Southeastern News

Top 10 Freshmen recognized at Southeastern

By UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS

The Top 10 Freshmen are, front row, left to right, Rylee Dunlap, Ieysha Cheney, KateLeigh AlycAnn Wright, Bailey Elizabeth Sykora, and Ashlee Carr. Back row, Southeastern president Sean Burrage, Dillan Browne, Morgan Blake, Spencer Cole Patton, Rachel Storey, Elexis Watson, and Dr. Marlin Blankenship, director of the academic advising and outreach center.

The Top 10 Freshmen are, front row, left to right, Rylee Dunlap, Ieysha Cheney, KateLeigh AlycAnn Wright, Bailey Elizabeth Sykora, and Ashlee Carr. Back row, Southeastern president Sean Burrage, Dillan Browne, Morgan Blake, Spencer Cole Patton, Rachel Storey, Elexis Watson, and Dr. Marlin Blankenship, director of the academic advising and outreach center.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University recognized the 2017-18 Top Ten Freshmen during a ceremony Friday in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union Auditorium.

The honorees were recognized for academic achievement and campus/community involvement.

The 2017-18 Top 10 Freshmen are:

  • Morgan Blake, double major in Biology and Fisheries and Wildlife, from Smithville, Oklahoma
  • Dillan  Browne, Finance, Wilburton
  • Ashlee Carr, Advertising and Public Relations, Carter
  • Ieysha Cheney, Communications and Public Relations, Broken Bow
  • Rylee Dunlap, double major in Psychology and Biology, Atoka
  • Spencer Cole Patton, Advertising and Public Relations, Durant
  • Rachel Storey, Fisheries and Wildlife, Brunswick, Georgia
  • Bailey Elizabeth Sykora, Nursing, Marietta
  • Elexis Watson, Biology, Muskogee
  • KateLeigh AlycAnn Wright, double major in English and Strategic Communications, Haworth

SE Live attracts more than 400 high school students to campus

SE Live participants received an energetic welcome to campus Wednesday in Montgomery Auditorium.

SE Live participants received an energetic welcome to campus Wednesday in Montgomery Auditorium.

By UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS

DURANT, Okla. – More than 400 high school juniors, seniors, and their parents were on campus Wednesday for SE Live. This “open house’’ allowed participants to meet faculty, staff and students, learn about specific academic programs, tour the campus, learn about scholarships and financial aid, and discover what Southeastern has to offer students.

 

 

Southeastern president Sean Burrage welcomes visitors to campus at SE Live.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage welcomes visitors to campus at SE Live.

The True Blue Ambassadors student organization at Southeastern makes a presentation Wednesday at SE Live.

The True Blue Ambassadors student organization at Southeastern makes a presentation Wednesday at SE Live.

Southeastern fall enrollment reaches highest level in 40 years with 4,483 students

Southeastern president Sean Burrage offers remarks at a recent Faculty-Staff meeting.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage offers remarks at a recent Faculty-Staff meeting.

By UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS

DURANT, Okla. – In July, Southeastern Oklahoma State University announced it would not be increasing tuition costs for the first time since 2009-2010. This was certainly good news for students and their parents, as of the 25 public colleges and universities in Oklahoma, Southeastern was one of only six to hold the line on tuition.

And the news keeps getting better.

University officials announced today that with 4,483 students, fall enrollment has reached its highest level in 40 years, according to reports.  Records also indicate this ranks among the highest-ever enrollment totals documented in the 109-year history of the institution.

This fall’s enrollment total (Headcount) represents an increase of 13.3 percent over Fall 2017.

Significant enrollment increases occurred this fall at both the graduate and freshman level.

“As an institution, we’ve had to make some difficult decisions over the past four years and our faculty and staff have been unwavering in their support,’’ said Southeastern fifth-year president Sean Burrage. “To meet the challenges of reduced state funding and declining enrollment, we’ve had to think outside the box.

