Southeastern News

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.

burragehazell2

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.

Aviation Career Day held on campus Friday

Students learn more about aviation careers during Friday’s event at Southeastern.

Students learn more about aviation careers during Friday’s event at Southeastern.

DURANT, Okla. – Aviation Career Day was held Friday afternoon on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Sponsored by the Southeastern Aviation Sciences Institute, some 45 SE students visited with representatives (many of them SE alumni) from 18 airlines/related businesses to learn more about career opportunities in the field.

Among others in attendance was Southeastern president Sean Burrage,  SE aviation alumni president Chris Ferguson, and SE aviation faculty members.

Marti Phillips to address graduates at Southeastern commencement on May 6

Marti Phillips

Marti Phillips

DURANT, Okla. – Marti Phillips of Durant will be the guest speaker at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s spring commencement, scheduled for May 6. Two commencement ceremonies (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) will be held in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Phillips is the Director of Knowledge Management & Collaboration for Andrews Kurth Kenyon, an international law firm based in Houston, Texas.  For nearly 13 years at  Andrews Kurth Kenyon, she has collaborated with attorneys and attorney support teams to raise awareness of the firm’s information technology capabilities in order to promote a culture of knowledge-sharing and communication.  Phillips is a certified Project Manager Professional and not only oversees and monitors projects, but also identifies users’ needs and translates them for the IT department.

A native of Mannford, Oklahoma, she holds two degrees from Southeastern: a master’s in Educational Administration and a bachelor’s in English. Phillips previously taught school in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and Allen, Oklahoma, Public Schools.

Phillips is active in the local community and currently serves on the Southeastern Foundation Board.

She and her husband, Greg (State Farm Insurance agent), reside in Durant with their son Mason, a freshman atDurant High School.

“Marti gives a great dealback to the University through her service on the Foundation Board,’’ Southeastern president Sean Burrage said. “And her remarks at spring commencement will certainly inspire our graduates as they begin their professional careers.  Marti is another great example of a Southeastern graduate who has used her education to build a successful career in her chosen field.’’

The two commencement ceremonies will be held as follows:

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

School of Education & Behavioral Sciences

Master of Arts(Clinical Mental Health Counseling)

Master of Education

Master of Arts(Teaching)

Master of Science (Sports Studies and Athletic Administration)

Master of Science (Native American Leadership)

 

2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

School of Arts & Sciences

John Massey School of Business

Master of Technology

Master of Science (Safety)

Master of Music Education

Master of Business Administration

Master of Science (Aerospace Administration and Logistics)

 

Scholarship presentation

DURANT, Okla. – Bryan County Magnolia Garden Club members Cecille Kampplain, Dr. Connie Taylor, and Vangie Wingfield present the organization’s first scholarship to Alayna Holdsworth,  a senior biology major from Poteau, Oklahoma. Joining them for the presentation was Southeastern president Sean Burrage. The Bryan County Magnolia Garden Club will be selling plants at the upcoming Spring Fling Garden Show, April 7-8, at the Bryan County Fairgrounds.  Funds raisedwill help to fund future scholarships.

DURANT, Okla. – Bryan County Magnolia Garden Club members Cecille Kampplain, Dr. Connie Taylor, and Vangie Wingfield present the organization’s first scholarship to Alayna Holdsworth, a senior biology major from Poteau, Oklahoma. Joining them for the presentation was Southeastern president Sean Burrage. The Bryan County Magnolia Garden Club will be selling plants at the upcoming Spring Fling Garden Show, April 7-8, at the Bryan County Fairgrounds. Funds raisedwill help to fund future scholarships.