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News @ PSU

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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Spring Commencement May 16-17

Pittsburg State University will hold its 104th spring commencement exercises on Friday and Saturday, May 16-17, in the John Lance Arena of the Weede Physical Education Building. Students in the College of Education and the College of Technology will graduate at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Students in the College of Arts & Sciences and College of Business will graduate at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The university will honor its Meritorious Achievement Awards winners at the exercises. This year's honorees are David R. Carpenter, president and CEO of North Kansas City Hospital in North Kansas City, Mo; Billie Jo Drake, building principal for Eugene Ware Elementary School in Fort Scott, Kan.; and Jacqueline A. Vietti, president of Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan.

In keeping with tradition, this year's Outstanding Senior Man and Woman award winners will address their fellow students. The Outstanding Senior Man and Woman for 2008 are Nick Dellasega, an accounting and finance major; and Ashley Lopez, a communication major. Both are from Pittsburg.

Commencement activities begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 16, when the Department of Military Science will sponsor a Commissioning Ceremony for graduates who are being commissioned into the U.S. Army. The ceremony will be held in the Veterans Memorial at Rouse and Ford Streets.

The 2008 Commencement Schedule follows. For additional information, including details of specific events, and information about academic regalia, photos, and handicapped accessibility, please visit
visit the Registrar’s office in 103 Russ Hall or call 620-235-4206.

Friday, May 16
10 a.m. – U.S. Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, Veterans Memorial on Rouse Street (Rain location: Crimson and Gold Ballroom, Overman Student Center)
6-7 p.m. – President’s Reception for all College of Education and College of Technology graduating students and their families, (Light refreshments served.) tent northwest of Garfield W. Weede Physical Education Building.
6-7 p.m. - Graduates Obtain Name Cards, Garfield W. Weede Physical Education Building
7:15 p.m. - Processional Line-Up
7:30 p.m. - Processional Begins

Saturday, May 17
8:30-9:30 a.m. – President’s Reception for all College of Arts & Sciences and College of Business graduating students and their families, (Light refreshments served.) tent northwest of Garfield W. Weede Physical Education Building.
8:30-9:30 a.m. - Graduates Obtain Name Cards, Garfield W. Weede Physical Education Building
9:45 a.m. - Processional Line-Up
10 a.m. - Processional Begins

Nurse Pinning Ceremony
2 p.m. – Nursing Pinning Ceremony for Nursing Graduates and their guests, Memorial Auditorium.

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cyclists ride for Nature Reach

The PSU Bicycle Club, in conjunction with Tailwind Cyclists, will host a bicycle fun ride to benefit Pittsburg State University’s Nature Reach Program on Saturday, May 10.

The ride begins at 10 a.m. at Gorilla Village, just east of Carnie Smith Stadium on the PSU campus. The ride will be approximately 10 miles, traveling from the Gorilla Village to the PSU Nature Reach Reserve and then back to the stadium on county roads. When they reach the Nature Reach Reserve, riders can take a tour and refuel with snacks and water.

The entry fee for the ride is $10 and those who register by May 1 will receive a free t-shirt.
Nature Reach is an outreach program of PSU’s Biology Department and is part of the department’s Life Science program.

For more information about Nature Reach, call 620-235-4727 or visit the Nature Reach Web site at http://www.pittstate.edu/biol/nature/index.html.

Interested persons may pick up registration forms for the bicycle ride at Tailwind Cyclists, 16th and Broadway, in Pittsburg, or in Room 328 Heckert-Wells Hall.

---Pitt State---

Brass Spectacular returns to Pitt State

Tickets for the 2008 Brass Spectacular drum and bugle corps show at Pittsburg State University go on sale May 1. The show, which features seven of the nation’s top drum and bugle corps, will take place at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23, in Carnie Smith Stadium.

The Pittsburg show is part of the Drum Corps International (DCI) Summer Music Games tour that concludes with the world championships in Indianapolis, Ind. The corps are made up of musicians between the ages of 14 and 22 from the U.S., Canada and around the world. The corps perform precision marching and formations while playing both original and well-known compositions.

“A drum corps show is the ultimate expression of power and pageantry,” according to Doug Whitten, director of Athletics Bands at Pittsburg State University. “Some people have described drum corps performances as a cross between a Las Vegas show and a symphony orchestra.”

Whitten said that drum corps are similar to marching bands in that they march on a football field and play music, but there are some key differences. A marching band usually provides entertainment at sporting events. In contrast, a drum and bugle corps is the main event. This distinction allows drum corps to strive for more artistic performances, according to Whitten. Instead of performing chants, cheers, and traditional marches, a drum corps is more likely to perform classical music, jazz, or stage a 10-minute Broadway style musical.

Perhaps the biggest difference between a marching band and a drum and bugle corps, Whitten said, is the amount of time a corps invests in perfecting their show.

“It’s not unusual for a corps to rehearse more than 12 hours a day,” Whitten said.

The drum and bugle corps scheduled to compete at PSU on July 23rd are: The Academy, from Tempe, Arizona; the Boston Crusaders, fom Boston, Mass.; the Colt Cadets, from Dubuque, Iowa; the Colts, also from Dubuque, Iowa; the Crossmen, from San Antonio, Texas; the Santa Clara Vanguard, from Santa Clara, Calif.; and the Troopers, from Casper, Wyo.

