Southeastern News

Gov. Anoatubby to speak at Native American graduation event on May 9

DURANT, Okla. – Governor Bill Anoatubby of the Chickasaw Nation will be the guest speaker at the Native American Graduation Ceremony & Reception at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 9, at 6 p.m. in the Fine Arts Recital Hall on the Southeastern campus. The Native American Institute is the sponsor of the event, which is open to the public.

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

Bill Anoatubby has served as Governor of the Chickasaw Nation since 1987 and has been active in tribal government since 1975. His previous positions include director of tribal health services, director of finance, special assistant to the governor, controller, and he was the tribe’s first lieutenant governor.

In his first term, Gov. Anoatubby established goals of economic development and self-sufficiency for the Chickasaw Nation and its people. Today, the Chickasaw Nation is well on its way to achieving those goals.

The Chickasaw Nation operates more than 100 diversified businesses and invests much of its revenue into funding more than 200 programs and services. These programs cover education, health care, youth, aging, housing and more, all of which directly benefit Chickasaw families, Oklahomans and their communities.

Under Gov. Anoatubby’s direction, the Chickasaw Nation places a strong emphasis on preserving and sharing its heritage, history, language and culture. This commitment can be seen in the various artistically and culturally-centered programs, language services, and the world-renowned Chickasaw Cultural Center.

Gov. Anoatubby has received dozens of awards, including being named a 2016 Creative Oklahoma Creativity Ambassador, he has been inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges Hall of Fame, as well as the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame. In addition, he has been named the minority advocate of the year from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Safety Engineers president addresses Southeastern students

DURANT, Okla. – Jim Smith, who serves as president of the American Society of Safety Engineers, addresses a crowd of 150 safety students Wednesday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.  Smith is the director of risk control services for Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services.  He related his experiences in the safety field, along with observations on job opportunities for current and future graduates. There are currently more than 400 undergraduate and graduate majors in the Occupational Safety & Health program at Southeastern.

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

Awards presented at Faculty-Staff recognition event

Kitty Campbell, Lifetime Achievement Award

Kitty Campbell, Lifetime Achievement Award

DURANT, Okla. – A number of awards and honors were presented Monday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Faculty and Staff Recognition Celebration.

Dr. Kitty Campbell of the John Massey School of Business received the Faculty Senate’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

The event was held in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

Following is the list of award recipients:

Faculty Senate Awards

Education and Behavioral Sciences

Teaching: Dr. Laura Atchley, Assistant Professor of Psychology-Coordinator of Early Intervention Child Development, University Center of Southern Oklahoma

Research: Dr. Stewart Mayers, Director of Teacher Education-Chair-Professor of Educational Instruction and Leadership

Service: Dr. Kay Daigle, Chair of Kinesiology- Associate Professor Kinesiology

John Massey School of Business

Among the award winners Monday were, front row, left to right, Rachel Toews, Jennifer Moore, Dr. Kay Daigle, Dr. Meg Cotter-Lynch, Dr. Teresa Golden, and Dr. Laura Atchley. Back row, president Sean Burrage, Dr. Doug Wood, Cherrie Wilmoth, Dr. Tim Boatmun, Dr. Stewart Mayers, Faculty Senate chair Dr. Daniel Althoff, Brandon Burnette, Kay Barber, Dr. Loide Wasmund, and Dr. Joshua Nannestad.

Among the award winners Monday were, front row, left to right, Rachel Toews, Jennifer Moore, Dr. Kay Daigle, Dr. Meg Cotter-Lynch, Dr. Teresa Golden, and Dr. Laura Atchley. Back row, president Sean Burrage, Dr. Doug Wood, Cherrie Wilmoth, Dr. Tim Boatmun, Dr. Stewart Mayers, Faculty Senate chair Dr. Daniel Althoff, Brandon Burnette, Kay Barber, Dr. Loide Wasmund, and Dr. Joshua Nannestad.

