Occupational Safety Students Win National Scholarships

Scholarship recipients were Brian Lauer, William Birdsong, and Ashley Madden.

DURANT, Okla. –The Foundation of the American Society of Safety Engineers has announced the 2012 National Scholarships and three Southeastern Oklahoma State University Occupational Safety students have been named as recipients.

The Southeastern recipients are Brian Lauer, a senior from Aubrey, Texas, who won the $2,000 Ann Music Streetman HSE Scholarship (sponsored by the Texas Safety Foundation); Ashley Madden, a senior from Wayne, Oklahoma, who received the Permian Basin Chapter Endowment for $1,000; and William Birdsong, a senior from Lane, Olahoma, recipient of the $1,000 Southwest Chapter Roy Kinslow Scholarship.

The American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation, established by and in partnership with the American Society of Safety Engineers, generates funding and provides resources for scholarship, applied research, academic accreditation, and related academic initiatives in order to advance the safety, health, and environmental profession.

Recognizing growth in the profession, as well as a need for even more comprehensive services, the ASSE Board of Directors chartered the ASSE Foundation in 1990. Designed to provide professional development and financial resources to qualified individuals and non-profit organizations, the Foundation seeks to advance safety and health development, research and education in the public interest.

Carrie Williamson named Newman Civic Fellow

Carrie Williamson

DURANT, Okla. – Carrie Williamson of Southeastern Oklahoma State University is one of 162 students from 32 states honored as 2012 Newman Civic Fellows by Campus Compact. The awards recognize inspiring college student leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities.

Campus Compact’s member college and university presidents from across the country nominated these outstanding students.

Williamson is a junior Occupational Safety and Health major who also works full-time in the Office of Academic Affairs as the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the School of Graduate and University Studies. She volunteers her time on a regular basis to serve others.

“I enjoy giving back to my community and encourage others to join me,” Williamson said. “I have volunteered for various events as long as I can remember and I’m fortunate that Southeastern encourages its employees to be involved.” The Bennington (Oklahoma) High School graduate is a proud parent (Cristen) and grandparent (Jayda).

“Carrie is most deserving of the Newman recognition,” said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “She exemplifies the type of person we want representing the University and is an outstanding role model for others. Carrie is always there to help when needed, and goes the extra mile to ensure success in her academic studies, her job, and volunteer work.”

Williamson currently serves as the University’s Students in Service Campus Coordinator, in which she has helped place 34 student volunteers in the Students in Service Program. These students will have completed more than 10,000 hours of community service by the time they complete the AmeriCorps program.

Other volunteer activities include 4-H leader for two years; Relay for Life team member for six years (team captain two years and executive committee as Southeastern’s community contact for one year); disaster relief volunteer after the Tushka, Oklahoma, tornado; Families Feeding Families food bank; camp counselor at Falls Creek; contributor to Bryan County Humane Society; coach for Upward Sports; host family for international exchange students; and event worker for Special Olympics.

In addition to her impressive record of volunteerism, Williamson is an outstanding student and holds membership in the Alpha Chi Honor Society.

Following graduation in December 2012, Williamson plans to use her education to pursue a career in the safety field as well as to educate others, especially children, about safety-related issues.

As a Newman Civic Fellow, Williamson will join a network of Fellows around the country. Together — sharing ideas and tools through online networking — the Fellows will leverage an even greater capacity for service and change, and will continue to set examples for their classmates and others.

“These students represent the next generation of public problem-solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can — and does — play in building a better world,” notes Campus Compact Board Chair James B. Dworkin, chancellor at Purdue University North Central.

Through service-learning courses and other opportunities for community engagement, colleges are developing students’ public problem-solving skills, such as the ability to analyze community needs, the willingness to participate in public processes and debate, the commitment to raise awareness about challenges, and the ability to inspire others to become part of solutions.

“Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens who are eager and prepared to make a difference,” explains Campus Compact President Maureen Curley. “He dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform and this new group of Newman Civic Fellows would have inspired him. They are reflections and affirmations of his life’s work.”

Campus Compact is a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents — representing some 6 million+ students — who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education, that is, to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility.

Southeastern hosts 99th-annual Curriculum Contest

Art was among the subject areas that high school students competed in Thursday at the Southeastern Curriculum Contest.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University hosted the 99th-annual Curriculum Contest Thursday.

