Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News @ PSU

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

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Author to discuss rich Kansas history

Author and historian Don Coldsmith will be featured speaker at the 9th annual Gene DeGruson Memorial Lecture, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3, in the Special Collections Department of Pittsburg State University's Axe Library.

Coldsmith writes the syndicated horse care and breeding column, "Horsin' Around," has a lengthy resume as a novelist, retired physician, rancher, and former English professor at Emporia State University. Coldsmith has written his column for nearly 40 years, and is also the author of numerous books including "Spanish Bit Saga."

Coldsmith's lecture, entitled "Circle of History," covers the early exploration and development of the state of Kansas by Spanish explorers, famous outlaws, mountain men, Indians, and radical reformers. Each of these groups left their mark on the state – a territory rich with a western past including cattle towns, Civil War battles, pioneer trails, and frontier forts.

The lecture is funded by the Kansas Humanities Council. Proceeds go toward funding ongoing activities of Friends of the Axe, including a book detailing the history of the PSU campus and a sculpture to be placed in the Axe Library courtyard. For more information, contact Jane Victor, Axe Library reference librarian, at (620) 235-4886.

---Pitt State---

Alumni Legacy license plate program passes a milestone

Ken Bateman, former director of Alumni Relations, shows the proposed PSU Alumni Legacy license plate at the launch of the program, right.

With the sale of the 1,000th plate this week, the popular Pittsburg State University Alumni Legacy license plate program passed another milestone. Mindy Cloninger, director of Alunmi Relations, said the license plates have rapidly become one of the most popular programs the Alumni Association offers.

The plates, which feature the distinctive split-face Gorilla logo in crimson and gold, were an instant hit from the very beginning. The state of Kansas made affinity license plates tied to the six state universities an option for motorists in 1999. To begin the program, however, each university had to sign up a minimum of 500 persons willing to purchase the plates.

Cloninger said that the Alumni Association was cautioned to expect it to take a year or more to get the needed signatures. At least that had been the experience at other universities. It took Pitt State just two months.

Cloninger said she believes one of the reasons the license plates have been adopted so quickly is the love that Pitt State alumni have for the Gorilla logo.

"It just pops off the plate," Cloninger said. "When people see that plate going down the road, they want one."

Company purchases of the plate have helped, as well. Cloninger noted that Crossland Construction Co. of Columbus has purchased 100 plates for their company vehicles. The Bath Naylor Funeral Home in Pittsburg has also purchased multiple plates for their cars.

In addition to displaying Gorilla pride, the Legacy license plates also generate a significant amount of money for the Alumni Association's Legacy Scholarships. Of the $30 cost of each license plate, $25 goes directly into a fund that provides $250 scholarships for the children of PSU alumni who are attending Pittsburg State. Cloninger said last year, the fund generated more than $38,000 for scholarships. This fall, that total is $32,750 for 131 students.

Cloninger noted that as the Legacy License plate program continues to grow, it also promotes the university throughout Kansas and beyond.

"More and more people recognize the logo instantly," Cloninger said. "They don’t even have to see the words 'Pittsburg State University' to know what it represents. It's just a great testament to the pride and loyalty that PSU alumni have when it comes to their alma mater."

For information, visity the PSU Alumni Relations Web site at www.pittstate.edu/alum.
---Pitt State---

Monday, September 25, 2006

R & B Star to perform at PSU

It's rare to have a nationally known rhythm and blues artist of the stature of Kelley Hunt perform in a benefit concert at Pittsburg State University. Perhaps she was influenced, just a bit, by the fact that her son is a PSU senior.

Hunt will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26, in PSU's McCray Recital Hall. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the PSU Music Department.

A Kansas City native, Hunt has built a national reputation as an R&B singer, song writer and piano player. Her grassroots following has made her a crowd favorite at more than 100 blues and music festivals across the U.S. She has performed on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" no fewer than seven times and on "Beale Street Caravan," the Blues Foundation's syndicated radio show, six times. Other appearances include "House of Blues Radio Hour," a 2001 appearance on the PBS-TV music series "Backstage Pass" and numerous other syndicated blues radio shows.