Teaching: Dr. Kitty Campbell, Massey Professor-Chair of Management & Marketing-Interim Chair of Accounting & Finance/Professor

Research: Dr. Martin Bressler, Professor of Marketing & Management-John Massey Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship

Service: Dr. Kitty Campbell

Math and Science

Teaching: Dr. Loide Wasmund, Professor of Chemistry

Research: Dr. Doug Wood, Professor of Zoology

Service: Dr. Teresa Golden, Chair-Professor Biological Sciences


Teaching: Dr. Joshua Nannestad, Assistant Professor- Choral Music Education

Research: Dr. Tara Hembrough, Assistant Professor, English, Humanities, and Languages

Service: Dr. Meg Cotter-Lynch, Director of Honors Program -Professor English, Humanities & Languages

Librarian of the Year: Brandon Burnette, Government Documents Librarian

Adjunct Professor of the Year: Cherrie Wilmoth, Kinesiology

Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Kitty Campbell

Staff Association Awards

Storm Rookie of the YearKay Barber, coordinator, Career Management Center

Outstanding Non-Exempt EmployeeRachel Toews, Assistant Registrar

Outstanding Exempt Employee — Dr. Tim Boatmun, Dean of Graduate School/E-Programming & Academic Support

Service to StudentsKay Barber

Outstanding Southeastern Staff Association MemberJennifer Moore, Human Resources, Payroll/Office Specialist

The following retirees were recognized at the event:

Dr. William Carter, State Director, Oklahoma Small Business Development Center, 7 years of service

Susan Dodson, Director, Student Support Services/ Project TEACH, 16 years

Stella “Marge” Eakins, Office Assistant/Grant Programs, Student Support Services 20 years

Dr. Bruce King, Instructor/Director of Native American Academic Programs, Art, Communication & Theatre/Center for Student Success/Native American Institute. 20 years

Dr. Larry Prather, John Massey Endowed Chair/Professor of Finance, 11 years

Kay Lynn Roberts, Executive Director Business Services/Comptroller-Office of Finance, 29 years

Kris Simpson, Director, Talent Search 23 years

John Van Bebber, Assistant Professor, Aviation Sciences Institute, 10 years

Dr. Caryn Witten, Professor, English, Humanities and Languages 17 years

Dr. Chunmei Yoe, Professor, Social Sciences, 20 years

Michele Campbell named OKSBDC state director

Michele Campbell

Michele Campbell

DURANT, Okla. – Michele Campbell has been named State Director for the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center (OKSBDC).  OKSBDC is a statewide network that provides confidential, high quality, no cost entrepreneurial and small business management advising in order to help Oklahoma start and grow businesses.

The host for the OKSBDC state network is located in Durant, Oklahoma, at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.  Southeastern has hosted the OKSBDC grant since 1984.  The OKSBDC partners with a variety of entities, including the Small Business Administration, higher education institutions, career technology centers, and economic development entities.

Campbell brings a wealth of experience to her new role as director, including a four-year stint as Assistant State Director for Communications, Research, and Organizational Development for the OKSBDC network. In this position, she was responsible for strategic partnerships with various entities across the State, advisory board and legislative liaison activities, marketing, branding, and media programs, and the organizational development activities for OKSBDC.

Prior to that appointment, she had served in various education roles at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, including counselor and later Director for 17 years in the U.S. Department of Education TRIO programs, Continuing Education Director for the University, and Assistant to President.

Campbell is a Leadership Oklahoma (LOK) graduate (Class XXIII) and lifetime LOK member.  Since graduation from the program, she has been very active with the LOK Board and held various committee appointments, including the Executive Board, Board of Directors, Recruitment, Regional Ambassadors, Class Ambassador, Nominating, Youth Chair-Elect, and Fall Forum.  She has chaired the Selection and the Program Committees as well.  She is also a regional co-chair for the Oklahoma Academy.

She has attended numerous programs and leadership academies, including four Harvard programs, crisis leadership trainings, the Balridge Examiner National Standards program, Edward Lowe Foundation Business Leaders’ Roundtable, economic development courses, and the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy’s Leadership Academy.

Campbell is a member of the Fortnightly Women’s Club of Durant, Chapter DJ of PEO, and First Baptist Church.

She is a licensed professional counselor and national board certified as a counselor as well.  Campbell is a graduate of Leadership Durant and the Educator’s Leadership Academy.  She has also coordinated several leadership programs both within the State and regionally during her time in TRIO.

