CSC Participates in Muskogee Azalea Festival
he 2015 Muskogee Azalea Festival and parade began the morning of Saturday, April 11, but the planning of the Connors State College float began weeks before. The theme for the 2015 festival parade was ‘American Bandstand,’ the cultural iconic television series notably hosted by Dick Clark and was most popular in the 1950s and 60s – running until the late 1980s. Derek Drake, Coordinator of Student Activities, Jonathan Rowe, Coordinator of Resident Life & Special Events, and numerous other student workers, volunteers and staff worked around the clock in the weeks before preparing the stage for which they would receive their trophy. Wearing
two-toned clothing, smearing pale white grease-paint on their faces and singing hits from the 1950s as they stood on stage lined with records and balloons, the Connors State College parade float was among the most decorated and talked about. During the hour and a half parade through downtown Muskogee, Jonathan Rowe, frontman, donning a black fedora and ‘Zoot Suit’ sang Little Richard’s 1955 hit ‘Tutti Frutti’ in front of the Judges, as Derek Drake acted as host and announcer of the televised ‘Bandstand.’ Several students and staff rode on the float, acting as backup singers and dancers as others marched alongside, passing out candy and holding the CSC
banner proudly. In the end, Connors State College was awarded the trophy for ‘Best Overall Float’ beating out nearly 100 entries. The judges said Connors State College was the most creative and dedicated float they had seen in recent years and enjoyed the live performance and attention to detail. “The late nights and little sleep we got was worth it,” said Derek Drake. “We have a great staff here at Connors, Mike Jackson, Jonathan Rowe and everyone else who helped out are amazing and we could not have won this without them. I’m glad we were able to put our heads together and build this great looking float!” CONNORS CONNECTION
Champions – Men’s Basketball
t was an unbelievable season, one that Connors State Cowboys men’s basketball coach Bill Muse will long remember. Muse and his 2014-15 Cowboys established several firsts for the Warner college this season. The Cowboys posted a 31-2 record, won their fourth Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference championship, seventh Region II Title and Muse’s eighth appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association Men’s National Basketball Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. Muse was also named the Region II Coach of the Year for the seventh time. The Cowboys also posted a 30-game winning streak, the longest in school history. At the National Tournament the Cowboys entered as the No. 1 seed in the tournament after being ranked No. 2 in the nation in the final NJCAA poll, highest in
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school history at the end of a season. The Cowboys received a first round bye and then defeated Tyler Community College 78-59 before losing to South Plains Texas, 81-65, the eventual national runner-up who lost to Northwest Florida State in overtime. “I didn’t want our season to end as it did but these guys have been unbelievable to coach,” said Muse. “They have represented us well.” Muse will be losing two outstanding players to graduation, NJCAA All-American candidates Corlbe Ervin , 6-3 guard from Edmond, and Ronnie Boyce, 6-4 guard from Oklahoma City, both of whom have been highly recruited all season by Division I level schools. Also graduating and moving on to a higher level of basketball next season are Phabian Glasco, 6-7 forward from Tulsa, Kayshaune Spencer, 6-1 guard from
Toronto, Canada, and Erick Broadnax, 6-9 forward from Porter, Okla. “All of these players have contributed a great deal to our program with their hard work on the court,” said Muse. “They have worked in the classroom and have conducted themselves very well off the basketball floor. They have been outstanding players and students here at Connors State.” Ervin, looking back at his Connors career said, “I knew we were going to get here (national tournament). We just fell short. Our team worked hard. We have a good group of guys top to bottom.”
CSC Volunteers Help Muskogee Shine
uskogee shines a little brighter thanks to the volunteer help of nearly 20 CSC staff and family who picked up trash and other garbage on Saturday, March 28 as part of the Muskogee 500 Azalea Clean Up. Wearing safety vests and gloves, the CSC team filled numerous trash bags with
garbage collected along the north side of Shawnee Blvd. from 11th street in front of Walmart to Macedonia Baptist Church. Muskogee Mayor Bob Coburn challenged 500 people who live or work in Muskogee to participate in the community-wide clean up to help spruce-up the town to welcome
the thousands of visitors during the annual Azalea Festival in April. Mayor Coburn reported that the community-wide cleanup was a success with more than 800 volunteers participating.
