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Above, Alpha Gamma Delta sisters perform duringhomecomingweek tradition, Yell Like Hell Oct 24. Ivan Hunnicutt, senior in informationsystems,works to clean a backyard. Hunnicutt, from Brazil, is vice presidentoftheInternational Students Association.

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photos courtesy of Jessica Grazier, senior in communication

south padre • spring break Nikki Anderson, Jessica Grazier, Amanda Floyd and Talsa Hutchinson pose with a spring break sandcastle built by natives of the island for spring breakers in South Padre Island, Texas.

Pittsburg State University was represented on Coca-Cola beach with a flag in South Padre Island, Texas, over spring break 2010.

The Golden Knights put on a show for the spring breakers in South Padre Island and landed on the beach.

Monica Cardona, Jackie Schrick, Jessica Grazier, Nikki Anderson, Jenna Domann, Amanda Floyd and Talsa Hutchinson spend their last night in South Padre Island at a local restaurant.


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6/29/10 2:36:51 PM

haiti • spring break photos courtesy of Lindsay Nance, junior in chemistry/international studies

Lindsay Nance traveled to Haiti during spring break with Countryside Christian Church to bring supplies to a school in Port-de-Paix. While there she spent most of her time teaching and interacting with the children at the school and also did some relief work at the local orphanage and hospital, bringing food, water and medical supplies.

dominican republic photos courtesy of Hannah Hunsinger, junior in nursing

he at t p u o ge gr The rphana o

spring break • orphanage outreach

Some ot the students in front of the wall at the orphanage “Jesus loves all the children of the world” In order: Nickolas, Sarah, Hannah, Lily, Jacinta, Jayme.

The whole gro helped build up by the rock wall tha in front of the orphan t they age Hannah Yalina, o Hunsinger, ne of the gir Christopher, ls from the one of the orphana ge, orphans, and with Gu s Lily Williams smile for the camera.

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south korea • summer

photos courtesy of Ross Stone, senior in communication

delegation trip






1. PSU delegates at Kyung Hee University in South Korea. Choong Lee gave the students a tour of the University including, Ericka Almedia, Ceasar Monteiro, Showq Haddadin, Ross Stone, Osama Abu Salah, Ross Turney, Erin Sims, Rebbeca Ransome, Alana White, Jake Meredith, Jiaru Jing, Xiaoxuan Liu and Sonia Dotche. 2. Showq Haddadin and Ross Stone at the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea. 3. Ross Stone having dinner with former PSU student Minju Shin and her family in Jinju, South Korea. 4. Members of the delegation trip sponsored through the Kelce Business School are pictured under an arch at the Oedeo’s Botanical Garden. 5. PSU students Erika Almeida, Ross Stone, and Alana White sit down for an outdoor lunch. 6. Oedeo’s Botanical Garden near South Korea. 7. 2009 Summer PSU delegation visit to South Korea. 8. Oedeo’s Botanical Garden off the coast of South Korea.



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5/19/10 1:47:45 PM


freshmen move-in

ome is where the dorm is

by Larry Fleury

Traffic filled the streets at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, as more than a thousand students moved into the residence halls. This was Kyle Marcotte’s first year as a member of the move-in crew, those blueshirted students who were helping freshmen move in. The senior in premed said he was surprised at how orderly the moving process was. “I was really shocked there weren’t more people,” said Marcotte, who was participating with the Newman Club. “People didn’t move in until 9 a.m., but besides that, it’s been fun and really hot outside.” The residence halls may be filled with freshmen, but for some students, moving back into the dorms is like moving back home. Karalyn Lenox, graduate student in mathematics, is spending her fifth year in the dorms, but this is her first year in Trout Hall. Lenox says dorm life helps her deal with the stresses of school and classes. “I don’t have to find parking, and trying to get back and forth between an apartment would be something I wouldn’t want to do,” she said. “And I don’t have to clean my own bathroom. I like the community as well.” With a school that has the majority of students coming from Kansas and neighboring states, Charles Strobel, freshman in automotive technology, is an exception. He had to travel more than 550 miles, in fact, to get to Trout Hall from his hometown of Wayzata, Minn. Strobel says he’s excited about being in a new location with a warmer climate. “I came down here and saw the automotive program and thought that I had to come here,” Strobel said. “I was kind of nervous about moving, but I have two older brothers, so I figured I’d be good. I’m excited that the winters aren’t going to be so cold.”


photos by Aaron Anders

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Kelsey Moore, freshman in nursing, hangs her calendar and organizes her room in Dellinger Hall Saturday, Aug. 22.

