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A Publication of Connors State College

V O L U M E

Commencement Issue

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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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THR 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 IN TERIM PRESID ENT Dr. Ronald S. Ramming I N TE R IM V IC E PRESID ENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS Dr. Julie Dinger V IC E PRESID ENT FOR FISCAL SERVICES Mike Lewis

CONNECTION LA YOUT & D ESIGN Stacy Pearce CONT RIBUT ORS Dr. Ryan Blanton Von Castor Jonathan Dallis Jake Lawson Clint Mefford Brandon Miller Stacy Pearce Cindy Anderson Jake Walker

3 COMMUNITY 7 C O W B OY FA M I LY 9 AT H L E T I C S 11 E D U C AT I O N 15 C A M P U S L I F E 19 F E AT U R E

C om m enc em ent R am m i ng N am ed I nt er i m P res i dent N urs i ng P i nning A l um ni & Fr i ends R eunion B ul l Tes t S al e • G at or G i veaway

Meet Deese, Dinger, Cagle and Ar mstrong Year in Review: Rodeo, Shooting and Livestock Judging Young Named NJCAA Player of the Week South Ranch Shootout Wet l ands N am ed for Woods Wom ack E ar ns F FA Award P T K I nduc t i on

Take B ack t he N ight

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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 College History

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onnors State College recently celebrated its 107th graduating class. Approximately 613 degrees and certificates were awarded, making it the largest commencement in Connors’ history. “We are very proud of our students,” said Registrar Kwanna King. “They have worked hard and have met all of the requirements for graduation.” The Commencement Ceremony was held May 6, 2016, at the Muskogee Civic Center. City of Muskogee Mayor Bob Coburn was the keynote speaker and

imparted excellent words of wisdom to the graduates. Coburn spoke of family and his education, encouraging students to continue to learn and to never give in when times are tough. “Learning does not stop in the classroom,” said Coburn. “It continues throughout life. Reading from a book is a great thing, but it’s how you apply the process learned that is most important.” Sharon Greenmyer, the 2016 Faculty of the Year, proudly led the procession

carrying the college mace, which is embedded with CSC history. Connors outgoing president Dr. Tim Faltyn was Master of Ceremonies for the evening, while Paul Bright, Mr. Connors and SGA President, and Regent Joe D. Hall, Chairman of the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents, both welcomed the crowd and offered congratulations to graduates. Also representing the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents were Regent Tucker Link and Regent Rick Davis.

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Dr. Ron Ramming named the Interim President of Connors State College

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n May 16, 2016, the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents voted unanimously to name Dr. Ron Ramming the Interim President of Connors State College. Ramming, a 26-year employee of Connors, currently serves as the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “Ron’s commitment and dedication to Connors State make him an excellent choice,” said Joe Hall, Chairman of the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents. “The Board has confidence in Dr. Ramming to lead the college during this transition.” “There’s no doubt in my mind that Connors is poised for another chapter of excellence under the leadership of Dr. Ron Ramming,” said outgoing CSC President, Dr. Tim Faltyn. “Dr. Ramming is a respected academic

leader not only within the A&M system, but across the state and nation, as well.” Ramming, a 1985 graduate of CSC, returned to Connors in 1990 as an agricultural instructor and assistant livestock judging coach and rose through the ranks to Senior Vice President. He holds an Associate of Science from Connors State, a Bachelor of Science from Oklahoma State University, a Master of Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. Connors State College was originally founded as an agricultural junior college in Warner 108 years ago. While Ramming’s roots are in agriculture, his leadership was instrumental in increasing degree production by 39 percent since 2011.

“I am honored and humbled by the Board’s decision to be named as the Interim President,” said Ramming. “We will continue to work hard to keep the progress and momentum we have built over the last five years, and continue building Connors as a college of excellence.”

Connors Pins 43 New Nursing Graduates

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onnors celebrated the graduation of 43 new nurses in a pinning and candle lighting ceremony held May 6, 2016, in the Fine Arts Auditorium on the Warner Campus. Graduates were pinned by a faculty, staff, family member or friend of their choice, and provided with a Bible courtesy of the Gideon’s International Auxiliary. “The ceremony signifies the students’ official initiation into the brotherhood and sisterhood of nurses,” said Joyce Johnson, Division Chair for Nursing & Allied Health. “The ceremony is rich with symbolism. It is the rite of passage which can be traced all the way back to the twelfth century.” The modern ceremony dates back to 6

