Candlelighting among many holiday events at Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University is inviting the community to Celebrate the Holidays on Monday, December 8.

The evening will feature Santa and Entertainment, tree lighting and the ever-popular Candlelighting ceremony.

The events are free and open to the public.

Santa and Entertainment is scheduled for 6-7 p.m. with Dell McLain reading the Christmas Story and the Chorvettes Stageworks Company  singing carols on the front lawn of the Magnolia House.

The annual tree-lighting ceremony is set for 7:15 p.m.

Southeastern’s Brass Ensemble will perform on the front lawn of historic Morrison Hall before and during the tree lighting.

In keeping with tradition, Southeastern will mark the holiday season with the 93rd annual Candlelighting and Concert at 7:30 p.m. in Montgomery Auditorium.

This year’s concert will feature the Southeastern Symphonic Choir performing Handel’s Messiah with orchestra, Dr. Joshua Nannestad, conductor.

Messiah is among the most performed and celebrated pieces from the vast repertoire of Christmas music. The music for this season is noteworthy for its florid and descriptive content and has become a staple of Christmas celebrations worldwide.

Other works will include Alfred Burt Carols and additional seasonal pieces.

The concert will once again include the audience singing of traditional Christmas carols focusing on the festive nature of the season.

The Southeastern Brass Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Ben Shaffer, will join in for the traditional carol sing. Cardinal Key and Blue Key Honor Societies will again serve as acolytes in the candle lighting portion of the evening.

The performance will again begin with a short concert of Christmas music presented by the SHARE Children’s Chorus, directed by Dr. Jeri Walker.

The traditional Candlelighting event is designed to reflect the festive nature of the season and serves as a great way to start holiday celebrations.

The University invites the community to share the music of the season.

For more information, contact the Southeastern Department of Music at 580-745-2088. This event is made possible through a grant from the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Cultural and Scholastic Lectureship Fund.

Speech and debate students compete in Tulsa event

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Speech and Debate Association competed in the Tulsa Community College-Northeast’s

fourth annual Green Country Swing, Nov. 14-16.

         Ally Shafer, freshman business/communication major from Madill, finished sixth, the highest individual placement in the team’s first three tournaments.

The forensics tournament featured novice, varsity and professional divisions of International Public Debate Association-style debate, National Forensics Association-Lincoln/Douglas Debate, and all 11 American Forensics Association (AFA) Individual Events (IE).

Southeastern’s team was made up of Shafer, Anthony Hill, junior political science major from Caddo, and Gwendolyn Harper, junior psychology major from Paris, Texas.

Southeastern’s team matched wits with 135 competitors representing 19 schools from six midwestern and southwestern states.

Assistant professor of communication/speech and debate team advisor Dr. Randy Clark said, “The third tournament of the forensics season yielded a breakthrough of sorts for us. The team has been preparing well and working hard. We expected one or two students to break through to the finals and it finally happened.”

Shafer reached the finals in the AFA-IE of Informative Speaking and took sixth place in the Saturday half of the swing. According to AFA rules, informative is an original memorized speech written to inform the audience on a general topic of interest and/or usefulness. The maximum length of the speech is 10 minutes.

Clark said, “Shafer’s hard work and dedication to improving the overall quality of her speech and her non-verbals during her delivery is really beginning to pay off. Breaking through to the finals will now become a common occurrence for Ally. Now the challenge is to consistently place in the top three of each tournament.”

Southeastern’s next forensics tournament will be the Cameron Christmas Classic at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, December 5-7.

To learn more about Southeastern’s intercollegiate forensics program and tournament schedule, contact Clark at 580-745-2556 or go to

Southeastern science students receive honorable mention award

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has earned an Honorable Mention award for its activities conducted during the 2013-14 academic year.

More than 400 chapter activity reports were submitted and The Society Committee on Education presented 44 outstanding, 85 commendable and 151 honorable mention awards.

Lists of award-winning chapters will be published in Chemical & Engineering News and in the November/December issue of inChemistry, the student member magazine.

