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News @ PSU

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

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lees named 2007 Honorary Family

Pittsburg State University’s 2007 Honorary Family was celebrated Saturday as part of the university’s annual Family Day event.

Daniel and Brenda Lee of Cleveland, Mo., and their children, Clorisa Bridgers, Kaleena Lee, Venessa Lee, and Travis Lee, were recognized as the family of honor this year during the PSU vs. Missouri Western football game. The family was nominated by Venessa, a senior biology major at PSU.

In her nomination, Venessa said her parents deserved the honor because of their active involvement in their hometown. Daniel Lee, a farmer and volunteer board member for the local fire department, “is always available to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.” Her mother, a painter, also provides her time and energy to the community. Both were active in raising money to construct a new track at the local high school, and are involved in the community club which organizes community events. Vanessa says her siblings are also involved in various organizations, athletic teams, and volunteer groups.

Pittsburg State University is pleased to congratulate the Lee family on being named the 2007 Honorary Family.

Photo: Venessa Lee poses with her family on Family Day.

---Pitt State---

Study Abroad Expo scheduled

Students who have considered studying abroad at some point can get all their questions answered this week.

The annual Study Abroad Expo will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Governor’s Room in the Overman Student Center. The expo will feature faculty members leading study abroad programs this year, as well as provide information on how to attend school at one of PSU’s exchange universities. Eight faculty-led study abroad trips are planned for this year, and the university has agreements to help students travel independently to more than 15 different countries. Health services and financial aid counselors will also be available.

“It’s a good place to find out about their study abroad options and find the program they’re looking for,” said Julia Helminiak, PSU study abroad coordinator. “This gives them a chance to see the opportunities that are out there.”

For more information on the expo, contact Helminiak at 620-235-4221.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Saturday's "Senior Day" to welcome future students

The Office of Admission at Pittsburg State University will host a day for high school seniors this Saturday, Sept. 29, offering tours of the campus and answering questions about college life at PSU.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. in Grubbs Hall. The day will wrap up at 4 p.m. after an orientation introducing the various student organizations on campus.

Seniors will be able to meet faculty and explore different academic degree programs, as well as tour the campus with current students. Seniors will also be given a chance to visit the residence halls.

9:30-10 a.m.: Registration in Grubbs Hall.
10-11 a.m.: Welcome from PSU President Tom Bryant
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Lunch and campus tours
12:45-3:15 p.m. – Academic showcase and door prizes
3:15-4 p.m. – Student services and student organization fair

For more information regarding Senior Day, please contact the Office of Admission at 620-235-7488.

---Pitt State---

Students in storm damaged counties helped most by PSU

Pittsburg State University helped more students from counties damaged by floods and tornadoes this year than any other university in Kansas, according to a report released today by the Kansas Board of Regents. According to the report, out of the 592 students assisted statewide, 211 – or 36 percent – are enrolled at Pitt State.

“We are very pleased we were able to help so many students whose lives were affected by this year’s unusual events,” PSU President Tom Bryant said. “Pittsburg State always tries to find ways to help students make higher education possible. Because of the widespread storm and flood damage in Kansas, those numbers were high. I commend our staff for redoubling their efforts to assist those in need.”

Pitt State made the announcement in June that it would offer financial assistance for students living in the 43 Kansas counties that were declared eligible for federal assistance. The areas include Greensburg, Kan., which was devastated by a tornado in May, and Coffeyville, Kan., which was flooded in June. Pitt State also extended financial assistance to students in Oklahoma counties affected by natural disasters.

According to a survey conducted by the Board of Regents in May, there were more than 21,000 students from the affected counties who attended the state’s Regents universities last fall.

Debbie Greve, PSU Registrar, said once the Board of Regents made the decision for its universities to offer financial assistance, her office worked long hours to contact students individually and make sure they were aware they could receive help.

“We wanted everyone to know that even if they thought they wouldn’t be able to afford tuition this semester, we could work with them,” she said. “We’ve made sure college continued to be a reality.”

For more information, contact the Office of Public Relations at 620-235-4122.

---Pitt State---

Pre-Physical Therapy program to host open house

The Pittsburg State University Department of Biology is hosting its annual Pre-Physical Therapy Student Orientation and Open House at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4, in Room 102 of Yates Hall.

