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News @ PSU

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

PSU yearbook staff receives top award

The Pittsburg State University Kanza yearbook staff has been recognized by the College Media Advisers and Associated Collegiate Press as producing one of the top college yearbooks in the country.

The students traveled to Washington, D.C. last week to attend the organization’s annual fall convention. There, they received a Pacemaker Finalist Award for their work on the university’s 2006 yearbook. The PSU students were one of only 13 college yearbook staffs in the country (including schools of all sizes and divisions) to receive the award.

“Our staff every year just wants to publish the best yearbook it can for the students, faculty and staff,” said Gerard Attoun, adviser to the publication. “That they get outside recognition for their work is a nice affirmation, but the best reward is the good response the book receives from the campus community.”

The Kanza staff has been the recipient of multiple awards this year. In April, the group won the Silver Medalist Award from the Kansas Associated Collegiate Press. The Collegio student newspaper staff, many of whom contribute to the production of Kanza, also took home a Gold Medalist Award at the same conference. In total, both groups were honored with 85 individual awards at the KACP event.

---Pitt State---

Second City revue to perform in Pittsburg

The Second City will bring its legendary brand of humor and irreverence to Pittsburg for a performance at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, in Pittsburg's Memorial Auditorium. The performance is part of Pittsburg State University's Performing Arts and Lecture Series.

Second City traces its roots to a cabaret revue show started by students at the University of Chicago in the 1950s. Today there are Second City theaters in Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York, as well as a touring company. For more than 40 years, the touring shows have brought the best scenes, songs and improvisations from the Second City archives to universities and communities around the country.

Although the style of comedy has changed over time, the Second City format has remained the same. Second City revues feature a mix of semi-improvised and scripted scenes with new material developed during unscripted improv sessions after the second act.

A number of well-known performers began careers as part of the historic troupe and later moved to television and film. In the mid-1970s, Second City became a source of cast members for Saturday Night Live and SCTV, which borrowed many of the writing and performing techniques pioneered by Second City and other improv groups.

Tickets for the performance are $5 for the public and $3 for persons 65 and older or 17 and younger. PSU students are admitted free with a valid ID. To order tickets, call the PSU Ticket Office at 620-235-4796 or visit the office online at http://www.pittstate.edu/union/tickets/.

---Pitt State---

Monday, October 29, 2007

PSU Indian students plan Diwali celebration

The Pittsburg State University Indian Student Association will host its annual Diwali celebration at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, in the Dance Studio of the Weede Physical Education Building. The celebration at PSU will include a reception with a catered Indian meal, a range of cultural performances featuring Indian music and dance, and a variety of colorful cultural acts including fireworks.

Also known as the "Festival of Lights," Diwali is perhaps the most well known of Indian celebrations. It symbolizes the victory of good over evil and signifies the renewal of life. Lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for humankind.

The traditional Indian festival of Diwali is celebrated for three consecutive days at the end of the Hindu month of Ashwayuja. However, celebrations of Diwali vary according to the regional culture. The celebration at PSU is the largest in the region, with hundreds of attendees each year.

Tickets are $8 for PSU students and $12 for other participants. To purchase tickets, call the PSU Office of International Programs and Services at 620-235-4680 or contact Ankit Jain, president of the PSU Indian Association at 620-704-5817 or

---Pitt State---

Pitt State alum discovers second letter from 'Lincoln's Little Correspondent'

History buffs across the nation will recall the story of Grace Bedell – an 11-year-old girl from Westfield, N.Y., who wrote soon-to-be president Abraham Lincoln a letter in 1860 commenting on his thin face and suggesting he grow some “whiskers.”

Amused by her comments, Lincoln wrote her back, engaging in one of the most famous conversations in history between a president and constituent. Soon afterward, when his inauguration train traveled through Westfield, the two met face-to-face, Lincoln hugging his little fan and telling her he grew the beard for her. The media credited Grace with Lincoln’s decision to grow his trademark beard and dubbed her “Lincoln’s Little Correspondent,” a title that has been the inspiration for several books, historical monuments, and two movies.

For years, that’s where the story ended. But now, there is new evidence Grace didn’t forget about their friendship. A Pittsburg State University graduate and documents researcher in Washington, D.C., has uncovered a second letter from the little girl to Lincoln. That letter will be displayed at a ceremony at 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 5, at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan.

Karen Needles, owner of Documents on Wheels, an online historical documents company, has been researching the National Archives in Washington, D.C. for the past six years, looking for letters related to the Lincoln administration. Last March, she came upon a second letter from Grace written in1864, a year before Lincoln’s assassination. In the letter, Grace asks the president if he remembers her, and requests his help in finding her an entry-level job in the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Lincoln, who was in the midst of the Civil War, didn’t respond (Needles theorizes one of his clerks forwarded it directly to the Treasury without informing Lincoln). Bedell didn’t get a job and instead married and moved to Delphos, Kan., with her husband George Billings, a Civil War sergeant. She died in Delphos in 1936, just before her 88th birthday. Her original letter to Lincoln is in the archives at the Detroit Public Library. Monuments honoring her stand in both Delphos, Kan., and in her birthplace of Westfield. (See the original text at

Bedell’s great-grandson Duane Billings, along with Needles, representatives from the Delphos Public Library, PSU Department of History faculty, and PSU students and staff will attend the ceremony next week.