“As the higher education model changes, we are adjusting to meet the needs of our students.  For example, there is great demand today for online learning opportunities. Students are looking for flexibility as they balance their academic schedules with work and various family responsibilities. As a result, in addition to traditional face-to-face classroom instruction, we are also offering a number of academic programs completely online, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, and at a competitive cost.  These online programs are playing a significant role in our overall enrollment growth.’’

The University began expanding its online programs in Fall 2016. And because many of the programs are completely online, students do not have to live within commuting distance of Durant, thereby broadening the recruiting base.

Significant increases in enrollment were seen in the Master of Business Administration, Master of Education in School Counseling, Master of Educational Leadership, Master of Education in Special Education, and Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

Burrage noted that enrollment numbers are also up at the freshman level, including significant increases in Bryan County and north Texas, which is more cause for optimism.

The freshmen enrollment increases over last fall are as follows:

  • Freshman students:  13.0% (600 students — largest class in six years)
  • Bryan County freshmen: 28.7%
  • Grayson County (Texas) freshmen: 26.7%
With 600 students, Southeastern is welcoming its largest freshman class in six years.

With 600 students, Southeastern is welcoming its largest freshman class in six years.

“We are intensifying our recruiting efforts to attract more students from our immediate service area,’’ he said, “and we’re beginning to see some results, which is very encouraging.’’

Approximately 85 percent of Southeastern students receive financial aid, and more than 50 percent annually are first-generation college graduates.

“We believe we offer quality academic programs that are both affordable and accessible to students,’’ Burrage. “This message appears to be well-received by our prospective students. As a University, we want to continue build on this growth, while not sacrificing quality.’’

Southeastern holds line on tuition costs this year; budget approved

DURANT, Okla. – For the first time since 2009-10, Southeastern Oklahoma State University will not be increasing its tuition rates.

The University is also holding the line on mandatory costs and room and board with no increases.

The University’s current budgeting and financial condition has been positively impacted by a recent upswing in enrollment and student credit hours.

“All of the state funding reductions have obviously had a negative impact on higher education in Oklahoma – there is no question about that,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “But with that being said, our financial condition at Southeastern is healthier today because of our enrollment growth, along with the difficult decisions and sacrifices the University made over the last four years.

These cost-saving measures include a retirement incentive program, the consolidation/elimination of programs that did not directly impact students, conservative operational spending, and furlough days. But it is important to remember that the end result was made possible only by the support and commitment demonstrated by our faculty and staff throughout the process.

“I think this (not raising tuition) sends a clear message to students and parents that we are doing everything possible to keep college both affordable and accessible. This is even more important when you consider the fact than more than 50 percent of our graduates each year are first-generation college graduates. As a University, we are very proud to be a part of such a life-changing experience.’’

Of the 25 public colleges and universities in Oklahoma, Southeastern is one of only six not raising tuition rates this year.

In the Spring of 2018, enrollment grew 9 percent in head count (HC) over the previous year (total of 3,722 students – a 7-year high) and 5.9 percent  in student credit hours (SCH); graduate student enrollment increased 52.1 percent.  This came on the heels of a 6.2 percent increase in enrollment in Fall 2017.

This summer, enrollment is up 36.4 percent in HC and 44 percent in SCH. The University is projecting another enrollment increase this fall, based on the continued growth of online graduate programs.

Southeastern’s budget for FY19 of $46,614,068 — an increase of $2,122,616 over last year – was recently approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents.  This increase will be funded by a projected increase in student credit hours.

The budget includes a new employee benefit in which the University will pay 100 percent of Oklahoma Teacher Retirement System (OTRS) from the date of employment. This benefit accounts for a large portion of the overall budget increase.

Southeastern will begin fall classes on Aug. 20.

Surgeon General, Health Secretary visit medical clinic at Southeastern

Southeastern president Sean Burrage visits with Surgeon General Adams and Assistant Secretary Giroir.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage visits with Surgeon General Adams and Assistant Secretary Giroir.

