Southeastern News

Biology Herbarium dedicated to former

Dr. Connie Taylor receives a plaque from Southeastern president Sean Burrage and Dr. Teresa Golden, chair of Biological Sciences.

Dr. Connie Taylor receives a plaque from Southeastern president Sean Burrage and Dr. Teresa Golden, chair of Biological Sciences.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University officially dedicated the Biology Herbarium to former biology professors Connie Taylor and the late John Taylor Thursday afternoon. During their combined 50-plus years of service to Southeastern students, the Taylors taught courses not only within, but also outside their areas of specialty.

Dr. John Taylor taught in the Biological Sciences department from 1961-1990

with a specialty in plant ecology. Dr. Connie Taylor, whose specialty was systematic botany, taught from 1970-1998. The Taylors were honored with the Distinguished Former Faculty Award by the University in 2005.

A major lasting contribution of the Taylors was to the herbarium at Southeastern, located in the Biology Building. A herbarium is a research collection of pressed, dried and labeled plant specimens arranged by a classification scheme. The Taylors collected about 100,000 plant specimens, many of which remain in the 15,000-specimen herbarium on the Durant campus. They traded many of their specimens with other herbaria, including the one at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

The Taylors produced these specimens largely on their own time and at their own expense. They also obtained the herbarium cabinets at no expense to the school. To replace these cabinets at modern prices would exceed $107,000.

Offering remarks were biological sciences professor Dr. Stanley Rice, and Southeastern president Sean Burrage. Dr. Connie Taylor attended the official dedication ceremony, along with a number of friends, faculty and staff members.

Southeastern president to appear Sunday on News 12 Forum

forumDURANT, Okla. – Southeastern president Sean Burrage visits with KXII’s Jessie Schroeder Wednesday morning prior to taping a segment for News 12 Forum, a Sunday morning public affairs television program. The 30-minute show will air on Oct. 1 and Oct. 8 at 6 a.m. on Channel 12 and can be seen across southern Oklahoma and north Texas. Also interviewed were three area  public school superintendents. President Burrage’s segment addresses such relevant topics as budgeting, funding, and enrollment in higher education today. In addition, the president will be a guest on KXII’s noon news on Monday, October 2, to discuss homecoming activities at the University.

District 17 school superintendents meet on campus

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DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern president Sean Burrage welcomes educators to campus Tuesday morning as the University hosted the OASA District 17 Superintendents meeting. Latta Superintendent of Schools Cliff Johnson also welcomed the participants.

Sharon L. Morrison Collaborative Center dedicated at Southeastern library

Southeastern library director Sandra Thomas and University president Sean Burrage stand with Sharon Morrison stand outside the collaborative center.

Southeastern library director Sandra Thomas and University president Sean Burrage stand with Sharon Morrison stand outside the collaborative center.

DURANT, Okla. – The Sharon L. Morrison Collaborative Center was dedicated recently in the Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The room, located on the second floor of the library, is multifunctional, and has been utilized as a mobile classroom, tutoring and study hall, and a seminar room.

After 15 years of service, Morrison retired from Southeastern in 2016 as library director/associate professor. During her tenure, the library saw many improvements, including the addition of the Albert H. Brigance Curriculum and Assessment Center, the Native American Commons, a Learning Commons, the Evert Tigner Shakespearean  Collection,  and computer pods.

Among those joining Morrison at a recent dedication ceremony were Southeastern president Sean Burrage, vice president for academic affairs Dr. Bryon Clark,  dean  of graduate school/E-programming & academic support Dr. Tim Boatmun, library director Sandra Thomas, and other library staff members.

Fall enrollment at Southeastern increases 6%

Southeastern president Sean Burrage enjoys lunch on a frequent  basis with students in the Student Union cafe. The informal setting allows the Southeastern president an opportunity to hear directly from students. Here he visits with two transfer students from Dallas, Kendrell Willis and Witt Wortham. This fall, the University is experiencing  its highest enrollment in five years.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage enjoys lunch on a frequent basis with students in the Student Union cafe. The informal setting allows the Southeastern president an opportunity to hear directly from students. Here he visits with two transfer students from Dallas, Kendrell Willis and Witt Wortham. This fall, the University is experiencing its highest enrollment in five years.

DURANT, Okla. – Enrollment is up and so is the optimism around the Southeastern Oklahoma State University campus these days.

Prior to the beginning of fall classes on August 21, Southeastern president Sean Burrage had termed this as a “pivotal year at the University.’’ The fourth-year president added that he was “optimistic’’ as he evaluated both enrollment numbers and the financial condition of the institution.

And the results show that Burrage was on the mark: After three weeks of classes, Southeastern’s enrollment has increased significantly in both head count and student credit hour (SCH) production over last year.  (SCH is important as it plays a key role in the amount of state allocations Southeastern receives each fiscal year).

