Annual party provides fun and presents for Adopted Schools

Adriana Valtinson, editor-in-chief

RSC hosted the annual Adopted Schools Christmas Party, inviting students from Telstar Elementary and Willow Brook Elementary, Friday, Dec. 10, in the Main Dining Hall.

Dr. Joanne Stafford, director of special services and student outreach, explained that the annual fete started 11 years ago when the Adopted Schools Program and the elementary schools decided to do something for disadvantaged students.

“The principles decided [the children] don’t have much and a party like this may be something they always remember because it makes them feel so special,” she said.

The party was planned and coordinated in part by Student Senate and XZIP, Xerox’s Community Involvement Program which helped to fund it by donating $3, 000 for the event. Randy Stafford, Systems Analyst, explained that this is Xerox’s ninth year to help fund the party and that they wanted to help a population of kids coming from [impoverished] homes.

Making the children feel special was a priority at the party. “We do this every year. [It’s] one of the most important events to help kids who might not have a Christmas. It’s a once in a lifetime deal for some of them,” Dr. Jeanie Webb, vice president for student affairs, said.

The event included crafts and gifts for the first graders, as well as a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. “It’s a very good experience. I’m very overwhelmed,” Jackie Vester, a first grade teacher at Willow Brook Elementary School said, adding, “This is the first time some of these kids will get an experience like this.”

Dr. Terry Britton commented that the party, which he said was attended by 132 children, always amazes him. “It’s a Christmas gift for them and for us.”

“This project is really rewarding because it helps our community and it’s in the holiday spirit,” Kirby Harzman, coordinator of student activities, said.

“If you just look at their faces, [you can see] they enjoy it,” Dr. Kent Lashley, associate vice president for student life, said. “I think it shows what [RSC] stands for; to be able to reach out and help the community.”

Stafford agreed, saying that it benefits the elementary school students, as well as RSC students to be able to reach out to the community. “It’s a win for everyone,” she said.

“This project is really rewarding because it helps our community and it’s in the holiday spirit,” Kirby Harzman, coordinator of student activities, said.

Webb said the credit for the party goes to the student body along with Student Senate and Xerox. “This is what Christmas is about—giving to others. And that’s what these students are about.”


Spotlight: Dr. Michael Lovegrove

Brittany McDaniel, news editor

Dr. Michael Lovegrove, professor of history, educationally resides in the Social Science building, his course of choice being American history.

His lectures detail major events in our nation’s past, showcasing Lovegrove’s passion. Like the topic he so adamantly peruses, the life of Dr. Lovegrove itself is a strand in time that is full of anecdotes and margin notes.

Lovegrove describes his high school career as one of a doing the bare minimum, explaining, “I was probably what you’d call a minimalist. I knew what you had to do to get the grades you wanted. Once in a while I’d put out the effort and come out with a 3.8 (GPA), but I honestly figured I was going to go to Vietnam [for the war]. I didn’t want to exert myself too much.”

When he made the leap to attend the University of Oklahoma, he confessed the college was not the well-manicured campus people see today. “When I was at OU, frankly, it was a dump. It had fallen in a state of disrepair,” Lovegrove said. He credits the change in scenery to OU President, David Boren. Despite his comments concerning the rough exterior of the campus, Lovegrove added, “As far as the education, there was no problem whatsoever. Academically, [the campus] was first rate.”

In 2009, Lovegrove published his first book, “A Nation in Transition.” His work discusses the life and times of Douglas Henry Johnston, governor of the Chickasaw Nation during the turn of the 19th century. In addition, Lovegrove also has his own radio station. “I’m an amateur radio operator. My call sign in is N5OKU,” Lovegrove said.

The question of the day for his station involved conspiracies. When asked about his opinion on Roswell, Lovegrove told a story from childhood.

“I was about 14 or 15. It was a summer evening and I was in the front yard. There was an object that wasn’t saucer or cigar shaped, [but] it was more like a rectangle. It was several thousand feet in the air and it hovered for a while, but it couldn’t from one place to another very quickly. This was for maybe a minute, and then it just took off out sight. I can’t tell you what it was, but I’ve never seen anything in the sky behave like that. I can’t explain it, but that’s what I saw.”