DURANT, Okla. – It’s not every day that a couple of high ranking officials from Washington drop by the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

But that was the case over the weekend as Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams visited the Remote Area Medical  (RAM) clinic in the Bloomer Sullivan Gym and Arena. Free medical, dental and vision care was provided to 600 patients during the two-day event.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage welcomed the dignitaries to campus Sunday morning, who proceeded to tour the clinic and speak to all the workers and volunteers. Also on hand was RAM founder and president Stan Brock.

“Walking through here, you just can’t help but touch your heart, touch you very, very, deeply,” said Assistant Secretary Giroir told KTEN-TV. “What I see is a community, a non-profit organization, and the U.S. Public Health Service coming together to really care for people.”

“We go all over the country,” Surgeon General Adams told KXII-TV. “I’ve seen events like this in urban areas, but it’s tremendous to be able to have an event like this in a rural area.”

This is the second time in the last three years that Southeastern has hosted this event.

The free, two-day clinic served 600 patients from throughout the area.

The free, two-day clinic served 600 patients from throughout the area.

“Southeastern is proud to be a part of this program,’’ said President Burrage. “This is a great example of true community service in which a number of entities work together for the benefit of our citizens.’’

In addition to providing facilities for the clinic, Southeastern faculty, staff and students served as volunteers, as did numerous local citizens, businesses,  and organizations in the Durant area.

Gov. Anoatubby congratulates graduates at Native American ceremony

Governor Bill Anoatubby of The Chickasaw Nation congratulates students and their families Wednesday at the Native American Graduation Ceremony and Reception.

Governor Bill Anoatubby of The Chickasaw Nation congratulates students and their families Wednesday at the Native American Graduation Ceremony and Reception.

DURANT, Okla. – Governor Bill Anoatubby of The Chickasaw Nation offered inspiring remarks while congratulating graduates and their families Wednesday as guest speaker at the Native American Graduation Ceremony & Reception, an annual event held at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Also on the program were Southeastern president Sean Burrage, Native American Institute director Lauren Rowland, and School of Choctaw Language instructor Chantelle Standefer.

The Native American graduates (undergraduate and graduate) were honored and presented the traditional stole at the event, which was held in the

Fine Arts Recital Hall. A reception followed in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union.

Following are the graduates honored, listed by permanent hometown:

Bachelor’s Degrees

Oklahoma

Ada: Duty, Emily Grace; Walkup, Trenton Blake

The graduates gather for a group photo at Wednesday’s Native American Graduation and Reception.

The graduates gather for a group photo at Wednesday’s Native American Graduation and Reception.

Antlers: House, Harlan Dale; Spurlock, Sydney Morgan; Taylor, Lisa Ann

Ardmore: Gillespie, Amber Ray; Gravitt, Shelly Renea

Atoka: Johnston, Brianna Nicole; Klaver, Crystal A; Stiles, Brandon Wayne

Barnsdall: Rasberry, Kasidy Dawn

Battiest: Noah, Michael Damian

Bennington: Percell, Abby Danielle

Bixby: Sharp, Patrick Wayne

Blanco: Williams, Amanda Lynn

Bokchito: McCann, Amos Tanner

Boswell: Dill, Misty Dawn

Broken Bow: Batchelor, Cindy Rae; Harris, Steven Paul Gene; Martin, Jake Micheal; Virgin, Skylre Boni

Burneyville: Self, Ailey Brietta

Caddo: Ringle, Joshua Blake

Calera: Patton, Noah Joy; Rogers, Riggin Russell

Caney: Foskey, Amelia Jo

Cartwright: Robinson, Jared Heath

Colbert: Nuncio, Joshua Shane; Poteet, Maddison Jade; Whitehead, Payton Sawyer

Coleman: Daniel, Jessica Taylor

Crowder: Cook, Kaitlan Paige

Davis: Hudson, Michael Cort

Duncan: Barrick, Taylor Denise

Durant: Clayton, Jessica A; Dosh, Caitlin Reanne; Elliott, Isaac Parker; Green, Kaley Michel; Joines, Austin Roger; Maxwell, Matthew Blane; Peterson, Wade Haskell; Thomas, Paige Nikole; Wilcox, Brandon Ray

