Southeastern News

Southeastern to host Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament on Saturday

DURANT, Okla. – More than 200 middle school and high school students from 15 public and private schools across Oklahoma will compete at Southeastern Oklahoma State University on Saturday, February 24, in the Oklahoma Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament.

The tournament is being hosted by the University’s Department of Chemistry, Computer, and Physic Sciences.  The students will compete in 2-4 person teams in one or more of 46 events that include most areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

Oklahoma has been involved in Science Olympiad for 17 years and this is Southeastern’s third year to host this Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament.

Science Olympiad competitions are similar to academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in each division (Division B is middle school; Division C is high school).  Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology.  By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved.  Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation.

Teamwork is a required skill in most scientific careers today, and the Science Olympiad encourages group learning by designing events that forge alliances.  In the Towers event, an engineering whiz and a kid from wood shop can become gold medalists. Similarly, a talented builder and a student with a good science vocabulary can excel in Write It Do It, one of Science Olympiad’s most popular events.

Schools from Calumet, Claremore, Jenks, Moore, Norman, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Warr Acres in Oklahoma are among the entries.

Faculty and staff from the Department of Biological Science and Department of Chemistry, Computer, and Physical Sciences have volunteered to design events, write and grade exams, and provide the support to make this event happen.  In addition, more than 12 Southeastern student volunteers are signed up to help with the competitions.

Local school teachers and administrators interested in learning about the Science Olympiad are encouraged to visit and watch the competitions.  The goal is to promote enthusiasm toward science so that more students consider STEMs careers.

For more information about the Science Olympiad event, contact Dr. Tim Smith at

“Super Saturday’’ set for February 24 at Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. – An estimated 1,000 students, parents, and school officials are expected to be on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University February 24 for an event known as “Super Saturday.’’

On that day, a number of activities will be taking place on campus, including the State Science Olympiad competition, which is expected to attract 300 high school and middle school students.

Also on that day, the Southeastern President’s Leadership Class, Honors Program, Music, and Theater departments will be holding auditions for high school students interested in earning scholarships to attend the University.

Throughout the day, students and other visitors will have the opportunity to go on campus tours and lunch will be available.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., an Academic Department Fair is scheduled in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union. During this time, faculty members will be available to provide information about their specific programs.

The tours, fair, and lunch will be in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union.

The Savage Storm basketball and baseball teams will also have games on campus in the afternoon.

“This event provides a wonderful opportunity for prospective Southeastern  students and their parents to learn more about what the University has to offer,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “Our faculty, staff and current students look forward to visiting with all our visitors and will be glad to answer any questions.’’

“Super Saturday’’ is hosted by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.


Southeastern receives “excellence’’ certification in Healthy Campus program

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been designated as a Certified  Healthy Campus and in doing so, earned the top rating of excellence.

The Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program is a free, voluntary statewide certification. The certification showcases businesses, campuses, communities, congregations, early childhood programs, restaurants, and schools that are committed to supporting healthy choices through environmental and policy change. These entities are working to improve the health of Oklahomans by implementing elements, policies, and programs that will help Oklahomans eat better, move more, and be tobacco free.

The Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program began in 2003 as a collaborative initiative with four founding partners – the Oklahoma Turning Point Council, the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma State Chamber, and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

According to April Lehrling, director of student wellness services, Southeastern has been involved in the certified healthy program since 2011.  Among the initiatives the University has implemented to help meet the criteria of a healthy campus are:

Designated walking trails on campus

Increased tobacco/drug/alcohol/depression screening efforts in Student Health Services

Offered free fitness classes

Offered Intramural activities

Encouraged positive eating habits by offering choice of healthy snacks in campus vending machines

In addition, the University offers a popular “Commit To Get Fit’’ exercise program and is a tobacco-free campus.

Southeastern hosts prospective students at Aviation Visitation Day

Airline pilot and Southeastern graduate Chris Ferguson addresses the crowd of high school students and their parents Friday at Aviation Visitation Day. Ferguson is a first officer with American Airlines and also president of the Southeastern Aviation Alumni Association.