For more background on the story of “Lincoln’s Little Correspondent,” check out Lincoln’s Little Girl: A True Story by Fred Trump, and A Few Hundred Years by Roger Bishop Billings.

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

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pitt State honors alumni

Pittsburg State University will honor four alumni during PSU Homecoming activities on Saturday, Oct. 27. The award is presented by the PSU Alumni Association in recognition of professional and civic achievements. The Outstanding Alumni Award is named in honor of Dr. Kenneth K. Bateman, longtime director of the Alumni Association, who retired in 2004.

The Outstanding Alumni will be honored Friday, Oct. 26, during the annual Crimson and Gold Dinner in the Overman Student Center. (Tickets required) A public reception in honor of the award winners will be held at 5 p.m. in the Student Center.

On Saturday, the honorees will ride in the annual Homecoming parade, which begins at 9 a.m. in downtown Pittsburg. They will then be recognized on the football field at half-time of the football game in Carnie Smith Stadium.

Following are the 2007 Outstanding Alumni along with brief biographical sketches:

Kendall Gammon
Kendall R. Gammon is currently a free agent in the NFL, an author and a motivational and inspirational speaker. He is a co-owner of the Paradise Nursery and Midwestern distributor for Amerisciences.

Gammon earned a bachelor of science degree in education from PSU in 1992. At PSU he helped lead the Gorillas to the 1991 NCAA Division II National Championship title. Gammon’s NFL career began with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he competed in Super Bowl XXX. Gammon was with the Steelers until 1996, when he joined the New Orleans Saints. From 2000 until 2006, Gammon served as the long snapper for the Kansas City Chiefs.

In addition to playing in Super Bowl XXX, Gammon was also selected for the 2005 Pro Bowl in Hawaii, the first long snapper to receive this honor. Gammon played 218 straight games in the NFL, a record for active players, and played in eight playoff games.

In 1995, Gammon published “Life’s a SNAP: Building Your Business and Personal Future.” He is currently working on a second book.

Gammon and his wife, Leslie, also a PSU graduate, live in Overland Park, Kan., with their sons Blaise and Drake.

Joy Khoo
Joy Saw Kim Khoo is a senior program assistant supporting the director of operations for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Khoo earned a bachelor of music degree from PSU in 1993 and an MBA from PSU in 1995.

Khoo began her career first as a forecast analyst and then as an assistant category manager for Manco in Avon, Ohio. There she assisted in the development of marketing plans for major U.S. retailers. From 1998 until 2001, she served as a senior consultant for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young in Chicago, where she managed worldwide sales and project management efforts for the Supply Chain Management business diagnostic tools.

In 2002, Khoo joined the U.S. Department of State as a community liaison officer in the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. She served as a critical advocate responsible for the morale of Foreign Service Officers and their families. In 2003, Khoo moved to Washington, D.C., where she served as the executive assistant to the deputy assistant secretary for the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. She joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2006.

Among her awards and honors, Khoo was recognized by Secretary Colin Powell as the Community Liaison Officer of the Year in 2003 for her dedication, energy and imagination in implementing an outstanding and effective program for the embassy. This distinguished award also noted her leadership and unflagging support for the embassy community in crisis during a six-month evacuation.

Khoo lives in Bellevue, Washington.

Vijay L. Shankar
Vijay L. Shankar is the Vice President for Consumer Division Sales for the Henkel Corporation in Avon, Ohio. As such, he leads the company's North American professional and consumer adhesives sales to global, national, and regional retailers and resellers.

Shankar received an MBA from Pittsburg State University in 1994. He received a bachelor of commerce degree with a concentration in accounting from Osmania University in Hyderbad, India, in 1990.

At PSU, Shankar was a member and President of the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team and Vice President of the MBA Association. He joined Henkel Corp. upon graduation, serving first as a project analyst and then a market research analyst, responsible for analyzing customer data from Wal-Mart, the company's largest customer.

From 1998 until 2000, Shankar was Henkel's Director for Wal-Mart International, managing the company's partnership with Wal-Mart Canada and working closely with Henkel affiliates to manage Wal-Mart relationships in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, the United Kingdom, China and Korea. In 2000, Shankar was named Vice President for Wal-Mart/Sam's Worldwide and became responsible for Henkel's North American professional and consumer adhesives business with Wal-Mart along with his global Wal-Mart responsibilities. He was named to his current position in 2007.

Shankar lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio with his wife, Jill and three cats.

Steven E. Westfall
Steven E. Westfall is president and CEO of EaglePicher Technologies, LLC. As such he is responsible for overseeing 1,200 employees, seven diverse businesses and individual sites, including the company’s state-of-the-art semi-automated battery facility recently opened in Pittsburg. Westfall’s current responsibilities spread across multiple sites in Missouri; Oklahoma; Kansas; Germany; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Westfall earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pittsburg State University in 1989 and an MBA from Pittsburg State in 1990. Westfall joined EaglePicher in 1993 as a contract administrator in thermal operations. He has risen through the company over the years, serving as a business manager for product development, director of business operations for EaglePicher Technologies, vice president and general manager of EaglePicher Technolgies specialty materials business unit, president of EaglePicher Pharmaceutical Services, and executive vice president and COO. He was named to his current position in 2005.