Oklahoma Department of Commerce Visits Connors
n March 26, delegates from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce visited with the Connors State College leadership team and toured the campus to learn more about CSC’s role in building local and state economic growth opportunities. Members of the Business Development office spent their day discussing the business recruitment and expansion opportunities that CSC provides for the agricultural and health care sectors of Oklahoma’s economy. “Our college does an exceptional job working with our business partners to understand their needs,” says CSC President, Dr. Tim Faltyn. “We are privileged to be the first college that the Department of Commerce visited.”
“Connors provides the best hands-on educational opportunities in agriculture in the state,” says Dr. Ron Ramming, Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Dr. Ramming also highlighted that the CSC Bull Test and Sale has provided more than $1.8 million in bull sales since 2010, generates indirect economic stimulus, and provides cattleman across the state and region with high quality genetics and marketing opportunities. Dr. Ryan Blanton, Associate Vice President for External Affairs, discussed the regional economic impact of healthcare and the ways that Connors is adapting to ensure continued growth opportunities.
“More than 19 percent of the workforce in our region is employed in healthcare, and we have worked with our community and business partners to develop programs, such as the Muskogee Difference Healthcare Scholarship, to ensure we can provide highly skilled graduates to meet the ever-growing health workforce demands,” said Blanton. “When colleges provide high quality degree programs that have a direct impact to our businesses and local and state economies, “ says Faltyn, “then our graduates have greater opportunities to flourish, and our business and state will be more successful.”
68th Annual Aggie Day Hosts More Than 1,700
he Connors State College Division of Agriculture hosted its 68th Annual Aggie Day Interscholastic Competition on Thursday, April 2 at the Warner Campus. During the day of contests, more than 1,635 students vied for top team and individual honors in 18 separate contests, while over 230 different 4-H Clubs and FFA Chapters from across Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas were represented. The single, largest, high school student event that occurs each year on the Warner
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Campus, Aggie Day also serves to recruit students for the Division of Agriculture. “We want to make sure that every student who competes in a contest also pictures themselves on campus in the future, so top individual contest winners are awarded scholarships,” said Debra Golden, Division Chair for Agriculture. Corporate sponsors for the 2015 event included American Farmers and Ranchers, T&D Meats, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the University of Arkansas.
“An event of this size doesn’t take place without the help from many departments and individuals,” said Golden. “From our maintenance department preparing campus and classrooms, to faculty, students and state agencies setting up contests, to the student activities department setting up games, the 68th Aggie Day was well staffed, well run and had a record attendance.” Results from the 2015 Aggie Day Interscholastic Competition are posted at connorsstate.edu/aggieday.
Spring Bull Test Sale Grosses $293,678
ecord-breaking gross sales and 80 degree weather made Thursday, April 9, a perfect day at the Connors State College Annual Bull Test Sale. Held at one o’ clock in the afternoon, the sale packed cattle breeders and buyers from across the Midwest into the sale facility on the Warner Campus, while others placed bids online. The 77 bulls sold brought an average of $3,814 per head, while the top seller, a Simmental-Angus cross raised by J.W. Brune of Overbrook, Kansas, sold for $7,000. “While our sale average was just a tic lower than the past two sales, which is
a reflection of the cattle market leveling off, this was still the highest grossing sale ever, at $293,678,” said Blake Nelson, Director of Farm Operations and the Bull Test. Bulls that are sold at Connors are weighed and semen checked several times throughout their 90-day stay. There were 103 bulls on test from breeders across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, and Kansas. The top 77 bulls were selected, ranked by gain and breeding soundness, and sold. This was the fourth sale in CSC history to use a live internet bidding system.
