Southwestern College Global RSS Feed en-us Southwestern College Global RSS Feed <![CDATA[Introduction: Welcome to the Advent to Epiphany blog (Chapel)]]> Hello! As a way to encourage us to read scripture as a community together over the break, and in hopes that we’d be drawn deeper together into the Story of God, we’ve created a devotional blog for our community to follow from Advent to Epiphany. Advent historically has been a season of preparation—not so much for the birth of the baby Jesus, but for the Second coming of Christ. Think of it as looking through the baby in the manger to see the King coming on the clouds in final victory. It’s the season when we celebrate the final episode in the Story of God’s salvation in Christ Jesus. Christmas, of course, is the time when we celebrate the Word made flesh. And Epiphany marks the revelation of Christ as the fullness of God in flesh—think Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan river.
These seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany mark key chapters in the Story. Twice a week (on Sunday and Wednesday) we’ll post a short devotional on a passage from Scripture as a way for our community to continue to connect these chapters over the break. It also will allow us to stay, quite literally, on the same page as a community. I invite you to join with us and to share your own reflections on how the Lord is speaking through these passages during this time.
Sun, 23 Nov 2014 20:19:15 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[ Southwestern College Enactus Team to Receive Four Grants (General)]]> Southwestern College's Enactus team is the recipient of four Enactus Project Grants offered by Enactus USA. 
The SC team has been awarded the AB InBEV Better World grant, sponsored by AB InBev; Uncap Opportunities for Women Project Grant, supported by the Coca-Cola Foundation; the Walmart Women's Economic Empowerment Project Grant; and the Sam's Club Step Up for Small Business Project Grant. 

Faculty advisor Patrick Lee says that this is quite an accomplishment by the Southwestern College Enactus team.

“We were awarded four project grants in our first year as a team. This is a remarkable achievement not only for the students and the Division of Business, but for the entire Moundbuilder community,” Lee says.  “It truly shows what our students can do."

Nolan Smith is the team lead for AB InBEV Better World grant, Tyler Crandall is the team lead for the Sam’s Club Step up for Small Business grant, and Aniefiok Ukim is the team lead for the Walmart Women’s Economic Empowerment and the Uncap Opportunities for Women Project Grant Supported by the Coca-Cola Foundation grant.

“After a conference call with Enactus, we found out that the most competitive grants were the AB InBev Better World (10 available for U.S.-based teams) and the Uncap Opportunities for Women (43 available for U.S.-based teams) of which the SC team secured both,” Lee says.             
According to Enactus USA, the Sam’s Club Step Up for Small Business Project Partnership provides the opportunity for Enactus United States teams to empower at least one small business to strengthen their foundation for long-term success through improved business practices.

The AB InBEV Better World partner project grant is a grant that will help the Southwestern College’s Enactus team design and implement a scalable solution to increase recycling in the community, specifically restaurants, bars and other on-premise businesses in Cowley County.

The Women’s Economic Empowerment Project Partnership is an Enactus program sponsored by the Walmart Foundation that empowers women by providing entrepreneurial training and workforce development through Enactus teams. The need for women’s economic empowerment is evident around the world. Despite the challenges that remain on the front of women’s economic empowerment, Enactus students see this as an opportunity to create value in the lives of women, their families, and their communities. Through the Walmart Women’s Economic Empowerment Project Partnership, Enactus teams work side-by-side with women to empower them with the skills and confidence necessary to succeed in the workforce or their own business.

In addition, the Uncap Opportunities for Women partnership provides Enactus teams opportunity to empower women through collaboration with a community-based organization to evaluate and identify areas of long-term improvement. 

“From our end, the Sam's Club Step Up for Small Business grant will be focused on strengthening the success of The Barns at Timber Creek, specifically adding business cliental and finding ways to improve business during slow months at The Barns. Southwestern College's Enactus Team members will develop and execute a plan to accomplish these goals,” Lee says.  “The Walmart Women's Economic Empowerment and the Uncap Opportunities for Women grant will be focused on developing and further assisting Eagle Nest Inc. in Winfield improving the well-being of women living in poverty. Specifically, the Enactus Team will find ways to develop and enhance programming that will allow Eagle Nest to provide increased entrepreneurial training and workforce development to women in the local community.  The AB InBEV Better World will enable our team to help business in our local community do a better job at recycling items that normally would be headed to the landfill. We have seen a major growth in the recycling and reusing industry and this grant helps us get one step closer to being eco-friendly,” Lee explains.

For more information on activity grant opportunities for students or to learn more how you can be involved visit  To learn more about Enactus, visit


Fri, 14 Nov 2014 15:13:46 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Southwestern College’s Deborah Martin Wins Piano Competition (Music)]]> Southwestern College junior Deborah Martin won the Kansas Music Teachers Association Collegiate Piano Competition on Sunday, Nov. 9, at Washburn University in Topeka.  Martin competed against other juniors and seniors from colleges and universities from around the state of Kansas.  She performed the Chopin Etude op. 10, no.3 and Bartok Suite op.14, no. 3.
Deborah Winning the KMTA Piano Competition
Martin is from Penang, Malaysia, and is the daughter of Dave Martin and Katherine Ung.  She is a graduate of Penang Chinese Girls' High School.

Tim Shook is Deborah’s piano teacher as well as chair of the performing arts division at Southwestern, and emphasizes the high quality of performers in this competition. Typically the state’s large universities send their most talented and accomplished pianists to represent their schools, he says, and to have a student from a small, private liberal arts college take the top prize shines the spotlight on the quality of artistry at Southwestern.

“We were delighted with Deborah’s third place finish last year and what is impressive is that she is at the younger level of this competition,” Shook adds.

“I'm very thrilled to have won because that means I've not only made my school proud, I've made my country proud and most of all I've made my family proud,” Martin says.  “I started piano lessons in a music school when I was four. Then I switched to private lessons at about age seven. Every now then, there would be performance opportunities available through my instructors and usually I would be invited to be a part of those performances.”

Shook says that Martin’s work ethic paved the way to her victory.

“This was a team effort,” Shook says.  “She played often for her colleagues and they provided valuable feedback.  Deborah has a work ethic, first and foremost, and there is talent and when those two things are combined, many good things happen.  She has an artistic sense in many ways; visually she is a great photographer; she has a wonderful ear; and she sings beautifully.  But what she does is she works and she practices and she develops that talent that she has been given.”

Martin is happy that she participated in the competition.

“I chose to do it again this year because it was a great opportunity to gain someone else's insight on my technique and musical interpretations,” Martin says.  “I'm also certain that this opportunity is going to facilitate my growth as a musician.”

Although she is just a junior, Martin has an eye on her future.

“Right now, I aspire to become a choral conductor and a private lesson instructor on the side,” Martin says.

Thu, 13 Nov 2014 11:00:54 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Hope and Courage are Themes in Upcoming SC Theatre Department Productions (Theatre Arts)]]> Southwestern College’s theatre department will open productions of two comedies running in repertory Nov. 7-9 and Nov. 13-15: “Uncle Vanya” by Anton Chekhov, and “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang. The plays have very different contexts in terms of time period and setting, but they share a number of connections. 

“Perhaps the most relevant connections are the themes of hope and courage,” says director of theatre Allyson Moon. She describes the plays as comedies with real characters caught in what feels like hopeless situations yet finding the courage to face life move on.

“Uncle Vanya” will be performed Friday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m.; and Friday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m.  “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” will be performed Saturday, Nov. 8, Thursday, Nov. 13, and Saturday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m.  All performances will be in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Both shows contain adult language and are intended for mature audiences. 
Russian playwright Anton Chekhov wrote a number of plays in his time, including “Three Sisters,” “The Seagull,” and “Uncle Vanya.” All three were identified as comedies by Chekhov.  According to Moon, “Uncle Vanya,” first published in 1897, contains themes of unfulfilled hopes and wasted lives, themes present in most of Chekhov’s writings. Each of Chekhov’s characters struggle with the loss of hope in their respective lives and must fight to find the courage to go on.
Uncle Vanya“Uncle Vanya” takes place in the estate of Ivan Petrovich (Uncle Vanya), where he lives with his mother, Maria, and his niece, Sonia. Vanya’s brother-in-law, an old professor who owns the estate, comes to stay there along with his second wife, who is much younger and very beautiful, capturing the attention of both Vanya and his friend Astrov, the local doctor. The old professor is lazy and frustrating and causes tensions for Vanya throughout the play. Meanwhile Sonia suffers from deep feelings for Doctor Astrov, coupled with an awareness of her own lack of beauty. When the professor announces his intentions to sell the estate, which Vanya has spent the majority of his life managing, Vanya snaps and very nearly murders the professor. 

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” directed by Allyson Moon, is Christopher Durang’s Tony Award winning Best Play of 2013, and is currently the most produced play in the United States. It is heavily based upon the characters and themes from Anton Chekhov’s plays, especially Uncle Vanya. 

Vanya and Sonia spent much of their lives taking care of their sick parents in their old age, and since the passing of their parents have failed to move on with their lives, sitting at home doing nothing all day, every day. The house is owned and paid for by their older sister Masha, who is a successful film actress and is never around. When Masha makes a surprise visit with her new and much younger boyfriend Spike, Vanya and Sonia have their worlds turned upside down. Unspoken resentment bubbles forth between siblings when Masha announces her intentions to sell the house; Masha becomes jealous of a pretty young girl named Nina who catches Spike’s attention; Vanya is frustrated by how the world has changed, his emotions exacerbated by Spike’s youthful ignorance; and throughout, all are plagued with entreaties from the clairvoyant cleaning lady, Cassandra.

In addition to the character names, matching themes of hope and courage, and parallels in plot, the shows share a number of other counterparts, according to Roger Moon, director of “Uncle Vanya.” Conspicuous references to Anton Chekhov and his plays “Three Sisters” and “The Seagull” are made within the script of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” Southwestern College’s production of the shows will include shared props and set pieces between the shows to accent these parallels, and all of this is further highlighted by the shows running in repertory on consecutive nights and on the same stage. 

The opportunity for these plays to be presented as a unit is a unique experience for cast, crew, and audience alike. 

“It’s been a lot of fun to work with the two casts and make comparisons between the shows,” says junior Anna Rosell, who will be playing Maria in “Uncle Vanya.” “The two Vanyas and the two Sonias play the parts in their own way, but also build off of each other.” 

For more information about the show or for tickets, call (620) 229-7720 or (620) 229-6272. 

Thu, 06 Nov 2014 14:36:18 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Host Family Opportunity for International Students Available at Southwestern College (General)]]> Leslie Grant, international and transfer admissions counselor at Southwestern College, would like to invite families from around the area to consider becoming host families for international students.

Southwestern College is the temporary home of more than 100 students from around the world.  They come to Winfield from China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Australia, Ireland, Brazil, Mexico, and other countries.

Local “host” families are matched with new international students as a way to help them adjust to life in the United States. 

“It’s a nice way for a new person to the United States to spend time with an American family when schedules permit,” Grant says.  “The time each student and family spends together varies. Some families enjoy having their student over for dinner or maybe a meal out. Some families will come to their students sporting events and campus activities as a way to show support.”