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the 1860s, when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her diligent service to the injured during the Crimean War. To share the honor, she in turn presented a medal of excellence to her brightest graduates. By 1916, the practice of pinning new graduates was standard throughout the United States. Student speakers Kelly Jones, Autumn Kirkpatrick, Emilie Fite and Jennifer Fulk gave tribute to their nursing school memories, fellow students and faculty, while Stephen McClurg and Chasity Ross performed “Whenever You Remember.” Traditional Graduates: Jessika Baird, Jessye Brown, Lindsey Byrd, Jaycie Cox,

Larissa Frazier, Cortney Giles, Kristen Hemphill, Amanda Hickman, Kelly Jones, Autumn Kirkpatrick, Alyssa Langford, Bailey McClellan, Stephen McClurg, Lenia Moore, Melissa Ogletree, Chasity Ross, Brittany Swinford, Amelia Tinnin, Emily Wilson. Career Ladder Graduates: Tyler Agee, Jawnna Brooks, Riley Bunch, Bennette Canady, Brandy Chiles, Danny Dause, Kathy Dicus, Akilah Dillingham, Stephanie Dyer, Ashley Eaton, Lani Falwell, Emilie Fite, Jennifer Fulk, Lane Hoffmeister, Ashley Jameson, Ginevra Kinnell, KayLee Mizell, Joseph Moore, Tara Moore, Misty Morris, Heather Pendley, Daniell Smith, Jennifer Thompson, Terri Winklepleck.


Community

Alumni & Friends Gather For Reunion and Inductions

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n Saturday, April 30, 2016, Connors State College hosted its annual Alumni and Friends Banquet and Reunion. More than 120 alumni, friends, staff and students attended the event in the A.D. Stone Student Union on the Warner Campus. “The reunion is a time to share memories, see 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, extraordinary alumni are inducted into the Connors State College Alumni Hall of Fame. Debra Evans, James Cagle, and Dr. Tim Faltyn were the 2016 honorees. Evans, a 1978 CSC graduate, has been an Oklahoma educator for 28 years. She was named an Oklahoma State Superintendent of Schools Master Teacher five times, was a NASA NEW Teacher and a Space Foundation teacher liaison, and is a National Board Certified Secondary Science teacher. To strive to always do your best, to work hard, and to do the things you love are all things Evans says she learned at Connors. Cagle, a 1958 graduate, was a member of the football, basketball and baseball teams at Connors, and for the 1957-58 season was voted Best All-Around Athlete and All-Conference Honorable Mention in football. With a teaching and coaching career that spanned 50 years, two states,

and high school and collegiate systems, Cagle earned numerous accolades and championships. A two-time Who’s Who Among Teachers national nominee, Cagle’s dedication to the betterment of young lives cannot be matched. Although not a CSC alumnus, Dr. Tim Faltyn, Connors State College outgoing president, was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dr. Faltyn was recognized for the improvements he’s made to the campus and for his exceptional service to the college in his five years of employment. “For anyone who knows me, they know that it’s hard to surprise me with anything,” said Dr. Faltyn. “I usually have my thumb on the various activities across campus, but this induction comes as a complete surprise. Thank you for honoring me in this way – it’s been an honor to serve Connors for the past five years.” 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. Students from the President’s Leadership Class provided tours of campus and reminded alumni of one of the most important reasons for their organization – to raise money for the Alumni and Friends Scholarship Fund. The soft opening of the Ken Ogdon Connors State College Museum in the north wing of Russell Hall highlighted this year’s reunion. In a one-day-only show, the

Museum featured the works of alumnus Earl Strebeck, a 1960 Connors State College graduate and retired high school art teacher. “Today, I have on display a small retrospect of my work starting in 1954,” said Strebeck. “I have only one painting that I completed at Connors, “A Portrait of Mrs. Lucille Hurd”. My work is a variety of styles because, as a teacher, I had to be knowledgeable and teach all the styles of Art from Realism to Abstract.” Through the generosity of the Ogdon family, once open, the museum will feature a historical display of Connors throughout the past 108 years, plus community and Native American art displays. In addition to the Museum, Russell Hall, which is set to open in Summer 2016, will be the home of the Title III Native American Success and Cultural Center. Event photos online at: www.facebook.com/ConnorsState.

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Bull Test Sale Averages $3,088 Per Head

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n Thursday, April 14, the Connors State College Spring Performance Bull Test Sale garnered more than $210,050 in sales, despite an uncertain beef cattle market. Sale day, cattle breeders and buyers from across the Midwest packed into the CSC Sale Facility in Warner, Oklahoma, while others placed bids online. The 68 bulls on display sold for an average of $3,088 per head. “There is a great deal of uncertainty in the beef market at the present time, so

we are pleased with the outcome of this spring sale,” said Dr. Ron Ramming, Interim Connors State College President. “This success was the result of a tremendous set of bulls that were offered by the breeders as well as the hard work and dedication of the farm crew and our students.” The top-earning bulls sold for $6,500 each – Lot 465, a Simmental consigned by Willis Simmentals of Marietta, Oklahoma, and sold to Gene Bennett of Gentry, Arkansas; and Lot 486, a Sim-Angus

consigned by Clark Farms of Westville, Oklahoma, and sold to River Road Farms of Tonkawa, Oklahoma. Breeders from across Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri put their bulls on test at Connors, where they are evaluated for growth performance, structural soundness, and fertility.

