Southeastern News

Safety Engineers president addresses Southeastern students

DURANT, Okla. – Jim Smith, who serves as president of the American Society of Safety Engineers, addresses a crowd of 150 safety students Wednesday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.  Smith is the director of risk control services for Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services.  He related his experiences in the safety field, along with observations on job opportunities for current and future graduates. There are currently more than 400 undergraduate and graduate majors in the Occupational Safety & Health program at Southeastern.

Southeastern to host president of American Society of Safety Engineers at campus speaking event

DURANT, Okla. – The Department of Occupational Safety & Health – which offers one of the most popular majors at Southeastern Oklahoma State University – is hosting a special speaker on campus.

Jim Smith, who serves as president of the American Society of Safety Engineers, will be speaking to safety students on “The Future of Safety.’’ The event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25, at 2 p.m. in the Hallie McKinney Ballroom.

Smith is the director of risk control services for Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services. He is a professional member of Region IV and an ASSE member for 30 years.

“It’s a rare event when the ASSE national president chooses to visit any university program,’’ said Dr. Chris Bradshaw, chair of the Department of Occupational Safety & Health at Southeastern. “We are honored and excited that our students will be able to experience this opportunity to hear a national representative of the safety profession speak in person. Mr. Smith’s influence in setting the national safety agenda in Washington and his role as the safety director for the largest safety consulting company in the U.S. will surely offer an interesting perspective for our students on the future of safety.’’

Founded in 1911, the American Society of Safety Engineers is the world’s oldest professional safety society. ASSE promotes the expertise, leadership and commitment of its members, while providing them with professional development, advocacy and standards development. It also sets the occupational safety, health and environmental community’s standards for excellence and ethics.

ASSE is a global association of occupational safety professionals representing more than 36,000 members worldwide.

Southeastern has a very active ASSE student section, with 100  members.

There are currently more than 400 undergraduate and graduate majors in the Occupational Safety & Health program at Southeastern. The department offers face-to-face and online bachelor and online master’s programs.

The program is a Qualified Academic Program (QAP) and makes graduates eligible to apply for the Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) credential. Individuals with the GSP can then apply for the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) credential.

Grayson College president receives E.T. Dunlap Medal

DURANT, Okla. –  Grayson College president Jeremy McMillen, right, was the recipient of the E.T. Dunlap Medal Tuesday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.  Presenting the award were Oklahoma chancellor Glen D. Johnson, left,  and Southeastern president Sean Burrage. The award is named for the late E.T. Dunlap, who served as Oklahoma chancellor from 1961-82  and is presented to a distinguished scholar or outstanding public official. As part of the ceremonies, Dr. McMillen presented the 11th E.T. Dunlap Lecture on Higher Education and Public Policy in the Hallie McKinney Ballroom.

Lesa Smaligo to address spring graduates on May 12

DURANT, Okla. – Lobbyist/consultant Lesa Smaligo will be the speaker at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Spring Commencement on May 12.

Two ceremonies (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) will be held in the Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Smaligo is a Southeastern graduate, receiving her bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1990. She was active on campus as  a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and the Southeastern Business Club. Following graduation, she worked in High School and College Relations at Southeastern as a recruiter and scholarship coordinator, served as assistant coach of the Southeastern cheerleaders, and was assistant director of the Miss Southeastern Scholarship pageant.

She is currently a member of the Southeastern Alumni Association board of directors.

After working in the private sector for two years, Smaligo served as Executive Assistant to the President of the University Center at Tulsa and worked for the next five years helping the Center become a full branch campus of Oklahoma State University.

In 2000, Smaligo took a position as Legislative and Fiscal Analyst for the State Regents for Higher Education.  During her tenure there, Smaligo was involved in the drafting and passage of the Tuition Deregulation bill, the Endowed Chairs bill and the OU/OSU Optional Retirement bill.

Switching to a contract lobbyist role on behalf of multiple clients in 2004, she successfully lobbied for the passage of HB 2660 – the Tobacco Tax bill.  In addition to contract lobbying, Smaligo also spent three years serving as Executive Director for CARE – Coalition of Advocates for Responsible Eldercare, Inc., a not-for-profit organization which is committed to excellence in long term healthcare.  In that role, she successfully lobbied for an additional $20.4 million in funding for nursing homes across the state.

In the summer of 2006, she founded The Smaligo Group, an Oklahoma based LLC specializing in lobbying and consulting.  She successfully signed Cisco Systems, a Fortune 500 company, as well as several other clients.

In 2007, Smaligo was appointed by Governor Brad Henry to serve on the Oklahoma Campus Life and Safety and Security (CLASS) Task Force representing the independent and private colleges in the State of Oklahoma.

During the 2012 legislative session, she successfully lobbied for the passage of the Uniform Equipment Dealers bill, which has now become the model legislation for many other states.

She and her husband, former State Representative and current Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo, reside in Tulsa. Their daughter is a student at Auburn University.

