Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News @ PSU

News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Engineers go to summer camp

Pittsburg State University hosts numerous camps during the summer months, including band, basketball, football, cheerleading camps. A special camp beginning on Wednesday, May 31, will involve a very different group of students, however.

The PSU Department of Engineering Technology will host a week-long Investment Casting Engineering Camp May 31-June 8. Professor Russ Rosmait, director of the camp, said 30 engineers from across the U.S. and Canada are registered for the camp.

Rosmait said instruction for the intensive Investment Casting Engineering Camp will be provided by industry experts and university faculty. Topics to be covered include casting design and development, tooling, waxes, gating, shell, dewaxing, melting and casting finishing.

For information, call Rosmait at 620-235-4350 or e-mail him at rrosmait@pittstate.edu.

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

PSU's Memorial Day ceremony to honor veterans

A retired Air Force general will pay tribute to veterans, recognizing "their sacrifice for freedom," during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Pittsburg State University Veterans Memorial Amphitheater. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) George Lampe is the keynote speaker at the 10:30 a.m. ceremony on Monday, May 29, at the memorial. The public is invited.

A special feature of the ceremony will be the unveiling of a recent memorial enhancement. Private support made it feasible to install additional black granite in the Brock Family Amphitheater. Donors who funded the enhancement project will be recognized.

Monday's ceremony will also include the "pinning" of the charter members of the Friends of the Memorial, a new organization established to support programming at the memorial. Engraved memorial pavers recently installed in the Guy and Claire Sutherland Entrance Plaza will also be dedicated.

Gen. Lampe began his military career in 1967 when he entered the Air Force as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. After a 31-year career, he retired in 1998 as a major general. His final assignment was deputy director of communications and information for the Air Force and vice commander of the Air Force Communications and Information Center, both headquartered at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Gen. Lampe served as a communications and computer systems officer his entire career, frequently in the tactical area.

Gen. Lampe was born in Harper, Kan., and graduated from Pittsburg High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Pittsburg State University. He is a member of Sigma Chi International Fraternity, and was designated as a Significant Sig in 2002. In 2000, he was awarded the Alumni Meritorious Achievement Award at PSU.

He is married to the former Pamela S. McCray of Oklahoma City, Okla. They have one son, Christopher, and reside in San Antonio.

Parking for Monday's ceremony will be available at the Bicknell Sports Complex with shuttle service provided for those who request it. Passengers with limited mobility may be dropped off at the street entrance to the memorial at 1909 S. Rouse. The ceremony will be held rain or shine. For additional information call 620-235-4762.

---Pitt State---

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Students begin exodus as semester ends

Just two more days remain of the spring semester at Pittsburg State University, but already some students are on the move. Students who have taken their last final exam began moving out of the university's residence halls today. That gradual exodus will continue until Saturday, when all students are required to move out or transition to Bowen Hall, which will remain open for students enrolled in summer school.

Another sign of the end of the semester is the posting of summer hours for the Overman Student Center, which begin on Monday, May 22. From then until the end of the second summer session in July, the building will be open from 6 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will be closed on weekends. The Barnes and Noble Bookstore will remain open until 7 p.m. on Friday, May 19, and from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday, May 20, for persons looking for last-minute graduation gifts. After that, the bookstore will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Commerce Bank's summer hours will be 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All retail areas of Sodexho Retail Food Service will close at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 19 and will reopen on June 5. The summer hours are 7:30-10 a.m. Monday through Friday for Jazzman's Café, and 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for the Gorilla Crossing. The Axe Grind and KTC Café will be closed for the summer.

For Student Center information, please call 620-235-4790.

---Pitt State---

Graduation regalia recalls ancient traditions

Editor's Note: Pittsburg State University commencement ceremonies are as follows: College of Arts & Sciences and College of Business, 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 19; College of Education and College of Technology, 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 20. Both ceremonies will be held in the John Lance Arena in the Weede Physical Education Building. For the commencement schedule, visit the PSU Web site at www.pittstate.edu/registrar. For information about PSU commencement traditions and academic regalia, contact Dr. Lee Christensen, associate vice president for academic programs and services, lchriste@pittstate.edu, 620-235-4200.

