Southeastern News

Science graduates accepted into numerous graduate programs


DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University is continuing its proud tradition of preparing students for successful careers.  In this case, 13 recent graduates from the Chemistry, Computer, and Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences departments have been accepted into graduate school, medical school and other professional programs this fall.

“These graduates are just a wonderful group of people,’’ said Dr. Tim Smith, Chair of Chemistry, Computer and Physical Sciences. “They worked very hard to succeed and we are proud of them.’’



The list of graduates includes:

Casey Love (Silo) – Oklahoma State University – College of Osteopathic Medicine

Garrett Spradley (Stigler), Class of 2017- Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine

William Palmer (Broken Bow) – Oklahoma State University – College of Osteopathic Medicine

Ludmila Zelenková Chandler (Boswell), Class of 2017 – Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, Frank Netter MD School of Medicine

Elizabeth Landers (Hugo) – Oklahoma State University – College of Osteopathic Medicine

Katy Gaskill (Durant) – Oklahoma State University – College of Osteopathic Medicine

Kayla (Smith) Spradley (McAlester), Class of 2017 – Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Sarrysa (Eaves) Queen (Durant), Class of 2016 – Pharmacy at University of Georgia, Athens

Patton Whitehead (Colbert) – Biochemistry/Molecular Biology graduate program, University of North Texas

Matthew Maxwell (Durant) – Cancer Biology graduate program, University of California – San Diego

Amy Kennedy (Lone Grove) – Experimental and Molecular Medicine graduate program, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

Rachel (Shores) Thompson (Wilson), Class of 2016 – Oklahoma College of Optometry, Northeastern State University

Cassaundra Bratten (Bullard, TX), Class of 2016 – Physician Assistant program at the University of Colorado

Former Durant police chief Durward Cook hired at Southeastern

cookDURANT, Okla. – A familiar name in local law enforcement circles was recently named Chief of Police and Director of Emergency Management at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Durward Cook, who served as Chief of Police for the city of Durant for seven years, began his new duties at Southeastern on Monday.

Cook had 25 years of law enforcement experience with the Durant PD. Following his retirement as police chief in 2015, Cook served as Southeast Area Coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. He recently resigned from that position to accept the job at Southeastern.

He holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice/homeland security from Northeastern State University. Cook has attended the FBI National Academy, holds a certificate of emergency management from Northeastern State, and is a C.L.E.E.T. (Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) certified instructor.

RUSO Impact Report Shows Nearly All Grads Stay in State

OKLAHOMA CITY – More than 90 percent of all Oklahoma regional university graduates stay in the state after receiving their diploma, a number greater than the Oklahoma higher education average. The Regional University System of Oklahoma recently reported this and other 2013 results at its annual legislative briefing. The event was to inform legislators and higher education officials of the cumulative efforts and impact of the state’s largest four-year system.

The Regional University System of Oklahoma is made up of six regional universities: East Central University, Northeastern State University, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma and 10 satellite locations.

Richard Ogden, chairman of the Board of Regents, Regional University System of Oklahoma, said the institutions fill an educational gap not provided by Oklahoma research universities or community colleges. The universities are designed to provide access to students who need to stay near their home communities or cannot attend farther away due to job, family or financial circumstances.

“Regional universities provide opportunities to the widest range of students to earn high-quality accredited four-year degrees through classroom and online instruction,” said Ogden.

“Our students become our state’s teachers and nurses, NASA engineers, rock stars, pharmacists and optometrists.”

As a member of the Regional University System of Oklahoma, Southeastern president Larry Minks believes his school has a lot to offer its students.

“We pride ourselves on offering a quality education at an affordable cost,’’ he said. “Our students also experience one-on-one instruction from their professors. We have a number of innovative programs in place to meet the needs of our students, including a new agreement with American Eagle Airlines  to assist our aviation students. And with several programs already implemented to aid our Native American students, we have become a national leader in producing Native American graduates.’’

Southeastern holds a number of specialty accreditations, including The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (John Massey School of Business) and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.