Conducted by Cattle in Motion, bidders can watch and bid from the comfort of their own home. “The internet bidders were very active and a great compliment to the live buyers in attendance. Five of the 77 bulls were sold via internet, with one as far away as Iowa,” said Nelson. Students within the college’s agriculture department, as well as the entire farm crew, work alongside Nelson for months in order to prepare for the sale. From advertising to scraping bulls, and from working pens to writing invoices, the students and staff partake in every aspect of the event.
Derek Drake, Staff
erek Drake recently joined Connors State College as the new Coordinator of Student Activities. He graduated from Oral Roberts in 2013 with a BA in Organizational/Interpersonal Communications and Business. When Drake heard about the open position, he thought it was the perfect fit for him. As Coordinator of Student Activities, Drake works to organize events and activities for students on all three CSC campuses. “We understand that there are many different aspects of your collegiate career, and we are here to help the students connect with others and provide activities and entertainment for them during their time here at Connors State,” said Drake. Drake has been working on new ideas to reach students and their families specific to each of the CSC campuses. Student
Activities is also working on different ways to reach students to get them more involved on campus. “In the past month or so we have already added a few activities that are new to Connors and have already been big hits,” said Drake. “We are also looking into new methods of reaching students to let them know about the exciting things happening here at Connors State College.” Drake said he is excited for the 20152016 school year. “We are here for the students, and we encourage feedback and ideas for future events and activities,” said Drake. “We are now located in the new Student Union right in the heart of campus. We think this will play a huge part in connecting with more students to get them more involved.”
Dr. Frank Corrado, Instructor
r. Frank Corrado, instructor of biology, was voted Faculty of the Year at Connors State College. He was nominated by faculty of CSC who were asked to recommend nominees based on qualities of professionalism, community and campus committee involvement, work ethic and dedication to their job, among other attributes. “Dr. Corrado’s enthusiasm and passion for teaching are an inspiration,” said Dr. Ron Ramming, senior vice president for academic and student affairs. “I think it is indeed high praise for Dr. Corrado to be voted Faculty of the Year.” Corrado said he was surprised and deeply honored to have been selected as Faculty of the Year.
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“I have such a great respect for the faculty here, and I was very excited to join their ranks and be able to contribute to CSC as a faculty member,” said Corrado. “To receive this recognition from the faculty was more than I ever expected and I am truly grateful.” Corrado said receiving the award inspires him to continue to improve as a teacher. “I am having the time of my life teaching at CSC and I appreciate all those I work with,” said Corrado. “I especially want to thank Debi (Corrado’s wife). She is the one who challenged me to become a teacher, and she is the one who taught me how to teach. I would not be where I am if not for her.”
Alumnus Bill Martin
ill Martin’s first association with Connors State College was in 1951, when he attended on an athletic scholarship as a catcher for the baseball team. Also a member of the National
Honor Society and ROTC, Martin graduated in 1953, continued his academics and athletics at Panhandle State in Goodwell, Oklahoma, before finishing his education at Northeastern State University with a bachelors and masters in education. He also received a professional diploma from the University of Tulsa. Martin taught math and science, and coached all athletics at Warner High School, where his baseball teams won back-to-back state championships. Martin returned to CSC as a math and science instructor, served as Dean of Men and Federal Programs Coordinator, as well as Baseball Coach for one year. Martin was the assistant to Cowgirl Basketball Hall of Fame coach Monte Madewell for 11 years. The duo’s teams
dominated NJCAA women’s basketball, winning almost 90 percent of their games, eight conference titles and reaching the National Tournament six times, finishing Runners-Up in 1989 and National Champions in 1985. “Mr. Bill” or “Poppie” and his wife, Jeanie, were like parents to many students. They hosted meals, boarded players for weekends and holidays, and were there for whatever they needed. Martin’s affiliation with CSC is a family affair. His wife Jeanie is an alumnae, was the Food Service Director, and taught night classes. Their daughter, Debbie, and son-in-law James Fast, also graduated from CSC. Martin has had five generations and more than 40 family members attend Connors.
