Page 1

A Publication of Connors State College




New OTA Program Healing Lives inside


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

Inside this issue V O L U M E

6 ,



T H R E E R IV E R S PORT CAMPUS 2501 N 41st St E Muskogee, OK 74403


CONNECTION LA Y OUT & D ESIGN Stacy Pearce C ONT RIBUT ORS Cindy Anderson Dr. Ryan Blanton Wayne Bunch Jonathan Dallis Ami Maddocks Zadie McElhaney DeAnn Warne

3 COMMUNITY 4 C O W B OY FA M I LY 6 AT H L E T I C S 8 E D U C AT I O N 10 C A M P U S L I F E 14 F I N A N C I A L S 15 F E AT U R E

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

M us kogee C hr is t m as Parade S eas on of G iv i ng C ow boy C at t le S how dow n D r. C orrado Teac hes H AC C P M eet B l air, R am m ing, S t ack and S t ewar t

Judgers Win Swine Contest • Judger Named La Prix Scholarship Finalist Athletic Updates Fanc y D anc ers • N ew Fac ilit y for Tit le I I I C er t i f ied H eal t hy C am pus & B us i nes s Les t er & D av i s A ppoint ed t o S t at e B oards • S t at e R evenue S hor t fal l • K ing OAC R AO V P Baseball Honors Reynolds W here’s C onnors ?

2015 F inanc i al I nfor m at i on



#CONNORSSTATE connorsstate connorsstate connorsstatecollege connorsstate

Connors State College, in compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid and educational services. The Director of Human Resources, ADA, Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator, 700 College Rd., Warner, OK 74469, Gatlin Hall Rm 231; Phone (918) 463-6206; email: has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies. 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.




Occupational Therapy Assistant Program


onnors State College and Indian Capital Technology Center have teamed together to bring the newly HLC-accredited, Occupational Therapy Assistant program to Muskogee. The OTA division is a one-plus-one program, which allows students to spend one year at Connors State College, or a similar accredited institution, working towards their general education degree, then spend the second year at ICTC working on their technical skills. Penny Stack, OTA Program Director, said the practice of the OTA program is to focus on getting people engaged in what they do everyday and work on something they may be struggling with due to a life change. “We learn theory and concept in our lectures and then we come into the lab and we put it to practical use,” said Stack. “Our students practice on how to engage with a client. They learn how to explain the treatment to someone who may not understand. It’s a great opportunity for our students.” In the classroom the students learn how the body works, why one treatment is preferred to another, and terminology, but in the lab, the students take a hands-on approach to a real-life scenario and learn by doing.

Brittany Goodnight, OTA student, said the lab provided by CSC/ICTC gives the students a great idea of what their career will be like when they go into the real world. “While we’re in the program we get to work and deal with clients in simulations, just as if we were doing it in real life,” said Goodnight. “The Classroom setting gives us a textbook-way of treatment, then we take what we learn and are able to go into the lab where we can immediately apply it.” In the simulations the students generally use mock clients, real men and women from the community who volunteer to help the students learn by doing. “Our occupational therapy students are very hands on,” said Candice Elrod, Occupational Therapy Assistant Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Instructor. “We do a lot of simulation and role-play in the lab, so when we have patients come in we want to use real people from right here in our community. We prepare them to be ready for the real life experience when they get out and go to work.” Ruth Ann Gardner, Occupational Therapy Assistant student, said the main reason she chose this program was because she is from Muskogee and one day wants to be able to make a difference in someone else’s