Hunt’s latest CD, "New Shade Of Blue," debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard Blues chart late this summer.

Tickets for the performance are $15 for the general public and $5 for PSU students and faculty. For ticket information, contact the PSU Ticket Office at 620-235-4796. For information about Kelley Hunt or to listen to her music, go to her Web site at www.kelleyhunt.com/.

---Pitt State---

Library friends to hold membership drive and book sale

The Friends of Axe Library, a group of supporters of the Leonard H. Axe Library at Pittsburg State University, will hold a book sale and membership drive Sept. 28-30, during the Community Bazaar held at the Meadowbrook Mall in Pittsburg.

The Friends will sell leftover books from past events including the Children’s Book Festival, as well as other donated paperbacks and hardbacks. Books signed by the author will be sold for half their Amazon.com listing price. Non-signed books will be sold at prices ranging from 50 cents to 30 percent of the face value.

Hours for the booth are:

Thursday, Sept. 28, 1-3:30 p.m. and 5:30-8 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m.-noon
Saturday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information on the sale or to become a Friends of Axe Library member, contact Jane Victor, reference librarian, at (620) 235-4886.

---Pitt State---

Pittsburg State hosts Career Expos

The Pittsburg State University Office of Career Services is inviting PSU students to get a jump start on the job search this week with a variety of activities tied to their annual Career Expos. The Career Expos are an opportunity for businesses, industries, educational institutions and non-profit agencies to interact with students and for students to learn about career opportunities in a wide range of fields.

On Tuesday, Sept. 26, sophomores are invited to drop by the Career Resource Center in 202 Horace Mann between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to begin preparing resumes and research for internships.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, Career Services will host the second annual Career Expo for Education and Non-Profit. This event, which runs from 1-4 p.m. in the Overman Student Center, is specifically for students majoring in education and social science and others interested in education or non-profit institutions.

On Thursday, Sept. 28, Career Services will host Career Expo for Business and Industry. This event, for all majors, will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Overman Student Center.

For more information, call the Career Services Office at 620-235-4140 or visit their Web site at www.pittstate.edu/car/.

---Pitt State---

SGA sponsors Meet the President

Pittsburg State University students will have an opportunity to meet and visit with President Tom Bryant and other university administrators on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at an event organized by the Student Government Association. The SGA's "Meet and Greet the PSU President" will take place at 6 p.m. on Cleveland Plaza.

Student organizers say they designed the event as an opportunity for students to learn more about issues concerning the university and its students and what the future holds for PSU. They hope to make this an annual event, if attendance and participation indicates it is valuable.

For information, contact Garrett Reist, SGA public relations director, at 620-235-4214, gkreist@pittstate.edu; or Anthony Moreno, SGA campus affairs director, at 620-235-4810, ajmoreno_@hotmail.com.

---Pitt State---

Friday, September 22, 2006

L.A. pop-rock band to perform for GorillaFest

The Los Angeles-based pop-rock group Thornbird will be the featured entertainment for this week's GorillaFest, beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, in Gorilla Village, just east of Pittsburg State University's Carnie Smith Stadium.

Thornbird is an up and coming group that travels extensively. Their song "So Beautiful" was featured on the hit NBC television show "Providence." Thornbird will perform in the Gazebo in Gorilla Village from 11 a.m. until approximately 1:15 p.m.

GorillaFest is a gigantic, free tailgate party that precedes each home football game at PSU. In addition to live music, a variety of tailgate food will be for sale. Games for kids, provided by students in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, will begin at noon. The highlight of each GorillaFest is a pep rally led by the Pride of the Plains Marching Band and the PSU Spirit Squad.

