Photos courtesy of Tres Jay
Story by Ariel Bryant
The Oklahoma City area was iced over Feb. 20. This caused the cancellation of school activities as well as scheduled events such the Black Male Summit. The summit was rescheduled for Friday, March 30.
The annual Black Male Summit will feature leaders Trey Jay and Anthony Crawford. They both recognized the high number of college dropouts among people of color, the majority being male. The summit not only highlights this issue but it also creates awareness on the potential success if students continue their education. Furthermore, the summit offers students exposure to supportive resources and network.
“I’m extremely privileged to be allowed to put on the Second Annual 2018 Male Summit, which will be held March 30, 2018,” Jay said. “A few of my goals for this summit this year, and the next following year, is to ensure these young men with guidance (and) mentors. I’m sure there will be a few in the room who are fatherless, and who [don’t] have the support of other men that they need. If I can be that, why not? Instead of waiting for the change, let’s start being the change.”
In addition, Erica Alvarez, director of Degree Completion and Student Retention and a female activist, expressed why she thinks it's so important for students to attend this event.
“This conference is put together to encourage young black men to pursue a post-secondary education,” Alvarez said. “We want them to recognize that within them lies the potential to lead. Our goal is to show young men of color that Rose State College wants to see them be successful and that there are people in place who will help guide them as they pursue the goals that they have set for themselves.”
The Black Male Summit will be held at 8 a.m. Friday, March 30 at the Community Learning Center, located at 6191 Hudiburg Dr, Midwest City, OK 73110.
For more information, visit rose.edu.
Updated April 17, 2018
Story & Photos by Emily Siddiqui
Entrepreneurs, college students and other guests enjoyed a day packed with expert information in starting or improving their businesses at the Small Business Conference, held Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the Hudiburg Chevrolet Center.
Interactive workshops throughout the day included a variety of topics relevant to small business owners and entrepreneurs, such as strategy, marketing, social media, cybersecurity, financing, credit, tax reform and government contracting.
Keynote speakers of the morning included Toby Brown, Adam Edwards and Rachael Gruntmeir, all of whom are the CEOs of their respective companies in Oklahoma City.
Many SBC attendees came to gather business intel and strengthen their professional endeavors. Motivational speaker, mental health advocate and author Benedria Smith attended the conference to learn how to improve her multifaceted business, which has recently expanded into publishing. Her favorite workshop was the second session, where speakers discussed branding, marketing strategies and the importance of businesses’ engagement with their target audiences.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned [today] is to be smart, not perfect,” Smith said.
In the opening conference session, panelists spent time emphasizing the value of small businesses making themselves well-known if they are to compete in the market. Brown “advised us to not be afraid to rise above the radar,” Smith explained.
Following the morning sessions and luncheon, attendees were treated to three keynote speakers: Cornell Wesley, Economic Development Representative at U.S. Department of Commerce; George Nigh, former Oklahoma Governor; and Robert Funk, founder and CEO of Express Employment Professionals. Rose State President Dr. Jeanie Webb welcomed the speakers as they took turns reminiscing Oklahoma business history, sharing stories and speaking of a bright future.
Wesley talked about the involvement of state programs in job creation, and gave advice to those just starting out in the world of business.
“You have to surround yourself with like-minded people; you have to place yourself in environments where tools or resources are available to you, and you have to be hungry and intentional about accessing them,” Wesley said.
While Nigh admitted he’d never had a business of his own, he shared his experiences and knowledge gained in business, not only as a political figure, but also as an Oklahoma citizen. He took the audience back several decades to when large companies such as Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores, Braum’s and Sonic Drive-In were once small businesses. He did this to remind entrepreneurs that success starts small, and to put into perspective the progress of Oklahoma as a whole.
“I don’t really know much about business … but I know what government’s responsibility to business is, and what government’s responsibility to education is,” Nigh said.
Funk spoke of the unique opportunities Oklahoma gives to business people like himself.
“I believe that Oklahoma is the land of opportunity … We are more entrepreneurial than most any state in the nation,” he said.
Funk also described why it is so crucial for small businesses to have the right people on their teams.
“I have seen great companies with great ideas falter because of the people that they selected. I’ve seen some other companies that didn’t have the greatest idea, but they had great people, and they rise to the top. It’s the quality of the individuals that makes the difference in the success of your small business,” he said.