Above, Michael Holleron, freshman music education major, sets up his desk in Dellinger Hall dormitory during freshmen move-in 2009. Left, automotive technology freshmen Brett Jacobson and Andrew Pikes move around their dorm beds after bunking them during move-in day in the fall. Right, Danielle Stegle, freshman in biology, carries her belongings up to her room in Dellinger Hall Saturday, Aug. 22.

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4/8/10 9:06:32 PM

photo by Malcolm Turner




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The freshman class of 2009 gathers on the Brandenberg field in Carnie Smith Stadium on Aug. 23, the day before classes began. The large class photo is taken after the students each ring the Centennial Bell. The photo tradition started in 2003, and the photos are displayed in the basement of the Overman Student Center.

Family Weekend


3/3/10 4:52:29 PM

Malcolm Turner




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The freshman class of 2009 gathers on the Brandenburg Field in Carnie Smith Stadium on Aug. 23, the day before classes began. The large class photo is taken after the students each ring the Centennial Bell. The photo tradition started in 2003, and the photos are displayed in the basement of the Overman Student Center.

Family Weekend


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all in the family Aaron Anders

eekend festivities didn’t leave anyone out

by Brock Sisney

The sun shone bright Friday and Saturday of Family Weekend, with barely a cloud in sight. Crowds of people were out by noon Saturday to enjoy the weather and the many activities. The welcome luau kicked off Family Weekend at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25. Campus Activities handed out crimson and gold leis to guests. Nine small torches lined the Gorilla Village entrance. Jimmy Buffett’s back catalog formed most of the soundtrack. Sodexo catered a Hawaiian-flavored meal, with chicken teriyaki, sweet and sour pork and pineapple and coconut cake. Charles Davis, junior in marketing, said it was his first Family Weekend and that his parents, Brad and Annette Davis, from Independence, Mo., enjoyed the festivities. “The cake was good, but the stir-fry was just OK,” Davis said. Kevin Szkil, junior in automotive technology, said he was attracted by the free food. “The stir-fry and the cake were good,” Szkil said. “They really like Jimmy Buffett tonight.”


Szkil’s father, Mike, came from Ellicott City, Md., about 18 miles outside Baltimore, to attend the event. Edie McCracken, program coordinator for the campus activities center, said the welcome luau debuted for the first time at Family Weekend. “We wanted it to be no cost to all students and their families,” McCracken said. “We were very happy with the turnout.” Three hours before its dedication ceremony and its new name, the Student Health Center sponsored a 5K Fun Run/Walk at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, beginning the second day of Family Weekend. Rita Girth, operations director of the Bryant Student Health Center, said this year’s event was the sixth annual 5K Fun Run and she hopes the event encourages healthier living. Campus Life and Auxiliary Services began a freshman parents’ session at 9 a.m. in 409 Russ Hall, highlighting various aspects of campus life and ending in a brief Q & A session. Steve Ervin, associate vice president of campus life and auxiliary services, played the role of master of ceremo-

nies. J.T. Knoll, prevention and wellness coordinator, focused on stress management. David Adams, assistant director of campus activities, discussed student government and clubs and organizations. Mark Johnson, three-time winner of the Ratzlaff Outstanding Faculty Award, had originally been scheduled to give his “Class Without a Quiz” presentation at the same time across the hall from the parents’ session. Instead, Johnson opened the parents’ session with his presentation that highlighted memorization skills. After telling a couple of humorous anecdotes, Johnson introduced 15 key words: house, door, carpet, newspaper, bed, picture, volcano, fish, boot, cigar, vase, table, window, flowers and anvil. Johnson told everybody to close their eyes and then he told a colorful story incorporating all 15 words. After the story, with all eyes opened, Johnson chose three audience members, two parents and one student, to illustrate the power of photographic memory. The two parents had minor difficulty remembering all 15 words, but the student, Phillip Rogers, freshman

