Eastern President Dr. Stephen E. Smith (far left) recently gathered for a luncheon to recognize some of the college’s top scholars and Eastern Ambassadors in Idabel. Pictured (left to right) are Tammy Bray of Idabel; Sherry Holeman of Broken Bow; Chanelle Gulley of Broke Bow; Stacey DeRamcy of New Boston, Tex.; Regina Hill of Idabel; Preston Wheeler, Eastern site coordinator at the Southeastern McCurtain County Campus; Dr. Janet Wansick, associate vice president of Academic Affairs.
Five of the best and brightest Eastern Oklahoma State College students from the Southeastern McCurtain County Campus in Idabel recently met with college administrators to discuss their experiences at Eastern.
Eastern President Dr. Stephen E. Smith, Site Coordinator Preston Wheeler and Associate Vice President Dr. Janet Wansick hosted the luncheon to recognize each student’s academic and leadership success. Attending the event were Tammy Bray and Regina Hill of Idabel, Sherry Holeman and Chanelle Gulley of Broken Bow, and Stacey DeRamcy of New Boston, Tex.
All of the students are Eastern Ambassadors, a group of student leaders who advance and promote the college by serving as a face of the student body. The Ambassadors help organize and participate in all student activities, provide campus tours and promote Eastern in the community and at events such as career and college fairs. Eastern Ambassadors are selected by recommendation of faculty members.
The students talked about their experiences as non-traditional students balancing work and family with their classwork. Hill and Gulley are studying administrative office technology, Holeman is majoring in general studies and DeRamcy and Bray will earn their degrees in medical laboratory technology.
Each spring semester Elementary Education students in the Reading I class on the McCurtain County Campus complete a Predictable Book Project. Designed to give ELED pre-service teachers one of their first experiences actually working with “real” children over an extended period of time, the project requires that they begin by reading several pattern or predictable books aloud to a small group of second graders. Then they help the children decide which book they would like to use as a pattern to write their own book. The teacher guides the students in writing the text and illustrating their book, complete with title and author pages. The experience is a very meaningful and productive one for both the children and the pre-service teachers. The children gain in self-confidence as they become real authors. Often the teachers will visit the children’s classrooms to read their books with them. The pre-service teachers gain in confidence as well and continue the project by reflecting on the events of the pattern-book process and thinking about ways they could improve it. Thus it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
The ELED students can even use this activity later in their own classrooms. One graduate of our ELED program currently has her students involved in writing books based on one of the texts of prolific children’s author Bill Martin. Their books will be submitted to the Authors of Class Contest held in May as part of the Bill Martin Jr Annual Symposium at Texas A&M University-Commerce.