life and to give back to her community. Sara Spencer, Occupational Therapy Assistant student, said she is excited and eager to finish the program and to go into the field where she can make a difference. “There are many career options available in the OTA field,” said Spencer. “If you grow tired of one area, you can always move to a different focus and have a fulfilling career working there.” The OTA program is less than a year old and currently has a roster of eleven students who drive from all over the state just to be part of this exciting program. Goodnight said the OTA field is very unique, because it is centered on a client and their specific goals. “Occupational therapy is on a treatment continuum. You start with the very basics with a client and you work together towards an end goal, which is to reach an occupational task or activity,” said Goodnight. “A person’s end goal may be to walk again or eat unassisted, but you have to start small and work towards the long term goal.” OTA students are working with INCOR and Bridges Out of Poverty, non-profit organizations based out of Muskogee, very early in the program. This allows the students a chance to get accustomed to working with people with needs and educating others on what it is they do and what differentiates them from other programs. “People often think occupational therapy is like physical therapy, but this is how we’re making the difference,” said Elrod. “This program is very non-traditional and very community based, and we’re excited to build the program here in the community.” Stack said the program is cutting edge for where we are at this time in academia, and that it is very exciting to see this engagement of community coming together. “We’re building relationships in the classroom and in the community which will stay with us during our time in college and into our careers,” said Eryn West, Occupational Therapy Assistant student.




It’s A Wonderful Life: CSC Participates in Muskogee Christmas Parade


n Saturday, December 12, 2015, the CSC Executive Team, students, faculty, staff members and their families, took to the streets in the pouring December rain to march alongside the Connors State Christmas Parade float in the annual Muskogee Christmas Parade. The attendees braced the winds and weather as they walked through downtown

Muskogee, waving, smiling and passing out candy to the eager crowd. The 2015 theme was “It’s a Wonderful Life,” based on the critically acclaimed 1946 holiday film of the same name. The Connors State float displayed the sign “You Are Now In Bedford Falls,” tying itself to the theme, along with thousands of bright lights shining in the night, garland, and a festive Christmas tree

on the back end. Following the parade CSC participated in the first ever caroling contest presented by the city. Overall, Connors State took 2nd place in the parade float, beating out more than 90 float entries, as well as 2nd place in the caroling contest. Congratulations and thank you to all who helped make this possible!

Season of Giving


ach year the faculty, staff and students participate in Connors’ Season of Giving. Groups, teams and individuals give a little extra to the communities we serve. The 2015 Season of Giving included: The Business Division gathered winter hats, gloves and socks to donate to the Muskogee Women in Safe Homes and Help in Crisis Domestic Violence Shelter in Tahlequah. The men’s basketball team participated in Socks for Seniors, a program providing 4


holiday cheer and new socks to warm the spirits and the toes of the disadvantaged elderly. They also handed out shirts to veterans at the Muskogee VA hospital. The Student Government Association, Nursing students, and President’s Leadership Class collected canned food items for the community’s hungry. The Cowgirls’ softball team mentored and read to elementary school students. The women’s basketball team and CSC’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes joined together to feed the homeless at the

Muskogee Gospel Rescue. The Cowboys’ baseball team packed boxes for Operation Christmas Child, a program sending fun and necessity items to children around the world. The Agriculture Ambassadors wrote cards to recovering American soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital. The horticulture students donated poinsettias to an elementary school program, a senior citizen’s center, and a nursing home - 48 plants in all!

Aggie Club Hosts Cowboy Cattle Showdown at CSC


he Cowboy Cattle Showdown jackpot show recently hosted nearly 150 head of livestock at Connors State College. This is the second iteration of the event, drawing in approximately 200 youth exhibitors from all over the state. The judge this year was Jeremy Leister, Purebred Cattle Manager at Oklahoma State University and a proud alumnus of McPeak’s Be A Champ Camp. “I’m humbled to have been asked to come and sort through the livestock here at Connors State College,” said Leister. “Many

of my closest friends and teammates went through this program and the opportunity to give back to the youth is really rewarding.” The breeds ranged from Angus to Simmental, with a myriad of qualities in between. Supreme Female overall was the Champion Angus shown by Madison Shout of Yukon, Oklahoma. Moreover, many weeks and hours went into preparation by Aggie Club members to host the event. “The students were essentially in charge of the show from weighing steers and commercial heifers early in the morning, to

organizing registration and class schedules,” said Clint Mefford, Livestock Judging Coach and Aggie Club advisor. “This event gives our students invaluable experience in conducting any event in the future; an important skill in any career field.” The Aggie Club hopes to host the show for years to come while growing in the process. For more information regarding the Cowboy Cattle Showdown or Aggie Club contact Clint Mefford at (918) 463-6335.