Beth Rosson, Student
eth Rosson, Muskogee sophomore, was named as part of the All-Oklahoma U.S. Academic Team at the Oklahoma State Capital. As part of her recognition ceremony, Rosson received a medallion and a certificate from CSC President Dr. Tim Faltyn and two citations. This was her first opportunity to visit the State Capitol. “The medallion and certificate both represented becoming a part of the All-Oklahoma U.S. Academic Team,” said Rosson. “I received a Citation of Congratulations from House Representative George Faught and State Senator Earl Garrison. The state capitol was beautiful. It was a wonderful experience to have been awarded.” Rosson is Vice President of Phi Theta Kappa and currently works on campus and as an intern for the Financial Aid office. She has been on the Vice President’s
Honor Roll for three semesters. “As a member and an officer of Phi Theta Kappa I decided to submit a fall transfer scholarship application,” said Rosson. “This is a massive scholarship application that has about 10 tabs of questionnaires and essays with subject and word minimum requirements.” As part of the All-Oklahoma U.S. Academic Team, Rosson can compete for scholarships and honors for universities within Oklahoma such as the Jack Kent Cooke and Coca Cola scholarships. Rosson was also provided with a list of scholarships from colleges that are offering her scholarships to enroll. She will graduate in May and attend NSU in August with a major in Business Administration. “I would actually like to thank God, my family at Connors, my Phi Theta Kappa advisers, and my family at home. I couldn’t have done it without their support.” CONNORS CONNECTION
Connors Honors Employees and Recognizes Excellence
onnors State College recently hosted an Employee Recognition luncheon in which employees were honored for their length of service to the college as well as for outstanding accomplishments. “It’s important for us to celebrate our people,” said Connors State College President, Dr. Tim Faltyn. “They work hard each and every day to make Connors a better place for our students.” The luncheon, sponsored by Sodexo, was emceed by Julie Dinger-Blanton, Interim Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs – Assessment and Curriculum. “Last year we developed criteria for
awards, both individual and departmental,” said Connors’ HR Director, Nate Walker. “A committee of employees and the leadership at Connors did a great job of evaluating the nominations and choosing the winners.” The Connors Distinguished Recognition award was developed to recognize outstanding programs and departments. This year’s awardees are the Office of Financial Aid, the Child Development Program and the Equine and Rodeo Programs. The Connors Impact Awards were developed to award individuals who have exemplified outstanding service to
the college and/or the community, and who have demonstrated commitment to Connors’ mission, vision and core values. This year’s awardees are Brandy McElyea, Executive Assistant for the Connors Development Foundation, for Classified Employee of the Year; Angie Lane, Bursar, for Professional Employee of the Year; and Dr. Frank Corrado, Biology Instructor, for Faculty of the Year. “Each of these awardees is so deserving,” said Faltyn. “They work so hard and do an amazing job. I’m very proud to be a part of their team.”