For more information, contact Ron Womble at 620-235-4124, kwomble@pittstate.edu.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, September 21, 2006

PSU announces record enrollment

Pittsburg State University reported on Sept. 21 that the university's fall enrollment of 6,859 students is the highest in Pittsburg State's history. The fall 2006 count broke a record of 6,751, which was set in 2002. Last fall, the PSU enrollment was 6,628. The 3.5 percent increase was the highest among the state's public universities, which include the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Wichita State University, Emporia State University and Fort Hays State University.

Pittsburg State University President Tom Bryant said the university's growth is a direct result of "combining strong academic programs and a great campus environment while remaining one of the most affordable institutions in the region."

According to the report that PSU submitted to the Kansas Board of Regents, the university saw growth in almost every area. Undergraduate enrollment is up 3.7 percent while graduate enrollment is up 2.6 percent. The most dramatic increases were in transfer enrollment, which jumped 13.4 percent from 539 to 611, and international enrollment, which was up 20.2 percent from 376 to 452 over the previous fall.

President Bryant said a comparison of the data on the university's full-time equivalent with headcount says a great deal about the nature of the university. The full-time equivalent is derived by dividing the total number of credit hours taught by 15, in the case of undergraduate students, and by 9 for graduate students. PSU's FTE for the fall 2006 semester is 6,371 compared to a headcount of 6,859.

"What that shows is that the great majority of our students continue to be full-time, on-campus students," Bryant said. "That is significant for the community because these students add so much to the economic and cultural life of the area."

PSU's on-campus enrollment increased by 234 students this fall to 6,399. Emporia State University's on-campus enrollment rose 159 to 4,973 and at Wichita State, on-campus enrollment rose 129 to 13,875. On-campus enrollment at KU was 27,668, down 77; 20,665 at K-State, down 200; and 4,502 at Fort Hays State, down 32.

Chuck Olcese, director of international programs and services, said the increase in international enrollment reflects the long recovery from the after effects Sept. 11, 2001.

"The federal government has made some corrections that have made the process to obtain student visas less complicated," Olcese noted.

Olcese also said that after 9-11, PSU representatives continued to travel and maintain international relationships, despite the relatively few students who were able to come to the U.S. to study.

President Bryant said that while the continuing growth in enrollment is good news for PSU and the community, it should not be the primary focus.

"Pittsburg State strives to provide high quality academic programs in an exciting and caring campus atmosphere," Bryant said. "At the same time, we work very hard to keep the costs of education down and to provide financial aid for deserving students. When we do those things well, more and more students make Pittsburg State University their first choice."

For more information on fall enrollment data for the Kansas Board of Regents universities, please visit the Kansas Board of Regents Web site.

---Pitt State---

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

PSU honors families

Pittsburg State University will honor two Southeast Kansas families at the annual Family Day festivities this Saturday, Sept. 23. This year's events coincide with the always popular U.S. Cellular Miner's Bowl game against Missouri Southern State University. The game begins at 2 p.m. at Carnie Smith Stadium.

The winners of the 2006 Honorary Family Award are the Steve and Marsha Merando family of Frontenac, Kan. The Merandos were nominated by their son Adam, a senior biology/chemistry major. Steve and Marsha's other children, Chris, Chad, and Anthony are also included in the honor. Every member in the Merando family has attended PSU at some point. The family will have earned a total of five degrees upon Adam's graduation next spring.

In his nomination, Adam, a PSU Ambassador and Pitt CARES leader, praised his family's unwavering support and guidance. Recalling a time he scored less than expected on an exam, he said his mother nonetheless hung the test on the refrigerator with pride. "She looked at me and said 'If this is the best you can do, then I am very proud of you,'" he said. "Good or okay was always great if it was my best."

A family from Baxter Springs, Kan., Larry and Vicki O'Neal and their daughter Valerie, has been named runners-up. The O’Neals were nominated by their daughter, Natalie, who is a graduate student at PSU. Natalie, also a PSU Ambassador, is working on her master's degree in education, and describes her family as long-time supporters, students and donors of Pitt State.

"My sister and I grew up in a household that was surrounded with love and support," she said. "I never recall being told I couldn’t do something…or wasn’t good enough.