Award-winning chapters will also be honored at the ACS National Meeting in Denver, Colorado, on Sunday, March 22, 2015.

Associate Professor Nancy Paiva, faculty advisor of the Southeastern chapter, received special commendation in the award letter from Tom Barton, president of the American Chemical Society.

The letter said that few faculty members are willing to make the great commitment of time and energy that a successful chapter requires. It noted  Paiva’s efforts as representing the best in undergraduate science education and mentoring around the country.

Southeastern closed for Thanksgiving Nov. 26-27-28

DURANT, Okla. –- Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed Nov. 26-27-28 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Classes will resume and all offices will re-open on Monday, Dec. 1.

Music Dept. to present Faculty Recital on Nov. 23

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Department of Music will present a Faculty Showcase Recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, November 23, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

The performance will include pieces by Rachmaninoff, Bassi, Tomasi, Brahms, Berlin, Larsen, Clark and others.

The faculty includes acclaimed performers with diverse backgrounds and experience, many of whom perform nationally and internationally, have won major competitions, and have recorded with noteworthy ensembles.

The recital will feature new faculty members Angela Favazza, piano; Jeremy Marks, trombone and euphonium; Joshua Nannestad, bass; and jazz pianist James Dering.

Joining the new faculty members will be pianist Ekaterina Chernaya-Oh; Carlos Feller, flute; Ben Shaffer, trumpet; Tristan Eggener, tuba; Brandon Stewart, horn; Elizabeth Knight, mezzo soprano; and Michael Scheuerman, clarinet.

The concert is free and open to the public. Please call the Southeastern Department of Music at 580-745-2222 for more information.


Former Cabinet member Gary Sherrer to address graduates at Dec. 13 Fall Commencement

Gary SherrerDURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Fall Commencement will be held Saturday, Dec. 13. One ceremony for all graduates will begin at 10 a.m. in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Southeastern alumnus Gary Sherrer (’73), a former state representative and who served in cabinet positions under three governors, will be the commencement speaker.

Sherrer currently serves as assistant vice president for external relations in

Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. He also serves on the board of directors at Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc.

Sherrer is a co-founder of the First Trinity Financial, an Oklahoma company that has investors in all 77 counties in the state. First Trinity, which was started in 2004, has grown in assets to more than $200 million and now has branched out into 24 other states.

“It’s a real honor to have Gary Sherrer as our commencement speaker,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “He has dedicated much of his life to public service, and in the process, made Oklahoma a better place for all of us. We are also very proud of the fact that he is a Southeastern graduate.’’

Sherrer served as a State Representative from 1981-89, and then was named Oklahoma’s first Secretary of Agriculture by Gov. David Walters. He later served as Secretary of the Environment under Gov. Frank Keating from 1995-97, and Gov. Mary Fallin, 2011-13.

The Antlers High School graduate earned a bachelor’s degree in Education at Southeastern, with a major in speech and a minor in journalism. He is also a U.S. Army veteran and was a combat medic in Vietnam.

Chorale to present concert on Nov. 18

DURANT, Okla. – The Southeastern Chorale will present, “Without Borders: A Concert,’’ on Tuesday, Nov. 18. The event will be held in the Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will focus on the works of composers who cross-cultural and language boundaries in giving voice to the human experience. The resulting works utilize a wide range of vocal techniques and writing styles, ranging from Renaissance music to jazz. Texts range from the works of William Shakespeare to Buddhist chant.   Of particular note is the work “Hymn” by native Oklahoman Toby Twining. The song — without words — incorporates throat singing and yodeling in the creation of a unique soundscape.

Twining, a noted composer residing in New York City, worked with the Chorale in the preparation of this work.

The concert is free and open to the public. Please call the Department of Music at 745-2222 for more information.