Classified Employee of the Year Brandy McElyea Administrative Assistant for the Connors Development Foundation
Professional Employee of the Year Angie Lane Bursar
Faculty of the Year Dr. Frank Corrado Biology Instructor
Office of Financial Aid
Child Development Program
Equine & Rodeo Programs
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Baseball, Softball Look to Advance Season Play
onnors State, the two-time defending Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball champion, took a giant stride toward its third in a row by opening OCAC play with a four-game sweep of Rose State. Head Coach Perry Keith, who is in his 30th year to guide the Cowboys, has a 26-5 record and a No. 10 National Junior College Athletic Association national ranking. The Cowboys currently sit atop the OCAC standings with a 4-0 record followed by Seminole State College at 3-1 and Northeastern A&M at 1-3. One of the major reasons for the success of the Cowboys this season has been its hitting prowess. Connors leads the league with an impressive .355 batting average, while also leading in home runs with 32, runs scored 296, and 51 doubles. At the beginning of the season Keith believed his club would need to grow up in a hurry and learn how to score runs. “I think we have grown up and are
scoring runs. We can improve. Our pitching has been good at times, especially Landon Bradley,” said Keith. “He’s been our ace this season and we expect even better things as the season goes on. But we still have a long way to go. It’s going to be a dogfight the rest of the way.” The hitting prowess of the Cowboys during the season has registered in the national statistics by several Cowboy hitters. Jonathan Laureno ranks No. 24 nationally with a .439 batting average, with Trevor Crone, No. 31, who is hitting at a .432 clip. In the power hitting department Conner Stevenson ranks No. 23 in home runs with eight, with Caleb Knight and Laureno, No. 32, with seven round trippers each. In the national RBI department Laureno and Stevenson are No. 21, with 40 RBIs each, while Knight is No. 42 with 37. The Cowgirls softball team is beginning to make its move. Head coach Rick Carbone who was concerned about injuries at the start of the season has a
healthy club once again. The result is a 21-10 record and 10-7 OCAC mark. The difference has been the return of Jill Roye, inside the circle, and her explosive bat. The left hander who sustained a knee injury has recovered and is back in pitching shape. She won her first three starts. “Getting Jill back has played a big part in our success recently,” said Carbone. “Her play in the circle and at the plate has taken much of the pressure off of Kristen Reasnor. They can’t pitch around her now.” Reasnor who is hitting .511 to rank No. 7 in the nation, eclipsed the Connors all-time hitting home run mark of 23 with 27 thus far. “’Big Red’ is just a tremendous hitter and outstanding pitcher. She is getting a lot of attention from Division I schools, as is Jill,” said Carbone. Reasnor ranks No. 9 in the NJCAA rankings in hitting with a .511 batting average and is No. 3 in the home run department with 15 and No. 10 in RBIs with 48.
MUSE > C
onnors State men’s basketball coach Bill Muse, who guided the Cowboys to the National Junior College Athletic Association Region II Championship and a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., was named the Region II Region Coach of the Year. “Winning this award is a team award for all their hard work this season,” said Muse. “We had a great season and we all share in this award.” It was his seventh Region II Coach of the Year honor in 23 seasons at the Warner college. His 2014-15 squad finished the year ranked No. 2 in the nation and entered the NJCAA National
Coach of the Year
Tournament as the No. 1 seed. The Cowboys reached the Elite Eight of the National Tournament, losing to the eventual national runner-up South Plains College. Connors State ended the season with a 31-2 record, winning the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference championship for a fourth time, and a Region II Title. Muse also led the Cowboys to the school’s longest consecutive winning streak this past season, winning 30 consecutive games. The Hall of Fame Coach has posted a 538-207 record as head coach of the Cowboys.
Livestock Judgers Named to All-American Team
ecently at Houston, Connors Livestock Judging Team students Cassi Allread, of Union City, and Zane Webster, of San Simon, Arizona, were two of the 15 recipients named to the 2014-2015 Junior College All American Team. This title rewards students for achievements in both livestock judging competition and academic excellence. This is the highest honor bestowed among livestock judging contestants at the junior college level. The Connors Livestock Judging Team finished the year strong at both San Antonio and Houston. At San Antonio, the Cowboys finished as the 3rd high team overall and were also the 2nd high team in swine, 3rd high team sheep and the 4th high team in oral reasons. In regards to individual success, Webster was 5th in cattle and 9th individual overall; Bryce Hauenstein, of Pryor, was 4th in goats, 10th in sheep, 10th in
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swine and 4th overall; Wyatt Smith from Adair was 8th in goats, 3rd in sheep, 5th in swine and was 11th overall; and Jordan Moubry, of Russell, Kansas, was 2nd individual in sheep. In Houston the team finished 5th overall and was the 3rd high team in cattle, placing’s and sheep & goats. Individually, Webster was the 8th individual overall, 3rd in goats, and 10th in placing’s; Moubry was 8th in placing’s; and Hauenstein tied for 10th individual overall, and was 5th in sheep & goats. Other team members include: Allison Tarvin, Mt. Olivet, Kentucky; Keegan Vander Molen, Pella, Iowa; Morgan Cook, Reed City, Michigan; and Ross Taylor, Okemah. For more information on the Connors State College Livestock Judging Team and upcoming judging camps, contact Coach Clint Mefford at (918) 463-6335.