Gator Give-Away Raises Funds and Entertains

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he annual Gator Give-Away garnered nearly 300 tickets sold for fundraising on May 7, 2016, in support of the Livestock Judging Team at the Shriners Temple in Muskogee, Oklahoma. A great time was had by all as numerous former judging team members, coaches, faculty and community leaders were in attendance

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to exhibit support for the team. Every year the judging team students sell tickets for a chance to win a John Deere Gator from Grissoms in Checotah. This year’s lucky winner of the revered gator was none other than the Womack family of Morris, Oklahoma. Not only are they staunch supporters of CSC agriculture, but

the family is also composed of both former and current students. Both a silent and live auction were also held at the illustrious event. CSC graduating sophomore Jake Grossnicklaus of Chickasha, Oklahoma, served as the auctioneer for the evening, selling everything from Angus cattle genetics to BBQ food items.


Cowboy Family Michael Deese, Staff

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oach Michael Deese has made the ballfield his home for his entire career. Deese, the recently named Interim Head Softball Coach, began his stint at Connors in 2012 as the Assistant Cowgirl Softball Coach. Deese is a graduate of Penn State University, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and is a NASM certified Performance Enhancement Specialist. Currently, he is working on a Masters in Sports Administration through East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. Deese joined Connors State from the Auburn University staff where he served as a hitting instructor working with the Tigers’ outfielders, infielders and catchers. While at Connors, Deese has been

instrumental in the development of the team and in the careers of his players. Since his arrival in 2012, Connors State has had one First Team All-American, 10 First Team All-Region selections, eight Second Team All-Region selections, eight Third Team All-Region selections, one Marucci Elite Hitter Award Winner (Nations Best Hitter), and three university transfers. When talking about his time with the Cowgirls, Deese always brings the conversation back to the players, saying they’re the ones who deserve all the praise. “The players that have come through have set a great foundation,” said Deese. “They’ve all bought into a system that works, which sets a high bar for the future as we start to

build a championship mindset and way of life. Connors State College and the Cowgirl Softball program both provide a unique experience that I hope will always hold a special place in the hearts of every player.”

Dr. Julie Dinger, Faculty

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r. Julie Dinger, Interim Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, graduated in May with a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma after defending a dissertation entitled, “An Investigation into the Demographic and Macrosocial Causes of Six Greenhouse Gases.” Dinger, who also holds a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, has worked at CSC since January 2010. “Dr. Dinger is a tremendous asset to our college and community,” said Interim President Dr. Ron Ramming. “Her dedication to the college and our students is a major factor in our success the past

few years, and I know I speak for the entire Connors State community when I say we are very proud of Dr. Dinger’s accomplishment.” In addition to classroom teaching, Dinger is also the Division Chair for Social Sciences, overseeing several degree programs and faculty. Dinger also works in Academic Affairs overseeing accreditation and curriculum activities, and has co-sponsored student clubs including the Social Sciences Club and the Native American Student Association. Dinger, whose leadership was recognized with the 2015 Spirit of Excellence Award from the Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce, says she feels a calling to work at a rural community college. “Connors State College is the perfect fit for me professionally and personally,” said Dinger. “Higher education is the key to so many opportunities, and the mission of Connors fits my professional goals of serving students and helping bring educational experiences to anyone who

wants them.” Dinger says Connors has made a tremendous impact on her life. “I have been given so many opportunities to grow and take on challenges while at Connors,” said Dinger. “I am grateful that I get to be involved in so many different aspects of the college experience, Connors has helped me develop my potential as a leader.”