There is no fee to become a host family and the students do not live with their host families.

There are four main events each year that the international students and their host families are invited to attend.  Two of those events occur in the month of November, the International Cuisine Dinner and Thanksgiving Dinner.

The International Cuisine Dinner will be held on Sunday, Nov. 9, in the Southwestern College cafeteria.  Community members along with Southwestern College faculty and staff are invited to come taste foods from around the world.

The Thanksgiving event will be Monday, Nov. 17, at Grace United Methodist Church and will allow the international students an opportunity to enjoy and celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving feast for the first time.  

The other events during the year are a Chinese New Year celebration in the spring and the Welcome Picnic at the beginning of September.

Allan and Susan Norton became involved in the program 17 years ago while Don  and Betsy Drennan enjoyed 15 years. Both couples have decided to retire from the program this year.

“They were wonderful, fulfilling years,” Susan says.  “We became very close friends (with the Drennans), the program expanded, and we got many Winfield couples involved with the international students and the college.  We made friendships with students all over the world.”
“Once the student graduates you may never hear from them again, and then you may have a friend forever,” Betsy added.

For more information about the program, contact Grant at (620) 229-6269.

“If you are interested in a cultural experience and making lasting relationships that will last a lifetime, this program is for you,” Grant says.  



Thu, 06 Nov 2014 14:33:05 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC Music Major Named one of SC's "Teacher of Promise." (Music)]]> Senior,Music Education and Music Performance Major, Dylan Moore was selected as one of two Fall 2014 "Teachers of Promise."  We would like to congratulate Dylan and encourage him to keep up the Good Work!!!!

Mon, 03 Nov 2014 14:14:13 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Three to Enter Natural Science Hall of Fame at Southwestern (Alumni News)]]> Three Southwestern College graduates will be inducted into the Southwestern College Natural Science Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 5:30 p.m., in Deets Library on the campus of Southwestern College.  

The new members are Hal Tretbar, Tucson, Ariz; Mark Turrentine, Indianapolis, Ind.; and Belinda Vail, Prairie Village. The plaques will be on display prior to the 5:30 p.m. dinner in the Deets Library.  The induction ceremony will begin at the conclusion of the meal, at approximately 6:15 p.m.  

The hall of fame honors Southwestern College alumni who have made significant contributions to the natural science world.

“The 2014 Natural Science Hall of Fame honorees are impressive in their accomplishments, and continue the long-standing high level of achievement that has been evidenced in past inductees.  We are proud to recognize these outstanding individuals and their work,” says Susan Lowe, director of alumni programs at Southwestern.  

Inductees include:
•    Hal Tretbar ’52 grew up in a family of doctors. His father, brother, uncle, and two cousins were doctors. Tretbar graduated from the University of Kansas Medical School in 1956. He practiced at the Tucson (Ariz.) Clinic from 1965 until his retirement in 1998. Board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology, he co-founded a Section of Rheumatology at the University of Arizona Medical School, was an arthritis consultant for four hospitals, and started an arthritis clinic at the Veterans Administration Hospital where he was a weekly consultant for 25 years. In addition to being hospital chief of staff, he was board chair for 10 years, taking an HMO from concept to function.  He has combined his career in medicine with varied interests that include travel and photography, and he climbed Mr. Kilimanjaro on his 65th birthday.

•    Mark Turrentine ’79 is chief of the Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at IU Health, director of the Thoracic Surgery Residency Program at Indiana University School of Medicine, and surgical co-director of the IU Health Heart Transplant Program. He specializes in heart surgeries, mechanical heart support, heart and lung transplantation, and limited access surgical approaches. Since 1998, Turrentine has been involved with mission work through the Palestinian Children’s Relief Organization, Gift of Life International, and Rotary International. These groups brought children with congenital heart defects to the United States for surgeries they could not have at home. After several years of being limited to the number of children that could be sponsored, Turrentine organized and led the first Riley Heart Mission team to Amman, Jordan. The team has since participated in 18 trips to Jordan, Uganda, and China, performing over 100 life-sustaining heart surgeries. 

•    Belinda Vail ’76 is David M. Hueben Endowed Professor and vice chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Her clinical practice includes women’s health, procedures, maternity, and inpatient care. She teaches students in all four years of medical school, nurse practitioner students, and family medicine residents and has received numerous teaching awards. She served as residency director for the department for 11 years. She has been instrumental in helping the KU chapter of Women in Medicine and Science become a national model for women’s organizations at medical colleges. She has presented over 250 national and international lectures on topics including women’s health and contraception, pediatric diseases, immunizations, skin diseases, obesity, and diabetes. Vail also is medical director for Community Living Opportunities, a residential facility for developmentally disabled adults.  

Richard Cowlishaw, interim chair, division of natural sciences and mathematics and professor of biology at Southwestern, will serve as the master of ceremonies.  Prior to the hall of fame inductions, there will be introductions of the Mastin Scholars, internship participants, and the Tri-Beta officers.

For more information about the Natural Science Hall of Fame, contact Susan Lowe, director of alumni programs at Southwestern College, at (620) 229-6334.


Mon, 03 Nov 2014 14:08:35 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Southwestern College Business Division Launches Enactus Team (General)]]> The Southwestern College Division of Business has launched an Enactus team, supervised by Patrick Lee, assistant professor of accounting, and James McEwen, internship coordinator.

Enactus is an international organization dedicated to enabling progress through entrepreneurial action. They provide a platform for university students to collaborate with business and academic leaders in the development of entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities. The quality and impact of the students’ projects are evaluated by leading executives through a series of regional, national, and global competitions. The Enactus experience transforms the lives of the students as they develop into entrepreneurially-minded, socially-responsible leaders.

According to Lee, Southwestern College’s Enactus team seeks to create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. The experience not only transforms lives, it helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that are essential to leadership in a continually more complicated and challenging world.

“Southwestern College's Enactus team is encouraged by the Division of Business as a way to bridge the gap between the classroom theories and concepts with the reality of the world in which our graduates will work,” Lee says.

The president of the SC Enactus team is Abby Gengler; Rachel Baker is the vice president; Madison Hovey is the vice president of projects; Alyssa Richardson is the vice president for communications; Kayla Williams is the vice president of treasury; Luis Reyes is the vice president of recruitment; and Michelle VanGieson is the secretary. 

For more information on activity grant opportunities for students or to learn more how you can be involved visit  To learn more about Enactus, visit


Mon, 03 Nov 2014 14:06:45 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SKS to Present Halloween Concert October 26 (Music)]]> The South Kansas Symphony will present “Witches & Wizards” on Sunday, Oct. 26, at 3 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center on the campus of Southwestern College. The production is sponsored by Phil and Mary Jarvis. Children will be admitted free of charge with an adult admission.  Admission price varies between $6 and $10.

The orchestra will be performing classical “witch” pieces by Berlioz and Humperdinck, as well as several popular works in celebration of the 75th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz.”

Joanna Brazil, children’s librarian at the Winfield Public Library, will also be reading a Halloween story.  All who attend are encouraged to wear costumes. 

At the conclusion of the performance, there will be an instrument petting zoo in the lobby just outside the Richardson Performing Arts Center. 

For more information about the event call (620) 229-6272.

Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:10:15 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Several High School Marching Bands to Participate in 'The Mound of Sound' at Southwestern College (Music)]]> Southwestern College will host “The Mound of Sound Marching Festival” on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 10 a.m., inside Richard L. Jantz Stadium.  The event is open to the public and there is no admission charge.

The event is approved by the Kansas State High School Activities Association and the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.  So far, high school marching bands from Winfield, Arkansas City, Liberal, Ponca City, Okla., Central of Burden, Dexter, Udall, and Riverton have signed up to perform.

The bands will perform for a panel of judges in a friendly and supportive environment, according to Jeremy Kirk, assistant professor of music at Southwestern College and the coordinator for “The Mound of Sound.”

“It is a good way to provide some of the local schools with a festival that they can attend where they will receive feedback from judges.  It is also friendly-competitive, and we will give out awards for grand champion, second place, and third place.  They all will get rated and will receive that feedback, which is so vital.”

Kirk is no stranger to putting these festivals together.    

“I hosted these events at Coffeyville Community College and at Marshall University in the Tri-State Festival which is one of the biggest marching competitions on the East coast,” Kirk says.  “It is great for these schools as it’s a great educational experience.  It is competitive in a friendly way.  I have six judges coming who will judge in the areas of music performance, visual performance, general affect, color guard, percussion, and drum major.  Some of the judges are nationally known.”  

According to Kirk, each band has a chance to win whether they are big or small.  

“The way I have done the score sheets, it’s based on their performance, not how many are in the band,” Kirk says.  “A group might have 20 kids but if they sound really tight and their fundamentals are great, they can score just as high or higher than the 150-piece bands.  The way the scoring system is, everyone has a fair shot.”

The event will begin at 10 a.m.  The schedule includes: Central of Burden, 10 a.m.; Udall, 10:20; Dexter, 10:40; Winfield, 11; Riverton, 11:20; Ponca City, 11:40; Arkansas City, 12; Liberal 12:20; and the awards presentation at 12:40.


Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:17:50 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[College Sustainability Council Minutes September 2014 (College Sustainability Council)]]> College Sustainability Council Minutes September 2014 (Word Document)

Wed, 08 Oct 2014 11:51:39 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Marine Who Helped Build and Run Al Qaida Detention Facilites, Major General Mike Lehnert, to Speak at Southwestern (General)]]> Southwestern College has invited Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Major General Michael Lehnert for an intensive week-long visit where he will conduct classes, seminars, and lectures.  The public is invited to attend a public lecture on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m., in Mossman Hall room 101. There is no admission charge.  The title of the lecture is “Coalition Building and Environmental Policy.”
Maj General Lehnert
Lehnert will also lecture on terrorism, Wednesday, Oct. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita. Following the lecture there will be a question and answer session. The lecture is free and open to the public but reservations are encouraged as seating will be limited.  To make reservations, go to or call (316) 684-5335 ext. 120.  

Major General Mike Lehnert was commissioned in 1973 as a combat engineer and participated in combat operations in Panama, Kuwait, and Iraq. In 2003 he led 5,000 Marines and sailors during the initial invasion of Iraq in support of the 70,000 Marines who formed the I Marine Expeditionary Force. During his 37 years of active duty, he held 13 separate commands from platoon commander to joint task force commander. He was the chief of staff joint task force Panama charged with overseeing the turnover of the Panama Canal, joint task group commander in Guantanamo Bay Cuba during the Cuban migrant crisis, and commander joint task force 160 to build and run detention facilities for Al Qaida and Taliban terrorists. He commanded the marine logistics group during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His last assignment on active duty was regional commander for the seven Marine bases west of the Mississippi. 

He was the subject of Karen Greenberg's book, “The Least Worst Place,” used in many military and law schools as a study in ethical decision making. In 2010, the National Conflict Resolution Center honored him as their 2010 National Peacekeeper Award recipient. 