Westfall is the chairman of the Diehl & EaglePicher Joint Venture committee in Nuremberg, Germany; is a member of the Missile Defense Agency Supplier Industry Council Committee; a member of the U.S. Space Supplier Council Committee; and a member of the National Defense Industrial Association.

Westfall lives in Joplin, Mo., with his wife, Nancy, and their sons, Jantzen and Jarrett.

---Pitt State---

Monday, October 22, 2007

Book author to speak at SIFE fundraiser

Finance author Chris J. Snook will be the guest speaker at the Students in Free Enterprise fundraiser this weekend at Pittsburg State University.

Snook, who wrote Wealth Matters: Building a Future You Love, is touring the country offering seminars on achieving financial freedom and prosperity. He’ll speak at PSU on Sunday, Oct. 28, from 1-5 p.m. in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom.

Tickets to the event are $50, which includes the cost of the book, seminar, and refreshments. Pitt State students can attend free of charge, but businesses and individuals are welcome to donate the cost of a ticket to sponsor a member of SIFE. Sponsorships for a table of eight students are $400. All money raised goes toward the SIFE organization.

For more information on the fundraiser, contact SIFE President Adam Contreras at 760-638-1401.

---Pitt State---

Pitt State's regional Health Simulation Center to open

After receiving nearly a million dollars earlier this year to develop a regional health simulation laboratory for Southeast Kansas, the Pittsburg State University Department of Nursing is officially opening the doors of the new Health Simulation Center.

Following months of renovations and additions, the department will host a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, at the new center in McPherson Hall. Mr. Reggie Robinson from the Kansas Board of Regents, representatives from the Kansas State Board of Nursing, Kansas Senator Jim Barone, and members of the PSU Nursing Advisory Board, Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and PSU faculty, staff and students will all be in attendance.

The regional center is designed around the addition of three new health simulators purchased by the department earlier this year. The simulators – an adult, a child, and a baby that look and act like humans – can each be programmed to experience realistic health ailments. The simulators provide nursing students with valuable practice tending to “patients” before they go to work in an actual hospital setting.

The first to provide technology like this in the Southeast Kansas area, the Health Simulation Center will benefit more than PSU students. Thanks to a $504,000 Nursing Initiative grant by the State of Kansas and the Kansas Board of Regents, the facility is a learning center for health professionals, area school districts, and community colleges. The university has also provided more than $340,000 for the center.

“We were honored to be the recipient of the largest amount of funding in Kansas from this grant,” said Dr. Mary Carol Pomatto, chairwoman of the Department of Nursing at PSU. “The ability to serve the educational and healthcare needs of Kansans is greatly enhanced by the Health Simulation Center. This is a celebration of the efforts of a large team who made this happen for students and for the region.”

For more information on the PSU Health Simulation Center or on the grand opening ceremony, contact the Department of Nursing at 620-235-4431.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, October 18, 2007

King and Queen candidates announced

The 2007 Pittsburg State University Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned at a noon ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Carnie Smith Stadium.

This year, 21 king and 24 queen candidates have been nominated by organizations throughout campus. The candidates go through a strenuous selection process once they’re nominated, participating in multiple interviews and presentations. At 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23, the King and Queen presentations will take place in the Overman Student Center. These presentations are the final step in determining the finalists who will be presented to the students for their vote on Wednesday.

The chosen King and Queen will be featured in the PSU Homecoming Parade and at the football game against Fort Hays State University on Saturday, Oct. 27. Visit the Public Relations Web site at
http://www.pittstate.edu/pr/2007Homecomingcandidates.html to see the candidates. We wish each of them luck!

---Pitt State---

Homecoming: A Colorful Tradition at Pittsburg State

For most of Pittsburg State University’s history, homecoming has been one of the most beloved campus traditions. The hint of fall in the air, leaves turning color, bright chrysanthemums, a parade through downtown and football are all a part of college life that every American understands.

This year, PSU will celebrate homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 27. Preceding the big day, students will participate in a week of events designed to build excitement for homecoming. Student groups accumulate points through their participation in the week’s events, leading to a sweepstakes award on Saturday.

Activities begin on Monday, Oct. 22 with Gorilla Games at 4 p.m. on the Oval. Gorilla Games is a spoof of the ancient Olympic Games. Also that day is the beginning of the Yard Art competition, also on the Oval.

At 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23, the King and Queen presentations will take place in the Overman Student Center. The presentations are the final step in determining the finalists who will be presented to the students for their vote on Wednesday.

At noon on Wednesday, Oct. 24, students will gather for a convocation in Carnie Smith Stadium. At the convocation, students will cast their ballots for King and Queen from the slate of finalists.

Beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, student groups will vie for points in the spirited Yell-Like-Hell competition, which takes place in Carnie Smith Stadium. Students have been practicing for weeks on routines that combine dance, gymnastics, school spirit and humor.