Age: 60

Hometown: Oklahoma City

Spouse: Julie. I truly couldn’t live without her

Kids: Chrissy and Krista. Krista attended Rose State, graduated from OU
Professional Credentials: AA Rose State; BA, MA, PH.D History OU

Heroes: My Dad, Jack L. Lovegrove, Frederick Douglass, Anne Hutchinson or any “Ordinary person” who does extraordinary things

Hobbies: Amateur Radio Call Sign N5OKU

Most life-changing book ever read: The Holy Bible

Forms of exercise: I love to walk. If you are on campus look around, I will wave
Favorite Food: Steak
Most eccentric behavior: You don’t have enough room in the newspaper to list them all

Web site would you recommend to someone: History Channel website or PBS. Reasons are obvious

Favorite movie: “The Magnificent Seven”

Currently reading: Dr. Dan Littlefield, Amanda Page, and Fuller Bumpers book “Chickasaw Removal”

Favorite song: The Eagles “Long Road Out Of Eden” perhaps their most socially responsible song

Favorite genre of music: Classic Rock

Last song you listened to: Pink Floyd “Dark Side Of The Moon”

Most desirable place to visit: Quartz Mountain

If you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you take with you: Something good to read, my MP3 tracks, and a portable radio station to communicate with my Ham buddies

Epitaph: He did what he had to do and moved on

Adjective to describe you: Loyal

If you did a career change, what would be your alternate career: Engineer at a small radio station in Oklahoma somewhere

Superhero or super villain: Super Hero, with the ability to bring instant calm to people

Best advice you have ever been given: Work hard, if you are a “Diamond” you will be found

If you could live in a different time period, when would it be: 19th Century to see some of the people I have studied

How do you get your TV fix: You guessed it History Channel, or Military Channel

What cartoon character would you be: Road Runner he always gets away

If you were not human, what would you be: A dog

If you could invent anything, what would it be: A machine that makes food out of rocks, any kind of food you can imagine

What do you do when you get nervous: Remember what I set out to do at the beginning of the day, be the best I can be

Favorite teacher: It is a tie with Dr. Savage, and Professor Leveridge. They taught me what being a historian is really about

If you could invite 3 famous people to dinner, who would they be: Frederick Douglass, Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I would have so many questions to ask

Dissolution of program leads to firing of tenured professor

The mother of Professor Dara Hayes and lawyer Rand Eddy discuss the committee’s decision to uphold the dismissal of Hayes from RSC during the Dec. 8 hearing. Hayes, professor of e-commerce, faced termination in part due to the dissolution of the RSC program. (Photo by Miranda Liming)

Bona fide lack of need cited for professor’s dismissal

Brittany McDaniel, news editor

A hearing was scheduled Dec. 3 concerning the job status of tenured professor, Dara Hays. Due to low enrollment and graduation rates, the e-commerce program, instated in 2001, was recently dissolved. The dissolution of the program came from a long process of extensions from the Board of Regents in an attempt to promote the courses. The program never met the quota needed to keep the program going, and it was the decision of the board to dissolve the program after the fall 2009 extension deadline failed to yield higher enrollment rates.

The issue for keeping programs available to students is often a matter of sustainability. In order for programs to be considered sustainable, they must meet a minimum enrollment and program graduates. The e-commerce program was set to attain seven graduates and 20 majors. The program in question never met the required minimum numbers to keep it going. Despite the low numbers, the Board of Regents granted extensions that allowed the program to continue through fall 2009 if the numbers were met. By the fall of 2009, the program had one graduate and 13 majors, still not meeting minimum requirements.

With the dissolution of the program, Hays tenured position no longer existed. According to testimony provided Dr. Frances Hendrix, vice president of academic affairs, tenure is tied to the position rather than the professor. “Since positions are tied to a program, I have a faculty position without a program. I have a faculty member without a program,” said Hendrix.

The testimony provided by the college explained that remaining in good standing with requirements handed down by the department of education is essential to the college’s accreditation. The college must ensure that programs meet certain requirements to remain in good standing. Hendrix elaborated, “Any higher education institution across the United States is measured by the number of enrollments and graduates. The department of education is tightening more…we have to show the need. When we can’t meet those numbers then we can’t continue to hold a program. The student need is what creates a program.”

In addition to adhering to guidelines and regulations to keep the college’s accreditation, Hendrix cited impending budget cuts as a reason to “spend wisely.” According to Hendrix, academic affairs dealt with major budget cuts, losing over a quarter of a million dollars the previous year. Hendrix said the budget for next year would face additional cuts.

“Next year, the stimulus money goes away. What we are hearing from the state regents is that will mean about a million and a half (dollars) to the college.  We also are expecting a three percent decrease that will bring that to about two million dollars. We have to spend our money wisely. We have to make wise decisions,” Hendrix said.

