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A Publication of Connors State College

V O L U M E

COM MENCEMENT

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C O N N O R S S TAT E C O L L E G E WARNER CAMPUS 700 College Road Warner, OK 74469

Inside this issue V O L U M E

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M US K OGE E WEST CAMPUS 2404 W Shawnee Ave Muskogee, OK 74401 T HR E E R IV E R S PORT CAMPUS 2501 N 41st St E Muskogee, OK 74403

A D M I N I S T R AT I O N PRESID ENT Dr. Tim Faltyn S E N IOR V IC E PRESID ENT FOR ACADEMIC & STUDENT AFFAIRS Dr. Ron Ramming V IC E PRESID ENT FOR FISCAL SERVICES Mike Lewis

CONNECTION LA YOUT & D ESIGN Stacy Pearce CONT RIBUT ORS Cindy Anderson Dr. Ryan Blanton Wayne Bunch Von Castor Jonathan Dallis Mark Hughes Ami Maddocks Clint Mefford Stacy Pearce Lindsey Taylor Lisa Wade

3 COMMUNITY 7 C O W B OY FA M I LY 11 AT H L E T I C S 14 E D U C AT I O N 17 C A M P U S L I F E 19 F E AT U R E

C om m enc em ent K LR F ield D ay C ow boy for a D ay • G ear U p C a mp S ex ual V i olenc e Awarenes s E vent s E A S TA R M at er nit y D onat ion A l um ni R euni on Meet Anderson, Dinger, Bradford & McElyea • Phillips Graduates from Par tners Faculty Receive State FFA Degrees Baseball, Softball Season Recap Pink Out Game Reasnor Named All American Camps: Baseball & Livestock Judging C herokee P rom is e B row n O ut s t andi ng O U S enior London S t udy A broad P hot os W here’s C onnors ?

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Connors State College, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. This publication was printed and issued by Connors State College as authorized by the Director of College and Community Relations. The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination or endorsement is intended by Connors State College.

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feature

Connors Graduates Largest Class in School History

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onnors State College recently celebrated its 106th graduating class. With 532 degrees and/or certificates conferred, this is the largest graduating class in school history. “We are very proud of our students,” said CSC Registrar Kwanna King. “They have worked hard and have met all of the requirements for graduation.” The CSC Commencement Ceremony was held May 8, 2015, at the Muskogee Civic Center. Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents member and Secretary of Agriculture,

Jim Reese was the keynote speaker and imparted excellent words of wisdom to the graduates. Reese shared with graduates the stories of College President, Dr. Tim Faltyn, Oklahoma A&M Regents Tucker Link and Douglas Burns, as well as his own. In each story he told of the men’s humble beginnings and shared how their choice to attend college led to their tremendous success. “We all have similar stories,” said Reese. “Keep learning and striving, and I will say, money isn’t what makes life worthwhile, it’s

happiness and fulfillment. Dr. Frank Corrado, the 2015 CSC Faculty of the Year, proudly led the procession carrying the college mace, which is embedded with CSC history and will be carried on as a tradition for years to come. Also attending from the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents was Regent Tucker Link and Regent Douglas Burns. To watch the commencement ceremony in its entirety, or to learn about the many degree options at Connors State College please visit www.connorsstate.edu. CONNORS CONNECTION

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KiamichiLink Ranch Field Day

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n Monday, April 20, the KiamichiLink Ranch in Finley, Oklahoma, opened the gates of the 15 thousand acre ranch to Connors State College, NEO A&M, and Eastern Oklahoma State College for a tour and livestock judging tournament. KiamichiLink Ranch owner, Oklahoma A&M Regent Tucker Link, wife Vickie, and KLR ranch staff were on hand to host the event and were gracious enough to allow the students to have an up-close look at the most up-to-date equipment, labs and an elite Angus herd. ”Regent Link and his crew work diligently to put on a truly first class experience. The facilities aren’t just impressive from an aesthetic standpoint, but also in terms of practicality. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better set up,” said Clint Mefford, CSC agriculture instructor and livestock judging coach. “The Angus cattle we evaluated are not only backed by great genetic records, but phenotypically, these bulls and heifers are extremely functional and could work in a wide range of production

