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News @ PSU

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

Monday, February 26, 2007

PSU's 100th Apple Day celebration takes on a green theme

Pittsburg State University will celebrate its 100th Apple Day on Thursday, March 1, with both a tribute to its rich past and an eye to an environmentally responsible future. The day’s “green” theme is a nod to a new university commitment to improve resource and energy conservation across campus.

Apple Day, the university’s oldest tradition, commemorates an event just four years after the institution’s founding that helped secure the fledgling school’s future. The story of this event and how it became associated with America’s favorite fruit have become a central part of the campus lore. (For the Apple Day story, go to http://www.pittstate.edu/spotlight/1stappleday.html).

While the Apple Day story will certainly be part of this week’s observance, the focus is definitely the future and the kind of world we will leave our grandchildren. The keynote speaker for the Apple Day Convocation at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, in McCray Recital Hall will be Ruth Stinson. Stinson, a PSU alumnus, is an environmental consultant in the Kansas City area. Stinson is the founder and CEO of the Stinson Environmental Group. She will speak on “Foundation for the Future: an Environmental Perspective.”

Also at the convocation, the university will honor three persons with its Distinguished Service Awards; a number of students with the 2007 Golden Gorilla Awards and three faculty with the 2007 Outstanding Faculty Awards.

The green theme continues with a 9-11 a.m. open house on Friday, March 2, for the new University Recycling Center in 206 Whitesitt Hall. The open house will give faculty, staff and students an opportunity not only to visit the new center but also to learn how campus offices can recycle materials that are currently going into the trash and ultimately into a landfill. The University Recycling Center is the first project of the University Committee on Energy and Resource Conservation that was formed by PSU President Tom Bryant last year. For more on the committee, its charge and the University Recycling Center, visit the committee’s Web site at http://www.pittstate.edu/erc/.

---Pitt State---

Pitt State honors 3 for distinguished service

The Pittsburg State University Alumni Association will honor three persons with its Ralf J. Thomas Distinguished Service Award on Thursday, March 1. This year’s recipients are C. Ray Baird, Richard L. Chitty and Mattye Shaw Foxx. The award will be presented at the annual Apple Day celebration at 3 p.m. in McCray Recital Hall. The three will also be honored at a reception in their honor at 2 p.m. that day in the Wilkinson Alumni Center at Ford and Joplin streets.

Dr. Ray Baird is a retired PSU vice president. He joined the PSU faculty in 1947 and n 1953 became director of admissions. Baird was named executive vice president in 1968. He retired from the university in 1986 after 39 years of service to the university. Baird’s service to the university has continued since his retirement. He is a member of the PSU Foundation’s Heritage Society. Currently a senior trustee of the PSU Foundation, Baird served on the Foundation Board from 1997 until 2003. He supports many activities on campus, including the Music Department, and has established the Baird Music Scholarship. Baird lives in Pittsburg. His wife, Ann, died in 2006. They have one daughter, Catherine Anne Baird.

Richard “Dick” L. Chitty is a retired executive from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., where he rose to become senior vice president before his retirement. Chitty, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology from PSU in 1967, has been a long-time supporter of PSU. He has served on the College of Technology Advisory Board and has been an advocate on behalf of PSU with Toyota, resulting in corporate support for the construction of the Kansas Technology Center. Because of Chitty’s involvement, the Toyota T-Ten program was developed in the auto service area. Chitty encouraged Toyota in the hiring of many PSU graduates who have also gone on to successful careers with the company. Chitty has served as a University Councilor to the President. He is a past president of the Southern California Chapter of the PSU Alumni Association and is currently a trustee of the PSU Foundation. Chitty is a recipient of the PSU Outstanding Alumni and Meritorious Achievement awards. Chitty and his wife, Janet, live in Ocala, Fla.

Since Mattye E. Foxx retired as a social worker, she has devoted much of her life to making the community of Pittsburg a better place. Foxx, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree from PSU in 1969, has been a volunteer for PSU, as well. She served as an Alumni Association board member from 1990 until 1996 and as secretary for the board from 1993 until 1996. Foxx has been a volunteer for numerous PSU Community Campaigns and Phonathons. She is a former member of the Business Advisory Board and the PSU Friends of Music. In Pittsburg, she has many years of service to Meals on Wheels, the YMCA and the Red Cross Bloodmobile. Foxx lives in Pittsburg. She has three sons: Marvin, Melvin and Robert.

