General RSS Feed en-us General RSS Feed <![CDATA[Merriman to Leave SC for Ohio School]]> Dick Merriman, who has been president of Southwestern College since 1998, will leave Winfield at the end of this academic year to become president of the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio.  Merriman’s appointment as president of Mount Union, a United Methodist institution with enrollment of about 2,200 students, was announced this morning.
“President Merriman has given us many good years,” said Dr. David Smith, chair of Southwestern’s Board of Trustees. “Personally, I hate to see him go but this is a terrific opportunity for him as well as a wonderful opportunity for another college. His impact on the college has been profound: He came here during a difficult economic climate and led the college with great vision. He will be leaving Southwestern College in a position of strength.” 
During his service at Southwestern, Merriman has guided the college through years of unprecedented growth in scope and mission.  
“I’m proud that Southwestern has become a strong comprehensive institution, serving both traditional-age students and adults, offering a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, and providing instruction in a range of formats that meet the needs of a many kinds of students,” Merriman said.  “Our outreach to low-income, minority, and first-generation college students, our growing enrollment of international students, and our service to adult learners have helped make Southwestern a lively and diverse school while increasing the relevance and impact of the college in our region.”
Merriman encouraged growth in Professional Studies programs (which are aimed at working adults) and oversaw a transition to online offerings that allow nearly half of the college’s total enrollment to study from around the world via computer. This has been especially attractive to military learners; during Merriman’s presidency SC has been consistently recognized on lists of military-friendly colleges. 
The college’s first doctoral degree—a Doctor of Education—was approved by SC’s regional accrediting agency, and now enrolls more than 60 students each semester. In addition, other graduate programs (both on ground and online) have been expanded to make advanced degrees accessible to persons whose geographic or economic conditions would have prevented this in earlier years.
President Merriman led two capital campaigns and several project-specific fund drives that raised more than $50 million for college projects. This led to a number of campus improvements—construction of Cole Hall and Richard L. Jantz Stadium; creation of Richardson Performing Arts Center and the TOMARI technical theatre center; significant renovations of Mossman Hall and Deets Library; and the rebuilding of the college’s landmark Mound and 77 Steps. 

In addition, Merriman worked to foster cooperative relationships between the college and the Winfield community, including partnerships for community use of the college swimming pool, joint college and school district funding and use of Jantz Stadium, recent expansion of tennis facilities, and the creation the SC Learning Center for young children in downtown Winfield.  

“All of us at Southwestern are very grateful for the support of the Winfield community and the warm welcome it provides our students,” Merriman said. 
The search for a new Southwestern College president is expected to begin after the Christmas break. 


Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:18:15 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Adoptable Dogs Relieve Stress for Southwestern College Students]]> K9-3Maggie Collett, graduate fellow for student life and Leadership at Southwestern, is hoping to relieve the stress and anxiety that goes along with finals for students at Southwestern College.  Collett has teamed up with the Cowley County Humane Society to bring dogs on campus.

“I really like dogs and supporting the humane society plus studies show that spending time with animals lowers blood pressure and stress so I thought finals week was a perfect time to make it a collaborative effort,” Collett says.

Suzanne Nally from the Cowley County Humane Society, brought four dogs to the Southwestern College student center on Tuesday, Dec. 9, and Wednesday, Dec. 10, for four hours each day.  Students, along with faculty and staff, could come to the student center and pet, play, and walk the dogs.  

K9-2“This is great for the dogs too,” Nally says. “They get to play and socialize and socialization is good for them.  They get to play with the students along with the other dogs.  The students have so much energy; it is good for the dogs to be around them.”

Nally says that all of the dogs that were brought to Southwestern are ready to be adopted.

Collett first came up with the idea when she was a student at Southwestern.  It was her senior Leadership project.

“When I first came up with the idea I talked to Teresa Harden at the humane society.  I was worried that she wouldn’t like the idea but it turned out that she was even more excited about it than I was which was really cool,” Collett says. 

This is the third time that Collett has been able to schedule the dogs to come onto the Southwestern College campus and she says the feedback has been 99% positive.

“I have done surveys and all the students think it’s great,” she says.

Senior Lauren Strain says that she really enjoys this event.
“I think this is such a cool event, it’s fun to see students who don’t know that this is going on and when they come by and see dogs in the window, they automatically come in,” Strain says.  “I wish I could adopt all of these dogs and put them in my dorm room but I think that is against the rules.”


Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:53:37 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Dawn Pleas-Bailey Receives Good Apple Award]]> Dawn Pleas Bailey 2014Dawn Pleas-Bailey, vice president for student life and special assistant to the president for community engagement at Southwestern College, received the Wichita Public Schools Good Apple award on Monday, Dec. 1, at a board of education ceremony.

The award was given to recognize the tireless work that Pleas-Bailey and Southwestern College have done with Jardine Middle School in Wichita.

Her nomination read: “Dawn is a special friend to Jardine. Her desire to give each student an opportunity to think college has helped to build a partnership that has included mentoring, special activities, visits on campus and a summer STEM camp. She brings lots of love and a passion for learning to every experience.”

Pleas-Bailey was humbled by the award but quick to point out that it was a team effort.

“This award is about the work of the college, not just me,” Pleas-Bailey says.   “It represents lots of people at the college that helped with this work and my boss (Southwestern College President Dick Merriman) who allows me to spread the joy of SC.”

Among several activities the college does with Jardine Middle School is “Builder Bound” camp.  This year, 35 Jardine students attended the camp.  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.  For six years, Southwestern has collaborated with USD 259 to provide a similar camp for students at Stuckey Middle School, Truesdell Middle School, and Jardine Middle School.  


Tue, 02 Dec 2014 10:00:39 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC Students to Present “Never Forget: the Courage to Remember”]]> On Tuesday, Dec. 2, six Southwestern College students will share stories they have collected from individuals whose families have been directly affected by the Holocaust either as victims or as war veterans, and from people who fought to liberate the victims who are living with the trauma of the Holocaust.  The presentation, “Never Forget: the Courage to Remember,” will begin at 4 p.m., in the Deets Library on the campus of Southwestern College. There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend.

The students presenting the information are Cierra Ross, Wichita; Dalton Carver, Ozawkie; Ryan Crowell, Conway Springs; Margaret Dunning, El Paso, Texas; Alex Elisaesser, Hugoton; and Brenna Truhe, Salina.  Teaching the students this semester has been Tracy Frederick, professor of communication, and Alice Bendinelli, assistant professor of English.

The students in the Holocaust Narratives class have spent this semester studying the historic events, the rhetoric of the perpetrators that created and led this genocide, and the narratives of the victims who survived the trauma in both historical documents and in their fictional representations. The students have also conducted interviews with both first- and second-generation survivors who are still affected by the Holocaust due to its trans-historical traumatic effects. Using what they have learned this semester, the students will reflect on the repercussions of this historical “wound” with members of the SC and Winfield community.

Frederick says that the students have developed sensitivity to the horrors and trauma that others have endured. 

“They (the students) have mentioned that the most shocking information has come from the personal testimonies that they have witnessed and read, but primarily they have been shocked by the fact that so many, including the United States,  knew what was happening and refused to help or aid the Jews who were trying to escape this genocide,” Frederick says.  “The students have been horrified by the unwillingness of other nations to offer a safe place for them to go, but instead were only concerned with maintaining their comforts. They have been moved by the information that expresses the horror and the lack of help from others. They also expressed that they were also startled to learn that it wasn’t just Jews who were condemned or exterminated, but also gypsies, homosexuals, assemblies of God, the handicapped, and several other groups.”