Tickets for the show range from $10 to $25 and are available through the Pitt State ticket office at www.pittstate.edu/tickets or by phone at 620-235-4796. For more information visit the show’s website at www.pittstate.edu/tickets

---Pitt State---

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gifts reflect support for program

Like other technology-hungry programs in the Kansas Technology Center, Pittsburg State University’s Wood Technology program depends on the support of companies across the U.S. and internationally to keep the latest equipment in its labs.

David Miles, associate professor for engineering technology, said that several recent donations reflect the respect that industry has for the Wood Technology Program at PSU.

“Our program is top notch and the industry believes so, too,” said Miles. “We receive tremendous industrial support, especially from the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America and Woodworking Machinery Industry Association, two major woodworking organizations.” The program has also been featured in “Wood Digest Magazine” and more recently in “Woodshop News.”

“These companies want to help the program but also know that our students are future consumers of their products,” Miles said, because graduates of the program often enter mid- to upper-level management positions in which they will have influence over the purchase of equipment.

Over the past year, in-kind gifts included a JumboErg 140 vacuum tube lifter, Dekker vacuum pumps, C.R. Onsrud 3 axis CNC router, an 8’ Buddy wood clamping system, a TigerStop programmable digital stop system and push feed system, and Franklin International adhesives – all valued at more than $45,000.

Manufacturers may make equipment available to the department as a loan, as a gift or as a purchase by discount from partnering companies.

For more information and a complete list of industry partners, contact Miles at 620-235-4942 or jmiles@pittstate.edu.

---Pitt State---

Regent shares her own immigrant story

Kansas Regent Janie Perkins greets a student in the PSU College of Education during a campus tour. Escorting Regent Perkins is Dr. Andy Tompkins, dean of the College of Education.

Kansas Regent Janie Perkins talked to students, faculty and staff at Pittsburg State University on Friday, April 25, about the value of diversity and her own experience as an immigrant child in Kansas. She used stories from her childhood to illustrate not only the challenges second-language learners face, but also their successes.

Perkins was the final speaker this semester for the university’s Tilford Lecture Series on diversity.

Perkins said her family came from a small town in Mexico to Garden City, Kan., when she was just 10.

“I was born in a very small village,” Perkins said. “We had no electricity, no plumbing, no schools and no health clinic.”

Because she could not read in either Spanish or English, Perkins was placed in the second grade. It was the beginning of an educational journey marked by teacher after teacher who inspired her.

Perkins told about the nun who first read stories to her.

“I didn’t understand, but she had such a wonderful expression on her face as she read, that I knew it had to be a wonderful story.”

Perkins picked up English rapidly and became a voracious reader.

“From the first time I was able to read the English language,” Perkins said, “I haven’t been able to stop reading.”

After high school and then marriage, Perkins and her husband, Harold, drew up an 11-year plan. Both knew they wanted more education. He had dreams of becoming a doctor. She always wanted to teach. They sold their home in Garden City and moved to Wichita, where both balanced a growing family and school until Harold finished his education to become a family practice physician and Janie earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education from Newman University.

When they returned to Garden City, Janie joined the Garden City schools as an elementary teacher and a supplemental programs coordinator. It was then that Perkins began to get involved in community service.

“We come here for the opportunities,” Perkins said of immigrants, “but we also come to give back.”

In her community, Perkins’ community service has included the 25th Judicial District Youth Services, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Salvation Army and the Garden City Chamber of Commerce Multicultural Task Force. She was elected to the Garden City Commission and served at the city’s mayor. In 2005, she was appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents.

Perkins’ passion for community service is inspired by a sense of gratitude.

“I’m really grateful to be here in America,” Perkins said, acknowledging that she has experienced difficulties and discrimination at times. “I ask myself, ‘What if my family had not brought me here? What If I hadn’t had the kind of support from friends and family that I’ve had?’”

The PSU Tilford Group, named after former Wichita State University graduate Dan Michael Tilford, was established in May to help foster an understanding of diversity and multicultural issues across the campus community.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Kanza, Collegio win major awards

PSU's Collegio newspaper and Kanza yearbook won major awards at the annual spring conference of the Kansas Associated Collegiate Press in Wichita.

The 2007 Kanza won the All-Kansas Award among all college yearbooks, the highest award given by the state association. Kristen VanLeeuwen was editor of that yearbook. The Collegio won the Gold Medalist Award among weekly and daily newspapers from public four-year colleges. Doug Graham, a senior communication major from Uniontown, is the current Collegio editor and Greg Grisolano was last year's editor. Also, the Collegio's Web site, CollegiOnline, won a Silver Medalist Award among all college Web sites in the state. Zach Waggoner, freshman from Joplin, Mo., is Web manager.

In addition, staffers of both publications won a total of 72 individual awards for reporting, sports writing, editorials, page design, photography, infographics, reviews, features and other categories covering yearbook and newspaper production.