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Far left, families from far and wide enjoyed Family Day on Sept. 22 before the football game. Left, runners take off on the 5K run Saturday morning. The first part of the race swung around the stadium and on to the bike path. The racers finished the race by crossing the bridges and running back on to the pavement through Gorilla Village. Aaron Anders

Katie Swatek

in Spanish, recalled all 15 words perfectly frontward and backward. Rogers could even say them a second time backward out in the hall 45 minutes later. The president’s brunch at 10 a.m., held on the first and second floors of Russ Hall, served a variety of breakfast sandwiches, fruits and pastries, as well as granola and yogurt. GorillaFest started at 11 a.m., with the alumni and friends tailgate beginning at 11:30 a.m. outside the Gorilla Village. There were distinct sights, sounds and smells that made the GorillaFest atmosphere what it was. People in crimson and gold T-shirts flooded the area.Tents and lawn chairs were spread across the parking lot and lined both sides of the bicycle trail. Booths, tables and vendors filled Gorilla Village. Footballs were tossed among children, young adults and parents. Buses, campers and vans crammed the parking lots surrounding the football stadium, alongside cars and trucks. Because it was so packed, others struggled to find the nearest parking space. The seven-person Duling Family played a set of classic rock and country songs, including “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Takin’ Care of Business.” A musky, distinct barbecue scent wafted through the air around the parking lots, the bike trail and Gorilla Village.

Among the sea of people, four were playing a game of hillbilly golf in the parking lot. Grant Depoy, senior in biology, and Jared Pollock, senior in automotive technology, played against Dee Brown, junior in physical education, and Jeremy Hutchinson, freshman in physical education. Hillbilly golf is known by other names such as ladder toss, redneck golf and hillbilly horseshoes. But it has a single game plan. Participants toss three ropes, one at a time, at a ladder. A rope is called a bola and bolas have two golf balls attached to opposite ends of each rope. A player scores points by wrapping a bola around one of three rungs on the ladder. Players earn one point for the top rung, two points for the middle rung and three points for the bottom rung. Games are played to 21 points. Depoy and Pollock defeated Brown and Hutchinson, 21-20. “I carried us as much as we could,” Brown said. “I picked it up before the end,” Hutchinson said. “We started off hot and went cold,” Brown said. “We look forward to seeing them down the road.” The victors saw the game differently than Brown and Hutchinson. “It should have been a blowout,” Loading their plates, GorillaFest tailgaters eat Pollock said. “We didn’t have our before the game on Family Day. A-game.”

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4/8/10 9:24:49 PM

L is for Lil Miracles

PSU students write letters to friends and relatives asking for donations on behalf of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which treats cancer and other diseases in children. The Up ’til Dawn event lasted nearly seven hours and offered various games and activities for the participants to play when they weren’t writing.

Small things happen every day, when you have cancer, something to look forward to. The smallest or biggest thing that happened this week lil miracles are like . . . A friend finishing chemo. Finding your scan was clear. Getting out of ICU. Or they can be the tiniest things like . . . a friend from school, calling to say, “Hey, I miss you!” So watch for lil miracles and big ones too! - by Cassandra

(Cassandra died in 2001)

photos by Jim Quist


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3/11/10 5:52:16 PM


Undeclared freshmen Jeanine Kunshuk and Jordan Lepaglow suit up for sumo wrestling at Up ’til Dawn.

