program.

Southeastern football player Shane Dixon is participating in the mentoring program.

DURANT, Okla. – Mentoring comes in many forms, but all with the same goal — investing in someone and doing all that is possible to ensure they reach their maximum potential. While most people can recall a mentor in their past who has encouraged them to keep going, work harder or simply to believe in themselves, not all take the time to give back by mentoring others.

Through a partnership with Southeastern Oklahoma State University, youth who are involved with the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) in Bryan County will be paired with student athletes serving as mentors for a semester. The program

launched October 31 and already includes four mentors and five kids.

The OJA provides intake, supervision, probation, custody, parole and reintegration services to at-risk youth in the State of Oklahoma.

Kheri Smith is a Juvenile Justice Specialist in Bryan County and she is a tireless advocate for guiding youth through the continuum of care with OJA. She sees mentorship as a catalyst for positive change.

“The program will provide encouragement and support for at-risk youth in the community by offering positive role models,” said Smith. “I hope our kids will be inspired to finish school, pursue postsecondary education and start thinking about their future.”

Kids will gain insight and perspective from mentors who are close in age but whose experience in working toward their vision and achieving their goals offers examples for a path forward.

“The mentoring program is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever participated in,” said Shane Dixon, a Southeastern football player participating in the program. “Everyone involved goes above and beyond for these kids, and I enjoy seeing them grow. I hope I can impact these kids’ lives as much as they have mine.”


Southeastern football coach Bo Atterberry has championed the idea from the beginning, and sees it as beneficial for everyone involved. “We stress to our student athletes the importance of being a role model in the community,’’ said Atterberry. “They need to understand that they can make a positive difference in a young person’s life. This program is a great example of a win-win partnership – our student athletes also benefit from this type of one-on-one interaction.’’


The partnership provides an opportunity for bringing together members of the community in support of something greater than themselves. It generates an investment of time and energy that produces real and immediate benefits.

“Community service is a point of emphasis at the University,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “Every year, when I speak to students at freshman orientation, I encourage them to get involved in activities outside the classroom, not only on campus, but in the community. I am very pleased to see our student athletes partnering with the Office of Juvenile Affairs. We think this is a program that has tremendous potential for growth in the future and are glad to be involved.’’

For more information on the mentorship program, please contact Kheri Smith at 580-924-8432 or


About Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs  

The Office of Juvenile Affairs is a state agency entrusted by the people of Oklahoma to provide professional prevention, education, and treatment services as well as secure facilities for juveniles in order to promote public safety and reduce juvenile delinquency.

Alpha Chi inducts new members

The Alpha Chi inductees were recognized at a recent ceremony.

The Alpha Chi inductees were recognized at a recent ceremony.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Oklahoma Theta Chapter of the Alpha Chi national honor society has inducted 55 students into lifetime membership.

An induction ceremony was held recently in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

Alpha Chi was founded in 1922 and has more than 400,000 members from more than 300 college and university chapters in 45 states and Puerto Rico.

Members of Alpha Chi, identified and elected by the faculty of their schools as ranking in the top 10 percent of juniors and seniors, represent the best

undergraduate scholarship in all academic fields at their institutions.

Following are this year’s inductees, with permanent hometown (Oklahoma, unless otherwise noted):

Michael Baker (Sherman, Texas), Taylor Barrick (Duncan), Alissa Benson (Edmond), Rebecca Braden (Sherman, Texas), Nadiya Bradley (Kingston), Reid Buchanan (Silo), Stephanie Canaday (Denison, Texas), Dylan Candelora (Reno, Texas), Erika Costain (Fort Worth, Texas), Emilie Cox (Wister), Chance Curry (Ravenna, Texas), Cannon Davis (Moore), Kameron Dunn (Calera).

Elizabeth Fentem (Kingston), Gabrielle Ford (Durant), Alexis Gabbart (Caddo), Austin Gilliam (Greenville, Texas), Brooke Hockersmith (Overbrook), Paige Hutchings (Hendrix), Michael Kellner (Tishomingo), Jayson King (Aledo, Texas), Timothy Knight (Sherman, Texas) Philip Leake (Durant), Elijah Marshall (Durant), Maria Martinez (Venezuela), Brandon McNeely (Cleburne, Texas).

Courtney Miles (Oklahoma City), Jesse Palacios II (Wylie, Texas), Abby Percell (Bennington), Russell Pritchett (Denison, Texas), Kameron Raper (Hugo), Katheren Rawls (Tuskahoma), Alexandra Ray (Blanchard), Destiny Riddle (Muskogee), Alix Robinson (Piedmont), Allison Robinson (Durant), Alyssa Robinson (Durant), Riggin Rogers (Calera), Jacob Shiver (Neptune Beach, Florida), Stephen Shropshire (McAlester).

Stormie Siron (Atoka), Matthew Slaten (Calera), Macy Smith (Finley), Reid St.  John (Mesquite, Texas), James Sutton (Durant), Crystal Tate (Boswell), Meagan Tharpe (Durant), Russell Tolbert (Pottsboro, Texas), Bernie Underwood (Savanna), Jacqueline Washer (Durant), Katherine Webb (Denison, Texas), Payton Whitehead (Colbert), Cara Worsham (Healdton), Alexis Wright (Ardmore), Heather Wyrick (Atoka).