A Publication of Connors State College
V O L U M E
N U M B E R
McPeak Agriculture Hall of Fame Facility Dedicated
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
N U M B E R
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 Cindy Anderson Dr. Ryan Blanton Wayne Bunch Jonathan Dallis Nolan Hildebrand Brandon Miller Stacy Pearce Libby Schroeder
3 COMMUNITY & E D U C AT I O N 5 C O W B OY FA M I LY 7 AT H L E T I C S 9 CAMPUS LIFE 11 F E AT U R E
M c Peak A gr i c ul t ure H all of Fame D edi c at i on C erem ony Bull Test Sale Brings $150,000 Connors Pins 25 New Nurses Aggie Club Hosts Cattle Show Meet Quesada, Lawson, Schroeder and Nelson B as ket ball S eas on U nderway S hoot i ng Team A im s H igh Lives t ock Judgers C l aim T it les Week of Wonder Christmas Parade
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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McPeak Agriculture Hall of Fame Facility Dedicated
n December 10, Connors State College hosted a dedication ceremony for the newly completed Agriculture Hall of Fame. In honor of his years of service to the institution, the college named the facility for Rep., or as most know him, “Coach”, Jerry McPeak, a livestock judging coach, psychology instructor and Dean of Men for Connors State. “Jerry McPeak is, without a doubt, a man who has left a mark on this college, and deserves a permanent place on this institution,” said Dr. Ron Ramming, Interim President of Connors State College. “I hope the folks heard the reoccurring themes of teams, loyalty, mental toughness, effort – these are the things Coach taught and the way he lives. We could say thank you ‘til next week, but it would never be enough.” The ceremony took place at the Indoor Arena and McPeak Agriculture Hall of Fame facility on the Warner, Oklahoma, campus. In addition to the more than 400 attendees, on hand to make presentations were: former Connors State College
president and current president for Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Dr. Tim Faltyn; Connors alumni Blake Nelson, Karen Sneary, and Bruce Ragsdale; Steve Mullins, former general counsel for Gov. Mary Fallin; and Rep. McPeak’s legislative aide, Janice Stotts. Nelson, Executive Vice President for the American Maine-Anjou Association, relayed that McPeak provided students with an opportunity to be a part of something, and be the best in the nation, while at Connors State College. “You will not find a person, who believes in their kids, more than he does,” said Nelson. “There are many coaches who teach how to be successful in contests, but there are only a few who teach kids to be successful in life.” With a tenure that began in 1978, McPeak taught courses in agriculture and psychology and began his work as coach of the livestock judging team. With an incomparable spirit and a matchless work ethic, he led teams to countless accomplishments and unparalleled success: of 118 contests entered
throughout the 1990s, Connors State ranked in the top 10 in 112 contests, top 5 in 92 contests, and won first place in 22 competitions. Teams won both the American Royal, and the North American International Livestock Exposition in 1997. “My opportunity here was tremendous,” said McPeak on his time at Connors State College. “I got to be around the very best people in the world. We are the heart of America; the very best people in America.” “I got to be around folks who were so good – generations of them,” continued McPeak. “Shoot, we had it made.” Upon leaving Connors, McPeak won a seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, where he served the residents of McIntosh, Muskogee and Wagoner counties from 2004 to 2016. The collective McPeak family has held “Be A Champ Show Cattle and Lamb Camps” at Connors State College for the past 35 years, guiding Oklahoma youth, as well as youth from 37 states and Canada, to gain confidence in the livestock show arena and in life. In addition to the facility being named CONNORS CONNECTION
in his honor, Mullins announced that December 10, 2016, was “Jerry McPeak Day” throughout the state of Oklahoma, as proclaimed by Gov. Mary Fallin. The newly completed agricultural historical display inside the McPeak Agriculture Hall of Fame showcases the college’s agricultural history with information on faculty and staff, teams, the farm and livestock, extension programs and more. According to Dr. Faltyn, the reason you build halls of fame is, when you have a college that has done so many great things for so many years, you have to give
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people a reason to come back. “Why you choose people is different,” said Dr. Faltyn. “You choose people because they make a difference in people’s lives, you choose them because they do the right thing, even when people are not watching, even though they won’t get credit for it.” The historical display was developed by Stacy Pearce, Assistant Director of College & Community Relations; Dr. Ryan Blanton, Director of the Connors Development Foundation; and Debby Golden, Division Chair for Agriculture; with assistance from agriculture instructors
and coaches Jake Walker, Jake Lawson, Brandon Miller, Todd Trennepohl and Nolan Hildebrand, Digital Content Administrator Jon Dallis, and historical details provided by former librarian Margaret Rigney, Gary Harding, Rep. McPeak and Interim President Dr. Ron Ramming. Gifts to expand the McPeak Agriculture Hall of Fame or to the college’s agricultural programs can be sent to the Connors Development Foundation. Contact Dr. Blanton for more details, at (918) 463-6343.