Christine Jepsen, from the Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center in Pittsburg, places stamps on the completed letters.

a night to remember

Up ’til Dawn participants give up sleep for a good cause by Monica Hart One day, Colby Shelton of Miller, Mo., came home from baseball practice with huge lumps in his neck. Although his mother, Leslie, said he wasn’t feeling any symptoms, he was taken to the hospital. That night, he was flown to Memphis, Tenn., to be treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Colby, 7, was diagnosed with nonHodgins lymphoma. That was June 28, 2008. Nearing total recovery, Colby came to PSU in October to describe his life as a cancer patient and how St. Jude helped him and his family get back on their feet. Colby was the featured speaker at Up ’til Dawn, a national fundraiser for St. Jude adopted as an annual drive by Pitt State students. Up ‘til Dawn is celebrating its third year on campus, and the turnout at the Weede Gymnasium exceeded organizers’ expectations. More than 150 students and faculty

members registered for the event. “We have had a great turnout this year,” said Christine Jepsen, the newly elected director of the local effort. “The community has helped out immensely and the PSU campus has been gracious.” Darren Redburn, sophomore in automotive service technology, said Colby’s story affected him personally. “I had the opportunity to actually hang out with Colby earlier and, let me tell you, his experiences and other children like him affect people’s lives.” Redburn said he has a personal connection to cancer victims. “Cancer is a horrible, horrible thing, and in my family prostate cancer has attacked one-third of all men in my family,” he said. Up ’til Dawn started at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, and lasted until 3 a.m. Among the events to keep the students entertained were a live

band, sumo wrestling and Lego contests. But it wasn’t all fun and games. Students came to work. They wrote and addressed letters seeking donations for the pediatric and research hospital. The group with the most letters written would win the contest and receive a Wii video console. PSU raised more than $38,000 for the hospital in the previous two years. Such fundraisers throughout the country have helped pay for Colby’s and other children’s treatments at the hospital. As for Colby, although the worst part of the cancer is behind him, his body is still weak from the treatments. His immune system is not at its best yet, and doctors have told him to limit his sports activities. “This is a great program,” said Jake Venegoni, junior in automotive technology. “Students all over campus should come and participate in this good cause,” he said.

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3/11/10 5:53:01 PM

Diwali participants’ quotes ”Diwali is a time for decorative lights, traditional clothes, great food and of course dance.”

- Rachiyta Raina, international business

”Diwali, popularly known as the festival of lights, is celebrated through festive fireworks, lights, flowers, sharing of sweets and worship.” - Ashish Oberoi, international business

“Diwali is a festival of lights celebrated by each and every family in India. It’s similar to Christmas celebrated in USA. Families meet, gifts are exchanged, a lot of sweets, fireworks and decorations make the atmosphere in India very cheerful.”

Women from the Pittsburg State University Indian Student Association dance a traditional Indian dance during the Diwali Festival of Lights.

- Shruti Panchal, human resource development

India national facts

• The national anthem of India is entitled “Jana Gana Mana.” • Mango is the national fruit of India. • The national animal is the tiger. • The national plant is the lotus. • There are 23 constitutionally-recognized languages in India.

Members of the Indian Student Association perform a dance displaying the flag from their home country.

festival of lights

food, dancing lead Diwali night to success by Bartholomew Klick

A maroon and gold fine cloth swirls across the Parrot Bey stage to Indian music as the dancer whirls through the offering of flowers, a traditional Hindu dance. The opening dance at Diwali was more than one student’s favorite part of the four-and-half-hour celebration. “My favorite part was the first dance,” said Angela Slater, senior in psychology. “Between her body gestures and facial expressions, you could almost see what the song was about.” Robin Cochrane agrees the dancing was incredible. “I just went to Lord of the Dance, and the dancing here was just as good,” Cochrane, Pittsburg resident and a firsttime guest at Diwali, said. “It made me want to go to India.”


The opening performance at Diwali on Sunday, Nov. 8, was the first of many dances. At the conclusion of each dance, the performers were met with roaring applause from the crowd, which consisted of about 300 people. Randy Jones, mayor of Mulberry, was one of those 300 clapping. He says the performance was well choreographed. “They did a super job,” said Jones. Between dance routines, the Indian Student Association put on a number of cultural events; the most colorful being the fashion shows.