Equine & Rodeo Programs Host Spring Gathering
n March 28 the Connors State College equine and rodeo programs hosted the annual Alumni and Friends Spring Gathering at the Warner Campus Student Union. An event that has seen growth over the years, this year’s barbecue dinner, silent auction and three-prize raffle entertained approximately 300 guests. Those in attendance ranged from current students and staff, alumni, horse owners, prospective students, and other community stakeholders. “It was great to be able to show off our newly renovated Student Union,” said rodeo team member Payton Hill. “It made for the perfect atmosphere for everyone to dance, eat, and socialize.” Prior to the event, students sold $25 raffle tickets, which qualified the ticket holder for a chance to win a 40-foot
Priefert utility round pen kit worth $1,600, a Priefert horse stock worth $1,000, or a 20X black gold cowboy hat. The top raffle ticket salesmen were awarded for their efforts; Kasey Wagnon took home top honors, earning a $250 gift certificate from Mock Brother’s Saddlery; while Brett Jones was reserve and earned a $150 certificate. A live auction saw several attendees in a bidding war to purchase a 2-year old horse – Peptos Fancy Step – trained by the CSC equine program and donated by Bob and Vicki Mouser. “We would like to thank everyone who donated items to the silent or live auctions, and all of those who came out to support our students and program,” said Jake Walker, CSC rodeo coach. “The Spring Gathering is a great way to enjoy ourselves and end another great year with
our students.” Another exciting element of the Spring Gathering was the musical performance of Paul Bogart, Nashville recording artist and CSC alum. To the enjoyment of those on the dance floor, Bogart and his band took the stage at 6:30 p.m. and then gave an extended performance later in the evening. Also joining him at the microphone and on guitar were the musically inclined rodeo coaches Jake Lawson and Jake Walker.
All-State Community College Academic Team
hi Theta Kappa, community college presidents and community college state associations sponsor All-State Community College Academic Team ceremonies in 38 participating states. On March 2, six members of the Mu Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa were named to the Oklahoma All-State Academic Team for Connors State College. The students received medallions and certificates during a ceremony hosted at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Also included with the award, the
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students received a tuition waiver that can be transferred to most of the universities in Oklahoma. Students nominated to the All-USA Community College Academic Team from the 38 participating states are considered for placement on All-State Community College Academic Teams. Rankings on All-State Community College Academic Teams are generally determined by the studentâ€™s score in the national competition and Allâ€“State Community College
Academic Team structures which vary from state to state. It was a proud day for Dr. Tim Faltyn, CSC President, and the Phi Theta Kappa advisors, Kim Phillips and Colleen Noble. Photo: Oklahoma Academic Team for Connors State College members include (L-R) Taylor Sparks, Brandie Center, Kory Zehr, Tonya McNeely, Amanda Handley, and Cecelia (Beth) Rosson. Pictured with CSC President, Dr. Tim Faltyn.