An orientation for all interested students will be held from 3-4 p.m., followed by the open house featuring various Physical Therapy schools from throughout the region. The open house will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. in Heckert-Wells Hall. The open house is designed for the input of the general public, and everyone is welcome to attend and learn more about the program.

For more information, contact Dr. Peter Chung at 620-235-4736 or at

---Pitt State---

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

PittStock 2007 rocks to Battle of the Bands

Pittsburg State University’s biggest rock concert of the year is preparing to make the campus a much louder place.

PittStock 2007 will begin at 5 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 28, on the PSU Oval. The “battle of the bands” concert includes performances by Hypernikao, The Medicine Man, Agathy, Josh Hucke and the Goin’ Nowhere Band, Barjudah, and Wizard Sleeve Orchestra. Bands will be competing for prizes and for the title of being named a "timeless" band.

Sponsors of the event include the Student Activities Council, Rock Revolution 99.1, Barnes and Nobles Gorilla Bookstore, Wheat State Pizza, Bedazzled, FX Studios, Woodland Studios, Commerce Bank, and Marrone’s, Inc.

Wheat State Pizza will be sold at the concert for $1 a slice. PittStock T-shirts will also be available for purchase.

For more information, contact the PSU Student Activities Council at 620-235-4801 or at sac@pittstate.edu.

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Art shows feature sculpture, ceramic exhibits

The Pittsburg State University Art Department is presenting two shows in its galleries in Porter Hall.

“Waiting Spaces,” by Tennessee sculptor Michael Baggerly is being featured in the University Gallery. Baggerly's art practice is a blend of psychology and physical matter, often using the object of a chair to represent how social interactions grow and change society. His show runs through Oct. 17.

“The Journey,” an exhibit by ceramic artist Jed Schlegel of Joplin, Mo., will be featured in the Harry Krug Gallery beginning Friday, Oct. 5. A potter whose craftsmanship and design are as important as the glazes he uses, Schlegel looks for ways to bring sculptural qualities to his form. Schlegel will present a public lecture on his work at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in Room 103 in Porter Hall. A reception will follow in the Harry Krug Gallery. The exhibit runs through Nov. 9.

Gallery hours are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information about these shows, contact the Department of Art at 620-235-4305 or visit

---Pitt State---

Free photos taken for PSU's Kanza Yearbook

Students, don’t save your best smiles for your MySpace page alone.

Stop by the blue tent on the PSU Oval this Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to get your free picture taken for the 2008 Kanza Yearbook. The Kanza staff will be taking photos of both individuals (in formal or fun poses) and groups of people. The photos will appear in a special section of the yearbook next year.

For more information, contact Mark Jansen at

---Pitt State---

Monday, September 24, 2007

2007 Company Day to welcome 74 companies

More than 70 companies are expected to turn out this Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the College of Technology’s ‘2007 Company Day’ fair at the Kansas Technology Center.

Companies representing the construction engineering, electronic engineering, manufacturing engineering and plastics engineering fields will be available to meet students and speak with them about job openings. Despite the slowdown in the housing market and construction, Assistant Professor of Engineering Technology Bill Strenth says the companies will be out in full force.

“They’re coming here specifically to speak to one segment of students,” Strenth said. “So we know the construction jobs are out there.”

Company Day will be held from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the center’s west wing. For more information, contact Strenth at
bstrenth@pittstate.edu or at 620-235-4361.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pittsburg State announces record enrollment

Pittsburg State University has recorded the largest enrollment in its 104-year history with 7,087 students enrolled in classes this fall semester. The numbers were released today by the Kansas Board of Regents. This is the first time PSU has topped the 7,000 mark.

Pittsburg State University President Tom Bryant said today’s numbers are the result of efforts to maintain a moderate enrollment pace. “This is the kind of growth we are looking for, particularly considering our needs for parking, housing, health services and classroom space,” he said. “The integration of several different variables brought about this increase, but our faculty and innovative programs continue to be the biggest reasons students choose Pittsburg State.”

Enrollment growth appeared across the board in both graduate and undergraduate areas. Compared to last year’s total enrollment of 6, 859 students, undergraduate enrollment went up 2.2 percent while graduate enrollment went up 9.2 percent this year. Students enrolled in a total of 93,798 credit hours – a number that has climbed by approximately 15,000 hours over the past 10 years.

The most important area of growth, said Bryant, is in full-time equivalent students. While total headcount went up 3.3 percent this year, full-time equivalent students went up 4 percent.

