Southeastern ranks 6th nationally in producing Native American graduates

DURANT, Okla. – In what is becoming an annual tradition, Southeastern Oklahoma State University once again ranks among the nation’s leaders in producing Native American graduates.

According to “Diverse Issues In Higher Education,’’ Southeastern ranks sixth in the nation in producing Native American graduates (all disciplines combined) in the Baccalaureate degree category. This is the second year in a row that Southeastern has held this distinction.

Also in the Baccalaureate category and for the fourth consecutive year, Southeastern ranks first in the nation in producing Native American graduates in Engineering Technologies and Engineering — Related Fields (Occupational Safety & Health). The University also ranks number two nationally in graduates in Physical Sciences and Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs (Native American).

In the master’s degree rankings, Southeastern is number one for the fifth consecutive year in Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields (Occupational Safety & Health – Native American).

“These rankings reflect the innovative programs and services we have in place to support our students through our Native American Center for Student Success,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “We recently received a $1.1 million grant from the Department of Education to assist our Native American students as they pursue careers in teacher education. Our students also benefit greatly from the partnerships we have with The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Chickasaw Nation.’’

Each year, “Diverse Issues’’ publishes its top 100 rankings of minority graduates. The report is based on data from the U.S. Department of Education.

Following are Southeastern’s 2014 national rankings, by major, in the Top 100 Degree Producers list (Native American) unless otherwise noted:


1 – Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields (Occupational Safety & Health)

2 – Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs

2 – Physical Sciences

3 – Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

3 – Education

4 – Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

4 – Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies

5 – Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

5 – Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services (Criminal Justice)

6 – All Disciplines combined

6 – English Language and Literature/Letters

6 – Psychology

8 – Accounting and Related Services

10 – Biological and Biomedical Sciences

10 – Business Management, Marketing, and related support services

11 – Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities (two or more races)

13 – Visual & Performing Arts

14 – Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related fields (Occupational Safety & Health – two or more races)

16 – Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related fields (Occupational Safety & Health) Total Minority

24 – Social Sciences

30 – Business Administration, Management and Operations

44 – Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies (two or more races)


1 – Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields (Occupational Safety & Health)

4 – Psychology

16 – All Disciplines combined

17 – Education

20 – Business Administration, Management and Operations

28 – Business Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

39 – Engineeering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields (Occupational Safety & Health – total minority)

SE Live/Native American Visitation Day set for Nov. 12

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University has scheduled “SE Live Open House and Native American Visitation Day’’ for Wednesday, November 12, on the Durant campus.

High school seniors and juniors, along with their parents and families, are invited to experience life as a student at Southeastern during SE Live Open House. The event begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at 3 p.m.

More than 250 students attended the event last fall.

Highlights include programs on Scholarships and Financial Aid, Southeastern Traditions, Residence Life, and Life as a Student Athlete. Campus tours will be offered

throughout the day.

Native American Visitation Day allows students the opportunity to learn about Native American benefits, attend a class on Native American studies, and play a traditional game of stickball.

In the afternoon, students will have the opportunity to visit Eaker Field, home of the award-winning Southeastern Aviation Program.

In addition, choir and band students will have a chance to rehearse with those programs and audition for music scholarships in the fall.

Entertainment throughout the day will be provided by performing groups from Southeastern, including the Sparks Dance Team, Cheer Squad, and the True Blue Ambassadors.

All students attending the event will receive an SE Sackpack and one free lunch ticket. Lunch is sponsored by Durant’s First United Bank.

To register, go online to or contact the Admissions and Recruitment Office at 580-745-2060.



Native November offers variety of events

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate Native November with a variety of events beginning on the first day of the month and concluding on Nov. 19. The celebration is sponsored by Southeastern’s Native American Center for Student Success.

Following is the schedule of events:

2014 Native November Schedule

Saturday, November 1

Noon-5 p.m. – Choctaw College Connection Recruitment Event at Choctaw Nation Resort

Monday, November 3

3-5 p.m. – Native American Center Open House and Reception, Meet and Greet 2014-15 Miss Indian SOSU at Center for Student Success

Tuesday, November 4

2-4 p.m. – Open House Native American Commons Area Reception at Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library

Wednesday, November 5

1 p.m. – Native Symposium Insights with Mr. Richard Green, Chickasaw Historian and Author

Thursday, November 6

4 p.m. – Social Stickball on front lawn

Saturday, November 8

10:30 a.m. – Native American Scholars Recognition Brunch, Magnolia Room

Choctaw Youth Stickball at halftime of the Southeastern-Arkansas Tech football game

Tuesday, November 11

2 p.m. – Play produced by Kathleen Hardgrove, Glen D. Johnson Student Union, room 213

Wednesday, November 12

2 p.m. – Native American Student Visitation, Campus-Wide Social Stickball

Thursday, November 13

1:30 p.m. – Leave for Native American Center, Choctaw Language School Tour, Faculty and Staff Development, RSVP

Friday, November 14

2 p.m. – Chickasaw Culture and Storytelling, Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library, followed by Social Stickball on the front lawn

Tuesday, November 18

1 p.m, — Round Reed Basket Making, Magnolia Room

Wednesday, November 19

1 p.m. – Gourd Dance, Dr. Joe Bohanon

For more information, contact Chris Wesberry at 580-745-2376.