---Pitt State---

Environmental consultant to deliver Apple Day address at PSU

Ruth Stinson, founder and CEO of the Stinson Environmental Group in Lenexa, Kan., will deliver the keynote address at the 100th commemoration of Apple Day at Pittsburg State University. The address will be part of an all-campus convocation at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, in McCray Recital Hall. Apple Day is a century-old tradition at PSU commemorating an event early in the school’s history that helped secure its future.

Stinson, one of the first graduates of PSU’s Environmental Studies Program, earned a Bachelor of Science degree from PSU in 1978. She spent several years with Burns and McDonnell Engineering Company in Kansas City. She then attended the Colorado School of Mines, where she was one of the first women to get a Master of Science degree in mining engineering.

Stinson practiced environmental consulting in Colorado and Texas before moving to France for a time. In 2003 she returned to Lenexa, Kan., where she started the Stinson Environmental Group. Stinson is a registered, professional engineer with more than 25 years experience in environmental management and consulting.

The Stinson Environmental Group provides experienced scientists and engineers to work with companies to obtain and comply with environmental permits. Their services include environmental plans and permits, engineering and compliance projects. The Stinson Environmental Group works with electric utilities, quarries, landfills, manufacturing facilities and local government throughout Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. They are currently launching a new software product to help firms manage environmental, health and safety requirements.

---Pitt State---

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Refugee camp the setting for dramatic play

Pittsburg State University Theatre will present "Necessary Targets," a provocative drama with a delicate comic touch, from March 1-4 in the Studio Theatre in Grubbs Hall on the PSU campus.

The play, set in 1995 in a Bosnian refugee camp, focuses on two American women, one a well-established psychiatrist and the other a young writer, who travel to Bosnia to help a group of women war victims. "We're here," says J.S., the psychiatrist, "to help you talk about the war." Her good intentions are met with cynicism when a refugee replies, "What do you think we were talking about before you came?" This type of sharp interchange, both caustic and funny, marks the tone of Eve Ensler's play. The audience soon realizes the playwright is not writing so much about the atrocities of the Bosnian war as she is exploring the naïve perspective of Americans trying to "clean things up."

"This play really caught the attention of myself and designer Dan Williams when we read it last year," said director Cynthia Allan. "We thought it was a strong piece of theater. It is short, fierce, and funny. It really shows the contradictions of our culture – going in with a big heart but not always having a clue about what others need or want."

Designer Dan Williams saw the chance to create a unique expressionistic set that relies on lighting to bring the play "out of the shadows." In addition, performance artist Marianne Evans-Lombe is collaborating with the theater by incorporating an original piece into the performance of "Necessary Targets."

"The play lends itself to creating a lot of interesting visual moments," Allan said. She and stage manager Roy Hatcher, along with sound designer Ross Stone, have also made sure that all the music used in the show is authentic.

"We are using popular Bosnian music from the early 1990s, which reflects an interesting fusion of traditional ethnic and contemporary regional sound," Allan said.

The cast includes some of Pitt State's most experienced actors along with some newcomers. Abby Olcese (J.S.) and Deidre Galloway (Melissa) play the American women, while the refugees are played by Lucy Miller-Downing (Zlata), Bekah Grieb (Azra), Daley Leintz (Jelena), Megan Stoneberger (Nuna), and Ally Sutton (Seada).

The cast is also sponsoring a fund-raising challenge for Habitat for Humanity. Audience members will be able to contribute to the local Habitat for Humanity in the theater lobby. For every $5 raised, the cast and crew will donate 1 hour of labor to Habitat for Humanity/Hearts and Hammers projects. The slogan for the service project is "the more you give, the more we work!"

Performances are at 8 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday, March 1-3, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 4 in the Studio Theatre. Entrance to the theater is on Joplin Street across from the Axe Library. Tickets are $8 for the general public, $6 for faculty/staff, $5 for under 17/over 65, and free to PSU students with a valid PSU photo I.D. Tickets are available through the PSU Ticket Office at 620-235-4796 or at the door approximately 45 minutes prior to curtain. Because seating in the theater is limited, reservations are encouraged.

For more on the Pittsburg State University Theatre Co., including upcoming productions, visit the Department of Communication Web site at:
or call 620-235-4063.