Eufaula: Paden, Nehemiah Forrest

Farris: Winters, Krista Ann

Fort Towson: Byrd, Caitlyn L; Mahaffey, Joshua Lynn

Fox: Eaves, Ethen James

Hartshorne: Baughman, Ramie KaraLynn; Pingleton, Dylan Vaughn

Hendrix: Stanglin, Madison Layne

Holdenville: Camp, Jesse Rudolph

Hugo: Bigfeather, Cindy Renee; Cooke, Spencer Dwayne; Finch, Ashlyn Brooke; Self, Peyton Nicole; Simpson, Sarah LeeAnn; Smith, Tiffany Kay; Wilson, Lindsey Michelle

Idabel: Cobb, Patrick Wade

Keota: Quirk, Mary Elizabeth

Kiowa: Wills, Jadyn Nikole

Konawa: Khoury, Danielle Arlene

Lone Grove: Kennedy, Amy Elizabeth

Madill: Hartsfield, Makaylah Jordan

McAlester: Kirkland, Christopher Dale

Milburn: Rodenbaugh, Elaine Ruth

Moore: Davis, Cannon Price

Ponca City: Scott, Blake Austin

Poteau: Shelton, Tatum Nicole

Quinton: Nix, Kristina K

Rattan: Baze, Mark Duncan; Clay, Cade Michael

Red Oak: Mabry, Jenna B

Sawyer: Finley, Collin Walker

Soper: McKee, Tanner David

Spiro: Lester, Crystal Lynn

Stigler: Goff, Brittany Dawn

Stroud: Barrett, Jacy Ann

Tahlequah: Asbill, Rodney Wayne

Tishomingo: Kellner, Michael Allen; Ladd, Crockett P; Snowden, Carrie D

Tulsa: Tims, Latoya Cecelia

Valliant: Leffel, Colton K; Reynolds, Shelby Lynn

Vinita: Williams, Emily Dawn

Wright City: Tidmore, John Paden

Florida

Melbourne:  Palmer, Tyler DeWayne

Missouri

Lone Jack:  Key, Jonathan David

Texas

Colleyville: Henderson, Shea Taylor

Crosby: Blackburn, Joshua Randall

Dallas: Jackson II, Bobby Ray

Denison: Anderson, Alysha Chantel; Black, Tara Lynn; Clark, Samantha Ray;  Reed, Zoe Nichole

McKinney: Teel, Jeffery Logan

Melissa: Webb, Katherine Grace

Paris: LeFlore, Ryan Michael

Pearland: Hickey, Suzanne Celise

Pittsburg: Smith, Tajawin JaCarrol

Rockwall: Apala, Darwin Gene

Savoy: Dunkle, Carly Dawn

Sherman: Arnold, Haleigh Lynne; Baker, Michael A; Thornhill, Alexis Kenna

Van Alstyne: Stevens, Kelsea Mckale

Graduate degrees

Oklahoma

Ada: Poulin, Nicole Jayne

Chelsea: Cagle, Kari Lynn

Durant: Counce, Robin Elizabeth; Narcomey, Nicole R; Sullivan, Elizabeth Anne

Madill: Arterberry, Chandler Baylee

McAlester: Karr, Casten Wayne

Oklahoma City: Dunn, Gary D

Ponca City: Hubbard, Deeyll T

Tahlequah: Shankle, Bradley Wayne

Vian: Murphy, Logan Pierce

Yukon: Moore, Maria R

Arkansas

West Memphis:  Jenkins, Chris Allen

Arizona

Flagstaff: Edd, Lisa A

California

Hesperia: Wallbaum, Mathew Allen

Palo Cedro: Fisher-Smith, Dawn Sheri

Texas

Kilgore: Payne, Dana Maree

Pilot Point: Evans, Haley Claire

Van Alstyne: Wiles, Tina M

Virginia

Roanoke: Hines – Fa’atau, Taylor B

 