Southeastern to celebrate Homecoming Oct. 23-25

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate Homecoming 2014 on October 23-24-25.

This year’s theme is “Destination Homecoming” and the three-day event should have something for everyone, including current students, alumni and friends.

Honored as Distinguished Alumni will be Dr. Jesse Arnold, Ms. Josephine Wildcat Bigler and Dr. David Whitlock.


Recognized as Distinguished Former Faculty will be Dr. Pat Dunham, Dr. Phil

Dunham and Dr. Robert Oliver.

Along with banquets, pep rallies, campus tours, the Whang Bang golf tournament, tailgate alley and the Homecoming football game, numerous reunions are scheduled. For information on reunions, check

The following schedule includes some of the many events scheduled for Homecoming weekend:

Thursday, October 23

SE Night at the Museum, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Three Valley Museum, 401 W. Main Street.

Friday, October 24

28th-annual Whang Bang Golf Tournament, Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and a shotgun start is set for 9 a.m. Participants may register online at The Whang Bang has started a highly popular tradition that has legends from Southeastern’s storied athletics history serving as honorary starters. This year’s honorary starter is SE Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Beard.

Distinguished Awards Banquet, 5:30 p.m., Visual and Performing Arts Center. This event features introduction of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Former Faculty.

True Blue Rally, 8 p.m., amphitheater.

Saturday, October 25

Coffee & Conversation with Southeastern Athletic Legends, 8 a.m. Bloomer Sullivan Gymnasium. Former Southeastern athletes gather to reminisce. Hosted by Southeastern president Sean Burrage and Director of Athletics Keith Baxter.

Homecoming Parade, 10 a.m., downtown

Alumni Tailgate Party, Alumni Alley, 11 a.m., across from Paul Laird Field.

Southeastern Campus Tours, 11:30 a.m. Explore the campus during the one-hour tour. Student tours will include campus and residence halls, plus a lunch ticket. Special Alumni tours will also be held. Register online at Tours leave from the entrance to Paul Laird Field.

Pre-Game Ceremony, 1:50 p.m., Paul Laird Field. Introduction of Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Former Faculty, past and present.

Kickoff: Southeastern vs. Northwestern, 2 p.m.

Discover Durant “A Market Fair,” Market Square, downtown, 6 p.m.

Southeastern hosts Texoma Area-Wide College Fair on Oct. 23

DURANT, Okla. — The Texoma Area-Wide College Fair is scheduled for Thursday, October 23, from 8:30 a.m.-11 a.m. in the Hallie McKinney Ballroom on the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Durant campus.

This event will offer a great opportunity for students to begin thinking about college and visit with more than 30 college and university representatives.            Representatives will be attending from Oklahoma, Texas and surrounding states to provide information and assist students in choosing the school that is right for them.

In addition to browsing the college and university booths, students will have the opportunity to attend informative workshops, designed to make the college transition easier. These workshops will be beneficial to parents and counselors attending as well. The workshops include:

– 9 a.m. – College Fit:  Finding the Right School for You

– 9:30 a.m. – What You Really Need to Do to Prepare for College

– 10 a.m. – Native American Benefits

For more information, contact Shelly D. Key at (580) 745-2061.

Southeastern closed Oct. 16-17 for Fall Break

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed Oct. 16-17 for Fall Break. The University will re-open on Monday, Oct. 20.

Southeastern Faculty members play major role at Small Business Conference

DURANT, Okla. – Faculty members from the John Massey School of Business at Southeastern Oklahoma State University figured prominently at the annual meeting of the Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ASBE) Conference, held recently in Memphis, Tennessee.

Courtney Kernek (2)Dr. Courtney Kernek, assistant professor of management & marketing,

co-authored and presented her paper titled, “Fe-Lines, Inc.-Don’t declaw…Get Sticky Paws,” based on a case study of an actual pet-oriented business. The case examines the marketing challenges faced by a start-up company in the pet industry as it formulates strategies for the marketing-mix variables that will position the product to achieve a competitive advantage.

Kernek was also elected Secretary-Treasurer at the Association’s annual business meeting.


Dr. Kitty CampbellDr. Kitty Campbell, chair of management & marketing, presented a paper she co-authored with Dr. Wayne Jones (chair of occupational safety & health), Dr. Nick Nichols (professor of occupational safety & health) and Southeastern graduate student Kelli Taylor, titled “Workplace Safety: What Small Business Owners Need to Know.” Campbell also received the “Entrepreneurial Advocacy Award’’ on behalf of the John Massey School of Business. The Massey School of Business has been a long-time supporter of ASBE, and several faculty members have served as president of the organization.



Bressler 2012Dr. Martin Bressler, professor of management, presented a paper titled, “A Study of Social Media Use by Small Business Owners,” co-authored with Campbell and Dr. Brett Elliott, professor of mathematics.