CSC Offers HACCP Training


he issue of foodborne illness has received much media attention of late. For the past several months the public was made aware of foodborne illness outbreaks in large companies such as Blue Bell Ice Cream and Chipotle. In an effort to combat these issues, Connors State College has begun offering HACCP training to those in the food industry. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis with Critical Control Points. It was developed for NASA in the 1960s as a means to ensure astronauts were free from the possibility of foodborne illness. HACCP principles have now expanded throughout the food industry and are regulated and required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Agency.

“HACCP is important to any food production operation,” said Dr. Frank Corrado, the instructor for Connor’s HACCP training program. “When properly implemented and followed, it guarantees the food produced is safe for consumption.” Connors is only the second institution in Oklahoma offering the HACCP class; Oklahoma State University is the other. “Connors is offering the class as a service to the food production industry and the community,” said Corrado, who recently taught a class for employees at Griffin Foods in Muskogee. Griffin Foods is a manufacturing plant creating many items seen in grocery stores around the country, such as syrups, jellies, mustards, and more.

“We learned more in this class, offered by Connors, than we did in the two-day training we attended several years ago,” said David Bergmann, maintenance purchaser for Griffin Foods. “Dr. Corrado explained the biology of foodborne illnesses in a way that was interesting and easily understood.” The Connors HACCP curriculum and Corrado are certified by the International HACCP Alliance. Training consists of taking the basic class which covers the seven principles of HACCP. For more information, or to sign up for a class, please contact Dr. Frank Corrado at (918) 684-5474 or frank.corrado@



Cowboy Family

Baxter Stewart, Staff


axter Stewart is more than a friendly face seen in the gym, in the financial aid offices, or around the campuses at Connors State College. Stewart is a driven, caring boss and coworker who has been a part of the Connors State family for more than four years. Stewart began his time at the college in the financial aid office, where he held the title of Financial Aid Director. Now Stewart holds the title of Senior Accountant, but his passion for helping students and working closely with his friends has stayed the same. “My coworkers have become part of my family,” said Stewart. “I have been blessed with several opportunities for career advancement at Connors State.” Stewart began his career at Connors after graduating from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, earning his bachelor’s in

Accounting and Mass Media. Stewart said employment at Connors State caught his eye because he was looking for a career near Tahlequah, where he was starting a family. “I was engaged to Shayla, who later became my wife, who was attending Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, and I wanted to move closer to her so we could be married.” Stewart said he loves the students Connors State serves and the people he has the privilege to work with every day. “We have a caring staff and faculty who will meet the students where they are and do everything they can to help them succeed,” said Stewart. Stewart is also the Chi Alpha Campus Minister for NSU Tahlequah and has been for the past four years. Chi Alpha is an Assemblies of God sponsored network of

Christian Ministries on university campuses. Chi Alpha is comprised of eager, college-age men and women looking to connect with God, and are struggling to discover and become who they are.

Penny Stack, Instructor


enny Stack, Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Director at Connors State College, has a passion and drive to teach, and to have an impact on the lives of those around her. Earning her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from



Samuel Merritt University, Stack has the experience and education needed to bring forward the new generation of Occupational Therapy Assistants into our community. Stack teaches a number of courses, including: Introduction to Occupational Therapy, Kinesiology, Health Care Systems & Occupational Therapy Management, Therapeutic Media and Elder Care. Stack said the leadership and support she has received from Connors State has sparked her passion for teaching and bringing Occupational Therapy to the institution and community. “Connors State is committed to academic excellence with the full college experience, demonstrated through their above and beyond personal attention given to students as individuals,” said Stack. “The leadership is excellent and very supportive of the growth

of faculty. Faculty and staff always work together as a team, always with the best interest of the students in mind.” Stack said one of the reasons she chose Connors State was the collaborative resources of both CSC and Indian Capital Technology Center, which allowed for a supportive environment for program development, teaching and student learning. Stack has continued as a practitioner in the field and owns an afterschool program, The Dyslexia Center of Tulsa, which services persons with dyslexia. The individuals learn how to successfully read at grade level. Her passion for providing treatment for dyslexia has become the focus of her doctorate studies at Loma Linda University, which she currently attends. Stack expects to receive her Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree in 2017.