Airline pilot and Southeastern graduate Chris Ferguson addresses the crowd of high school students and their parents Friday at Aviation Visitation Day. Ferguson is a first officer with American Airlines and also president of the Southeastern Aviation Alumni Association.

DURANT, Okla. – An impressive group of 70 high school students learned more about higher education and potential careers Friday as Southeastern Oklahoma State University hosted Aviation Visitation Day.

The informational event attracted visitors from as far away as San Antonio and Houston, Texas, as well as Arkansas.

The day’s agenda included tours of the main campus, as well as of the Aviation Sciences Institute facilities. Students visited with faculty and staff members, learned more about aviation careers from airline pilots who were in attendance, and received information regarding admissions, financial aid and scholarships at Southeastern.

Students experience the flight simulator Friday afternoon.

Students experience the flight simulator Friday afternoon.


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.

Pianist to perform at Musical Arts event on February 8

DURANT, Okla. – Pianist Scott Carrell will perform as part of the Musical Arts Series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 8, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall on the Southeastern Oklahoma State University campus in Durant.

The program is titled “The Magic of the Piano” and will feature works of Franz Joseph Hayden, Felix Mendelssohn, Frederic Chopin, Noel Gallon, Edvard Grieg and Pierre Sancan.

Dr. Carrell has captivated audiences in the U.S. and Europe with his virtuosic flair, expressive playing and informative comments on both works and composers by presenting innovative programs of both classical and jazz works, including discussion of both works and composers.

He has offered numerous recitals as soloist and as collaborator, including concerto appearances with numerous symphony orchestras, including Austin and Fort Worth, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; and the Harding University/Community Orchestra.

An active chamber musician, Carrell co-founded the Searcy (Arkansas) Chamber Music Series and has performed at many of its concerts. He has also appeared in recital and small ensembles in Florence, Italy; Mainz, Germany; and Guangzhou, China.

Additionally, the French Piano Institute awarded him a prize for the best performance of a work by Henri Dutilleux at the FPI Festival in Paris, France.

He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas, where he studied with internationally-known artists and participated in masterclasses. Carrell currently serves as a professor of music at Harding University (Searcy, Arkansas), where he is Coordinator of Piano Studies.

This Musical Arts Series performance is sponsored in part by Southeastern, the Ruth Steger Piano Institute and the Clark and Wanda Bass Foundation Lectureship.

Admission is free for all performances of the Musical Arts Series and the public is invited. For more information, contact Dr. Jeremy Blackwood, MAS Coordinator, at or 580-745-2096.

Liz McCraw named Vice President for Student Affairs at Southeastern

Liz McCraw

Liz McCraw

DURANT, Okla. –Liz Cobb McCraw has been named Vice President for Student Affairs at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, effective February 1.

The appointment was approved at the Friday meeting of the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents.

McCraw, an Ardmore native, has served in various roles in Student Life at the University for 26 years, the past two-and-a-half as Dean of Student Affairs. In addition, McCraw received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and her Master’s in Administrative Studies from Southeastern.

“Liz McCraw’s commitment and dedication to the welfare of our students is unwavering,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “As in the past, she will continue to serve students, while overseeing such areas as residence life, student wellness, student activities, federal programs, and the President’s Leadership Class. She is also very active in the Durant community, which is an important component of the University’s outreach efforts.’’

McCraw is involved in several community organizations and initiatives, including the Durant Family Medicine Board of Directors, the Durant Main Street Board of Directors and the Planning Committee for Colton’s Main Street Run.  She is a member of the G.F.W.C Fortnightly Club of Durant and Chapter DJ of the P.E.O. Sisterhood.

Previously, McCraw served on the boards of the Oklahoma Shakespearan Festival, the Miss Southeastern Oklahoma Scholarship Pageant, and was a founding member of the Magnolia Festival of Durant.

McCraw is a graduate of Leadership Durant and the Educator’s Leadership Academy, as well as the Institute for Educational Management and the Institute of Management and Leadership in Education (Harvard Graduate School of Education.)

In 2017, she was named one of 50 Women Making a Difference in Oklahoma by The Journal Record.

She and her husband, Dr. Shannon K. McCraw, a Southeastern professor,  are the parents of a daughter, Catie, a student at Durant High School.

