SSC Logo

News / Press Releases


—  SSC Home Page   —

Date of Article Title of Article//
2/23/2018 Winchester Attends Nigh Leadership Academy
2/23/2018 SSC Hosts Speech Tournament
2/20/2018 From Arm Wrestling to Mentoring, Seminole Woman Disrupts Aging
2/15/2017 SSC Regents Convene for February Meeting
2/14/2017 SSC Delegation Attends Higher Ed Day
    Survey Archives   


February 23, 2018

Winchester Attends Nigh Leadership Academy

major reherman, winchester, ms reherman

Meeting the Mayor
Seminole State College student participant Gavin Winchester (center) meets former Edmond Mayor Carl Reherman (left) and his wife Glo Reherman (right), directors of the Nigh Leadership Academy.

winchester holding horse's reins

Not Horsing Around
As part of this year’s Nigh Academy activities, Gavin Winchester visits the Express Ranch in Yukon, Okla. where he meets the largest and oldest Clydesdale horse, at the facility owned by Robert Funk, founder/CEO of Express Employment Professionals.


Area Seminole State College student Gavin Winchester of Prague, Okla. recently attended the Nigh Institute Leadership Academy held in Oklahoma City.
Winchester received a George and Donna Nigh Public Service Scholarship this year through the Nigh Institute program funded by the Oklahoma Legislature. During the leadership academy, students visited with members of the House of Representatives and the Senate and attended sessions concerning Oklahoma’s local government, government relations, the national election, public policy and Oklahoma’s economic future.
In addition, the group  visiting Quail Creek Country Club, Paycom, Tinker Air Force Base, Express Ranch, Devon Tower, “The Oklahoman”, the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Offices.
The group also had the privilege of meeting many of Oklahoma’s leaders including Clay Bennet, owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder; Robert Funk, founder/CEO of Express Employment Professionals; Bobby Stem, President of the Association of Oklahoma General Contractors; Dan Boren, former Oklahoma State Congressman; and Vicki Miles LaGrange, the first African-American woman attorney for the western district of Oklahoma.
The theme of the leadership conference this year was “You Can Do It From Here.” Winchester explained that all of the influential leaders throughout the institute encouraged student participants that they can do anything from Oklahoma. “Each speaker at the Nigh Academy helped me gain confidence for my future. They stressed that not everyone has to be born into a rich and powerful family to be successful. Jim Thorpe was born in my hometown of Prague and became the world’s greatest athlete,” said Winchester.
Winchester is a 2016 Prague High School graduate. At SSC, he is a freshman member of the President’s Leadership Class and will be inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society on campus next week.

Winchester is the son of Heather Annis and Robert Winchester.  He is the grandson of former long-time SSC math instructor Larry Vickers and his wife Rosella, and Jenny Pratka and Tom Winchester.


February 23, 2018

SSC Hosts Speech Tournament


Time for a Debate
crowd Seminole State College hosted a Seminole High School speech tournament on campus last week, where a total of 18 high schools – ranging from class 3A to 6A – participated from across the state. The two-day tournament featured debate, speaking and acting events and concluded with an awards ceremony. SSC will also host the upcoming 3A-4A Southeast Regional Speech and Debate Tournament for the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) on March 16 and 17.

A Degree for the Future
bolander SSC Assistant Professor of Speech John Bolander speaks to contestants about degree offerings at SSC during the speech tournament held at the College last week.



February 15, 2018

SSC Regents Convene for February Meeting


At their February meeting on Thursday, the Seminole State College Board of Regents approved the hiring of Tony Crouch as the College’s new Vice President for Fiscal Affairs. Crouch will assume his role on campus beginning March 1, 2018.

Crouch brings with him a wealth of knowledge in business and finance, including over 20 years of experience in higher education in Oklahoma and Kansas. He comes to SSC from Southwestern Christian University in Bethany, Okla. where he served as the Vice President of Business and Finance. In his role as vice president, he oversaw budget preparation, management and reporting as well as financial aid, accounting services, human resources and information technology. He was also a member on the President’s Cabinet.

Prior to Southwest Christian, Crouch served as Vice President of Business Operations at Carl Albert State College in Poteau, Okla. He also served 20 years at Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kansas where he held positions including Director of Financial Records, Executive Vice President of Business Services and eventually Interim President.

Crouch was born and raised in Alva, Oklahoma and holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Northwestern Oklahoma State University as well as a Master of Science in Leadership from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. He is also a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Oklahoma.

In his new role at the College, Crouch will serve as the College’s Chief Fiscal Officer and will report directly to the President. He will be responsible for the development and administration of budget guidelines and internal financial policies, financial planning, revenue bond activities and risk management. He will also oversee the business and accounting offices, human resources and the campus bookstore.