At more than 2,000 colleges and universities this month, long lines of graduates clad in black "mortar board" caps and robes will march across the stage to receive their diplomas. Punctuating the sea of black will be bright flashes of color on hoods, tassels and cords. These same traditions will be an important part of commencement ceremonies in the John Lance Arena at Pittsburg State University on Friday and Saturday, May 19-20.

For the thousands of friends and family members in the audience, these scenes are just part of the colorful pomp and circumstance of graduation. But every part of the academic regalia has meaning, with roots that extend back 1,000 years.

According to "American Universities and Colleges," the modern cap and gown worn by both graduating students and university faculty is reminiscent of medieval scholars who wore long gowns, in part for warmth in unheated buildings. Those same scholars shaved the crowns of their heads, making hoods and later skull caps necessary to keep their heads warm.

English colleges codified the standards for academic regalia in the 14th century, and in the days of Henry VIII, Oxford and Cambridge prescribed specific academic dress.

The association of colors with specific academic disciplines did not occur for some time and it was not until the 19th century in the U.S. that the representation of academic disciplines by colors was standardized. White represented arts and letters and was taken from the white fur that trimmed the Oxford and Cambridge B.A. hoods. Red, a traditional color of the church, represented theology. Green was assigned to medicine because of the color of medieval herbs. Olive was selected for pharmacy for similar reasons. Yellow or gold, because it represented wealth produced by scientific research, was selected for the sciences. Today there are 27 colors recognized for separate academic disciplines.

Although there remains great diversity in academic regalia in Europe and other countries, American colleges and universities have a common system, devised originally in the 1880s. In 1932, the American Council on Education published a code on academic costumes that, although updated, still exists.

Ironically, one of the most visible rituals associated with graduation – the act of moving the tassel on the mortarboard from right to left as the graduate receives his or her diploma – is not a universal rule. Some researchers speculate that changing the position of the tassel is a custom that has taken the place of hooding, which is a practice that some universities have abandoned.

At PSU, as at most U.S. universities, graduating students are advised that the cap should be worn with the deep part at the back of the head, the hair completely concealed in front, and the top level. The tassel’s color reflects the academic program that the student has taken. PSU students are advised to keep and the tassel over the right temple.

In addition to the cap and gown, PSU students graduating with honors also wear items that distinguish them. Undergraduate students who are graduating with the Scholastic Honors Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Cum Laude wear ribbons and medallions around the neck.

PSU undergraduate students who have participated in the Departmental Academic Honors Program and who are graduating with Departmental Academic Honors wear gold cords around the neck. Graduate students who are graduating with academic honors also wear gold cords.

According to the American Council on Education, the different academic disciplines are represented by the following colors on trimmings of doctors’ gowns, edging of hoods, and tassels of caps:

Agriculture - Maize
Arts, Letters, Humanities - White
Commerce, Accountancy, Business - Drab
Dentistry - Lilac
Economics - Copper
Education - Light Blue
Engineering - Orange
Fine Arts, including Architecture - Brown
Forestry - Russet
Journalism - Crimson
Law - Purple
Library Science - Lemon
Medicine - Green
Music - Pink
Nursing - Apricot
Occupational Therapy - Ink
Oratory (Speech) - Silver Gray
Pharmacy - Olive Green
Philosophy - Dark Blue
Physical Education - Sage Green
Public Administration, including Foreign Service - Peacock Blue
Public Health - Salmon Pink
Science - Golden Yellow
Social Work - Citron
Theology - Scarlet
Veterinary Science – Gray

—Pitt State—-

Borders, Johnson are PSU Outstanding Seniors

Kellie N. Borders, Sterling, and Andrew K. Johnson, Wellsville will be honored as the Pittsburg State University Outstanding Seniors during commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday. Johnson and Borders will address their fellow students during the ceremonies and their names will be inscribed on permanent markers on the Senior Walk in front of Russ Hall.