Tri-County event honors high school students; Teacher of the Year Jon Hazell offers encouragement

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Jon Hazell of Durant makes a point during his remarks at Tuesday’s Tri-County Honors event. Also shown are Dr. Kyle Stafford, vice president of university advancement at Southeastern; Greg Massey, First United Bank CEO; and Southeastern president Sean Burrage.

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Jon Hazell of Durant makes a point during his remarks at Tuesday’s Tri-County Honors event. Also shown are Dr. Kyle Stafford, vice president of university advancement at Southeastern; Greg Massey, First United Bank CEO; and Southeastern president Sean Burrage.

DURANT, Okla. – Durant High School’s Jon Hazell – the 2017 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year – was the keynote speaker Tuesday night at the Tri-County Honors Program.

First United Bank is Corporate sponsor and Southeastern Oklahoma State University is the Education sponsor for the annual event, which honors area high school students and is held in the Visual & Performing Arts Center.

A total of 79 students representing 15 schools were honored.

First United CEO Greg Massey presided over the event, with Southeastern

president Sean Burrage offering welcoming remarks. Awards were presented by Hazell, Massey, Burrage, the bank presidents, and Southeastern vice president for university advancement Dr. Kyle Stafford.

 

Following is the list of award recipients:

2018 Tri-County Honor Students

Achille High School

James Quarles, Tayler Wells, Austin Curry, Kirsten Smith

Bennington High School

Tucker McWilliams, Josephine Singleton, Brody Everett, Emily Stevens, Austin Malone, Madison Currie

Boswell High School

Erin Caldwell, Hannah Manous, Levi Russell, Harleigh Belvin

Caddo High School

Kacie Clower, Michael Usery, Kaden Dixon, Kristen Hobbs

Calera High School

Calee Boone, Hannah Carter, Tammy Vo, Masheli Bully

Colbert High School

Rylie Rickman, Jared Hartwright, Thrush Beazer, Katherine McGill

Durant High School

Jensen Simmons, Cassie Bisson, Shaya Claxton, Hanna Cook, Kendall Cordell, Alissa French, Arya Gautam, Haleigh Harper, Hannah Hime, Morgan Hudson, Kyle Hughes, Emily Langley, Hannah McDonald, Braeden McKee, Hannah Morrison, Cade Ogden, Connor Roberts, Taylor Russell, Tyler Smith, Emily Thompson, Tommy Tran

Fort Towson High School

Lynzee Smith, Hailey Ausmus, Nathaniel Clark, Hailey Cloud

Hugo High School

Cole Francis, Hannah Barnett, G’Quavious Lennox, Destiny Gaffney

Durant Kiamichi Technology Center

Jordan Buhler, Courtney Rogers

Kingston High School

Nicholas Mizell, Kaitlynn Hobbs

Madill High School

Costa Chambers, Alex Morales, Kylee Kuykendall, Devon Chapa, Lauren Tuck

Rock Creek High School

Maci Burns, Emily Hill, Bryanna Phillips, Mackenzie Powell, Karmen Salazar, Eleazar Rubio, Jacey Angello

Silo High School

Jessen Pratt, Connor Doyle, Makenzie Rogers, Trevor Dailey

Soper High School

Katelynn McGriff, Payton Amend, Caleb Grace, Kyndal Partin

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.

BrucePac receives OSRHE Business Partnership Award

Attending the Partnership Excellence Award presentation were Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, Southeastern president Sean Burrage, BrucePac general manager Bob Delveaux, former Durant Industrial Authority executive director Tommy Kramer, Southeastern athletic director Keith Baxter, Southeastern director of university communications Alan Burton, Southeastern vice president for advancement Dr. Kyle Stafford, and Oklahoma Secretary of State, Education and Workforce Development Dave Lopez.

