Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News @ PSU

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

Friday, July 28, 2006

PSU offices set special hours for arriving students

A number of Pittsburg State University offices will have special weekend hours Aug. 19-20 to accommodate students arriving for the beginning of the fall semester. Open enrollment at PSU is Aug. 18 and classes begin on Monday, Aug. 21.

On Saturday, Aug. 19, the following offices will have special hours:
Admissions: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Career Services/Student Employment: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Cashier’s Office: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Financial Aid: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Housing Office: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Parking Permits (Admission Office): 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Gorilla Bookstore: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Gorilla Card Office: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Commerce Bank: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

On Sunday, Aug. 20, The Gorilla bookstore will be open from noon until 5 p.m.

The Admissions, Career Services, Cashier’s, Financial Aid, and Housing offices are all located in Horace Mann. The Gorilla Bookstore, Gorilla Card Office and Commerce Bank are all in the Overman Student Center.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Shrine Bowl musicians know its about more than music

Director Doug Whitten, above, works with members of the Shrine Bowl Band on the Pittsburg State University campus this week. The band members, who come from across the state of Kansas, will perform at the annual Shrine Bowl football game on Saturday, July 29.

For 15-year-old Sydni Meehan, participating in this year’s Shrine Bowl Marching Band at Pittsburg State University is more than just another band camp.

Less than two months ago, the Topeka teen was a patient at the Shriner’s Hospital in St. Louis. Meehan had developed an alignment problem with her knee as a result of breaking her foot years ago. Her uncle, a member of the Shriners, suggested she get her foot checked out at the hospital. That gave her a chance to see the services they offer from a patient’s perspective.

“I saw all the little children there, some of them with cancer or in wheelchairs, and I felt so guilty,” Meehan said. “I wished there was something I could do.”

This past spring, Meehan had asked her band instructor if he knew of any clarinet openings in this summer’s Shrine Bowl Marching Band, but none were available at the time. So it felt like more than luck when he called just as Meehan was preparing to leave the hospital to tell her a spot was open.

“I think it was a coincidence that I was at the hospital and able to get into the band, but this has been amazing,” said Meehan, who was fitted at the hospital for shoe inserts to level her knee. “I feel like I’m finally doing something.”

As the marching band for the 33rd annual Shrine Bowl practices this week on the Pitt State campus, they realize they have a big task ahead of them. Coming from high schools across the state, this year’s 232 band members have a very short amount of time to learn a field show that stretches them end zone to end zone and pushes their musical limits.

“The challenge is to operate at this fast pace,” said Director Doug Whitten, whose show includes a rock-and-roll theme with music from the movie “Shaft” and a medley from the musical “Tommy.”

“Some students have come from schools where this is way harder, and for some the learning pace is faster,” Whitten said. “The shock is, ‘Oh my gosh, I have three days to learn a show and get it out on the field.’ But the motivating factor is more than meeting some cool friends. It’s doing something great for some kids.”

The Shrine Bowl rotates among universities across the state and is typically held once every four years at PSU. Driven by a $15 million pledge to the University of Kansas Medical Center by the Kansas Masonic Cancer Research Institute, the Shrine Bowl raises thousands each year for cancer research. Gary VanCleve, assistant director of the Kansas Masonic Foundation, said the weekend’s marching band profits at PSU are around $10,000. In addition to cash, donations such as Subway sandwich parties, bowling nights, and bus transportation by USD 250 are important to the event’s success.

“We get more help from this city than any other city in the state, and the band director here is super to work with,” said VanCleve. “It is one of the best sites.”

In addition to the halftime show, the band will perform pep tunes at a banquet Friday evening at Pittsburg High School. The group will also march in the Shriner’s parade at 10 a.m. Saturday.

As well as being a great way to support charity, Music Department Chairman Craig Fuchs said having the band students on campus is an excellent recruiting tool.

“We reap the benefits years later,” Fuchs said. “Last year we had college freshman show up and say, ‘Remember me? I was in the Shrine Bowl.’ Interacting with the kids is the best. Is it a ton of work? You bet, but it’s worth it.”