To be selected, students are first nominated for the Outstanding Senior honor by faculty and staff. The students are then asked to submit a more in-depth application detailing their activities, academic honors, and opinions as to why they should be chosen. The Outstanding Senior Committee then narrows the nominees to 10 of each gender. PSU faculty and staff vote on the finalists before the committee makes the final selection.

Borders is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Randall G. Borders, Sterling, and is a graduate of Sterling High School. Borders is graduating with a 3.98 grade point average with degrees in finance and Spanish. Some of her academic honors include being an All-A Scholar, a Dean’s Scholar, a Kelce Scholar, and a Golden Gorilla Award recipient. She has been a member of the Presidential Emerging Leaders Program, the Pride of the Plains Marching and Jazz Bands, and has served vice president of the Student Activities Council, among other activities.

Johnson is the son of Mr. & Mrs. David Johnson, Wellsville, and is a graduate of Wellsville High School. Johnson is graduating with a 3.52 grade point average with a degree in electronic engineering technology. He has received the Golden Gorilla Award and is a Dean’s Scholar, and is active with Kappa Mu Epsilon. Johnson is a member of the Crimson Club, the University Student Ambassadors, the Student Foundation Board, and is past president of the Student Government Association and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He also works as the building manager of the Overman Student Center.

"I feel that I have grown personally as a student leader and have helped to shape PSU's current and future leadership," said Borders. Johnson agrees: "You realize that after going through four years of college and working so hard, sometimes there is good at the end of the road. It is a great honor. The time I put into PSU paid off."

---Pitt State---

Monday, May 15, 2006

PSU Spring Commencement May 19-20

About 1,000 students are eligible to participate in Pittsburg State University's 102nd spring commencement exercises, which are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 19-20, in the John Lance Arena of the Weede Physical Education Building. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business will graduate at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Students in the College of Education and College of Technology will graduate at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The university will honor its Meritorious Achievement Awards winners at the exercises. This year's honorees are Ronald E. Longstaff, chief judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa; Charles Richard "Dick" Webb, founder and chairman of Watco Companies in Pittsburg, Kan.; and the late Joan K. Bowman, a former educator in Shawnee Mission, Kan., and former mayor of Lenexa, Kan.

In keeping with tradition, this year's Outstanding Senior Man and Woman award winners will address their fellow students. The Outstanding Senior Man and Woman for 2006 are Andrew Johnson, an electronics engineering technology major from Wellsville, Kan.; and Kellie Borders, a finance major from Sterling, Kan.

Commencement activities begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday with the Nursing Department Pinning Ceremony, which will be held in Pittsburg's Memorial Auditorium. At 10 a.m. on Friday, May 19, the Department of Military Science will sponsor a Commissioning Ceremony for graduates who are being commissioned into the U.S. Army. The ceremony will be held in the Veterans Memorial at Rouse and Ford Streets.

The 2006 Commencement Schedule follows. For additional information, including details of specific events, and information about academic regalia, photos, and handicapped accessibility, please visit www.pittstate.edu/registrar, visit the Registrar’s office in 103 Russ Hall or call 620-235-4206.

Thursday, May 18
7 p.m. - Nursing Department Pinning Ceremony, Memorial Auditorium

Friday, May 19
10 a.m. – U.S. Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, Veterans Memorial on Rouse Street (Rain location: Crimson and Gold Ballroom, Overman Student Center)

6-7 p.m. – President’s Reception for all College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Business graduating students and their families, (Light refreshments served.) tent northwest of Garfield W. Weede Physical Education Building.

6:30-7:15 p.m. - Graduates Obtain Name Cards, Garfield W. Weede Physical Education Building

7:15 p.m. - Processional Line-Up

7:30 p.m. - Processional Begins

Saturday, May 20
8:30-9:30 a.m. – President’s Reception for all College of Education and the College of Technology graduating students and their families, (Light refreshments served.) tent northwest of Garfield W. Weede Physical Education Building.