In addition, Bressler was elected Fellow and Dean of Fellows of the Association. The Fellow Award is the highest award presented by the Association. Selection to this status is reserved for those who have demonstrated commitment and service to the small businesses of the United States and in appreciation of continued leadership in the Association.


$1.1 million federal grant to assist Native American students at Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. – For several years, Southeastern Oklahoma State University has received national attention for its programs that assist Native American students.

That recognition should continue as Southeastern recently received a $1.1 million (four-year) grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education. Principal Investigator (PI) and Project Director of this Native American Excellence In Education (NAEIE) Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Grant is Chris Wesberry, Director of the Native American Center for Student Success at Southeastern. Dr. Susan Morrison, Professor of Elementary Education, is Co-PI.

“This grant will enable us to better serve our students,” said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “Our goal is to equip these students to be the very best educators, while helping to fill a critical need in our communities. Chris Wesberry and Dr. Morrison are to be commended for their efforts in securing this grant.”

The grant, which will partner with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Chickasaw Nation, will serve 12 Native American Education majors pursuing degrees in Early Childhood and/or Special Education.

This is the third grant of this type that the University has received since 2005, according to Wesberry.

“We are fortunate to be able to offer this program again to Native American students who are pursuing a teacher education degree,” Wesberry said. “Along with our partners, we look forward to providing services to those who are selected to the program. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students.”

Students will be selected during the Fall 2014 semester and will begin the program in January 2015.

Students must have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours, be Native American, and be admissible to the teacher education program while pursuing a degree in the required field.

Selected students will receive tuition assistance, textbook stipends, a monthly living stipend, professional development opportunities and academic services through the grant project.

The grant requires all student participants to agree to teach at a school that has a significant percentage of Native American students enrolled.

For more information and an application, contact Chris Wesberry at 580-745-2376 or email him at

Southeastern celebrates “Parents, Family and Friends Day’’

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University celebrated “Parents, Family and Friends Day’’ Saturday with various activities leading up to the Savage Storm — Ouachita Baptist University football game at Paul Laird Field. Tailgate Alley was open across from Laird Field and served as the site for the day’s activities.

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Southeastern to recognize three Distinguished Former Faculty members at Homecoming

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will honor three Distinguished Former Faculty members during Homecoming activities Oct. 24-25.

The Distinguished Awards Banquet will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24, in the Visual & Performing Arts Center.

This year’s honorees are Dr. Pat Dunham, Dr. Phil Dunham, and Dr. Robert Oliver.

Pat DunhamDr. Pat Dunham joined the Southeastern faculty in 1980 as an instructor in Elementary Education. While at Southeastern, she founded a student chapter of the Education Association, which was recognized as the outstanding chapter in Oklahoma. She also created and taught a master’s degree curriculum in Gifted Education that was added to Southeastern’s degree offerings.

Dunham was a recipient of the Burlington Northern Faculty Award in 1989. She was named Professor Emeritus in 1998, when she retired.

A graduate of  Tonkawa (Oklahoma) High School, she earned an associate’s degree from Northern Oklahoma Junior College and her bachelor’s degree from Phillips University.

Dunham taught kindergarten in Yuba and Bokchito while earning her master’s degree at Southeastern.  She received her doctorate from East Texas State University in 1984. 

Phil DunhamDr. Phil Dunham  accepted a grant to work with the Teachers Teaching Teachers (Triple T) program at Southeastern in 1969.  He then taught at Phillips University from 1970-71, only to return to Southeastern as Professor of School Administration/Psychology in 1971.  Shortly thereafter, he was accepted as a member of MENSA.

At Southeastern, Dunham  served as Director of the School Administration Program, coached the golf team, served on several North Central Accreditation Evaluation teams, presented at a National Teaching Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, and was one of 12 individuals selected by the governor to serve on the Blue Ribbon Committee on Education for the State of Oklahoma.

Dunham was named Professor Emeritus when he retired in 1989.

He grew up in northern Oklahoma, attended Northern Oklahoma Junior College, spent two years with the U.S. Medical Corps, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Central (Oklahoma) State College. Dunham  earned his master’s degree and doctorate at Oklahoma State University.


Oliver picDr. Robert Oliver served Southeastern in a number of capacities from 1984-2000. He began his career at Southeastern as Director of the Kerr Industrial Applications Center, a NASA Center operated by the University for the transfer of space technology to Business and Industry.

He also taught management and accounting at Southeastern, chaired the Business Administration and Management Department, chaired the Accounting Department, and directed the Master’s Program in Business.

Oliver grew up in southern Oklahoma near Ardmore and graduated from Springer High School. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Oklahoma State University, he earned his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees at Colorado State University.

He furthered his education with an accounting degree from Southeastern and completed graduate work in accounting at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Prior to Southeastern, Oliver worked at IBM and managed a number of software development and payload analysis projects in support of the NASA Space Program.

He retired in 2000 and was named Professor Emeritus.