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Date of Article Title of Article/
4/11/14 Norman, Downey Honored by Chamber
4/10/14 SSC Nursing Program Receives Continued Accreditation

Students Inducted into Honor Society

3/14/14 SSC to Host  Creativity Symposium
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April 11, 2014

Norman, Downey Honored by Chamber


(left to right ): Mechell Downey, Administrative Assistant to the President; Dr. Melanie Croy, Vice President of Academic Affairs; Teresa Norman, Web Specialist

Two Seminole State College employees were honored for their outstanding dedication and work during the monthly Chamber of Commerce Forum Thursday, April 10.  Web Specialist Teresa Norman and Administrative Assistant to the President Mechell Downey were recognized as the “Educator of the Month” and “Staff Member of the Month,” respectively. The Seminole Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, along with the Lions Club and Blue Ribbon Realty recognize SSC employees several times during Forum each year.  Individuals are nominated from across the campus and chosen by SSC administrators to receive the honor.

Teresa Norman has worked at Seminole State College for the past 19 years.  In her role as Web Specialist, she creates and maintains the campus website.  She also serves as support for the College’s grant programs in setting and troubleshooting their websites. She is also the Cruiser Online Environment Manager - providing technical support for the instructional and informational software program.  As part of that support, she manages class, faculty and student information and provides technical assistance for staff and students.

Norman holds an Associate Degree in Computer Science from Seminole State College and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from East Central University.  She also has received additional training in web design and web accessibility. She is a member of the SSC Professional Staff Association and iPro-Oklahoma, an organization for Information Professionals across the state. She is also a member of Seminole First Assembly of God Church and is involved in the church’s Girls Ministry Program.

She is the daughter of Richard and Marilyn Norman of Seminole.  Her sister, Cindy Rudich, lives in Shawnee. In her spare time, she enjoys building models, puzzles and crafts.

Mechell Downey has served as secretary and assistant to SSC President Dr. Jim Utterback for the past 13 years.  Prior to joining the SSC staff worked as a loan assistant at First United Bank of Seminole for seven years. Downey graduated from Maud High School and received an Associate in Arts Degree from Seminole State College.  She also holds a Bachelor of Technology Degree from Rogers State University in Claremore.

Downey is a Past President and current Vice President of the SSC Classified Staff Association.  She is also a Past President of the Seminole Chapter of Business and Professional Women.  She serves on the Board of the Prague Round-up Club and has been a member of the Seminole Planning Commission for the past 13 years.  Downey is immediate Past President of the Northeast Oklahoma United States Air Force Academy Parents Club. She currently serves as Vice President of the Association of Community College Trustees Professional Board Staff Network, and will assume the presidency of that national organization in October, 2014.

She and her husband Mike are owners of Central Sheet Metal of Seminole.  They have two children:  Stephen, who is employed at Central Sheet Metal, and Jessica, who is a senior at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.  She has two granddaughters, Dakota and Nora, and one grandson, Crawford.

Her hobbies and interests include running, biking, participating in triathlons, riding horses and spending time with family.


April 10, 2014

SSC Nursing Program Receives Continued Accreditation

Vpaa and nursing chair and nursing consultant
SSC Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Melanie Croy, (left) and Nursing and Health Sciences Division Chair Donna Chambers (right) talk with Wendy Hubbard, MS, RN, (center) Nursing Education Consultant with Oklahoma Board of Nursing during a recent accreditation visit.

The Seminole State College Nursing program has received notification that the Oklahoma Board of Nursing (OBN) has granted the program continuing full approval for five years. The OBN completed a site visit to campus in late February and accepted accreditation materials for review.  The Board determined the accreditation award at its March meeting.

The program was reviewed by National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), Inc. in 2011 and received the maximum of eight years “Continuing Accreditation” from that organization.  

“Months of planning and preparation go into academic program reviews,” noted SSC President Dr. Jim Utterback. “On behalf of the College, I want to thank Nursing and Health Sciences Division Chair Donna Chambers and everyone in the Division for their diligent work in building a first-rate program.

“Everyone associated with Seminole State College can take great pride in our outstanding nursing program,” Utterback said.  “We are extremely excited that the Oklahoma Board of Nursing has approved our program for the maximum five years.  We are also every appreciative of the support from the community and the SSC campus community that is always shown to our program,” said Chambers.“We are proud that our program is producing exceptional nurses,” Chambers said.

For more information about the Seminole State College nursing program, contact Sherry Keisman at 405-382-9205 or s.keisman@sscok.


Wendy Hubbard, MS, RN, (center) Nursing Education Consultant with Oklahoma Board of Nursing visits with members of the nursing student body at Seminole State College.

nursing students





April 3, 2014

Students Inducted into Honor Society

new members

Thirty-two Seminole State College students were inducted into the campus chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society this week.

Thirty-two SSC students recently were recently inducted into the Alpha Theta Nu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society for Two-Year Colleges.  Students are selected based on their scholarship, leadership and service qualities. The chapter provides programs, activities and participation in community service projects.

Requirements for membership at SSC include: enrollment at an accredited two-year college with a Phi Theta Kappa chapter, overall GPA of 3.5 in a minimum of 12 credit hours. SSC Dean of Student Services Dr. Mark Ames, was the special guest speaker.  Jeffrey Christiansen and Dr. Steve Bolin serve as the organization’s faculty advisers. 