After the keynote session, conference attendees continued on to more workshops. Those who registered in advance also had a chance at the end of the day to have one-on-one consultations. A panel discussion was held to bring the day to a close.
For information regarding next year’s Small Business Conference, contact Rick Woodard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 733-7392.
Video by Bailey Bussell & JaNae Williams
Edited by Bailey Bussell
Story by Haley Humphrey
Photo courtesy of Rose State College
The budget cuts in Oklahoma education have created a crisis, which has continued to escalate each year. Higher Education Day 2018 was thought to involve the groundbreaking monetary changes for which higher education officials have been searching. Gov. Mary Fallin and Chancellor Glen Johnson shared their optimism of the future of higher education to media outlets and educators statewide.
Fingers were crossed for the plan #RestoreHigherEd to be successful when Rose State leadership students walked the steps of the state capitol Feb. 13. Ready to hear the proposal legislative officials had to offer. Ready to voice their concerns. Ready to be heard.
Business and community leaders organized the Step Up Oklahoma plan and were ready to fight to end the state’s budget deadlock. However, the proposition was declined after put to a vote Feb. 12.
If it had been enacted, the Step Up strategy claimed it would “stabilize state revenue, reform government to increase efficiency and cut abuse, and raise teacher pay by $5,000 a year,” according to the Step Up Oklahoma website.
Their long list of endorsing organizations and supporters gave some people hope for the bright outcome Fallin and Johnson said they envisioned. As with any new plan, there were people wary of the aspects that fell under the compromise. Most specifically, the taxes Step Up pushed to the front of the table, which would have affected the following categories:
The capitol was bustling with administrators, students, representatives and senators, all scattered throughout the building, talking one-on-one and in small groups, with scattered thoughts about what would come next.
Rose State’s Leadership group crammed into a room on the fourth floor to listen to Oklahoma Rep. Roger Ford. He welcomed the students in and was open to questions. Immediate inquiries flew about what will replace the Step Up plan. Ford acknowledged the new group of people who are backing the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, but did not have much information about any aspects of it or when it will be addressed.
However, Ford freely shared his opinion on why higher education is still trapped in, as he called it, “a snake pit,” because both parties remain at a stalemate. Just like in the federal government, the state is unable to cross an agreement threshold through bipartisanship.
The students were moved to another location of the capitol, to a session holding room where Ford accompanied them, standing at the front, putting into perspective how divided the area is when Republicans and Democrats make their way to sit at the desks on the floor.
“There is separation before you even walk in the room,” Ford said.
The biggest question is how this year’s Higher Education Day outcome will affect Rose State, the community home-front. The college will be stuck waiting for changes to be made, but that is not stopping President Jeanie Webb. Rose State’s biggest fan and political advocate was excited to see her Leadership students taking part in the future of education at the college and university level. She reminded the students and advisers to ensure that the legislators answered their questions, to the full extent. The wait for the appropriate decision continues; however, Rose State representatives, like Webb, are not quitters. They will still be present for whatever comes next.
A brighter future for political compromises and education is what most Rose State students would like to see.
“Leaving the capitol, I realized being there confirmed what I already knew,” said Andrew Mullins, Senate Floor Leader at Rose State. “There are legislators that do not care for the greater good of Oklahoma citizens, but I learned there is hope because some of them care; it is just going to take time.”
Story by Kat Tabak
Photo by JaNae Williams
Students are likely to hear numerous professor names mentioned during advisement, in classes or when asking about who teaches what classes. However, many students may not know anything else about the professor aside from their name and the subject they teach.
This monthly spotlight will feature Q&A-style interviews with professors from different divisions so students can learn more about educators.
Professor Terry Byers teaches Computer Information Technology classes.
How long have you been a professor at Rose State College?
“I came to be a professor at Rose State in 2001. I had friends I knew who worked at Rose already and they encouraged me to come teach here.”
What made you choose to be a professor?
“I decided to become a professor back during my time in the Air Force. Part of what I did was work as an instructor, giving lectures and instructing, which I found I really enjoyed doing.”
How did you get into computer science?
“I failed five times to get my associate degree, before I decided to stick with journalism. I joined the military shortly after. It was during this time that I became interested in computers while on duty and [that was] the leading reason for my decision to pursue my master’s degree in computer science.”
Why did you feel you succeeded in getting your degree?