9-9:45 a.m. - Graduates Obtain Name Cards, Garfield W. Weede Physical Education Building

9:45 a.m. - Processional Line-Up

10 a.m. - Processional Begins

---Pitt State---

Friday, May 12, 2006

PSU honors three alumni for lifetime achievement

Pittsburg State University will honor three alumni with its Meritorious Achievement Awards during commencement activities May 19-20. The PSU Alumni Association established the Meritorious Achievement Award in 1958. It is the highest award based on career achievement presented by the Alumni Association. Candidates for the award must have demonstrated substantial professional growth and advancement over an extended period of time. The candidate's activities, including participation and leadership in civic and professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels, are also considered by the awards committee in selecting the recipients.

This year's recipients are Ronald E. Longstaff, chief judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa; Charles Richard "Dick" Webb, founder and chairman of Watco Companies in Pittsburg, Kan.; and the late Joan K. Bowman, a former educator in Shawnee Mission, Kan., and former mayor of Lenexa, Kan.

Ronald E. Longstaff, BSBA '62
Ronald E. Longstaff serves as a judge over both criminal and civil cases for the United States District Court in Des Moines, Davenport, and Council Bluffs, Iowa. He is a judge in a district that handles an average of 1,200 civil and criminal cases a year.

Longstaff was named chief judge in 1999, after serving as a United States District Court judge for the Southern District of Iowa since 1991. Previously, he spent 15 years as a United States magistrate judge for the Southern District of Iowa, and in 1989 was appointed chief U.S. magistrate judge. He began his law career in 1965 as a clerk before becoming an associate at the McWilliams, Gross & Kirtley Law Firm in 1967. He also served as an adjunct faculty member for Drake Law School.

In addition to presiding over his docket of civil and criminal cases, Judge Longstaff's work includes conducting naturalization ceremonies, impaneling grand juries and sitting on the Court of Appeals. He is actively involved in a multi-million dollar renovation project of the Davenport courthouse and is working toward obtaining a new federal courthouse in Des Moines.

Judge Longstaff is one of only two students in the history of the University of Iowa Law School to have three articles published in the "Iowa Law Review." He publishes as many as 75 legal opinions per year, and has written 12 opinions for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. He was instrumental in creating the Stephenson Trial Advocacy Program at the University of Iowa Law School, and has been a lecturer at numerous bar association meetings and presentations over the years.

Longstaff earned a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in accounting from Pittsburg State University. He earned a juris doctorate with a major in law from the University of Iowa in 1965.

Charles Richard "Dick" Webb, BSBA '62
Charles Richard "Dick" Webb is the founder of Watco Companies in Pittsburg, Kan., which began in 1983 as a single contract railroad switching location with eight employees in DeRidder, La. One of the first to develop this concept, Webb started the business in order to assist large industries in getting railroad cars on a timely basis by having a dedicated crew and equipment to complete all in-plant switching. Today, Watco has 15 switching operations in five states.

In 1985 Watco added the repair of coal trains traveling from the coal fields of Wyoming to the electric utility companies in the South. Because of the initial success of the car repair division, Watco Companies presently has rail car repair facilities in Pittsburg and Coffeyville, Kan., and Jacksonville, Fla., as well as mobile car repair stations in 21 states. There are also locomotive shops in Jacksonville, Fla.; Vicksburg, Miss.; Meridian, Miss.; Panama City, Fla.; and Wichita, Kan. In order to facilitate the movement of rail cars for repair, the first short line railroad was purchased in 1987. The short lines provide a valuable service for customers and have helped hundreds of companies stay in business. Watco is now the largest privately held short line railroad operator in the country with 17 short lines and more than 3,300 miles of track.

Named as the top business in the state of Kansas for 2005, Watco Companies has grown from its original eight employees at one location to more than 14,000 employees in 23 states. Watco also employs a number of PSU students and alumni in many locations.