 “I was pleased to make the recommendation of Mr. Crouch to board.  His academic credentials and years of experience in higher education finance make him a great fit for this job. I believe he will be a great addition to Seminole State College and my administrative team,” said SSC President Lana Reynolds, following the Board’s approval.

In other business, the Board also approved three policy revisions as part of an on-going effort to clean-up wording and update practices at the College.

The first two policy updates include changes to the administrative and classified staff evaluation process, specifically involving updates to the timing and methods of these evaluations. The third policy includes a minor change to academic rank at SSC, clarifying that the rank of “Professor” may awarded to a faculty member after 10 years of full-time service and tenure review.

Board members present at the meeting were: Chairman Bryan Cain, Marci Donaho, Curtis Morgan, Ray McQuiston, Paige Sheffield and Kim Hyden. The next SSC Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 15, 2018.





February 20, 2018

From Arm Wrestling to Mentoring, Seminole Woman Disrupts Aging

mashell, yerby, vermillion, schneidewind

AARP Oklahoma Associate State Director Mashell Sourjohn, honoree Cynthia Yerby
(Seminole Nation), AARP State President Joe Ann Vermillion and AARP National President
Eric Schneidewind at the AARP Oklahoma 9th Annual Indian Elder Honors.

*Article written by Kim Hayes, Senior Producer at AARP Integrated Media*

The perfect personification of AARP’s “Disrupt Aging” motto, Cynthia Yerby talks with passion about her many hard-fought accomplishments: getting a master’s degree while working and raising a family; mentoring youth; becoming a traditional sewing artist; and — when she was 40 years old — launching a career as a champion arm wrestler.
Yerby is a retired educator and senior counselor from Seminole State College in Oklahoma, where for 35 years she provided educational advisement and personal guidance to students.
When she was 40, one of her students invited her to see him compete in arm wrestling. After the official competition was over, people in attendance started to challenge one another, so Yerby gave it a try — and ended up beating her opponent easily.
From there she started competing locally and a new passion was born, Yerby said. Eventually she entered the World Arm Wrestling Championships in Petaluma, Calif. She placed third in her first competition and eventually went on to travel the world as a member of the USA arm wrestling team, becoming a 10-time world champion, 11-time USA national champion and a state champion in 31 states. Embarking on such a physical sport at an older age was certainly unique, but Yerby wasn’t about to let anything hold her back.
“People usually start when they are 19 or 20. I was always competing against younger contestants. I once competed against a 16-year-old when I was in in my 40s and won,” Yerby said.  Due to her stellar reputation, she is often challenged to arm wrestle by people she meets. One of her fondest memories is arm wrestling country music star Tim McGraw, whom she met at a movie premiere party. She’s also arm-wrestled the late blues artist B.B. King and former football coach Barry Switzer.     
Yerby is mostly a self-taught arm wrestler. “It was trial and error and [about] wanting to do it so bad,” she said. In her first four years of competition, she couldn’t get past third place and considered quitting. Deciding she would try one more time in honor of her mother, who had recently passed away, Yerby went to a high school coach for assistance on strength training.  “He gave me a weight lifting routine and told me ‘you do this, you will win,'” Yerby said. That statement would become the mantra for her life.
“Three months later I went to Petaluma again and got to the finals. At the last pull, I couldn’t even walk. I was overcome; I couldn’t breathe. I just looked up and said ‘help me, mom,’”
Yerby remembers. “My opponent was a big blonde and looked ferocious. I just slammed her [arm], and everyone around started crying and screaming. … The referee announced that I was finally the new world champion!”
Yerby gives motivational speeches where she tells the audience to persevere against any challenge and to always go in with the attitude that you can succeed. “Anything worth anything isn’t going to be instant. You have to work. … We set our own limits,” Yerby said.
After dealing with health issues, including winning a battle against the potentially fatal Graves disease, Yerby retired at age 59 as one of the most successful female arm wrestlers of all time. But retirement hasn’t impacted her work ethic. She turned her love of sewing into an endeavor to preserve and promote the Seminole patchwork tradition.
She sews for numerous tribes, including the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, which recently invited her to join them at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., where her work was featured for a week. You can also see her creations on Facebook at Native Designs by Cynthia Yerby.
Yerby, who has counseled and mentored tribal youth throughout her career, takes that role very seriously.“There is always somebody watching you, so be somebody that people can look up to,” she said. She is glad to see elders being recognized by AARP Oklahoma again this year.
“Elders should be recognized for their tenacity and their spirit, how they help their families, the love they share for people,” Yerby said. “We are passing [Native American] languages down and trying to teach our kids how to do right, to survive in life.”
Yerby — who has been married for 42 years to her husband Monty and has two adult sons and three grandchildren — says she misses professional arm wrestling but enjoys her retirement. “But if I wanted to, I would get ready and do it again.”