Campbell has been nominated several times for the Journal Record’s Woman of the Year and has been recognized as one of 50 Oklahoma Women Making a Difference in 2013, 2016 and 2017.   She entered the Journal Record’s Circle of Excellence for Woman of the Year in 2017 as well.  In September, she received the Distinguished Leadership Award at Leadership Oklahoma’s 2017 All Class Reunion event at Shangri-La.

In June of 2017, she was selected by the Healdton Alumni Association for the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Campbell is a 1984 Healdton High School graduate and holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.  She has completed post-graduate work in higher education administration at the University of Oklahoma and is currently completing a Ph.D. in history from Swansea University in Wales on the topic of the Modern Business History of the Chickasaw Nation.  She has presented on her work both in the UK as well as within the State.

She is the mother of three children, including Cole, who will graduate from Oklahoma State University next month, and Jade and Shaya, who will both graduate from Durant High School in May.



Southeastern history professor authors new book on former Speaker Jim Wright

Dr. J. Brooks Flippen

Dr. J. Brooks Flippen

DURANT, Okla. – In the past, professor-author J. Brooks Flippen has tackled such subjects as Richard Nixon and the environment and Jimmy Carter and the Religious Right.

His latest foray into politic writing (“Speaker Jim Wright: Power, Scandal, and the Birth of Modern Politics’’) delves into the life and times of the late congressman from Fort Worth, Texas, who served as U.S. Speaker of the House in the late 1980s.

Flippen, who is a professor of history at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, is also a Fulbright Scholar who is currently fulfilling those duties teaching at South China Normal University in Guangzhou.

Published in April by the University of Texas Press, “Speaker Jim Wright’’ (552 pages, $35) offers a chronology of Wright’s life, directly addressing his days as a child of the Great Depression, a decorated World War II airman, and rise to political power, which culminated with his election as Speaker in 1986 and crash landed with his resignation amid an ethics controversy in 1989.

Wright retired to his hometown of Fort Worth, where he died in 2015 at age 92.

In conjunction with the release of the book, Flippen recently wrote a column on Wright  for The Washington Post —  “One man’s downfall explains the mess in Congress today – The politics that toppled Jim Wright has only gotten worse, grinding Congress to a halt.’’

Flippen specializes in modern American political/environmental history and is the author of three other books: “Conservative Conservationist: Russell E. Train and the Emergence of American Environmentalism,” “Nixon and the Environment,” and “Jimmy Carter, the Politics of Family and the Rise of the Religious Right.’’

He joined the Southeastern faculty in 1995 and holds degrees from Washington and Lee University, the University of Richmond, and the University of Maryland.

Southeastern to host president of American Society of Safety Engineers at campus speaking event

DURANT, Okla. – The Department of Occupational Safety & Health – which offers one of the most popular majors at Southeastern Oklahoma State University – is hosting a special speaker on campus.

Jim Smith, who serves as president of the American Society of Safety Engineers, will be speaking to safety students on “The Future of Safety.’’ The event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25, at 2 p.m. in the Hallie McKinney Ballroom.

Smith is the director of risk control services for Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services. He is a professional member of Region IV and an ASSE member for 30 years.

“It’s a rare event when the ASSE national president chooses to visit any university program,’’ said Dr. Chris Bradshaw, chair of the Department of Occupational Safety & Health at Southeastern. “We are honored and excited that our students will be able to experience this opportunity to hear a national representative of the safety profession speak in person. Mr. Smith’s influence in setting the national safety agenda in Washington and his role as the safety director for the largest safety consulting company in the U.S. will surely offer an interesting perspective for our students on the future of safety.’’

Founded in 1911, the American Society of Safety Engineers is the world’s oldest professional safety society. ASSE promotes the expertise, leadership and commitment of its members, while providing them with professional development, advocacy and standards development. It also sets the occupational safety, health and environmental community’s standards for excellence and ethics.

ASSE is a global association of occupational safety professionals representing more than 36,000 members worldwide.

Southeastern has a very active ASSE student section, with 100  members.

There are currently more than 400 undergraduate and graduate majors in the Occupational Safety & Health program at Southeastern. The department offers face-to-face and online bachelor and online master’s programs.