“What this means is that our growth is in real people who are taking classes on-campus,” Bryant said, adding that this kind of increase has a significant effect on the dollars spent in the area economy. “Our headcount and full-time equivalency are closer than any other university in Kansas. Students still come to Pittsburg State for the complete educational experience and everything that goes along with it.”

At 1,062 students, this year’s new freshman enrollment is the highest it has been since 1965. The numbers also show the university’s highest junior and senior enrollment in the past decade. The university’s continuing education enrollment numbers are also higher than ever.

For more information, contact PSU Registrar Debbie Greve at 620-235-4205 or Dr. William Ivey in the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Success at 620-235-4109.

---Pitt State---

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

HPV vaccine clinic scheduled for students

There’s no shortage of commercials and advertisements warning young women today that when undetected, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can be a lethal foe.

But with a new vaccine out on the market, the Student Health Center at Pittsburg State University, along with the Community Health Clinic of Southeast Kansas, are offering a dose of prevention to students.

On Tuesday, Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the PSU Student Health Center will offer the first of three HPV vaccinations to female students at health stations set up just outside the Gorilla Bookstore in the Overman Student Center. Women under the age of 26 are eligible for the vaccine for a fee of $135, and women under 19 will receive the vaccine free of charge. A counselor will be available for women interested in financial assistance. The vaccine, marketed under the name “Gardisil,” is covered by some insurance companies.

“It really has to do with cervical cancer prevention,” said Susan Eckelberry, a registered nurse with the Student Health Center. “We want students to know we have this vaccine that could potentially be a lifesaver.”

The vaccine has been shown to prevent several different strains of high-risk HPV, which can lead to cervical cancer and genital warts. The second vaccine in the three-part series will be offered to students on Nov. 13. The final dose will be available in February.

For more information about the vaccine or to schedule an appointment with the Student Health Center, call 620-235-4450.

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Solo & Chamber Music Series features Anonymous 4

Pittsburg State University will feature two distinct musical genres in its gala opening concert of the 2007-08 Solo & Chamber Music Series.

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21, in McCray Recital Hall. It will feature the distinguished vocal ensemble Anonymous 4, a group of female singers renowned for their vocal blend and virtuosic ensemble singing.

Anonymous 4 has performed in concerts and at major international festivals throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Their music, which is interwoven with poetry and narrative, will feature two very different areas of song. The first half of the program, “A Medieval Ladymass,” consists of British chants and songs in honor of the Virgin Mary. The second half, “Gloryland,” features sacred American Folk Tradition music.

Anonymous 4’s award-winning recordings have sold nearly two million copies and received a host of honors including the Diapason d’Or award from France, the Antonio Vivaldi Award from Italy, several CD of the Year and Top Classical Artists of the Year awards from a variety of industry groups. They have been on a continuous award-winning run since their debut recording was named the 1992 Classical Disc of the Year by CD Review.

The group has appeared on a wide range of radio and television programs, including National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and “Weekend Edition”; Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”; CBS’s “Sunday Morning”; and on Discovery Health and Fox News.

Concert tickets are $10 for the general public and $7 for audience members under 18 and over 65. Tickets are available in advance from the PSU Ticket Office. Full-time students can attend the concert free of charge.

Audio files and downloadable photos of Anonymous 4 are available at

For more information on this performance or on the PSU Solo & Chamber Music Series, contact the Department of Music at 620-235-4466. For ticket information, call 620-235-4796 or visit

---Pitt State---

PSU to celebrate opening of Tyler Research Center

After years of planning and construction, Pittsburg State University will celebrate the opening of one of the state’s premier research centers this week.

The official ribbon cutting for the newly constructed Tyler Research Center will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21, at the site of the center, located at 1204 Research Road in Pittsburg (just south of the baseball fields on Rouse Street). Speakers include Gov. Kathleen Sebelius; Donna Shank, vice chairperson of the Kansas Board of Regents; Pittsburg Mayor Bill Rushton; and PSU President Tom Bryant.

The Tyler Research Center will be the new research facility for the scientists of the Kansas Polymer Research Center. The center replaces their former offices and laboratories in Shirk Hall, where the team performed award-winning research including the invention of a new family of BiOH Polyols, for which they won the 2007 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.

After the city of Pittsburg donated the land for the new center, the university received a number of significant financial pledges, including a principle gift from the Robert and Gwendolyn Tyler Charitable Foundation. Robert Tyler, a 1975 PSU graduate, will also speak at Friday’s ceremonies.