On Friday, the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations will host the annual Crimson and Gold Dinner in the Overman Student Center. A reception for the winners of this year’s Dr. Kenneth K. Bateman Outstanding Alumni Award will be held at 5 p.m. and dinner will begin at 6 p.m. In addition to the alumni award winners, others recognized at the dinner will be the Homecoming Court and the Automotive Technology Reunion attendees. Reservations are required. For information, call the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations at 620-235-4758 or visit their Web site at

Homecoming Day – Saturday, Oct. 27, begins with the parade in downtown Pittsburg at 9 a.m. Marching bands, floats, king and queen cars and a wide variety of novelty entries will all be part of the area’s biggest parade.

At 10:30 that morning, the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations will sponsor a number of guided tours for returning alumni and others in the community. A campus walking tour will begin at the Wilkinson Alumni Center at Ford and Joplin streets. There will also be tours of the new Tyler Research Center just south of the Bicknell Sports Complex, the Veterans Memorial at Rouse and Ford streets and the Kansas Technology Center at 909 E. Ford. Tours will begin every 30 minutes with the last tour beginning at 12:30 p.m.

At 11 a.m., GorillaFest, the free communitywide tailgate party, will begin in Gorilla Village just east of Carnie Smith Stadium. Music in the Gazebo will be provided by the band Winter Circle. Food vendors will offer a variety of tailgate foods ranging from burgers and hot dogs to pizza and Southeast Kansas barbecue, and Pitt State clothing and memorabilia is available from the Gorilla Bookstore and the TECA student booth. Free games for kids, face painting and Gorilla tattoos will be provided by students in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation. The highlight of GorillaFest is a pep rally led by the Pride of the Plains Marching Band and the PSU Spirit Squad.

From 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations will host a tailgate party in Gorilla Village featuring Southeast Kansas fried chicken. RSVP required. For more information, call 620-235-4758.
Kickoff for the game between the Gorillas and the Fort Hays State Tigers is at 2 p.m.

For information about Homecoming activities, call the Office of Public Relations at 620-235-4122.

---Pitt State---

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Diversity month celebrated with several events

Life on the Pittsburg State University campus each day means one thing is a guarantee – whether it’s the students you meet or the courses you take, you will have many opportunities to learn about diversity.

With several activities scheduled for Celebrate Diversity Month, even more opportunities will soon be possible. From Oct. 15 to Nov. 15, offerings ranging from lectures and entertainment to campus cuisine will be geared toward embracing diversity. Throughout the month, Sodexho will offer a daily selection of multicultural menu items. Two guest chefs, students from India and Paraguay, will also be showcased during the month. More information, including menus with diversity-identified dishes, can be viewed at

Activities on diversity for the months of October and November include:

Wednesday, Oct. 17 – The Black Student Association will host a “Jena 6” protest rally on the Oval at 9 a.m. and noon. Women’s Studies “Love Your Body Day” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Grubbs Hall.

Friday, Oct. 19 – Ethos Percussion Group, 7:30 p.m. in McCray Hall.

Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19-20 – Campus Town on the Ozark Campgrounds.

Friday and Sunday, Oct. 26 & 28 – PSU Opera Workshop “Una Festa Italiana!” 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Friday, Nov. 2 – Culture Day, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Overman Student Center.

Saturday, Nov. 3 – Dipawali Celebration sponsored by the Indian Student Association from 5-9 p.m. in the Overman Student Center.

Tuesday, Nov. 6 – Dr. Joni Barnard will present “Diversity in the Workplace,” at 7 p.m. at the Kansas Technology Center, Room S111. Performance by John Two-Hawks at 7 p.m. in the U-Club.

Friday, Nov. 9 – Musical performances by Hakan Rosengren and the Chiara String Quartet at 7:30 p.m. in McCray Hall.

Saturday, Nov. 10 – Student Diversity Fair in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom, Overman Student Center.

Tuesday, Nov. 13 – Helen Thomas will be the featured speaker at the Profiles of Women in Government series. Noon at McCray Hall.

For more information on these events, contact PSU Public Relations at 620-235-4122.

---Pitt State---

Friday, October 12, 2007

Princeton Review names College of Business one of the "Best"

Pittsburg State University has again been recognized by The Princeton Review as a leading U.S. university – this time, for the work of the Kelce College of Business.

The PSU College of Business is one of nearly 300 business colleges profiled in the Review’s “Best 290 Business Schools,” an annual guidebook that hit stores Oct. 9. The book gathers the opinions of students from the best AACSB-accredited MBA programs in the country and offers statistics and testimonials about each school. The PSU College of Business, which received its AACSB accreditation in 1999, is one of 551 schools in the world accredited by the organization.

This year, the Review contacted 19,000 students to collect their opinions about which business schools are the best in the nation. The Gladys A. Kelce College of Business at Pittsburg State, which is featured on pages 338 and 339, offers statistics such as the student/professor ratio (25:1), the percentage of international students (43) and the college’s strengths as described by students (it offers a solid preparation in general management, presentation skills, quantitative skills and computer skills).