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systems and environments. As a breeder of cattle, it’s refreshing to tour an operation like the KiamichiLink Ranch.” Mefford said he has always felt the greatest strength his students possess judging-wise has been cattle placing, and to no surprise they met the challenge head-on and excelled in a very tight competition. “This event allows for some goodhearted competition between Connors and NEO,” said Mefford. “More importantly, however, it gives our students the chance to meet face-to-face with many of the educational and agricultural leaders from around the state. There’s no question the networking skills gained from this activity is one of its greatest benefits and the KLR Field Day truly embodies that statement.” Connors State College students Wyatt Smith took home 10th place, Justin Jensen 9th, Morgan Cook 8th, Cassi Allread 7th and Chance Brooks 3rd. Connors State College President, Dr. Tim Faltyn said this opportunity which

Regent Link and the KLR staff allowed our students is one which almost no other college or university student gets to experience and Tucker Link’s cattle operation and generosity with his time and ranch are world-class. “It is always an honor to go to KiamichiLink Ranch. It gives us an opportunity to visit with experts in the Angus industry and learn what is new in ranching and breeding practices. As far as the competition goes, we work all year and this is a great way to end the year. Our hard work paid off and it all came together at KLR,” said Faltyn. “Our team has looked forward to this field trip and competition since last spring. This is not only about the competition but the entire learning experience that KLR offers.” This was the fourth year KLR has hosted the event with hopes of continuing it for years to come. The traveling trophy for the Livestock Judging Competition was returned to CSC after a year at NEO.


Community

CSC Makes Elementary Students ‘Cowboy for a Day’

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tudents from Warner Public Schools recently got to experience what it is like to be a Connors State College Cowboy at the college’s annual “Cowboy for a Day” event. “We want the students to begin considering their options and plan for their academic needs early in their experiences in the middle and high school,” said CSC

Interim Assistant VP for Academic Affairs Robin O’Quinn. “They need to be aware that when they do go to college, not if they go, preparation for a successful collegial experience begins with their school decisions now.” Students were treated to ice cream and tours and got to meet with several college faculty and staff members. They learned about campus life, the agriculture

department, math and science, nursing and more, including a petting zoo set up by the Division of Agriculture. “We are honored to have these students on our campus,” said CSC Sr. VP for Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Ron Ramming. “Connors has a lot to offer and we want these kids to start thinking about their college choices now.”

Gear Up Camp Brings Students to Campus

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ore than 60 students spent a week on the Connors State College campus as part of the Wilderness Adventure program offered by the college and the Oklahoma GEAR UP U program. This free science and leadership development camp was designed to give students entering 9th, 10th and 11th grades, the opportunity to experience college life. “We want the kids to get a taste of college life,” said Program Administrator and Connors’ Biology Instructor, Dr. Stuart Woods. “Camp gives them an opportunity to stay in the dorms, get to their sessions on time and experience the activities we have available here at Connors.” Camp participants were exposed to a variety of classes such as computers and

biology, but spent most of their time at the college’s 1,300 acre ranch where they experienced numerous nature activities, such as research projects on two lakes, monitoring a burying beetle as part of

a federally licensed census project and handling snakes and spiders. Connors State College offers a wide variety of summer camps for kids. To learn more visit www.connorsstate.edu.

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#csc1is2Many: Sexual Assault Awareness Events

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n Tuesday, April 28, more than 150 men and women from Connors State College gathered on two campuses to rally against sexual violence and take back the night, chanting “even one is too many.” At noon, at the Muskogee West campus, Lisa Wade Berry, Student Government Association Advisor, Mike Jackson, Director of Campus Life, and numerous other faculty and staff worked hard to put together an assembly for the men and women on campus and in the community who wished to stand up against sexual assault. “We worked with a very dedicated crew, who came together to make this event happen,” said Berry. “Fantastic members of the Connors community, such as Mike Jackson and Chief Mendenhall, stepped up to assist us, and it’s so clear they put student safety and support at the very core of everything they do. I believe with this event we provided the students with facts

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and information and above all the sense of safety on the Connors campuses.” Jackson said he feels everyone involved did a great job spreading the message and truly believes the participants involved, and everyone in attendance, got a lot out of the day’s events. “Connors State has such good help within the community, Muskogee County District Orvil Loge, Hilary McQueen of Kids’ Space, Lincoln Anderson of the Muskogee Police Department and several others took time out of their busy lives to come to Connors and speak openly about Sexual Assault, assuring everyone this is an issue we all care about,” said Berry. “We all want to keep the community safe, and the speakers at Muskogee West met the audience members on their level and assured them it is safe to speak up if anything were to occur within their homes, at work, or even on campus.” In the evening, Julie Dinger, Interim

Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs: Assessment and Curriculum, and an outstanding support team rallied eager men and women to decorate signs, bang drums and march through the Warner campus in protest of sexual assault. “We had students from all walks of life chanting, carrying signs, and beating their buckets in support of safety for our campus and community, it was fantastic,” said Dinger. “We are helping to change the conversation when it comes to safety for all people into a proactive rather than reactive approach to sexual assault. Our students, faculty, and staff spoke boldly and clear in a single voice; sexual assault is unacceptable and even one victim is too many.” Dinger said raising awareness about safety is incredibly important for all of the students, and sexual assault is a problem which is hard for everyone to grapple with. “Sexual violence is a topic which is


CSC Students Birth Program for Needy Mothers uncomfortable and difficult to discuss, but now more than ever we have to speak out to empower survivors and prevent further violence,” said Dinger. “Events like ‘Take Back the Night’ make it clear where we stand as an entire community on campus safety: even one victim is too many. We only have our students for two years before they transfer to a university, or enter the workforce, we have a limited window to reach our students and teach them the tools to protect themselves and others.” Along with the march through campus a self-defense seminar was set up in the gym for everyone to learn how to stop sexual assault, should they see it occur, or to prevent it with defense training. “The self-defense seminar was a great way to finish the march. The students who attended learned a lot about protecting themselves and others,” said Dinger. “The organizers of the event worked hard to make sure this night’s program would strike a positive chord in the face of such a negative social problem. Students were laughing and having a good time and I think that is an essential part of changing the conversation about campus safety into a proactive one.” The Tahlequah Police Department provided the self-defense seminar with their R.A.D. certified instructors. “At the core of events like this it’s about teaching us all how to address the problem proactively, we experienced a shift in focus among students, faculty, and staff toward looking out for one another and feeling empowered to speak up when something is wrong,” said Dinger.

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hat started as a one-time class project to provide needy families with newborn baby supplies ended up taking permanent residency at a local hospital. During his first year in nursing school at Connors State College, Kyle Pingleton, an EASTAR Health System employee, and his class were assigned a project that would benefit the community. “The main idea was to conduct a diaper drive for mothers in need,” Pingleton said. However, that soon expanded to include pacifiers, car seats, clothes, Enfamil and Similac baby formula, almost 1,500 diapers, 1,200 baby wipes, 13 outfits, 20 baby bottles, 12 pacifiers, and $521 in checks and cash, he said. Instead of making this drive a one-time thing, Pingleton approached administration at EASTAR about how the hospital could make this a permanent fixture at their facility. “The administration was willing to expand it and make it ongoing,” he said. To keep the service stocked, Pingleton’s class decided to turn the project over to Connors Student Nurse Association board of which he is the vice president. The plan is for the association to “have a donation every spring and fall and keep this going forever to help families and mothers in need,” he said. One of the results of this effort was to “show that a nurse’s job involves a lot of caring for your community and what you can do for others,” he said. “It shows that we can make a difference in many ways.” There are six criteria that have to be met before someone can use the services,

said Delaine Bartsch, administrator for EASTAR’s east campus. Those criteria are: Infant must be born at EASTAR; all resources have been exhausted for supplies; at least one parent is working; cannot be convicted of a felony within five years; mother must have received proper prenatal care, and the patient cannot be receiving cash. “I like the Caring Closet because it keeps us from saying ‘Let’s pool our money’ to buy something for someone, which we gladly do anyway, but it’s kind of nice to have a resource,” said Lisa Moore, registered nurse at labor and delivery. Mallie Bemo, RN in the nursery, said that Tulsa has emergency infant services but Muskogee does not. “This gives us a chance to give it (baby supplies) right away and we don’t have to search around to give a free car seat,” she said. In addition to determining whether maternity patients at EASTAR need assistance with baby items, Veronica Gragg, clinical social worker, also coordinates with resources outside the hospital like Catholic Charities or the Department of Human Services, Bartsch said. Gragg also works with EASTAR mother’s on their prenatal needs, she said. Pingleton’s mother, who is a registered nurse, inspired him to become a nurse. “I’ve watched my mom since I’ve been little,” he said. “I remember stories she told about helping people, and that made me change from pursuing my zoology degree to health care nursing.” Credit: Article reprinted from the Muskogee Daily Phoenix.