Families are selected based on their involvement with PSU, their encouragement toward one another, and their support for higher education and the mission of the university.

The two families will be honored at halftime. President Tom Bryant will lead them onto the field and present them with plaques.

Family Day is an annual tradition at Pitt State and includes a variety of other events. This Saturday's schedule:
• 8 a.m. – 5K Fun Run/Walk, PSU Student Health Center
• 9 a.m. – Parents of Freshman Q&A, 409 Russ Hall
• 10 a.m. – President’s Brunch, Second Floor of Russ Hall
• 11 a.m. – GorillaFest, East side of Carnie Smith Stadium
• 2 p.m. – Pitt State football vs. MSSU

For more information, contact Ed Wirthwein, assistant director of Campus Activities, at (620) 235-4905 or Jolene Selvey, interim director of University Development, at (620) 235-4756.

---Pitt State---

Monday, September 11, 2006

Zimbabwean musician to perform at Pittsburg State

Musekiwa Chingodza, a well-known Zimbabwean mbira and marimba player and teacher, will perform a free concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17, in McCray Recital Hall at Pittsburg State University.

Chingodza was born into a family of mbira players in Mwangara Village, Zimbabwe, in 1970. He began playing the mbira, the classical instrument of Zimbabwe, at the age of five. Since then, he has gained both national and international recognition for his performances.

“Our music is both medicine and food, as mbira has the power to heal and to provide for people,” Chingodza said. “Mbira pleases both the living and the dead.”

The mbira consists of approximately 20-24 flattened metal prongs that are fastened at one end to a wooden resonator body. The mbira sits in a gourd, which acts as it's resonator. The free ends of the metal prongs are plucked with the thumb of the left hand and the thumb and index finger of the right hand. The most important feature of mbira music is its chiming, cyclical nature, with each new repetition varying slightly from the last.

Chingodza is teaches mbira at Prince Edward School in Harare. In addition to his skills as a musician, Chingodza is also an accomplished drummer, singer and dancer. For more information, call the PSU Department of Music at 620-235-4466.

---Pitt State---

PSU students join National Anthem Project

If you've been to a football game lately, it will not come as a surprise to learn that two-thirds of Americans don't know all the words to "The Star Spangled Banner." And of the third who do know the words, few are willing to sing them out loud.

A group of Pittsburg State University music students is hoping to make a small dent in that statistic on Thursday, Sept. 14, when the visit seven schools in Pittsburg as part of the National Anthem Project. The PSU students hope to teach young Americans the words to the anthem, the tune and perhaps a little history in the process. They chose Sept. 14 to coincide with the Sept. 13 anniversary of the birth of the "Star Spangled Banner." On that date in 1814, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the words to what would become our national anthem as he watched the British attack on Fort McHenry in Maryland.

The National Anthem Project was created by the National Association for Music Education (MENC). It is a multi-year national effort to re-teach Americans the national anthem.

In Pittsburg, more than 30 PSU music students are expected to participate. They will visit the following schools at the following times:
1 p.m. - Covenant Harvest School, 615 S HWY 69
1:15 p.m. - Pittsburg High School (Choir Room), 1978 E. 4th
1:30 p.m. - Pittsburg High School (Choir Room), 1978 E. 4th
1:30 p.m. - Pittsburg Middle School, 1310 N. Broadway
3 p.m. - Westside Elementary School (Music Room), 430 W. 5th
3 p.m. - Lakeside Elementary School (Music Room), 709 S. College
3 p.m. - George Nettles Elementary School (Music Room), 2012 S. Homer

Did you know?
The flag that Francis Scott Key saw had 15 stars and 15 stripes.
The Star Spangled Banner did not officially become the U.S. national anthem until 1931.
The original poem that Frances Scott Key wrote was titled, "The Defense of Fort McHenry."
The lyrics that Francis Scott Key wrote were set to an English pub song, "To Anacreon in Heaven?"