The book also features information on Kelce’s prominent alumni, including Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott, Firestone/Bridgestone President and CEO John Lampe, ConocoPhillips Executive Vice President John Lowe, and American Honda Executive Vice President Richard Colliver. Companies that frequently hire PSU MBA grads include Payless ShoeSource, Sprint, Hallmark, Cessna, Koch Industries, Inc. and Wal-Mart.

The college is no stranger to professional accolades. In addition to its AACSB accreditation, the college earned the Information Systems Security certification by the Committee on National Security Systems in June, making it one of about 100 schools in the nation to achieve this honor.

“The faculty and administration work very hard to provide a relevant business curriculum,” said Dr. Richard Dearth, dean of the PSU College of Business. “Our college considers student learning to be our most important task. I am proud of our faculty for receiving this national recognition.”

---Pitt State---

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Black Student Association organizes protest rally for "Jena 6"

For the past several weeks, the legal issues of a group of black Louisiana teenagers known as the “Jena 6” have led to a national debate on racial inequality in America.

The Black Student Association at Pittsburg State University has decided to raise its voice on the issue. The BSA will lead a protest rally on Wednesday, Oct. 17, on the Oval of PSU. The peaceful rally will be held first from 9-10 a.m. and again from noon-2 p.m. Students will be dressed in BSA T-shirts and will carry posters and signage that questions the issue of racial unfairness in this country.

“We’re doing this because we would like to know why we’re still dealing with racial inequality and tensions in 2007, when the Civil Rights era was 50 years ago,” said Darlene Freeman, a BSA member. “Years ago people were struggling, fighting and dying so we wouldn’t have to go through this today. We want people outside our community to be aware this is still going on.”

The rally will be attended by about 50 supporters, Freeman said. Rallys and demonstrations have been held across the country in support of the “Jena 6.”

The six black students from Jena, La., were charged with second degree attempted murder and conspiracy after allegedly beating a white student. The victim was one of several white students accused of hanging nooses from a tree said to be in “white territory.” The nooses were allegedly placed there in response to a group of black students sitting in the area the previous day. The “Jena 6” are now out on bond, and their court cases are ongoing.

For more information on the rally, contact BSA advisors Eric Wilkinson at 620-235-6078, Trinity Davis at 620-235-4502, or BSA President Harold Wallace at 620-235-4077.

---Pitt State---

Emmett Memorial Lecture features poet, short story author

The 14th annual Victor J. Emmett Memorial Lecture will be delivered by a university professor and prominent author of poetry and short stories.

Joseph Powell, a professor of English at Central Washington University, will present “On the Newest Bees in Darwin’s Garden,” at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, in the Governor's Room of the Overman Student Center. The free presentation
compares the works of William Wordsworth and John Clare as contrasting models for subsequent poetry. A reception and award ceremony will follow in the Heritage Lounge.

Powell, who received an MA from Central Washington University and an MFA from the University of Arizona, has written three books of poetry as well as co-written a book on meter in poetry entitled Accent on Meter: A Handbook for the Readers of Poetry. His work has appeared in more than 60 journals, including The Connecticut Review, Kansas Quarterly, and The Humanist. He is currently working on two books of poetry. His new collection of short stories entitled "Fish Grooming and Other Stories," will be released this month.

The Emmett Memorial Lecture is delivered each year at PSU by the author of the best essay on a literary topic, which is published annually by The Midwest Quarterly. Powell’s winning essay was entitled “Honesty, Elegance & the Ragged Edge,” which appeared in the fall 2007 issue.

The Emmett Memorial Lecture is sponsored by the Midwest Quarterly, the PSU English Department and the Emmett family. The award is in memory of the late Dr. Victor J. Emmett, Jr. who served the PSU English Department as professor and chairperson. He also served as acting dean of Graduate Studies at PSU, and as editor-in-chief of The Midwest Quarterly.

For more information on this free lecture, contact the Department of English at 620-235-4689.

---Pitt State---

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Faculty, staff donations to PSU top $3 million

For Dr. Kenneth Bateman, giving to Pittsburg State University has come as natural to him as paying taxes and celebrating birthdays.

Every year since the Alumni Relations director emeritus came to work for the university in 1965, he has written his check and made a donation to the institution that has played such an important role in his life.

“We have several family members with scholarships in their names,” he said. “It makes me especially touched when employees give back to the university. I can’t think of a more valuable investment than the scholarships we are providing for students.”

With the amount of donations since 1980 topping the $3 million mark for the first time this year, it seems many faculty and staff members at PSU feel the same. The 2007 “Power of ONE” Faculty-Staff Campaign wrapped up with a reception Wednesday afternoon. Holly Kent, director of annual giving, announced that this year’s total of $62,657.02 topped last year’s amount of $52, 826, and that since the university began recording faculty and staff donations 27 years ago, the university has brought in $3,028,499.

“We are really pleased and impressed with the donations made to the campaign, especially when we realized we were going to top the $3 million mark,” Kent said. “It is so important for the employees of Pitt State to support this institution. If donors outside the university see that faculty and staff members are giving back, it will inspire them to give, as well.”