PSU students who won one or more individual awards in first, second, third or honorable mention are Mark Jansen, a senior from Overland Park, Kan.; Mandy Toepfer, a sophomore from Overland Park, Kan.; Kristen VanLeeuwen, a junior from Girard, Kan.; Doug Graham; Rebecca Bauman, a sophomore from Creve Coeur, Mo; Krystel Pakitsos, a junior from Pittsburg; Salman Alkhulif, a junior from Saudi Arabia; Shiho Itooka, a graduate student from Japan; Patrick Furey, a junior from Overland Park, Kan.; Sho Omiya, a graduate student from Japan; Aaron Anders; Brett Armbruster, a senior from Kansas City, Mo.; Teresa Gawrych, a graduate student from Leavenworth, Kan.; Lisa Norris, a junior from Fort Scott, Kan.; Angie Hine, a graduate student from Erie, Kan.; Greg Grisolano; Curtis Thom, a freshman from Girard, Kan.; Ryan Atkinson, a senior from Columbus, Kan.; Hadyn Barnes, a senior from Freeman, Mo.; Raymond Hillegas, a senior from Olathe, Kan.; Amber Bernard, a senior from Cleveland, Mo.; and Lindy Davidson.

Eight Collegio and Kanza staffers attended the conference, accompanied by Gerard Attoun, adviser, and Amy Bowyer, Collegio advertising and business manager.

---Pitt State---

Student broadcasters win awards

Student broadcasters from Pittsburg State University took home 16 awards, including 12 first-place awards at the Kansas Association of Broadcasters’ annual banquet in Wichita.

In recent years the broadcasting program at Pittsburg State has been recognized at both the state and national levels, however Troy Comeau, director of broadcasting, said the quality of student programming continues to improve.

“This is the first time we have received 12 first-place awards,” Comeau said. “Our students are competing in production contests with Kansas University and Kansas State on the state level and even bigger universities on the national level and winning. They should be very proud of the time and effort they put into productions here at Pittsburg State.”

Students from Pittsburg State competed in a variety of broadcasting categories against students from all other colleges and universities in the state of Kansas. In addition to the 12 first-place awards, the students brought home four second-place awards.

In radio production, first place winners were Greg Melching, a senior from Labette County, Kan., for his 30-second commercial “Chanute Rodeo;” Tyler Swezey, a junior from Drexel, Mo., and Trent Kling, a senior from Wichita, Kan., for their sports play-by-play “Pittsburg vs. Independence HS football;” Zoel Lopez, a senior from Labette County, Kan., for his personality air check “Brett Martinez;” Lopez and Andrew Daugherty, a senior from Cherryvale, Kan., for their sports play-by-play “Frontenac vs. St. Mary-Colgan;” Teresa Gawrych, a graduate student from Leavenworth, Kan., for her 30-second commercial “Hot Topic” and Gawrych for her 60-second commercial “Hot Topic.” Gawrych also received a first-place award for her research paper “Fragmented Identity of Female Sports Anchors and Journalists.”

In television production, first-place winners were Jacob Anselmi, a junior from Paola, Kan., for his 30-second public service announcement “Student Association of Broadcasters,” Kristen Livingston, a graduate student from Neodesha, Kan., and Brian Caulkins, a senior from Coffeyville, Kan., for their documentary “The life of Chili;” Jordan Beggs, a senior from Columbus, Kan., and Tim Mobley, a senior from Pleasanton, Kan., for their sports play-by-play “Fall Classic VI;” Tylor Hermanson for his entertainment program “Cognitive Jones;” and Swezey, Kling and Anselmi for their enterprise news package “Scenic SEK-Elk City State Park.”

Second place winners included Tennyson Williams, a senior from Pittsburg, for his station promotion “Pittsburg State Football,” Williams and Pam Peters, a graduate student from Mound City, Kan., for their documentary “Behind the MIAA tournament,” Anselmi, Swezey and Kling for their enterprise news package “Scenic SEK-Oswego” and Kling and Lopez for their sports play-by-play “FHSU vs. Pitt State.”

---Pitt State---

Pitt State honors education alumni for achievements

The Pittsburg State University College of Education will honor four educators and an administrator for their distinguished service, excellence, and outstanding efforts at the annual Clyde U. Phillips Awards and Recognition Ceremony at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, in McCray Recital Hall. Student scholarships will also be awarded as part of the ceremony.

Distinguished Service Award
The Clyde U. Phillips Distinguished Service Award is given to one teacher and one administrator whose careers have been highlighted by significant achievement and excellence in education. This year, the administrator’s award goes to Barbara Albright, principal for Fort Scott Middle School in Fort Scott, Kan. The educator’s award goes to Melinda Messmer, 7th grade reading and social studies teacher for Westridge Middle School in Shawnee Mission, Kan.

Albright has been with the Fort Scott school district for nearly 30 years, beginning her career as a first grade teacher. She has received numerous awards as a teacher and as an administrator, and was most recently recognized with the 2008 Kansas Music Educators Association Honor Administrator award. Her career as an administrator has been highlighted with community involvement, creativity in improving learning skills and environments for students and teachers, as well as her endless efforts to support the arts in the classroom.

Messmer has been with the Shawnee Mission school district since graduating from PSU in 1993. She is active with the National Educators Association and the Kansas Exemplary Education Network. Messmer’s nominator for this award wrote, “Her positive attitude, love of teaching, and love for students are reflected in the outstanding quality of instruction that she displays.”

