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Date of Article Title of Article//
06/26/2017 SSC Student-Athletes Receive All-Academic Honors
06/22/2017 Beene to be Honored at Retirement Reception
06/19/2017 SSC Foundation Honors President Utterback
06/19/2017 SSC Graduates Participate in Oklahoma Study Abroad Project
06/15/2017 SSC Board of Regents Convene for June Meeting
06/14/2017 SSC Upward Bound Programs Receive Grant Renewal
06/13/2017 Kids Enjoy SSC Summer Camps
05/23/2017 Seminole State College’s Summer Semester Begins June 5
05/11/2017 SSC Announces Summer Kids Camps
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June 26, 2017

SSC Student-Athletes Receive All-Academic Honors


Twenty-three student-athletes and five athletic teams at Seminole State College were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements this year by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

The NJCAA All-Academic Student-Athlete Awards are divided into three groups based on GPA – First Team requires a 4.0 GPA, Second Team requires a GPA between 3.80 and 3.99, and Third Team requires a GPA between 3.60 and 3.79.

SSC student-athletes recognized as First Team are: Mary Grider of Durant – Softball; Michael Obi’anadiume of Land O’ Lakes, Fla. – Basketball; Mckyla Poponick of Selkirk Manitoba, Canada – Golf; Kevin Teams of Gunter, Texas – Golf; and Robert Turner III of Stigler – Golf.

Student-athletes recognized as Second Team include: Alashia Castlebury of Del City – Basketball; Breydon Daniel of Bixby – Baseball; Zahra Finnigan of Harare, Zimbabwe – Tennis; Parker Johnson of Fort Worth, Texas – Tennis; Chelsey Olds of Midwest City – Basketball; Haley Pomplun of Choctaw – Softball; Talor Smith of Cushing – Golf; and Kaiygen Stubblefield of Arlington, Texas – Basketball.

Third Team student-athletes include: Shalee Brantly of Broken Bow – Softball; Jacob Essman of Edmond – Basketball; Alexis Freeman of Shawnee – Softball; Diana Garzon of Imperial, Calif. – Softball; Jacob Goodson of Vilonia, Ark. – Baseball; Caleb Lee of Choctaw – Baseball; Jose Obregon III of Sallisaw – Baseball; Karla Soto of Calexico, Calif. – Softball; Evan Speck of Newcastle – Golf; and Kamy Walck of Shawnee – Women’s Basketball.

Five SSC athletic teams earned an All-Academic Team award this year – an honor given to teams meeting a 3.0 GPA or higher, as a group. The following teams were recognized: Men’s Golf – 3.44 GPA; Women’s Basketball – 3.21 GPA; Women’s Golf – 3.17 GPA; Softball – 3.26 GPA; and Women’s Tennis – 3.27 GPA.

            For more information about athletics at Seminole State College, call 405-382-9541 or visit

First Team – Mary Grider of Durant

First Team – Michael Obi’anadiume of Land O’ Lakes, Fla.

First Team – Mckyla Poponick of Selkirk Manitoba, Canada

First Team – Kevin Teams of Gunter, Texas

First Team – Robert Turner III of Stigler




June 22, 2017

Beene to be Honored at Retirement Reception


Seminole State College will celebrate the retirement of long-time employee Rusty Beene at a special come-and-go reception beginning at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 28 in the Hager Chapman Center of the Walkingstick Student Services Center.

Beene, who currently serves as GEAR UP Professional Development Coordinator, has been with the College for over 20 years. He began at SSC in 1990 as an adjunct speech instructor, and in 1992 he assumed the role of Media Relations Coordinator.

In 1994, Beene became the College’s Athletic Director, a position he held for almost 15 years. During that time, he helped develop six new sport programs, including men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, softball and volleyball. Under his direction, the College raised funds to build the indoor training facility for the Trojan baseball program, completed construction of the two-field softball complex and began work on two new tennis courts.

While overseeing the athletic department, Beene also supervised the Physical Plant and Transportation Department from 1998-2001 and from 2004-2005 he served as Interim Director of Campus Life. He also taught several HPER courses part-time.

Beene later took on the role of Veteran’s Upward Bound Coordinator where he helped provide veterans with educational services and academic advising, and in 2012 he assumed his current position in the GEAR UP federal grant program on campus. Within this position, Beene arranges, develops and coordinates professional development for teachers within the programs’ 15 partner schools.