---Pitt State---

Kansas RAs gather at PSU

About 100 residence hall assistants, the unsung heroes of student housing, will gather on the Pittsburg State University campus Feb. 23-24. The RAs represent all of the state universities and Washburn and will be at PSU for the Kansas Association of Residence Assistants (KARA) meeting.

Justin Frederick, University Housing, said the RAs will participate in a variety of learning sessions on Feb. 24. They will share ideas about programming, diversity and ways to build a sense of community among students who live on campus.

All of the sessions will be in Russ Hall, Frederick said. The meeting will conclude with a banquet and awards ceremony in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom and a dance in Dellinger Underground.

For information, contact Frederick, at 620-235-4192 or frederick@pittstate.edu.

---Pitt State---

PSU sets spring enrollment record

Pittsburg State University continues to set enrollment records. The university's spring enrollment of 6,422 students is the highest spring enrollment in PSU’s history, according to Lee Christensen, associate vice president for academic programs, and the university's increase in on-campus enrollment was the largest of any state university in Kansas. The Kansas Board of Regents reported enrollment data for all of the state's universities today.

On-campus enrollment for the spring semester at PSU increased by 155 students to 5,989. Systemwide, on-campus enrollment declined by 434 students. The Kansas Regents system includes Pittsburg State University, the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Wichita State University, Fort Hays State University and Emporia State University.

"Pittsburg State has set a record in each of the past three spring semesters," Christensen said. "The university's steady growth is certainly a positive sign for both PSU and the community."

This semester's enrollment of 6,422 is up 87 students over spring 2006, which is an increase of 1.4 percent. Christensen said that undergraduate enrollment (5,320) was up 122 or 2.3 percent over the previous year. In addition to headcount, PSU also recorded strong gains in credit hour production. For the spring 2007 semester, PSU students are enrolled in 84,460 hours of instruction. That record number is an increase of 1.9 percent over the previous year.

Christensen pointed out that high credit hour production relative to headcount reflects an unusually high percentage of full-time students on campus.

"That's important from the community perspective," Christensen said, "because it means students are in the community supporting the businesses and institutions upon which the community depends."

Christensen credited PSU's continued growth to an increasing awareness both locally and in the region of the university's programs and campus culture.

"Pittsburg State is the first choice for a growing number of students who want high quality academic programs and a friendly campus atmosphere at a price they can afford," Christensen said.

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Jon Faddis/Chicago Jazz Ensemble to perform at PSU Jazz Festival

Jon Faddis and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble will be the featured artists for the 33rd annual Pittsburg State University Jazz Festival on Friday, March 2. The performance is set for 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium at 5th & Pine in downtown Pittsburg.

Faddis, a musician, composer, conductor and teacher, is known around the world as a consummate trumpet player. Inspired by a television appearance by Louis Armstrong, Faddis began playing at age eight. A meeting with Dizzy Gillespie when Faddis was 15 proved to be the beginning of a unique friendship that spanned over three decades.

Before he turned 18, Faddis was playing with Lionel Hampton's big band. Faddis then worked as lead trumpet for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra at the Village Vanguard. He eventually formed his own quartet and soon began directing big band orchestras, including the Grammy-winning United Nation Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie 70th Birthday Big Band, the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band (1992-2002), and eventually the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York. The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, which celebrated its 40th anniversary at Columbia College Chicago, named Faddis as its artistic director in 2004. Faddis conducts both the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. He has also served as guest conductor and featured guest with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Faddis' original compositions include the jazz opera “Lulu Noire.” Others are included on his albums “Remembrances,” “Into the Faddisphere,” and “Hornucopia.” Faddis' latest album, “TERANGA,” features new compositions by the trumpeter joined by members of the Jon Faddis Quartet.

The 21-member Chicago Jazz Ensemble is an elite group of Chicago jazz musicians, ranging from established stars with national reputations to the city's brightest young talents. Founded in 1965, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble is recognized internationally as one of American's leading jazz ensembles. The CJE is dedicated to preserving the tradition of American big band jazz music while promoting the continuing evolution of the art form by regularly performing and commissioning contemporary works. As a professional jazz ensemble in residence at Columbia College Chicago, the CJE is equally committed to education, building new audiences and fostering the next generation of American talent by training and mentoring young musicians.

The PSU Jazz Ensemble I under the direction of Bob Kehle will open the evening concert.

Tickets for the concert are $10 for adults and $8 for persons 65 and over or 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the PSU Ticket Office, 620-235-4796.