For more on the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key, www.si.edu/resource/faq/nmah/starflag.htm
For more on the National Anthem Project,

---Pitt State---

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Clarinetist opens Solo & Chamber series on Sept. 15

The opening concert of Pittsburg State University's Solo & Chamber Music Series will feature American clarinetist Jon Manasse. Manasse will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15, in the McCray Recital Hall on the PSU campus. He will be accompanied by pianist Jonathan Shames.

Manasse has distinguished himself as one of the foremost classical clarinetists of his generation. His solo appearances range from New York's Lincoln Center to 14 tours of Japan and Southeast Asia. He has been a guest soloist with many of the leading chamber orchestras, including the Amadeus Trio and Germany's Trio Parnassus. Manasse has recorded six CDs on the XLNT label, including two during the 2005-2006 season.

A graduate of the Julliard School, Manasse was a top prize winner in the 36th International Competition for Clarinet in Munich. Since 1995, Manasse has been an associate professor of clarinet at the Eastman School of Music.

In Pittsburg, Manasse will perform a program that will include works by Johannes Brahms, George Gershwin, Bela Kovacs and Carl Maria von Weber. Tickets, which may be purchased in advance through the PSU Ticket Office or at the door the night of the concert, are $10 for the general public and $7 for those over 65 or under 18. Full-time PSU students are entitled to one free ticket.

For ticket information, call the PSU Ticket Office at 620-235-4796. For more information about this concert or other concerts in the Solo and Chamber Music Series, please call the PSU Department of Music at 620-235-4466.

The PSU Solo and Chamber Music Series is supported by major funding from the PSU Student Government Association.

---Pitt State---

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New doctor treats PSU students

The new doctor on the Pittsburg State University campus is actually a former student. Steve Erwin, associate vice president for campus life and auxiliary services at PSU, announced this week that Dr. Donald Holsinger had been appointed interim medial director for the university's student health center. Holsinger replaces Dr. David Parris, who has returned to private practice after serving the university for more than two years.

Holsinger, who received his undergraduate degree from PSU in 1960 and his medical degree from the University of Kansas, had a private practice in internal medicine in Pittsburg for 33 years. Recently, he has served as the chief medical officer and vice president for medical affairs at Mount Carmel Regional Medical Center.

Erwin also announced that Rita Girth, previously assistant director of the health center, has assumed the role of interim operational director. As such, Girth will be responsible for all aspects of the operation of the facility, supervision of the administrative staff of the Student Health Center, and the business and administrative operations for the unit.

Girth is a registered nurse with 22 years of experience. She joined PSU's Student Health Services in 1990 and was promoted to assistant director in 2000.

The Pittsburg State University Student Health Center provides a wide range of health services for students. It is located at 1801 S. Joplin St. on the PSU campus.

---Pitt State---

GorillaFest tailgate set

The ninth season of GorillaFest, the free community tailgate party preceding every Pittsburg State University home football game, begins on Saturday, Sept. 9. GorillaFest will run from 4-7 p.m. in Gorilla Village, the area just east of Carnie Smith Stadium beside the University Lake.

GorillaFest was created to enhance the long-established tailgate tradition at PSU. It is designed to provide family entertainment and food options for persons who wish to enjoy the tailgate atmosphere without the hassle of traditional tailgating.

Music for the opening GorillaFest will be provided by the Dewayn Brothers, a country and bluegrass group from the Kansas City area. The Dewayne Brothers will perform in the Gorilla Village Gazebo. Games for children, face painting and Gorilla face tattoos will be offered by students from the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation. Food options in the village range from burgers, brats and barbecue to pizza, southeast Kansas fried chicken and kettle corn. The PSU Bookstore will have a wide variety of Pitt State clothing and memorabilia for sale. This year the bookstore sales have been relocated from the shelter house to a mobile sales unit nearer the stadium.

An important part of the GorillaFest tradition is the pep rally led by the Pride of the Plains Marching Band and the PSU Spirit Squad.

For more information, contact Ron Womble at 620-235-4124, kwomble@pittstate.edu.

---Pitt State---