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Alumni Welcomed to Campus for Reunion & Groundbreaking

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onnors State College recently hosted their Annual Alumni and Friends Banquet and Reunion. More than 120 alumni, friends, staff, and students attended the event in the newly remodeled Student Union on the Warner Campus. “The reunion is a time to share memories, see the new developments on campus, and to honor exceptional alumni,” said Dr. Ryan Blanton, Associate Vice President for External Affairs. Each year at the Banquet and Reunion, exceptional alumni are inducted into the Connors State College Alumni Hall of Fame. This year, Bill Martin and Ben Bradford were honored for their service and dedication to the people of Oklahoma.

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Other prominent alumni and friends also attended to support the inductees, catch up with old acquaintances, and to meet with college leaders, faculty, and students. This year, the President’s Leadership Class and the Leadership Connors Class attended the reunion to the delight of many alumni. The students provided tours of campus, and reminded the alumni of one of the most important reasons for their organization, to raise money for the Alumni & Friends Scholarship. This year’s reunion was highlighted by the groundbreaking of the Ken Ogdon Connors State College Museum. Through the generosity of the Ogdon family, the museum will feature an historical display

of Connors throughout the past 106 years, as well as a gift shop and an art gallery featuring work from students, faculty, alumni and the community. Architectural plans call for the north wing of Russell Hall to house the Ken Ogdon Connors State College Museum. “Due to the generosity of Mr. Ken Ogdon, we will be able to preserve the history of Connors State College in a beautiful museum,” said CSC President, Dr. Tim Faltyn. “We thank the Ogdon family for the diligence in which they preserve the history of this great institution and for the support they provide to help us soar into the future as a college that changes lives”.


Cowboy Family

Carly Anderson, Student

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arly Anderson was one of 11 students within Oklahoma who was awarded the 2015 Newman Civic Fellowship. The scholarship honors students who notice a need in their community and make an active effort to resolve the challenge before them. “Some people talk about doing something and others ‘do’ something about it,” said Anderson. “I have a friend who is autistic and strongly desires to play team sports each time a new season begins. I decided other students with special needs surely felt the same and founded Carly’s ‘Champions for Life’ Day Camp.”

Anderson worked within the community and at Connors State College and CSC organizations to make the camp a success by finding donations and volunteers to help support the day camp. Anderson was recommended for the Newman Civic Fellowship award by Dr. Tim Faltyn, CSC President. “Her potential for inspiring others and creating a continuing program is to be admired and respected,” said Faltyn. “Carly will continue to grow and cultivate a spirit of community engagement at her higher education institutions, her workplace, and her community.”

Julie Dinger, Faculty

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ulie Dinger, Interim Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs: Assessment and Curriculum and the Division Chair for Social Sciences, began working at CSC in January 2010 as an instructor of Sociology. Her background in higher education began at OU in 2004 where she worked as a graduate teaching assistant and taught sociology courses while pursuing her master’s degree. Dinger holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma

(2004) and a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma (2006). She is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology specializing in Stratification and Environmental Sociology and is set to graduate in December. Dinger’s responsibilities at CSC extend to many areas. She is chair for Social Sciences and directs the Psychology, Sociology, Criminal Justice, Child Development, History, and Pre-Law programs and faculty. Her work for the Academic Affairs office includes overseeing curriculum and assessment and accreditation activities. She also works with the HLC Academy Team to expand and improve degree programs and increase student success. “I wear a lot of hats at Connors, but first and foremost is my role as a teacher,” said Dinger. “I love being in the classroom with students and interacting with them at student events.” Dinger is an elected representative for Oklahoma Community Colleges on the Faculty Advisory Council to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. She also serves as a co-sponsor at CSC for the Native

American Student Association. “Celebrating with students as they walk across the stage to receive their degrees and certificates is the highlight of my academic year, and it almost feels like Christmas because I know that our students are ready to enter their next chapter and achieve their dreams,” said Dinger. Her recent professional achievements include a presentation at the League of Innovations Conference in addition to a co-presentation for a session titled “Dazed and Confused to Engaged and Amused: K-12 and College Partnerships.” She was a co-presenter at the Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference where they discussed “Data-Driven Decisions for Persistence: Stark Realities, Practical Solutions.” “One of the problems we face in higher education is communicating effectively to our different constituents; part of my work in the last year in Academic Affairs is to make data meaningful for faculty and staff so that we can make better decisions for students and the college.”