Webb earned a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in marketing from Pittsburg State University.

Joan K. Bowman, BSED '62

The Honorable Joan K. Petty Bowman has a history of educational and public service. She began her teaching career in 1963 as a math teacher at Milburn Junior High School in Shawnee Mission, Kan. She served as a board member and president of the Shawnee Mission Board of Education and worked on several education boards with the State of Kansas, including the Advisory Council for Special Education, the Committee for Excellence, and the Commission on Restructuring Schools.

For 15 years, Bowman served on the Lenexa City Council, working as mayor from 1995 to 2003. During that time, she worked on the Kansas Task Force for Economic Development, the League of Kansas Municipalities, the Kansas Mayors Association, and as chairwoman of the Johnson/Wyandotte County Council of Mayors.

When Bowman died from cancer on March 11, 2004, a tribute to her dedication to public service was entered into the Congressional Record, and the United States flag was flown over the U.S. Capitol in her honor. Flags were also flown at half-staff in the city of Lenexa. The city dedicated a seven-foot bronze statue of its namesake Na Nex Se (a Shawnee Indian woman) to Bowman, placing it on the grounds of City Hall.

Bowman earned a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in mathematics from Pittsburg State University.

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Pitt State, Army National Guard to break ground on unusual joint project

The guest list at Saturday's groundbreaking ceremony at the Pittsburg State University Student Recreation Center/Pittsburg Armory is the best evidence of the kind of cooperation it has taken to build this multi-use building. Representatives from PSU student government and the university administration will be joined by Army officers, national and state elected officials and officials from the City of Pittsburg for the public event, which begins at 10:30 a.m. south of the Veterans Memorial at Ford and Rouse streets.

The $15-million, 97,000-sq.-ft. building will serve a wide variety of functions. Part of it will be devoted to student recreation and academic offices for the departments of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; and Military Science/ROTC. The recreation center will include cardio equipment, free weights, an aerobics room and gymnasiums. For the Kansas Army National Guard, the armory will include offices, classrooms, an assembly hall, locker rooms, a kitchen, training and support spaces and an exterior compound.

Sen. Sam Brownback; Congressman Jim Ryun; the adjutant general of Kansas, Maj. Gen. Tod M. Bunting; PSU SGA President Ginger Niemann; and PSU President Tom Bryant will speak. In addition to the speakers, the groundbreaking ceremony will include music by the PSU Brass Quartet and a Kansas Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter flyover.

Funding for this new building is a mixture of state and federal funds and private donations to the university. The foundation for this rare partnership began 11 years ago when the Kansas Army National Guard (KANG) approached the City of Pittsburg to discuss the need for a new armory.

Over the years, the possibility of a joint project between the KANG and a local entity was kept alive. In 2001, the Kansas Legislature appropriated $410,000 for the preliminary planning and design of a joint-use facility. The City of Pittsburg appropriated funds to help with site preparation and infrastructure the following year. The final pieces to the puzzle fell into place in 2005 and 2006 when the Kansas Legislature appropriated funds for the building, the Kansas delegation helped secure federal dollars and the university was able to identify private gifts for the new facility.

Construction on the Pittsburg State University Student Recreation Center/Pittsburg Armory is expected to begin in the late fall and is expected to take about 18 months. Horst Terrill & Karst Architects, PA, of Topeka and Overland Park is the principal architect on the project. A general contractor will be named following a competitive bid process.

---Pitt State---

PSU honors local educators for service

The Pittsburg State University College of Education will honor a teacher and an administrator for distinguished service at a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, in McCray Recital Hall. Additionally, the college will recognize two teachers for their achievements in the first years of their careers. These and many student awards will be part of the annual Clyde U. Phillips awards ceremony.

Distinguished Service – Teacher
The 2006 Clyde U. Phillips Award for distinguished service for a teacher goes to Tom Compton, a teacher with St. Mary's Colgan High School in Pittsburg. Compton has been associated with Colgan for 23 years and has taught math, history, geography, economics, government and a number of religion classes. Since receiving his master's degree in secondary school counseling from PSU in 1991, Compton has also served as the school counselor at Colgan.