Nearly 40 percent of all Oklahoma college graduates graduate from a regional institution. Last year the Regional University System of Oklahoma graduate total was 7,058, up 644 graduates from the previous year.

In the briefing Ogden pointed to the fact that regional institutions performed significantly better than the national average in most cost categories. In 2013, the average annual cost of attendance at an Oklahoma regional university was nearly half the cost, $11,637 compared to $23,200 nationally as reported by CNN Money. Oklahoma regional university students leave college with 23 percent less debt than the national average and more than 40 percent of the graduates manage to leave without any debt.

One area where being less than the national average is not beneficial was in the percentage of state appropriations. Taxpayer investment in higher education in Oklahoma is 31 percent below the national average. The average national taxpayer investment per student is $6,000 compared to the Oklahoma average of $4,100 per student. The cost difference is passed on to the students, further raising the affordability barrier. Students who attend regional institutions already personally pay more than half of their total education costs.

“The highest quality of higher education still needs to be affordable, or it doesn’t serve its purpose,” said Ogden. “It is critical the Regional University System of Oklahoma regents continue to be good stewards of the money appropriated to us.”

More than 60 percent of the regional universities’ budgets are spent on instruction and research, followed by physical plant operations, 12 percent, student services, 9 percent and scholarships, 8 percent.

Ogden reported that the Regional University System of Oklahoma cost saving and efficiencies have saved taxpayers more than $47 million through energy initiatives, reduced administrative expenses and information technology savings. Costs are also offset by seeking research funding to supplement state appropriations.  Last year regional university institutions received more than $33 million in grants.

The legislative briefing concluded with two regional students, Simone Goelz, University of Central Oklahoma, and Blaine Boyd, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, discussing their experiences at regional universities. Goelz, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership after more than a decade out of high school, said the Regional University System of Oklahoma is making a difference with adult learners. “With higher education comes confidence and belief in oneself to achieve goals and pursue dreams — that begins a long-term and permanent change in strengthening Oklahoma families,” said Goelz.


The Regional University System of Oklahoma governs the six regional universities: East Central University, Northeastern State University, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the University of Central Oklahoma. It was created on July 6, 1948.  All the universities of the Regional University System are more than 100 years old. For more information about the Regional University System of Oklahoma and its graduates, visit

Southeastern hosts Texoma Area College Fair on Oct. 24

DURANT, Okla. – High school seniors and juniors in the Texoma area are invited to attend the 2013 Texoma Area College Fair on Thursday, Oct. 24, at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

This event will offer a great opportunity for students to begin planning for  college and visit with more than 30 college and university representatives. Representatives will be in attendance from Oklahoma, Texas and other states to offer information and assist students in the college decision-making process.

The college fair will be from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the Bloomer Sullivan Arena on the Southeastern campus.  The event is free and is open to students and parents.  Last year, more than 400 students attended the college fair to learn about opportunities in higher education.

“The Texoma Area College Fair is an excellent opportunity for our local high school students to begin looking at options for higher education,’’ said Liz McCraw, Dean of Enrollment Management at Southeastern. “With colleges and universities from the state and region represented, students may explore areas of study, campus life and costs with a representative from each school without having to travel great distances.’’

In addition to browsing the college and university booths, students will also have the opportunity to attend informative workshops, designed to make the college transition a little easier. These workshops will be beneficial to parents and counselors attending as well. These workshops include:

9 a.m. – What You Really Need to Do to Prepare for College

9:30 a.m. – Native American Benefits

10 a.m. – College Fit:  Finding the Right School for You

Colleges and Universities and other representatives confirmed to attend the fair include:

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Austin College

Carl Albert State College

East Central University

Eastern Oklahoma State College

Northeastern State University

Oklahoma City University

Oklahoma State University

Texas A&M-Commerce

University of Arkansas

University of Central Oklahoma

University of North Texas

University of Oklahoma

For more information on the Texoma Area College Fair, please contact Southeastern’s Office of Admissions and Recruitment at (580) 745-2060.