Alumnus Jeff Blair


eff Blair attended Connors State College in 1970 and 1972, where he played baseball, before moving on to the University of Tulsa to complete his collegiate baseball career. While at Connors, he was No. 2 in the nation in hitting with a batting average of .480 in 1971 and hit .385 in 1972 while being named to the NJCA All-American team. Blair graduated with an Associate of Arts

degree in Criminal Justice at Connors, and after graduation from TU he went to work with the Sand Springs Police Department in 1974. He retired from the Tulsa Police Department after 25 years of service in 2001. He currently sells real estate and works part-time as a security officer. Blair and his wife Wanda (Kinsey) have two children Jeffry Alan Jr. and Mathew Riley, and six grandchildren.

Bobby Ramming, Student


obby Ramming knew as a small child he wanted to focus his career in Animal Science. He decided his junior year at Warner High School to dedicate his life to Agricultural Education by working with the National FFA Organization and as an Agriculture Education Instructor and FFA Advisor. Ramming is a second-generation student at Connors State, following his father and uncles. Ramming said he personally chose Connors State for two important reasons: first, was given the opportunity to serve as member of the President’s Leadership Class, and second, CSC offers an excellent Agriculture program, which would put him on track for his career. “Connors has impacted my life through the President’s Leadership Class and time in my agriculture classes,” said Ramming.

“During my services with PLC I believe I have taken responsibilities which have not only helped me mature, but also helped me to understand what I can do to become the leader I strive to be.” Ramming praises his instructors, advisors and mentors, who have shaped him and are helping him reach his goals. “Because of my time at Connors State I have been able to start a plan of what I want to one day teach my students, and also how I can serve as a leader in the Agriculture Industry. Ramming is currently serving as Treasurer of PLC and is also an active member of the Aggie Club, the Business Club and the Shotgun Shooting Sports Team. After Connors, Ramming hopes to transfer to Oklahoma State University, with aspirations to double major in Animal

Science and Agriculture Education. Ramming has shown during his high school and college career he is an active member in the FFA community and dedicated to the program, earning three state proficiency awards during his time. “Throughout my career in FFA I have served my chapter as Sentinel, Treasurer and President,” said Ramming. “I was a member of the FFA chorus, a finalist in the first FFA Talent Competition and earned my State FFA Degree during my senior year of high school.” CONNORS CONNECTION 7


Livestock Judging Team wins Swine at Louisville


he Connors State College Livestock Judging Team continued to build and get better as they competed successfully in a close contest at the 2015 North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. The team won the trifecta of the swine division, swine reasons, the performance swine portion of the judging contest, and

took home the prestigious travelling trophy for High Team in Swine in the process. Individually, Shannon Tacy of Bend, Oregon, was the 10th High Individual in Swine, and Justin Jensen of El Reno, Oklahoma, was named the 9th High Individual in Sheep, 2nd High Individual in Swine, 6th High Individual in Oral Reasons, and 11th High Individual Overall.

Livestock Judger Named as one of Five La Prix Scholarship Finalists


SC livestock judging team sophomore, Chance Brooks, of Broken Arrow, Okla., was recently named as one of the top five finalists for the prestigious 2016 La Prix Scholarship. Several hundred college-level livestock students apply for the prestigious honor each year. An astute cattle judge, Brooks will attend the University of Arkansas in the fall to major in Animal Science. He will also compete on the Livestock Judging Team.



Brooks’ number one passion is show cattle, an industry he has been involved in since birth. He doesn’t expect that to change any time soon. The finals will be held on Friday, January 15, at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver, Colorado. The winners will be announced prior to the Embryos on Snow Sale on Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. Moreover, $18,000 in cash will be awarded to the top three La Prix winners.