Community & Education
Fall Bull Sale Averages $2,450 Per Head
n December 1, 2016, the Connors State College Fall Performance Bull Test Sale garnered more than $150,000 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, Okla., while others placed bids online. The 62 bulls on display sold for an
average of $2,450 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 fall sale,” said Dr. Ron Ramming, Interim President of Connors State College. “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.” 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. Contact Todd Trennepohl at 918.463. 6279 for more information, or to place a bull on test. CONNORS CONNECTION
Connors Pins 25 New Nurses
onnors State College celebrated the graduation of 25 new nurses in a pinning and candle lighting ceremony held December 9, 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 student’s 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 the 1860’s, 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, and Connors follows this practice. Trace Williams gave the invocation, while student speakers Lynelle Armstrong and Kyle Pingleton gave remarks about the
classes’ journey together, followed by the benediction from Andrea Grisham. Fall 2016 Graduates: Lynelle Armstrong, Prince Barnes, Kallene Brewer, Kasey Chica, Megan Cox, Jennifer Dickey, Vannessa Fuentes, Andrea Grisham, Katheryn Harsen, Moria Kinsey, Shannon Lacey, Alaina Moore, Krista Mora, Jordan Nunley, Shoshannah Nunley, Desiree Offutt, Mariah Pellegrino, Lisa Pierce, Kyle Pingleton, Amanda Sherbourne, Amber Thompson, Amber Waid, Derek White, Trace Williams, Leslie Yeargain.
Aggie Club hosts Cowboy Cattle Showdown
he third annual Cowboy Cattle Showdown jackpot show recently hosted nearly 150 head of livestock and exhibitors at Connors State College. The judge was Cody Green, herd manager at Willow Springs Cattle Company in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, and a proud CSC alumnus. Supreme Female overall was the Champion Commerical shown by Shelby Hubbard; Reserve Supreme was exhibited by Ishaiah
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Sallee. Denver McKay had both the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Market Steers, while Berkley McKay exhibited the Grand Prospect Steer and Macy McCrary the Reserve Grand. “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 Nolan Hildebrand, 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.” Pictures of the show were handled by Final Drive Photography, with photos available for purchase at www.finaldrivephotography.com. For more information regarding the Cowboy Cattle Showdown or Aggie Club, contact Nolan Hildebrand at (918) 463-6331.
Nicole Quesada, Faculty
lthough Nicole Quesada, Communications and Fine Arts Instructor, was born in New Jersey, it’s Las Vegas, Nevada where she calls home. She began her educational career after graduating from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and from Oklahoma State University with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. At Connors State, Quesada teaches
Humanities and English, among other courses and says she chose the college because she was looking for an opportunity to put down roots and grow as an educator. Education and mental growth is important to her, as she was first in her immediate family to complete a four year degree, and the first to pursue a graduate degree. “Connors State has allowed me to teach students from many different backgrounds,” said Quesada. “I have been permitted the freedom to try new things as an instructor. I’m an avid gamer, and play XBOX ONE and PS4. When I can, I use video game clips in my classroom.” Quesada spoke of the perks of working for a college in a small town, saying she often runs into her students outside the campus, and has opportunities to see them working and participating in the community, which gives her a more well-rounded perspective of the students Connors State serves.
“The size of the college means instructors get to know their students as individuals, and this allows a more personalized learning experience,” said Quesada. “I have gotten to know my students better, because I often teach them in more than one class, which is nice.” Quesada says she especially loves sharing her knowledge about the subjects she is most passionate about to her students. “It is wonderful to see our students gain the confidence and skills they will need to pursue their goals,” said Quesada. “The faculty and staff at Connors State really care about what they do. I know I personally enjoy the ability to watch my students grow from one semester to the next.” Outside of Connors State, Quesada has two wonderful step-children and spouse who supports her career and creative side.