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James Cagle, Alumnus

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ames Cagle attended Connors State College from 1956-1958 where he lettered in football his freshman year and in football, basketball and baseball his sophomore year. He was voted Best All-Around Athlete in 1957-58 and received Honorable Mention, All-Conference in football in 1957-58. Cagle then attended East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, where he continued playing football, basketball and baseball, lettering in all three sports his junior and senior years. It was here that he received a Bachelor of Science in Education. He continued his education at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, receiving a Master of Education and Minor in Math and P.E. His teaching and coaching career began in Allen, Oklahoma. Later, Cagle was head basketball coach at Olton High School, Midland High School, and Duncanville

Jae Armstrong, Student

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ae Armstrong has high aspirations for her life, and Connors State is helping her achieve her goals. When she was younger, she wanted to be famous, but now the 19-year-old from Tahlequah is setting her sights on a different career. “I decided, with the help of my mom, that I wanted to go to nursing school to get my RN,” said Armstrong. “Then, to further my education I plan to either go to medical school or to be a nurse practitioner.” Her mother, Lynelle Armstrong, will be starting her fourth semester of nursing school in the fall at Connors State. “Connors has one of the best nursing programs in Oklahoma,” said Armstrong. “It allows me to get a high-quality education at an affordable price.” Armstrong is part of the Phi Theta

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Kappa Honor Society at Connors State, received the Composition II English award in the spring and obtained many notable awards during her high school career. Her drive to help others can be seen in other aspects of her life. “I’m the worship leader at Abundant Life Fellowship in Tahlequah,” said Armstrong. “I also teach tumbling classes at ‘Cheer It Up!’, and I will be the third one in my family to have gone through the Connors nursing program.” Armstrong is the youngest of four in her family, and after getting her RN, she plans to move on to receive her BSN. “Once I get my BSN, I will be moving to Australia to attend Hillsong College where I will receive my credentials to be a worship pastor,” said Armstrong.

High School, from where he retired from coaching in 1984. He was named District 8, SA Coach of the Year in 1984 and District 9 SA Coach of the Year in 1971, 1972, and 1973. Throughout his coaching career, his teams won five district championships, two regional championships, state semi-finalist, and finalist. In addition, he coached the Texas All-Star Game North in 1974. He is ranked as number 80 on Former Texas Basketball High School Coaches Honor Page, with 531 wins and 227 losses. Cagle continued his career teaching both high school and community college math until 2011 - a total of 50 years. In 1989-1990, he received the Excellence in Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty, Science/Math/PE at Mountain View Community College in Dallas, Texas. Also, he was listed in Who’s Who Among Teachers in 1996 and 2002.


Athletics

Shotgun Shooting Sports Team 2015-2016 Highlights

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he 2015-2016 Connors State Shooting Sports team, led by coach Brandon Miller, has had an impressive year. On September 19-20, 2015, the shooting team traveled to Hays, Kansas, to compete in the invitational shoot hosted by the Fort Hays shooting team. Despite the howling wind, the team managed to take third place in skeet for the shoot. Tyler Fletcher finished second in the five-stand competition. On October 2, 2015, the team then headed to Pacific, Missouri, to compete in the Central Midwest Conference Championship. Shooting against some of the largest schools in the country, the team brought home first in sporting clays, second in trap, third in skeet, first overall female, and fourth place team. Miranda Harshbarger of Pawnee, Oklahoma, was the star shooter for the Connors team, taking four of the five awards listed above. The shooters then traveled to southeastern Arkansas for the first time to shoot in the Super Shoot at the Delta Resort and Spa. This was the first college shoot at the brand new facility. Tyler Fletcher of Stilwell, Oklahoma, walked away with third place after the

sporting clay competition and a shoot-off and also fourth individual in American Skeet. Mason Dobbs of Eufaula earned a seventh place in American Trap. The team earned third in the overall completion. This competition is a combination of all shooting disciplines. The hot Texas sun kept the end of the barrel hot with many rounds being shot as the team competed at the National Shooting Complex. Miranda Harshbarger busted 96/100 targets, earning her second place in the trap shooting competition, third in American Skeet, and fourth overall female at the competition. Danny Phillips of Stilwell and Reece Harvey of Hydro, Oklahoma, earned sixth and seventh, respectively, in the men’s trap shooting. The team took fourth place in the overall award. Connors State Shooting Team attended the National College Shoot in San Antonio, March 31 through April 3, 2016, at the National Shooting Complex. The National Shooting Complex is one of the premier shooting facilities in the world, spanning 671 acres. Tyler Fletcher of Stilwell made a shoot-off competition in trap, breaking 99/100 targets. Miranda Harshbarger was

in the female shoot-offs, breaking 98/100 targets. The team took seventh place out of 49 in Division 3 trap. Harshbarger has signed with Fort Hays State University Shooting Team and will attend class there this fall. The CSC Shooting Team had the prestigious honor of winning both the attendance award, of 92 percent, and the GPA award, of 3.1, given by the Division of Agriculture at Connors State College. This award included numbers from every member of the team. This was the first time the awards were given and a plaque will be hung in the Division of Agriculture Office. This award is earned by the shooter’s hard work in the classroom and should serve as evidence to the amount of hard work and determination the shooters have exerted.