Southeastern’s official fall 2017 enrollment is 3,956 students – an increase of 6.2% over last fall.

This represents the largest overall enrollment at Southeastern since 2012.

The University has also seen in increase of 3.2% in student credit hours this fall.

Burrage pointed to the importance of the across-the-board gains the University is experiencing this semester in new freshmen, transfers, and graduate student enrollment. In particular, the graduate school enrollment is growing at an amazing rate, with an increase of 62% over last fall (MBA – 132% increase).

Increases of note over last fall include:

  • New Freshmen: Increase of 2.3%
  • Bryan County freshmen: 10.1%
  • Texas freshmen: 6.7%
  • Transfer students: 6.3%
  • Graduate student enrollment: 62%
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): 132%

“As the numbers indicate, we have enrolled more students from Bryan County and north Texas this fall,’’ Burrage said of the freshman class. “We believe this is the beginning of a positive trend as we continue to intensify our recruiting efforts across the region.’’

Burrage said that online degree programs are greatly impacting colleges and universities across the nation, especially at the graduate level.

“In today’s world of higher education, there is great demand for online learning opportunities,’’ he said. “In fact, the growth in our graduate school, while phenomenal, can be attributed, in large part, to our innovative online master’s degree programs in Business, Education, and Native American Leadership. Again, we expect this trend to continue as we explore the possibility of offering additional academic programs online.’’

Burrage added there is a reason the online programs have been successful at Southeastern.

“Our faculty members deserve a lot of credit,’’ he said. “They understand that the higher education model is changing and they are adapting. Even though the delivery format of instruction may be changing, the most important learning component remains the same — the professor.’’

These new online programs are complementing other traditional popular degrees in such areas as aviation, occupational safety & health, and the sciences, to name just a few.

And although he is pleased with the growth in enrollment, the Southeastern president is not satisfied.

“We still have a lot of work to do,’’ he said. “Our challenge now is to not only sustain this growth, but to build on it.  We have recently increased scholarship opportunities, but we must continue to do so in order for a college education to be affordable for all students. This is critical as we receive reduced funding from the state.’’

Approximately 85% of Southeastern students currently receive some form of financial aid; 53% of Southeastern graduates this year were first-generation college graduates.

On the financial side of things, Burrage is equally optimistic.

Thanks to a number of measures – including ongoing conservative operational spending — Southeastern’s financial condition is in its best shape in years, with a sizeable increase in reserve funds projected this year.

This is despite numerous state budget reductions to higher education over the last few years, including a 6.1% cut ($930,000) to Southeastern this fiscal year.

“All the state reductions have obviously had a negative impact on higher education in Oklahoma,’’ Burrage said. “But Southeastern has addressed these challenges over the past few years by making some tough decisions, such as consolidating/eliminating programs that didn’t directly impact students, cutting administrative costs, implementing furlough days, and reducing travel expenses.

“Our faculty and staff have made tremendous sacrifices as we’ve worked through these budgeting challenges together.  I can’t say enough good things about the support they have demonstrated during some very difficult times. Southeastern is successful and will continue to be successful because of their attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes. That’s what makes this such a special place.’’

Southeastern will submit its Preliminary Enrollment Report to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on September 8.

Bryan County Teachers on campus

Southeastern Oklahoma State University president Sean Burrage welcomes local educators to campus Friday morning at the Bryan County Teachers meeting in Montgomery Auditorium. Also welcoming the group was Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Jon Hazell of Durant High School, a Southeastern graduate.

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BrucePac donates refrigerated truck to University

Ice Truck DonationDURANT, Okla. – BrucePac of Durant recently donated a refrigerated truck to Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Showing their appreciation to Cliff Eddings (Inventory Control Manager) and Bob Delveaux (general manager) of Bruce Pac are Southeastern president Sean Burrage and vice president for university advancement Dr. Kyle Stafford.  Previously, BrucePac allowed the University to use the truck at various events throughout the year, such as homecoming and the Presidential Golf Classic.  Most recently, the truck has been utilized by the athletic department to store ice used for post-practice therapy on student athletes. In addition, to donating the truck, BrucePac added Southeastern’s university and athletic logos.

President Burrage addresses Faculty-Staff members

fstaffDURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University president Sean Burrage offers remarks Thursday morning at the Faculty-Staff general meeting. Burrage is beginning his fourth year as president of Southeastern. Fall classes begin at the University on Monday, August 21.

High school students learn about medical careers at OSU mini-camp

Dr. Kayse Shrum from OSU addresses the students Tuesday morning.

Dr. Kayse Shrum from OSU addresses the students Tuesday morning.