Libby Schroeder, Student
ibby Schroeder grew up in the small town of Mason, Michigan where she spent her childhood raising and showing sheep, as well as training and running dogs in agility. In her junior year as Mason High School, Schroeder decided to pursue a life of agriculture, and became active in her chapter of FFA. After attending the Washington Leadership Conference and serving as a regional officer for the state of Michigan, she knew she wanted to be involved in the important and ever evolving industry. After graduation, Schroeder packed her bags and moved to the even smaller town of Warner, Oklahoma, to be part of the award winning Livestock Judging Team.
Now in her second year, she is an active member of the Livestock Judging Team, the Aggie Club, she works in the office of College and Community Relations, and is the President of the Connors State Photography Club. “Connors State has impacted me in so many ways, this experience has been life changing,” said Schroeder. “I have met amazing people as well as have been given countless opportunities to pursue my dreams.” When she graduates in the spring of 2017, she plans to attend a four-year university, pursuing a marketing and communications degree.
Keri Lawson, Staff
eri Lawson, Maintenance Director for C & W Services, has been with Connors State for five years, and although the company name has changed a number of times while at the college, her work ethic and drive has remained steady. Lawson earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Northeastern State University, and when an opportunity opened up at Connors State, she dove for it. “We don’t have the sexiest job on campus,” said Lawson. “But it is one that is desperately needed. We enjoy for the most part what we do, and we have a great attitude while we do it.” Lawson says the people at Connors State are what makes her job worth doing. “My staff is absolutely amazing, the relationships I have made here are countless and the memories made are too.” “Every day is different,” said Lawson. “One
day we may be doing lawn maintenance after a storm, the next snaking a toilet, or changing filters and light bulbs. It definitely keeps you on your toes.” Lawson said she enjoys the community Connors State offers, and loves the proximity she has to her family. Her husband, Jake Lawson, head rodeo coach, Ag instructor, and equine program director, and children Lucille and Dewey, who you’re likely to see around campus, are her main focus in life. When they’re not working, the Lawson’s rodeo, and train calf horses, while spending time with friends and family. “The atmosphere at Connors State is unlike any other,” says Lawson. “The smaller campus really allows people to get to know each other on a personal level. The college is always growing, but our attention to detail stays the same.”
Blake Nelson, Alumnus
s the Executive Vice President of the American Maine-Anjou Association, Blake Nelson’s leadership role covers all facets of the Maine-Anjou industry. He facilitates membership growth, development of breed research projects and programs to ensure further breed growth and commercial acceptance. “Since I was very young, beef cattle have been my passion and I feel extremely thankful and blessed to have this chance to work in the industry,” said Nelson. “My time at Connors State College, as both an undergrad and on staff, definitely helped prepare me for this dream job.” Nelson grew up on an eastern Oklahoma cow/calf operation and exhibited Brangus and Chi cattle. He started his collegiate experience at Connors State College and finished at Oklahoma State University where he
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was a member of championship livestock judging teams and worked with both school’s cattle operations. After graduation, he worked for Farmland Industries as a livestock production specialist, and then in 2000 he had the opportunity to return to the Connors State program as an animal science instructor and livestock judging coach. In 2006, he moved to the director of farm operations/livestock coordinator position, which involved overseeing the Bull Test and Sale, as well as managing the Santa Gertrudis, Simmental, Angus and crossbred cowherd, beef show team and working with the nationally competitive livestock judging team. Nelson has judged many national, state and county livestock shows, including San Antonio, Houston, the American Royal, the North American, the National Western
and junior nationals for the Beefmaster, Hereford, Santa Gertrudis, Red Angus and Gelbvieh breeds. Blake, along with his wife, Ruth, and their two children, Paisley, 7 and Brigham, 3 currently reside in Platte City, Missouri.