 He holds a Bachelor of Art in Oral Communications/PR from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Art in Communications from the University of Oklahoma.

Friends, family and community members are all welcome to join the campus in celebrating Beene and his many years of service to the College. For more information about the reception, please contact the President’s Office at 405-382-9200.




June 19, 2017

SSC Foundation Honors President Utterback

foundaation members and president

A Job Well Done…

Seminole State College President Dr. Jim Utterback was honored for his upcoming retirement Wednesday morning by members of the College’s Educational Foundation. Foundation Chair Jeramy Rich presented Dr. Utterback with an engraved clock that expressed their gratitude for his visionary leadership over the last two decades. Pictured (l-r) are: Bob Swearingen, Rick Geist, Vice Chair Lance Wortham, Roy Sisco, Chairman Rocky Barrett, Mark Schell, Dr. Utterback, Jim Hardin, Chair Jeramy Rich, Larry Smith, Kenny Pryor, Doug Humphreys, John Hargrave, Richard Carr, Dr. Vickie Carter, David Wilson, Vice Chair Paige Sheffield and Jack Sherry






June 19, 2017

SSC Graduates Participate in Oklahoma Study Abroad Project

wells and taylor

Recent SSC graduates Olivia Wells (left) and Taylor McClure (right) spend time with two girls in the Mariposa program during their study abroad trip to the Dominican Republic this summer

Two recent Seminole State College graduates recently returned from an eight-day service-learning based study abroad trip to the Dominican Republic.

Taylor McClure of Tecumseh and Olivia Wells of Ada joined students from other community colleges across Oklahoma to participate in a study abroad experience organized by institution members of the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges (OACC). EF College Study Tours served as the travel provider.

During the trip, the group worked with the Mariposa Foundation, an organization devoted to educating and empowering adolescent girls in an effort to end generational poverty. The organization was founded in 2009 by volunteers looking for community-based solutions to help young girls, specifically within the Dominican Republic. This was the first time for both McClure and Wells to visit a developing country.

“It was pretty eye-opening. But, even though they don’t have a lot, they are so grateful there,” said McClure. She went on to explain that most homes there did not have doors or even foundations – they were built directly on the ground.

McClure explained that in the Dominican Republic, education is offered until eighth grade. “Because most families cannot afford school after that, many girls as young as 13 go on to be married and have children. This program offers them an alternative,” she said, adding that the Mariposa program offers many complementary classes, including math, science, reading and arts.

McClure and Wells, along with other participating community college students, worked with a group of 30 girls, ages 6-12. In the mornings, the students spent time dancing, playing baseball and hoola-hooping with the girls. After lunch, the group helped clean classrooms and participated in various maintenance projects within the Mariposa Center.

Wells explained that the students were also given free time during their trip. “Along with working with the Mariposa Foundation, I enjoyed the free time we had to experience the people and their culture,” she said. Wells had the opportunity to visit the beach, along with many shops in the area.

Both students mentioned the language barrier they encountered while working with the girls. “Many of them didn’t speak English. We had to work on our Spanish and learn simple words to help us communicate,” explained McClure.

The two agreed they would both love to return to the Dominican Republic to work with the Mariposa program again. “I’m really considering going back for a whole semester, maybe after I graduate. I will need to brush up on my Spanish before then, though,” stated Wells.

McClure and Wells both graduated from SSC in May. McClure will attend the University of Oklahoma this fall to study health and exercise science. Wells plans to attend Randall University in Moore to study psychology.

The OACC Service Learning & Leadership Development program and EF College Study Tours believe that by working directly with communities in the Dominican Republic, students will develop cultural empathy and awareness through firsthand engagement in areas such as poverty, equality and public health.

This service-learning project aims to help students gain critical thinking and leadership skills and motivate them to make a difference and implement change within their own communities. As part of the program, students returning from the Dominican Republic are encouraged to engage in a local community service project in order to give back to local Oklahoma communities.

For more information about the program, please contact SSC Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Bill Knowles by phone at 405-382-9272 or by email at





June 15, 2017

SSC Board of Regents Convene for June Meeting


SSC President Dr. Jim Utterback (left) welcomes incoming Regent Paige Sheffield (center) who was sworn in by East Central University President Emeritus John Hargrave (right) during the College’s June Board of Regents meeting.

board members

Following the June meeting, SSC Board members congratulate President Dr. Jim Utterback on his retirement and thank outgoing Regent Chair Leesa Adams for her service to the College. Pictured (l-r) are: Paige Sheffield, Vice Chair Bryan Cain, President Utterback, Chair Leesa Adams, Secretary Marci Donaho and Curtis Morgan

The Seminole State College Board of Regents convened Thursday for their monthly meeting. At their June meeting they approved increases in tuition and fees, ratified an agreement with a new food service company, approved the renaming of a campus building and accepted the College’s budget for FY 2018.