“The professors that I had at Kent State University were one of my biggest reasons for my success. They were a great support and helped to encourage me while I worked towards getting my degree.”
What are some success tips you would give to students?
“I highly recommend that students use the Cornell note-taking method; it helps to give structure to notes taken in class so that they are less confusing when it comes to looking back over them later. I also recommend reaching out to your professor. It never hurts to ask them for help if there is a concept you do not understand or just need to be sure of something. It can only be beneficial to student success.”
What kind of teaching policy do you have?
“If one or more students do not understand something, I will try my best to teach them another way to explain and help them understand what it is I am trying to teach them. I also encourage all of my students to stop by my office to see me if they need extra help.”
Story by Madi Zick
Video courtesy of Rose State College
During the first week of the spring semester, Raiders may have spotted President Jeanie Webb riding around in a golf cart, taking students to their classes. At most large universities, students don’t often see the school’s president walking around the campus, let alone driving a golf cart. That is part of what separates Rose State from other universities and community colleges. But why was she driving around? What was the point of it?
“If you look at Rose State College in comparison to other community colleges in the area, some of the larger universities in the region, the feel of Rose State is very much that of a family … that comes from President Webb,” explained Daniel Beck, Rose State director of marketing.
Beck and other members of the External Affairs and Marketing team wanted students at Rose State to meet Webb and see that she genuinely cares for them.
The team’s goal was to “showcase from the marketing perspective on social media that this is the environment [and] attitude for Rose, that it is a little bit more casual … but all about students,” Beck said.
When asked about the Rowdy Rover, Webb explained it was meant “to show that we’re human, we care, we’re family-oriented and we want to get to know all of our students and that all of our students are important.”
Webb also described every college freshman’s emotions when first arriving on campus. She said it can be intimidating to ask someone where a building or class is, especially when the student thinks they know the answer. However, with the renovations occurring across campus, it can lead to confusion from students. The Rowdy Rover provided some reassurance to new students and allowed them a chance to get to know the school’s president.
“Stuff like this makes Rose State unique; we aren’t your typical college,” Webb said. “We’re your college that really cares and will reach out. We really want you to be successful and graduate.”
Webb said she had a lot of fun because she was able to talk to and learn about some students whom she might not have otherwise had the chance to meet. But once she introduced herself, students relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
Beck and Webb are open to suggestions for future rides, and encourage students to speak out. There is nothing planned for the immediate future, but be on the lookout for the next time the Rover makes its rounds. Webb has aimed to drive to the farther parts of the parking lots to pick up students, so for those interested in getting picked up, park as far out as possible. Suggestions have even been made for a golf cart karaoke. If they are lucky enough, a student might get to sing a song or two with the one and only President Webb.
Story & Photo by Kat Tabak
Rose State’s Tutoring Center is continuing its search to find English tutors to help students. In the meantime, several English professors have stepped forward to devote their time by stationing themselves in the Writing Lab, located in Humanities, Room 137.
“Given the current education environment in Oklahoma, all these professors are working excessive hours already; for them to commit this time is a real act of dedication to our students,” English Professor Toni Castillo said.
There are a total of six professors who volunteer their time in the Writing Lab. From now until the end of the semester the following professors will be in the lab at the mentioned times:
3:45-5:45 p.m. Professor Toni Castillo
11 a.m. - noon Professor Sandy Keneda
2-3 p.m. Professor Trixie Walther
3-4 p.m. Professor R.J. Woods
9-10 a.m. Professor Lacey Veazey-Daniel
2-3 p.m. Professor Lacey Veazey-Daniel
8-9 a.m. Professor Trixie Walther
11 a.m. -noon Professor Sherri Mussatto
3-4 p.m. Professor R.J. Woods
The Writing Lab is open to all students Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Appointments are not required, and students are free to spend as much time as they need in the Writing Lab to receive help and work on their assignment. For more information, call 733-7384 or email email@example.com.
Story by Reginal Fields | Additional reporting by Haley Humphrey
Photo by JaNae Williams
The number of flu-related deaths in Oklahoma this season has risen to 173 since September 2017, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Feb. 22 flu update. With classes back in session, Rose State students, faculty and staff are more susceptible to the virus.
Most health care providers state the flu virus can be spread by coming into contact with a person with the flu or through contact with the germs in which the flu resides. Schools are especially susceptible to the spreading of illness because of the close quarters and shared workspaces.