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Alumnus Ben Bradford

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en Bradford graduated from Connors State College in 1954. He continued his education at Northeastern State University earning a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and mathematics. For 28 years, Bradford was employed by the Dowell Division of Dow Chemical Company in various capacities, working his way up the ladder from a laboratory assistant, to chemist, group leader and section leader, chemical purchasing manager, division purchasing manager, and, finally, senior development scientist. Bradford is a member of the American Petroleum Institute and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He has spent many years as a volunteer in his community as a member of Sertoma Club, Catoosa Disaster Relief Coalition, and

Brandy McElyea, Staff

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randy McElyea, Administrative Assistant to the Office of External Affairs, began working at CSC in 2012. She has duties that reach to the Connors Development Foundation and Connors State College’s Title III program. McElyea has recently been recognized as the “Support Staff of the Year” at CSC. Brandy comes into contact with nearly every individual and department on this campus. Whether it’s her efforts to streamline our facilities requests and make sure that everybody’s events run as smoothly as possible or ensuring that our programs have all the resources and checks that they need in a timely fashion through the foundation, or helping our alumni reconnect with our college, Brandy has done an outstanding job,” said Brandy’s supervisor,

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Ryan Blanton, Associate VP for External Affairs. “I think everybody would agree we would be very hard pressed to find another individual on campus who works as hard day in and day out, who is such a professional, and who always comes to work with a positive and helping attitude. Our college is stronger because of Brandy’s efforts.” McElyea says she loves spending time with her children and working in the ministry with her husband. She is currently pursuing her associate’s degree from CSC. “I enjoy working for Connors State College because it gives me the opportunity to work with some amazing people and under a fantastic leadership team,” she said.

the Catoosa Education Foundation. He was a Co-­Founder of Westville School Hall of Fame Committee and served as President of the Connors College Former Students Association. Bradford was inducted into the CSC Alumni Hall of Fame on April 25, 2015. Bradford has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (C.A.S.A.) for 15 years. He has written 75 court reports and worked on 13 cases for 29 children. He was chosen as C.A.S.A. of the Year for both Tri-­County C.A.S.A. and the State of Oklahoma. Bradford lives in Catoosa with his wife Merleen. They have three children: Bret, Gina and Lesa; three grandchildren and three great grandchildren. In his free time, he likes to hunt and play senior league softball.


Phillips Graduates from Partners in Policymaking

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he 2014-15 Class of Partners in Policymaking offered through the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council graduated its class on May 17, at the Oklahoma State Capital. One of this year’s graduates is Mrs. Kimberly Phillips from Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. Phillips works at Connors State College and originally applied for Partners to help support college students with disabilities. “It was so much more than I imagined. It was an eye-opening and life-changing experience,” said Phillips. “I am grateful I was selected to be a Partner.” Partners is a 9-month commitment designed for adults with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities who are too young to advocate for themselves

and advocates for persons with disabilities. The goal of Partners is system change through educating participants to be active partners with those who make policy, foster development of positive relationships with policymakers, help prevent the loss of basic rights for people with disabilities, and advocate for supports and services to increase independence, productivity, and inclusion into the community for people with disabilities. “We are very proud of Kim and the work she has done to improve the learning process for our students with disabilities,” said CSC President, Dr. Tim Faltyn. “Kim’s generous spirit and determination make her a strong advocate for our students.”

Honorary State FFA Degree Bestowed on CSC Faculty

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he Oklahoma FFA Association awarded 99 Honorary State FFA Degrees to supporters April 28, during the 89th State FFA Convention at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. Three members of the Connors State College faculty – Jake Lawson, Jake Walker, and Daniel Edmonds – received this honorary degree, Oklahoma FFA’s highest award to recognize outstanding adult support. The degree recognizes those who have significantly contributed to the advancement of agricultural education

and provided outstanding service to their local program, school and community. Lawson, a 15-year teaching veteran at CSC and an alumnus, is the director of equine science and head rodeo coach. Walker, the assistant rodeo coach and equine instructor and a CSC alumnus, returned to CSC after teaching in the public high school agriculture classroom. Both men were recently honored with the Connors Impact Award, as well. Edmonds, Agriculture Ambassadors and agriculture academic advisor, has been

Jake Lawson

Jake Walker

at CSC for four years and is an instructor in plant and soil science, economics and leadership in the agriculture program. All three men have donated their time and talents to promote and support the Oklahoma FFA Association activities and members. Prior to the awards ceremony, recipients attended a banquet co-sponsored by American Farmers & Ranchers, Edward Jones, Cimarron Trailers and the Oklahoma Pork Council. Degree plaques were sponsored by Grissoms LLC.

