News / Press Releases
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February 24, 2015
Clapper and Isaacs Selected to Present at National Conference
Two Seminole State College professors were recently selected to present at the 39th Annual National Association for Developmental Education Conference (NADE), which will be held in Greenville, South Carolina.
February 24, 2015
Kemp Speak on Importance of Degree Completion
Guest speaker Vernell Kemp, head men’s basketball coach at Wewoka High School, spoke at Seminole State College on Tuesday afternoon in honor of Black History Month.
The event was sponsored by the College’s Native American Serving Non-tribal Institutions (NASNTI) program.
The program, titled “What’s Your Year,” began with an opening video of SSC students and employees stating their major and year of graduation. Following the video, Kemp took the stage and addressed SSC students, faculty, staff and members of the community.
Kemp visited with the audience regarding his own life experiences and stressed the importance of degree completion. He discussed his own background as a basketball player and how he realized he needed a plan after his athletic career concluded. That plan involved returning to college.Kemp expressed his motivation for returning to school and why all students should continue to persevere toward graduation. Kemp encouraged the students in the crowd not to give up on earning their degree, and emphasized that a quality education is something they will always carry with them. He went on to answer questions from the audience at the end of his presentation. The event concluded with the Black National Anthem, led by SSC Talent Search Advisor Theran Hernandez. Those in attendance were invited back to the David L. Boren Library for refreshments and an opportunity to visit with members of the NASNTI program
February 24, 2015
SSC Offers Health Science Courses
Seminole State College’s Business and Industry Training Program is offering several short-term Medical and Health Science Courses beginning in March. The courses include Pharmacy Technician Certification, Medical Billing/Coding and Dental Assisting Program.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification course is scheduled March 3 through April 28, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The class will take place in room 115 in the Enoch Kelly Haney Center. The cost of the course is $1,199. Books are included with the course.
The Dental Assisting Program course is scheduled March 3 through May 5, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The class will take place in room 104 in the Enoch Kelly Haney Center. The cost of the course is $1,199. Books are included with the course.
The Medical Billing/Coding Program course is scheduled March 2 through May 13 on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and on two Saturdays (April 12 and April 25) from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The class will take place in room 121 in the Enoch Kelly Haney Center. The cost of the course is $1,899. Books and software are included with the course.
Students are encouraged to have completed math and science in high school and have a high school diploma or GED to register for the courses. Deadline for enrollment is February 25.
Those wanting to enroll are encouraged to call Carol Hartman, Business and Training Coordinator, at (405) 382-9246. Participants can also enroll at the College’s Office of Admissions in the Student Services Building.
February 20, 2015
SSC Regents Convene for February Meeting
The Seminole State College Board of Regents convened Thursday for their monthly meeting. At their February meeting, the Board awarded Emeritus status to five former employees, approved policy changes regarding tenure and approved a resolution supporting the prohibition of firearms on the SSC campus.
During the President’s Report to the Board, Dr. Jim Utterback reported on recent campus events and activities including Higher Ed Day at the Capitol, the annual Trojan Baseball Season Kick-off Banquet and a program honoring Black History Month. He also mentioned the College has received notification from four employees regarding their intention to retire. Dan Factor, Dawna Hamm, Kathy Hoover and Annette Troglin have all submitted letters to the President.
First on the agenda, the Board approved a request to grant honorary Emeritus status to five former SSC employees: Fred Bunyan, Jonna Bunyan, Patricia Cokeley, Pam Koenig and Dr. Brad Walck.
Mr. Bunyan taught under the Business and Information Division and served as division chair. Mrs. Bunyan was former Director of the Learning Resources Center and later became Director of the Student Support Services federal program. Cokeley served as a Business Instructor as well as division chair. Koenig served as a Social Science Instructor and division chair. Walck was former women’s basketball coach, Social Sciences professor and division chair and Vice President for Student Affairs.
SSC Policy on Emeritus status states that the Seminole State College Board of Regents, at its discretion, may honor recommendations of the President granting retired faculty, administrators, or professional staff members emeritus status after retirement. In evaluating candidates for this honorary status, consideration may be given to length of service, special recognitions and activities, and similar items related to performance.