This year’s total counts all donations made by faculty and staff since July 1, not including pledges and payroll deductions. So far, 256 employees have contributed, and Kent says she expects many more to do so before the fiscal year cutoff on June 30, 2008.

In addition to Bateman, co-chairs of this year’s campaign include Dr. Julie Allison in the Department of Psychology and Counseling, and Wanda Endicott, director of custodial and general services.

For more information on how you can donate to The Power of ONE, contact Kent at 620-235-6096.

---Pitt State---

Lecture features NAACP award winner

The second Tilford Lecture Series of the Pittsburg State University fall 2007 season will feature an award-winning speaker whose work is opening the doors of higher education for underserved students.

Dr. Jeffrey R. Williams, Director of Access and Urban Outreach at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the Columbia branch recipient of the 2006 NAACP Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, will present his lecture at 2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, at the Kansas Technology Center, Room S103. Lectures are presented through the series every month.

Williams’ presentation, “Recruitment and Retention of Domestic Minorities,” focuses on developing initiatives that target such students and broaden their access to selective universities. He has been published in ATQ (19th century American Literature and Culture), in Twayne Literary Voices: American Literature in Historical Context, 1870-1920, and in The Green Encyclopedia of African American Literature. His recent article on Benjamin Brawley (known as the “Negro Genius”) will appear in Race Struggles, an edited collection published by the University of Illinois.

The series is part of the Dr. Michael Tilford Group, which formed after Tilford, who served as dean of the Graduate College at Wichita State University, passed away in the mid-90s. The Tilford Conference is held there each year, and universities throughout the state now host lectures as a way to promote diversity and multiculturalism across universities and communities.

For more information on the series, contact Mark Johnson at 620-235-4628.

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Alcohol Awareness Week events announced

With Alcohol Awareness Week at Pittsburg State University set for next week, the Substance Abuse Focus Group is preparing activities designed to remind students to be careful when consuming alcohol.

“RU Connected?” is the theme for the 2007 National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Campaign, which encourages students to make connections with friends and stay in safe social situations when alcohol is present. The message is simple – don’t drink to excess, don’t drive after drinking, and don’t ride with a driver who has been drinking.

To recognize Alcohol Awareness Week, PSU has a number of events planned:

Weeklong Daytime Events: The film “Spin the Bottle: Sex, Lies, and Alcohol,” will be presented at the U-Club in the Overman Student Center at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday through Thursday. Pepsi products and SafeRide koozies (foam containers that keep beverages cold) will be given away from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday through Thursday on the Oval.

Evening Events:
Monday, Oct. 15 - At 8 p.m., Mike Green will speak on “The Four Stages of Drinking,” in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom.

Tuesday, Oct. 16 – Free miniature golf will be held for students from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Four Oaks Golf Course.

Wednesday, Oct. 17 – Free barbecue will be held at 5 p.m. for students at the Gorilla Village, sponsored by GAMMA (Greeks Advocating Mature Management of Alcohol).

Thursday, Oct. 18 – A volleyball game will be held at 7 p.m. for residence hall students at Weede Gymnasium.

For more information on any of these events, contact JT Knoll with the Substance Abuse Focus Group at 620-235-4062 or at

---Pitt State---

Monday, October 08, 2007

Flu clinics scheduled

Flu season is on its way, and the Student Health Center at Pittsburg State University is preparing to give students a shot of health.

Flu vaccination clinics will be held Monday, Oct. 15, and Tuesday, Oct. 16, in the Overman Student Center across from the Gorilla Bookstore. The clinics will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

Flu shots are $15. Checks and cash are accepted at the clinics.

The flu vaccine is also available at the Student Health Center each day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Debit and credit cards are accepted at the center.

For more information, call 620-235-4452.

---Pitt State---

Friday, October 05, 2007

Free jazz concert opens fall season

Plenty of old favorites will be sweetening the air next week as Pittsburg State University hosts the first free jazz concert of the season.

The PSU Jazz Ensemble One, Jazz Lab, and the Jazz Choir will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8, at the Crimson and Gold Ballroom in the Overman Student Center. The program will feature jazz classics such as “Moonlight Serenade” and numbers from the Buddy Rich and Stan Kenton bands. The groups will also perform contemporary arrangements by Pat Methany and the Jazz Messengers, as well as a spin-off of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” The performance will conclude with the world premier of Boston composer Brian Lewis, whose work “Delaware Park North” was commissioned by the PSU Jazz program.

For more information on the concert, contact Bob Kehle in the PSU Department of Music at 620-235-4474.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, October 04, 2007

State awards teaching grant to PSU College of Education

Pittsburg State University has been awarded the largest share of a new teacher education grant than any other public university in the state, the Kansas Board of Regents announced Wednesday.

The university will receive $175, 383 from the Teacher Education Competitive Grant program in order to expand existing programs and to educate approximately 65 additional secondary teachers within the next three years. The grant was awarded to support the university’s ongoing work toward educating more students in high-need areas such as special education, as well as fill positions in underserved areas throughout Kansas.