Athletics Cowboys Drop Murray State
he Connors State Cowboys overcame a slow start, hitting their offensive stride in the final six minutes of play to stop visiting Murray State College, 79-69, in an Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference clash on Monday, January 9, 2017 inside the Melvin Self Field House. It was the Cowboys 12th consecutive victory as they improve to 13-3 overall and 3-0 OCAC play. “We really got off to a bad start,” said head coach Bill Muse. “You can say we haven’t played in a month, but in the first six minutes of the game we only had two points.” Muse said his team seemed awful rusty to start the game. “The second half we got a five-minute spurt and were able to break the game open,” said Muse. “We have a long way to go as far as improving. Our defense was
good, we held them to 69 points, can’t complain about that. But offensively we missed a lot of opportunities. We just have to share the ball more.” Connors State trailed throughout the first half until the final one-minute mark taking a one point lead, 34-33. In the final 20 minutes Connors State led by as many as six points before the Aggies tied the game at 62-62. Then the Cowboys outscored Murray State 11-0 to capture a 73-62 advantage and the Aggies were never able to recover. Adarius Avery led the Connors scoring with 25 points with Chris Crawford adding another 22. Rashawn Langston came off the bench with a score of 15. Devin Gifford led the Aggies scoring with 19 points with Adnan Jahic adding 12 and Chauncey Thomas 10.
Cowgirls Get First OCAC Win
reshman Eva Lewis scored 31 points and pulled down 16 rebounds for a double-double to lead the Connors State Cowgirls to a 75-68 Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference victory over Murray State on Monday, January 9, 2017 inside the Melvin Self Field House. It was the Cowgirls first conference win of the year, 1-2, as they improved to 12-3 on the year. Lewis was joined in double figure scoring by Teriyon Thomas with 16 points and DeNora Wheeland’s 10 points. “I thought this was a nice team effort tonight,” said head coach Jamie Fisher. “Eva and Teriyon both played very well, but overall this was a great team win.” Fisher said Lewis seemed non-existent the first quarter, but she came on the second and third quarters.
“When we needed to buckle down and play, we played,” said Fisher. “We’ve figured out how to play and how to win.” The Cowgirls trailed at the end of the first quarter, 12-10, but it was Lewis who put Connors back on top at the half, 29-21, as she scored 11 points in the quarter after going scoreless in the first 10 minutes. Connors led 46-33 at the four minute mark of the third period, before the Aggies battled back to within two points, 54-52, to open the fourth quarter. Lewis and Thomas both combined for 14 points in the period to hold off the Aggies, while Lewis scored 13 points in the third. Hannah Howard led Murray State’s scoring with 15 points, while Aaliykah Endsley added 13, Bailee Eldred 11 and Natalia Pushkareva 10. CONNORS CONNECTION
Shooting Sports Team Ends Season With Impressive Wins
he Connors State Shooting Sports Team wrapped up their fall season in Tillar, Arkansas with a third place win in the high overall category. Individually Zane Arnold won third in trap (99/100) in
Livestock Judging Team Finishes Strong in Kentucky
he Livestock Judging Team finished the fall strong with a third place showing at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. The team was second in cattle, third in sheep, and fourth in reasons. Individually, Jesse Henson was sixth high individual. The team also competed in the Griswold Cattle Classic contest on December 12, 2016, where they won high team overall and received the use of a new traveling trailer for an entire year. Henson was second high individual and Anna Scott was sixth high individual.
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the shoot-off, Bradley Beason was fifth in the high overall shooter (276/300), Zane was second high individual in the American events (195/200), and Josh Casteel was ninth high overall in sporting
clays. Additionally, the team traveled to Pacific, Missouri where they took third in the high overall; and to Grand Island, Nebraska where they took fourth in the HOA standings.
WEEK OF WONDER As the semester drew towards a close, the Connors State faculty and staff embraced the encroaching holiday season and participated in a festive Week of Wonder put on by the college. The week’s events included hot chocolate tasting stations, door decorations, contests, surprise games, bingo, and a holiday party to wrap it all up. This time was used as a way for faculty and staff to catch up and reflect on their past semester together, while embracing the holiday and enjoying a time of food and festivities.
MUSKOGEE CHRISTMAS PARADE On December 10, 2016 Connors State College participated in the Muskogee Christmas Parade. The theme was the “Wonderful World of Disney” and Connors State took that to heart with a “Disney Christmas Dinner.” Characters from beloved Disney movies sat at a large dinner table and waved to the crowds, while CSC faculty, staff, and students passed out candy as they went by. Connors State took fourth place out of more than 100 entries in the parade decorations category. 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
Gary Harding, right, former agriculture faculty member and Bull Test Director, chats with a producer at the annual fall sale.
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A publication of Connors State College in Warner and Muskogee, Oklahoma -- the Connection: Volume 7, Number 1.