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pittsburg State names new VP

Pittsburg State University President Tom Bryant has announced the appointment of Dr. J. Bradford Hodson as the next vice president of University Advancement. Hodson, who currently serves the university as PSU's director of Development, will assume his new duties in September. His appointment followed a national search, which was led by Richard Miller of Miller's Professional Imaging.

"Dr. Hodson possesses the education, skills and experience we need in this very important leadership position," Bryant said. "The university and the PSU Foundation are in the midst of important endeavors and I have great confidence in his ability to lead both successfully at this critical time."

The vice president of University Advancement supervises Alumni Relations; the Business and Technology Institute and the Kansas Polymer Research Center; Career Services; KRPS-FM, the university's public radio station; the Office of University Communications and University Development. The vice president of University Advancement also serves as the executive director of the University Foundation, Inc., which has assets of more than $50 million.

Richard Miller, current chairman of the PSU Foundation board of trustees, said President Bryant had selected the best candidate.

"He fit all of the necessary qualifications to the 'T,'" Miller said. "Plus, having worked with Brad Hodson on the PSU Foundation board of trustees, I can personally say that Pittsburg State has an outstanding person as the next vice president for Advancement. He will do an excellent job."

"It's a great time to serve my alma mater," Hodson said. "Exciting things are happening at Pittsburg State and it is great to be a part of that. I look forward to working with the PSU Foundation Board, with the university and with the wider community. I am confident that the offices in University Advancement, with the help of the PSU Foundation, can help the university achieve its goals and fulfill its mission."

Hodson was named director of University Development in 2003. Previously, he was director of development for the college of business at Eastern Michigan University. Before that, he was at Central Missouri State University, where he began as coordinator of the annual fund, then served as coordinator of corporate and planned giving and finally as assistant director of development. From 1995 until 1997, Hodson was director of annual giving at Baker University.

Hodson received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Missouri Southern State University, a master’s degree in business administration from Pittsburg State University and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Nebraska. He serves on the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau and is a member of the 2006 Leadership Kansas class.

Hodson and his wife, Sue, live in Pittsburg with their children, Hannah, Abby, Kate and Daniel.

---Pitt State---

Friday, July 21, 2006

PSU team earns accolades in S. Korea

Members of the Pittsburg State University Mini-Baja team celebrate their victory in the muddy endurance race at Gyeongsang National University in South Korea this week, at right. Members of the team, left to right, are: Shawn Winkler, Mark Turner, Vincent Bortone, and Cody Emmert.

Half a world away, four Pittsburg State University students have been making a name for themselves and for PSU's Automotive Technology programs. The students, who have been a Gyeongsang National University (GNU) in South Korea since February, finished first this week in the endurance race portion of the Korean Mini Baja competition in a car they designed and built from scratch. The PSU entry had previously captured first-place awards in cost report and safety/static judging. There are 77 cars in the competition in South Korea and PSU’s is the only entry not from that nation.

The PSU students are team captain Cody Emmert, a senior from Seneca, Kan.; Mark Turner, a senior from Lenexa, Kan.; Shawn Winkler, a junior from Seneca, Kan.; and Vincent Bortone, a graduate student from Olathe, Kan.

John Iley, chairman of Technology Studies, called the students’ achievements "fantastic."

"We are all so proud of how well the PSU team has done," Iley said.

In the U.S., the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Mini Baja competition consists of three regional competitions. Internationally, competitions are held in Mexico, Brazil, Korea and South Africa.

According to the SAE Web site, "The object of the competition is to provide SAE student members with a challenging project that involves the planning and manufacturing tasks found when introducing a new product to the consumer industrial market. Teams compete against one another to have their design accepted for manufacture by a fictitious firm. Students must function as a team to not only design, build, test, promote, and race a vehicle within the limits of the rules, but also to generate financial support for their project and manage their educational priorities."