“This project would not have been possible if it had not been for the generous time offered by the interviewed volunteers who were willing to share their stories, as well as the efforts and support provided by members both within and outside the SC community, including Shoshana Wernick and Margot Kelman,” Bendinelli says. 

Margaret Dunning, one of the student presenters, says that the class has taught her plenty about the Holocaust. 

“This class has taught me that the Holocaust should never be forgotten because the victims of this horrific event in history should never be forgotten,” Dunning says.  “Their pain and plight was real and it still is real for so many people today. I hope on Dec. 2, I will be able to share someone’s story on their involvement in the Holocaust and that it will inspire others to take action against injustice and hatred in the world, because if people don’t take action it is no longer evil’s fault for thriving, it is the fault of those who stood back and watched it happen.”


Mon, 01 Dec 2014 10:39:20 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[ Southwestern College Enactus Team to Receive Four Grants]]> 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[Host Family Opportunity for International Students Available at Southwestern College]]> 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[Southwestern College Business Division Launches Enactus Team]]> 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[Marine Who Helped Build and Run Al Qaida Detention Facilites, Major General Mike Lehnert, to Speak at Southwestern]]> 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]]> 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[Southwestern Top-Tier in US News Colleges]]> 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]]> 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[‘Phantom of the Opera’ Plus Live Organ Music in RPAC Oct. 4]]> 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[SC Dean Peter Heckman to Speak at Opening Convocation]]> 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[New Faculty and Staff at SC]]> 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[SC Freshmen Moving in August 10]]> 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]]> 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[SC Sports Information Director Scott Nuss Earns Several Awards at Conference]]> 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[Rare Bloom of Corpse Flower to Occur at SC]]> 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[Be A Builder Day is July 21]]> 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[Builder Bound Camp Involves Students from Truesdell and Jardine Middle School]]> 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[SC Basketball Camp May 27-29]]> Southwestern College head men’s basketball coach Matt O’Brien has announced dates and times for the upcoming Southwestern College basketball camp.  Camp will be Tuesday through Thursday, May 27-29, from 1-4:30 p.m. and will be held at Winfield High School.  First through eighth grade boys and girls will be in one group while ninth through twelfth grader boys will be in the other group.  Cost of the camp is $85 which will include a camp T-shirt.

O’Brien will team up with Winfield High School girls basketball coach Jason VenJohn for the first- through eighth-grade camp.  The camp is designed for basketball players of all abilities. The program is intended to develop each athlete’s ability through drills and competition. O’Brien and VenJohn will focus on developing a player’s entire game to include skill development for every position. Instruction is focused on increasing the understanding of how to play the game so players can maximize their ability.

O’Brien will team up with other Southwestern College basketball coaches and players for the ninth- through twelfth-grade camp.  This camp is for players who want to be challenged. O’Brien and his staff will drill campers on the fundamentals as well as team play.

“Our entire staff will be committed to making your child’s experience nothing short of fantastic,” O’Brien says.

Both camps will feature a foul shooting competition, hot shot competition, team competition, and individual awards.  

Registration will begin 30 minutes prior to the start of camp on Tuesday and will continue until the start of camp.  For more information call O’Brien at (316) 650-0076 or email

Tue, 13 May 2014 14:57:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Masterbuilders Announced at Southwestern College]]> Masterbuilders for the 2013-2014 academic year at Southwestern College were named during Honors Convocation Saturday, May 3.  The honor of Masterbuilder is given to graduating seniors who best typify the spirit of Southwestern.  

The Student Government Association initiates the process for naming Masterbuilders by calling for each member to nominate students.  The list of students receiving votes is then submitted to a faculty vote.  Finally, the entire student body votes, choosing recipients from the names remaining on the list.  

Masterbuilders for 2013-2014 include: Colton McNinch, Arnold; Maddie Chapin, Andover; Maggie Collett, Wardsville, Mo.; Nolan Davenport, Seminole, Okla.; Luke Arneson, Valley Center; and Christopher Paddock, Rose Hill.

Wed, 07 May 2014 10:56:01 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Southwestern College Tennis Camp June 8-12]]> Southwestern College will host its annual summer tennis camp June 8-12. The camp is for players from middle school to high school and will include drills and match play for players of all skill levels. 

“Thanks to some very generous donations, all Winfield tennis players can attend the Southwestern Tennis Camp this summer for $50 (day camp) or $250 (overnight camp),” says Jason Speegle, Southwestern College head tennis coach.

Regular price of the camp is $350 for day-campers or $550 for overnight campers. The schedule for day campers is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with lunches included. Overnight campers will stay in a dorm on the Southwestern campus and have all meals and transportation included. Group and sibling discounts are available.

Speegle will direct the camp. Other camp instructors will include Randy Rowley, associate head coach at Army (NCAA Division I); D.J. Wilson, assistant coach at Washington College in Maryland (NCAA Division III); and Richard Southern, assistant coach at Southwestern.

To register for the Southwestern Tennis Camp, call or email Jessica Falk at (620) 229-6141 or

Fri, 02 May 2014 11:48:02 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[ Linda Weippert New Registrar at SC]]> Linda Weippert has been selected as the registrar at Southwestern College.

“Linda brings a wealth of administrative experience to the position,” says Andy Sheppard, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Southwestern.  “She’s a delightful person and a great addition to our community.”

Linda WeippertWeippert comes to Southwestern after serving as the registrar at ITT Technical Institute of Wichita.  She also has worked as a financial aid administrator at American University in Washington, D.C., as well as University of Maryland University College.

“I am thrilled to be at Southwestern,” Weippert says.  “Moving from financial aid to registrar has been a fairly easy transition.  Both jobs are very detail oriented and deal with confidential records.  My heart is in higher education.”

Weippert is a double major from the University of Kansas where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in psychology and women’s studies.  She earned a master of science degree in counselor education from Emporia State University.  

Weippert is a graduate of Wichita West High School and lives in Wichita with her husband, Michael.

Wed, 30 Apr 2014 14:14:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Outstanding Student Athletes Named at SC]]> Colton McNinch, Arnold, and Maddie Chapin, Andover, were named the 2014 OSAOutstanding Student-Athlete Award winners at Southwestern College.  The ceremony took place Wednesday, April 23, in Stewart Field House.  

The outstanding student-athlete award is given in memory of Tracy Young by Bill and Georgianna Young.  Tracy was in the class of 1982.  The award is presented to the top senior female and male student-athletes who demonstrate exceptional performance in athletics, academics, leadership, and college and community service.