The SSC retirees being honored will be special guests at a “Coffee with the President” event on Tuesday, March 10. The reception will be from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the E.T. Dunlap Student Union Meeting Room. Campus and community friends of the honorees are invited to attend.
Under the next item of business, Board members approved a revision to Policy II 6-4 regarding tenure at the College. The policy will be altered to eliminate consideration for tenure by application date and will also change the density percentage from applying within each academic division to the entire faculty population. The policy will still allow the Board to consider recommendations beyond the prescribed 60 percent limit with recommendation and justification by the President.
As the final action item, the Board approved a resolution opposing the presence of firearms on campus. This resolution was made to demonstrate united opposition toward concealed and open carry firearms being allowed on college campuses.
Board members present at the February meeting were: Chair Marilyn Bradford, Karen James, Leesa Adams, Marci Donaho, Curtis Morgan, Ryan Franklin and Bryan Cain.The next SSC Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 26
February 17, 2015
NASA Student Ambassador Promotes STEM to SSC Students
On Wednesday, Seminole State College Physics and Calculus students welcomed Corbin Graham, a guest speaker representing NASA as a Student Ambassador. Graham addressed topics related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Graham is a senior at the University of Oklahoma as well as a graduate of Seminole High School and Seminole State College. Graham is majoring in Aerospace engineering and minoring in Russian with the possibility of becoming an astronaut for NASA.
Graham has interned at NASA Ames Research Center where he worked with various CAD programs and an outreach wind tunnel. He also interned at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. His work there included working on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) research. This last summer he worked with Boeing in Huntsville, AL with the Space Launch System (SLS) Rocket and with the Avenger Air Defense Program.
Graham visited with Seminole State College students concerning the opportunities for them when transferring to a four year institution. He recommended that students get as many college credits as possible at SSC due to the difference in the cost of tuition and the individual attention from instructors provided at the College. He then encouraged students to be involved in organizations and service activities.For more information about the Math or Physics program at SSC, contact Dr. Linda Goeller at 405-382-9567 or Professor Jarrod Tollett at 405-382-9217. Students interested in math and science related careers are encouraged to begin their college experience with concurrent enrollment which is offered through Seminole State College.
February 17, 2015
SSC offers Therapy Dog Training
Seminole State College will be offering a therapy dog training program on Mondays, beginning March 2.
The program will be taught by Gayla Sesher for six weeks, concluding on April 13. The class will not meet on March 16 due to spring break. The class will be offered at two different times on Monday. Those interested can sign up for the 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. class or the 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. class. Both classes will be held in the Enoch Kelly Haney Center Bay Area.
According to Business and Industry Training Coordinator Carol Hartman, therapy dog training is the most rewarding work that can be done with a dog. “It affords both you and your dog an opportunity to share your love with the people in the community who need it most,” Hartman said.
Hartman continued, “A therapy dog requires different training than a service dog for the disabled. A therapy dog’s goal is to offer comfort and companionship to patients in hospitals, nursing homes and mental centers. They are also able to visit libraries and schools to ‘listen’ to young children read. In addition to basic obedience training, therapy dogs need special training.”
In order to participate in the training, dogs must meet the requirements of having an even temperament, be eager and willing to meet new people, be at least one year old, be up-to-date on all vaccinations and have basic manners.
Cost of the course is $59 per student. Pre-registration is required by Feb. 26.For additional information about the course, contact Carol Hartman at 405-382-9246 or by email at email@example.com.
February 17, 2015
Region II Tournament Scheduled For Early March
This year’s National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region II Tournament will be played in Shawnee for the 20th consecutive year. The tournament is scheduled for March 4-7 at St. Gregory’s University in the W.P. Wood Field House and will feature eight men’s and eight women’s teams from all corners of Oklahoma and from Arkansas.
The communities of Shawnee and Seminole have played a major role in what will mark a 20-year stay for the tournament. Oklahoma Baptist University, St. Gregory’s University, Seminole State College, and the Shawnee Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) have also been essential in helping recruit and keep this event in Shawnee. For the first 18 years that the tournament was held in Shawnee, it was played at OBU in the Noble complex.