DURANT, Okla. – More than 100 high school students attended the Oklahoma State University’s College of Medicine’s Operation Orange event Tuesday.

The mini medical camp, designed to inform students about educational opportunities and careers in the field of medicine, was hosted by Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Students from Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas attended the sessions in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union.

Students participated in a number of activities at the mini-camp.

Students participated in a number of activities at the mini-camp.

Participants were involved in hands-on demonstrations; met current Oklahoma State University medical students; studied human anatomy with a heart, lungs and brain; performed intubations by using a simulator; and learned more about career opportunities in the healthcare field.

2Offering remarks to the students were were OSU Center for Health Sciences CEO  Dr. Johnny Stephens; OSU Center for Health Sciences President Dr. Kayse Shrum; Chief Gary Batton of The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; and Southeastern president Sean Burrage.

Speaker of the House Charles McCall congratulates Tri-County honorees

Area high school seniors, their families, and educators gathered Tuesday night at the Tri-County Honors Program, sponsored by First United Bank and Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Area high school seniors, their families, and educators gathered Tuesday night at the Tri-County Honors Program, sponsored by First United Bank and Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Speaker of the House Charles McCall offers inspiring words to the students, their families, and educators at Tuesday’s Tri-County Honors Program. Also on the program were Southeastern president Sean Burrage, left, and First United Bank CEO Greg Massey, right.

Speaker of the House Charles McCall offers inspiring words to the students, their families, and educators at Tuesday’s Tri-County Honors Program. Also on the program were Southeastern president Sean Burrage, left, and First United Bank CEO Greg Massey, right.

DURANT, Okla. – The Honorable Charles McCall, Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, 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.

 

 

Speaker McCall was elected to that position on January 3, 2017, and represents House District 22. He was first elected to the House in 2012, and has served as the chairman of the House Appropriations & Budget Subcommittee on Revenue and Taxation.

Prior to running for the House of Representatives, he served as Mayor of Atoka from 2005 to 2012.

 

The Speaker earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Oklahoma and completed the banking program at the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado. He currently serves as the CEO and Board Chairman of AmeriState Bank in Atoka.

First United CEO Greg Massey presided over the event, with Southeastern president Sean Burrage offering welcoming remarks. Awards were presented by Speaker McCall, Massey, Burrage, the bank presidents, and Southeastern vice president for university advancement Dr. Kyle Stafford.

Eighty-six students from 17 area schools were represented at the 2017 Tri-County Honors Program.

The following students, listed by school, were honored for their scholastic and leadership skills:

Achille High School: Raychel Alexander, Sergio Vazquez, Ryan Hudgins, Zane Westbrook, McKayla Dunegan.

Bennington High School: Kindal Stricklen, Nicole McWilliams, Haily Tom, William Smith, Maria Martinez, Alyssa Mathews.

Boswell High School: D’yani Shores, Madealyn Morphis, Caleb Hitchcock, Virginia Beddo.

Caddo High School: Chaney Freese, Charlotte Brantley, Clayton Holbrook, Allison Adair.

Calera High School: Chase Hamilton, Cooper Hamilton, Caleb Judkins, Madison Partain,  Makayla Thomas, Haley Childers.

Colbert High School: Ronnie Rickman, Jared Tucker.

Durant High School: Spencer Patton, Elena Mendoza, Micah Abrams, Matthew Anderson, Emari Benito, Rebekah Corson, Taylor Cox, Adyson Gabbart, Blake Harper, Makenna Jones, Maci McCoy, Chloe McKinney, Jonathan Metts, Brody Morgan, Morgan O’Hern, Alexis Prado, Jakob Smith, Nikki Smith, Rainbow Spindle, Kevin Tran, Jatelyn Wallace.

Fort Towson High School: Jacob Good, Veronica Chamberlain, Tristen Beard, Elizabeth Whitlow.

Hugo High School: Gary Newberry, Alexis Bills, Anthony Bennett, India Gage.

Durant Kiamichi Technology Center: Sergio Vazquez, Isabel Briceno, Nicolas Posekany, Charlie Gould, Joshua Gonzalez, Maria Martinez.

Hugo Kiamichi Technology Center: Summer Moffitt

Kingston High School: Clayton Dewayne Taylor, Grace Madelyn Werth.

Madill High School: Joseph Tuck, Will Shelby, Hayden Holder, Roxy Avilia.

Rock Creek High School: Kaycee Williams, Jesse Durham, Cole Eschete, Aubree Goodwin.

Silo High School: Peyton Cobb, Jake Hamilton, Crissy Odom, Braden Allen, Adyson Barber.

Soper High School: Madelynn Dancer, Alexa Pettyjohn, Cage Record, Kaylee Dennis.

Victory Life Academy: Larra Lankford, Tristan Perkins, Ben Grody, Tara Dollar.