Daniel Edmonds CONNORS CONNECTION

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athletics

Baseball, Softball Wrap Up Season Play

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onnors State’s baseball and softball teams posted outstanding seasons but just missed reaching their ultimate goal of the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series. Both the Cowboys and Cowgirls reached the championship series of the Region II tournaments being eliminated in the title games. The Cowboys finished the season ranked fifth in the nation with a 43-13 record while the Cowgirls completed the season 37-16. “These guys (Cowboys) had an amazing season and have not one thing to be ashamed of. We played our hearts out in the tournament and it just didn’t go our way, but that’s playoff baseball,” said Head Coach Perry Keith. “We have high expectations and we are certainly heartbroken, it will sting for a while but we have a lot to be proud of, this was a very good team and full of wonderful young men.”

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Taking postseason Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference and Region II honors for the Cowboys were sophomore pitcher Landon Bradley from Smackover, Ark.; sophomore outfielder Austin Catron from Stilwell, Okla.; and freshman infielder Jonathan Laureno from Manati Puerto Rico, all first team selections. Second team selections were sophomore infielder Hunter Harrison from Muskogee, Okla.; sophomore outfielder Trevor Crone from Stockton, Calif.; and sophomore pitcher Tyler Nelson from Bryant, Ark. Honorable mention selections were sophomore pitcher Yamil Rivera from Las Piedras, Puerto Rico; sophomore infielder Conner Stevenson from Keswick, Ontario, Canada; freshman catcher Caleb Knight from Checotah, Okla.; and sophomore outfielder Rafael Otero from Manati, Puerto Rico.

Golden Glove selections from Connors were freshman second baseman Bryce Dimitroff from Burlington, Ontario; third baseman Laureno and outfielder Crone. The Cowgirls behind the play of All-American Kristen Reasnor and University of Tulsa transfer Jill Roye, just missed reaching the College World Series. “Our kids overcame a lot this season and had a great year, “said Head Coach Rick Carbone. “Although we didn’t reach our ultimate goal, it was a great year. The young ladies played hard and represented our school very well.” Named to the OCAA and Region II teams this season were sophomore’s Reasnor and Roye, first team selections. Freshman Madison Bright from Claremore was a second team selection and sophomore Taylor Purdue from Sand Springs was an honorable mention selection.


Reasnor Named All American

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onnors State College’s Kristen Reasnor has been named to the first team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American Softball Team, it was announced by the NJCAA national office. Reasnor, a sophomore from Quinton, Okla., was named to the first team as a

designated player. As a member of the Cowgirls she pitched and played first base and was a designated hitter. “This is a well-deserved honor,” said Cowgirls Head Coach, Rick Carbone. “’Big Red’ had an amazing career here. She was the all-time home run leader, RBI leader and was an outstanding pitcher. I know wherever she goes next Kristen will have a great career.” Over two seasons Reasnor helped lead the Cowgirls to a 74-29 record and reach the Region II championship series twice. Reasnor was the third Cowgirl to be named All-American wearing the No. 11. The other two were Ashley Grider in 1997 and Cassie Tipton in 1996. “I don’t give that number to just anyone,” said Carbone. A two year starter and first team All-Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference and Region II selection for the

Cowgirls, Reasnor re-wrote the Connors State record book. She is the college’s alltime, homerun leader, with 34 for a career and single season record holder with 22, RBI leader with 143 over two seasons and a single season with 83. She is the all-time single season leading hitter with a .568 batting average, which came in her freshman year to lead the nation. She hit .493 her sophomore season. Reasnor holds the all-time CSC batting average with a .531 average over two seasons. Reasnor also holds the CSC record for most hits over two years, at 160. Reasnor is also the Cowgirls all-time leader in on-base percentage with a .624 mark her freshman season. Inside the circle she ranks No. 3 for the Cowgirls for career wins with a 35-16 record. Reasnor was a Marucci Award winner as the nation’s leading hitter her freshman season.