McNinch is in the final season of his four-year career on the Southwestern College men's cross country team, where he spent this past season as a team captain. He has won three KCAC individual titles, and is a four-time All-KCAC selection on the cross country course. McNinch was also the recipient of the NAIA Champions of Character award at the 2013 NAIA Cross Country National Championships, and won the KCAC Cross Country Champion of Character Award the same season. Combined with his efforts as a member of the track and field team, he is a 17-time All-KCAC selection. He has qualified for nine NAIA national championships. McNinch has also been named a KCAC Scholar-Athlete three times, and has twice been selected as an NAIA Scholar-Athlete. When he's not running McNinch is the Student Foundation vice president, the Senior Class President, and is a Student Government Senator. He is also a general and organic chemistry tutor, and has raised funds for the Winfield Food Pantry, and St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

Chapin is a two-year captain and a four-year starter for the Southwestern College women's soccer program. She scored 11 goals and added five assists over her career, which was spent primarily as a defender. Chapin is a four-year All-KCAC selection, and was selected by her teammates as the "Most Valuable Player" in each of her four seasons with the team. She will graduate in May as the winningest player in Southwestern women's soccer program history having won 30 matches in her career. Chapin was named the KCAC Female Student-Athlete Champion of Character following her junior season, and was the KCAC winner of the Dr. LeRoy Walker Award. She is currently in the running to receive the national Dr. LeRoy Walker Award. She also competed in cross country for two seasons. Chapin has been accepted into the University of Missouri's School of Veterinary Medicine.

Nominees also included:

Jackie McCauley, Ulysses, women’s golf

Sara Blackburn, Garden City, softball 

Cori Hunt, Loveland, Colo., women’s cross country

Taylor Sisneros, Windsor, Colo., women’s track and field

Zefiryn Bryan, Delphos, Ohio, women’s basketball

Adrienne Vieyra, Hutchinson, volleyball

Tyler Harrell, Edmond, Okla., women’s tennis

Chris Paddock, Rose Hill, men’s track and field

Lorenzo Fouts, Arlington, Texas, football

Alex Tyler, Andover, men’s basketball

Max Manley, Coffeyville, men’s tennis

Joe Schwartz, Arkansas City, men’s soccer

Luke Arneson, Valley Center, men’s golf

This was the 16th annual presentation of the student-athlete award.

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:44:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC Commencement to be Held May 4]]> Southwestern College Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Sunday, May 4, in Richard L. Jantz Stadium.  In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in Stewart Field House. 

            Commencement times and groups include:

1 p.m.—Undergraduate students;

5 p.m.—Graduate hooding and Commencement ceremony (in Stewart Field House).

            In case of rain, the Commencement schedule and times will be:

1 p.m.—Undergraduate students earning B.S. degrees (except B.S. in natural sciences);

3 p.m.—Undergraduate students earning B.A., B.G.S., B. Mus., B.S. in natural sciences, and A.G.S.;

5 p.m.—Graduate hooding and Commencement ceremony.   

Commencement activities will be broadcast live on channel 20 in Winfield as well as through closed circuit television on the Southwestern campus.  The graduate hooding and Commencement ceremony will not be broadcast. Viewing locations include the Richardson Performing Arts Center; the Java Jinx in the Roy L. Smith Student Center, and the campus life lounge in the lower level of the Roy L. Smith Student Center.  A Webcast of the ceremony can be viewed by following the Commencement link at     

SC’s Honors Convocation will be Saturday, May 3, at 4 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  Although this is a traditional main campus program, professional studies learners who qualified for the Dean’s Honor Roll for fall 2013 will be recognized on the printed program. 

Baccalaureate services will be held Sunday, May 4, in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  The service will begin at 10 a.m. In Richardson, devices to assist those with hearing problems are available in the box office, and an area is reserved for handicapped patrons and their companions in the rear of the hall. 

Inductees to the Order of the Mound will be honored on Sunday, May 4, at 11:30 a.m., at the Cole Mound Plaza (in case of inclement weather, in Messenger Recital Hall in the Darbeth Fine Arts Building). The Order of the Mound recognizes students graduating in the top 10% of the class.

The Moundbuilder Market, located in the basement of the Roy L. Smith Student Center, is Southwestern College’s logo and apparel store.  It will be open Friday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, May 3, from 2 to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, May 4, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Parking for graduation day will be available for persons with handicap permits in the parking lot between Christy Administration Building and Roy L. Smith Student Center.  Security personnel will assist in finding parking and by providing rides on golf carts.  Parking will also be available at Winfield High School with shuttle service to the Commencement site. 

For more information call (620) 229-6223 or go to  Click on the graduation link for further details.

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:35:13 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Southwestern College Wins Award in 2014 RecycleMania Competition]]> The numbers are in and the results are official as the 2014 RecycleMania Tournament draws to a close.  Southwestern College competed against 460 other colleges and universities in the annual competition, which leverages campus spirit to increase recycling and waste reduction on campuses across the U.S. and Canada.  Participating schools represented more than 5.3 million students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada.

Southwestern College was crowned champions of the 2014 Electronics Recycling “E-cyclemania” competition, a special category of the nationwide RecycleMania competition.

Green Team Southwestern collaborated with the City of Winfield, Grace United Methodist Church, and Vintage Tech LLC to collect electronic items that were ready to be recycled.  Businesses and individuals brought items to the event. Vintage Tech LLC collected the items and processes them for recycling.

“It has been a goal of mine to be able to have some kind of electronic waste recycling service,” Jason Speegle, director of Green Team Southwestern, says.  “It is something that is sorely needed.  Nowhere in the area is there a place to take obsolete electronics and get them recycled.  It is pretty hazardous to throw them in the landfill.  We had a great partnership with the City of Winfield and Grace United Methodist Church to make the electronics recycling event happen. Members of Grace, about 25 college students and inmates from the Winfield Correctional Facility volunteered at the event.  We collected over 12,400 pounds of material.”

The next E-Waste collection event is scheduled for October 14, from 3 – 7 p.m. at Barn #4 of the Winfield Fairgrounds. Speegle says that they are only able to accept electronics during specific collection events.

Colleges and universities competing in the eight-week competition are ranked according to how much recycling, trash and food waste they collect. Between the early-February kickoff and the tournament’s final day on March 29, participating schools collectively recycled or composted 89.1 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials, preventing the release of 126,597 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to preventing annual emissions from 24, 823 cars. 

Southwestern students, faculty, and staff competed in several categories, including grand champion, corrugated cardboard, per capita classic, and waste minimization.  

Other Kansas schools that participated in RecycleMania were Kansas State University, University of Kansas, Johnson County Community College, and Southwestern College.

Complete results for all 11 categories can be found on, including a breakout that shows how schools performed by athletic conference, institution size, state and other groupings. The national winners of each category are recognized with an award made from recycled materials and earn bragging rights.  

“With the help of millions of students, RecycleMania competitors have recycled and composted over 277,800 tons of material since the competition first started in 2001,” said Stacy Wheeler president of RecycleMania, Inc. “RecycleMania is a powerful tool for colleges and universities to engage students to improve their community environments and the economy through recycling.” 

The RecycleMania Tournament is made possible with the sponsorship support of the American Forest & Paper Association, Alcoa Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company and SCA.

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:10:48 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Media Students Place at Kansas Collegiate Media Conference]]> Several Southwestern College students were honored at the Kansas Collegiate Media conference held in Wichita on April 14.  

Sara Blackburn, Garden City senior, was named Journalist of the Year in the yearbook division. She received a $250 cash award and a plaque for her honor. Blackburn has been on the yearbook staff all four years at Southwestern College.

Dalton Carver, Ozawkie junior, was named second runner-up Journalist of the Year in the four-year newspaper division. Carver received a $50 cash award and a plaque for his honor. Carver has been on the newspaper and online staff for three years. He is also on the yearbook staff this year.

Carver took first place in editorial writing and review writing and won two third place awards, one in audio visual special projects and one in the audio story category.