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“T comm Jon “T Th form behin Th ceive “T joy it Fo



Above, Sudha Sankar, PSU graduate student, performs the traditional South Indian Dharadatanatyam prayer dance, which was originally performed in the temple and royal courts, at the Diwali Festival of Lights on Nov. 8.

photos by Jim Quist

“The dress was very colorful,” Stella Kong, senior in communication, said. Jones agrees. “They are so colorful, it’s unbelievable,” he said. The final dance of the night ended with the performers forming a human pyramid as a man waved the Indian flag behind them. The Indian cuisine offered after the show was well received by both Indians and non-Indians alike. “They didn’t add too much spice, so everyone could enjoy it,” Kong said. “And the drinks were wonderful.” For another attendee, the food was the best part of the

Left, Sudha Sankar, a member of the Indian Student Association, carries a light symbolizing enlightenment, the transition from ignorance to knowledge during the Diwali Festival of Lights held at Parrot Bey in Pittsburg.

evening. “The food was definitely my favorite,” Pavan Kandula, senior, said. “Because you cannot normally find Indian food here.” The celebration closed with a firework display that lit up the night sky outside the Weede Physical Education Building. “On this day, we take the darkness from our minds,” Dilip Paul, chemistry professor and Indian Student Association adviser, said. “And embrace the light.”


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Natalia Rex

Stephen Teller discusses a study guide and answers questions in his weekly Mythology class in 204 Grubbs Hall on April 21.

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teller like it is ove’s labor not lost on students

by Bartholomew Klick

Have you ever heard of a grass widow? Did you know that there are more than 200 sequels to L.F. Baum’s “Wonderful Wizard of Oz”? How about that the S in the word “island” is a mistake made in the 15th century? Stephen J. Teller, professor of English, is a veritable fountain of such trivia, and he is in the final year of his phased retirement from PSU. He says he is leaving because of his age. “I’m 70 years old,” Teller said. “I’ve been teaching at PSU since it was still called KSCP.” He’s known around the English Department for his impressive memory. “He remembers the most unbelievable facts,” Kathleen Nichols, professor of English, said. “He can remember what year films came out in, who starred in them and can quote lines from them.” Nichols jokes that Teller is the only teacher who’s been on campus longer than she has. “Some students are intimidated by him,” Nichols said, “but if they have him for a while, they find out he’s a pussycat.” Students say he has a reputation for being a tough professor. “It wasn’t an easy class,” Alex Radcliff, senior in English, said. “But it wasn’t impossible, either. The reading list was extensive, and wasn’t just Western stuff, either. We read a lot of works by Eastern and African authors.” Kathleen DeGrave, university professor of English, says that Teller has expanded the subjects he teaches. “He’s transformed mythology from what people thought of it as into a multicultural, international view on the world,” DeGrave said. “When I was a student, the ‘world’ in World Masterpieces

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meant Europe.” One of Teller’s favorite subjects is L. F. Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” series, and he can cite out loud the entire bibliographic history of the series, with years and the names of authors. He calls the collection of Oz books written after Baum’s death the Oz Apocrypha, and has written many articles examining them. He also collects magazines,

He goes to wicked lengths to spread this love (of Shakespeare) to his students,”

- Grace Riebel

and says he has read every issue of Mad Magazine since its inception. An entire drawer of his desk is dedicated to his collection of Mad magazines, and other magazines droop from the tops of his bookshelves, shifting only when he inspects one or when gravity sends one to the floor. He also frequents the theater, and collects programs from the plays he attends. He even keeps a spreadsheet, cataloging where and when he attended a play. He has a total of 613 programs from plays and operas, 140 of which were in Pittsburg and 153 in London. “Anytime a Shakespearian play shows, he goes,” DeGrave said. “It keeps Shakespeare fresh for him, and for the students.” Teller attends productions by other playwrights as well. In fact, because his wife, Nikki Patrick, reviews plays for the Pittsburg Morning Sun, he often gets to attend the final dress rehearsals of local productions. DeGrave says Teller quotes Shakespeare word for word, and that he has a vast assortment of jokes that he memorized, and tells at appropriate times.