Lehnert serves as vice chairman of the board for the Student Veterans of America (SVA). SVA is a national veterans’ organization including over 800 active chapters throughout all 50 states and in three countries. It was formed in 2008 to ensure that student veterans achieve their educational goals in universities and achieve their academic potential. 

He has been recognized by numerous environmental groups including the Sierra Club for his work recovering endangered species while still on active duty. Today he serves on the 11-person board of the Endangered Species Coalition. The Endangered Species Coalition is a national network of over 440 conservation, scientific, education, religious, sporting, outdoor recreation, and business and community organizations working to protect our nation’s disappearing wildlife and last remaining wild places.

After serving for two years as a senior adviser to the Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection, General Lehnert was invited to serve as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow where he lectures on leadership and ethical decision making.

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow program, which is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington D. C., brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders, and other professionals to campuses across the United States for a week-long residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures, and informal discussions.  For over 35 years, Visiting Fellows have been introducing students and faculty members at liberal arts colleges to a wide range of perspectives on life, society, community, and achievement.

The Visiting Fellows program is available to all four-year colleges and universities.  For more information, visit the CIC’s website at  


Wed, 08 Oct 2014 11:22:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[ Tamara McEwen to Receive Faculty of Distinction Award from KICA (General)]]> The Kansas Independent College Association (KICA) has announced the selection of 18 college faculty members to receive KICA's inaugural Faculty of Distinction Award.  The honorees will be recognized at a workshop and award luncheon at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library on Oct. 21.

Tamara McEwen, assistant professor of biology at Southwestern College, was selected as one of the recipients.
Tamara McEwen
The KICA Faculty of Distinction program celebrates excellence and achievement among faculty at the accredited private colleges and universities in Kansas.  Throughout their existence, these colleges, which include the oldest colleges in Kansas, have emphasized the importance of classroom teaching, personal attention to each and every student, and a commitment to character, values, and learning through every facet of their graduates’ lives. The 2014 KICA Faculty of Distinction honorees are exemplars of this approach to college education and serve as models for educators everywhere.

“It’s inspiring to know these faculty and see how they live the mission of our independent colleges,” said Matt Lindsey, president of the KICA. “A common thread we saw among them is their gift for balancing a commitment to hold each student accountable for real, meaningful learning and a strong sense of empathy for the value of each student as an individual. Or as one nominee was described, ‘they have the ability to facilitate greatness in our students.’”

McEwen began at Southwestern College in August of 2011. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular biology and immunology at the University of Missouri.  Prior to earning her degree McEwen taught high school biology at Altoona-Midway High School in Buffalo, Kan., and spent her summers teaching for Pittsburg State University and Neosho County Community College.  

Faculty of Distinction honorees are nominated by the Chief Academic Officer of each KICA member institution. This year’s recipients encompass multiple disciplines, including the natural sciences, business, history, and theology, as well as auto restoration, music, and others.They include departmental chairs, individuals who teach and contribute to student life and athletics, and adjunct instructors who are practicing professionals in their chosen field.

“Tammy is a remarkably gifted teacher with an incredible knack for making science accessible to the students,” says Andy Sheppard, provost at Southwestern.  “Her work is unrivaled and she is deserving of this award.

For more information, or with questions about this program, please contact Lindsey or call (785) 235-9877.

Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:42:29 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC Campus Player Alumni to Present 'Tom Jones' (Theatre Arts)]]> Southwestern College Campus Player alumni of the late 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, along with friends, will present a short musical version of “Tom Jones” on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 10:30 p.m., in the Helen Graham Little Theatre.

According to Allyson Moon, director of theatre at Southwestern College, the first production of “Tom Jones,” produced in 1969 as a student project, was also in the Little Theatre.

“George Jason Johnston was a theatre and music major at Southwestern,” says Roger Moon, associate professor of theatre.  “He and Gayle McMillan took the music off a vinyl recording of a BBC 1960s special, and Jason directed it as his senior directing project.  The crazy musical comedy is based upon the ‘Tom Jones’ novel by Henry Fielding.   The next year in the spring of 1970, the Campus Players, led by Norman and Roxy Callison, did it as dinner theatre, and it was a huge success.”  

Moon adds that this will be a “senior” senior project since many of the 15 alumni returning to do the show are now in their 60s.  Allyson Moon will direct the production which is being designed and built by Jason Johnston.   Gayle McMillan is returning as musical director and to accompany.  

The cast features John Marshall of the class of ’70 in the role of Tom Jones, which he created in both the’69 and ’70 productions. Alumni from the class of ’69 and ’70 returning to play in the production are Roxy Clark Callison, John Esche, Ronda Sims Marshall, Donna Bean Mercier, Marci Brown Monteith, and Roger Moon.  Other Campus Players from the 1970s and ’80s returning to act or assist in the production include Terry McGonigle, Robbie Gilger Banks, David Lungren, Kathy Hampson Baker, Suzanne Smith, Kathy Cooper Delcarpio, and Jessica Callison Fisher.  Local, area, and regional performers adding to the cast are Martin Rude, Dan Campbell, and Heather Marshall.

Seating in the Helen Graham Little Theatre at the 10:30 p.m. performance is restricted to 75, so tickets are limited.  

“It may be more like a late night party,” says Moon, “but we’re going to give ourselves a heck of a show and have a great time” 

For information about tickets contact Rose Hanna at the SC performing arts office, (620) 229-6244. 

Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:39:34 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Senate Meeting Notes 9.23.14 (SGA)]]> Senate Meeting Notes 9.23.14

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:20:56 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Senate Meeting Notes 9.9.14 (SGA)]]> Senate Meeting Notes 9.9.14

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:18:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Southwestern Top-Tier in US News Colleges (General)]]> Southwestern College has been named a Tier One college in the U.S.News and World Report Best Colleges annual ranking of the nation’s colleges and universities. The college’s Professional Studies program also has been recognized in the Best Colleges report for its online bachelor’s and online graduate education programs.

Southwestern is categorized as a “Midwest Regional University” because of its extensive graduate programs. This category was topped by Creighton University, followed by Butler University and Drake University.

Southwestern College is a private institution granting undergraduate and graduate degrees and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.  About 1,600 students attend classes at the main Winfield campus, at Professional Studies sites in Kansas and Oklahoma, or online around the world.

Fri, 26 Sep 2014 11:33:17 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[ SC Homecoming Service Project Sunday in Richardson Performing Arts Center (General)]]> Southwestern College is teaming up with The Center for Combating Human Trafficking to kick off Homecoming week with a unique service project this year.  The fourth annual Homecoming service project is titled “Courage to Use Your Voice.”  The event will begin at 4:30 p.m., on Sunday, Sept. 28, in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  There is no admission charge to attend.

Instead of providing manual labor to serve the community, students will practice using their voices to advocate for change.  The event will feature a guest lecture from Karen Countryman-Roswurm, Ph. D.  She is an assistant professor of social work at Wichita State University and speaks both nationally and internationally on the topics of homeless youth and sexual exploitation/human trafficking.  

Following the 30-minute presentation by Countryman-Roswurm, students will be given 45 minutes to advocate for action on the issue in whatever creative format they choose.  Advocacy efforts will be documented and compiled via video (SC students majoring in communication) and photos (SC Instagram #BuildersInService).  Sample advocacy ideas and resources (including recent legislation) can be found at this website:

A host of community partners will be in attendance at the event to help the students with their advocacy work, including House of Representatives member Ed Trimmer, as well as staff from the following organizations: Raise My Head Foundation (Wichita), Safe Homes, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cowley County, and the Center for Combating Human Trafficking (Wichita).  

This issue is particularly salient because recent statistics indicate that Wichita ranks in the top five cities as a human trafficking originating city.  This means that children are picked up in Wichita and trafficked to other areas in our nation for forced labor and sexual exploitation.  

The Center for Human Trafficking serves as a non-partisan think tank and resource bank for students, multi-disciplinary professionals, concerned community members, and faith congregations. With their partners, the center works to assist in preventing, assessing, identifying, evaluating, and intervening in cases of human trafficking.

A total of 50 seats will be reserved for the general public at this event and can be accessed on a first-come, first-serve basis.  
Lindsay Wilke, assistant director of Leadership Southwestern invites SC students and community members to come learn more about the issue of domestic human trafficking taking place in the state of Kansas and discover actions that can be taken to help combat it.

“I am excited that Southwestern students will have the opportunity to participate in a different kind of service on an issue that is meaningful to many of them,” Wilke says.  “Educating oneself about an important and complex issue and figuring out how to do something about it is just as much of a service to the community as painting a house or picking up trash.  I cannot wait to see students’ creativity in action, and I hope this will further empower our students to continue making positive changes in the community.”

Southwestern College organizations that are working on this project are from the service learning teams, athletics, performing arts, student life, and the communication department.

For more information about the event, contact Wilke at (620) 229-6393.

Thu, 25 Sep 2014 14:53:34 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Nine Lives to Perform Community Show for the Entire Family (Theatre Arts)]]> Southwestern College’s Nine Lives Laughatorium and Good Times Improvisational Comedy Troupe will perform a community show on Friday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Messenger Recital Hall in the Darbeth Fine Arts Center.  There is no admission charge; however the team is requesting that a non-perishable food item is brought. The comedy troupe has teamed up with the Discipleship team at SC to collect non-perishable food items to donate to the Winfield Food Bank.
Nine Lives Go bananas
The theme for the show is “Go Bananas” and it is intended for the entire family.

“We do the community show for the children,” says Southwestern College senior Paul Mata.  “We like to provide high quality entertainment for the whole family.”

“This show a way to get the whole family involved,” says senior Shane Schrag.

According to troupe leader Allyson Moon, Nine Lives normally performs one community show a semester.  Unfortunately, this will be the only community show for the year because the troupe will be touring during the second semester.

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:08:20 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[ E-Waste Recycling Event Coming Oct. 14 in Winfield (Green Team)]]> The Southwestern College Green Team is again collaborating with the City of Winfield and Grace United Methodist Church to host an e-waste recycling event. It will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, at Barn #4 at the Winfield Fairgrounds.

Businesses and individuals may bring items to the event. Vintage Tech LLC will collect the items and process them for recycling. Vintage Tech guarantees 100% security on all hard drives and customer information. They are e-Stewards, R2 and ISO 14001 Certified.

Vintage Tech accepts the following electronic items:  cables, cable boxes, cash registers, cellular phones, computer peripherals and all computer parts, copiers, cords, CRT monitors, DVD players, external drives, fax machines, scanners, keyboards, laptops, LCD monitors, mouse, MP3 players, iPods, networking equipment, PDAs, printers, projectors, satellite dishes, servers, stereos, televisions, typewriters, UPS unites, VCRs, and video game consoles.

Vintage Tech also accepts the following household items:  blenders (without glass), bread machines, cameras, carpet sweepers, coffee makers (without glass), clocks, curling irons, electric knives, electric toothbrushes, fans, food sealing equipment, fryers, hair cutters, hair dryers, heaters, holiday lights, irons, land line phones, massagers, metal tools (drills, screwdrivers, small saws, sanders), microwave ovens, mixers, remotes, radios, shaving equipment, toaster ovens and vacuum cleaners (without bag).