Current officers of the SSC Phi Theta Kappa chapter were recognized at the organization’s new member induction Monday evening.  Pictured (left to right) are: Kayla Vaught; Gregory Votaw; Brett Breedlove, Megan Goff, Edward Baldwin, Alecia Neash, Trisha Kingsbury, Kaitlin Hampton and guest speaker Dr. Mark Ames.




SSC students inducted in the ceremony, listed by hometowns, were:

Logann Boland

Callisburg, TX
Kalli Byrom

Chrysandra Flanagan

Travis Duncan
Nicole Ferrell

Bryanna Crawford

Sierra O'Dell

Joseph Garcia

Little Elm
Marques Marshall

Anna Smith
Lisa Wroolie

Erin Sanders

Sherrill Marble
Morgan Wardlow

Sunny Stephens

Starla Demings
Jocey Farrow
Lucia Lenora
Britne Pharaoh
Katie Scott

Corbin Austin
Suenju Buttram
Stan Cannata
Rhaeanna Casteel
Sarah Hall
Amanda Hannifan

Spring, TX
Jade Larimore

Asheleigh Wheeler

Bailey Easley
Terry Hicks
Garrett Stinnett

Patricia Wright





March 14, 2014

SSC to Host  Creativity Symposium

askew    mater
Askew                                                                          Mater                

The Language Arts and Humanities Division at Seminole State College is hosting their Fourth Annual “Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium: A Showcase of Oklahoma Artists, Musicians, Actors, Writers, and Dancers” on Thursday, April 24 and Friday, April 25, 2014.

The free Symposium will begin at 8 a.m. both days in the Jeff Johnston Fine Arts Center on the SSC campus. The event is open to the public, and area high schools and middle schools are welcome to bring their students to enjoy two days filled with an eclectic mix of varied musical performances, creative writings, dramatic readings, artistic presentations, and dances by both professional and emerging Oklahoma artists and scholars.  This year’s featured presenters include Keynote Speaker Rilla Askew, award-winning novelist, and Special Guest, Dustin Mater, acclaimed Chickasaw visual artist.    

Rilla Askew will speak at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 25. Askew, born and reared in Oklahoma around the Tulsa and McAlester areas, writes about the Oklahoma experience as well as the American experience.  Askew received a 2009 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.   Her essays and short fiction have appeared in a variety of journals, and her story, “The Killing Blanket,” was selected for Prize Stories 1993: The O. Henry Awards.

Askew’s first novel, The Mercy Seat, was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the  Dublin IMPAC Prize, was a Boston Globe Notable Book, and received the Oklahoma Book Award and the Western Heritage Award in 1998.  Fire in Beulah, her novel about the Tulsa Race Riot, received the American Book Award and the Myers Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights.

She was a 2004 fellow at Civiella Ranieri in Umbertide, Italy, and in 2008, her novel Harpsong received the Oklahoma Book Award, the Western Heritage Award, the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West, and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas. Askew received the 2011 Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. Her new novel, Kind of Kin, was published by Ecco Press in January 2013 and in the UK by Atlantic Books in August.

Dustin Mater, award-winning artist and Graphic Arts Coordinator for the Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities Division, will also speak on Friday, April 25 at 11 a.m.  Mater grew up in Ada, Oklahoma, and is a member of the Chickasaw Nation.  He studied art and design at Santa Monica College and the Multimedia Institute of Hollywood from 2000-2004.

He first became an active illustrator and graphic designer in Los Angeles, and he continued his career as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer in 2007 in Dallas, Texas.  In 2009, Mater began work on illustrations and designs for the Chickasaw Nation’s world premiere performance of Lowak Shoppala’ (Fire and Light), a multi-movement theatric work depicting different aspects of Chickasaw history and culture.  Included in the original script of that production was the story of Spider Brings Fire.

As a result of that project, he began to create numerous artistic images that brought Spider Brings Fire to life, rekindling a close connection with his tribal heritage and his love for visual arts.  In November of 2011, his mixed media sculpture, Birdman Rising, and his etched glass vase, Nesting Eagle, were showcased in the Chikasha Poya exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

In 2012, Pendleton Blankets selected his design, Spring, as the 2012 Legendary Blanket.  Mater is the first southeastern tribal member to be a part of this prestigious collection.

The Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium was established by the faculty of the SSC Language Arts and Humanities Division in the Spring of 2011 as a free, fully-accessible celebration of Oklahoma creative expression, in all of its diverse forms.  “We hope this symposium will encourage all those who attend and participate to continue to find passion in their creative arts and appreciate the role the fine arts play in education and in Oklahoma culture,” said Jessica Isaacs, Symposium Director and Professor of Language Arts and Humanities at SSC. 

High school and middle school teachers or counselors wishing to bring students to the event, or anyone wishing to bring large groups to enjoy the Symposium, should contact Jessica Isaacs for information about bus parking and other necessary arrangements at 405-382-9209 /, or they may call or email SSC Language Arts & Humanities Division Secretary, Toni Wittmann, at 405-382-9561 / The complete Symposium Schedule is available on the website at