In an opening statement by Hays’ lawyer, Rand Eddy, it was explained that Hays accepted the loss of the e-commerce program. In the statement, Eddy said, “We don’t have a [problem] with the fact that the program is gone. The issue that we have is that Professor Hays being tenured…implies an element of seniority within the division. It is our position that she should be allowed to be absorbed into some of these other programs that she’s been teaching.” Eddy stated Hays previously taught courses in not only the e-commerce program, but also multimedia and business.

In response to Eddy’s statement, Hendrix testified that because of Hays’ master’s degree, she could not teach courses in any of the other open positions available on campus. The Higher Learning Commission requires that a professor must have a minimum of 18 post-graduate credit hours in the specialized field in order to teach a course, or in the case of technical courses, experience to supplement education. During a 2008 comprehensive visit by the Higher Learning Commission, the administration needed to be “a little bit more careful about a master’s degree plus 18 hours.” Hendrix went through Hays’ college transcripts to explain why her degree did not match up with the Higher Learning Commission’s guidelines. Through Hendrix’s interpretation of the transcript, Hays’ master’s program, which focuses on instructional psychology and technology, does not have the 18 post-graduate hours the campus would like for professors to have in order to teach courses at the two-year level.

While Hays’ credentials were a source of debate, her job performance was not. “Professor Hays has been an exemplary professor. She’s given her heart and soul to the college,” Eddy said. Hendrix attested to the fact that the trial was not due to poor job performance on behalf of Hays. Hendrix said, “Through [campus] evaluations, I have not been made aware of any problems with the teaching. Generally, if there aren’t any problems with the teaching then I don’t hear about it.”

After Hays presented her testimony, the hearing was set to reconvene on Dec. 9; a decision, Hays said, “seemed questionable.” “The college presented their testimony…[and] did not let the hearing be completed on Dec. 3, 2010 and gave no regard for this. After my testimony, the College asked for the hearing to be extended for their rebuttal. Six days later, the hearing was reconvened. I think this was unfortunate and put the committee on the campus with the administrators during this time,” Hays said.

During the hearing Hays had the support of her family. Hays husband, Jamie Hays, said of the hearing, “I just can’t believe they are doing this to her. She’s never had a bad report. How can you justify this?” J. Hays said his wife was a “dedicated, respectable, committed,” professor that “loved” her students. Deborah Eckroat, multimedia major, said Hays was an “amazing professor,” and that she nominated her for an excellence award for the spring 2010 semester.

The closing arguments made by Hays’ lawyer suggest a lack of clear reasoning behind Hays termination. “If they can make a case for bona fide lack of need for this professor, they can make one for any professor in this college if they want to. This case is about a conclusion and a determination that was made that is still searching for a reason and a justification and it has not been disclosed in this room,” Eddy said.

For Hays, the main concern is for the students caught in the middle. In a statement, Hays said, “My concern has always been for the students,” adding that her favorite part of the institution was, “always the students.”

Student Kelly Regouby, multimedia communications major, came to the hearing in support of his former teacher. After the hearing Regouby said, “Professor Hays is an amazing teacher. I have had the pleasure of being in several of her classes and the stuff I’ve learned from her vast array of knowledge has been most beneficial.”

In addition to providing his classroom experience, Regougby expressed concerns over his ability to finish his degree. Regouby said, “They’ve taken all of the classes I need to complete my degree off the [fall] schedule. The one class that is offered on the spring 2011 schedule is a daytime class and I’m a nighttime student. I’m either going to have to go to a different college or change my degree.”

The committee reached a majority decision to uphold the decision of the regents to dismiss Hays from her teaching position at RSC. Following the decision, Hays said the committee’s decision “was wrong,” questioning the way in which the college decided to get rid of her teaching position.

Later, Hays stated, “I was hired by Rose State College [and] I was a loyal, good professor, dedicated to my students. The college in one moment took my career, dreams, future, and retirement without any regard for the dedication and service I gave to them.  I think it is unfortunate that this could happen, and did happen.”

By 15th Street News Posted in News

Fall 2010 Photo Portfolio

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Holiday Party

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Veteran’s Club sponsors discussion on Navy mission, honors deceased seaman

By: Brittany McDaniel, news editor

The Veteran’s Club held their first sponsored event on campus Thursday, Nov. 18, explaining their purpose and background to attendees.
Club President Justin White spoke to the group’s mission. “The purpose of our club is to provide a social network for the student veterans on campus. Eventually, we hope to be the voice for those student veterans.”