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Livestock Judging Team Year End Report

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he 2015-2016 Connors State College Livestock Judging Team, led by coaches Clint Mefford and Nolan Hildebrand, had a very busy schedule. The team spent many hours and miles on the road experiencing essential workouts in preparation for the numerous contests across the country. The team finished the year strong, while one student, Justin Jensen of El Reno, Oklahoma, was named to the 2016 All-American Team, for excellence not only in judging competition, but also in academics. The judgers began their season in September at the Barrow Show in Austin, Minnesota. In a close contest, Connors placed sixth overall in the swine contest and fourth in reasons. Clark Reuter was eighth in reasons, talking a perfect 50 on Berkshire gilts, and was 13th overall. Kolby Coday tied for 13th overall, while Mattison Barnes was 13th in reasons. At the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, the

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freshmen judging team placed fourth in sheep; fifth in swine; fourth in cattle; and were named fourth overall. The sophomores placed fourth in sheep, fifth in swine, second in cattle, and fourth in oral reasons. Individually, Kaylee Casey, Jensen, Tanner Burton, and Barnes placed seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th, respectively, in cattle. The Tulsa State Fair Livestock Judging Contest saw much individual and team success. The sophomores placed fourth overall, second in oral reasons, and third in swine. Individual sophomore placings: Shannon Tacy - 11th in reasons, first in swine, 10th overall; Jensen - 10th in cattle; Kaleb Fontenot - sixth in reasons, third in swine; Casey - ninth in reasons, 10th in sheep, sixth in swine, ninth overall; Reuter 10th in reasons; Paige Stevens - seventh in sheep; and Payton Sweeten – fifth in swine. Individual freshman placings: Anna Scott -- ninth in cattle; Zane Blubaugh -- fifth in sheep; Amber Wright -- third in swine. The team competed for individual

awards at the Buck Cattle Company Livestock Judging contest in Madill, Oklahoma, during their annual fall heifer sale. Brett Jones placed third overall and Zach Donley placed fifth. Team placings at the American Royal were as follows: fifth in oral reasons; fourth in sheep and goats; ninth overall. Individually, Jensen was third in sheep, fourth in reasons and 10th overall; while Reuter was seventh in sheep. The Connors State College Livestock Judging Team continued to improve as they competed successfully in a close contest at the 2015 North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. Individually: Tacy of Bend, Oregon, placed 10th in swine; while Jensen placed ninth in sheep, second in swine, sixth in reasons, and was 11th overall. Team placings: fourth in sheep; first in swine, performance swine and swine reasons; sixth in oral reasons; and seventh overall. John Nelson placed second overall at


Young Named NJCAA D1 Player of the Week

J the annual Griswold Cattle Co. Livestock Judging Contest in December. At the Fort Worth contest, results were as follows: Individually, Jensen finished second in swine; third in horses; third in cattle; third in reasons and second overall. The Connors State Team finished third in horses; fourth in cattle; fourth in reasons; and fifth overall. During the Dixie National in Jackson, Mississippi, Connors placed second overall. Individually: Jensen placed third overall; Reuter placed fourth overall; Casey placed sixth overall; and Scott, Chris Hart, Zach Studer, and Tacy all placed in cattle divisions. At San Antonio, Connors placed sixth overall, while Tacy was the ninth individual overall. Recently at Houston, Jensen was one of the 15 recipients named to the 20152016 Junior College All American Team, for achievements in both livestock judging competition and academic excellence. This is the highest honor bestowed among livestock judging contestants. “Being named to the All-American team is akin to joining a very select club, as many of today’s top industry leaders hold this honor,” said coach Mefford. “We are proud of Justin and all of his accomplishments this year.” “We would like to say thank you to all the farms, ranches, and individuals who have helped us on our journey this year,” said Mefford. “We look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence with our upcoming teams this fall.”

ared Young graduated on May 6, 2016 from Connors State and it would be safe to say he’s pretty happy with his report card, finishing his final semester in business studies with a 3.94 GPA and his marks on the baseball diamond are equally impressive. The 20-year-old Cowboys second baseman from Prince George, British Columbia, Canada has been one of the top players on his team ever since he arrived late last summer to the campus. With the Cowboys’ season coming to a close, Young posted some out-of-this-world numbers with his bat and was selected as the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1 player of the week for the week of April 25-May 1. In four games over two days against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M - all wins for the Cowboys - Young hit for a .722 batting average, collecting six doubles, and one home run while batting in six runs and scoring six runs himself. He also stole his second base of the season that week. Young delivered all season at the plate. In 51 games he has 85 hits (10th in the NJCAA) and his team-leading .486 batting average ranks sixth in the country. He’s

hit for 15 doubles, one triple and 11 home runs, has walked 32 times and has 52 RBI. His on-base percentage is .569 (10th in Division 1). He has 135 total bases and his slugging percentage is .771 (both conference highs). Young is moving on to the NCAA Division 1 Old Dominion University Monarchs later this summer, based in Norfolk, Virginia.