Ritthaler Presents at Undergraduate Research Day
n March 21, Rhiannon Ritthaler presented her research at the 20th Annual Research Day at the Capitol. Glen D. Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, invited the state’s university presidents to nominate their institutions’ top undergraduate student researchers to participate. Twenty-four students, representing 18 colleges and universities, gathered on the State Capitol’s fourth floor rotunda to showcase the outstanding research being conducted on Oklahoma’s campuses. Ritthaler presented her research poster,
“Measuring the Return on Investment from Rural Health Development in Eastern Oklahoma,” a project she worked on with Faculty Advisor, Dr. Ryan Blanton. Her research analyzed the economic impacts and return on investment of federal and state grants for Community Health Centers in rural eastern Oklahoma. Her findings showed that each dollar of investment
generates a three year average of $8.98 back into the local economy. Members of the State Legislature and Capitol guests visited students’ poster displays to learn more about the research projects, and Ritthaler was presented with Certificates of Merit from State Representative Jerry McPeak and State Senator Roger Thompson.
Students Anderson, Lang and Worthan Receive Honors
hree Connors State College students, Carly Anderson, Brittani Lang, and Nella Worthan, were each honored for their exemplary work and dedication to their education. Carly Anderson was selected to receive the 2015 Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellows Award. From across the country, college and university presidents have nominated promising student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in their community to be Newman Civic Fellows. Through service, research, and advocacy, these Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change. As these students tackle community challenges, they provide fresh energy and perspective, inspire and mobilize others, and develop their own skills and potential. This year’s record amount of Fellows will leverage an even greater capacity
for engagement and change through online networking. In keeping with their generation’s emphasis on networks over hierarchies, Newman Civic Fellows will share ideas and materials to further their work through an exclusive online community especially for Fellows. Brittani Lang is a nursing student at Connors State College, was recently awarded the Women’s Opportunity Award by Soroptimist International of Muskogee. The $1,000 scholarship will be used to help Lang, 26, complete her degree and become a registered nurse. Vicky Spradling, co-chairman of the award, said the scholarship is intended to help women complete their degrees while trying to take care of their family. Lang is the busy mother of a four-year-old son and three-year-old twins. CSC sophomore Nella Worthan will have a chance to gain new leadership skills and experience at the 2015 National Education for Women’s (N.E.W.)
Leadership Institute next month. The highly competitive, award-winning program is offered through the Carl Albert Center at the University of Oklahoma. The N.E.W. Leadership Institute is an intensive five-day program that connects Oklahoma undergraduate women with policy makers and community activists. The program’s purpose is to educate and empower the participants to actively engage in politics and public service. Worthan will join approximately 30 other undergraduate women selected each year for the institute. To date, almost 400 have graduated from the program. “Before coming to Connors, I never had the confidence to go after the things I really wanted or knew I could benefit from, but whether it was a kind word in an instructor’s office or a soft push toward a leadership position from an advisor’s aid, Connors has helped build me up into this ‘go getter’ person, and I couldn’t be more thankful!” CONNORS CONNECTION
Honors and Scholars Night
n Monday, April 6, more than 70 students and their families gathered in the Fine Arts Auditorium on the Warner campus to receive notable honors during the 2015 Scholars’ and Honors Night at Connors State College. The evening began with a warm welcoming message from President Dr. Tim Faltyn, followed by an encouraging problem solving and “thinking outside the box” presentation given by Mike Jackson, Director of Campus Life. Jackson spoke of his family, history, and dedication to the college and encouraged everyone in attendance to think differently about life’s
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circumstances and to be grateful for an opportunity for higher education and a career choice of their choosing. Dr. Ron Ramming, Sr. Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, then took to the podium to acknowledge the students who have worked hard in their college careers and are deserving of these awards. As they crossed the stage, Ramming read off the accomplishments each student has achieved this year, the students then made their way to the photoop with Faltyn, proudly displaying their achievement folder for the world to see. Ending the evening, as is tradition,
the naming of Mr. & Ms. Connors was announced: Nella Worthan was named 2015’s Ms. Connors and Bryce Hauenstein was named Mr. Connors. With the hard work and dedication from Robin O’Quinn, Kim Phillips, Debi Corrado, Marcia Hicks, countless other faculty and staff and the assistance of the members of PLC, the evening ran smoothly and was a wonderful way to round out the spring semester and provide a cherished memory for the students and their families at Connors State College.