For the Mini Baja participants, the endurance race is the prize the teams covet the most, Iley said.

"The engineering students are required to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the extreme punishment on some pretty rough terrain," Iley said. "They put a great deal of time and effort into design, manufacture, cost reports and other things, but if the vehicle can't finish the endurance test, it's a big disappointment."

Iley said that while other American universities have competed in Korea, PSU is the first to send a team to actually do the work leading up to the competition at the host site. Iley said the exchange with GNU began in 2001. Since then, PSU has hosted groups of students from GNU each year for programs in technology and business.

Catherine Hooey and Tim Bailey, members of the faculty in the PSU Department of Social Sciences, designed a course in East Asian Geography for the PSU students. Hooey said it was difficult to quantify the great benefits the PSU students would have from living, learning and competing in another country.

"This exposes them to another culture," Hooey said, "and it broadens their world far beyond the borders of Kansas."

While at GNU, the PSU team has been busy with much more than building and racing. The Americans have been working in the university's English Department where they help Korean students with conversational English. They have also been assisting GNU's Engineering Department improve its automotive technology program.

As of mid week, a number of scores for various Mini-Baja competition categories had still not been posted, so the PSU students did not know where their car ranked in the overall standings, although they were confident it was high on the list. They are scheduled to return to the U.S. on July 29, bringing with them lots of awards and more importantly, memories of a rich experience they will never forget.

The members of the PSU Mini-Baja team are: • Cody Emmert, a senior from Seneca, Kan. His parents are Andy and Dana Emmert, Seneca. • Mark Turner, a senior from Lenexa, Kan. His parents are Kevin Turner, Salina, and Charlene Wallace, Lenexa • Shawn Winkler, a junior from Seneca, Kan. His parents are Chris & Margaret Winkler, Seneca. • Vincent Bortone, a graduate student from Olathe, Kan. His parents are Vincent Bortone Sr. and Adela Bortone, Olathe.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, July 20, 2006

PSU gets $500,000 boost for Nursing

The Kansas Board of Regents announced today that the Pittsburg State University Department of Nursing will be the recipient of $502,244 in grants designed to help the state of Kansas address a critical nursing shortage. The PSU grants are part of nearly $3.4 million that the Board of Regents awarded to 20 public higher education institutions across the state. PSU's grant total was the largest awarded.

At PSU, $187,168 was earmarked for four additional full-time nursing faculty members and two part-time faculty members. Another $302,245 was awarded to create a patient simulation and learning resource center. PSU also received $12,831 for four Nurse Educator scholarships.

Department Chairperson Mary Carol Pomatto said the grants offer the university great opportunities.

"This gives us a tremendous opportunity to meet the healthcare and the educational needs of Kansas," Pomatto said. "This will not only allow us to add additional students to the baccalaureate nursing program, but also to add to the online RN-to-BSN program."

The RN-to-BSN program is designed primarily for registered nurses who have received their nursing education through community college programs and need baccalaureate degrees for leadership and administrative opportunities.

Pomatto said patient simulation and learning resource center will be a great benefit not only to students in the Nursing Department, but also to students in other areas such as biology, to students at nearby community colleges, to area healthcare providers and perhaps even to K-12 students.

"This will be a new generation of patient simulation and will make Pittsburg State a leader in this kind of technology," Pomatto said.

The grants will also help PSU add to its master's degree program, which prepares the next generation of nurse educators, Pomatto said.

In a release issued today, the Kansas Board of Regents said the grants came about after the 2005 Legislature, concerned about the shortage of nurses in Kansas, recommended that the board report to the governor and the 2006 Legislature regarding the resources required to increase the capacity of the state’s higher education system to educate registered nurses by 25 percent. The Legislature also requested that the report include a timeline for building the infrastructure necessary to accommodate up to 250 more nursing student admissions annually.