Outstanding Educator Award
The Outstanding Educator Award goes to persons who have shown, within their first seven years of service, the potential to make significant contributions to education. The 2008 Outstanding Educator Awards go to Amanda Johnson, elementary music teacher for Frank Layden Elementary in Frontenac, Kan.; and Rebecca Turnbull, 7th grade social science teacher for Pittsburg Middle School.

Johnson has been with the Frontenac school district since receiving her BSED in 2000. She is an active member of the Kansas Music Educators Association and the Youth Activities Team at the Keyhole Youth Center of Fort Scott. Johnson’s tenure at Frontenac has been highlighted by the success of her students’ musical programs, including the annual Veteran’s Day ceremony.

Turnbull received her BSED from PSU in 2003. After graduation, she worked for the Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center as a youth case worker before returning to Pittsburg in 2005. Turnbull is active with the Kansas National Education Association, Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Turnbull has been described as a “natural educator” with a remarkable “commitment to learning, leadership, and now teaching.”

Excellence in Teaching Award
Additionally, an Excellence in Teaching Award is given each year to a PSU professor. The recipient of this year’s award is Trinity Davis, assistant professor for the PSU Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Davis received her BSED from PSU in 1997. She began her career teaching 1st and 2nd grades in Topeka and Blue Valley school districts as well as the Kansas City, Kan., school district, where she also served as a literacy coach. She has taught at PSU since 2004 and is active with the National Alliance of Black School Educators, International Reading Association, and the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. Her nominator wrote, “students recognize her deep appreciation for learning and seek her advice on a number of strategic areas, particularly reading.”

The Clyde U. Phillips awards were established in memory of Clyde U. Phillips, a graduate of Pittsburg State University and a well-known Kansas educator. Phillips, who met his wife, Fern Field Phillips when they were both students at PSU, known then as Kansas State College of Pittsburg, completed his career in education as the superintendent of schools in Hays. In their will, the Phillips bequeathed a sum of money to support the awards.

For more information about the Clyde U. Phillips awards and ceremony, contact the College of Education at 620-235-4518.

---Pitt State---

PSU students plan chemistry magic shows for kids

Students in the Pittsburg State University Chemistry Club will demonstrate the magic of chemistry for area youngsters in a series of chemistry magic shows at Pittsburg’s Meadowbrook Mall on Saturday, April 26. In honor of Earth Day, the students have adopted the theme “Chemistry is Life.”

The free shows are planned for 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. They will be held near the north entrance to the mall between the Mall Deli and Bath & Body Works.

The chemistry magic shows are a revival of a longstanding tradition. The students have been staging similar shows on campus for visiting student groups.

The student organizers say putting chemistry into a magic show makes something that might otherwise seem difficult and boring exciting and fun.

---Pitt State---

PSU Theater presents "Fuddy Meers"

Pittsburg State University presents David Lindsey-Abaire’s “Fuddy Meers,” a dark comedy, at the PSU Studio Theatre Thursday, May 1 through Sunday, May 4.

“Fuddy Meers” tells the story of Claire, a psychogenic amnesiac, on her journey through an alarmingly, bizarre twenty-four hours. She meets a curious group of characters including a husband she doesn’t remember, her troubled teenage son, a masked man hiding under her bed, her mother who recently had a stroke and has difficulty communicating, an odd man with a sock puppet, and a woman in a cop uniform. During the course of this day, Claire learns how each of these strange characters is connected to her life.

While the play is filled with comedic and absurd situations, director Megan Westhoff says, “Claire is the epitome of all of us. She is on a journey for clarity. As humans, we are all on a search for the meaning to our lives.”

The cast of “Fuddy Meers” features Tarra Detmer, Eric Obert, Ross Stone, Austin Laverty, Susie Lundy, Austin Curtright, and Katie Farrell. Set design is by Deidre Galloway. Costume design is by Lisa Quinteros, and lighting design is by Dan Williams.

The play runs Thursday through Saturday, May 1-3, at 8 p.m. The Sunday, May 4, performance will be at 2 p.m. All performances will be in the PSU Studio Theatre at the corner of Joplin and Cleveland streets. 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 in the Overman Student Center, 620-235-4796, and at the PSU Studio Theatre door 30 minutes prior to curtain. Reservations are encouraged.

This play is intended for mature audiences only and contains strong language.

---Pitt State---

Monday, April 21, 2008

Object lesson for students: the importance of private giving

Students in a construction industry class at the Kansas Technology Center got an important lesson today: It takes a lot of support from industry partners to provide the kind of education that students in the College of Technology receive.

Roger Heckert, president of Heckert Construction Co., presented a $6,000 check from the Kansas Contractors Association to Jim Otter, chairman of the Department of Engineering Technology. The gift will be used to purchase an automatic mechanical contractor for the soils testing lab.

Otter said he planned the presentation for the class because he wanted students to see first-hand how important the support of private industry was for the College of Technology’s various programs.

Heckert, who serves on the governing board for the Kansas Contractors Association, is a 1968 graduate of PSU.

For more information about programs in the PSU College of Technology, visit their Web site.