The team eventually finished as the 4th High Team in Sheep, 1st High Team in Swine, Performance Swine and Swine Reasons, 6th High Team in Oral Reasons and the 7th High Team Overall. For more information regarding the Livestock Judging Team contact coaches Clint Mefford or Nolan Hildebrand at (918) 463-6335.

Cowboy’s #1 in Conference


ntering the second half of the 2015-16 basketball season the Connors State Cowboys, under the guidance of head coach Bill Muse (553209), sits atop a familiar position of the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference – first place and among the top 25 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association national rankings – No. 12. Muse has guided the Cowboys to a 14-2 record and 5-1 OCAC mark, bouncing back from a rare home-court conference loss to open the second half of play with a road win at NOC-Tonkawa to break a tie atop the league standings. “We stumbled coming back off the Christmas break against Western State, but we went on the road to get a big victory and move us back on top,” said Muse. “We have a long road ahead of us in the league, but we are capable of winning the conference title again and the top seed of the Region II Tournament in March.” The loss to Western snapped a 21-game conference winning streak and

22 consecutive home-court victories dating back to last season. “It’s very difficult to keep a winning streak going like we have the past two seasons and stay atop the national rankings, because we have a big bullseye on our back,” said Muse. “This team has the ability to continue our tradition.” The Cowboys opened the season with a 13-1 record, losing only to Arkansas Baptist on the road at Little Rock in the second game of the season, before reeling off 12 straight wins and then falling to Western State in the first week of January. Connors State sophomore All-American candidate Arlando Cook, who is averaging 20.4 points, signed early with the University of Arkansas. Sophomore Deven Simms, from St. Louis, Mo., has emerged as an outstanding shooting guard, along with sophomore guard Demari Edwards, from Tulsa, Okla., and freshman Adarius Avery of Lakeland, Tenn. Cook leads the Cowboys in scoring,

followed by Simms with a 19.7 average, and Adarius Avery with a 12.5 average, and Edwards with an 11.9 average. Bill Muse Jr. has developed into a role player off the bench and outstanding 3-point shooter (54.4 percent) averaging 10.6 points a contest. Heading into the final 13 games of the season, the Cowboys will be seeking their fifth consecutive conference championship and second straight trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.

Cowgirls Rise in Standings


hen Jamie Fisher was elevated to the Connors State Cowgirls’ head basketball position in December, he didn’t know what to expect. Fisher, who was an assistant for the Cowgirls for four seasons, recruited most of the players on the 2015-16 squad. Fisher didn’t know how the girls would react to him as a head coach. Answering questions as an assistant and directing the team as the head coach is quite different. The result has been a smooth transition and a much improved team, and record, entering the second half of the season. Fisher has directed the Cowgirls to a 7-10 record and, more importantly, they are tied for third place with a 4-2 record in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference

standings. “Our goal has been to finish in the top five of the conference and receive an automatic bid to the Region II Tournament in Shawnee this March,” said the interim head coach. “That’s something we haven’t accomplished the past four seasons. Right now we are playing much better, but we still have a lot of work to get there. “The one thing I have said since day one is that I really love our girls. They have done everything I asked of them. They have worked very hard. As long as they give me 100 percent and act like a class-act I am happy. I feel like we are demonstrating that really well.” Freshmen Bailey Pendley from Ketchum, Okla., sophomore Baylee Evans from Red

Oak, Okla., along with red-shirt freshman Philicea Mack from Spiro, Okla., who has overcome a knee injury from a year ago, Shawnata Lyday from Tulsa, Okla., and DeNora Wheeland of Haskell, Okla., has been the catalyst for this year’s squad. Along with the outstanding play of Miceala Norment of Conway, Ark., Briane Miller of DeRidder, La., Alyssa Crase of Greenwood, Ark., and Justice Campbell of Ketchum, Okla., the Cowgirls’ program is pointed upward.