Charles Kilburn, a retired Navy pilot, spoke to attendees about the importance of appreciating the nation’s veterans. “Because of [veterans] we have a free country. If you don’t have people who are willing to go out there and lay it on the line, you can’t operate as a society. You don’t have a free country.”

Dr. John Wood, professor of social sciences, took the podium in place of scheduled speaker Hal Cousins, who died Nov. 16, two days before the function. Before passing, Cousins had made arrangements with the Veteran’s Club to offer a $200 scholarship, named “The Commodore John Barry Navy E for Excellence Award.” The club member with the highest GPA will be awarded the scholarship in the Spring 2011 semester.

Cousin’s daughter, Charlotte Cousins, spoke of her father’s military achievements as a decorated Vietnam veteran and serving on the Battleship New Jersey. In addition to his service, Cousins was awarded two Bronze Stars.

C. Cousins told the audience about a recent phone call she made to her father. “I called him to wish him a happy Veteran’s Day. He said, ‘Yes Charlotte, thank you daughter. I’d like to thank myself for my service.’

“I think that is the way he felt for all the veterans. All kidding aside, he was very serious about the importance of being a veteran,” C. Cousins said.

Club Vice President Joshua Silsby, criminal justice major, explained why a veteran’s club on the campus is important, and why events like these are helpful. “We wanted to try to get some of the veterans around the school to become more of a unit. We know how it is when veterans get out of the service and they start going to school,” Silsby said. “You feel more comfortable when you are around people who know what you’ve been through and what you’ve done. We can share on that level and understand.”

Navy Captain Tim Peterson explained the Navy presence at Tinker AFB, commonly known as TACAMO (Take Charge And Move Out), an adage adopted by the Navy that stresses doing more with less.

According to Peterson, the Navy supports the same missions as it once did only now with less than half the aircraft. Prior to 1992, there were 59 active aircraft ready to perform missions. Currently, those numbers have been reduced to only 20, but with the same expectations.
Peterson described the specific mission of the E-6B aircraft also know as the Mercury. These planes, which are enhanced models of the Boeing 707, enable submarines to communicate with aircraft over a certain sea.

By 15th Street News Posted in News

New on Netflix: Hollywood says goodbye to comedic legend

Bryan Trude , feature editor

The Thanksgiving weekend was blemished by the loss of one of the most iconic comedic actors in Hollywood history.
Leslie Nielsen passed away Nov. 28 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he had been hospitalized with pneumonia.

Neilson had a sizeable career as a dramatic actor in television and film, and established a second career as a comedic actor with the 1980 cult smash “Airplane!”

With the passing of one of the greatest parody actors of all time, I felt it appropriate to scrap the original column I was going to write and instead, find something of Nielsen’s to watch and review.

In all honesty, finding something was, in itself, a difficult task. Most of the good stuff he is famous for is not available for streaming. However, I did find a little nugget that slipped between the cracks, a made-for-TV film that received little attention in its’ day.

Chance of a Lifetime
Rating: Not Rated
Released: 1991
Director: Jonathan Sanger
Starring: Leslie Nielsen, Betty White, Ed Begley, Jr.

Originally broadcast on NBC, “Chance of a Lifetime” is a romantic comedy starring Betty White as Evelyn Eglin, a widower of 10 years who wraps herself up in her work as a result, blowing off her personal life and even her family.

After learning she had contracted a potentially fatal disease, Eglin takes a vacation to sunny Mexico, where she meets fellow widower Lloyd Dixon (Nielsen), who helps her use her pending mortality to rediscover life and love.

Honestly, I wish I had a better Nielsen movie to review available. “Chance of a Lifetime” looks like it was shot for the Hallmark Channel, back when Nielsen was more known for his comedic acting than his serious roles.

Ed Begley, Jr. turns in a forgettable performance as White’s concerned son from her first marriage, which is something the movie is full of: forgettable performances. It has all the tone and entertainment value of a soap opera, and never saw a widespread release outside of its NBC showing.

In all, however, it was nice to see Nielsen flex a little acting chop beyond being a pure comedic actor. To be perfectly honest, you don’t need TV movies like “Chance of a Lifetime” to remember the many hours of entertainment he provided the world.
Just remember to never call him Shirley.