---Pitt State---

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Speaker brings mental health message to PSU

In high school and college, Colleen Coffey struggled with eating disorders, anxiety and depression. On Wednesday, April 23, Coffey will bring her message of education and understanding about anorexia, bulimia, anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders to students at Pittsburg State University.

Coffey will present “Be Heard: Talking About Mental Health” at 7:30 p.m. in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom of PSU’s Overman Student Center. Her presentation, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Student Prevention & Wellness, University Counseling, University Athletics, Student Health Services, the Residence Hall Assembly, and Admission and Enrollment Services.

Coffee is an entertainer, and an inspirational survivor. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Belmont University and an MS in College Student Affairs from Eastern Illinois University, where she served as an associate resident director to the Greek court housing community and an adviser to the college panhellenic council. Coffee currently works full time as the program manager for The Leadership Institute – Women with Purpose, Inc., where she is responsible for instructional design and facilitation.

In her presentations, Coffee encourages students and others to think critically about the stigma that surrounds mental disorders and to reflect on ways to support mental health advocacy in their communities. She attempts to educate them on the quality of life for people with mental disorders and to learn more about a variety of mental health issues.

In addition to her presentation Wednesday evening, Coffee will also give a free staff development workshop from 3-4:40 p.m. that day in the Balkans Room of the student center. Administrators, instructors, support staff, and area professionals are welcome. CEUs for professional counselors are available the Kansas Counseling Association for a $5 charge. Those interested in CEUs should call 620-235-4044 or e-mail cperez@pittstate.edu.

For more information, call J.T. Knoll, Coordinator of Prevention and Wellness, at 620-235-4062, jknoll@pittstate.edu.
---Pitt State---

Symphony presents concert of 'passion and power'

The Southeast Kansas Symphony will present a concert of passion and power at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23, in McCray Recital Hall.

The Symphony, under the direction of Stella Hastings, will perform two works by Beethoven; the "Coriolan Overture" and the "Symphony No. 8 in F Major," and will feature this season's third and final Concerto and Aria Competition winner Debra Snodgrass in Chopin's "Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor."

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students & senior citizens. Children under 12 are admitted free. For more information, contact the PSU Music Department at 620-235-4466, or go to http://www.seksymphony.org/.

---Pitt State---

PSU racing team rolls out 2008 entry

The Pittsburg State University racing team’s Formula SAE car passed its first test on Friday as it motored around the Kansas Technology Center parking lot to the approval of sponsors and university officials. The bigger test comes April 23-26 at the Virginia International Raceway where the car will compete with cars from 49 other universities.

The Formula SAE competition was created to allow SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) student members to conceive, design, fabricate, and compete with small formula-style racing cars. Last year was the first year that PSU entered a Formula SAE competition, finishing 47th in the Formula SAE West.Formula SAE

Larry Williamson, an adviser to the group, said the PSU entry easily fulfills the SAE goal of providing a “meaningful project as well as the opportunity of working in a dedicated team effort.” The team is made up not only of manufacturing engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology majors, but also includes a marketing major from the College of Business.

Williamson said the racing team benefited by tapping in resources throughout the College of Technology. Students in plastics engineering technology helped in the design and construction of the nose cone and other plastic parts. Students in wood technology created a frame on which the plastic pieces were manufactured. Students from automotive technology provided obvious expertise.

The teamwork extended well beyond the campus, Williamson said. “Without the support of our partners in business and industry, this just wouldn’t be possible.”

Companies provided both materials and parts, but also cash gifts to make the trip possible.

The students provided the time, working countless hours, sometimes into the early morning, to complete the project on time.

Although the racing team has high hopes for the competition in Virginia and a second in California in May, Williamson said the most important thing about the project is not winning.

“The experience is the most important thing,” Williamson said. “Learning to work as a team, using each person’s skills and expertise, planning and executing a design, solving problems – these are the things that have the greatest value.”

Members of the team include Travis Budenbender, Eric Herbers, Eric Richardson, Jared Jeffries, Kim Welch (Marketing), and Yao-Chun “Chris” Yang.

For more information about the Gorilla Formula Racing Team, visit their Web site.
For more information about Formula SAE, visit their Web site.
For more information about the PSU College of Technology, call 620-235-4365, e-mail tech@pittstate.edu or visit their Web site.
---Pitt State---

Friday, April 18, 2008

Week of programs targets stress

By Friday, April 25, students at Pittsburg State University should be pretty relaxed. Several groups are teaming up to present “Reduce Your Stress For More Success – Promoting Good Mental Health,” April 21-24.

J. T. Knoll, coordinator of student prevention & wellness, said stress can produce physical responses such as headaches, emotional responses such as fear or sadness and mental responses such as increased anxiety.

“ Too much stress can cause problems and affect health, productivity and relationships,” Knoll said.

The week’s activities include:

Monday, April 21
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – a Stress Reduction/Education Interactive Table, Mood Card Giveaway and Free Brain Food, in the Overman Student Center.

Tuesday, April 22
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. - Stress Reduction/Education Outdoor Games, Free Brain Food, “Pet-A-Pet” SEK Humane Society Information Table and a Mood Card Giveaway on the Oval.

Wednesday, April 23
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Stress Reduction/Education Interactive Table, Mood Card Giveaway and Free Brain Food in the Overman Student Center.