Compton's co-workers applaud his willingness to serve on numerous committees and his expertise in technology has enabled the district to keep pace with changing computer and information technology.

When he is not in the classroom, Compton is often on the court with the junior high basketball team, where he has coached since 1986.

Distinguished Service – Administrator
The 2006 Clyde U. Phillips Award for distinguished service for an administrator goes to Matthew Wendt, assistant superintendent for Pittsburg Community Schools, USD 250.

Wendt has been with the Pittsburg school district for six years. As assistant superintendent, he focuses on curriculum development and instructional excellence for the district. In the past five years, Wendt has overseen a review of every curricular area to ensure compliance with current State of Kansas Standards.

After completing his bachelor's degree in English from PSU in 1990, Wendt completed a master’s degree in educational administration at Kansas State University. He then received his doctorate in education leadership and administration from the University of Arkansas in 2004.

Wendt spends time volunteering in a variety of community endeavors. He is currently the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is also chairman of the PSU Pittsburg Alumni Chapter.

Outstanding Educators
Each year Pittsburg State University recognizes one elementary school teacher and one secondary school teacher through the Clyde U. Phillips Outstanding Educator Awards. These awards are presented to individuals who have shown, within their first seven years of service, the potential to make significant contributions to education.

The 2006 Clyde U. Phillips Outstanding Educator Award for the elementary level goes to Tim Vesco, a teacher at Frank Layden Elementary School in Frontenac.

After earning his bachelor's degree in elementary education from Pittsburg State in 2001, Vesco began teaching at Frank Layden Elementary School, where he has taught for the past five years.

Vesco’s colleagues say he "generates a positive learning environment throughout his classroom by his contagious enthusiasm. His classroom has many eye-catching displays to encourage his students to learn. Tim has a way of making coming to school an adventure for his students."

The 2006 Clyde U. Phillips Outstanding Educator Award for the secondary level goes to Jamie Reagan, a seventh and eighth grade reading teacher at Frontenac Junior-Senior High School.

Reagan earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education in 2002 and is currently working on her master's degree in reading and a reading specialist degree at PSU. She plans on completing both degrees in the fall of 2008.

Reagan is recognized for her work ethic and her knowledge of her subject matter. She is being recognized for how she uses teaching strategies to reach her students. Reagan's students score extremely well on state assessment tests but learn what is necessary to be well-rounded readers.

The Clyde U. Phillips awards were established in memory of Clyde U. Phillips, a graduate of Pittsburg State University and a well-known Kansas educator. Phillips, who met his wife, Fern Field Phillips when they were both students at Pittsburg State University, known then as Kansas State College of Pittsburg, completed his career in education as the superintendent of schools in Hays. In their will, the Phillips bequeathed a sum of money to support the awards.

---Pitt State---

Musicians collaborate for Psalmfest II

Singers in Pittsburg State University's choral program will collaborate with members of the Southeast Kansas Symphony and other local musicians to present Psalmfest II at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, in Pittsburg's First United Methodist Church. This free event will conclude the choral program’s 2005-2006 performance schedule.

Susan Marchant, director, said Psalmfest II is a "celebration of the rich and glorious tradition of setting Psalm texts to music."

The concert will include works drawn from six centuries of choral literature. The performances will be diverse, as well, and will range from a cappella chamber ensembles through the full resources of a 100-voice choir. The composers represented in the program include Handel, Telemann, Geisler, Gallus and several contemporary compsers.

In addition to Marchant, Psalmfest II will also feature conductors Timothy Henderson and Scott Allison, soprano Jessica Dold, pianist Gulimina Mahamuti, and organist Susan Laushman.

The First United Methodist Church of Pittsburg is located at 5th and Pine streets. For more information, please contact the PSU Department of Music at 620-235-4466.

---Pitt State---