“If you look across the state, you can see there aren’t enough people going into the area of special education,” said Dr. Andy Tompkins, dean of the PSU College of Education. “If they are trained in a high-need area, then the question becomes, ‘Will they go out to teach or will they work in industry?’ We have a limited number of people in those areas and then sometimes they decide to do other things with their education. All the Kansas universities are concerned about the issue of supply and demand for teachers across the state.”

Other Regents universities awarded the grant money are Emporia State University and Wichita State University. All seven Regents universities were eligible to apply for the highly competitive grants. Applications were reviewed by a committee consisting of representatives from the Board of Regents, the Kansas Department of Education, and K-12 teachers.

Tompkins said in addition to enhancing the retention of teachers, the funds will also go toward training teaching mentors and expanding the Fellows Program in Kansas City, an alternative licensure program that assists experienced industry workers in earning their teaching credentials and earning a Master of Arts degree in Teaching.

“We’re excited to be awarded one of the grants and to do our part in helping increase the number of teachers in high-need areas,” Tompkins said. “It’s a big enough issue that we all need to be involved. I think there’s a pretty good coordinated effort now to make a dent in those needs and make real progress.”

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Pitt State broadcasting class finalist for national award

For the third time in four years, the sports broadcasting class at Pittsburg State University has been recognized as one of the top three in the nation.

Collegiate Broadcasters, Inc. has named the PSU sports broadcasting students as finalists in the Best Sports Play-by-Play category of the 2007 National Student Production Awards. The winner will be announced on Friday, Oct. 26, in Washington D.C. The competition recognizes the best in student electronic media production in 25 different categories, and has this year judged entries from more than 100 student radio and television stations across the United States.

“The students here have a great opportunity to practice the art of sports production,” said Troy Comeau, director of student broadcasting at PSU. “Over the years, we’ve been able to add multiple camera angles, graphics, statistics and instant replay thanks to the support of the athletic department, PSU administration, and our local business sponsors. I’m very proud of what we can do at this university.”

The other finalist schools in the Play-by-Play category are Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y., and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La.

The PSU broadcasting class was named as a finalist for their play-by-play coverage of last fall’s PSU vs. Fort Hays State University football game. Zoel Lopez, a senior from Coffeyville, Kan., called play-by-play. Andrew Daugherty, a senior from Cherryvale, Kan., was the color analyst. Other students involved in the production include Christina Brown, a graduate student from Joplin, Mo., Jacob Schreiner, a senior from Sharon, Kan., Greg Melching, a senior from Galesburg, Kan., Tyler Swezey, a senior from Drexel, Mo., and Zach Howard and Tennyson Williams, both seniors from Pittsburg.

Replays of the sports productions can be seen locally at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays on CAPS 13 (cable channel 13 in Pittsburg). Live, home games are available for a small fee at
www.themiaa.com for those with high-speed Internet access.

For more information on the National Student Production Awards, go to

---Pitt State---

Lecture honors DeGruson

For the 10th annual Gene DeGruson Memorial Lecture, organizers have schedule a speaker on a topic the lecture’s namesake would have loved.

The lecture, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in Axe Library, will feature Dr. Sharon Neet, a professor of History at the University of Minnesota-Crookston. Neet, a colleague and friend of Gene DeGruson, will deliver a lecture titled “E. Haldeman-Julius: The Paper Giant.”

DeGruson, the curator of the Special Collections Department for Pittsburg State University for more than 30 years, was an expert on the life of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius and compiled the most complete collection of the editor’s papers and publications available. Neet, a leading scholar on the history of southeast Kansas, will honor DeGruson’s foundational work and bring to light new information and insights on the life of Haldeman-Julius.

When Emanuel Julius, an ambitious 26-year-old socialist journalist, came to Girard in the fall of 1915. His career had already taken him from his native Philadelphia to writing for the leading socialist newspapers of New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles. What attracted Julius to Girard was The Appeal to Reason, the most prestigious and widely circulated socialist newspaper in America. It didn’t hurt that the Appeal also paid higher salaries than the metropolitan dailies for which Julius had worked.

Within a year, Julius married a Girard banker and within five years he became the owner of the Appeal Publishing Company. Julius became one of the most significant publishers of the first half of the 20th century, printing books that would change the reading habits of America.

In 1919 the Haldeman-Julius Publishing Company began to produce pocket-sized books at a reasonable cost. By May there were 13 titles. The emphasis in the beginning was on socialism titles, but there were also literary works. Many of the early socialism titles were replaced with additional literary works, a number of “free thought” works, and several on sex, such as the writings of Margaret Sanger. By 1923, more than 500 titles had been issued and the “Little Blue Books” were selling thousands of copies annually by mail order throughout the nation.

At the time of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius’s death in 1951, the “Little Blue Book” series included just over 2,200 titles. Many of the titles were controversial at the time they were published and remain so even today. Included were books of skepticism and criticism of religion, government, and numerous other topics. Just as significant, however, is the record of important works Haldeman-Julius commissioned or supported. A series of philosophical essays first published as “Little Blue Books” later became Will Durant’s “The Story of Philosophy.”