“I think he has an eidetic (photographic) memory,” DeGrave said. This is a charge Teller denies. “I just have a trivial mind,” Teller said. “My memory collects odd things. When I’m in a play, I have just as much trouble memorizing my lines as anyone else.” Teller says that it was his great desire to be an actor, and that being a teacher lets him assume a new role every class. The way he says it, one might think he has failed in this aspiration. He hasn’t. He recently played Gonzalo in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” and appeared in PSU’s recent production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” In case you can’t tell, Teller is an avid fan of Shakespeare. “He goes to wicked lengths to spread this love (of Shakespeare) to his students,” Grace Riebel, graduate student in English, said. “He gets on tables to act out the parts. He varies his voice level a lot, too. When the characters whisper, he whispers. When the characters shout, he wakes up the whole class by shouting, too. He’s definitely into what he teaches.” Teller says his interest in Shakespeare started when he saw a 1950s film adaptation of “Julius Caesar,” and it grew when he read the play in high school. “I came to fall in love with Shakespeare,” Teller said. “He was the greatest.” Teller currently teaches a world mythology class, as well as a class on Shakespeare. After he retires, these classes will be picked up by Paul McCallum and Lyle Morgan, respectively. Oh, and by the way, a grass widow is a 16th-century term to describe a woman divorced or separated from her husband.

Stephen Teller


5/19/10 1:49:22 PM



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with open


reast cancer p others through t

by Mandy Toepfer

Jim Quist

The guest speaker and entertainer for the 11th Annual Breast Cancer Candlelight Vigil on Sept. 29, Candy Coburn plays and sings for the crowd. Coburn is a Nashville recording artist and songwriter.


Student Life

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Her mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2000. Her brother was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in January 2007. It seemed that cancer ran in the family - and Sarah Burkybile wasn’t an exception. After conducting a self-breast exam, a mammogram and a biopsy by ultrasound, Burkybile was diagnosed with Stage IIB breast cancer on June 21, 2007. Just months after her brother’s leukemia diagnosis, Burkybile was the third member in her family to get cancer. She says the news came as a shock, but overall it didn’t affect her much because of her brother. “(I thought) we’ll just deal with it. We’ll just take care of it,” Burkybile, junior in communication, said. “I mean it did come as a big shock, like why is this happening to me right now? I mean what are the odds? ... But looking at my brother, I kind of knew this is what I need to do and we were so much more educated with how the process of cancer goes.” And Burkybile went through that process. She went through eight rounds of chemotherapy. When that didn’t work, she underwent bilateral mastectomies in February 2008, removing six lymph nodes, five of them positive for cancer. Again, the treatment didn’t work, so Burkybile went through 34 radiation treatments. During that time frame, her doctors found the reason she had a higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer: a BRCA 1 gene mutation, something they also found in her mother. It wasn’t until Burkybile’s radical hysterectomy and removal of her ovaries on August 19, 2008, that the cancer was finally gone. The cure didn’t come without consequences. “You grow up with breasts, you know being a woman, and then you look in the mirror and nothing’s there anymore,” she said. “And I lived like that for nine months, and some women spend the rest of their lives like that.” Even though some women could do it, Burkybile wanted that part of her body back. On her 28th birthday she underwent a TRAM flap breast reconstruction surgery, a 14-hour procedure. With her body free of cancer, Burkybile returned to Pitt State for the spring 2009 semester. But the cancer decided to rear its ugly head again. It was early in the semester when Burkybile started having pain in her right shoulder. She knew it was breast