7:30 p.m. - Speaker, Colleen Coffey “The Heard: Talking About Mental Health,” followed by Wal-Mart Gift Card Giveaway in the Crimson & Gold Ballroom.

Thursday, April 24
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. - SAC Stress Ball Giveaway on the Oval.

8 p.m. - Karaoke Night, U-Club

Reduce Your Stress for Your Success is sponsored by Gorillas In Your Midst, Student Activities Council, Student Health Services, University Counseling, Student Prevention & Wellness, University Athletics, Admission and Enrollment Services, and Residence Hall Assembly.

For more information, call J. T. Knoll, coordinator of student prevention and wellness at 620-235-4062, jknoll@pittstate.edu.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Alumni office hosts kids' fishing derby Saturday

Pittsburg State University’s Alumni and Constituent Relations Office hopes the fish are biting Saturday when they host a kids’ fishing derby at the University Lake. The plan is to combine two of America’s favorite pastimes, fishing and baseball, as the derby, which will begin at 8:30 a.m., will precede PSU’s noon baseball game with Southwest Baptist.

Lacey Taylor, assistant director of the Alumni and Constituent Relations Office, said the competition is open to youngsters ages 4-13. Judging will be based on the length of the fish and prizes will be awarded at 11 a.m.

For more information, call the Alumni and Constituent Relations Office at 620-235-4758.

---Pitt State---

Callers raise $228,000 for PSU

PSU’s 30th annual spring Phonathon, which concluded in March, raised a record $228,000 in pledges. It was a $50,000 increase over last year.

“I was really impressed at what we accomplished,” said Melanie Cumoletti, assistant director of annual giving.

Cumoletti attributed the Phonathon’s success to the faculty and students who made the calls. Faculty callers raised more than $50,000 in pledges designated for their departments and programs. Pledges collected by student callers were added for the overall use of the fund, said Cumoletti.

“We had a good group of students and faculty callers. Five students returned to work from last year’s campaign. One student raised more than $20,000 alone.”

A new approach to Phonathon training included inviting various departments to speak to the callers. Representatives from ROTC, nursing, accounting, and other departments told callers about recent developments in their areas.

“When the students got on the phone with alumni from those departments, they were able to be
tter connect. Student callers liked that they were able to share something important and relevant with them,” said Cumoletti.

Callers reached than 9,500 alumni and friends. Follow-up cards were mailed to an additional 2,000 individuals who could not be contacted by phone.

Cumoletti said planning is already underway for the fall Phonathon in October, which will focus on reaching alumni who have not given in the past.

“It is a lot more challenging to reach out to alumni who have never given. But we feel this is an opportunity for alumni to become re-engaged with the university.”

For information about giving to Pittsburg State University, call the Office of Development at 620-235-4768 or visit their Web site.

---Pitt State---

SAE Auto Show Saturday

The Pittsburg State University chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) will host their 8th annual car show on Saturday, April 19, at Gorilla Village, just east of Carnie Smith Stadium on the PSU campus. Registration will be from 8-10 a.m. Registration for those exhibiting cars will be $10. Awards will be presented at 2 p.m.

The PSU SAE Mini Baja chapter will provide refreshments and barbecue for the event. Organizers say participants who wish may cruise with them down Broadway to the Sonic drive-in at the conclusion of the show.

The classes will be divided into: Muscle (1974 and older), Classic Hot Rod, Tuner, Original, and Late Model (1975-Present). Specialty awards will be presented to Best in show, Engine, and paint. First second, and third place winners will receive trophies. Winners of the specialty awards will receive a trophy as well.

Judging will be done by a committee who are not participating in the car show.
For more information, visit the SAE car show Web site or call Trent Lindbloom at 620-235-4198.

---Pitt State---

Monday, April 14, 2008

PSU hosts 40th annual Math Relays

More than 900 high school students from the Four-State area are expected to participate in Pittsburg State University’s 40th annual Math Relays on Tuesday, April 15.

The event begins at 10 a.m. with a general meeting in the Weede Physical Education Building. Individual and team competition will continue throughout the day and will culminate in medal awards at 3:30 p.m. in the Math Department Office in Yates Hall.

Terry Ann Martin, a member of the Math Department faculty, said the events are designed not only to test the students’ math skills, but to also be fun. Events such as this are also a good way to acquaint high school students with Pittsburg State and its programs, Martin said.

Some of the individual mathematics events at Math Relays include: Algebraic Equations & Inequalities, Algebraic Word Problems, Algebraic Simplifications, Computational Mathematics, Geometry, Analytic Geometry, Trigonometry, Logic and Set Theory, Number Theory, Probability and Statistics, and Programming. Team events include: Algebra Medley, Geometry, Algebraic Word Problems, Trigonometry, Calculator.

For more information, call the PSU Department of Mathematics at: 620-235-4400 or visit their Web site at http://www.pittstate.edu/math/math.html.

---Pitt State---

Sororities, fraternities celebrate Greek Week

Members of Pittsburg State University’s sororities and fraternities are celebrating Greek Week this week with a variety of events.

The students kicked off the week’s events by participating in the campuswide “Big Event” service day on Saturday, April 12.