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

'African-Americans You Wish You Had Known'

Most Americans recognize names like Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver and Rosa Parks as African-Americans who changed history. What about Marshal Bass Reeves, Ida B. Wells or Lewis Latimer? These African-Americans also left their mark on history, but they and their achievements go largely unknown to Americans of all races.

“Portraits of Courage: African-Americans You Wish You Had Known” will explore these not-so-famous Americans in a dramatic presentation at 7 p.m. on Feb. 20 in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom of the Overman Student Center on the Pittsburg State University Campus. This program, sponsored by the Office of Student Diversity, is free and open to the public.

"Portraits of Courage" is an examination of overlooked African-Americans and their contributions to American history. In the 65-minute presentation, two actors will introduce the audience to seven who helped shape the nation. They are: Ida B. Wells: the activist and journalist who, at great personal cost, brought to mainstream America the horrors of the South; Lewis Latimer, one of the original Edison pioneers and the designer of a lasting and cost-effective filament for the light bulb; Colonel Young, a graduate of West Point and commander of the 9th Cavalry, known as the Buffalo Soldiers; CJ Walker, an entrepreneur whose business acumen with 'hair growth' products helped her become America's first female millionaire; Bass Reeves: the first black marshal west of the Mississippi; and Fannie Lou Hamer, who picked 300 pounds of cotton a day until she learned that as a black woman she had a right to vote.

Colin Cox, co-author of “Faces of America” and “American Voices” is the creator of “Portraits of Courage,” which premiered in New York in 2005. The production is presented by the Los Angeles theater company Will & Company.

For more information, contact Eric Wilkinson in the Office of Student Diversity at 620-235-6078, eawilkin@pittstate.edu. For more on “Portraits of Courage,” go to their Web site:

---Pitt State---

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dining hall promotion includes room makeover tips

It may be only a few square feet, but Campus Dining Services knows that even a typical residence hall room could use a little expert help or even a complete makeover. Students will get daily tips and advice on ways to make their personal spaces more attractive and more functional during the “Your Room on a Dime” promotion Feb. 19-23. In addition, students will be invited to vote with their spare change in the “My Room is a Disaster” contest. The winners of that dubious honor will receive a little help transforming their rooms with a gift card from Home Depot.

Michael Wonderly, Sodexho resident dining manager, said the contest is designed to be both fun and educational for the residence hall students who eat in Gibson Dining Hall regularly. Wonderly said that Dining Services plans promotions both as a way of making the dining experience new and interesting for the regular diners and also to introduce others on campus to what the dining hall has to offer.

For more information about “Your Room on a Dime” or other campus dining events, contact Michael Wonderly at Ext. 4996, wonderly@pittstate.edu or visit their Web site at http://www.gorilladining.com/feb.html

---Pitt State---

Making blankets for kids

In the iconic Charlie Brown cartoon series, Linus derives great comfort from his ever-present blanket. The PSU Civil Service Club hopes to share some of that feeling of security by participating in “Project Linus,” an effort to make and share blankets with children who are ill or otherwise in need of a little extra TLC. The group will sponsor a Valentine’s Day party and blanket-making time from 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Feb. 14 in 101 Whitesitt Hall.

Jeannice Parker, Career Services, said that while this is a Civil Service Club project, everyone on campus is invited to attend and help out. Parker said the club has purchased enough materials to make two blankets and the Pittsburg Wal-Mart has donated additional materials.

Project Linus is a national volunteer movement. It was begun in 1996 for the purpose of providing “love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans.”

Parker said she hopes this event leads to the establishment of a local chapter of Project Linus that can work with local law enforcement and social services agencies as well as Mt. Carmel Medical Center to provide blankets for children.

In addition to refreshments, door prizes will also be given at the Pitt State blanket-making meeting. For information, contact Jeannice Parker at 620-235-4144, jparker@pittstate.edu.

For information about Project Linus, visit their Web site:

---Pitt State---

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Space a premium at Spring Career Day

If the number of companies who plan to participate in Spring Career Day at Pittsburg State University is any kind of economic barometer, the near-term future is good. David Hogard, assistant director, Experiential Education Programs, said this week that more than 90 companies have signed up for the event, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, in the Overman Student Center.

“It is going to be tight in the Student Center,” Hogard said, “but that just means more options and opportunities for Pitt State students.”