Baseball Camp

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onnors State Head Baseball Coach, Perry Keith, and assistant Bobby Foreman, held a hitting and fundamentals clinic for 35 youth aged 5-14, at Biff Thompson Field in Warner. The young baseball players learned about the fundamentals of hitting, throwing, fielding and base running. “It was a good experience for the young players to learn about the game and interact on the field with each other,” said Perry. “I think everyone learned a lot from each other and gained some experience.”

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Tradition of Excellence Livestock Judging Camp

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or three days each May and July, the Connors State College livestock judging team hosts more than 125 agricultural students from across the country at the annual Tradition of Excellence camp. This event serves to instruct students on the priority traits of placing cattle, sheep, goats and swine, while also providing many hours of practice in the art of oral reasons. “The amount of work these students devote to honing their skills is remarkable,” explains Clint Mefford, CSC livestock judging team coach. “This camp puts us in touch with some of the best students around the region. It really gives them a small taste of what a collegiate judging practice is truly like.”

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Scholarships and other awards are given to the campers throughout the event. These honor excellence in reasons, placing’s, most improved and top hand. The top hand award is given to the junior and senior who put forth the most effort and leadership during times of work and activity. This year’s top hand awards were bestowed upon Konner Shebester and Jonathan Venable, both of Alex, Okla. Serving as guest speaker was Dr. Mark Johnson, Associate Professor in Animal Science and former livestock judging team coach at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Johnson elaborated on the benefits of livestock judging teams and the skills it instills in students, especially in the areas of decision making, problem solving and

communication. “Employers seeking to recruit students to top tier companies constantly ask to be put in touch with young graduates who competed on livestock judging teams,” says Dr. Johnson. “The networking opportunities through this activity are consistently cited by alumni.” The second camp will be held July 9-11. For more information contact Coach Mefford at 918-464-6335.


Education

Cherokee Nation, Connors State College Sign Agreement to Cover Virtually All College Costs for Qualified Students

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new partnership between Connors State College and the Cherokee Nation will provide significant scholarships that will cover all costs for qualified applicants. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief, Bill John Baker, and CSC President, Dr. Tim Faltyn, signed the agreement at a ceremony held on the Warner campus. When coupled with free federal student aid, the Cherokee Promise Scholarship Program will cover nearly 100 percent of tuition, fees, room and board for up to 20 tribal citizens each year, at a total of $184,000 per year. As a result, participating students will be able to attend college and earn their degree virtually debt free. “Promise scholars come to us from the bottom of the income scale,” said Baker. “They are first generation college students, and many of them are first generation high school graduates. We get them to college, but not only college, they are graduating with honors. These kids can go home and

tell their brothers and sisters, ‘Come on. You can do it too.’” The partnership with CSC provides an opportunity for these students to learn and grow. The college was recently the only two-year college to receive a $5 million Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education. A large portion of this grant will be used to create a Native American Success and Cultural Center. “We serve a body of students who may otherwise never have had a chance,” said Faltyn. “We take students who score low on academic preparedness scales and raise them up. We surround them with people who care just as much about their future as they do. We change lives!” The Cherokee Promise program aims to create a cohesive, living-learning community among the scholarship recipients by providing on-campus housing for them together, along with special programing provided by CSC staff and academic advisors who are familiar with their needs. The

Native American Success and Cultural Center will also provide mentorship for students. In addition to meeting academic benchmarks, scholarship recipients will be expected to complete a number of courses that focus on Cherokee history and culture, including Cherokee language classes. To apply for the scholarship, one must be a Cherokee Nation citizen, live within the 14-county jurisdictional area and meet income guidelines. Promise Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis through the Cherokee Nation College Resource Center. To fill out an application visit, https:// scholarships.cherokee.org/. For more information, call the Cherokee Nation College Resource Center at (918) 453-5465. Photo: Cherokee Nation Principal Chief, Bill John Baker (left), and Connors State College President, Dr. Tim Faltyn (right).