Vintage Tech cannot accept these items:  ballasts, capacitors, items containing Freon (air conditioners and dehumidifiers), gas cylinders, light bulbs, liquids and items containing liquids, household batteries, lithium batteries, medical equipment, VHS cassette tapes, refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, washer and dryers.

During the first e-waste recycling event in February, more than six tons of electronic waste was kept out landfills as participants collected 12,421 pounds of outdated, unused, or nonfunctioning electronics to be sent to Vintage Tech Recyclers.

There were 64 different items brought to the event for recycling.  The most popular items were cable and cords (111) followed by computers (77), batteries (67), and printers (63). 

For questions about recycling, please contact Speegle at (620) 229-6311 or by email at

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:06:23 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[South Kansas Symphony Opening Concert is Sunday (Music)]]> The South Kansas Symphony will present the opening concert of the year on Sunday, Sept. 28, at 3 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration Building on the campus of Southwestern College.  Tickets prices for the concert range from $6 to $10, depending on seat location.

The concert title is “Overture” and will include works by Handel, Bach, Rossini, Bizet, Mozart, and Beethoven.  The concert is sponsored by Marilyn McNeish.

Amber Peterson, conductor of the South Kansas Symphony, says this concert will have several familiar selections.

“The South Kansas Symphony will be opening the season with a collection of overtures, which are often considered masterworks in symphonic orchestra music,” Peterson says.  “These well-known overtures from some of the greatest composers come from an oratorio, suite, play, and several operas. Many will be familiar to the audience.”

For more information about the concert or to order tickets, contact Rose Hanna at (620) 229-6272.

Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:04:13 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[ Homecoming 2014 Events at Southwestern College (Homecoming)]]> Southwestern College will celebrate Homecoming Thursday, Oct. 2, through Sunday, Oct. 5.  Numerous activities have been announced.
For more information on any of the Homecoming festivities, contact Susan Lowe, director of alumni programs, at (620) 229-6334. For schedule updates, refer to the homecoming website--

“The anticipation of Homecoming continues to build with both students and alumni,” Lowe says.  “In addition to longtime favorite activities of Homecoming, this year’s weekend gathering includes several new things, including a performing arts showcase, a petting roo-zoo, and a photo booth with props.  We encourage the local community to join in the fun, and especially come to see ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ 1925 silent film with live organ music.”

Thursday’s schedule includes:
•    Photo exhibit. President’s Gallery in Darbeth Fine Arts Center will feature photos by Davo Muttiah’99. The display may be viewed from Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon. 
Friday’s schedule includes:
•    9 a.m. to 4 p.m.— Moundbuilder Market open
•    10 a.m.— Jinx Invitational Golf Tourney, Winfield Country Club.  Contact Brad Sexson at (620) 229-6161 to register.
•    12 p.m.— Class of 1969 Welcome Luncheon, Burger Station and Island Park
•    2 to 5 p.m. — Registration for class reunions in Christy Lobby. 
•    2 to 4:30 p.m. —High Jinx Spoken Word/Poetry Slam contest in Christy 201.  Alumni may participate in the contest by bringing an original work or poetry or spoken word performance piece, or perform a classic instead.  Contact Michelle Boucher at (620) 229-6332 for more information
•    2:30 to 5 p.m.—Performing arts showcase.  A variety of entertainment will be provided by SC students with a new performance starting every 30 minutes in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  
•    6  to 7:30 p.m. — All class Homecoming dinner, Roy L. Smith dining hall.  
•    7 p.m.—SC volleyball vs Bethel College, Stewart Field House.
•    8 p.m. — Kaleidoscope, performing arts production, Richardson Performing Arts Center.
•    9:30 p.m.  — Bonfire and pep rally, north end of the grass soccer field.
Saturday’s schedule includes:
•    8 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Alumni registration, Stewart Field House foyer.
•    8:30 to 9:30 a.m. — Come-and-go continental breakfast and open house at the SC Learning Center on 120 W. 12th Street. 
•    9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Moundbuilder Market open
•    9:30 a.m. — Homecoming parade, Main Street between 15th and 10th Street.
•    10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.—Petting Roo-Zoo on the Deets Library lawn.  Free family fun activity for kids of all ages, including a kangaroo and a giant tortoise.
•    10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. — Rock painting at the Mound with George Lowe ’74 and Teresa Bevis-Yeoman ’80. 
•    10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.—Performing arts come and go reception, Darbeth lobby.
•    10:30 a.m.—Computer science, English, and communications reunion brunch, lower level of the Christy Administration building. Contact Cindy Stevens, (620) 229-6293 to RSVP.
•    11 a.m. to 1 p.m.—Book signing by Sherry (Galloway) Willis ’70/’95, for her new children’s book, “Rex the Mighty Rectangle,” Stewart Field House foyer. 
•    11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Homecoming Picnic, Stewart Field House, $6 per person, $3 for children under 6.
•    11 a.m. to 1 p.m. -  Say Cheez Photo Booth, Stewart Field House stage.  Props provided.
•    11:15 a.m. – Outreach Worship Service, south patio of Roy L. Smith Student Center.
•    11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. – President’s Luncheon for 51+ years alumni, Country Club. 
•    12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.—Professional Class Photos, King Plaza. Photo times as follows: (class photos will be done separately by class)  noon – classes of 1964, 1969, 1974; 12:15 p.m. – classes of 1979, 1984, 1989; 12:30 p.m. – classes of 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009.
•    1:15 p.m. – Class Reunion Gatherings, Jantz Stadium.
•    1:30 p.m. — Homecoming Football game vs. Tabor College.
•    5 p.m.  -  Volleyball Reunion, Roy L. Smith dining hall.
•    5 to 8 p.m. — Child care services, Grace UMC, $2 per child which includes a meal. Reservations preferred and walk-ins accepted if space allows.
•    5 p.m. — Class of 1964 reunion photo, Winfield County Club, 2916 County Club Rd. 
•    5:30 p.m. — Class of 1964 reunion dinner, Winfield County Club. 50-year gala celebration. 
•    5:30 to 7 p.m. — Class reunion dinner gatherings. (For full details on class reunion activities, check the Homecoming website for specific class— 
•    6 p.m.—Women’s soccer alumni vs current students.
•    7 p.m.—Men’s soccer alumni vs current students.
•    7 p.m.—SC volleyball vs University of Saint Mary, Stewart Field House.
•    8 p.m. — “The Phantom of the Opera,” 1925 movie with live organ accompaniment, $15 per person, $12 for alumni, and $8 for students, in Richardson Performing Arts Center.  For more information, contact Jessica Falk at (620) 229-6141.
•    10:30 p.m.—“Tom Jones” production by Campus Players alumni in the Helen Graham Little Theatre. 
Sunday’s schedule includes:
•    9:30 a.m. — Alumni breakfast buffet, Roy L. Smith dining hall.  
•    10:50 a.m. — Homecoming worship service, Grace UMC, Rev. Barry Dundas ’89 guest speaker.
•    11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday brunch buffet, Roy L. Smith dining hall.
•    11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Moundbuilder Market open.


Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:31:53 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[‘Phantom of the Opera’ Plus Live Organ Music in RPAC Oct. 4 (General)]]> Southwestern College is offering an unusual experience during Homecoming 2014 with the presentation of the classic 1925 silent film “The Phantom of the Opera” with live organ music by Brett Valliant on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 8 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center (RPAC).

“The ability to provide a silent film with live organ accompaniment is unique to Richardson Performing Arts Center,” says Jessica Falk, director of camps, conferences, and events at Southwestern College.  “Renowned organist Brett Valliant is able to enhance a classic movie with his interpretations on the Reuter pipe organ, so that those who attend can experience ‘Phantom of the Opera’ much in the way original viewers did in the 1920s.”
Brett Valliant
Valliant is well known for scoring and accompanying films but is best known for dramatic films such as “King of Kings,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “The Ten Commandments,” “Broken Blossoms,” “Wings,” and “The Eagle.”  He plays annually for film festivals including the International Film Festival hosted by the American Film Institute, and has been a featured performer at national conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the American Theatre Organ Society.  Critics have defined his performances as exciting, refreshing, unorthodox, and astonishing.  Valliant has three solo recordings to his credit as well as a number of studio projects with other musicians.  

Valliant lives in Wichita where he is a full time musician at First United Methodist Church, overseeing a music department seen by thousands across the Midwest on the church’s television programs.

Tickets cost $15 for general admission, $12 for Southwestern College alumni, and $8 for students.  For more information, contact Falk at (620) 229-6141.  According to Falk, patrons can also purchase tickets online at  

“We are excited to announce our new online ticketing system,” Falk says.  “Patrons now have the ability to order tickets for programs offered by RPAC Presents events using our secure online box office.  For a limited time as patrons become accustomed to using the online system we will be waiving online box office fees.”


Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:30:41 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[2014 Natural Science Hall of Fame (Alumni News)]]> The 2014 Southwestern College Natural Science Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 5:30 p.m. in Deets Library.  Inductees will be Harold C. Tretbar '52, Mark W. Turrentine '79, and Belinda A. Vail '76.  Cost of the dinner event is $20 per person, RSVPs are necessary and seating is limited.  For more information or to register for the event, contact or call 620-229-6279.

Thu, 11 Sep 2014 07:53:30 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Don't get Jinxed... Win an iPad! (Alumni News)]]> Don't Get Jinxed...Win an iPad!

Southwestern College alumni have a limited time opportunity to complete an online form and be eligible to win an iPad mini with Retina display.

You can have...not one...not two...but THREE chances to win! Each section you complete gives you another entry into the drawing.  Fill out all three (3) sections and you'll have your name entered THREE times in the giveaway.  (However, only one form submission will be accepted per individual.)

Maximize your chance to win by:

  1. Completing the “About Me” section
  2. Completing the “About my Work” section (in purple)
  3. Completing the “About my Life” section (in grey)

Submission Deadline:  November 1, 2014 (midnight EST)

Winner will be contacted via email on or around November 3, 2014

Contest only open to alumni of Southwestern College.  Current faculty, staff and students are ineligible to enter.

View complete contest rules here (PDF)

Official entry form:


Sponsor - Galaxie Business Equipment

Special thanks to our sponsor Galaxie Business Equipment for making this contest possible! Providing service and support for typewriters and other office products to schools and businesses in Harper, Sumner and Cowley Counties since 1972.

Thu, 11 Sep 2014 07:45:08 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Senate Meeting Notes 8.26.14 (SGA)]]> Senate Meeting Notes 8.26.14


Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:08:11 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[2014 Natural Science Hall of Fame (Halls of Fame)]]>

The 2014 Southwestern College Natural Science Hall of Fame will recognize three graduates on Saturday, Nov. 8, at a dinner induction ceremony in Deets Library on the main college campus.  The hall of fame honors Southwestern College alumni who have made significant contributions to the natural science world. 

The new inductees will be Harold C. Tretbar ’52, Mark W. Turrentine ’79, and Belinda A. Vail ’76.  Hall of Fame plaques will be on display prior to the 5:30 p.m. dinner.  The induction ceremony will immediately follow the meal, at approximately 6:15.