Southeastern among 43 Teacher Education Programs recognized for National Excellence

DURANT, Okla. – Since its founding in 1909, Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been known as a “teachers college.’’

While the University has obviously expanded since that time, public school teachers and administrators throughout the country proudly hold degrees from Southeastern.

The quality of the Teacher Education Program was validated recently when

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) announced that Southeastern Oklahoma State University was one of 43 providers from 22 states and the District of Columbia to receive accreditation for their educator preparation programs.

The fall 2017 review by the CAEP Accreditation Council increased to 101 the total number of providers approved under the CAEP teacher preparation standards — rigorous, nationally recognized standards that were developed to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs.

“These institutions meet high standards so that their students receive an education that prepares them to succeed in a diverse range of classrooms after they graduate,” said CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch. “Seeking CAEP Accreditation is a significant commitment on the part of an educator preparation provider.”

CAEP is the sole nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation. Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement.

CAEP was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. It is a unified accreditation system intent on raising the performance of all institutions focused on educator preparation. Currently, more than 800 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP Accreditation system, including many previously accredited through former standards.

According to Dr. Stewart Mayers, director of teacher education at Southeastern, the accreditation process began three years ago with the University’s collection of data and analysis. Utilizing that information, faculty members produced a thorough written report on all facets of the teacher education program. A national site team visited the campus last April, with the two-day visit including comprehensive interviews with faculty, staff, students, and others.

All those efforts resulted in the teacher education program at Southeastern receiving accreditation and high praise from the CAEP.

“I think a number of factors make our program unique at Southeastern,’’ Mayers said. “First of all, our institution’s history of preparing teachers for more than 100 years is a big plus. We are also very fortunate to have quality faculty members who excel in scholarship and research, but are also very accessible to students. We take a great deal of pride in that (accessibility), and think it is very important to the success of our students.’’

Mayers noted that the teaching faculty includes professors who are nationally recognized former public school teachers/former public school superintendents.

The Department of Educational Instruction & Leadership offers both undergraduate and graduate programming that prepares students to enter the teaching field/enhance their skills through continued professional development

The addition of completely on-line programs is another plus, attracting students to the program from around the country and also internationally.

For more information, visit


Aviation Visitation Day set for February 9 at Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will host Aviation Visitation Day for prospective students on Friday, February 9.

Faculty and flight instructors at the Southeastern Aviation Sciences Institute are professional pilots and the University has a fleet of 19 Cessna training aircraft and a Modular Flight Deck training simulator.

Individuals attending the event will have the opportunity to meet faculty and staff, learn more about careers in aviation, and receive information on admissions, financial aid, and scholarships.

Following is the day’s schedule:

9:30 a.m. – Registration (Glen D. Johnson Student Union)

10 – Opening Session

10:30 – Campus Tours

11:30 – Lunch

12:30 – Depart for Airport

1 p.m. – Tour Aviation Sciences Institute facilities

1:35 – Breakout sessions (Flight simulator, Careers In Aviation, Financial Aid)

2:45 – Closing Session

3 – Career Information Tables

For more information, go to

Southeastern features 50-plus years of training professional pilots and the Envoy Pipeline Program puts students on a path to employment.

Students take part in MLK Day of Service community projects

DURANT, Okla. – Although spring classes don’t start until Tuesday, some 130 Southeastern Oklahoma State University students were up early Monday to participate in the Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service activities.

The volunteers — including, students, faculty, and staff representing 19 student organizations and nine departments  across campus —  contributed to the following community service projects:

St. Catherine’s Food Bank – Sorted  food and made to-go bags

Durant Boys and Girls Club — Cleaned, assembled, and moved furniture

Durant Main St. – Worked on downtown window display projects

Southeastern  Physical Plant – Assisted with work on campus beautification projects


Students assemble food bags a St. Catherine’s Food Bank as part of the Martin Luther King Day of Service.

Students assemble food bags a St. Catherine’s Food Bank as part of the Martin Luther King Day of Service.

Southeastern students work Monday morning at the Durant Boys and Girls Club.

Southeastern students work Monday morning at the Durant Boys and Girls Club.