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Aaron Anders

er patient helps h the ‘journey’ cancer, but her oncologist didn’t prove it. She needed a second opinion, and found an oncologist in Springfield, Mo. It was then on June 23 that she was diagnosed with a local recurrence of breast cancer after a biopsy was conducted on the lymph nodes under her right arm. Burkybile says she was more emotional about the cancer’s reoccurrence than the first diagnosis and also frustrated with how her original oncologist handled the situation. “I got cancer cells all over my body, and no one’s doing anything about it,” she said. Although she’s in remission, Burkybile isn’t giving up hope. She is undergoing 12 rounds of chemotherapy; she’s on No. 9 now. Burkybile isn’t just helping herself through breast cancer; she wants to help anyone affected by it. She’s on the board of directors for HOPE 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation. HOPE, which stands for Help, Outreach, Prevent and Educate, 4 You is an organization that helps those who need financial assistance for mammograms and it advocates education and prevention. Burkybile wants to be the resource women turn to for help, whether it means telling them where they can get a wig when they start chemotherapy or giving them information on how to cope. “You know, helping others get through the journey and that’s a lot of it. People have to remember there’s life before, during and after cancer. You can survive it it’s just getting help through it,” she said. Her message above all, though, is to promote early detection and to tell others that breast cancer can affect anyone. “Breast cancer doesn’t have an age,” Burkybile said. “When you usually think about breast cancer you think about your grandmother, your aunt or your mother, you always think of an older female. You never think it’s going to be yourself.” HOPE 4 You and Early Detection Works, a Kansas Department of Health and Environment program that strives to reduce the morbidity rate of breast and cervical cancer patients, collaborate on a couple of projects each year. HOPE 4 You even donated $4,000 for the Works’ cause. On Tuesday, Sept. 29, HOPE 4 You represented its organization at the 11th Annual Candlelight Vigil for breast cancer awareness, sponsored by Early Detection Works. Burkybile spoke at last year’s vigil.

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Rhonda Justice, news anchor on KOAM TV, and junior Sarah Burkybile, communication, comfort one another during the 11th Annual Breast Cancer Candlelight Vigil in Gorilla Village during the fall semester. Kelly York, with Early Detection Works and the Crawford County Health Department, says Burkybile, 28, is a great campaigner for the battle against cancer. “She’s one of the most outspoken advocates for breast cancer, especially at her age,” York said. “... She’s always ready, willing and able to help.” Burkybile says she almost feels blessed with this disease. “It takes me different ways and it’s opened my eyes to new things and I’ve met so many very interesting people and very amazing people. That never would have happened if this wouldn’t have happened,” she said. “So I’ve kind of had to turn it around and say it’s a weird gift. It’s just something that’s been given to me to carry on for others and to help others with.” Jim Quist

Emcee Rhonda Justice, from KOAM TV, speaks to the attendants of the 11th Annual Breast Cancer Candlelight Vigil at Gorilla Village on the PSU campus.

Sarah Burkybile


5/6/10 12:28:45 PM

2009 Royalty Candidates were judged on: Ability to communicate Appearance Character Congeniality Intellectual response Poise

King Candidates

2nd Attendant - Matthew Pommier (Sigma Chi) 1st Attendant - Andrew Hayse (University Stu. Ambassadors)

2009 Homecoming King

Ryan Sorell (Sigma Sigma Sigma)

Queen Candidates

2nd Attendant - Cassie Shaw (Sigma Sigma Sigma) 1st Attendant - Hilary Wilson (University Stu. Ambassadors)

2009 Homecoming Queen Holly Kerr (Sigma Alpha Iota)

Right, after the announcement of the two queen attendants, Holly Kerr rises and moves past the cheering crowd to receive her 2009 homecoming queen crown.

Kerr receives her crown from 2008 Homecoming Queen Patricia Condiff at convocation.


Homecoming queen candidates stand before the crowd as students cast their vote for the winner at convocation.

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homecoming 2009 “I was in shock and immediately excited. I didn’t expect this at all. This is a huge honor that has been bestowed on me, getting to represent the university for a full year.” - Holly Kerr

photos by Lauren White

Homecoming Queen Holly Kerr, nominated by Sigma Alpha Iota, and Homecoming King Ryan Sorell, nominated by Sigma Sigma Sigma, pose for a photo after convocation on Wednesday, Oct. 21.