However, in 2014, OBU hosted the SAC conference tournament at the same time, so SGU was requested to hold the tournament on its campus for the first time. There will be four games played daily beginning on Wednesday, March 4, running through Friday, March 6, at 1, 3, 6 and 8 p.m. The final two games will be on Saturday afternoon at 2 and 4 p.m.
This year the men will play on Wednesday, the women on Thursday, and each will play Friday and Saturday in the semi-finals and finals. Seminole State College Rural Business and Resources Center Director Larry Smith is co-chair of the tournament and has been since it was first held in Shawnee in 1996. The other co-chair is Ken Fullbright of Shawnee. Fullbright, now retired, was a long-time Shawnee banker and then served as director of the Sante Fe Museum.
“There have been seven or eight volunteers who have been there from the beginning,” Smith said. “We have a great committee who put this together,” he added. “We have added some new people over the past years – which has really strengthened the committee,” he noted.
Smith said the group felt their work on this tournament is important for the careers of the student-athletes who compete in the Region II playoffs. He said, “We’re helping kids move on to the next level. We’re giving these young men and women an opportunity to play before 40 or 50 college scouts and NCAA Division I coaches.” Among those who have attended the tournament throughout its history are Bobby Knight, Rick Patino, Billy Tubbs, Kelvin Sampson, Eddie Sutton, Travis Ford and a number of other big name coaches.
“For a lot of these kids basketball opens the door for them to get an education. Their time spent in collegiate sports also helps them develop as leaders for their schools and communities,” Smith said. He noted that because it is played in Shawnee, “it provides the opportunity for coaches at St. Gregory’s and OBU to look at over 240 junior college players during this tournament each year.”
In addition to Smith and Fullbright, other long-time members of the tournament planning committee are: L.D. Wortham, Lance Wortham, former St. Gregory’s Coach Don Sumner, Mike McCormick, Sue Snodgrass and Hope Pickering. Others who have joined the committee through the years include: Rick Gowin, Carl Packwood, Tim Barrick, Brad Walck, Kenny Howard, Kinlee Farris, Sadiaa Jones and John Martin. During the time the tournament was held at OBU, Norris Russell and Mike Manlapig were also part of the group. Smith stressed, “We would never have had this tournament without Don Sumner. He swayed the Junior College coaches to come here in the beginning 20 years ago.”
Sumner today serves as Athletic Director Emeritus at St. Gregory’s. Smith also emphasized how critical the sponsors are to this tournament, particularly from the Seminole and Shawnee areas.
Major sponsors include OG&E, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Pottawatomie Telephone Co., Black Hawk Casino and the CVB. The newest of those is Black Hawk Casino which became a major sponsor in 2014. In previous years, Propane Services and Mathis Brothers Furniture were also major sponsors. TS&H Shirt Company has also been a supporter of the tournament since it moved to Shawnee. “These are in addition to the 40 or 50 other sponsors that help us annually,” Smith said. The champions of women’s and men’s brackets will advance to their respective national tournaments in March.Ticket prices are $20 to attend all the games. Individual session tickets are $4 for first grade through college and $6 for adults. Tickets are available in advance from any member of the committee, or at the gate once the tournament begins
February 13, 2015
Nationwide Security Breach Impacts SSC Employees
A nationwide security breach has impacted a number of employees at Oklahoma colleges and universities, including Seminole State College it was learned this week, compromising their personal information.
Dr. James Utterback, president of Seminole State College, said “This breach is a nationwide problem. The headlines in the last few weeks have focused on security breaches of Turbo Tax and Anthem. Anthem is the parent company of Blue Cross, Blue Shield. “Both of these groups of course deny this breach had anything to do with their companies,” Dr. Utterback said.
He pointed out, though, “There are very few places, however, where someone can get information on entire families including Social Security numbers and dates of birth. That makes this different than other well-known national breaches like Chase, Target and Home Depot. “They can’t get that kind of information from those sources. We’re trying to do everything we can to work with our employees to help them deal with this security breach,” he added.