Other students earned individual awards as well. 

Tabitha Larkin, Leavenworth freshman, earned second place in yearbook sports photography. 

Jonathan Woon, class of 2013, earned third place in yearbook sports photography and an honorable mention in yearbook feature photography. 

Kyle Killgore, Wichita senior, earned an honorable mention in newspaper headline writing 

Daniel Van Sickle, Maize senior, earned an honorable mention in newspaper review writing. 

The team of Bailey VenJohn, Andale sophomore, Min Jiao, China senior, Maggie Dunning, El Paso, Texas sophomore, Van Sickle, and Woon took first place in the audio visual multimedia category. 

Woon and Carver took second in the audio visual multimedia category. 

Woon and Dunning placed second in audio visual reporting. 

Kayla Demel, Wichita freshman, Blackburn, and Carver secured first place in the yearbook theme development category. 

The Collegian staff also earned an honorable mention in newspaper headline writing.

The Moundbuilder yearbook staff earned a bronze medal in the overall competition. 

UpdateSC, placed second among all colleges in the online news division.

Hanna House, Kylie Stamper, Angel Vadillo, Blackburn, Carver, Dunning, Killgore, and VenJohn attended the conference April 13 and 14 at the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview in Wichita. 

There were part of a group of 170 students and advisers from 18 colleges and universities participating in the conference. In addition to earning awards, the students attended breakout sessions over a variety of media-related topics and heard a keynote speaker. 

Killgore participated on a panel, “No Pun Intern-ded Broadcast Radio,” moderated by Tommy Castor, class of 2008. Castor also led a session, “Stepping up to the Microphone.” Two other Southwestern College alumni, Monica Springer, class of 2008, and Nate Jones, class of 2009, participated in a panel, “What can you do with a Communication Degree?”

The students were accompanied by Stacy Sparks, associate professor of journalism. Sparks is secretary of Kansas Collegiate Media. She worked with other officers to coordinate the media competition and programming for the conference.

Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:54:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Faculty and Staff Honored at SC]]> Outstanding faculty and staff were recognized at Southwestern College by the college’s board of trustees.  Four awards were presented Monday, April 14, for outstanding service to the college, and 25 employees were honored for years of service.

2014 facutly staff award winnersPresented were the Fassnacht Outstanding Administrator/Staff (Campus) Award to Terry Quiett, web producer; the Fassnacht Outstanding Administrator/Staff Award (Professional Studies) to Julie Galliart, assistant director of faculty for Professional Studies; the Fassnacht Outstanding Faculty Award to Tammy McEwen, assistant professor of biology; and the United Methodist Exemplary Teacher Award to Jackie Glasgow, assistant professor of education and student teaching coordinator.

Tavinia Tucker, president of the Student Government Association (SGA) at Southwestern College, presented the SGA faculty and staff citations during the ceremony.  The staff citation was awarded to Pam Olney, social science and business faculty assistant.  The faculty citation went to Tammy McEwen.

“These are wonderfully talented people who exemplify the best of the Builder Spirit,” says Andy Sheppard, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Southwestern.  “The awards express the community’s appreciation for the subtle leadership and service that these colleagues provide to others on a daily basis.”

Awards for years of service were also presented for: 

•           40 years: Charlie Hunter

•           25 years: George Gangwere and Sara Weinert

•           20 years: Dawn Pleas-Bailey, Rodney Worsham, and Terry Quiett

•           15 years: Larry Fisher and Leslie Grant

•           10 years: Dennis Love, Amber Good, Brad Sexson, Melinda Current, Misty Terrill, and Jessica Falk

•           5 years: Brandon Hessing, Brendon Fox, Jason, Jeschke, Jimmy Jordan, Julie Galliart, Lonnie Boyd, Matt O’Brien, Mike Farrell, Stephannie DeLong, Tad Humphrey, and Janet Butler.

Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:55:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Stephen Woodburn Book Presentation to Kick Off Founders Day Weekend]]> Stephen Woodburn, associate professor of history at Southwestern College, will kick off a busy weekend at SC with a book presentation at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 11, in Deets Library on the campus of Southwestern College.  The public is invited to attend and there is no admission charge. A book signing will follow the presentation.

Woodburn is author of a translation of Nikolai Danilevskii’s “Russia and Europe: The Slavic World’s Political and Cultural Relations With the Germanic-Roman West” published by Slavica Publishers at Indiana University.  The book was first published in 1869; after 1895 it went out of print in Russia for almost a century, but since 1991 it has been printed in at least eight new editions and over 100,000 copies. The author argues that the Slavs are culturally distinct from Western Europe, which explains its popularity as Russians attempted to redefine their national identity after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has never before been translated into English. Kishimjan (Bektashova) Ketner ’09 proofread early drafts of each chapter. The book is available on Amazon, and will be available at the book signing.

“Recent events in Ukraine reveal that Russians and Ukrainians are still trying to figure out their relationship with the West,” Woodburn says.  “Danilevskii says that Slavic civilization is distinct from the Germanic-Roman civilization of Western Europe, and that resonates with Russians, plus nearly half of Ukrainians, in the present. For a book written so long ago, it’s quite relevant to the present.”

“If Russians are reading it,” he adds, “maybe more Americans should, too.”

Founders Day weekend will also include recognition of inductees entering the Leaders in Service Hall of Fame for the Social Sciences, the Fine Arts Hall of Fame, Business Hall of Fame, Scholars Hall of Fame, and Educators Halls of Fame.

Hall of Fame festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 11, with the unveiling of plaques of those entering the Leaders in Service Hall of Fame for the Social Sciences.  At 6 p.m. there will be a dinner in Deets Library followed by the induction ceremony at 6:45. Limited seating is available and RSVP is necessary.

Saturday’s schedule begins with the dedication of the TOMARI Theatrical Arts and Technologies Center at 9 a.m. Named in honor of lead donors Tom and Mari Wallrabenstein, the center is located just east of White Physical Education Building on Warren Street.

Following the dedication will be the unveiling of plaques honoring the inductees into the Fine Arts Hall of Fame at 10:30 a.m. in the Darbeth Fine Arts Center lobby.  The induction ceremony will be at 11 a.m. in Messenger Auditorium.

At 3:30 p.m., in Deets Library, there will be a reception for the Educators and Scholars Hall of Fame inductees. At 4 p.m., the induction ceremony for the Educators Hall of Fame will begin followed by the induction ceremony for the Scholars Hall of Fame at approximately 4:45 p.m.

At 7:30 p.m., Jonathan Larson’s rock musical, “Rent” will be presented inside the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  Tickets are $10 adults, $5 students.  For tickets, call 620-221-7720.


Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:22:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Delayed Opening March 3rd]]> Both the main campus and Professional Studies Wichita offices will delay opening on Monday, March 3rd until 10 a.m.

Stay warm and make good decisions.

Sara Weinert,
Vice President for Communications

Sun, 02 Mar 2014 22:25:33 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[ Southwestern College Names Tyler Shirley and Kaci Hutchinson 'Teachers of Promise']]> The Southwestern College education department has recognized Tyler Shirley, Mulvane, and Kaci Hutchinson, Oologah, Okla., as “Teachers of Promise.” 
2014 spring Teacher of promise
Shirley is the son of Don and Annette Shirley. He is student teaching at Arkansas City Middle School under Southwestern College graduate Caleb Hartman and will graduate this spring with a bachelor of science degree in physical education.

