Southeastern News

Southeastern hosts Native November activities

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma StateUniversity is hosting Native November 2016.
The program is sponsored by the Native American Institute and offers events throughout the month.
“A tradition at Southeastern has been a celebration of Native American culture during November,” said Dr. Bruce King, Executive Director of the Native American Institute. “The Native American Institute has coordinated and partnered with a number of others, such as the Chickasaw Nation and the Choctaw Nation, to provide various types of activities and events to showcase Native American traditions, history, and culture. Many Native American students select Southeastern as they pursue their academic and career goals. We are pleased to be able to recognize the contributions of Native Americans during these fun and educational events. We hope that students, faculty, and staff will join us.”
Notable events include:
Wednesday, November 9 – social stickball on the front lawn
10 a.m., Friday, November 11 – Desiree Blankenship speaks on Natural Wellness Healing in the Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library
2 p.m., Wednesday, November 16 – Chickasaw Culture and Storytelling in the library
2 p.m., Thursday, November 17 – Choctaw Culture and History, Russell Building, room 300
For a complete schedule of Native November events, contact the Native American Institute at 580-745-3368 or visit

Southeastern student receives award for presentation at national STEM conference


Adrian Saenz, left, of Oklahoma State, and Southeastern’s Matt Maxwell were the only two award recipients from Oklahoma.

DURANT, Okla. – Matt Maxwell of Southeastern Oklahoma State University received a Student Presentation Award at the 2015 SACNAS National Conference in Washington, D.C.

His presentation was titled, “Effect of Enzyme Loading on Extrusion and Alkali Extrusion Pretreated Sweet Sorghum Bagasse.’’

Maxwell is a biology/chemistry major from Durant. Dr. Tim Smith, Chair/Professor of Chemistry, Computer, & Physical Science, serves as his advisor. Maxwell also credited his Choctaw Success Coach at Southeastern — Wakaya Wells — and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma College Career & Retention Program for their assistance.

The SACNAS (SocietPreviewy for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) conference was held Oct. 29-31. Some 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students made presentations. More than 3,400 students and science professionals gathered for three-days of cutting-edge science, mentoring, networking, and professional development. Undergraduate and graduate students from across the country presented research on topics ranging from biofuels and alternative energies to water management and breast cancer, while STEM professionals conducted panels on professional development, mentoring and leadership.

SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists — from college students to professionals — to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science.

Earlier this year, Maxwell’s presentation earned a third place award at the

Oklahoma-Louis StokesAlliance for Minority Participation (OK-LSAMP’s) 21st annual Research Symposium.

Maxwell’s research was conducted last summer during an internship that

focused on renewable energy in the form of biofuels. The internship was at

Oklahoma State University and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

He is an officer in the Southeastern Pre-Med Club and the Native American Student Association. He is also actively involved with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society Chapter and the American Chemical Society.

Maxwell was a recipient of the Top 10 Freshman Award at Southeastern earlier this semester.

Southeastern ranks 6th nationally in producing Native American graduates

DURANT, Okla. — Once again, Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been recognized nationally for its work with Native American students.

According to “Diverse Issues In Higher Education,’’ Southeastern  ranks sixth in  the nation in producing Native American graduates (all disciplines combined) in the Baccalaureate degree category. (Last year, Southeastern ranked 10th in all disciplines combined).

In the undergraduate category, Southeastern has 14 different fields represented in the national top 30. The University ranks number one in  Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related fields (Occupational Safety & Health).

In the graduate category, Southeastern is also ranked number one in Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related fields (Occupational Safety & Health).

Each year, the magazine publishes its top 100 rankings of minority graduates. The report is based on preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Education.

“It is a real honor for Southeastern to be recognized in this manner,’’ said Southeastern president Larry Minks.  “We have a number of programs in place to assist our Native American students as they work toward their goals. We are also fortunate to have partnerships in place with The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Chickasaw Nation that directly benefit our students.’’

In 2011, the University received a $2 million federal grant to enhance the academic success of its Native American students. The five-year Title III grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. This “Connect2Complete (C2C) Project” strives to bolster the retention rates and graduation rates of Native American students at Southeastern.

Currently, approximately 30 percent of Southeastern’s enrollment is comprised of Native Americans.

Also, the Southeastern Native American Center for Student Success provides advisement and assistance in accessing external funding for Native American students. The center houses staff from the Choctaw Nation Scholarship Advisement Program and the Chickasaw Nation Education Services and offers a College Success course for new freshmen.

Southeastern also offers a Native American Studies minor, Native American management option, and courses in Choctaw Language and Culture.

Each year, Southeastern partners with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to sponsor “Native American Visitation Day,” in which high school students experience the college setting.

Among other activities, the University hosts the Native American Symposium – this year’s event is scheduled for Nov. 14-15.

Following are Southeastern’s national rankings, by major, in the top 100 degree producers list as released by “Diverse Issues In Higher Education.’’

Undergraduate (Native American unless otherwise specified)

1 – Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related fields (Occupational Safety & Health)

2 – Communication, Journalism, and related programs

2 – Education

2 – Psychology

3 – Finance and Financial Management Services

3 – Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

4 – Biological and Biomedical Sciences

6 – All Disciplines combined

6 – English Language and Literature/Letters

6 – History

8 – Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies

10 – Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

12 – Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support services

13 – Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services (Criminal Justice)

27 – Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields (Occupational Safety & Health — Total Minority category)

Graduate (Native American unless otherwise specified)

1Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related fields (Occupational Safety & Health)

13 – All Disciplines combined

13 – Education

15 – Business Administration, Management and Operations

18 – Business, Management, Marketing, and related support services

45 – Engineering Technologies and Engineering related fields (Occupational Safety & Health — Total Minority)

63 – Engineering (Aerospace Administration and Logistics — African American)

75 – Engineering (Aerospace Administration and Logistics — Hispanic)