During the President’s report, Dr. Jim Utterback updated the Board about recent campus news and activities.  He presented information about summer federal Upward Bound program activities for high school students and about a variety of classes being conducted as part of “Kids on Campus” summer camps.

Under the first item of business, the Board approved an increase in tuition and fees, effective Fall, 2017. Total resident tuition will rise from $90.50 to $96.00 and nonresident tuition will go from $277.00 to $294.00 per credit hour. These increases will help offset mandatory cost increases and will help compensate for drastic reductions in state funding.

Board members approved the next two items of business – an increase of the Student Activity Fee from $8.50 to $11.00 and the Infrastructure Fee from $7.00 to $9.00. It is anticipated that these fees will generate approximately $153,000 in new revenue. These funds will help off-set increases in the College’s expenditures related to student activities and will also help maintain and improve SSC’s many facilities.

Under the next action item, the Board ratified an agreement with Great Western Dining to serve as the College’s new food service company. Great Western Dining has over 27 years of experience in the industry. Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Bill Knowles said the company is focused on quality food and a high regard for their clients. This change will provide a cost savings of approximately $80,000 to the College for the coming fiscal year.

As the next item of business, Board members approved the renaming of the Milt Phillips Music Building on campus to the Milt Phillips Social Sciences Building. The building was first named in honor of long-time Seminole Producer publisher Milt Phillips, who was instrumental in the rebirth of the College in 1969 and its establishment as an institution separate from the local high school. For many years, only social science courses have been offered in this building. The renaming of this facility will more accurately reflect its purpose while continuing to honor the memory and contributions of Mr. Phillips.

Next, the Board approved the College’s Educational and General Fund Budget for FY 2018. Utterback said that some very difficult decisions were made in order to balance the institution’s budget. He commended the College’s Administrative Council, with a special thanks to Vice President of Fiscal Affairs Braden Brown and his staff, and applauded their diligent efforts to construct a budget that will help SSC continue in a positive financial direction.

The Board then retired into Executive Session to discuss the term of employment for President Utterback. They returned to Open Session and approved Dr. Utterback’s health and life insurance benefits as presented in his contract.

Several items were approved on the consent agenda including a degree modification for the nursing program, Memorandums of Understanding with Gordon Cooper Technology Center for the Physical Therapy Assistant and Medical Laboratory Technology Programs and several contractual agreements for services, leases and maintenance during FY 2018.

A special presentation was then made to retiring President Utterback in honor of his last Board meeting at SSC. The Regents voiced their appreciation for his visionary leadership over the past two decades and presented him with a specially engraved compass in recognition of his long-time commitment to the College.
Outgoing SSC Board of Regents Chair Leesa Adams was also recognized for her dedication to the College during her seven-year tenure on the Board. Dr. Utterback presented her with a gavel and plaque and expressed his gratitude for her service.

Board members present at the June meeting were: Chair Leesa Adams, Bryan Cain, Marci Donaho, Curtis Morgan and Paige Sheffield. The next SSC Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 20, 2017





June 14, 2017

SSC Upward Bound Programs Receive Grant Renewal

Seminole State College recently received notification from the U.S. Department of Education of the renewal of two federal Upward Bound grants.  Together, Upward Bound I and Upward Bound II will receive over $3 million in grant money over the next five years, beginning in September. The grants will provide the institution $594,919 annually, with Upward Bound I receiving $344,919 and Upward Bound II receiving $257,500.

The College’s Upward Bound programs are designed to provide assistance to high school students in their academic performance, financial aid application and preparation for college.  The programs are 100 percent federally-funded and serve students from Bowlegs, Earlsboro, Shawnee, Seminole, Strother, Varnum, Wewoka, Okemah, Holdenville, Paden, Macomb, Maud, Weleetka, Graham- Dustin, Wetumka and New Lima schools.  