Comedian Brings Wit and Financial Facts to Connors
n Monday, April 6, Colin Ryan, comedian and motivational speaker, started the show at Connors State College with a flurry of laughter, engaging the audience with crowd work, playful banter and helpful tips on surviving bear attacks! He then transitioned the conversation to financial facts, discussing money – something everyone in the audience uses. Ryan pointed out that most people who come to college generally do so with aspirations to one day earn more money. Whether the student wants to work in an office, as a manager for a company, or become a star athlete – they choose these careers with their financial future in mind. “Your ability to manage your money directly affects your ability to have the life you want,” Ryan said. Elizabeth Wanger, default prevention specialist in the Office of Financial Aid, was one of the members who brought the comedian to Connors State College. “It’s important to bring financial speakers to the college, because it’s another tool to further help our students,” said Wanger. “It provides them with an opportunity to hear financial advice from someone outside of the Financial Aid office. Adding humor to his presentation helped Colin reach the audience more effectively – personal finance is not an easy subject to discuss and by presenting it in a lighthearted way it
made the information easier to receive.” Many of the students were hearing information about financial responsibility for the first time. Having lived with their parents for most of their life, many of the students in the audience were unfamiliar with the notion of paying monthly rent, car payments, providing for a family or living on a budget. “Thirty percent of adults in America use a budget. You would think it would be more, but it’s not,” said Ryan. “Which means 70 percent of adults just spend their money when they receive it and then question why they’re broke.” Ryan suggested everyone in attendance begins saving for the future now, because when the time comes they’ll wish they had started sooner. “Choose a number, an amount that you want to save and then work hard to reach that goal,” said Ryan. “Unfortunately America is not a saving country, it’s very much a spending country. We look for money we can spend now, not money we can save for the future. We need to take action and change our mindset now.” Ryan said in his observation of the world it seems that we as Americans are raised in a culture of people who believe money cannot change their fate. “Many of the people I’ve met are under the notion that a few extra dollars should
be spent now on something that is a ‘right now’ want, instead of a lasting need,” said Ryan. Saving money for the future is no one’s favorite pastime, but if left unchecked individuals can wake up to thousands of dollars of debt and feel like there is no hope. “When asked, 85 percent of adults ranked credit card debt as the topic they most wanted to avoid in conversation,” said Ryan. “Start thinking ahead now, so when the time comes you can take a vacation or have comfort in not being pressured by bills or mountains of debt.” Wanger said she was looking for a speaker who could change the mindset and relationship students have with their money and believes Colin Ryan did just that.
Students Attend Spring Congress with SGA
SC took a five-student delegation to the Oklahoma Student Government Association Spring Congress held March 6-7 at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. More than 120 participants from 15 Oklahoma colleges and universities shared ideas and discussed issues relevant to enhancing higher education opportunities and experiences in Oklahoma. The student leaders debated, and ultimately passed, five pieces of legislation that were then forwarded to Governor Fallin, the Oklahoma legislature and the State Regents from consideration. These non-binding resolutions pertained to: 1) Allowing high school seniors to take zero level courses at a local college or
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university. 2) Creating a subcommittee on the Regents Student Advisory Board for awareness, education and advocacy of LGBT issues. 3) Calling upon the OK state legislature to oppose efforts to allow guns on campus. 4) Requiring higher education institutions to provide sexual assault and sexual violence prevention programs to students. 5) Establishing the 2015-16 OSGA budget. Students also had the opportunity to hear from U.S. Congressman Markwayne Mullin and Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman about the importance of active, informed engagement in the political process.
A publication of Connors State College in Warner and Muskogee, Oklahoma -- the Connection: Volume 5, Number 3.