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homecoming 2009 Organizations kick off annual festivities with Gorilla Games by Monica Hart

Malcolm Turner

Alpha Gamma Delta sisters, junior in psychology Carly Durst and sophomore in nursing, Kara Hixon celebrate after thawing out a frozen T-shirt.

With 20-plus organizations from Greeks to student groups participating in activities such as Gorilla Games, Yard Art, Yell Like Hell and more, it was an action-packed PSU Homecoming. Yard Art kicked off Homecoming Week with displays of timeless stories, like the Dr. Seuss stories and the Jungle Book, fitting the theme of Stories and Legends. On the Oval’s east end, organizations gathered for Gorilla Games. A baby food contest kicked off the evening, with contestants trying to chug a whole jar of baby food. Sophomore Jeff Tangey of Phi Sigma Kappa said the contest was an easy victory. “I didn’t really taste it, it was an easy event for me compared to some of the others,” he said. The other games included a popdrinking contest where one team member had to feed another member pop

through a baby bottle. The first one to finish the bottle and burp wins. On Saturday, the homecoming parade came to town with floats, bands and cars galore. “It’s really awesome watching the parade, since I helped work on two of them,” Jon Gilligan, senior in plastics engineering, said. “It’s good to see them finally in action.” Campus groups, community organizations and area high school bands participated in this annual Pittsburg tradition. The race began this year with 43 candidates in total, 23 for queen and 20 for kings, all vying to represent Pittsburg State University for the 2010 school year. Even those who didn’t make it to the final rounds said they were just glad to be there and represent their sponsoring groups. Jacob Mendez, junior representing Residence Hall Assembly, said he was “a little nervous and kinda nervous” when it came to facing the judges.

Malcolm Turner

Gorilla Games participants run toward pans filled with marbles and ice-cold water in the Oval. The students had to break through a layer of ice with their feet to retrieve a marble with their toes and return it to their group’s starting line, so the next student can run to get the next icy marble.


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Malcolm Turner

Representing the Residence Hall Assembly in the Homecoming Week Gorilla Games, Niccole Wilson ducks down trying to catch a water balloon with the bowl on her head, as teammate Laren Curry, freshman in communication, watches with other participants during the games in the Oval. Others found it not so nervewracking. Biology major Cassie Shaw of Sigma Sigma Sigma said she was “excited and glad to be here.” There were nine judges, three from the community, three from faculty and three students. The group interviews would count as 25 percent of each candidate’s score. After personal interviews with the judges, which counted for 40 percent of the total points, fish bowl was the next challenge for the contestants. From serious questions to light and funny ones, fish bowl appeared to be the most trying challenge for the contestants. “I’m nervous, but then I remember that it’s an honor to be nominated by your peers and if they have faith in you, you can’t do them wrong,” David Ramsey, junior representing the Pre-Med Club, said. Fish bowl is where nominees

draw a question out of a glass fishbowl and have just seconds to respond with an answer for the judges and the audience. This part of the contest made up 35 percent of the final score. First attendant Andrew Hayse won the audience over completely when asked: If you could be a superhero, who would you be and why? His response: “That would be Superman because I’m not very big right now and I’d love to be super ripped for the ladies!” Ryan Sorell was asked what was his favorite quote and its significance to him. “It’s not something from anybody famous, but my fifth-grade teacher once told me to do what’s right when nobody is looking, and that’s what I try to take with me as I go through my life.” Representing the women of Sigma Sigma Sigma, Sorell would become Homecoming King.

Jim Quist

Seniors Kati Fox, marketing, and Mandy Riffel, communication, entered the bottle-feeding contest for Tri-Sigma at the Gorilla Games in the Oval.


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4/8/10 9:54:58 PM

Student Life  

Pittsburg State University Kanza Yearbook

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