Oklahoma Fancy Dancers Perform at Port Campus


he Connors State College Title III program and the CSC Native American Student Association, invited the public to attend a free performance of the Intertribal Native Dance Troupe: Oklahoma Fancy Dancers. The Oklahoma Fancy Dancers are a group of powwow champions that come together to form a professional and highly acclaimed Native American dance

troupe. All the dancers are enrolled tribal members, most of whom are full-blood, representing various tribes. The awardwinning dance regalia worn by each dancer was brilliantly colorful, traditional and representative of the dancer’s tribe and dance performed. “The dances shown were educational, informational, entertaining, and showcased a variety of traditional American

Indian tribal dances,” said Title III Director, Gwen Rodgers. “The presentation was a great way to show our community, staff and students, a part of Native American culture.” Widely known for the educational elements of their performances, the Oklahoma Fancy Dancers have traveled the world and earned a stellar reputation for excellence and authenticity.

CSC Earns Certified Healthy College and Business Designation


onnors State College’s campuses in Muskogee and Warner were recently designated by the Oklahoma Turning Point Coalition and Oklahoma State Department of Health, as a Certified Healthy Business and a Certified Healthy Campus. These designations are given to institutions that work diligently to provide a healthy environment for employees and students. “At Connors, we know that building futures means investing in the whole person,” said CSC’s President, Dr. Tim Faltyn. “Investing in the health of our students and staff is not only good for our



people, it’s also smart business.” Some of the improvements CSC has made to support campus health include: • The opening of an on-campus Health and Wellness Center, providing better access to basic medical care. • The integration of wellness in the classroom through a number of classes offering healthy living information and campus wellness resources. • Fitness Center access for all students, faculty and staff. • Healthy food options and information through resident dining services provided by Sodexo, including healthy options at

every meal. In addition, the menus are posted online, in advance, with nutrition information, so diners can make informed choices. • Designating all Connors campuses as tobacco free. • Fitness incentives such as paid time off for regular gym attendance. The college’s Wellness Coordinator, Whitney Tucker, puts a lot of energy into keeping a healthy lifestyle interesting for staff and students. “It’s easier to remain healthy when you have the support of others,” said Tucker. “We try to offer fun fitness competitions

CSC to Open Native American Cultural Center

I and classes to keep the momentum growing instead of our waistlines.” The most recent competition, “Team Takedown,” was a team event in which 59 participants lost a total of 158 pounds and 76 waist inches. “I am very proud of our people,” said Faltyn. “They work hard for our students and community every day, and now they are working hard for the physical health of the institution as well. This shows great dedication to the overall wellness of our college.” Photo: Team “Too Blessed to Be Stressed” won the Team Takedown Challenge for Fall 2015. Members included (L to R) Derek Drake, coordinator of student activities; Jonathan Rowe, coordinator of residential life and special events; Albert Tucker, desktop administrator; and Jon Dallis, digital content administrator.

n 2014, Connors State College was awarded a five-year Title III grant totaling $5 million from the U.S. Department of Education. Connors was one of only a few institutions in the U.S. to receive the entire $5 million. Other awarded institutions received less than half of that amount. “Receiving this grant is likely the most transformative thing to happen to our campus since we opened campuses in Muskogee,” said CSC President Dr. Tim Faltyn. Connors will use the funds to develop online and hybrid courses in various disciplines, develop comprehensive online support services and to create a Native American Success and Cultural Center. The Center will be housed in the newly renovated Russell Hall on the Warner campus, and is expected to open in Spring 2016. It will be available for students, staff, faculty and public use, and will showcase Native American art, culture and history of the Oklahoma Nations and other tribes throughout the United States. The Center will be used to boost the success of Native American students by providing supplemental instruction, academic advising, tutoring, mentoring

and cultural resources. In addition to the historical and cultural aspects, the Center will be used to host academic and professional workshops and events for the student body. “We feel very honored to have received these funds,” said Dr. Ryan Blanton, Associate VP of External Affairs. “We are grateful for the trust the U.S. Department of Education has shown in us and are eager to begin changing the lives of our students for the better.” CSC’s seven-county primary service area is a predominantly rural area with high poverty rates (19.9% average), low incomes ($18,045 average), and low rates of educational achievement (only 15.6% of adults have a bachelor’s degree). Native Americans make up the largest minority group in the region, 23 percent of the total area population and 31 percent of Connors’ student population. “Improving our educational offerings to our Native American students will make a huge difference in the lives of those we serve,” said Faltyn. “The Title III grant helps us achieve this goal.”