Dr. James Britton, Professor in the Chemistry, Computer and Physical Sciences Department, is in his second year as coordinator of the curriculum contest.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our area high schools and for Southeastern,” Britton said. “It’s a chance for the students to compete and be introduced to Southeastern at the same time.”

The curriculum contest featured approximately 2,500 students from 70 area high schools participating in 40 contests with trophies and medals awarded to winning schools and students.

Exams covered numerous subjects, including mathematics, science, English, foreign languages, fine arts, and computers. The winning schools, by division, are listed below:

Division 1

  1. Coleman High School
  2. New Lima High School
  3. Kiowa High School

Division 2

  1. Latta High School
  2. Tushka High School
  3. Allen High School

Division 3

  1. Plainview High School
  2. Lone Grove High School
  3. Kingston High School

Division 4

  1. Ada High School
  2. Durant High School
  3. Broken Bow High School

Southeastern student participates in Research Day at the Capitol

Andrew Williams of Southeastern visits with Rep. Dustin Roberts and Rep. Tommy Hardin at Research Day at the Capitol.

DURANT, Okla. –Andrew Williams of Madill represented Southeastern Oklahoma State University at Research Day at the Capitol, held recently in Oklahoma City.

Twenty-four undergraduate students representing 17 Oklahoma colleges and universities presented competitive research posters to the State Legislature and the public during this annual event, which is sponsored by Oklahoma EPSCoR, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and the National Science Foundation. This event is designed to bring about awareness of the outstanding research taking place in Oklahoma’s colleges and universities.

Williams’ research project was titled, “Changes in Stream Characteristics after an Episode of Extreme Drought.” He is a senior majoring in occupational safety & health, with a minor in environmental science. Williams’ mentor is Dr. Margaret Avard, professor of earth and environmental sciences.

“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in Research Day at the Capitol this year,’’ Avard said. “It is a great experience for students as they are able to share their research, network with students and faculty from other institutions of higher education, and interact with state legislators.”

District Attorney presents program in conjunction with SOLD

DURANT, Okla. – District Attorney Emily Redman offers comments Tuesday during her presentation as part of the Southeastern Organizational Leadership Development (SOLD) program at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Redman, a Southeastern graduate, serves District 19, which includes Bryan, Atoka, and Coal Counties. Her presentation was titled, “Oklahoma Justice – A Day in the Life of a Criminal Case.” The SOLD professional development program offers informative presentations to University faculty and staff throughout the year.

McFadden Scholarship established at Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. – The Dr. Robert McFadden Scholarship has been established through the Southeastern Foundation to benefit students attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The scholarship was established in 2009 by an initial gift from the Waples Memorial United Methodist Church in Denison, Texas, in recognition of McFadden’s 20 years of continuous service as pianist/organist.

The scholarship was endowed by McFadden and a ceremony was held Friday in the Welcome Center on the Southeastern campus.

Recipients of the McFadden Scholarship will be full-time students in good standing at Southeastern. The award is established as an educational scholarship for students who have declared music performance majors, pianist preferred, as their major field of study.

Students must have a minimum 3.5 grade point average and be juniors or above who have been admitted to the Bachelor of Music program.

McFadden is a native of Kansas and earned his Bachelor of Music (Piano) at Wichita State University. He received his M.M. degree at the University of Michigan and completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance at the University of Kansas.

He taught at Hesston College (Kansas) and South Carolina State University before joining the Southeastern faculty in 1984, where he teaches private piano, undergraduate music history, music literature and appreciation, and directed readings in music history. He also accompanies the Southeastern Chorale, Opera Theatre and vocal recitalists.

McFadden has received a number of Southeastern research grants to pursue the Suzuki method of piano study as it compares with traditional private teaching.

In 2000, he adjudicated at the Second Chinese Composers Competition in Hong Kong and has judged numerous other competitions.

His pre-college students have won several local and state competitions. He is active as a musician in Denison, at Waples Memorial United Methodist and the Christian Science churches.

He has held several offices in the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association, including a two-year term as state president in 2006-2007. In 2009, McFadden was chosen as a Foundation Fellow in the Music Teachers National Association (the eighth to be honored from Oklahoma).