“I am honored to be the recipient of one of Southwestern College’s prestigious education awards,” Shirley says.  “I was able to receive this award because I have had great professors here at SC who have helped model the proper ways to instruct and lead students. I have learned a great deal from them and without their help I would have never been able to be a ‘Teacher of Promise.’ I am thrilled to be the male recipient of this award and I will do my best to live up to and meet the standards that this award has set.”

Hutchinson is the daughter of Sherry and Rod Hutchinson.  She is currently student teaching a second grade class at Lowell Elementary in Winfield.  She will graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. 

“I am blessed and excited about being awarded the ‘Teacher of Promise,’” Hutchinson says.  “I have many great teachers, leaders, friends, and family who have helped me get to this amazing point in my life. I am thankful for a great cooperating teacher that is providing me this opportunity. I will only continue to grow and learn as I continue my student teaching and begin my role as an educator.” 

According to Jackie Glasgow, coordinator of student teaching at Southwestern, each semester Kansas colleges and universities with teacher education programs are invited to name two individuals to be recognized as “Teachers of Promise.” The spring 2014 recipients were honored at a banquet in Topeka on Feb. 21. 

“In this selection process, the teacher education program faculty of SC typically considers individuals who are presently in their student teaching semester through both the campus and professional studies cohorts. With the continued growth of our program, the pool of potential candidates continues to grow, making the final selection challenging,” Glasgow says.

Glasgow continued that in naming “exemplary” candidates, attributes of effective professional educators are considered, similar to those utilized in identifying the Kansas State Teacher of the Year.  Those attributes include demonstrating a strong commitment to the teaching profession, planning and delivering effective lessons which attempt to meet the learning styles and needs of all students, building team relationships with colleagues, supervisors, and parents, and engagement in the greater school community.

Wed, 26 Feb 2014 14:59:01 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Susan Backofen Joins SC Professional Studies]]> Susan Backofen has been selected as Southwestern College’s new vice president for enrollment management in Professional Studies. Backofen will be responsible for recruitment and retention of adult learners and will supervise staff related to these efforts.

Backofen comes to Southwestern with over 15 years of experience in student recruitment and retention management. She has experience with many of the marketing techniques necessary in reaching adult learners, such as web strategies and search engine optimization and search engine marketing.
Susan Backofen
“Our service to adult learners through online instruction means we are recruiting learners nationally and internationally.  We are in a highly competitive environment that requires sophisticated use of technology combined with timely, high-touch service.  Susan Backofen stood out in our search in terms of experience and track record.  I’m pleased the college was able to hire her and think she’ll help us thrive,” says Southwestern College President Dick Merriman.

Prior to coming to Southwestern, Backofen had been the vice president of marketing and adult enrollment at the University of Charleston in Charleston, W.Va.  She has also worked at Mountain State University in Beckley, W. Va., Ottawa University in Ottawa, and Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Backofen earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Davenport University and a master of science degree in administration from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich.


Mon, 17 Feb 2014 15:03:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[ International Journalist Sue Sprenkle to Speak]]> International journalist Sue Sprenkle will talk about her experiences reporting around the world during a community presentation at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 in Darbeth Rehearsal Hall in the Darbeth Fine Arts building.  There is no admission charge and it is open to the public.
Sue Sprenkle
Sprenkle is a journalist, photographer, adventurer, and storyteller. She believes that everyone has a story to tell and has devoted her career to sharing her compassion and creative talents with readers and viewers.

Whether it is from the back of a camel trekking across the Sahara or a busy train station in Tokyo, this veteran reporter puts her signature human touch to the news. Instead of simply writing about the event and facts, Sprenkle delves in and meets people so that she can deliver the human side of the story. A small-town Kansas native, Sprenkle has covered international events ranging from tsunamis to genocides.  Despite her extensive travel to around 130 countries, her favorite spot in the world is being home in southwest Kansas with her family.

“I've been a student of writing for two decades and I still struggle to find the perfect way to tell individual stories. This is what makes writing so much fun — you never stop learning,” Sprenkle said.

Sprenkle has been a correspondent for the International Mission Board in Richmond, Va. since 1996. Since 2010, she has served as the Asia Bureau Chief. Based out of Thailand, she writes features and breaking news, oversees social media, and leads the team of a magazine website connecting four regions of the world. Sprenkle also coaches videographers, writers, photographers, graphic designers, programmers, and animators while providing editing support.

Sprenkle was a career writer for the IMB between 1999 and 2010. Based out of Kenya, she wrote and photographed features and breaking news from around the world, localized international news for Southern Baptist outlets, led multi-media teams on international trips, and created multi-media story packages for online publications.

She began her career with the IMB as journeyman writer in 1996. Based out of the Caribbean, her duties included writing features, news and Sunday school curriculum, photography, and graphic design.

During a nine-month sabbatical in 2005, she was editor of “Missions Mosaic” magazine. She worked with freelancers, planned story budget and magazine themes, managed a small staff of designers, copy editor and marketer, wrote a monthly column and several features, and filled in as staff photographer for all WMU publications.

Sprenkle was an education reporter at the Lawton Constitution, in Lawton, Okla., between 1994 and 1995.

She began working at the Dodge City Daily Globe while a student at St. Mary of the Plains College. Upon graduation, she began working full time as a reporter and photographer until 1994. She covered everything from school board meetings to sports to murder trials. She photographed news and sports. She also designed, planned, and wrote special tabloid sections.

Sprenkle has a bachelor of arts degree in mass communication from St. Mary of the Plains College and a master of arts degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.


Wed, 05 Feb 2014 14:08:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[E-Waste Recycling Event Rescheduled for February 11]]> The E-Waste recycling event has been postponed and rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 11. The Green Team of Southwestern College is collaborating with the City of Winfield and Grace United Methodist Church to host the event. It will take place from 3 to 7 p.m., 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.

“The recycling of electronic waste is such a need in our community,” says Jason Speegle, director of the Green Team at Southwestern College.  “Partnering with Vintage Tech Recyclers provides an excellent opportunity for the residents of Cowley County to dispose of their electronic devices in a safe and responsible manner. Vintage Tech Recyclers provides hard drive destruction and data erasure compliant with the National Institute of Science and Technology standards as well as material processing and recycling compliant with e-Stewards and R2 standards.”

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.

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


Tue, 04 Feb 2014 07:45:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Tickets Still Available for Upcoming John McCutcheon Concert at Southwestern College]]> McCutcheonTickets are still available for the upcoming John McCutcheon concert on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration Building on the campus of Southwestern College.

“Ticket sales are going very well,” says Jessica Falk, director of camps and conferences at Southwestern College.  “However, I encourage anyone who plans on attending to get their tickets in advance.  Since it is open seating and no reserved seats, those people who have already purchased their tickets will have a better selection of seats than those who will be standing in line waiting to purchase tickets.”

McCutcheon, a Walnut Valley Festival favorite, is a respected and loved folksinger. As an instrumentalist, he is a master of a dozen different traditional instruments, most notably the rare and beautiful hammer dulcimer. His songwriting has been hailed by critics and singers around the globe. His 30 recordings have garnered every imaginable honor including seven Grammy nominations. He has produced over 20 albums of other artists, from traditional fiddlers to contemporary singer-songwriters to educational and documentary works.