On Monday, April 14, members of the sororities and fraternities will deliver doughnuts to offices across campus to show appreciation for PSU’s faculty. At 10 a.m., the chapters will participate in a Canned Art/Banner competition in Gorilla Village, just east of Carnie Smith Stadium.

From 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, the chapters will stage their annual Greek Games competition and barbecue in Gorilla Village. The Greek Games are a spoof of the original Olympics.

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, the chapters will gather in the Overman Student Center for a speaker and the 2008 Greek awards.

At 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, all the members of PSU’s sororities and fraternities will gather on the Oval for the all-Greek photo.

The week’s activities conclude at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 18, with the annual Greek God and Goddess and Airband competitions in the Weede P.E. Building’s John Lance Arena.

For information about Greek Week, call the PSU Campus Activities Office at 620-235-4795. For information about Greek life at PSU, visit http://www.pittstate.edu/union/greek/index.html

---Pitt State---

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Poet to read from her works

Poet Peggy Shumaker will read poetry at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, in the Governor’s Room of the Overman Student Center at Pittsburg State University. Shumaker is a featured guest in PSU’s Distinguished Visiting Writers Series.

Shumaker is the author of seven books. Her most recent books include “Just Breathe Normally,” a lyrical memoir about a freak bicycle accident, and “Blaze,” which pairs her poems with a collection of sensual Alaskan paintings by Kesler Woodward. Her previous books include “Underground Rivers,” “Wings Moist from the Other World,” “The Circle of Totems,” “Braided River,” and “Esperanza's Hair.” Her poems have also been published in Russia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and England.

Shumaker earned her B.A. in English and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. She was writer in residence for the Arizona Commission on the Arts, where she worked with prison inmates, honors students, gang members, deaf adults, teen parents, little kids, library patrons, and elderly folks.

Shumaker won a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and several awards for teaching. Shumaker was formerly chairperson of the English Department and director of the M.F.A. program in creative writing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She currently teaches in the low-residency Rainier Writing Workshop. Peggy Shumaker and her husband, Joe Usibelli, live in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The reading, which is free and open to the public, is cosponsored by the P.S.U. Student Fee Council and the English Department.

For more on Shumaker’s work: http://www.peggyshumaker.com/news.html

---Pitt State---

PSU Korean students plan culture day

The Korean Student Association at Pittsburg State University will host Korean Culture Day from 6:30-8 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom of PSU's Overman Student Center. The students say their goal is to share Korean culture with members of the campus and the Pittsburg communities.

The students plan traditional Korean performances and also will have traditional Korean food available for tasting. The event is free and open to the public. There will be a $5 charge to participate in the food tasting.

For more information, call Cory Kim at 215-500-7149, airwalkk83@gmail.com.
---Pitt State---

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Friends of Axe Library plan children's book festival

The Friends of Axe Library will hold its third annual children’s festival from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, in the east lobby of the Weede Physical Education Building. The festival is held in conjunction with the Young Authors Conference. Proceeds from the sales will be used to pay for future Gene DeGruson Memorial Lectures, displays of art for the library browsing area, expansion of the library’s DVD collection and other projects.

Some of the books have been donated by their authors. Among them are John Manders’ “Clarence the Copy Cat” and “Minnie’s Diner,” a rhyming book about multiplication. Illustrator Victor Juhasz sent “D for Democracy, R is for Rhyme” and “Everyone Counts,” all of which he illustrated and signed.

Books are available for children of all ages, including many for older children such as Veronica Bennett’s “AngelMonster,” a novel about Mary Shelley, the creator of Frankenstein.

Illustrator and storyteller Eric Kimmel, who specializes in folk and fairy tales from around the world, will autograph and sell copies of his books at the festival after 3:30 p.m. Kimmel is the featured speaker for the conference.

---Pitt State---

PSU names student employee of the year

Student Honor - 2008 Student Employee of the Year Jennifer McFall, on the left, receives her award from Mindy Cloninger, director of Career Services, and David Hogard, assistant director of Career Services for experiential education programs.

Jennifer McFall, a junior English major from Roscoe, Ill., was named the 2008 Student Employee of the Year at Pittsburg State University on April 8. McFall was honored at a ceremony sponsored by the PSU Office of Career Services, where it was also revealed that she has also been selected as the Student Employee of the Year for the state of Kansas.

McFall works as a student police dispatcher in PSU’s Police and Parking Services office. She was nominated by communication specialist Kimberly Grissom.

In a nomination letter, Grissom praised McFall’s professionalism, maturity and cool head in stressful situations. She related one instance from last summer when McFall was working with just one officer when a tornado warning was issued for Crawford County. Grissom wrote that McFall made arrangements for 500 football campers to take shelter in the Dellinger Underground, directed an international student to safety and dispatched emergency help to the stadium, where a man was having a heart attack, all while the storm sirens wailed.

“I don’t know a more unique contribution a student could provide to the university than the assurance that if you call for assistance…you will receive the best possible service,” Grissom wrote.

McFall is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry McFall of Roscoe, Ill.