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Brown Voted “Outstanding Senior” at OU

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olby Brown, a senior at the University of Oklahoma and CSC alumnus from Muskogee, was voted “Most Outstanding Senior” in the OU Price College of Business. He was voted upon by members of the JCPenney Leadership Program, whose goal is to provide students the opportunity to expand their leadership and business skills. “I was extremely humbled and grateful they felt I deserved the award especially since I transferred in my junior year, and I was competing against members who had been there at least a whole year before me and had made great contributions to the program,” said Brown. Brown is one of 150 students out of 3,000 students in the OU Price College of Business to become part of the JCPenney

Leadership Program. Many qualifications are required and include having a 3.25 GPA, be enrolled full-time, and go through an interview process before being accepted into the program. Brown served as the Director of Associate Development on the Student Advisory Board, which serves as the governing body of the program. “CSC was the starting point,” said Brown. “If I didn’t have CSC and all the great advisors and teachers I was blessed with that cared so much about my goals and dreams then I probably wouldn’t have half the achievements I have been able to accomplish. CSC gave me the strong foundation I needed to continue to build upon at the University of Oklahoma.” Brown’s CSC advisors, Kimberly Phillips and Colleen Noble, helped organize his

CSC schedule so he could graduate in two years and provide a smooth transition to OU. Brown also gave special thanks and encouragement to Professors Patrick Clancy, John Maly, and Dr. Stewart Woods. “I had the pleasure to cross paths with you all. You all are amazing professors, advisors and friends! Keep up the great work,” said Brown. Brown will graduate from OU in December with a degree in Supply Chain Management.

CSC Studies Abroad in London, England

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n May 12, 2015, a CSC group led by Oklahoma Study Abroad and faculty sponsors Cathy Monholland and Jini Threadgill traveled to London, England to study abroad. Upon arrival, the group was able to relax, refresh from traveling and visit the National Gallery located in Trafalgar Square which houses paintings by artists such as Van Gogh, DaVinci and Rembrandt. “Learning about London’s history is one thing from a textbook–but to actually partake in the culture of this country and its people enabled me to come away with a deeper appreciation and understanding of its history,” said Rhonda Wilson, CSC Division Chair of Academic Business/CIS.

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VOLUME 5 NUMBER 4

Wilson said the trip was a positive experience for her, and she would travel on another study abroad trip or even back to London. “Traveling to London has always been a dream of mine, and when the college offered this trip, I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity,” said Wilson. The CSC group had the opportunity to visit the British Museum, Parliament, the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, go on a Thames River Cruise and enjoy free time exploring the city during their trip. “My favorite sites that we visited included Windsor Castle & Westminster Abbey,” said Wilson. “I did not know that many famous people were buried at the

Abbey, including Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Jane Austen, Handel plus many more.” Wilson gave advice for future CSC faculty, staff and students who may want to travel overseas. “If you ever have the opportunity to do a study abroad trip at college, GO FOR IT,” said Wilson. “Do not let fear of the unknown keep you from taking a trip such as this–you won’t regret it. A study abroad trip enables you to connect your studies to real-life adventure explorations of a country. A trip such as this will provide you with treasured memories and experiences. Studying abroad delivers an all-around outstanding experience.”


Campus Life

Campus Life Events

Students, Faculty and staff attended a Tulsa Drillers baseball game on Thursday, April 23. The tickets were purchased by Student Activities and for many, this was their first time to see a baseball game played in person. Agriculture alumni, faculty, and current students gathered at the Shrine Temple in Muskogee on April 9, for an annual reunion and ATV giveaway. This year’s ATV was claimed by Ward Cattle Company of Belleville, Arkansas.

On Monday, April 20, Student Activities set up in the courtyard of Connors State College’s Warner campus, serving up BBQ and providing faculty, staff and students with food, fun and recreational games.

WHERE’S

CONNORS

I As part of the annual Earth Day celebrations, Connors State College invited earth-lovers of all ages to the Three Rivers Port campus for a cookout and an up-close and personal look at Madagascar hissing cockroaches and a prairie kingsnake. Student Activities coordinator Derek Drake grilled up hamburgers and hotdogs for all in attendance.

t’s been said your college years are always with you. While this is true, we want to know where you are taking Connors State College! Send a photo of you wearing your CSC gear – we want to see where CSC travels. Wear it on vacation, out to dinner … anywhere you go! Photos will be featured in the next issue of the CONNECTION and uploaded to Facebook. The image with the most votes will win a prize. Send photos to: dearconnor@connorsstate.edu.

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C O N N O R S S TAT E C O L L E G E 700 College Road | Warner, OK 74469

Connection: Volume 5, Number 4  

A publication of Connors State College in Warner and Muskogee, Oklahoma -- the Connection: Volume 5, Number 4.

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