“This project is of huge significance to PSU and the entire state,” said Steve Robb, executive director of the PSU Business and Technology Institute. “It provides world-class facilities for our world-class researchers.”

Robb adds that several national and international companies have already approached the KPRC, expressing an interest in touring the facility and discussing research collaboration.

“We fully expect to double our research volume in the next two to three years,” he said. “Our facilities had limited the number and size of industrial clients we could serve, but the Tyler Research facility now enables us to work with anyone who has an interest in our work.”

Construction of the Tyler Research Center began in May 2006 and took just over a year to complete. The 22,000-square-foot building has 18 labs and 22 fume hoods. At a total construction cost of $5.7 million, the building will accommodate the needs of 18 scientists and six graduate students for at least the next five years.

Please join us Friday for this important celebration at Pittsburg State University. For more information, contact the Office of Public Relations at 620-235-4122 or Steve Robb at 620-235-4920.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Distinguished Visiting Writers Series welcomes Kansas Poet Laureate

The first Distinguished Visiting Writers Series event of the Pittsburg State University academic year will feature the award-winning Kansas Poet Laureate Denise Low.

The poetry reading will be held at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, in the Balkans Room of the Overman Student Center. The free event is sponsored by the Kansas Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the PSU Student Fee Council. A reception in the Heritage Room will follow the reading.

Since beginning her term as Kansas Poet Laureate, Low has inaugurated the online Ad Astra Poetry Project, which features historic and contemporary Kansas poets. In addition to her duties as Poet Laureate, she serves as interim dean of Humanities & Arts at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan. Her blog, which highlights literary events in Kansas and Kansas City, can be read at

Low’s book about writing life in the Midwest grasslands, “Words of a Prairie Alchemist,” was named a Kansas Notable Book by the Kansas State Library. In addition, she has written 10 books of poetry including “Thailand Journal: Poems,” which was named a Kansas City Star Notable Book. Her writings appear regularly in publications such as North American Review, Midwest Quarterly, Kansas City Star, and Bloomsbury Review.

For more information about the reading and other Distinguished Visiting Writers Series events, contact the PSU Department of English at 620-235-4689 or visit

---Pitt State---

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Taylor named assistant director of Alumni and Constituent Relations

Lacey Taylor has been named as the new assistant director in the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations at Pittsburg State University, according to Director Johnna Schremmer.

In her position, Taylor is responsible for new programming for the office, which includes reaching out to students before graduation to get them involved in alumni activities. Taylor will also create new programming for current students and for families with young children. Her responsibilities include managing The Jungle, PSU’s online alumni community, and organizing special events such as Family Day and alumni reunions, as well.

Taylor returns to Pitt State after receiving her bachelor of business administration degree in marketing and management in 2004. Prior to working at PSU, she served for nearly three years as the public relations/special events coordinator for the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I am excited to come into a position where so many things are new,” Taylor said. “We have the ability to reach a new audience. I look forward to working with alumni and students and creating an even stronger bond between the two.”

Schremmer said that Taylor stood out as the best candidate for the position. “We have been extremely pleased to welcome her to our team. Her background and skills are a perfect match for this position. We know she’ll hit the ground running and do great things for Pitt State.”

Taylor is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. A native of Edna, Kan., she is the daughter of Larry and Judy Taylor (MS, ’00), and the sister of Cortney O’Brien (BSE, ’05) and Tiffany Taylor (BBA, ’05).

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hispanics of Today celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanics of Today, the Hispanic student group at Pittsburg State University, will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month this week with a series of daily activities and a capstone dance and musical performance this weekend.

From Wednesday through Friday, HOT will offer entertainment on the Oval starting at 11 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m. each day. On Wednesday, group members will hold a social gathering to educate students about HOT. On Thursday, HOT members will give PowerPoint presentations about the different countries that are included in the Hispanic Heritage celebration. And on Friday, the students will play Latin music on the Oval.

At 8 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 15, HOT will welcome Tropical Azul, a 10-man musical group from the Kansas City area. Specializing in salsa, meringue, and “cumbia” music, the group will perform for a dance that evening in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom at the Overman Student Center. Admission is free for students and $5 for community members.

For more information on HOT or on Hispanic Heritage Month activities, contact Analia Saldivar at 620-875-2414.