For more information or reservations, contact Susan Lowe, director of alumni programs at Southwestern College, at (620) 229-6334.

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 15:52:52 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC to Launch BeADisciple Academy (Discipleship)]]> Southwestern will soon launch the online BeADisciple Academy, thanks to a grant received from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.

“We are so appreciative of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church for both their support of the concept and financial backing of $40,000 to underwrite development costs” states Steve Wilke, executive director of the Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College.  

The BeADisciple Academy is designed to be a global online faith-building fellowship for high school or college students who want to go deeper in their faith lives and leadership skills. The Academy uses a wide range of contemporary online resources to provide interactive opportunities for students, including social media, webinars, videos, and other web-based initiatives. Both the high school and collegiate sessions run for two 12-week intervals in the fall and spring, concurrent with the school year.

Southwestern College is building on its strength as an online provider in higher education and its long history of developing young Christian leaders from around the world to develop, launch, and support this new global, interactive, online high school and college disciple Bible study and leadership program.

A beta test year will begin on Sept. 8 for the 24-week academy. A better understanding of God, self, and call is the goal of the Academy. Students will be in small groups and a part of a network of participants as well.

For more information, contact Wilke (620) 229-6277 or by email at  If you would like to learn more about the BeADisciple Academy, go to

Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:00:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Brian Winnie and Amber Peterson Will Lead Music Programs (Music)]]> The Southwestern College performing arts division has welcomed Brian Winnie as director of choral activities and voice, and Amber Peterson, Mazie Barnett Kilmer Chair for Strings Education.

“Dr. Peterson and Dr. Winnie bring an exciting new perspective to Southwestern College music education and performance programs and ensembles,” says Tim Shook, chair for the division of performing arts at Southwestern College.  “Students will enjoy stimulating classroom and performance experiences, preparing them as professionals and advocates who cultivate the arts.”

Brian WinnieWinnie teaches courses in undergraduate choral conducting, vocal pedagogy and diction, and choral methods. He also conducts the A Cappella Choir, SC Singers, Musical Theatre Ensemble, and is head of the voice department.  An active festival conductor and adjudicator, Winnie has worked with festival choirs throughout the United States in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Washington, Kansas, and Alaska.  

Prior to this appointment, Winnie served as lecturer at the University of Washington-Tacoma where he helped create and establish a choral component to their interdisciplinary arts program. Prior to his career in higher education, Winnie taught for seven years in public schools at both the middle and high school levels having served as director of choirs in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania where his choirs consistently achieved the highest ratings at festivals and competitions.  His 2007 Lower Macungie Middle School Cadence Choir was selected to perform for the Pennsylvania Music Educator’s Association convention, and in 2008 he was the recipient of the “Outstanding Young Conductor Award,” presented by the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.  In 2010 he was named “Teacher of the Year” at Hopewell Valley High School, and was nominated for the “Excellence in Teaching Award” at the University of Washington in 2013.

Winnie is an active member the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educator’s National Conference. He has served as secretary for the Central New Jersey Music Education Association, and is a former Middle School/Jr. High Repertoire and Standards Chair for ACDA-PA. 

A native of Pennsylvania, Winnie received his bachelor of science in music education from the Pennsylvania State University, master of music education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and his doctor of musical arts in choral conducting from the University of Washington. Additionally, he received his certificate of figure proficiency in Estill Voice Training in 2014. 

Amber PetersonPeterson’s duties will include conducting the South Kansas Symphony, overseeing the Southwestern College Youth Symphony, coaching the Williams String Quartet, and teaching private viola and violin lessons, string methods, and music fundamentals 

 Peterson holds music education degrees from Case Western Reserve University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She also completed Suzuki violin teacher training at Cleveland Institute of Music. 

Prior to coming to Winfield, Peterson taught orchestra in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and Iowa, and played violin and viola in many regional symphonies. Her research has appeared in “Contributions to Music Education,” “Arts Education Policy Review,” and “American String Teacher.” She has presented sessions at numerous state and national conferences, including American String Teachers Association, American Educational Research Association, Symposium on Music Teacher Education, and the NAfME Research and Teacher Education National Conference. Her specializations and research interests include music teacher education, string education, and music cognition and psychology.

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:58:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC Dean Peter Heckman to Speak at Opening Convocation (General)]]> Peter Heckman, academic dean for the main campus at Southwestern College, will be the featured speaker at the annual opening convocation on Friday, Aug. 22, in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend.

Following the college’s 2014-15 academic year theme of courage, Heckman will speak about moral courage.

Heckman has a bachelor of arts degree in English and philosophy from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, and a master of arts degree in philosophy and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Northwestern University.  Before joining Southwestern College, Heckman was professor of interdisciplinary studies and associate dean at the University College, Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  

His first year in Abu Dhabi was spent as the associate dean.  

“I spent a lot of time working with faculty on several different committees and interviewing and hiring new faculty and evaluating continuing faculty,” Heckman says.  “I found I was interacting mostly with faculty who were from around the world but who were not Emirati.  I thought it would be good, as I was living in a country, to get to know its people and culture a little better.  So the next year I served on the faculty and taught global awareness classes to Emirati students.  The campus was segregated by gender, so I had a few classes that were all male and a few classes that were all female.”

Heckman’s wife, Pamela Thompson, was active in the tennis community in Abu Dhabi, and served on the board of the Abu Dhabi American Women’s Network, and as a writer-in-residence for the Art Hub in Liwa. She also taught courses in communication at Zayed University.

“We enjoyed Abu Dhabi,” says Heckman.  “One of the nice things, for us, was the ability to travel easily to other places on that side of the world.  In the two years we were in Abu Dhabi, my wife and I visited Istanbul, Bangkok, Prague, Hong Kong, Singapore, Muscat, and Doha.  I will miss the weather and the ocean, but we are glad to be back in the United States and excited to be working for Southwestern College.”

Heckman now lives in Winfield with his wife.  She is an adjunct English professor for Southwestern College.

He comes from a family entrenched in higher education:  His father, Phil, served 20 years as president of Doane College in Crete, Neb.  One of his sisters, Susan Lawlor, is the chair of the biology department at a campus of Latrobe University in Australia.  

The opening convocation will wrap up the festivities for Fall Frenzy 2014 and officially start the academic year. It will also feature the introduction of new faculty, recognition of students included on the Dean’s Honor Roll for the spring 2014 semester, and announcement of the Scholar of the College.

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:41:43 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Luke Nicolay Performs at First United Methodist Church in Wichita (Music)]]> Southwestern College student Luke Nicolay spent his summer as an intern at First United Methodist Church in Wichita, KS.  At the end of his tenure, he was asked to perform as a guest musician at the service on August 3, 2014.  Below is video of his performance.

(Special thanks to First United Methodist Church of Wichita for sharing this video with us.)


Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:27:36 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[New Faculty and Staff at SC (General)]]> New faculty and staff at Southwestern College were introduced during the employee welcome back dinner held on Aug. 11.

New faculty include:

Peter Heckman, academic dean for main campus.  He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Northwestern University.  Before joining Southwestern College, Heckman was serving as the professor of interdisciplinary studies and associate dean at the University College, Zayed University in United Arab Emirates.  Prior to that he held a variety of administrative and teaching positions at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Neb.  

Amy Lash Esau, academic dean for professional studies. She was the director of academic development for adult learner undergraduate and graduate programs at University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minn. She holds a Ph.D. in family social sciences from the University of Minnesota. 

Christopher Barker, assistant professor of political science.  Barker has a Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University. Most recently, he has been the Th. W. Smith postdoctoral fellow in U.S. Legal/Constitutional History at Ohio State University.  Chris has also served as a visiting professor at Boston College, a Jack Miller Fellow at Harvard, and a lecturer at California State University.  

Lalith Gamage, assistant professor of chemistry.  He earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at New Mexico State University.  He has been an adjunct professor and lab director at Western New Mexico University.  He has also served as a high school chemistry teacher in his home country of Sri Lanka.

Molly Just, director of discipleship.  Just is a 2012 graduate of Southwestern College where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and religious studies.  She has also earned minors in youth ministry and Christian discipleship.  She is currently studying for her master of divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary.  Just is also a certified candidate for ordination in the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Lee Jones, technical director for the TOMARI center. He has been the Plano Stages Theatre Technician in Plano, Texas.  Prior to that, he worked for the Denton Community Theatre Children’s Drama School in Denton.  Lee is a recent graduate of McMurry University in Abilene, Texas.   

Debbie McAlister-Gallander, director of the MBA program.  She holds a M.S. in organizational development from Pepperdine University.  She has been the coordinator of the Autry Technology Center in Enid, Okla., and prior to that she was a business development specialist and trainer for the Oklahoma Small Business Development Centers at Northwest Oklahoma State University.  

Diane Nickelson, assistant professor of teacher education.  She holds a Ed.D. in educational leadership from Wichita State University.  She served as the principal at Clearwater Elementary School and then as assistant principal at Clearwater High School.  Nickelson also has the distinction of supervising the dissertation of one of the first Ed.D. graduates at Southwestern College.

Amber Peterson, assistant professor of music (strings).  She has a Ph.D. in music education from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.  She holds a K-12 teaching certificate in both Illinois and Iowa.  She is also a certified Suzuki instructor.  Peterson has served as an adjunct instructor at a variety of schools including the University of Florida and Kent State University.

Heather Pianalto, instructor of mathematics.  She recently earned her master’s degree from Oklahoma State University.  While there, she was a graduate teaching assistant.  Pianalto is a native of Wichita and she earned her first degree from Newman University.

Marcia Stoesz, math literacy center instructor.  She has been serving as an instructor of mathematics at Hutchinson Community College.  Prior to that, she taught math at McPherson College.  Marcia has served as the co-director of the anti-racism program, Mennonite Central Committee U.S.  She has also taught math to range of students from elementary through high school.  Stoesz holds a master’s degree in statistical sciences from Southern Methodist University in Texas.

Shoshana Wernick, assistant professor of psychology.  Wernick earned her Ph.D. in community psychology from Wichita State University.  She has taught as an affiliate faculty member in a number of area colleges.  She has been a community researcher for the Center for Community Support and Research and she was a coordinator for the first multiracial elections in South Africa.  

Brian Winnie, assistant professor of music (choir).  Winnie holds a doctorate of musical arts from the University of Washington, Seattle.  He has served as a part-time lecturer at the University of Washington, Tacoma.  He has also worked as the artistic director or conductor for a variety of organizations including public schools and youth organizations.

New staff members at Southwestern include:

Colin Baker, assistant men’s soccer coach

Danielle Brush, assistant director of residence life

Whitney Corley, assistant women’s basketball coach

Todd DeMint, staff accountant

Wyatt Jiru, assistant football coach

Nathan Johnson, network support specialist

Becky Mangus, executive assistant to the president and the provost

Victor Redd, assistant football coach

Jessica Schlageck, social media and public relations coordinator for Southwestern College Professional Studies (SCPS)

Karissa Shimanek, faculty assistant for the education department

Cindy Stevens, faculty assistant for the communications division

Timothy Tucker, admissions counselor/recruiter at Ft. Riley for SCPS

Carolina Garbato, head volleyball coach

Chris Weathers, assistant volleyball coach

Fri, 15 Aug 2014 11:47:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Molly Just Hired as Director of Discipleship at SC (Discipleship)]]> Molly (Komlofske) Just has been selected as the director of discipleship at Southwestern College.