The nomination was made because of the impact McFadden has made on the music profession through OMTA and MTNA membership and service, his exemplary career that has shaped and inspired others, and the high esteem that he is held in by his peers.

Dr. Jack Robinson Endowed Scholarship in Chemistry established at Southeastern

Gathering after Friday’s scholarship ceremony were Southeastern Executive Director of University Advancement Kyle Stafford, Justin Robinson, Jeffrey Kent Robinson, Southeastern Vice President for Student Affairs Sharon Robinson, and Southeastern President Larry Minks

DURANT, Okla. – The Dr. Jack L. Robinson Endowed Scholarship in Chemistry has been established through the Southeastern Foundation to benefit students attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The endowment ceremony was held Friday in the Bloomer Sullivan Arena Blue and Gold Suite on the Southeastern campus.

This is established as an educational scholarship for students who have declared chemistry as their major field of study in preparation for a graduate degree in chemistry or a professional degree in the health sciences.

Preference will be given to junior or senior students from southeastern Oklahoma who have a minimum 3.5 grade-point average.

Robinson graduated from Bokchito (Okla.) High School in 1958 and while he was growing up attended numerous cultural events at Southeastern.

He graduated from Southeastern in 1962 with a double major in mathematics and chemistry. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma in 1966 and joined the faculty of Southeastern that same year as Assistant Professor of Chemistry.

During his 42-year career at Southeastern, Robinson served as Professor of Chemistry, Physical Sciences Department Chair, Director of Institutional Research and Planning, Director of Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Program, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs and Graduate Dean, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Special Assistant to the President.

He established and directed the Southeastern Honors Program, co-founded the benchmark freshman orientation program with Sharon Robinson, wrote numerous grants for research and equipment from the National Science Foundation, and was a driving force and major contributor to Southeastern’s Program Review and Assessment process, recognized by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education as a model for the state of Oklahoma.

He was named by the Board of Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma as Professor Emeritus of Chemistry in 2000, served as consultant evaluator for the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, now the Higher Learning Commission, and served on the Accreditation Review Council of the HLC. Robinson was one of the Distinguished Former Faculty honorees at Homecoming 2009.

In 2004, Robinson married Sharon Berish, Vice President for Student Affairs. His long involvement with Southeastern led to many family members attending and/or graduating from the University.

Robinson’s sons, Jeffrey Kent Robinson (Lt. Col. Ret.) and his wife Valerie from Norman (Okla.) were present for Friday’s scholarship ceremony, as well as Justin Robinson, Mead (Okla.). Sharon’s children, Gena Strasia, D.Ph., Amarillo (Texas) and George Berish, Manhattan (Kan.), were also in attendance. Two of Robinson’s grandchildren, Olivia and Luke Strasia, were also in town for the scholarship unveiling.

Sharon’s mother, Janet Thompkins, 89, was present, along with Sharon’s sister, Diane Kreger and her husband, Gary. Many Robinson family members, including Robinson’s brother, John Mike and wife Pat, and his sister, Suzanne Akins and husband Charles also attended.

Kathy Jo Robinson is a fourth-generation Robinson to attend Southeastern. Kathy Jo is the granddaughter of Robinson’s brother, Joe David and the late Kathy Robinson of Bokchito. Her parents are Stephanie and Rusty Daniel, both graduates of Southeastern. Kathy Jo is a member of the President’s Leadership Class and was recognized at the Freshman Success Reception for having a 3.25 or higher GPA after her first semester.

Southeastern named to President’s Community Service Honor Roll

DURANT, Okla. – The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education today honored the nation’s leading colleges and universities, students, faculty members, and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through community service and service learning.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University was selected to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its extensive involvement in community service.

During the 2010-2011 academic year, more than 760 individuals from Southeastern (students-faculty-staff) completed, collectively, approximately 30,000 hours of community service activity.

Dr. Bryon Clark, who in his role as assistant vice president for academic affairs and instruction tracks Southeastern’s civic engagement, points to another significant number – 28,495. That’s the estimated number of individuals who were served through the University’s involvement.

Southeastern president Larry Minks said such volunteerism is just one trait that makes the University unique.