Spotlight: Earline Cottet

By: Bryan Trude, feature editor

For 37 years, Earline Cottet has been an RSC fixture, first as a secretary for the LRC, then as a secretary for the Student Activities Office.

Through her years of service to the campus, Cottet raised eight children with her husband, Keith, who passed away March 2010, from muscular dystrophy. Her time at RSC also saw her overcome the death of a daughter.

Now, as she readies to retire on Dec. 17, Cottet speaks about what brings her joy in life, and lessons she wished she had learned when she was in college. “Life teaches us our ultimate lessons,” Cottet said.

Age: 60+ and holding steady

Hometown: Del City, America

Children: I have a son named Adam, who was a wife named Anna. My daughter Holley is engaged to her fiancé, Nick. I also have daughter Mackenzie, Isabelle, Sherry, and Gina, along with my son Chris. My daughter Ann Marie was killed by a drunk driver in 1992.

Pets: Two dogs – a Japanese Chin named Fancy and a Papillion named Keebler

Professional Credentials: I’ve been a freelance writer and playwright for the comedy-mystery group Whodunit Dining Room since 1991

Heroes: My late husband, for teaching me the true meaning of courage and appreciating life

Hobbies: I’m a member of the OKPaws dog agility club

Life-changing book you’ve read: “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all small stuff” by Richard Carlson

Favorite form of exercise: Walking

Favorite food: Shrimp and a Sonic ice

Drink you would recommend to someone having a bad day: Unsweetened tea. Anything stronger will just make the day worse

Proudest moment in your life: I have had many proud moments, but none are based on any of my accomplishments, but are instead moments when I knew that I am loved, or when I’ve been lucky enough to love and be truly needed by someone else

Web site you recommend: eBay, because finding a bargain is a rush

Favorite song: “Because You loved Me” by Celine Dion. The people in our life are the biggest influence on who we are and who we can still become

Most desirable place to visit: The patio in my backyard, because it is quiet and I can enjoy the birds and my dogs

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you take with you: Good health, memories, and a sense of humor, because without those, material things don’t matter

What would be written on your epitaph: We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing each other

Favorite quote: “When you figure out the answer, they’ll change the dang question”

Adjective used to describe you: Strong

Which would you rather discover, cure for the common cold or the flu: The common cold, we already have a vaccine for the flu

Scuba diving or skydiving: Neither, too wet and too high

Best advice you’ve been given: Learn to laugh at yourself

What cartoon character would you be: The Roadrunner, because he is a survivor

Favorite work of literature: “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” by Emma Bombeck. Her writings introduced me to the healing power of humor.

How do you take your coffee: Straight with no olive

If you could invent anything, what would it be: A cure for muscular dystrophy, because it personally touched my life and allowed me to met some amazing and brave people.

Favorite sports team: The Oklahoma Sooners football team. Like they say, I’m Okie born, Okie bred, and when I die, I’ll be Okie dead.

By 15th Street News Posted in News


By: Bryan Trude, feature editor

Over 100 students, faculty, and staff members braved the winter temperatures alongside Midwest City and Del City families for the annual RSC Lighting Ceremony, Nov. 30 in the Campus Mall.

The ceremony included the lighting of the campus mall, outfitted in white tree lights and toy soldiers, and the lighting of the President’s Tree.

“Light’s are not just lights,” President Terry Britton said. “They are not just gadgets in the yard. They are beacons that symbolize the holidays.”

The lighting ceremony featured a performance by the Telstar Elementary choir, directed by Richard McDonald. Choir members sang renditions of “Feliz Navidad” and “Sleigh Ride.”

Following the lighting, attendees were shown was Britton called “a very special guest,” as Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in a horse-drawn carriage, and then lead the crowd into the Student Center for refreshments and activities.

“[The ceremony] is wonderful, it is a great thing to do for the community,” Nichole Chilton, early childhood development major, said. “It’s free and it’s good for the kids.”

Once inside, attendees were able to take photos with the Claus’, and were given cookies, cider, and hot chocolate. Music was provided by the Tinker AFB Flying High band, which preformed many holiday classics.

Free horse-drawn carriage rides, courtesy of Cameo Carriage Co. of Guthrie, were held in the north parking lot, between the Health and Physical Education Center and the Business building. Campus police closed down the parking lot earlier in the day for the events. Families were also offered sleigh rides around the campus.

“As is gets darker, lights like these get people ready to go home for the holidays,” Britton said. “Go back home and get your lights on.”

By 15th Street News Posted in News