Influenza is a contagious virus that mainly affects the nose, throat, lungs and air passages.
Senior citizens, young children, pregnant women and caregivers (teachers, health care workers and childcare providers) are groups that are most likely to contract the flu. They should take extra measures to protect themselves from contracting the influenza virus during the flu season, which began in September and continues through May.
Individuals are encouraged to keep their hands sanitized, avoid touching their eyes or nose and get plenty of rest and good nutrition. It is also advised that hard surfaces be sanitized frequently.
However, according to doctors, the best defense is the flu vaccination. The flu shot is still available at most doctors’ offices and pharmacies in the metro area, and most insurances cover the full cost of the vaccination. According to a local pharmacist, the flu shot becomes the most effective after two weeks.
Symptoms of the flu can set in from one to five days after infection, and last for one to two weeks and can range in severity. According to the Centers for Disease Control, this is the most cases of the flu doctors have seen in more than a decade, with more than 2,000 individuals being hospitalized in the state of Oklahoma alone. However, some individuals will not experience any symptoms but could still be carriers and spread the virus.
Not everyone needs medical care or drugs to get through a mild flu case. High fever, nausea, headaches and chills are common symptoms. Rapid or very labored breathing, bluish skin color and decreased social interaction are serious symptoms and may mean a need for medical attention.
A recent study at the University of Maryland School of Public Health showed people can be contagious without having signs of the illness.
“People with [the] flu generate infectious aerosols (tiny droplets that stay suspended in the air for a long time) even when they are not coughing, and especially during the first days of illness,” said Professor Donald K. Milton, who holds doctorates in medicine and philosophy as well as lead researcher of the University of Maryland study. “When someone is coming down with influenza, they should go home and not remain in the workplace and infect others.”
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, there are two formulations of the flu vaccine for the 2017-2018 flu season: Trivalent and quadrivalent.
The trivalent vaccine contains three strains that are considered most likely to spread in the United States. Trivalent protects via a standard dose for those aged 6 months and older or a high dose recommended only for those age 65 years and older.
Quadrivalent, as the name suggests, protects against four strains of influenza, with a standard dose for children as young as 6 month.
Those most susceptible are encouraged to receive the flu vaccine. Individuals can also strengthen their immune system by limiting exposure to the elements, reducing stress levels and increasing physical fitness. A humidifier has also been shown to decrease the risk of the flu because the virus prefers dry climates.
Those who contract the flu should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and satisfy any appetite with crackers, toast and rice. Avoid public places and social events until the symptoms are gone.
“Out of an abundance of caution for the health of Rose State staff and faculty, an email was released from the Rose State Administration on Jan. 23, 2018,” said Tamara Pratt, Vice President of External Affairs and Marketing at Rose State. “The message was simple, reminding everyone of the flu epidemic and to be cautious about reporting to work sick.”
By Yesenia Gonzalez
Image courtesy of Beck Design
Rose State’s Student Center will undergo major construction soon. Since 2011, a $22 million bond issue has covered the costs of renovating bathrooms, 11 buildings on campus and the Learning Resources Center. However, the upcoming renovation is not part of the same bond issue that Mid-Del voters approved in 2011; rather, it is part of a master lease program from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. According to Senior Director for Renovations Richard Andrews, the multimillion-dollar project is tentatively scheduled to begin in August, once the old building is removed.
“I think there [are] a lot of changes that students and faculty will see,” Andrews said. “One of the emphases on the new building will be a one-stop shop. And we’re bringing enrollment, student engagement, student advisement all under one roof. So a student can come in and talk to the adviser, get enrolled, go into Student Services Building and get their financial aid. They can go across the hall in the building and get their books, and then they can buy a hot dog and a Coke while they’re here. So it’s really, truly a one-stop shop.”
Vice President for Administrative Services Dr. Kent Lashley said the State Regents master lease program is different from the bond issue passed in 2011, because the master lease program pools the projects of multiple college campuses together to maximize the bond funds, rather than Rose State requesting a bond issue by itself. Over time, the school’s capital fund and student facility fees will pay back the cost of the bonds allocated to Rose State for the new Student Union. According to Andrews, the master lease program allotted $18 million for the renovation but the actual cost for the building cannot be determined until the project is bid.
