Southeastern News

Southeastern history professor authors new book on former Speaker Jim Wright

Dr. J. Brooks Flippen

Dr. J. Brooks Flippen

DURANT, Okla. – In the past, professor-author J. Brooks Flippen has tackled such subjects as Richard Nixon and the environment and Jimmy Carter and the Religious Right.

His latest foray into politic writing (“Speaker Jim Wright: Power, Scandal, and the Birth of Modern Politics’’) delves into the life and times of the late congressman from Fort Worth, Texas, who served as U.S. Speaker of the House in the late 1980s.

Flippen, who is a professor of history at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, is also a Fulbright Scholar who is currently fulfilling those duties teaching at South China Normal University in Guangzhou.

Published in April by the University of Texas Press, “Speaker Jim Wright’’ (552 pages, $35) offers a chronology of Wright’s life, directly addressing his days as a child of the Great Depression, a decorated World War II airman, and rise to political power, which culminated with his election as Speaker in 1986 and crash landed with his resignation amid an ethics controversy in 1989.

Wright retired to his hometown of Fort Worth, where he died in 2015 at age 92.

In conjunction with the release of the book, Flippen recently wrote a column on Wright  for The Washington Post —  “One man’s downfall explains the mess in Congress today – The politics that toppled Jim Wright has only gotten worse, grinding Congress to a halt.’’

Flippen specializes in modern American political/environmental history and is the author of three other books: “Conservative Conservationist: Russell E. Train and the Emergence of American Environmentalism,” “Nixon and the Environment,” and “Jimmy Carter, the Politics of Family and the Rise of the Religious Right.’’

He joined the Southeastern faculty in 1995 and holds degrees from Washington and Lee University, the University of Richmond, and the University of Maryland.

Southeastern Speech and Debate competes at Cameron

DURANT, Okla. The Southeastern Speech and Debate Association competed in the Cameron Christmas Classic  Dec.  2-4 at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma.

The forensics tournament featured novice and varsity divisions of National Parliamentary Debate, National Forensics Association-Lincoln/Douglas Debate, and all 11 American Forensics Association National Individual Events.

Representing Southeastern were Dylan Candelora, sophomore English major; Fisher Fulton, freshman accounting major; Charles Jackson, junior communication and theatre double major; Connor Judd, freshman business and communication double major; JacobMorrison, freshman political science major; and Ralontae Worley, junior communication major.


Some 20 colleges from five states competed in the event.

Judd and Morrison, both from Durant, placed first in the Novice Parliamentary Debate competition. According to the rules of Parliamentary debate established by the National Parliamentary Debate Association, Parliamentary debate is an extemporaneous, generally policy-oriented form of two-person debate that values audience adaptation. In each debate, a two-student team represents the government side (or the sideaffirming the resolution); a second two–student team represents the opposition side (or the side negating the resolution). Students are expected to present arguments supporting their side while refuting arguments of the other team.

Parliamentary debate was based loosely on the British model of parliament, but has evolved to a moreAmericanized hybrid of extemporaneous speaking and debate.  As a unique format of intercollegiate debate, Parliamentary debate privileges a breadth of knowledge about current events, domestic policy, and foreign affairs; embraces a range of argumentative forms, including both technical and more traditional styles of argument; and, rewards extemporaneous delivery, i.e., “thinking on your feet.”

Jackson, of Fort Worth, Texas,  reached the finals in the AFA-IE of Prose and Program Oral Interpretation (POI).  Jackson would bring home several trophies from the weekend, including a first place finish in Prose and a second place finish in POI. The duo of Judd and Worley (Cleveland, Ohio), took first place for their Duo Interpretation. Worley also brought home individual events finals finishes in POI.

SSDA’s next forensics tournament will be the Cowtown Swing at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, January 19-22, 2017.

To learn more about Southeastern’s intercollegiate forensics program and SSDA’s tournament schedule visit the Department of Art, Communication and Theatre website at or contact Speech and Debate Advisor Dr. Randy Clark at ext. 580-745-2556.

New True Blue Ambassadors named

The True Blue Ambassadors assist at a variety of University functions throughout the academic year.

DURANT, Okla. – Eleven outstanding Southeastern Oklahoma State University students have been chosen for the fifth class of True Blue Ambassadors.

These student leaders will represent Southeastern at high school recruitment events, provide campus tours to prospective students, and assist with Alumni Association events.

The Ambassadors will also work with Southeastern president Larry Minks to host special guests.

Three states are represented by the new True Blue Ambassadors, with four students from Oklahoma, six from Texas, and one from Arkansas.

New Oklahoma Ambassadors are Brittney Bailey, Crowder, Biology/Chemistry major; Chelsea Connel, Madill, Biology; Danielle Julian, Valliant, Psychology; and Leslie Wesberry Jr., Tishomingo, Business.

Texas Ambassadors are Whitney Bowen, Rowlett, Psychology; Kevin Holzbog, Denison, Occupational Safety and Health; Kyle Ludwick, Fort Worth, Political Science; Kailea Marshall, Howe, Occupational Safety and Health; Helen Moore, Denison, Music Education; and Darrin Wade, Houston, Technical Theatre.

Dylan Henson, Aviation-Professional Pilot major, is from Siloam Springs, Ark.

The 2012-13 True Blue Ambassadors were nominated by Southeastern faculty and staff members and participated in an application and interview process. All Ambassadors volunteer their time to serve the University. Southeastern’s Presidential Partners is providing funding for training and awards.

The new True Blue Ambassadors will join 15 returning Ambassadors.

For more information on the program, contact the Office of University Recruitment at 580-745-2060 or visit