South Ranch Shootout

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he Connors State College Shooting Sports Team recently hosted the South Ranch Shootout, a trap & skeet shooting competition, on April 12, 2016. The shootout was held on the newly named Dr. Stuart Woods Shooting Sports Facility and Wetlands on the Harding Ranch, south of the Warner campus. The Shooting Sports team hosted 16 different schools from across the state, with more than 180 trap and skeet shooters over a four-day period taking aim. For the first time, the team also hosted an archery competition, which attracted more than 70

archery shooters. “We were interested to see how the archery competition would do since it was our first competition, but were very pleased with the results,” said Brandon Miller, Wildlife Instructor and Shooting Sports Coach. “We appreciate everyone that helped us make this event a success.” Connors State hosts the shootout once per semester, providing Oklahoma FFA chapters more opportunities to shoot. Within the last five years, shooting sports participation have exponentially grown among area schools.

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Rodeo Team Wraps Up Season With Carney Headed to CNFR

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he National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Central Plains Region (CPR) wrapped up the 2015-2016 season at the Doc Gardner Rodeo held by Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Guymon, Oklahoma. During the rodeo, Connors State College’s Ryder Gann qualified for the short round in the tie-down roping. Jeremy Carney, of Skiatook, and Brayden Cox, of Spiro, won the team roping short round and average. The pair each took home Tres Rios champion buckles, prize money, and 150 CPR points, which catapulted them from seventh in the regional standings to finish fourth for the year end award. “These young men went out and did exactly what they had to do to make a run at the third place position,” said Jake Walker, CSC rodeo coach. “Unfortunately, they came up a mere 10 points short.” Good news and bad news: to earn a berth to the Collegiate National Finals, the Carney/Cox team needed to finish in the top three. The good news is, as a

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Student Director for the Region, SWOSU’s Alex Phelps has an automatic bid to the finals and will need a partner – the fourth place header, Carney – to rope with him in Casper, Wyoming. The CNFR starts on Sunday, June 12 and ends Saturday, June 18, 2016. “It is always exciting that a student can earn their way to the finals in our region,” said Jake Lawson, CSC rodeo coach. “This is certainly a hard task, because of the steep competition from top to bottom.” Connors State College had 15 team members earn NIRA college rodeo points for the 2015-2016 Season: Jeremy Carney, Skiatook, Oklahoma – Team Roping 4th in Region, Calf Roping 12th in Region, CNFR Qualifier, Garden City Community College Champion All-Around Cowboy, OPSU Champion Team Roper Brayden Cox, Spiro, Oklahoma – Team Roping – 4th in Region, OPSU Champion Team Roper Sam Stamper, Mounds, Oklahoma

– Team Roping – 7th in Region – Kansas State Champion Team Roper Zach Brown, Ilion, New York – Bull Riding – 15th in Region Taylor Parsley, Lowell, Arkansas – Team Roping – 20th in Region Cody Mathis, Bentonville, Arkansas – Team Roping – 20th in Region Leah Graber, Muskogee, Oklahoma – Barrel Racing – 21st in Region Nik Miller, Clayton, Oklahoma – Calf Roping - 23rd in Region Rontrey Burkhalter, Ardmore, Oklahoma – Calf Roping – 25th in Region Britten Wallace, Allen, Oklahoma – Breakaway Roping - 27th in Region De’Andre Goudeau, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Calf Roping - 35th in Region Ryder Gann, Tahlequah, Oklahoma – Team Roping Point Earner Colby Carpenter, Asher, Oklahoma – Team Roping Point Earner Zalin Edwards, Pawhuska, Oklahoma – Calf Roping Point Earner.


Education

CSC Dedicates Dr. Stuart Woods Shooting Sports Complex and Wetlands

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he Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents joined Connors State College faculty and staff along with a host of others to dedicate the Dr. Stuart Woods Shooting Sports Complex and Wetlands at the CSC Gary Harding Research Ranch on Friday, April 22, 2016. “We are blessed to have hardworking men like Dr. Stuart Woods as part of the Connors State family,” said Dr. Tim Faltyn, Connors State College outgoing president. “Dedicating this facility and wetlands to Dr. Woods is fitting, as his work in the community and at the college through the years have helped set the stage for our research ranch’s success.” The Gary Harding Research Ranch, just south of Warner, provides a unique learning environment for students in agriculture, ecology and wildlife management. With more than 1,300 acres of ranch,

timbered hardwoods, lakes, wetlands and trails, Connors State College provides an exceptional educational opportunity for students interested in agriculture, ecology, and outdoor shooting sports. “It is such an honor to have the Connors State College Shooting Sports Complex and Wetlands dedicated to me,” said Dr. Stuart Woods, CSC biology instructor. “Years ago, when Gary Harding and I worked together to acquire the land, the thought of turning it into a first-class outdoor classroom and ranch was exciting. We often talked about the ‘South Ranch’ as being a journey, and we’ve now officially reached a milestone. I only wish I knew how many thousands of kids have had the opportunity to experience the ranch, wetlands and shooting facility, and how many will in the future.” The addition of the wetlands to the