Two other student employees were honored at the ceremony. Jacklyn “Kim” Welch, a student assistant in the Department of Social Sciences Office, was named first runner-up and Nicole Pflug, a student data input clerk and peer counselor in the Office of Student Financial Assistance, was named second runner-up. Welch is a graduate student in communication from Olathe, Kan. She is the daughter of Larry and Connie Welch of Olathe. Pflug is a senior accounting major from Arma, Kan. She is the daughter of Mrs. Denise Pflug.

The Student of the Year Award is sponsored by the National Student Employment Association, the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators and the PSU Office of Career Services. Next week will be National Student Employee Week.

---Pitt State---

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Opera workshop presents musical favorites

Fans of some of the leading musicals from the past several decades will be in for a treat this weekend as the Pittsburg State University Department of Music hosts an opera workshop full of legendary music.

“An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan and Rodgers and Hammerstein,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 4, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 6, in McCray Recital Hall on the campus of PSU. The program will feature scenes and music from favorites including H.M.S. Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance, Oklahoma, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, and many more. Performances will be presented by PSU Opera Workshop students.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Patrick Howle at 620-235-4470.

---Pitt State---

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

National plastics conference honors PSU students

Two students in the plastics engineering technology program at Pittsburg State University were given top placement at this spring’s Society of Plastics Engineers’ Global Plastics Environmental Conference.

Michael Thurman, a senior from Chanute, Kan., and Semonti Sinharoy, a senior from India, attended the March conference in Orlando, Fla., and presented their research in the undergraduate student poster presentations.

Thurman, who is interested in a career in the aerospace industry, designed his 4-foot by 3-foot poster with information about the efforts to bring the plastics industry into a more environmentally friendly environment – specifically by creating trash can liners that are biodegradable to a certain degree.

“These plastics materials are overcrowding landfills. They don’t go away for generations,” he said of his research that took second place overall. “The industry has a tough reputation for not being greener, so there’s a lot of effort in making changes.”

Sinharoy, a dual plastics and chemistry major who hopes to go to work for a petro chemicals company, designed her first-place poster around her work with PSU’s Kansas Polymer Research Center. The KPRC uses polymers and polyols from soybean oil to create everyday products such as foams and plastics. As a student worker there, she assists in research that focuses on making polyols recyclable so that the end products are biodegradable.

With competition from schools including Clemson University, Georgia Tech and Penn State, the two say they were surprised when they were called forward at the next morning’s breakfast to receive their cash prizes.

“When they announced Michael had placed second, I didn’t think I would place at all,” admits Sinharoy. “They told us PSU is doing a good job in research, but I didn’t think two of us from the same school would both win.”

Thurman agrees the university was warmly welcomed. “This is the first time anyone from PSU has attended that conference, so a lot of people there were unfamiliar with us until now. They told us they were really impressed with our program.”

Their adviser, Rebeca Book, says the students have made their department proud.

“So many times you hear of other universities receiving awards,” she said. “So when our students go to conferences and win, our buttons are bursting with pride.”

For more information about Pittsburg State University, visit the PSU Web site.
For more information about Plastics Engineering Technology programs at PSU, visit the department Web site.

---Pitt State---

Professor to lead national counseling association

A Pittsburg State University faculty member is taking the reins of one of the largest psychological organizations in America.

Dr. Donald Ward, a professor in the Department of Psychology and Counseling, has been named as upcoming president of the Association for Specialists in Group Work, an international scholarly society that is a division of the American Counseling Association.

Ward, who has belonged to the organization for the past 30 years, was awarded the post in March. His three-year term begins July 1.

“It takes some careful planning and good support from the university, but I value the scholarly commitment,” Ward said. In addition to leading the group of approximately 1,000 members, he will plan and coordinate the organization’s annual convention, lead four national meetings a year, and continue to serve as editor of the ASGW newsletter. “It’s exciting and daunting, but I feel very honored. It will surely keep me active and alive in the later years of my teaching career.”

At PSU, Ward serves as chairman of the Counseling Committee, teaching primarily graduate courses in clinical psychology, school counseling and school psychology. Much of his work focuses on group dynamics.

“All accredited counselors should be prepared to work with groups, because it seems our society is now more receptive to group work and connecting,” he said. “There’s a demand for cooperative learning and group work in the delivery of mental health services. I love to see how it is helping people.”

---Pitt State---

Hispanics of Today help in effort to create national holiday

Despite the tempermental weather, the student organization Hispanics of Today will be out this week taking part in a national movement to recognize a hero in Latino history.

March 31 is the birthdate of the late Cesar Estrada Chavez, a civil rights leader who crusaded for nonviolent social change. As a humanitarian, he inspired millions of Americans to seek social justice for the poor and disenfranchised. Noted by Sen. Robert F. Kennedy as “one of the heroic figures of our time,” Chavez was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in America.

For weeks, groups across the U.S. have been petitioning for signatures to encourage President Bush to declare March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day. The PSU HOT group selected this week to collect signatures, and will be out on the Oval (or the Student Center in case of rain) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day to gain support. They plan to send in their collected signatures at the end of the week.

Group members say they know seeking a new national holiday is no easy task, but that they’re willing to do their part.

“We are trying to build awareness in this community about this very historical figure not many know about,” said Cindy Perez, president of HOT.

For details, contact Perez at 913-375-8428. For more information on Chavez, check out

---Pitt State---