Tickets are $22.50 and can be purchased by calling Falk at (620) 229-6141.

Thu, 23 Jan 2014 11:40:56 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Dockery is New VP for Institutional Advancement]]> DeAnn DockeryDeAnn Dockery has been selected as Southwestern College’s vice president for institutional advancement.  She began her duties on Monday, Jan. 13.  She will supervise staff with responsibility for alumni, annual fund, major gifts, and other development functions.

Dockery comes to Southwestern as a Certified Fund Raising Professional (CFRE) with 22 years of experience in nonprofit fund raising and management and five years of experience in sales and marketing with a multinational corporation, and extensive volunteer experience.

“DeAnn’s extensive fund-raising experience, including in the private education sector, combined with her Kansas roots, add up to a great fit for Southwestern,” says Southwestern College president Dick Merriman.  “I know our alumni and friends will enjoy getting to know her and I look forward to her leadership for our fund-raising and friend-raising programs.”

Prior to coming to Southwestern, Dockery was the Community Hospice Foundation executive director and vice president of philanthropy at Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, a $90 million nonprofit hospice and palliative care organization serving 7000 patients and their families each year in the five counties of Northeast Florida. As chief development officer, she managed the Community Hospice Foundation board of directors and oversaw $14 million in endowed and non-endowed investment funds.

Dockery is a native of Overbrook, located 20 miles south of Topeka.  She earned two bachelor’s degrees from Kansas State University.  Her husband and two children will be joining her in Winfield.


Mon, 20 Jan 2014 14:45:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[ Tessmer Family Experiences China]]> UPDATE:  Because of the snowstorm the presentation by the Michael Tessmer family concerning their semester in China has been re-scheduled to Tuesday,
Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in Beech 104.

An academic sabbatical in China became a family experience for Southwestern College’s Michael and Joy Tessmer and their two daughters during the fall semester of 2014. The Tessmers will discuss the experience with the community on Tuesday, Feb. 4. The free program will begin at 7 p.m. in Beech 104 and all are invited to attend.

Tessmer ChinaThe semester came about as part of SC’s faculty exchange program with Huangshan University in Tunxi.  A chemistry professor at the Winfield college, Michael taught an upper-level chemistry course to approximately 40 students at the Chinese university. Joy visited English classes, where she talked with students about life in America and the students’ lives in China.
Aideen, 12, and Madeline, 9, continued their schoolwork online while they were in China.
“We often visited classes as a family since the Chinese students always wanted to hear about the lives of American kids,” Michael adds. 
In addition to their three months in Tunxi (which is a 20-hour train ride from the capital of China), the Tessmers spent a week in Beijing, then were in Hong Kong for a week before returning home in time for Christmas.
For more information on the Feb. 4 program or on their semester in China, contact Michael Tessmer at 620-229-6369.



Tue, 14 Jan 2014 14:43:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC Green Team to Partner with City of Winfield and GUMC for E-Waste Recycling Event]]> The Green Team of Southwestern College is 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 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, 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.

“The recycling of electronic waste is such a need in our community,” says Jason Speegle, director of the Green Team at Southwestern College.  “Partnering with Vintage Tech Recyclers provides an excellent opportunity for the residents of Cowley County to dispose of their electronic devices in a safe and responsible manner. Vintage Tech Recyclers provides hard drive destruction and data erasure compliant with the National Institute of Science and Technology standards as well as material processing and recycling compliant with e-Stewards and R2 standards.”

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.

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

Tue, 14 Jan 2014 11:49:15 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[John McCutcheon to Perform February 8 at Southwestern College]]> Walnut Valley Festival favorite John McCutcheon will perform in Winfield Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center (RPAC) on the campus of Southwestern College.  Tickets are $22.50 for general seating; there are no reserved seats for the show.  RPAC is located in the Christy Administration Building.

McCutcheon has emerged as one of our most respected and loved folksingers. As an instrumentalist, he is a master of a dozen different traditional instruments, most notably the rare and beautiful hammer dulcimer. His songwriting has been hailed by critics and singers around the globe. His 30 recordings have garnered every imaginable honor including seven Grammy nominations. He has produced over 20 albums of other artists, from traditional fiddlers to contemporary singer-songwriters to educational and documentary works. His books and instructional materials have introduced budding players to the joys of their own musicality. And his commitment to grassroots political organizations has put him on the front lines of many of the issues important to communities and workers.

The McCutcheon concert is the first in an expected series of RPAC events designed to showcase the renovated auditorium.

“Our own college performers have loved the space, and now we want to show it’s a regional treasure as well,” says Steve Wilke, vice president for planning and new programs at Southwestern College.

For tickets or for more information about the concert, contact Jessica Falk, director of camps and conferences at SC, at (620) 229-6141 or look online at

Fri, 10 Jan 2014 14:54:35 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC Professional Studies Online Degrees Ranked in U.S. News and World Report]]> “U.S. News and World Report’s” 2014 rankings of the best online programs have been announced and Southwestern College Professional Studies (SCPS) is listed in three of the six categories.

Nearly 1,000 distance education programs completed the survey.  SCPS earned a #84 ranking for best online graduate education program; #112 ranking for best online bachelor’s program; and a #164 ranking for best online graduate business program. 

“Southwestern College Professional Studies is honored to continue to receive recognition for our online programs from U.S. News,” says Pamela Monaco, vice president and chief academic officer at SCPS.  “Online college students want high quality programs that not only intellectually engage them but also provide the means for meaningful engagement with other learners and faculty. We listen to our learners and the marketplace in our dedication to providing students with the education that will give them career opportunities. Professional Studies practices what it preaches: keep improving.”

Southwestern College has been offering online bachelor's degree programs since 2001.  All of the classes are delivered via the internet so students can access course material at their own convenience.

Southwestern College Professional Studies offers online programs designed for adults and their unique needs. Online learning provides the flexibility to complete educational goals while meeting work and family obligations.

“Education programs at Southwestern College engage learners at all levels of learning,” says Cameron Carlson, dean of education at Southwestern College.  “Our program desires to educate all learners to serve PK-12 schools.  Into all programming, we integrate five components: content and pedagogy, instruction and assessment, collaboration, leadership, and reflection and growth.  We are pleased to be recognized for providing a quality program.  We continually strive to engage all learners using best practices of online and face-to-face learning.  Our highly qualified staff expects the most of all learners so that they can become leaders in the field of education.” 

To view the complete rankings, go to

For more information about Southwestern College Professional Studies, contact Deb Stockman at (888) 684-5335 ext. 214, e-mail, or visit the website at




Thu, 09 Jan 2014 14:03:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC Diversity Council to Host Several Events to Commemorate Martin Luther King Day]]> The Southwestern College diversity council is hosting several activities to recognize Martin Luther King.  Martin Luther King Day is Monday, Jan. 20.

• Monday, Jan. 20, there will be a community freedom march beginning at 6 p.m. in the Jim Farney Family Plaza located at the south end of Richard L. Jantz Stadium.  The community march will symbolize solidarity and reflect on the marches of the civil rights movement. The march will conclude at the Cole Mound Plaza with a commemorative rock dedication celebration. Participation in the march is free and open to the public and all SC students. 

• Wednesday, Jan. 22, a commemorative celebration will be held inside the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration Building.  The event will begin at 7 p.m., and will feature student performances, gospel selections by Wichita’s New Destiny Ensemble, and a keynote address by Dellrose United Methodist Church pastor Kevass Harding.