Molly JustHer duties include providing leadership for the Discipleship Southwestern service-learning team which requires close work with students, faculty, and staff relative to faith formation of emerging adults. 

The Discipleship Southwestern team is a group of 40 undergraduate students who have made a commitment to study and practice their Christian faith.  According to Cheryl Rude, director of Leadership Southwestern, Just’s work will connect the campus to the community by maintaining long-held relationships and building new connections with area youth ministers, camp directors, campus ministers, as well as the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

“I am excited to have Molly join our Southwestern College community,” Rude says.  “Just is a returning alumna of the Discipleship program, so I look forward to seeing how she mixes the traditions of her own experience with her new knowledge and perspectives from seminary to help shape the future direction of the program.”

Just is a 2012 graduate of Southwestern College where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and religious studies.  She has also earned minors in youth ministry and Christian discipleship.  She is currently studying for her master of divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary.  Just is also a certified candidate for ordination in the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Just is originally from Holcomb and now lives in Winfield with her husband, Kyle.

Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:50:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[How do I care for my student from a distance? (Parent Newsletter)]]> When your student returns to school, don’t be surprised if the frequency of their communication with family changes.  During the academic year, your student is involved in classes, extracurricular activities, social events and other activities.

Instead of sending an email, how about sending them a handwritten letter?  You will be surprised how excited students are to receive a note or package from their parents or grandparents.  It is an excellent way to make their day.

How about a short text message on their cell phone?  Wish them a great day, tell them good luck on an upcoming exam, or cheer them on during their extracurricular activities from a distance.

You could send them a care package filled with school supplies or favorite treats. Flowers and balloon bouquets on their birthday or any day are very popular.

One of the easiest gifts is final exam care packages that parents can sign up to send at the end of each semester.  You will receive a notification from the Residence Life office about giving your student a wonderful end-of-semester care package.  Nothing eases stress like love from home, even if it is not actually packed at home.

Tue, 12 Aug 2014 16:55:30 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[How can a parent get involved on campus? (Parent Newsletter)]]> Although it is essential to support your student from a distance, we also want you to get involved on campus yourself.  Southwestern College knows that parents are an important part of our campus community.  We welcome and encourage you to be an active participant in the life of the college.    Check out the SC website.  It is filled with all kinds of things to do and events to participate in.  

Discuss with your student a good time for a visit during the weekend or even during the week.  The college has plenty of activities in which you can participate.  Just go to the activities and events section of the website.  Also stay posted for the Family Day which is planned for Homecoming weekend (October 3 to October 5).  Along with alums and friends of the college, Homecoming weekend is a time for you to come to the campus in the fall.  But don’t wait for a special occasion, we welcome you to campus ANY TIME.

Other involvement options include:     

  • volunteer to speak on campus about your culture or faith,
  • provide a placement for student internships,
  • participate in our family programs for international students,
  • support athletic teams or co-curricular activities,
  • attend a concert or play

However you choose to engage in the campus, please know that we are always happy to see you.

Tue, 12 Aug 2014 16:54:33 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Why is my student struggling? (Parent Newsletter)]]> At Southwestern College, we are fortunate to have a wellness coordinator, Mary Ann Smith LMSW. (  She works with students who may struggle with their adjustment to college and experience anxiety during this time of independence and growth. She frequently advises parents to trust their own wisdom, experience and guidance in supporting your maturing young adult.

Here are some of the issues that your student might face:

  • Difficulty adjusting
  • Navigating the college campus and local community
  • Learning a different cultural community
  • Missing home (parents, siblings, smells, and comforts)
  • Dealing with academic pressures
  • Balancing academic, social, relationships and activities
  • Resisting peer pressures and social climate
  • Frustration with anticipation versus reality of college life
  • Living up to personal and parental expectations and values
  • Negotiating a new environment
  • Managing money and financial pressures

During this time, the best thing a parent can do is be supportive, reassuring and encouraging.  As parents, you may wonder what is going on. Please know this is a common concern.  In fact, facing issues like those above is an important part of your child’s maturing process.  If you have concerns about your young adult, don’t hesitate to contact college staff at any time.

Unfortunately, it might be difficult to always understand what is happening with your student.  They are not living with you and may not express or share the nature of what is going on.   According to MacKay and Ingram in Let the Journey Begin: A Parents’ Monthly Guide to the College Experience, here are some suggestions for helping your student.  

Communicate by asking questions such as “what happened today?” or “what has been doing on these last few days?”  Make sure that you encourage them to talk in-depth and not with surface responses.

Persuade them to work to their best ability and not overly stress themselves to over-exertion.  Encourage them to utilize the various campus resources such as counseling, academic support, advisors and student life staff.  This additional campus support can be essential to them dealing with rough times.   

Suggest that they attend the Fall Frenzy Events at the beginning of the year  It is a fun way to meet other students and participate in all the welcome week activities.   The Jinx Tale (daily campus email) and The Collegian (student newspaper) are excellent resources for campus events as well.  Find more information at

Recommend that they communicate with their resident student advisor (RA) or residence hall director (RD).  These in-hall residence staff members are there to support and encourage your student. If the issue is regarding their roommate or other hall issues, advise them to communication their concerns to their RA or RD.          

Advise that they meet their professor during their faculty hours and ask questions regarding academic concerns and challenges.  

Advocate that they seek a tutor or study group with other students.

The Financial Aid office can assist you with financing your student’s college degree. The counselors may show you options, strategies, and problem solving.

Whatever the issue and the manner in which you deal with the issue, it is important to show patience with their change in behavior.  In addition, continue to communicate with them and monitor their behavior.   Most likely, your student can work through their problem.  But occasionally, they might need help.  The college has abundant resources to assist you.  You should feel free to communication with the college about your concerns and let us help you and your student.

Tue, 12 Aug 2014 16:49:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[What is FERPA? What parents can expect? (Parent Newsletter)]]> FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  It establishes students as the owner of their educational records and gives parents no rights to access their student's records without the student's consent. FERPA does give the college the right to share certain information if the parent provides a federal document that denotes the student as a tax-dependent.

The college works to help students become responsible for their own learning process through demonstrating their accountabilities as adults.   As a result, we direct most of our communication to the student regarding academic, social, and activities.   We then encourage them to share this information with you as parents.

We are aware that there are circumstances where parents have legitimate concerns regarding their students.  In these incidences, we consider not only our legal responsibilities, but also the philosophy of the college and the circumstances regarding the particular incident   Parents are informed about the conduct of their students if they are placed on disciplinary probation, residential suspension, disciplinary suspension or disciplinary expulsion. They are also informed of academic progress, if their student is placed on very serious academic warning, suspension or dismissal.

If you want additional information, please read the college’s website:

or the US Department of Education Web site:

Tue, 12 Aug 2014 16:43:53 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC Freshmen Moving in August 10 (General)]]> Incoming freshmen will begin moving in to the residence halls at Southwestern College on Sunday, Aug. 10, as Fall Frenzy kicks off the 2014-2015 school year. 

Fall Frenzy introduces new and returning students to the many aspects of Southwestern College.  

The first students on campus will be the freshman.  Following a 3:15 p.m. Farewell Worship Sunday for students and parents, the newly-arrived freshmen will head to Builder Camp at Sky Ranch Cave Springs in Quapaw, Okla.  

Transfer and returning students will move in on Wednesday, Aug. 13.

Freshmen Work Day will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 13.  Since 1992, Southwestern College freshmen, along with Leadership Southwestern students, faculty, and staff, have spent one of their first days as Moundbuilders out in the city of Winfield.  The goal is to promote feelings of community among incoming students as well as a sense of belonging to the college and the city of Winfield.  Freshmen Work Day also strives to make a difference by establishing new relationships between the college and the community by assisting homeowners with indoor and outdoor home projects that they would otherwise not be able to complete.

On Thursday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m., Winfield Main Street Revitalization will partner with Southwestern College for the second annual Purple Pride event which will take place in the parking lot of 8th and Millington Street in Winfield.  Local businesses are invited to set up booths to promote their business to the SC students.  Local restaurants are also invited to serve food samples.  

The complete Fall Frenzy schedule is as follows: 

Sunday, Aug. 17, welcome back barbeque in the dining hall from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.;  welcome back worship in Messenger Recital Hall from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday Sundaes from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Java Jinx.

Monday, Aug. 18, classes begin for students.  

Tuesday, Aug. 19, Rock painting party from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Wallingford lawn.

Thursday, Aug. 21, annual Moundbuilding Ceremony at 7 p.m.  Purple and white football scrimmage at 8 p.m. at Richard L. Jantz Stadium.

Friday, Aug. 22, Opening Convocation at 11 a.m. in Richardson Auditorium.

Friends of Southwestern College are invited to attend the Moundbuilding Ceremony, Opening Convocation, and the football scrimmage.

For more information about Fall Frenzy, call Sarah Hallinan at (620) 229-6392.  For more information about Freshman Work Day, call Cheryl Rude at (620) 229-6381.

Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:59:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Matthew Sigler New Campus Minister at SC (General)]]> Matthew SiglerMatthew Sigler has been selected to be the campus minister for the 2014-15 school year at Southwestern College.  He takes over for Ashlee Alley who left SC for a position with the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“We’re very fortunate to have such a capable person ready at hand as Ashlee moves to her new position with our sponsoring conference,” says Southwestern College President Dick Merriman.  “Matt’s scholarly achievements and his background in ministry and worship equip him well for leading our chapel and campus ministry program.”

Sigler is in his second year at Southwestern College.  He spent last year teaching as a visiting scholar.  Prior to coming to SC, Sigler lived in Boston while attending Boston University as he studied for his Ph. D in liturgical studies.

Sigler earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., and his master of arts degree in Christian ministries (concentrating on worship studies) from Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.

Sigler is originally from Daphne, Ala., and currently resides in Winfield with his wife, Shannon, and son, Elijah. 

Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:37:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA['Next to Normal' Production to Feature Dinner and Mental Illness Talk Back Session (Theatre Arts)]]> The Tony Award winning rock musical “Next to Normal,” which chronicles a family’s struggle with mental illness, will be performed in Winfield Thursday through Saturday, July 24-26, at 7:30 p.m.  The show will be presented in Messenger Recital Hall located in the Darbeth Fine Arts Center on the campus of Southwestern College.  The show will be performed as an optional dinner theatre, and ticket options for show only or shows with dinner are available. 

Next to Normal castThe theme for the meal is a birthday dinner with the Goodmans.  It will include a fresh garden salad with lots of fresh vegetables, homemade croutons, and a freshly-made zesty Italian dressing.   Accompanying the salad are freshly baked garlic butter knots.  The main course features roast beef, homemade mashed red potatoes and gravy.  Vegetables include whole green beans cooked in bacon, corn on the cob, and freshly baked white and wheat bread braids.  Dessert features Gabe’s birthday funfetti cake and vanilla bean ice cream.  