Open House held for Native American Collection & Commons at Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. – An open house for the new Native American Collection & Commons in the Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library was held Tuesday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. The Collection houses historical government documents, pre-statehood and early statehood maps, Indian Territory newspapers and much more. Display items are from The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Chickasaw Nation. Funding for the Commons and Collection was made possible by the Title III, NASNTI Connect2Complete grant and Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

NA Library PanoNA Library-2

Alpha Chi inducts 79 members during ceremony

2014 Alpha Chi Group

The Alpha Chi induction ceremony was held Sunday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

DURANT, Okla. – The Oklahoma Theta Chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society held its 32nd annual Induction ceremony Sunday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Seventy-nine juniors and seniors representing all academic disciplines were inducted into lifetime membership in candle-lighting ceremonies.  Thirty-four of these are 2013 inductees (last year’s ceremony was cancelled due to an ice storm) and forty-five are 2014 inductees.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage was the guest speaker at the event, held in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

Faculty sponsors are Dr. Brett Elliott, Dr. Alistair Maeer and Dr. Jennifer Hicks. Also on the program was professor emeritus Dr. David Norris, a former Alpha Chi sponsor.

Following is a list of the inductees and their hometowns:


Joseph Badan                                       Durant, OK

Hannah Baugh                                    Bonham, TX

April Boatright                                   Antlers, OK

Tucker Brown                                     Norman, OK

Charles Bull                                          McAlester, OK

Jessica Carey                                        Marietta, OK

Patricia Caveny                                  Durant, OK

Kathy Jo Daniel                                   Coleman, OK

Laura Davenport                               Durant, OK

Brett Doyle                                           Caddo, OK

Desirae Drummond                         Lone Grove, OK

Jett Gardner                                          Antlers, OK

Jordan Hedrick                                   Bethany, OK

Lesley Huff                                            McAlester, OK

Kayleb Koslowsky                            Kingston, OK

Kelsey Lee                                             Davis, OK

Holly Martin                                         Coleman, OK

Taylor Matlock                                   Garvin, OK

Levi McCullough                                Idabel, OK

Dana Meaders                                     Calera, OK

Christie Miller                                     Stringtown, OK

Mary Nelson                                         Durant, OK

Crystal Nichols                                   Achille, OK

Alyssa Pingleton                                Atoka, OK

Rojina Ranjit                                        Oklahoma City, OK

Taylor Reeves                                     Durant, OK

Virginia Sealock                                 Rockwall, TX

Shacole Smith                                     Durant, OK

Erika Snead                                          Broken Bow, OK

Tracey Stephenson                           Denison, TX

Aubrey Tarantine                              Sherman, TX

Josee Vaughn                                       Broken Bow, OK

Kalleigh Tilley                                     Durant, OK

Jeffrey Washington                           Bonham, TX



Jessica Baker                                               Van Alstyne, TX

Jessie Batson                                               Durant, OK

Samantha Briskey                                    Moore, OK

Anita Brown                                                Sherman, TX

Birch Bryant                                                Hugo, OK

Barbara Bullard                                         Krebs, OK

Kevin Caras                                                  Oklahoma City, OK

Meagan Carter                                            Hugo, OK

Sarrysa Eaves                                                            Mead, OK

Sandra Franco                                            Broken Bow, OK

Railey Gardner                                           Antlers, OK

Brooke Glory                                               Ardmore, OK

Rebecca Gordon                                        Ada, OK

Jeremy Gray                                                 Tuttle, OK

Karlee Hall                                                    Ravenna, TX

Melissa Haworth-Cox                             Denison, TX

Kristi Heath                                                 Pottsboro, TX

Sarah Hodson                                                            Durant, OK

Dakota Marcy                                                            Durant, OK