Seminole State College Human Resources Director Courtney Jones said 13 current and former college employees have notified her that their personal information has been compromised.
Cindy Guinn is one of the SSC employees affected. She serves as the administrative assistant to the Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement. She said “someone other than myself filed state and federal tax returns in my name using my personal information and possibly that of my husband. I just found out this week. I called the IRS and the Oklahoma Tax Commission,” she explained.
Now she has to fill out an identity theft form, call the Federal Trade Commission, the Social Security Administration, and the Oklahoma State Attorney General’s office and file a police report. She also has to call a list of other people and organizations in order to try to protect her identity, she said. Dr. Utterback said this has hit not only SSC, but other Higher Education institutions across Oklahoma.
Guinn said she found out about the scope of the situation first by talking to another employee of the college. “I received a letter from the Oklahoma Tax Commission asking for copies of my W2s and my 1099s and that was a red flag,” she noted. “My husband and I haven’t even filed our tax returns yet.” Guinn, to her knowledge, said she and her husband haven’t lost any money yet.
Jamie Mills and her husband, Dr. Tom Mills, are two other employees whose personal information has been compromised. Jamie is director of recruitment and advisement at SSC. Dr. Mills is Vice President for Academic Affairs. Jamie said “we received a letter from the Oklahoma Tax Commission and they wanted more information on our return. But we had not even filed our tax return,” she added.
She said she tried multiple times to call the Oklahoma Tax Commission to no avail. She said “Courtney sent out an email on campus about the fraudulent letter with a number at the OTC to call its fraud department. “Our personal information has been compromised. To my knowledge, we haven’t lost any money,” she stated.
Jamie said the OTC didn’t send the scammers any money. “If the IRS did, it would be government money,” she continued. She explained those behind this fraudulent scheme are using a “green dot” VISA card. “We threw ours away when we received it, because we didn’t ask for it,” she said. She noted she’s checked their banking and savings accounts and they haven’t been touched. Jamie said “this could be much worse for sure.” She’s talked with the OTC and they have backed out the fraudulent return. “But when we do file our state tax return, we must file it in paper form, not an e-file.” She and her husband are going through the steps necessary to restore their personal identity with the OTC, IRS and other entities, she said.
SSC HR Director Jones said that the College is actively working to help the employees who have been affected. “We got everyone together in a group to collectively share information and explain that we want to help in any way that we can,” Jones said. She also commented that the Oklahoma Tax Commission has been very responsive and helpful to employees. People who feel that they been a victim of such identity theft may contact the OTC Fraud Hotline at 405-522-0595.
February 12, 2015
Seminole Chamber Honors SSC Personnel
Jim Wilson Tony Tiger
Two Seminole State College employees were recognized for their hard work and dedication during the monthly Seminole Chamber of Commerce Forum on Thursday. Assistant Professor of English Jim Wilson was honored as “Educator of the Month” and Maintenance Technician Tony Tiger was honored as “Staff Member of the Month.”
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.
Wilson began working at SSC in the fall of 2010. He earned a Bachelor of Science in History/Anthropology/Sociology from Iowa State University. Wilson also holds three master’s degrees: a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Spalding University, a Master of Arts in Geography from the University of Iowa and a Master of Arts in Archaeology from the American University of Beirut.
Wilson enjoys writing and many of his personal essays have been published in various literary outlets. He is currently working on a memoir titled Love in the Time of Civil War. Wilson and his wife, LeAnne Howe, make their home in Ada, OK. When not writing or teaching, he enjoys gardening and travel.
Tiger has worked for SSC since 2008. He graduated from Ardmore High School and went on to take welding classes at Ardmore Southern Area Vo-Tech where he received certification in welding.Outside of work, Tiger enjoys playing horseshoes, playing the electronic “Tiger Woods Golf” game and spending time with his family. He has four children: Anthony, 19; Cheyenne, 18; Preshius, 15; and Julian, 13. He also has one grandchild, Emma, who just turned one
February 12, 2015
SSC Delegation Attends Higher Ed Day
A large delegation of campus and community leaders representing Seminole State College attended “Higher Education Day at the Capitol” in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Feb. 10. The event, sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, is held annually to demonstrate grassroots support for Higher Education funding.