Gov. Fallin Appoints Lester to Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education


ov. Mary Fallin announced she is appointing Andy Lester to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Lester will replace Marlin “Ike” Glass Jr., whose second nine-year term expires in May. Lester, of Edmond, has served on the Board of Regents for Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) Colleges since 2007. His appointment requires Senate confirmation. Lester will continue to serve on the A&M board until the Senate approves his appointment. “Andy has proven himself to be a champion for education,” Fallin said. “That is what

our state needs as we try to close the skills gap that has left nearly 80,000 jobs unfilled in Oklahoma because of a lack of qualified candidates.” Lester is a partner in the Edmond law firm Lester, Loving and Davies. His areas of emphasis include constitutional, employment, local government, civil rights and general business litigation. He also has taught at the Oklahoma City University College of Law as an adjunct professor since 1988. Lester earned his law degree and a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University in 1981. He

graduated from Duke University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in history. Lester is a deacon at First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City and has served on the board of advisors for the Salvation Army’s Oklahoma City command since 2002. He also is part of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Davis Re-Appointed to Board of Regents for Oklahoma A&M Colleges


ov. Mary Fallin has re-appointed Rick Davis to the Board of Regents for Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. He has served on the board since 2011, when he was appointed to fill an unexpired term. Davis, of Guthrie, is one of the governor’s three at-large appointees to the ninemember board, which also includes the



president of the Oklahoma State Board of Agriculture and representatives from each of Oklahoma’s five congressional districts. “Rick has done an outstanding job of using his agricultural background to bolster state colleges overseen by the Board of Regents for Oklahoma A&M Colleges,” Fallin said. “I am confident he will continue to guide those institutions as they raise the bar for education in our state, ensuring a bright future for their graduates.” Davis’ new eight-year term as regent must be confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate. Davis is managing general partner of Davis Farms, a family-owned farming operation with wheat, beef and dairy production in Logan County. He is also managing general partner of Dimmitt Hay, a hay production and

supply company based in Guthrie. Davis graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. He was recognized as one of the university’s top 10 senior men in 1983. He is a member of Harmony Community Church and the Guthrie Rotary Club, as well as serving on the board of the Logan County Farm Bureau since 1988. Davis and his wife, Pam, have two adult children and one grandson.

State Revenue Shortfall


olleges and Universities throughout Oklahoma are faced with the impact of the state’s budget shortfall. While administrators struggle with the reality of this mid-year budget cut, employees face the possibility of job losses, departmental budget cuts, pay cuts, and more. In an effort to calm fears and promote transparency, the administrators at Connors State College took an unusual approach. For months the President, Dr. Tim Faltyn, has sent regular communications concerning the budget situation. Recently, administrators took these messages further by conducting open-forum meetings with faculty and staff. “Our people are our most valuable asset,” said Faltyn. “These are real people, doing real jobs, and changing real lives for the positive. They deserve my honesty in this situation, even if the news isn’t ideal.” According to Preston Doerflinger, Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology for the state of Oklahoma, low oil prices are to blame for the shortfall. As a result, the General Revenue Fund collections were well below the FY16 budgeted amount, forcing the state to declare a revenue failure and withhold state appropriations to numerous state agencies and organizations. The 6.5 percent cut to Connors State College equates to more the $442,000 for FY16. “The initial budget cut was painful, but something we could handle,” said Faltyn,