“Next to Normal” tackles a serious and universal topic through the musical theatre form. 

“It speaks to issues that many families deal with,” says director Craig Fisher.  “It tells the story of Diana and Dan who have been dealing with Diana's depression, bi-polar disease, and other mental illnesses. This has also been affecting her daughter, Natalie, and son, Gabe. Diana must confront her issues head on or risk losing her family and support structure.”

At the conclusion of each performance, a talk-back session will be held to discuss the topic of mental illness that is at the core of the main character’s conflict.  The talk-backs will include conversations with the cast and creative teams who will discuss their experience with the show, the subject matter, and their own personal experiences with mental illness. All audience members will be invited to stay and be in conversation with the cast and production team.  A mental health professional will also join the sessions each night to provide the expert’s perspective and support.

“The talk-backs will be a way for audiences to ask questions about the process, about the nature of the show, the creation of the show, this production, questions for actors, or directors and then questions about the issues that the show tackles,” Fisher says.

Dinner times for the shows will be 6 p.m., with the shows at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for dinner and show are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors, $20 for students, and $18 for youth. Show-only tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth. 

For tickets and information, call the SC box office at (620) 221-7720 or (620) 229-6171.  

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:59:19 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC Sports Information Director Scott Nuss Earns Several Awards at Conference (General)]]> Southwestern College sports information director Scott Nuss received several awards at the 2014 NAIA Sports Information Directors Association (SIDA) conference in Orlando, Fla.  

Scott NussNuss was recognized four times in the NAIA-SIDA Walt McAlexander Publication Contest.  He earned a first, second, and fourth place awards in the “Game Notes” category for his men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and football notes, respectively.  Southwestern’s athletics website,, earned 10th place recognition in the “Outsourced Website” category.

Nuss submitted his feature story about retiring hall of fame head coach Jim Helmer titled “One Last Run.”  That story earned him a third place national award in the NAIA-SIDA Dr. W. Jack Bell Writing Contest’s Feature Story category, and was recognized as the District 7 Coach/Administrator Profile & Feature of the Year in the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Fred Stabley Sr. Writing Contest.  District 7 consists of SID’s from Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Canadian provinces Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Nuss’s story, “One Last Run,” can be read at

Dave Denly, athletic director at Southwestern College, was not surprised that Nuss was recognized so often.

“The athletic department would like to congratulate Scott Nuss on his many accomplishments at the NAIA-SIDA convention in Orlando this past month,” Denly says.  “Scott is vital part of our athletic department success. We feel we have one of the brightest SIDs in the country and it showed at this conference.”


Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:57:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Old and New Moundbuilders Lead in Production of 'Next to Normal' (Theatre Arts)]]> The Southwestern College Summer Theatre Festival will present the musical “Next to Normal” Thursday through Saturday, July 24-26.  The show will be presented in Messenger Recital Hall located in the Darbeth Fine Arts Center on the campus of Southwestern College.  The show will be performed as an optional dinner theatre, and ticket options for show only or shows with dinner are available. 

“Next to Normal” is a Tony Award winning rock musical that chronicles a family’s struggle with mental illness.  Craig Fisher, a 2000 Southwestern College graduate, is returning to direct the show.

“It is a revolutionary and groundbreaking musical about a family suffering and dealing with mental illness,” Fisher says.  “It tackles a very serious and universal topic in the musical theatre form. It speaks to issues that every family deals with. It tells the story of Diana and Dan who have been dealing with Diana's depression, bi-polar, and other mental illnesses. This has also been affecting her daughter Natalie and son Gabe. Diana must confront her issues head on or risk losing her family and support structure.”

Along with graduating from Southwestern College, Fisher graduated from Western Illinois University in 2011 with his master of fine arts in directing. He currently serves as the artistic director and board president of the Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble in Topeka. The Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble won a 2012 Arty Award for Emerging Artist and is considered one of the most progressive theatre companies in Topeka. Fisher has been nominated for Topeka's Top 20 Under 40 twice, and was nominated again this year. He has directed productions ranging from “Angels in America” to “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.”

Music director for the production is Brian Winnie, director of choral activities and voice at Southwestern College.  Prior to this appointment, he served as lecturer at the University of Washington-Tacoma where he helped create and establish a choral component to the interdisciplinary arts program.  He was also the artistic director of the community-based choirs ChoralSounds and VocalSounds Northwest for the past three years. Winnie has music directed shows ranging from Disney's “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aida” to “Guys and Dolls” and “Les Misérables.”  

Dinner times for the shows will be at 6 p.m., with the shows at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for dinner and show are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors, $20 for students, and $18 for youth. Show-only tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth. 

For tickets and information, call the SC box office at (620) 221-7720 or (620) 229-6171.  

Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:57:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[New Email System (Information Technology)]]> Southwestern College has a new email system, Microsoft's Office 365!  Immediately you will enjoy a larger, cloud based mailbox.  Other features will be added over time.  Please make sure you logon using your full email address (including the "") as your user name.  Your password remain unchanged.

Click here to go to the new email website, or type into your web browser.

Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:09:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Rare Bloom of Corpse Flower to Occur at SC (General)]]> Max Thompson, professor of biology and greenhouse supervisor at Southwestern College, has announced that a rare event is going to occur inside the Southwestern College greenhouse.  An Amorphophallus titanum, known as the titan arum or corpse flower, will bloom sometime next week.

Corpse Flower

“There are only a few, if any, each year in the United States that have one bloom. As you can imagine, we are terribly excited about this,” Thompson says. 

Southwestern will have a camera set up and will stream video of the event.  The web video feed can be seen here or by clicking the graphic below. (Windows Media Player is required.)

According to Thompson, The corpse flower is native to Western Sumatra in Indonesia. This plant gets its name from the odor that emanates from it when it blooms. The scent is the smell of a dead mammal. The odor attracts blowflies and carrion beetles which the plant uses to pollinate itself. 

“It is a rare event to bloom this plant as it takes years for the corm to get large enough to produce a flower,” Thompson says.  “The Southwestern College plant came from a corm from Selby Gardens in Sarasota, Fla. The corm was about 2” when we received it from the garden. Although we don’t know the exact size of it now, the last time we repotted, it weighed about 20 lbs.  The world record for weight comes from Germany where a corm weighed 258 lbs.”

The flower typically opens in mid-afternoon and stays open all night, emitting the foul stench to attract flies and beetles to pollinate it. The spadix or center part of the flower only lasts about 24 hours.

Corpse Flower Video Link

The Southwestern College greenhouse will keep an update on the voicemail (620-229-6285).  The greenhouse will be open when the plant blooms for the public to see. The greenhouse is located on the north side of campus behind the Beech Science building.

Southwestern College is a private institution granting undergraduate and graduate degrees and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.  About 1,700 students attend classes at the main Winfield campus, at six professional studies sites in Kansas and Oklahoma, or online around the world.

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:35:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Dinner Menu Announced for 'The Little Mermaid Jr.' (Theatre Arts)]]> The upcoming production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” by the Southwestern College Summer Theatre Festival will include an optional dinner theatre experience in the President’s Art Gallery located in the Darbeth Fine Arts Center on the campus of Southwestern College.

“Our patron’s will have a more intimate atmosphere in the President’s Art Gallery,” says director Allyson Moon.  “The sound in there is great and the cast will be singing.  I think their pre-production experience will enhance the entertainment value.”

Dinner guests will be treated to cheddar biscuits, Caesar salad with homemade croutons, main entrée choice of grilled marinated chicken or baked tilapia, baked potato, grilled squash and red pepper, hush puppies, and a red devils food gourmet cupcake for dessert.

The musical features songs that, according to Moon, everybody will remember.

“It has songs that are very familiar, including ‘Part of Your World’ sung by Ariel, and ‘Under the Sea’ sung by Sabastian,” Moon says. “These songs were made famous during the animated movie. We can all sing along with these.”

Matt Berthot will be directing musicians Billy Bearden and Deborah Martin on keyboards; Anthony Gropper on bass; and Nick Hofmeister on percussion.  

“Having two keyboards allows for a richer sound, more so than the piano,” Moon says. “Sebastian is a crab from the Caribbean and with the two keyboards we can have that calypso sound and rhythm.”

“The Little Mermaid Jr.” will run Friday through Sunday, July 11-13, in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration Building on the campus of Southwestern College.  Dinner times for the shows on July 11 and 12 will be at 6 p.m., with the show at 7:30 p.m.  Dinner on July 13 will be at 12:30 p.m., with the show at 2 p.m. Tickets for dinner and show are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors, $20 for students, and $18 for youth. Show-only tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth. 

For tickets and information, call the SC box office at (620) 221-7720 or (620) 229-6171.  

Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:00:07 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Be A Builder Day is July 21 (General)]]> The Southwestern College Office of Admission invites high school students and possible transfer students to “Be A Builder Day” at Southwestern College on Monday, July 21. Future Moundbuilders will learn helpful tips on what needs to happen each month leading up to ensure a great college experience. 

Students will discover:

Financial aid opportunities

Why it is important to get accepted to SC after six semesters of high school

Why it might be beneficial to take the ACT or SAT more than once

How concurrent high school courses are accepted to SC as college credit

Additional tips for success at Southwestern College

While on campus, students will take an extended tour of the campus, meet with SC professors, eat lunch in the cafeteria, visit with club and activity leaders, and receive a Southwestern College t-shirt.

To sign up, simply go to  For more information, call (620) 229-6236.

Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:58:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Southwestern College Summer Theatre Festival Performances of 'The Little Mermaid' (Theatre Arts)]]> The Southwestern College Summer Theatre Festival will present Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” Friday through Sunday, July 11-13, in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration Building on the campus of Southwestern College.  The show will be performed as an optional dinner theatre, and ticket options for show only or shows with dinner are available.

Little Mermaid“The Little Mermaid” features the character Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter.  She has always longed to be a part of the human world, so when the evil sea witch, Ursula, grants her the opportunity to sprout legs and go after the heart of Prince Eric, she jumps at the chance.  But with Ursula working against her she’ll need help from her friends and family if she is ever to see her dreams come true.  

“This is the story that everyone remembers,” says director Allyson Moon. “It has songs that are very familiar, including ‘Part of Your World’ sung by Ariel,  and ‘Under the Sea’ sung by Sabastian. These songs were made famous during the animated movie. We can all sing along with these.”

According to Moon, the show will include a cast of over 50 people spanning a wide range of ages but concentrated on youth actors.

“We have some very talented youth performing in this production,” Moon says. 

The cast includes: Ariel, played by Payten Humphreys, Winfield; Flounder, played by Bella Wood, Arkansas City; Scuttle, played by Lilya Woodburn, Winfield; King Triton, played by Dylan Moore, Ottawa; Sebastian, played by Nate Lee, Winfield; Seahorse, played by Alex Geurin, Winfield; Ursula, played by Deborah Badley, Winfield; Flotsam, played by Shane Schrag, Arkansas City; Jetsam, played by Shelby Guffey, Winfield; Princess, played by Ondreya Seahorn, Winfield; Eric, played by Clayton Bauer, Winfield; Grimsby, played by Tyler Demaree, Winfield; Pilot, played by Austin Sherman, Winfield; Max, played by John Moberly, Winfield; Carlotta, played by Adrianna Somerville, Winfield; and Louis, played by Aron Pfingsten, Ulysses.