Hope McClendon                                       Marietta, OK

Maverick McClendon                                             Marietta, OK

Amber McLain                                            Ardmore, OK

Laiken McMurl                                           Broken Bow, OK

Lauren McMurl                                           Broken Bow, OK

Julia Mills                                                      Eufala, OK

Matthew Mobley                                       Oklahoma City, OK

Rebecca Rathfon                                       Sherman, TX

Tyler Rector                                                 Atoka, OK

Thelma Scribner                                        Kingston, OK

Vonna Shults                                               Durant, OK

Jessica Simmons                                       Shawnee, OK

Ryan Summit                                              Durant, OK

Madison Thames                                      Mount Vernon, Texas

Amanda Thompson                                 Durant, OK

Jasmine Vasquez                                       Tishomingo, OK

Cecelia Vaughn                                           Carrollton, TX

Karen Vian                                                   Ardmore, OK

Carey Wade                                                  Telephone, TX

Tascee Wahoske                                       Milburn, OK

Sarah White                                                 Kingston, OK

Emily Williams                                           Ben Wheeler, TX

Chance Wimberley                                   Colbert, OK

Lesha Woods                                              Antlers, OK

Nathan Wright                                           Durant, OK

Kelcey Yanez                                               Wilson, OK

Top 10 Freshman Award presented

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Office of Freshman Programs hosted the Top Ten Freshman Awards ceremony Wednesday in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union.

The outstanding freshmen were selected by a committee consisting of representatives from faculty, student government and University administration.

The group has a collective 3.73 grade-point average and is involved in numerous activities that benefit the entire campus.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage offered congratulatory remarks to the group during the ceremony.

The honorees include:

         Jessica Baker, business management major, Van Alstyne, Texas. She is a member of the volleyball team and a leader in Southeastern’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

April Clinton, Music Education, Durant. She is a member of the Spirit of Southeastern Marching Band and Southeastern Symphonic Winds.

Mitchell Emberson, occupational safety and health, Taft, California. As a 2013 member of the President’s Leadership 
Class, he assisted with tailgating activities, homecoming events and also volunteered with Families Feeding Families.

Chance Eubanks, music-vocal performance, Cleburne, Texas. He is the bass section leader in the Southeastern Chorale, member of the CAT 5 vocal jazz ensemble and symphonic choir.

         Sierra Janway, psychology, Heavener. As a member of the President’s Leadership Class, she was able to complete 50 hours of community service and volunteer for numerous activities on campus.

Bobby Long, fisheries and wildlife, Langley. He is a member of the Honors Program and served as a group leader for prospective Honors Program students.  His writings were selected for publication in the Honors Essay Compilation.

Shayla McDonnell, communication, Duncan. A member of the President’s Leadership Class, she was selected by her peers to serve as president of Southeastern’s International Association of Business Communicators.

Adeline Patterson, English/history, Durant. She was a member of the Honors Advisory Council and a team member on both the Honors Advisory Council’s Homecoming sweeps team, and Honors Day.

         Alexandra Ray, Elementary Education, Blanchard. Through the President’s Leadership Class, she worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs, Midnight Madness, Parents’ Day and assisted with SE Live.

Kayla Stiltner, biology, Hartshorne. While a member of the cheer squad, she participated in the Homecoming week sweepstakes and pep rallies, volunteered at a Southeastern golf tournament and promoted Southeastern by visiting local elementary schools and participating in the Veterans’ Day Parade.

Participating in Wednesday’s ceremony were, front row, left to right, Kayla Stiltner, Adeline Patterson, April Clinton, Sierra Janway, Shayla McDonnell, and Chance Eubanks. Back row, Southeastern president Sean Burrage, vice president for academic affairs Doug McMillan, Student Government Association president Ben Wright, Bobby Long, Jessica Baker, Mitchell Emberson, Alexandra Ray, and associate dean of academic services Tim Boatmun.

Participating in Wednesday’s ceremony were, front row, left to right, Kayla Stiltner, Adeline Patterson, April Clinton, Sierra Janway, Shayla McDonnell, and Chance Eubanks. Back row, Southeastern president Sean Burrage, vice president for academic affairs Doug McMillan, Student Government Association president Ben Wright, Bobby Long, Jessica Baker, Mitchell Emberson, Alexandra Ray, and associate dean of academic services Tim Boatmun.