• Thursday, Jan. 23, Southwestern College will present the documentary “In Remembrance of Martin” at 6 p.m. in Mossman Hall room 101.  Comments from family, friends, and advisors fill this remarkable documentary honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Coretta Scott King joins the Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Andrew Young and a host of others, who recall Dr. King's career and trace his leadership in the civil rights movement. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Southwestern College diversity council is also hosting a Twitter contest from Jan. 20-23.  The contest is for Southwestern College students as well as any high school student from Cowley County. 

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is known to the world as a symbol of justice, equality and peace,” says Lai-L Clemons, director of campus life and chair of the diversity council.  “Yet, many don’t truly understand the power of his legacy and how it is relevant today.  In 140 characters explain how Martin Luther King and his legacy are relevant in 2014.”

Beginning at 8 a.m., answers should be tweeted using the #SCMLK hashtag.  The contest concludes at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23.  The diversity council will select three winners and they will be notified through the Jinx Tale, a daily e-mail sent out by the college, on Monday, Jan. 27.  Winners will receive a Visa gift card.

All the events are open to the public and there is no admission charge.

For more information, contact Clemons at (620) 229-6168.

Thu, 09 Jan 2014 14:01:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Ross to Spend Fall 2014 Semester at Exploration Place in Wichita]]> Pat Ross, professor of biology and chair of the natural science division at Southwestern College, will spend the fall 2014 semester as a scientist in residence at Exploration Place in Wichita.

“I am really looking forward to teaching science in a completely different educational environment,” Ross says.  “I will help in the development of educational programs for spring/summer 2015.   I really want to be an active part of their efforts.  I will help in the training of their education staff.  I would love to initiate some new programs and exhibits if time permits.  I also would like to get an internship program set up so our students here at Southwestern who are interested in science education could funnel into Exploration Place for a semester or for a summer.”

Since Ross is going to be gone for just one semester, the college will not hire a professor to take over.  Tamara McEwen, assistant professor of biology, will teach one of his classes.

The change from college professor to teaching children should be seamless for Ross.  For the past three summers, he has traveled throughout the state of Kansas performing science shows for kids. Last summer, the show visited Kansas towns including Winfield, Arkansas City, Cawker City, Downs, Hugoton, Liberal, Andover, Ulysses, and Meade.

“Although my training is in biology, I have learned a lot by doing these library programs about what works and what doesn’t work with kids,” Ross says.  “I am hoping to gain new insights from working with Exploration Place as well as sharing my experiences with them.”

“We welcome Pat’s level of knowledge and scholarship of science,” said Jan Luth, Exploration Place president. “He has a unique gift to take complex ideas and information and make them approachable. That’s what museums are all about.”

Southwestern College President Dick Merriman feels this is a win-win situation for everybody involved.

“Pat is a very innovative science educator and Exploration Place is an ideal venue for him to develop and experiment with new teaching techniques,” Merriman says.  “Our students, and patrons of Exploration Place, will certainly benefit. We believe this can be the start of a valuable partnership with Exploration Place and we’re very grateful to the museum’s president, Jan Luth, for helping it happen.”

Sabbaticals are available for professors at Southwestern for the purpose of professional enrichment.  They are allowed to take one every seven years if they choose to.

“One of the purposes of the sabbatical is to recharge your batteries,” Ross says.  “It is a chance to get away from the day-to-day activities of teaching courses that I have taught several times in a row.  Hopefully I will learn some new teaching techniques that are transferrable to my work at the college.  If you’re doing something with third graders, some may wonder why is that in anyway going to help me teach college course work to sophomores in college; I think it does.  They are more alike than one would think.  Our students always appreciate the kind of interactive and hands-on activities that are the hallmark of good science education.”

Exploration Place offers visitors of all ages interactive environments, hands-on experiences, Kansas’ largest dome theater – the Boeing Dome Theater and Planetarium – imaginative spaces, and outdoor recreation, all located on a 20-acre site along the scenic Arkansas River in downtown Wichita, Kan.

Tue, 10 Dec 2013 15:04:52 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[NAIA Rules SC Basketball Player will Retain Winnings in Scholarship Form]]> The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced that Cameron Rodriguez of Southwestern College (Kan.) will be allowed to retain his winnings from a half-court shot during a National Basketball Association (NBA) halftime promotion. The NAIA’s National Eligibility Committee (NEC), which consists of representatives from various schools and conferences, was the decision making body for Southwestern College’s request for an exceptional ruling to a standard rule.
Cameron Rodriguez
The decision to use the money as a scholarship was a joint recommendation by Rodriguez and Southwestern College athletic department, which was supported by the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

“We’re pleased with the decision from the membership and specifically the NEC that allows Cameron to keep his winnings to use towards his education,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “We feel the NAIA is the student-centered association in collegiate athletics, and this decision by our membership reflects that emphasis.”

Rodriguez, a men’s basketball player at Southwestern College, made the shot Nov. 18 during halftime of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s game against the Denver Nuggets after being selected at random. At the time of the basket, he was the fourth person since February to hit the franchises’ $20,000 half-court shot.  

The NAIA Official & Policy Handbook, the primary governance document of the association, outlines the decision making process for this type of exception in a three-step process (Article V, Section L). First, the ruling must be submitted to the conference eligibility chairperson by the FAR and the institution’s athletic director requesting the ruling. The conference eligibility chairperson – in this specific case an individual from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference – then provides a recommendation to the NAIA. Once that recommendation is received, the NEC reviews the documentation and provides a ruling that only applies to the specific case and does not establish precedent.

“We are proud of our student-athlete for doing the right thing in contacting his coach before he did anything,” Dick Merriman, Southwestern College President said. “We are also proud of the NAIA for doing the right thing in their ruling. I am pleased with this outcome.”

Rodriguez will have to maintain his amateur status throughout the remainder of his eligibility. The NAIA defines amateurism as a student who engages in athletic contests for educational values, personal pleasure, satisfaction, and for the love of the sport, not for monetary or material gain. 

“We are very pleased with the decision the NAIA has made, and we appreciate their willingness take this case into consideration,” Southwestern College Director of Athletics Dave Denly said. “We are excited for Cameron to be able to maintain his eligibility while accepting his winnings in the form of a scholarship, and we thank all parties involved for their patience and support during this process.”

Since 1937, the NAIA has administered sports programs and championships in proper balance with the overall educational experience for its 250-plus member colleges and universities. In 2000, the NAIA reaffirmed its purpose to enhance the character-building aspects of sport. Through the Champions of Character program, the NAIA seeks to create an environment in which every student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. For more information, visit

Tue, 10 Dec 2013 11:45:37 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC Athletic Hall of Fame to Induct Six New Members]]> The Southwestern College Athletic Hall of Fame will induct six new members Saturday, Dec. 7, in the Roy L. Smith Student Center.  There will be a social time at 1:30 p.m., followed by the induction at 2 p.m.  The inductees will also be introduced at the conclusion of the of the Southwestern-Friends women’s basketball game at 6:45 p.m., in Stewart Field House.  The new members are Bill Shaw, Nicole (Ledbetter) Brannon, Janaye (White) Shaffer, Andrea (Mohr) Stafford, Niki (Nicholas) Schadegg, and Terry Barnett.
Athletic HOF 2013
Bill Shaw is a 1976 graduate of Southwestern.  He played basketball while at Southwestern but is best known for his many years as a successful high school coach.  While at Wellington High School, Shaw was named class 4A baseball coach of the year in 1991, 1995, and 1996.  He also coached baseball at Derby High School where he led the Panthers to the class 6A state championship in 2001 and was named National High School Baseball Coach of the Year.  He also was the football defensive coordinator for Wellington when they won the state championship in 1982 and at Derby when they won a state championship in 1994.