Cast members playing the part of Ariel’s sisters include: Zoe Rea, Salina; Emma Green, Arkansas City; and Kylee Wollard, Elena Woodburn, Madison Long, Kira Loeb, Sabrina Wilson, Faith Moore, and Katya Crow, Winfield.

Cast members playing the part of sailors include: Dakota Holland, Aaron Glover, Bennett Boyle, Jacob Marney and Austin Sherman, Winfield; William Wade, Bartlesville, Okla.; and Cory Blevins, Arkansas City.  

Cast members playing the parts of merfolk, sea creatures, lagoon animals, chef assistants, and Prince Eric’s court include: Whitney Martin, Mercedes Dunbar, Adrianna Somerville, Ondreya Seahorn, Kylee Wollard, Jacob Marney, Austin Sherman, Cory Blevins, Aaron Glover, Dakota Holland, Bennett Boyle, Klara Flom, Marley Hoskins, Katya Crow, Elana Crow, Fiona Badley, Coryn Badley, Katrina Holland, Faith Moore, Ruby Woodburn, Elena Woodburn, Riley White, Coralee Moon, Abbey Denly, Hannah Stevens, Sabrina Wilson, Mia Peirce, Bryce Sexson, Luke Smith, Elias Moon, Carson McDade, Kayelyn Lattimore, and John Moberly, Winfield; Josie Krout, Megan Haynes, Mackenzie Vickery, Katelynn Vickery, Emmerson Allen, Price Allen, and Jasa Lightsey, Arkansas City; Zoe Rea, Salina; William Wade, Bartlesville, Okla.; and Dante Moon, Gallup, N.M.

Dinner times for the shows on July 11 and 12 will be at 6 p.m., with the show at 7:30 p.m.  Dinner on July 13 will be at 12:30 p.m., with the show at 2 p.m. Meals will be served in the Java Jinx in the Roy L. Smith Student Center. Tickets for dinner and show are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors, $20 for students, and $18 for youth. Show-only tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth. 

For tickets and information, call the SC box office at (620) 221-7720 or (620) 229-6171.  

Wed, 02 Jul 2014 15:39:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Builder Bound Camp Involves Students from Truesdell and Jardine Middle School (General)]]> Southwestern College is hosting students from two Wichita middle schools during the month of June.  Students from Truesdell Middle School will be on campus from June 17-20 and students from Jardine Middle School are on campus from June 24-27.  

Builder Bound 1A total of 68 students from Truesdell were eligible to attend the four-day Builder Bound camp that began Tuesday.  It will conclude on Friday with a graduation ceremony in the Richardson Performing Arts Center at 1:15 p.m.  The public is invited to attend.

SC will welcome 35 students from Jardine on June 24.  This will be the first year that the college has hosted students from Jardine Middle School. Their camp will also conclude with a graduation ceremony in the Richardson Performing Arts Center, on June 27, at 1:15 p.m., and the public is again invited to attend.

According to DeAnn Ricketts, a teacher at Truesdell, students on the honor roll at Truesdell were selected first followed by students who were close to achieving honor roll status and could benefit from the positive influences at Builder Bound Camp. Truesdell has nearly 1,000 students enrolled.  Last year 52 students attended the camp and the number of kids eligible this year jumped to 68.

“The kids are always talking about coming to this camp,” Ricketts says.  “They are so excited to be here.  The eighth graders who are going into high school were not happy that they couldn’t attend this camp anymore.  And this year we get one extra day here which means more class time and more seat time.  This camp has such a positive influence on these kids.”

Ricketts says that this year the kids had more choices to make.  

“They had to pick their roommates and what classes they were going to take.  I want them to get a clearer look at what the college experience is like,” she says. 

Sycarreya Sanders, 12, is attending camp for the first time and has been counting down the days to Builder Bound.

“I want to go to college and I wanted to have some college-like experience,” Sanders says.  “I had this day marked on my calendar and I have been crossing out the days for the past two weeks.  I am really excited to be here.”

This is the sixth year that Southwestern has collaborated with USD 259 to provide a similar camp.  For four years SC has partnered with Stucky Middle school thanks to a partnership developed between Dawn Pleas-Bailey, vice president for student life at Southwestern College, and Terrell Davis, the principal at Truesdell.  In 2012 Davis was transferred to Truesdell and contacted Pleas-Bailey to see if Southwestern could provide a camp for a larger number of students.  Many of these students are from economically disadvantaged families and would be first generation college attenders. Part of the mission of this camp is to expose these kids to the college experience and let them know that college is an option for them.

Ed Loeb, associate professor of mathematics at Southwestern, is leading the academic side of the camp.

“The camp this year is organized into six distinct mini-courses,” Loeb says.  “These courses include engineering, forensics, photography, Builders Abroad (students explore other cultures), entrepreneurship, and math and art. The students have been split into six teams that will each participate in one of the courses over the four days.”

  Courses are staffed by SC faculty (Michael Tessmer, Stacy Sparks, Rena Rodriguez, Sarah Hallinan) as well as by alumni (Korie Hawkins, Brandon Hessing).  Additionally, according to Loeb, other instructors include Truesdell faculty members, Joy Tessmer, Garnita Pleas, and Phyllis Pleas. 

“The courses will consist of nine hours of ‘seat-time’ over the four days as well as homework time in the evening for them to work on projects and materials for their classes,” Loeb says.Builder Bound 2

In addition to the classes, the students will go bowling at Hillcrest Lanes in Arkansas City and attend a movie at the Cowley 8 Cinema.  Apart from these organized outings, time is built into the schedule for the kids to learn from their mentors about student success, discuss and develop a healthy image of themselves, and establish an understanding that college is attainable if they wish.

The camp staff this year is composed of current Southwestern College undergraduates and alumni.  Student mentors include Woodley Fenelon, Lekendrick Jordan,Vince Folston, Luiz Reyes, Quenton Todd, Stevie Heidzig, Maggie Dunnig, Audrey Vorderlandwehr, Cierra Ross, Paul Mata, Dejon Brison, Gabby Gamez, Monica Gamez, Austin Sheppard, and Deborah Martin.  These mentors will be working with campers in both the academic courses and also in the social aspects of the camp.  Alumni involved in the camp are Kaitlynn Tennyson, Maggie Collett, Tabitha McMullen, Gloria Griffin, Nolan Davenport, TJ Harris, Shelby Alexender, Gene Hartman, Jenn Nicholson, Tim Miser, and Anastasia Prokopis.  Other mentors include LJ Hawkins, Amanda Bintz, and Amber Good. 

Wed, 18 Jun 2014 13:29:43 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[New Works Showcase on June 21 to Feature Youth Writers and Actors (Theatre Arts)]]> Youth participating in the improvisational acting day camp and the playwrighting day camp June 16-21 at Southwestern College will present a New Works Showcase on Saturday, June 21, at 7:30 p.m., in Messenger Recital Hall in the Darbeth Fine Arts Center.  The public is invited to attend.  To underwrite some of the expense, there will be a suggested donation of $5.

Improv Day CampThe showcase will feature the scenes and short story plays that are created by the writers and will be performed in a staged reading by the youth actors and from members of the 9 Lives Improvisational Troupe at Southwestern.

Youth participating in the improvisational day camp are: Sam Ross and Nikolai Crow, Winfield; Adrianna Davis, Bethany Rozell, and Chloe Curl, Arkansas City; Chris Carlson, Wichita; and Dante Moon, Gallup, N.M.  Youth participating in the playwrighting camp include Ross, Curl, and Moon along with Isabella Stewart and Garrett Bogle, Winfield. 

Roger Moon is teaching the playwrighting day camp with assistance from Aron Pfingsten and Meagan Morrow.  Allyson Moon is teaching the improvisational day camp with assistance from Pfingsten, Morrow, and Shane Schrag.

“It is always so thrilling and amazing to experience the creative talent of developing writers and actors,” Allyson Moon says.  “We (Roger and Allyson Moon) have such faith in their ability.  When an individual makes the choice to write or act, they have already stepped out as if to say ‘I can do this.’  They are here because they want to be here and we know they will do extraordinary things.”

Previous 9 Lives performers have been invited to participate in the showcase along with current troupe members.

Tue, 17 Jun 2014 14:57:04 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[2014 Rotary Camp a Success at SC (Leadership)]]> A total of 20 high school students from the state attended the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) Camp on the Southwestern College campus from May 24-28.  

Rotary camp 2014Students learned about the responsibilities and possibilities of servant leadership through interactive experiences such as the ropes course at Camp Horizon, leadership lessons taught by SC students minoring in leadership studies, and a service day at the Winfield Kansas Veterans’ Home.  

The service experience on Memorial Day was particularly meaningful for camp participants, say camp organizers.  Students attended the Winfield Memorial Day celebration then spent the afternoon interviewing and talking with veterans about their experiences, wisdom, and challenges. The students also shared an ice cream social with the veterans.  At the closing of camp, many students noted lessons learned from their veterans and even wrote poems detailing their experiences.

RYLA camp members included: Paige Richardson, Sydney Fox, Trenton Ging, Laura Podschun, Andrew Everett and Ally Hovey, Winfield; Julia Montoya and Ellie Gerber, Garden City; Angel Palacioz, Kayleigh Serviss, and Autum Povrhussin, Derby; Morgan Lyles and Jaylynn Luna, Wellington; Jeremy Anderson, Kingman; Megan Bartley, Haven; Elena Carlos and Marissavel Rodriguez, Dodge City; Gabe YoNash, Belle Plaine; and Wisdom Knerr, Etoy Modica, and Mahalia Clemons, Wichita.

District Rotary clubs sponsored the camp costs for students who attended.  Additionally, Legacy Regional Community Foundation sponsored a student from Belle Plaine.  The Winfield Rotary Club of District 5690 played a significant role in the design and implementation of the camp.  Member Dean Kennedy helped to orchestrate a Rotary picnic and secured Judge Tommy B. Webb to come and deliver his “You Can Make a Difference” motivational speech to campers.

“Rotary Leadership Camp is always a powerful experience,” says Lindsay Wilke, assistant director of Leadership Southwestern.  “In a span of five short days, campers grow and learn things about themselves and others that challenge them to make an impact in their home communities.  Campers come to realize that true leadership springs from a desire to serve and make the world around oneself better, and this is a freeing and motivating experience for many of them.  They become friends with students from around the state, connect with Rotarians who are living lives of service, and are challenged to do something differently when they return home.  It is inspiring to witness.”

SC Leadership team members Madison Hovey and Shawn Pancoast served as the directors of the camp, and leadership team members served as counselors. Counselors were Caleb Janssen, Michael Bond, Brenna Truhe, and Maggie Collett.

According to Wilke, anyone who may be interested in the May 2015 Rotary Camp, is asked to email or visit online at  Scholarships are available.

Mon, 09 Jun 2014 11:39:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)