The Student Union is currently being emptied and renovations are to follow in the near future. Members of the surrounding community often used the building’s conference rooms and banquet hall, which will be included in the renovation of the Student Center. The new Student Union building will have two stories, with the upper floor including a 400-seat ballroom and many conference rooms for community use.
“So the community, we hope, will be coming back to us,” said Tamara Pratt, Vice President for External Affairs and Marketing, expressing her thoughts on the upcoming project. “They’ll be a little inconvenienced right now while we don’t have much space for the community, but it’s gonna be really great and beautiful when they’re finally done ... and we’ll have these two beautiful bookends for the campus. The east and the west side, the LRC on the east side and the new Student Union on the west side.”
Rose State first opened for class in 1970. In recent years, the school has undergone various construction projects aimed at modernizing the campus, such as renovating the restrooms to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. LED-efficient lighting, new floors, new paint and upgrades to the interiors of classrooms are other evident changes to the campus.
“If you’ve seen the progression that we’ve taken from Rose State College over the last couple of years, everything that we have been trying to do is to be about fostering this community,” Daniel Beck, Rose State director of marketing, said. “I mean, going back to when we built the housing, building an on-campus community for students to be able to engage with Rose State in a way that had never been done before [makes Rose State the] only urban community college in Oklahoma that has on-campus housing. Then, with the new LRC, bringing in the addition of a cafe [fostered a sense of community]. Trying to build this community [is the goal], and so the Student Union is just the next step of that and just trying to [showcase] what makes it ‘Greater to be a Raider.’”
The renovations across campus bear testament to a new era at Rose State. The Student Union will continue to be a gathering place for students and the Mid-Del community; the only difference is an upgrade to its design.
Story by Bailey Bussell
There are more than 60 degree programs at Rose State, and with so many options at one’s disposal, it can be overwhelming. The Criminal Justice - Police Science program has been around for at least 20 years, and for the last 15 years it has been managed by Professor of Criminal Justice Arnold R. Waggoner. The program is geared toward students who wish to pursue a career in law enforcement. Though the Police Science program falls under the same category as Criminal Justice, there is a difference between the two majors. The Police Science program follows a different course track than traditional Criminal Justice.
Completion of the Criminal Justice - Police Science program is not just earning an Associate of Arts degree, but it is also certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, a program that provides one way for obtaining the education and training that is needed to become a police officer in the state of Oklahoma. By receiving accreditation from this program, Rose State is able to offer a degree that can help students start their careers shortly after graduation.
“There are over 200 students enrolled in both Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice - Police Science,” Waggoner said.
These numbers, combined with the fact Rose State also has a partnership with OSU-OKC, shows the success of the program. This partnership allows police science students the opportunity to receive the skills training portion of the program, which is not offered at Rose State. Rose State requires students to take a minimum of 12 hours for these skills courses, including: Traffic, firearms, patrol procedures, defensive tactics, emergency vehicle operation and survey police sciences.
Once students have finished their hours at OSU-OKC, they can bring their transcript back to Waggoner and he will then incorporate the hours with the student’s current transcript at Rose State. Once all the hours are completed, Waggoner creates what he calls a “package” to send off to CLEET to show the student has taken the required courses. CLEET will then determine whether the student is eligible to take a certification test to become a police officer in the state.
Not only can students who wish to pursue a career in law enforcement earn a degree in this program, but officers who have already started in workforce can also complete the program. After current police officers complete 15 hours at Rose State, they can receive up to 37 hours of college credit for free.
Earning an associate degree in Police Science will also qualify he individual for “pro-pay,” which will raise the pay about $50 per check just from earning a degree. Rose State also gives college credit to already existing police officers who have taken courses through CLEET but who did not receive college credit. Because Rose State is certified by CLEET, the classes taken through CLEET can be transferred as college credits, giving the officer credits for their real-life experience.
Just as with any other degree program, Police Science students are held to high standards. Each student must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and follow a specific dress code when taking courses at OSU-OKC. Once students have completed the hours necessary to earn their degree and their package has been approved by CLEET to take their certification test, the student is able to take their next step into the future.
For more information about the Criminal Justice - Police Science program, contact Waggoner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 736-0238, or Academic Adviser Cathy Ogle at 733-7409 or email@example.com.
The 15th Street News is a student publication at Rose State College.