Smaligo has been involved in the community through Youth Services of Tulsa, Tulsa Ballet, American Heart Association Heart Ball Executive Committee, Tulsa Opera Ball Committee. She also serves on the Tulsa Zoo Presidents Advisory Committee, Emergency Infant Services Spectrum Society and the Green Leaf Gala committee. She was selected to serve as a member of Governor-Elect Mary Fallin’s Tulsa Inaugural Ball Steering Committee in 2010.

The schedule for Saturday, May 12, will be two ceremonies in the Bloomer Sullivan Arena, as follows:

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.      School of Arts & Sciences

Master of Technology

Master of Music Education

Master of Science (Native American Leadership)

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.          School of Education & Behavioral Sciences

John Massey School of Business

Master of Business Administration

Master of Science (Aerospace Administration and Logistics)

Master of Science (Safety)

Master of Arts (Clinical Mental Health Counseling)

Master of Early Intervention and Child Development

Master of Education

Master of Science (Sports Studies and Athletic Administration)

Additional information for students who plan to participate in the Commencement Ceremony is available at

The Faure’ Quartet to perform April 17

DURANT, Okla. – The Faure’ Quartet will be featured in Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Musical Arts Series at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

The performance is sponsored in part by Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Red River Arts Council with support from the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Admission is free for all performances of the Musical Arts Series and the public is invited.

The international group will perform “Water of Lethe” by Toshio Hosokawa, Piano Quartet, Op. 47 by Robert Schumann and Gabriel Faure’s Piano Quartet No. 2, Op. 45 in G minor.

The expectations regarding the diversity of repertoire have changed, which creates room for ensembles like the Faure’ Quartet, which has established itself as one of the world’s leading piano quartets within just a few years. Dirk Mommertz (piano), Erika Geldsetzer (violin), Sascha Frombling (viola) and Konstantin Heidrich (cello) discover new sound fields in chamber music and perform compositions outside the mainstream repertoire.

Southeastern’s Matt Maxwell accepted into UCSD-Salk Institute graduate program

DURANT, Okla. –  Matt Maxwell will graduate from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in May with a degree in chemistry.

But that’s only the beginning. Maxwell recently accepted an offer of admission from a joint Ph.D.  program between The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and The Salk Institute for Biological Studies to study cancer biology.

The Durant High School graduate expects to spend most of his time in graduate school in a biomedical research laboratory trying to uncover basic truths about human biology that can hopefully be utilized to develop more effective therapeutics for diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Beyond graduate school, Maxwell says his career goals are to “conduct research that will lead to the development of novel cancer therapeutics and to act as a mentor to young underrepresented students — such as Native Americans — in STEM fields.’’

Maxwell, who is Choctaw, received a number of offers from graduate schools, but says he chose UCSD because of the world-class research community in San Diego and its partnership with the Salk Institute. Founded in 1960 by Jonas Salk, developer of the first safe and effective polio vaccine, the Salk Institute is an independent, non-profit, scientific research institute located in La Jolla, California.

The UCSD graduate program is fully funded and provides all students with a generous stipend throughout the duration of graduate school, which is usually 5-6 years.

“Education is the foundation upon which the future is built,’’ said Neal Hawkins, Executive Director of Education at the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  “The Choctaw Nation is committed to give the resources to our students in order for them to succeed. Our Chief, Gary Batton, our Assistant Chief, Jack Austin. Jr., and our Tribal Council continue to commit their time, efforts, and funding to our educational programs and scholarships for higher education. We congratulate Matt Maxwell on this new opportunity and his accomplishments.’’

Southeastern Chorale to perform April 24

DURANT, Okla. –  The Southeastern Chorale, the premier choral ensemble at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, will be featured in concert on Tuesday, April 24, in the Recital Hall of the Fine Arts building.  The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Directed by Dr. Stacy Weger, the Chorale will feature the following student conductors for this concert: Grace Haynes, from Lone Grove, Oklahoma; Courtney Miles, Oklahoma City; Haley Moore, Cleburne, Texas; Georgia Mulkey, Gunter, Texas;  Kristen Simpson, Guthrie, Oklahoma; and Allyson Thomas, Durant.

These conductors will present the concert The Heroine Triumphan  – works featuring female composers and poets which give voice to the feminine perspective on community, faith, and love.

Dr. Kate Stubbs, collaborative pianist for the Department of Music, will serve as accompanist.

The concert will conclude with a dramatic rendering of the choral work The Heroine Triumphant by Steven Sametz.  This work, which will be staged by Dell McLain, Director of Theatre, uses popular songs from the 1890s.

Curriculum Contest attracts 1,200 students from 65 schools

Curriculum Contest

Curriculum Contest

DURANT, Okla. – Some 1,200 students from 65 high schools competed in the 105th Inter-High School Curriculum Contest Thursday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. The students participated in various academic events in one of the oldest events in the state.

Congressman Mullin visits Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. –  U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin made a stop on the Southeastern campus Wednesday morning during a trip to Durant. Congressman Mullin visited with students, faculty and staff in the Hallie McKinney Ballroom.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University closed Friday, March 30

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed Friday, March 30. All offices will re-open and classes will resume on Monday, April 2.