---Pitt State---

Volunteers lend a hand to rebuild raptor cages

The Nature Reach Program at Pittsburg State University has for years been a great educational tool for students seeking to learn about a variety of animals. But after a winter storm damaged the raptor cages at the Natural History Research Reserve earlier this year, director Delia Lister could only wonder how long she would need to keep the birds in their smaller, temporary cages.

With a recent donation to the program and a pledge by a group of volunteers to rebuild, however, Lister doesn’t have to worry any more.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 15, volunteers from Westar Energy’s Green Team, HCC Contractors, and the Sperry-Galligar Audubon Society in Pittsburg will gather at the Reserve to construct new raptor enclosures for the program.

The new enclosures will hold the current group of four raptors that have been living in temporary cages for months. The birds include a 28-year-old eagle, a hawk the program has had for 19 years, and an owl that has been with the program for 15 years.

The new enclosures will hold up to seven birds total, making it possible for the program to offer a home to more birds in the near future.

After setting the posts for the new enclosures this week, the volunteers will net and finish the cages on Saturday. “It’s fabulous,” Lister said. “It’s something we really needed. We couldn’t do it without the support of local volunteers and local donations.”

For more information about Saturday’s volunteer day or to get directions to the Reserve, contact Lister at 620-704-0034 or at

---Pitt State---

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Art professor receives national Photoshop award

The list of award-winning faculty at Pittsburg State University keeps getting longer.

Rhona Shand, PSU associate professor of art, was honored this week with the Bruce Fraser Photoshop World Memorial Scholarship at the Photoshop World Conference in Las Vegas. Shand was presented with the award on Wednesday in front of 3,000 attendees. She is the first recipient of the award, which honors famed Photoshop author and instructor Bruce Fraser, who passed away late last year.

Shand, who has been with Pitt State for six years and serves as undergraduate coordinator for the department, teaches courses in electronic studio, photography, design, and commercial art. It was over the summer that she attended a Photoshop workshop in Santa Fe, where she was trained by one of the country’s only two AdobeEvangelists (Adobe Photoshop experts who offer conferences and give demonstrations and training on Photoshop). Her AdoveEvangelist was so impressed to see Shand’s Photoshop work from the past several years that she nominated her for the scholarship.

“I wasn’t expecting this at all,” Shand said. “Then all of a sudden I get a call from the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. It was such a surprise to get this award.”

In addition to covering her travel expenses, the scholarship covers the total cost of the conference. The award was presented by Scott Kelby, president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.

Shand’s first book of original art was published last year. She was nominated for the PSU Teacher of the Year Award two years ago.

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

PSU moves to quickly deal with threatening student

Pittsburg State University officials said today that students who shared their concerns about another student in their residence hall allowed them to move swiftly to prevent a possibly dangerous situation.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, Sept. 4, members of the University Police assisted by the Pittsburg Police Department executed a search warrant for the car and room of Nathan L Backs, a freshman from Leavenworth, Kan. A shotgun, ammunition and knives were found in the car and numerous knives were found in the room. Backs was taken into custody by Pittsburg Police and transported to the Crawford County Jail.

Associate Vice President for Campus Life Steve Erwin praised the students who reported their concerns and university staff for their quick response.

“This is the way it should work,” Erwin said. “These students heard some things that disturbed them and some things they perceived as threatening. Instead of ignoring the behavior, they reported their worries to their residence hall adviser. That person investigated and then brought the issue to his area coordinator who reported the situation to the University Police. Because of these actions, we were able to diffuse a potential crisis.”

Erwin said the university works hard to maintain a safe learning environment for students, faculty and staff.

“We take the issue of campus safety very seriously,” Erwin said. “Tragedies on other campuses have demonstrated that time is a luxury we may not have when someone first notices dangerous behavior or statements.”

Erwin said Backs has a right to a discipline hearing, but until he invokes that right, he has been temporarily suspended from the university. The university also plans to remove him from the residence hall.

Among the prohibited actions listed in the university’s Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities is the “Possession and/or use of firearms, fireworks, dangerous weapons and hazardous chemicals.” The code gives the associate vice president for campus life the authority to impose a summary suspension “when there is reason to believe, based on available facts, that the student represents an immediate threat to the safety, health, or welfare of herself/himself, other persons, or property.” The policy states that any student who is summarily suspended and returns to campus may be treated as a trespasser.

---Pitt State---