Works by Anton Chekov, Leo Tolstoy, and other foreign writers were translated into the English language for the first time for the “Little Blue Book” series, and many Americans were introduced to such important authors as Margaret Sanger, Clarence Darrow, H. G. Wells, Havelock Ellis, and Bertrand Russell through the Haldeman-Julius publications.

---Pitt State---

Safety instructor wins state honor

Over the past eight years, Pat Flynn’s efforts to encourage utility workers to earn their degrees have helped nearly 100 Southeast Kansas students earn more education than they probably ever thought they would.

Because of that work, Flynn, a safety instructor in Pittsburg State University’s College of Technology, has been awarded a statewide honor.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recently presented Flynn with the James L. Current Award at its annual Operator Training Conference at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. The award, which honors the life and work of James Current, the first training officer of the KDHE, recognizes leaders who have provided or promoted education to those who work for Kansas utilities such as water, wastewater, and electric companies.

Flynn has been an integral part of the effort to get students enrolled in the two-year applied science in environmental technologies program at Fort Scott Community College. The program prepares students to finish their bachelor’s degrees in technology management at PSU. So far, about 70 students have completed their degrees at FCSS, and several are enrolled to complete their four-year degrees. Flynn says the program helps these workers primarily improve their supervisory skills.

Once a student of Current’s, Flynn said their friendship has made the award all the more special.

“He was around back in the days when there was zero education for a utilities profession, and I learned from him and got to know the quality of individual he was,” he said. “To be associated with his name, I couldn’t be any prouder.”
Photo: Pat Flynn accepts his award alongside his wife Gloria, an instructor in Special Services and Leadership Studies.

---Pitt State---

Monday, October 01, 2007

Activities planned for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Three student organizations promoting safety and domestic violence prevention will be observing Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October at Pittsburg State University.

Students Against Violence through Education (SAVE), Men for Violence Prevention (MVP), and the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) have organized several community activities throughout the month, ending with a special Halloween event on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Monday-Friday, Oct. 1-5 – Beginning at 7 a.m. on Monday, the organizations will begin camping out on the rock by the Overman Student Center. Members will be spending 24-hour days on the rock to symbolize the discomfort and pain that can result from being a victim of rape, domestic violence, sexual assault, or other type of abuse. The week-long campout will come to an end at 7 p.m. Friday.

Wednesday, Oct. 10 – From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., black cardboard silhouettes will be in place around the Oval to represent the 25 men and women that were killed due to domestic violence in the state of Kansas in 2004.

Wednesday, Oct. 17 – The organizations will hold a recruitment drive from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Oval.

Saturday, Oct. 27 – A concession stand fundraiser will be held at 1 p.m. on the northwest side of Carnie Smith Stadium prior to the PSU vs. Fort Hays State University homecoming football game. Proceeds will be divided between the organizations.

Wednesday, Oct. 31 – A safe “trick or treat” night will be held for children at the Pittsburg YMCA beginning at 6:30 p.m. Group members will be dressed in Halloween costumes and will hand out candy to community children.

For more information on these events, contact Donna Miller at 417-684-0280.

---Pitt State---

2007 Faculty-Staff Campaign kicks off

Interim Accounting Chair Becky Casey can remember the first time she thought about making a donation to Pittsburg State University. As she was completing her BA in 1982, her accounting chair at the time often expressed his support of the school and encouraged his students to do the same when they graduated.

“He reminded us of how important it is,” said Casey, who is one of several employees featured this year on the 2007 “The Power of ONE” Faculty-Staff Campaign posters set up in buildings across campus. “I’ve always had a warm spot in my heart for the university and I know it’s what it takes to make sure we can continue to produce successful students.”

Hopefully, the message will continue to filter down. The annual Faculty-Staff Campaign runs this week from Oct. 1 to Oct. 5. The campaign, which raises money for areas such as scholarship funds, individual academic departments, and to the university’s unrestricted account, is the school’s way of drumming up support from within.

“It’s a great way for faculty and staff to give back to the university and make sure their donations go to the specific areas they want to support,” said Director of Annual Giving Holly Kent. “But it also shows the community beyond PSU that we care enough to support our own programs and students. If they see we support our own university, they’re more likely to give, as well.”

The university is hoping to exceed last year’s donation total of $52,826. With nearly 800 current employees and 300 retired faculty and staff members, even small gifts can add up. Although the campaign drive is this week, any charitable gift received before June 30, 2008, will be counted toward the 2007 campaign. A “thank you” celebration will be held at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Heritage Room in the Overman Student Center.

Several faculty and staff members have contributed their time to the planning of the campaign. Co-chairs include Dr. Julie Allison, psychology and counseling; Wanda Endicott, director of custodial and general services; Dr. Ken Bateman, director emeritus of alumni and constituent relations; as well as the multiple faculty and staff featured on the campaign posters.

It’s one poster, says Casey, she hopes employees will take time to stop and read.

“The university is a wonderful place to work. I think it’s a privilege to be here,” she said. “I feel a personal responsibility to give, but employees should know it takes everyone to make this work.”

For more information on the campaign or to make a donation, contact the Office of University Development at 620-235-4768.

Photo: Blake Bard, major gifts officer for the College of Business, sets up one of the "Power of ONE" displays.

---Pitt State---