February 14, 2018

SSC Delegation Attends Higher Ed Day


A large delegation of campus and community leaders representing Seminole State College attended “Higher Education Day” at the Capitol in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Feb. 13. The event, sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, is held annually to demonstrate grassroots support for Higher Education funding.

A late afternoon session was held in the chamber of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Speakers included Gov. Mary Fallin; Sen. Roger Thompson; Rep. Jadine Nollan; State Regents Chair Ronald H. White, M.D.; State Regent Gen. Toney Stricklin; State Regent Jeffrey W. Hickman; Chancellor Glen D. Johnson; and President Jerry Steward, Oklahoma City Community College.

Four students also spoke at the event. Nikoma Early, Western Oklahoma State College; Erica Stephens, Oklahoma State University; Kalen Russell, University of Central Oklahoma; and Yaseen Shurbaj, University of Oklahoma, shared how they have benefitted from higher education and how attending one of Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities has positively impacted their lives. 

Prior to the afternoon program, community and campus leaders representing Seminole State College were guests at a luncheon held at the Oklahoma University Faculty House. Those present included State Senators Jason Smalley, Ron Sharp, Roger Thompson and Darcy Jech. State Representatives in attendance were Leslie Osborn, Dell Kerbs, and Kevin Wallace. Following introductions by SSC President Lana Reynolds, the elected officials spoke to the SSC delegation about their support of higher education and their outlook on the new legislative session.

Community supporters in attendance included: Dan Boren, SSC Foundation Trustee;Karel Brewster, Brewster Associates; Bryan Cain, SSC Regent; Randy Gilbert, Owner Gilbert Trucking; Suzanne Gilbert, SSC Foundation Trustee; Jim Hardin, SSC Foundation Trustee; John Hargrave, SSC Foundation Trustee; Leonard Harjo, SSC Foundation Trustee;

Kim Hyden, SSC Regent; Dr. Rebecca Kennedy, SSC Vice President Emeritus; Harrel Kennedy, Retired Higher Ed. Administrator; Kelly Kirk, Retired SSC Professor; Judy Kirk, Retired Bank Executive; Chris Moore, Bancfirst President; Jeramy Rich, SSC Foundation Trustee  Mark Schell, SSC Foundation Trustee; and David Wilson, SSC Foundation Trustee.

SSC students in attendance were: Gavin Aldridge, Earlsboro; K.C. Bryan, New Lima; Adam Choate, Seminole; Will Cotner, Seminole; Kaylie Davidson, Seminole; Hunter Dugan, Tecumseh; Daryian Fancher, Harrah; Triniti House, Moss; Zachary Ilbery, Checotah; Destanie Jacoway, Tecumseh; Cassidy Johnson, Bristow; Macyn Kinkade, Shawnee; D.J. Lee, Holdenville; Bo LeFlore, Shawnee; Meghan Mickle, Midwest City; Breana Murphy, Choctaw; Wyatt Norton, Earlsboro; Sidney Osborn, Seminole; Miles Piersall, Seminole; Kristopher Scott, Seminole; Ernest Sego, Tecumseh; Miranda Shupe, Chandler; Cami Sosbee, Okemah; and Gage Wright, Stroud, Gracie Adams, Seminole, Brandon Jones, Seminole.

College representatives present were: Lana Reynolds, President; Tom Mills, Vice President of Academic Affairs; Dr. Bill Knowles, Vice President for Student Affairs; Holly Newell, Sponsored Programs Compliance Officer; Larry Smith, Director of Rural Business & Resources Center; Kristin Dunn, Director of Community Relations; Melanie Rinehart, Director of Financial Assistance; Steven Little, Coordinator Media Relations; and Autumn Wiles, Coordinator Foundation Advancement.


Higher Ed Day at the Capitol
Many Seminole State College students including the President’s Leadership Class, Student Government President and concurrent students pose for a group photo in front of the State Capitol following the Higher Education Day program on Tuesday afternoon.

Showing Love
SSC Student Government President Miles Piersall (center) and SSC concurrent student Brandon Jones (right), delivered Valentine’s Day candy to State Representative Leslie Osborn (left) and thanked her for supporting Higher Education.

From One Trojan to Another
Current SSC Trojan baseball player K.C. Bryan presented Former 1977 NJCAA All-American Trojan baseball player and current State Senator Darcy Jech with a SSC Baseball cap at the Higher Ed Day luncheon at the OU Faculty House on Tuesday.