South Ranch make Connors State College a ‘Partner for Fish and Wildlife’ with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a member of the North American Waterfowl Management plan. “Years ago, we were right – we built it and they did come,” said Woods. “This dedication, on the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, was a milestone; but milestones will come and go, while the journey continues. The future is uncertain, but if we will take care of nature and the kids, then there’s a future for both.” With the only junior collegiate shotgun sports program and complex in the state, the CSC Shotgun Shooting Sports Club attracts a wide range of students to campus. Students on the Shooting Sports Team compete in American Trap and Skeet. “We are very fortunate to have this

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first-class shooting facility for our students,” said Brandon Miller, CSC Shotgun Shooting Sports Coach. “Not only does it allow the team to be better prepared for competition, but also the college is able to host regional tournaments for 4-H and FFA

members. The complex itself is a great recruiting tool, with exciting expansions in the works for the future.” At the conclusion of the dedication ceremony, many of the attendees, each paired with a Shotgun Shooting Sports

Team member, participated in a skeet shooting competition. When the clays were tallied, and a tie-breaker complete, Dr. Faltyn took home top honors. Oklahoma A&M Regent Doug Burns was runner-up.

In a historic campus event, Connors State faculty, staff, students, and members of the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents took an aerial photo in front of the newly renovated A.D. Stone Student Union on the Warner campus. More than 300 members of the Connors State family posed for the photo. Framed photos were given to all in attendance and the image was used as part of the “We Are Connors State” campaign. 16

VOLUME 6 NUMBER 4


Womack Earns Agricultural Sales Entrepreneurship State FFA Proficiency Award

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Connors State College freshman Brady Womack earned first-place honors in the 2016 Oklahoma FFA Agricultural Sales Entrepreneurship Proficiency Award area during the 90th annual Oklahoma FFA Convention on April 27. Womack said his supervised agricultural experience includes owning and operating a poultry and livestock feed business, B-5 Enterprises. Womack expanded his feed business to show and farm supplies, and attends livestock shows and auctions to market his business. “Owning and operating B-5 Enterprises is definitely the most challenging experience I have encountered,” Womack said. “It is exciting to have an increase in demand, although keeping operating cash and inventory on hand can be a challenge.” Womack said, while operating his business, he has developed marketing and advertising skills, which has increased

overall sales. The agricultural sales entrepreneurship proficiency award is designed to recognize students who are involved in a supervised agricultural experience related to sale of feed, seed, fertilizer or agricultural chemicals. Students also may own businesses involving the sales of agricultural equipment, machinery or structures. Activities may include the merchandising of crops, livestock, processed agricultural commodities, horticultural or forestry items at either the retail or wholesale level. The 20-year-old Morris FFA member is the son of Monte and Reina Womack. His agricultural education instructors and FFA advisers are Mick Clark and Bill Golden. Womack plans to work towards his American FFA Degree and National Proficiency Award while attending Connors State College. He plans to attend Oklahoma State University and study agricultural education.

This award is sponsored on the state level by the owners of Redgate Cattle Co., Max and Debra Redgate and John and Chancey Hanson, and Livingston Machinery. The national sponsor is Crop Production Services, and the sponsor for the $1,000 state winner scholarship is Choctaw County Fair Board. FFA is an integral part of the Agricultural Education division in the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education system. With more than 27,000 members and 359 chapters, the Oklahoma FFA Association is the fourth-largest state FFA association. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. To learn more about the Oklahoma FFA, visit okffa.org.