A review committee consisting of representatives from the Kansas Hospital Association, the Kansas Organization of Nurse Leaders, the Kansas State Nurses Association, the Kansas Health Care Association, the Kansas Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, and the Kansas Board of Nursing reviewed the Nursing Equipment and Facility Upgrades and the Nursing Faculty Salaries and Supplies grant proposals that were prepared by the universities and community colleges and made award recommendations. The Nurse Educator Scholarships were provided to state universities offering graduate nursing programs. Graduate nursing students accepting these scholarships will commit, upon graduation, to become employed as a nurse educator in a Kansas nursing program.

"These grants represent an exciting first step in a 10-year commitment to addressing the critical nursing shortage facing the state of Kansas. The Legislature must be commended for its commitment to and recognition of this important issue," said Reginald L. Robinson, president and CEO of the Board of Regents. "This program powerfully demonstrates how the state's higher education institutions play a vital workforce development role in Kansas. The board looks forward to addressing this critical issue - an issue that only increases in importance as the state’s population continues to age."

Grants awarded:
• Barton County Community College: $75,271 for the enhancement of the simulation laboratory with several new patient simulators and related equipment (Total: $75,271).

• Butler Community College: $30,844 for two part-time nursing faculty members and additional nursing classroom supplies, and $45,629 for additional nursing laboratory equipment (Total: $76,473).

• Cloud County Community College: $17,210 for three additional part-time clinical nursing faculty members, and $7,950 for ITV equipment that will allow distance education (Total: $25,160).

• Colby Community College: $29,610 for one full-time and one part-time nursing faculty member, and $44,762 for a patient simulator and related instructional equipment (Total: $74,372).

• Dodge City Community College: $9,675 for one part-time nursing faculty member and related instructional supplies (Total: $9,675).

• Emporia State University: $26,400 for one additional full-time nursing faculty member and $75,000 for two patient simulators and related equipment to develop a patient simulator lab (Total: $101,400).

• Fort Hays State University: $100,000 toward facilities renovation to create a new patient simulation center. This institution also received $35,812 for 10 Nurse Educator scholarships (Total: $135,812).

• Fort Scott Community College: $50,250 for renovation of the nursing program's lecture and laboratory spaces (Total: $50,250).

• Garden City Community College: $160,211 for the development of an advanced skills simulation laboratory with patient simulators. This laboratory will be part of a collaborative partnership between Garden City, Dodge City, Colby, and Seward County Community Colleges to increase the capacity of their individual programs to train more nurses for western Kansas (Total: $160,211).

• Hutchinson Community College: $60,000 for patient simulators and related equipment (Total: $60,000).

• Johnson County Community College: $144,200 for five part-time nursing faculty members, and $326,245 for patient simulators and related equipment to expand their simulation laboratory (Total: $470,445).

• Kansas City Kansas Community College: $98,444 for four additional full-time nursing faculty members, and $172,973 for patient simulators and related equipment (Total: $271,417).

• Kansas University Medical Center: $92,578 for two additional full-time nursing faculty members. This institution also received $33,930 for six Nurse Educator scholarships (Total: $126,508).

• Manhattan Area Technical College: $24,789 for one full-time and one three-quarter-time nursing faculty member, and $33,554 for a patient simulator and related equipment (Total: $58,343).

• Neosho County Community College: $96,933 for two full-time and three part-time nursing faculty members, and $130,976 for two patient simulators, three computers and additional simulation support equipment (Total: $227,909).

• North Central Kansas Technical College, Hays Campus: $19,128 for one full-time nursing faculty member, and $199,033 for the construction of an addition to their nursing education facility, as well as several simulation units and related equipment (Total: $218,161).

• Pittsburg State University: $187,168 for four additional full-time nursing faculty members and two part-time faculty members, and $302,245 to create a patient simulation and learning resource center for the nursing department. This institution also received $12,831 for four Nurse Educator scholarships (Total: $502,244).

• Pratt Community College: $66,240 for four and two-tenths full-time equivalent nursing faculty members, and $57,070 for two patient simulators and related equipment (Total: $123,310).