referring to the three and a half percent cut forced on the College last fall. “Being notified of the cuts on December 23, that more cuts are to be enforced by January 1, makes it far more difficult.” In response to the state’s revenue failure, Connors executives are exploring a wide range of options to make up the difference they will not receive from the state. “We are looking for ways to be fair and equitable to our faculty and staff,” said Faltyn, “while never losing sight of our mission or the forward progress of the college.” Connors has experienced enrollment growth in five out of the last six semesters. The graduation rate has increased 43 percent in the past four years. Fundraising is at an all-time high, and the perceptions and attitudes about CSC within the communities served have consistently improved. Faltyn opened the faculty and staff forums by explaining the budgetary conditions using the latest information available. He shared with the audience how through their strength and commitment, he has grown as a leader and now understands the most difficult decisions are always made better with input from the Connors’ family. “I have realized that we are much better together than I could ever be alone,” he said. While the facts of the situation presented at the forums were not positive, both faculty and staff expressed their appreciation for the honesty in which the information was communicated. Many long-term employees were positive in their responses, remembering previous tough times for the college. “Our history is full of challenges and times the institution was threatened,” said Dr. Ron Ramming, VP for Academic and Student Services. “Our people are extremely resilient. They have grit, and we have always come out on the back end of these situations stronger.”



onnors State College Registrar and Director of Admissions and Advisement, Kwanna King, was named Vice-President of New Membership and Mentor for the Oklahoma Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (OACRAO) for the 2015-2016 year. Being a member of OACRAO allows college registrars and admissions officers t0 discuss important topics concerning admissions processes, international student registry, updates from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and other closely related functions at collegiate institutions. “I am innately fond of discovering ways to help individuals identify their abilities,” said King. “In my current role at Connors, I have direct contact with the students and I am able to stress the importance of reaching their educational, vocational, and life goals.” King’s advice to students comes from experience. At the University of Oklahoma she was a member of Gamma Beta Phi, then, at Bacone College she was a member of Alpha Chi and Phi Theta Kappa. She has also been in Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities, Leadership Tulsa-New Voices Board Internship recipient 2011 and a CSC President’s Cabinet member. At CSC, King is responsible for the day-today operations of the Office of the Registrar and Office of Admissions for the campuses in Muskogee and Warner. She also confers degrees at the end of each semester, all tasks that prepare her for her role with OACRAO.



Campus Life

Baseball Celebrates Retiree Elinor Reynolds: Longtime cafeteria employee Elinor Reynolds recently retired, prompting the Cowboy Baseball team to present her with an autographed batting helmet and autographed ball. Reynolds served as mother, grandmother and friend to all of the Connors State Baseball players and coaches, past and present, when they were a long way from home. She will always be a part of the Cowboy Baseball family.



I Jon Dallis, digital content administrator, took Connors to Daytona Beach, Florida, for New Year’s Eve. 14


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:

2015 Financial Information STATE APPROPRIATIONS










FY 2014






7 298






6 311








FY 2016


$353,954 $325,584 OKLAHOMA PROMISE

FY 2015




*Note: Enrollment numbers are cumulative, unduplicated for the academic year as set forth by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The academic year consists of Summer, Fall, Spring – ie. Summer ‘14, Fall ‘14, Spring ‘15. Data based on OSRHE preliminary enrollment information as of the 11th class day of each semester.

*Note: Retention numbers are cumulative, unduplicated for the academic year as set forth by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The academic year consists of Summer, Fall, Spring – ie. Summer ‘14, Fall ‘14, Spring ‘15. Data based on enrollment information as of the 14th week of each semester.

ENDOWMENT GROWTH $1,424,082 $663,769 $644,661 $612,521 $596,134


2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 *Total Amount Raised Since 2011

$4,137,886 $3,032,975 $1,809,339 $1,134,352 $905,435 CONNORS CONNECTION


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

In the first NJCAA poll of 2016, the Cowboy Basketball Team ranks No. 6 nationally. To see all athletic team rosters, schedules, photos, news and more, visit



Connection: Volume 6, Number 1  

A publication of Connors State College in Warner and Muskogee, Oklahoma -- the Connection: Volume 6, Number 1.

Connection: Volume 6, Number 1  

A publication of Connors State College in Warner and Muskogee, Oklahoma -- the Connection: Volume 6, Number 1.