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Phi Theta Kappa Inducts 27 New Members

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n Wednesday, April 13, 2016, the Connors State College Mu Chi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa inducted 27 new members in their spring ceremony held in the Regent’s Room on the Warner campus. Colleen Noble, Phi Theta Kappa Advisor, said the benefits of joining PTK greatly outweigh the cost of membership. “Phi Theta Kappa students are eligible to apply for scholarships for fall and spring competitions,” said Noble. “From our previous competitions we have had a New Century Scholar, Oklahoma All-American Team members, and a Coca-Cola Leader of Promise, among other notable scholars. They also have valuable transfer opportunities to four-year universities, which include a tuition scholarship.” The spring induction ceremony began with the invocation from student Jay Mayes, followed by a welcome message from Julie Dinger, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. As a special guest speaker, former president of the Mu Chi Chapter of PTK, Tiffany Geisler, a Connors State graduate and current RN and BSN, spoke to the inductees and their well-wishing friends and families in attendance about the importance of committing to graduating 18

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and achieving your goals. Geisler was instrumental in implementing the C4 program at Connors State, which stands for Community College Completion Corps, a student led, campus-based effort to increase student success by informing all students about the benefits of completing a degree and the consequences of not. As a result of the national C4 campaign, hundreds of thousands of community college students have pledged to Commit to Complete – accepting responsibility for completing their degrees and promising to help at least one other student complete. In tradition of the ceremony, the new inductees lit a candle, signed the membership book and recited the member’s pledge, solidifying their place in the Mu Chi chapter of PTK, led by Noble and Whitney Ousley, Vice President of Fellowship for Mu Chi and current nursing student. The membership of the organization is exclusive, and only two percent of all college students are invited to join. Noble said membership of Phi Theta Kappa will be listed on a student’s transcript and can be used on a resume for employment. Students even have the opportunity to receive a letter of recommendation from the Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters.

In closing, Dr. Ron Ramming, Interim Connors State College President, assured the students and their families that each student in attendance was on the right path and that the key to success lies within education. Kylie Phillips, previous chapter president of Mu Chi and current Ms. Connors, gave a farewell to Noble, presenting her with a gift of appreciation. “It has been my privilege and pleasure to serve as the PTK advisor,” said Noble. “We truly have the best and the brightest students.” New members inducted include: Krysta Aich, Jeralyn Armstrong, Mikyla Burns, Katie Clinton, Jordan Cochran, Donna Davis, Zalin Edwards, McKenzie Emory, Kristie Gines, Harold Goodman, Rebekah Harlin, Ashley Herrell, Kassandra Hicks, Lauren Hogner, Randy Hopson, Sarah Hughey, Byron Hunt, Raney Johnson, Sherry Johnson, Kassie Kilgore, Nickie Kraft, Tristine Laffoon, Jedediah Leavell, Kiyam McIntosh, Nicole Morenzoni, William Muse, Jr., Micaela Norment, Robert Pille, Paige Raby, Katelyn Rogers, River Rolston, Jaci Upton, Kierra Warrior, Justin Wasson, and Dane West.


Campus Life

‘Take Back the Night’ Sexual Assault Awareness Event

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n Monday, April 25, hundreds of men and women from Connors State College gathered on the Warner campus to rally against sexual violence and ‘Take Back the Night’. The evening began in the Fine Arts Auditorium with a few videos about consent addressing the real statistics of sexual assault, which in the end packed a powerful punch. Dr. Julie Dinger, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, led the event. Dinger spoke of the statistics and talked about how a college campus should be a safe place. Dinger introduced other guest speakers for the evening, including: Dr. Tim Faltyn, outgoing president of Connors State College; Dr. Ron Ramming, Interim Connors State College President; Mike Jackson, Dean of Students; Campus Police Chief James Mendenhall; Perry Keith, Baseball Head Coach; Bill Muse, Men’s Basketball Head Coach; Jamie Fisher, Women’s Basketball Head Coach; and Jake Lawson, Head Rodeo Coach. Each spoke to a similar tone; the dangers of sexual assault are very real and the men and women of Connors are held to a high standard. The coaches told life stories and lessons they had learned in their time, stating these actions are never acceptable and if witnessed the individuals

are encouraged to say something, and no matter what they will believe them. Numerous faculty and staff members in attendance had written short messages on their palms reading “I believe you”, and “You can trust me”, among others, sending a powerful message to those in attendance. “At the core of events like this, it’s about teaching us all how to address the problem proactively,” said Dinger. “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.” Dinger and an outstanding support team then rallied the men and women as they decorated signs, banged drums and marched through the 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 uncomfortable and difficult to discuss, but now more than ever we have to speak out to empower survivors and prevent further violence,” said Dinger. “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 ‘Concert for Consent’ was set up in the parking lot behind the Fine Arts Auditorium. The Austin Cobb Band, a local Red Dirt band from Tahlequah, performed on the stage and Student Life staff provided the rally members with hotdogs and drinks. “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,” said Dr. Faltyn. 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.

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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

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VOLUME 6 NUMBER 4

Connection: Volume 6, Number 4  

A publication of Connors State College in Warner and Muskogee, Oklahoma -- the Connection: Volume 6, Number 4.

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