The program is a Qualified Academic Program (QAP) and makes graduates eligible to apply for the Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) credential. Individuals with the GSP can then apply for the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) credential.

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.

Lesa Smaligo to address spring graduates on May 12

DURANT, Okla. – Lobbyist/consultant Lesa Smaligo will be the speaker at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Spring Commencement on May 12.

Two ceremonies (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) will be held in the Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Smaligo is a Southeastern graduate, receiving her bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1990. She was active on campus as  a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and the Southeastern Business Club. Following graduation, she worked in High School and College Relations at Southeastern as a recruiter and scholarship coordinator, served as assistant coach of the Southeastern cheerleaders, and was assistant director of the Miss Southeastern Scholarship pageant.

She is currently a member of the Southeastern Alumni Association board of directors.

After working in the private sector for two years, Smaligo served as Executive Assistant to the President of the University Center at Tulsa and worked for the next five years helping the Center become a full branch campus of Oklahoma State University.

In 2000, Smaligo took a position as Legislative and Fiscal Analyst for the State Regents for Higher Education.  During her tenure there, Smaligo was involved in the drafting and passage of the Tuition Deregulation bill, the Endowed Chairs bill and the OU/OSU Optional Retirement bill.

Switching to a contract lobbyist role on behalf of multiple clients in 2004, she successfully lobbied for the passage of HB 2660 – the Tobacco Tax bill.  In addition to contract lobbying, Smaligo also spent three years serving as Executive Director for CARE – Coalition of Advocates for Responsible Eldercare, Inc., a not-for-profit organization which is committed to excellence in long term healthcare.  In that role, she successfully lobbied for an additional $20.4 million in funding for nursing homes across the state.

In the summer of 2006, she founded The Smaligo Group, an Oklahoma based LLC specializing in lobbying and consulting.  She successfully signed Cisco Systems, a Fortune 500 company, as well as several other clients.

In 2007, Smaligo was appointed by Governor Brad Henry to serve on the Oklahoma Campus Life and Safety and Security (CLASS) Task Force representing the independent and private colleges in the State of Oklahoma.

During the 2012 legislative session, she successfully lobbied for the passage of the Uniform Equipment Dealers bill, which has now become the model legislation for many other states.

She and her husband, former State Representative and current Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo, reside in Tulsa. Their daughter is a student at Auburn University.

Smaligo has been involved in the community through Youth Services of Tulsa, Tulsa Ballet, American Heart Association Heart Ball Executive Committee, Tulsa Opera Ball Committee. She also serves on the Tulsa Zoo Presidents Advisory Committee, Emergency Infant Services Spectrum Society and the Green Leaf Gala committee. She was selected to serve as a member of Governor-Elect Mary Fallin’s Tulsa Inaugural Ball Steering Committee in 2010.

The schedule for Saturday, May 12, will be two ceremonies in the Bloomer Sullivan Arena, as follows:

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.      School of Arts & Sciences

Master of Technology

Master of Music Education

Master of Science (Native American Leadership)

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.          School of Education & Behavioral Sciences

John Massey School of Business

Master of Business Administration

Master of Science (Aerospace Administration and Logistics)

Master of Science (Safety)

Master of Arts (Clinical Mental Health Counseling)

Master of Early Intervention and Child Development

Master of Education

Master of Science (Sports Studies and Athletic Administration)

Additional information for students who plan to participate in the Commencement Ceremony is available at

The Faure’ Quartet to perform April 17

DURANT, Okla. – The Faure’ Quartet will be featured in Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Musical Arts Series at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

The performance is sponsored in part by Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Red River Arts Council with support from the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Admission is free for all performances of the Musical Arts Series and the public is invited.

The international group will perform “Water of Lethe” by Toshio Hosokawa, Piano Quartet, Op. 47 by Robert Schumann and Gabriel Faure’s Piano Quartet No. 2, Op. 45 in G minor.

The expectations regarding the diversity of repertoire have changed, which creates room for ensembles like the Faure’ Quartet, which has established itself as one of the world’s leading piano quartets within just a few years. Dirk Mommertz (piano), Erika Geldsetzer (violin), Sascha Frombling (viola) and Konstantin Heidrich (cello) discover new sound fields in chamber music and perform compositions outside the mainstream repertoire.