SSC President Dr. Jim Utterback expressed his appreciation to U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe and U.S. Congressman Tom Cole for their diligence and perseverance in assisting SSC during the grant application and award process. He stressed the importance of receiving federal money during these difficult financial times. “With our public schools facing loss of revenue from the state, funding the services provided to the students and schools in this area is more important than ever.  Many of these services would not be available, if not through our grant programs,” he said.

Throughout the school year, both programs assist students in study skills, test-taking strategies, life skills and college and career preparation.  The programs also provide campus tours and evening financial aid workshops for parents and students. 

Projects have also been developed through the program to help students understand the value of group sharing and cooperative learning, including a six-week summer residential camp. This component of the program simulates a college-going experience for first-generation, low-income students.              

“Upward Bound supports life-long learning and encourages students to develop and enhance the intellectual, cultural and social skills necessary for success in postsecondary education,” said Richard Thornton, Director of Upward Bound at SSC.                                                                                  

Upward Bound Director Richard Thornton, Upward Bound I Coordinator Paige Ramsey and Upward Bound II Coordinator Karan O’Dor organize and chaperon activities for the College’s Upward Bound programs.

For more information about SSC Upward Bound programs for area high school students, contact Thornton at 405-382-9710.





June 13, 2017

Kids Enjoy SSC Summer Camps

Clay Creations

children working in clay

Audri Napier of Shawnee, Kendall Mask of Holdenville and Blakely Sewell of Shawnee paint their ceramic projects during Clay Camp, one of several activities offered for kids this summer at Seminole State College.


Building Blocks

constructing with legos

Zach Chilton of Short Pump, Virginia and Slade Guess of Seminole attend Lego Camp this summer at Seminole State College where they work on constructing Lego oil pumps.





May 23, 2017

Seminole State College’s Summer Semester Begins June 5

Seminole State College’s summer semester begins Monday, June 5.  Students interested in taking college courses during the eight-week term are encouraged to enroll before the first day of the summer session.
Weekday and online courses are being offered. Classes will be offered in accounting, history, biology, psychology, criminal justice, art and many other subject areas. For a class schedule detailing all current course offerings, visit the College’s website at
Students interested in attending the fall semester are also encouraged to enroll now.  The fall semester will begin Monday, August 14.  Enrollment for fall intersession is also underway. Intersession courses will run July 31 through August 11.
SSC’s summer office hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Offices are closed on Fridays. Summer office hours will run from May 22 to July 28. 

For more information on classes or enrollment at SSC, contact the College’s Admissions Office at 405-382-9230 or stop by the Walkingstick Student Services Building – a one-stop enrollment center – located just off Highway 9 on the south side of campus.





May 11, 2017

SSC Announces Summer Kids Camps

kids and legs

Students enrolled in last summer’s Lego Camp at Seminole State College work on constructing Lego tow trucks

Seminole State College is currently enrolling for Kids on Campus, a variety of children and youth camps scheduled throughout the summer. The series of activities are scheduled for June 5 through July 20 and will focus on a selection of kid-friendly learning activities.

June camp include Screen Printing Camp. July camps focus on swimming and include Introduction to Water Skills, Fundamental Aquatic Skills, Swim Stroke Development Skills and Parent/Child Aquatics. 

Screen Printing Camp is designed to allow students to embrace their creativity. Kids will make their own masterpiece and then learn how to transfer their design onto a t-shirt, tote bag, apron and picture. Screen Printing camp will run June 19 through June 29 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Cost for the course is $79.

Swim Camp covers a variety of swim levels. Parent/Child Aquatics, Introduction to Water Skills, Fundamental Aquatic Skills and Swim Stroke Development Skills classes are scheduled for July 10 through July 20. Parent/Child Aquatics is a 30-minute course that will begin at 4 p.m. Other swim classes will be offered between 4:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. in 45 minute slots. Students are assigned a class time depending on their individual swim skill level. Cost of each course is $69 per student.  All swim classes will be held in the indoor swimming pool at SSC’s natatorium in the Raymond Harber Field House. The climate-controlled, indoor facility allows instruction regardless of the outside weather conditions and without the dangers of overexposure to the sun.

Registration is required for all camps. Those interested are encouraged to call Carol Hartman, Business and Training Coordinator at 405-382-9246 or Executive Vice President Lana Reynolds at 405-382-9218.  Participants can also enroll by calling or stopping by the College’s Office of Admissions in the Walkingstick Student Services Center located just off Highway 9 on the south side of campus. The Admissions Office can be reached by calling 405-382-9230.