• Washburn University: $103,453 for three and one half additional full-time equivalent nursing faculty members, and several adjunct clinical instructors, and $62,158 for nursing clinical and classroom supplies, equipment, and patient simulator upgrades. This institution also received $40,000 for 17 Nurse Educator scholarships (Total: $205,611).

• Wichita State University: $176,443 for three additional full-time nursing faculty members and six part-time nursing faculty members, and $96,673 for remodeling of a nursing laboratory, classroom renovation, and additional computer and patient simulation equipment. This instituti! on also received $76,681 for fourteen Nurse Educator scholarships (Total: $349,797).

---Pitt State---

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

PSU names new College of Technology dean

Pittsburg State University has selected Dr. Bruce D. Dallman as the next dean of the university's College of Technology. Dallman is currently associate dean and director of the Ph.D. in Technology Management program at the Indiana State University College of Technology. Dallman will assume his post at PSU in mid September.

Dr. Steve Scott, PSU vice president for academic affairs, said the university was very pleased that Dallman has accepted the challenge of leading the College of Technology.

"During his visit to our campus," Scott said, "he very quickly saw the opportunities this tremendous facility offers and he recognized the depth of the expertise held by our faculty and their commitment to our students and their success."

Scott said Dallman brings "a wealth of experience at the college level from an institution that is highly regarded nationally."

Dallman was selected following an intensive national search. Scott said the search benefited from the involvement of faculty, staff and campus leaders and also from a serious commitment of time and energy from members of the College of Technology Advisory Council. That council is made up of leaders in business and industry from across the U.S.

"When I first became interested in pursuing the dean's position at PSU, everything that I found pointed to an outstanding opportunity," Dallman said. "When I visited campus, it was even more apparent that the College of Technology has outstanding faculty, students, and programs; a level of industrial support that, in my career, I had never witnessed before; the city of Pittsburg that clearly embraces the university; and a university that truly appreciates and supports the College of Technology. It is my extreme pleasure to soon be a member of the PSU community."

Dallman received a bachelor of science degree in industrial education from Eastern Illinois University, a master of science degree in technology education from Eastern Illinois and a Ph.D. in industrial education from the University of Maryland-College Park. He has taught at Eastern Illinois University, the University of Maryland, Eastern Michigan University and Indiana State University. At Indiana State, Dallman has served as coordinator of graduate studies in the industrial professional technology program, chairman of the Department of Manufacturing and Construction Technology.

---Pitt State---

Friday, July 14, 2006

Drummers, flag squads fill PSU campus

On Monday, Pittsburg State University will be marching to the beat of a different drummer – hundreds of drummers, actually. Between 500 and 600 students are expected for the Cutting Edge Auxiliaries camp, which begins Monday, July 17, and runs through Thursday. In addition to high school drummers, the camp draws color guards, drum majors and band leaders.

Doug Whitten, director of Athletics Bands at PSU said that the Cutting Edge Auxiliaries camp is very popular with high school bands throughout the region. It has become especially so, he said, because it is scheduled to coincide with the Brass Spectacular drum and bugle competition on Tuesday, July 18. Participants in the Cutting Edge camp not only receive tickets to the Drum Corps International competition at 7 p.m. Tuesday, but also receive a special drum corps clinic on Tuesday afternoon.

"This is an opportunity that area high school drummers and other members of the auxiliary teams rarely get," Whitten said. "It inspires them to be better when they take the field with their own high school bands in the fall."

Whitten noted that it has been a busy summer at PSU. Earlier this summer, the university hosted the Kansas Lions Club state convention and hundreds of students in the Kansas Lions high school band camp. The week after the Cutting Edge Auxiliaries camp and the Brass Spectacular drum and bugle corps competition, PSU will host the Kansas Shrine Bowl and the Kansas Shrine Bowl Band. About 235 high school musicians from across Kansas are expected to participate in that band.

Whitten said there will be just a short break before members of the university's Pride of the Plains Marching Band report for band camp on Aug. 15.

---Pitt State---