A late afternoon session was held in the chamber of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Following introductions by Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson, remarks were given by Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Chair Mike Turpen and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. Norm Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation, was the keynote speaker for the event.
Other speakers included Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker Jeff Hickman, Oklahoma State Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, Oklahoma Council of Presidents Chair Larry Rice and several student speakers from across the state. Higher Education Day activities included office visits with area legislators at the Capitol.
Prior to the afternoon program, community and campus leaders representing Seminole State College were guests at a luncheon held in the Senate Assembly Room on the 5th floor of the Capitol building. Those present included State Senator Jason Smalley and State Senator Ron Sharp. State Representatives in attendance were Tom Newell, Steve Kouplen, Kevin Wallace and Justin Wood. State Treasurer Ken Miller and Chancellor Glen Johnson were also in attendance. Following introductions by SSC President Dr. Jim Utterback, the elected officials spoke to the SSC delegation about their support of higher education and their outlook on the new legislative session.
Community supporters in attendance included: Karel Brewster, Amy Britt, Bryan Cain, Jeff Fine, Rick Geist, Jim Hardin, Harrel Kennedy, Dr. Rebecca Kennedy, Ray McQuiston, Mark Mosley, Carl Packwood, Mark Schell, David Wilson and Lance Wortham.
SSC students in attendance were: Corbin Austin, Shawnee; Angela Barlow, Shawnee; Armani Berry, Varnum; Suenju Buttram, Shawnee; Bailey Easley, Tecumseh; Allyson Hanan, Strother; Caleb Signorelli, Stroud; Collin Taylor, Seminole; Dillon Shepherd, Strother; Billy Andrew, Earlsboro; Alex Eddlemon, Seminole; Logan Gray, Earlsboro; Neil Ichord, McAlester; Delila Loftis, Paden; Alexis Long, Seminole; Garett Reeves, Tecumseh; Denver Rogers, Holdenville; Emily Romeiser, Argyle, TX; Sylvia Shupe, Chandler; Whitney Sinor, Seminole; Kelsey Stafford, Wewoka; Shiann Swearingen, Okmulgee; Chris Marshall, Dallas, TX; Jocey Farrow, Seminole.
College representatives present were: Dr. Jim Utterback, Dr. Tom Mills, Lana Reynolds, Cindy Guinn, Kristin Dunn, Mike McCormick, Donna Chambers, Justin Streater and Larry Smith.
Lunch and Legislation
Supporting Higher Ed
Students and State Officials
Gazing from the Gallery
February 3, 2015
Seminole State College Offers Training For Restaurant Personnel
Restaurant personnel and food industry workers interested in learning more about food-borne illnesses while earning certification training have until Friday, Feb. 20, to enroll in Seminole State College’s “ServSafe” certification program.
The "ServSafe" course will begin on Monday, March 2. The class will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 104 of the Enoch Kelly Haney Center on the SSC campus.
The College’s Business and Industry Training program is offering the one-day course to help food service personnel learn about protecting their business against food-borne illness outbreaks, minimizing insurance costs, reducing liability risks and improving food quality.
“The ServSafe program is the industry standard for food safety,” said Carol Hartman, SSC Business and Industry Training Coordinator. “The class is designed to meet the practical needs of the workforce, while helping area food industry personnel fulfill Health Department training requirements and prepare for certification exams.”
The course instructor will be Rick Hughes, Director of Education for the Oklahoma Restaurant Association. Hughes serves on the Oklahoma State Department of Health Advisory Board and for the past 20 years, has conducted ServSafe training classes for corporations such as Sonic Industries, Arby’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The cost is $135, which includes the textbook and exam. The book may be picked up from the SSC Business and Industry Training office in the David L. Boren Library at the time of enrollment. All coursework in the book should be completed prior to the March 2 class date.For more information about the ServSafe course or about the College’s Business and Industry courses, contact Carol Hartman at (405) 382-9246