Hogard said the 94 companies and organizations that have registered make this a record turnout for Spring Career Day. Gold sponsors for the event are Ameriprise Financial, Crossland Construction, Farmers Insurance Group, and Nike. Other corporate sponsors are Aflac, Depco LLC, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Pulte Homes of Greater Kansas City and the Wolfe Automotive Group.

Spring Career Day is an opportunity for students who are looking for full-time employment as well as those in search of summer internships to make a good first impression. The companies and organizations represented at this year’s event offer a wide range of work environments, Hogard said, ranging from aeronautics, engineering and construction to retail sales, marketing and business administration.

For a complete list, go to the Career Services Web site at

---Pitt State---

Trio next on Chamber Music Series

The Allegro Chamber Trio will present the fourth concert of the 2006-2007 PSU Solo and Chamber Music Series at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, in McCray Recital Hall on the Pittsburg State University campus.

The Allegro Chamber Trio, based in Austin, Texas, is a rarely heard combination of flute, viola and harp. The group has performed extensively for the past 13 years and can be heard on a CD entitled “Debussy Ravel Bax,” on the Centaur Label, as well as on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.”

The trio is made up of flutist Megan Meisenbach, harpist Mary Golden and violist Bruce Williams. Meisenbach and Golden are first-prize winners of the National Flute Association’s chamber music competition. They have performed together since 1976 and have been repeatedly honored with touring grants from the Mid-America Arts Alliance and the Texas Commission on the Arts. Meisenbach has also been chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Award.

Williams is the former principal violist for the Haifa Symphony Orchestra and is currently the principal violist for the Austin Symphony, the Victoria Symphony, the Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra and the New Texas Festival Orchestra. He has performed as a soloist with the Orchestra of Santa Fe, the Austin Symphony and the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra. Williams performs on a circa 1680 Grancino viola.

Tickets for the performance are $10 for the general public and $7 for persons over 65 or under 18. Full-time PSU students are entitled to a free ticket. Tickets are available in advance at the PSU Ticket Office in the Overman Student Center or at the door prior to the performance.

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

For more information on the Series, call the PSU Department of Music at 620-2325-4466 or visit the department Web site at http://www.pittstate.edu/music/.

For more information on the Allegro Chamber Trio, visit their Web site at http://ccwf.cc.utexas.edu/~meisgold/allegro_chamber_trio.html

---Pitt State---

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Play targets violence against women

The Pittsburg State University Women’s Studies Club will stage a benefit production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, and at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10. Both presentations will be in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom of the Overman Student Center. Proceeds from the play will go to aid the Crisis Resource Center (CRC) of Southeast Kansas, Inc., and to the V-Day international college campaign, a global movement to end violence against women and girls.

The student cast for the PSU production of “The Vagina Monologues” includes Ritu Chillal, Adriane Wiltse, Lucy Phelps, Rebekah Griebs, Shona Webber, Rebecca Bauman, Tia Taylor, Amanda Lutjen and Chelsea Smith. The production is directed by Ritu Chillal.

Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for others. They may be purchased at the V-Day information table in the Overman Student Center, at the CRC at 669 S. 69 Highway and at the door the day of the performance. Tickets may also be reserved by e-mail at psuwomen@yahoo.com.

---Pitt State---

PSU Nursing Department joins in Wear Red Day

It’s not unusual to see students, faculty and staff at Pittsburg State University wearing red, especially on Fridays when they show their Pitt State pride. The students and faculty in PSU’s Department of Nursing will be decked in red tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 2), but for a different reason. This year, as in years past, the department is participating in National Wear Red Day as a way of showing support for the fight against heart disease in women.

“For a long time, heart disease was thought of as something that affected mostly men,” said Mary Carol Pomatto, chairperson of the PSU Department of Nursing. “Research shows, however, that more women die of heart disease each year than the next five leading causes of death combined. Many of these deaths are preventable. By wearing red, we hope to join in the national effort to raise awareness about heart disease in women and encourage those lifestyle changes that will help women live longer, healthier lives.”

In a letter to all Kansas state employees, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has encouraged all of them to wear red on Friday. She encouraged men to participate, as well.

“While this observance is a call for women, I am also asking male employees to be involved as a showing of support for the women in your lives,” the governor wrote.

For more information about heart disease and National Wear Red Day, visit the American Heart Association Web site at www.americanheart.org or the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Web site at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/hearttruth.

---Pitt State---