DURANT, Okla. –  Twenty-seven business and higher education partnerships throughout the state were recognized recently as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.

Locally, Southeastern Oklahoma State University and BrucePac were recognized with the partnership award.

“Our colleges and universities are working side by side with leaders in the private, public and nonprofit sectors,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These collaborations between business and industry and our state system institutions ensure that we continue building the skilled workforce needed for Oklahoma to be globally competitive.”

BrucePac, a newcomer to Durant, has already made it a point to partner with Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s communication and athletic departments. BrucePac produces and supplies cooked meat products. It is headquartered in Woodburn, Ore., but has a production facility in Durant.

Although the company has been in Durant for only a couple of years, it has been very supportive of the community and the university. In 2017, BrucePac’s Durant location donated a refrigerated truck to Southeastern to use at various events throughout the year, such as homecoming and the Presidential Golf Classic. The vehicle was also used by the athletic department to store ice for post-practice therapy for student athletes. In addition to donating the truck, BrucePac has added the university and Southeastern athletics logos to the vehicle.

In addition,  BrucePac is working with the communications department at Southeastern to develop a student internship program that will assist with developing training videos for the company’s human resources department.

“BrucePac is a valued member of the Durant business community,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “Beyond that, the company gives a great deal back to the community by supporting numerous worthwhile projects, which ultimately results in a better quality of life for our citizens.’’

Spring enrollment climbs 9% at Southeastern to reach seven-year high

Prospective students and their family members tour the campus at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Prospective students and their family members tour the campus at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University received some good news last fall when enrollment increased 6.2 percent.

Southeastern received even better news this week with the announcement that spring enrollment has jumped 9 percent over last spring to reach a seven-year high.

“While we were very pleased with the numbers last fall, we didn’t want it to be a one-shot deal,” said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “We knew it was important to not only sustain that success, but to build on it. Our enrollment had been flat or down slightly for a few semesters prior to that. What that (6.2 percent increase) did was two-fold: it validated what we are doing as far as expanding our online programming to meet the changing needs of our students, and it provided the campus with some energy, excitement and momentum as we moved forward. We still have some challenges, especially in attracting more undergraduate students, but I feel really positive about where we are and the direction we are going.”

This spring, Southeastern’s enrollment has increased significantly over last spring in both head count and student credit hour (SCH) production.  SCH is important as it plays a key role in the amount of state allocations the University receives each fiscal year.

Southeastern’s official Spring 2018 enrollment is 3,722 students – an increase of 9 percent (307 students) over last spring. This represents the largest spring enrollment at the University since 2012. In addition, SCH increased 5.9 percent.

While undergraduate student enrollment remained basically flat, graduate student enrollment soared with an increase of 52.1 percent (319 students).

The University now offers online master’s degree programs in Business, Education, Sports Administration, Aerospace Administration and Logistics, and Native American Leadership, as well as select undergraduate programs.

These programs are complementing other traditional popular degrees in such areas as Aviation, Occupational Safety & Health, and the sciences, to name just a few.

Burrage emphasized the fact that online degree programs are greatly impacting colleges and universities nationwide, particularly at the graduate level.

“The higher education model continues to change and we as a University have to continue to respond,’’ Burrage said. “In terms of course and program selection, delivery and costs, students today have more options than ever before. We have adapted by continuing to offer quality academic programs through a variety of delivery methods, including traditional face-to-face instruction and instructional television, while expanding our online presence. But as I’ve said many times before, even though the delivery format of instruction may be changing, the most important learning component remains the same – the professor.  And at Southeastern, that is one of our real strengths – faculty members who have not only the necessary knowledge and experience, but the desire to help students be successful.’’

Southeastern will submit its preliminary enrollment report to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on February 9.