“This is a significant honor and one that we are most proud to accept,” Minks said. “At Southeastern, we emphasize to our students the responsibility they have to be productive citizens. This includes being an active participant both on and off campus and contributing to the betterment of society. We are most fortunate to have a culture among our students, faculty and staff that fosters assistance to those in need. Our campus community understands that they can make a difference in the lives of others, and this is reflected by their willingness to volunteer their time and effort in meaningful ways.”

In the past, assistance has been provided by the Southeastern family in times of disaster – tornadoes, fires, etc., — but there are also ongoing efforts such as blood drives, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, volunteer income tax assistance program, theatrical workshops, tutoring, and Special Olympics, to name just a few.

Another well-known program that Southeastern has been involved with in Durant is Families Feeding Families (FFF).

“Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community,” said Robert Velasco, Acting CEO of CNCS. “We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom. Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities.”

“Preparing students to participate in our democracy and providing them with opportunities to take on local and global issues in their course work are as central to the mission of education as boosting college completion and closing the achievement gap,” said Eduardo Ochoa, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for postsecondary education. “The Honor Roll schools should be proud of their work to elevate the role of service-learning on their campuses. Galvanizing their students to become involved in projects that address pressing concerns and enrich their academic experience has a lasting impact – both in the communities in which they work and on their own sense of purpose as citizens of the world. I hope we’ll see more and more colleges and universities following their lead.”

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 642 schools to the Honor Roll for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 513 were named to the Honor Roll, 110 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 14 were identified as finalists, and five received the Presidential Award.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a strong partner with the nation’s colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning. Last year, CNCS provided more than $200 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for college tuition and student loan repayment. CNCS is a catalyst for service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with academic curricula. Through these programs, college students serve their communities while strengthening their academic and civic skills.

CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

Bagwell Scholarship created in McCurtain County

DURANT, Okla. – The Tom and Betty Bagwell Scholarship has been established through the Southeastern Foundation and the Eastern State College Foundation to benefit students attending Southeastern’s McCurtain County Campus.

An endowment ceremony was held Wednesday on the McCurtain County Campus. Southeastern president Larry Minks, Eastern president Steve Smith, Betty Bagwell and trustees of the Bagwell scholarship trust fund were among those in attendance.

Carlos Daniel Thomas “Tom” Bagwell passed away May 31, 2011, at the age of 92.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 10, 1939, and spent the majority of his career in various naval hospitals at home and abroad. His last assignment was with the Naval Hospital in St. Albans, New York, as Chief Warrant Officer. He retired on December 3, 1963.

The long-time Idabel civic leader spent time on his 1,477-acre Bear Hollow Farms in Pineville, Missouri, working with cattle and timber. He returned to the medical field as supervisor for Brown and Root Construction. In 1970, he was transferred to the Weyerhaeuser Company in Valliant, Oklahoma.

He served on various boards of directors in Idabel and eastern Oklahoma, and was charter president of the McCurtain County Historical Society from 1972-73. He also served 10 years as director of the Oklahoma Heritage Association in Oklahoma City.

After retirement from Weyerhaeuser in 1979, he was actively involved in the Idabel Rotary Club, serving as District Governor (1988-89), the Masons and the American Legion.

Tom and wife Betty have sponsored the Tom and Betty Bagwell Scholarship Fund for more than 10 years for McCurtain County seniors to study at Southeastern’s McCurtain County campus for six credit hours.

Tom was a member of the First Baptist Church of Idabel and wrote the first church history book in 1976, detailing the first 75 years of the church.

Library hosts census workshop on April 3

DURANT, Okla. – The Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library at Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be the site of a U.S. Census workshop from 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3.

Steve Beleu of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries in Oklahoma City will be the presenter.

The workshop, held in the computer lab on floor 2A, will offer instruction on using the “American FactFinder” search engine on the Census Bureau’s website.

The new “FactFinder” is completely different from the online tools used previously.

Participants will also learn how to use the Census Bureau’s new “American Community Survey,” which gives every city, town and county new Census data every year.

As time allows, other features of the Bureau’s website will be discussed.

To register for the workshop, contact Brandon Burnette at bburnette@SE.edu or 580-745-2795. Those not attending Southeastern or working at the University will need a visitor hang-tag. Include your mailing address if using e-mail so the hang-tag may be mailed to you.