Nicole (Ledbetter) Brannon participated in women’s track and graduated in 2000 from Southwestern College.  She was a two-time NAIA All-American in ’97 and ’98 and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Most Valuable Performer in ’97, ’98, and ’99.  Brannon currently holds the Southwestern College record in the 100- and 200-meter dash and was a member of two record-setting relay teams.  She also holds the KCAC meet record in the 200-meter dash.  She was a 12-time KCAC champion in only three seasons of competition.

Janaye (White) Shaffer, graduated in 1997.  While at Southwestern, Shaffer participated in volleyball and track and field.  She was an NAIA indoor All-American in 1995.  She placed 7th in the 4 x 100 meter relay at the 1997 national outdoor meet.  She was a 10-time KCAC champion in sprints and relays and is a former school record holder in the 200-meter and 400-meter dash.

Andrea (Mohr) Stafford, graduated from Southwestern in 2004.  Stafford excelled at women’s track and field and basketball while at SC.  After finishing second in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the 2003 NAIA national championships, she became the NAIA national champion and former record holder in the same event in 2004.  She was a three-time NAIA track All-American.  For the Southwestern College women’s basketball team, she was a three-time All-KCAC selection and is the all-time career leader in three-point field goals made (265).

Niki (Nicholas) Schadegg, graduated from Southwestern in 2004.  Schadegg is the all-time leading scorer in Southwestern College women’s basketball history (1,972 points).  She was a four-time All-KCAC First-Team selection, two-time KCAC Player of the Year selection (2001 and 2004), and a two-time NAIA All-American.

Terry Barnett. A long-time professor of chemistry at SC, Barnett has been the public address voice of Southwestern College football, volleyball, and basketball for 26 years. 

At halftime of the Southwestern-Friends men’s basketball game there will be a special introduction of the 2003-04 women’s basketball team, which was the first squad to qualify for the NAIA national tournament and the only team to win its first round game and advance to the round of 16.  The Lady Builder Athletic Hall of Fame inductees will also be recognized.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony and there is no admission charge.  For more information about the SC Athletic Hall of Fame or the induction ceremony, call (620) 229-6218.

Tue, 03 Dec 2013 10:02:58 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Open House to Showcase Dole Center, Conference Room Dedication to Honor Ronnie Jenkins]]> On Wednesday, Dec. 4, Southwestern College will be holding an open house to showcase the remodeled Jim and Hazel Dole Center that is the new home of the college’s office of institutional advancement. The open house will be from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., and will be highlighted by the dedication, at 4 p.m., of the Ronnie Jenkins Conference Room. 

Ronnie JenkinsJenkins retired from the advancement office last summer, following 20 years of service to the college as an advancement officer representing Southwestern to alumni and friends and seeking financial gifts for the college.  The renovation of the Dole Center was underwritten, in part, by Southwestern alumnus Charles Kopke, who made a generous gift to the college to honor Jenkins’ service on the occasion of his retirement.

Community members, alumni, and friends of the college are invited to attend the come and go reception and enjoy food and refreshments.

The Jim and Hazel Dole Center is located at 201 N. College Street.  Parking is available across the street from the Dole Center in the parking lot behind the Beech Science Center.

Tue, 26 Nov 2013 15:33:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Former Tennis Champions are Grand Marshalls for Homecoming Parade]]> The Southwestern College Homecoming Parade will be Saturday, Oct. 12, beginning at 9:30 a.m., on Winfield’s Main Street. The line-up will include many entries from the Southwestern College community as well as the Winfield Police Department, the Winfield Fire Department, and the Wichita Dynamic Steppers. The parade route will begin at 15th and Main and travel north to 10th street.

This year’s parade marshalls are Jim Farney and Neil Frank, 1953 graduates and doubles teammates who captured the CIC doubles tennis championship and the state championship, and placed fourth in the NAIA National Tennis Championship in 1953.

• Jim Farney is from Vero Beach, Fla., and is a former trustee of the college.  Both he and his wife, Bette, are alumni of SC. Jim is retired from his role as vice president of Travelers Corporation and spends a lot of time playing tennis, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, and helping to repair homes of some of the people served by Meals on Wheels.
• Neil Frank is from Fulshear, Texas (near Houston), and is the retired director of the National Hurricane Center in Coral Gables, Fla.  He is considered one of the nation’s foremost authority on hurricanes, and is former chief meteorologist for KHOU-TV in Houston. 

Numerous activities are scheduled for alumni as well as for friends of the college.  For more information, go to

Thu, 10 Oct 2013 11:31:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Kelly Bender to Preach at Grace United Methodist Church on Sunday]]> Rev. Kelly Bender, 1968 graduate of Southwestern College, will preach on Sunday, Oct. 13, at the 10:50 a.m., morning service at Grace United Methodist Church at 320 College Street in Winfield.  The sermon title is “A Dogged Love.” The service one of the final events scheduled for 2013 Homecoming at Southwestern.

Bender, a native of Ulysses, played on the 1964 and 1967 conference champion football teams while at Southwestern.  Bender was voted as a Masterbuilder his senior year.  The honor of Masterbuilder is given to graduating seniors who best typify the spirit of Southwestern.

“Southwestern College helped shape my core values for my life and for my ministry,” Bender says.  “It also fostered a passion for justice.”

That passion led Bender along with other students and faculty to head to Greenville, Miss., in 1965.  They worked on behalf of Delta ministry to register black voters following the passing of the 1965 voting rights act.

“I also want to talk about the importance of a liberal arts education that creates critical thinkers.  It is very important in this day,” Bender says. 

Bender may be best known for his nine years as pastor at First United Methodist Church in Wichita where he preached live to thousands of television viewers across the state of Kansas every Sunday morning.

Thu, 10 Oct 2013 11:30:09 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Homecoming 2013 Events at SC]]> Southwestern College will celebrate Homecoming Thursday, Oct. 10, thru Sunday, Oct. 13.  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--

“With the start of a new school year comes fall and the excitement of Homecoming,” Lowe says.  “This year’s weekend gathering includes reunions for classes ending in 3’s and 8’s, and tennis.  We hope Moundbuilders and the local community will take part in all the fun activities.”

Thursday’s schedule includes:
• Art exhibits. President’s Gallery in Darbeth Fine Arts Center will feature artwork by Marilyn McNeish ’54 and Tom Toperzer ’63. Also, watercolors by Ron Andrea ’68 will be exhibited in Pounds Lounge in the Roy L. Smith Student Center.  The displays may be viewed from Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon.
• 7:30 p.m. “The Good Woman of Setzuan” theatre production, Messenger Recital Hall, Darbeth Fine Arts Center. For tickets, call (620) 221-7720.

Friday’s schedule includes:
• 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.— Moundbuilder Market open
• 10 a.m.— Jinx Invitational Golf Tourney, Quail Ridge Golf Course.  Contact Brad Sexson at (620) 229-6161 to register.
• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — SC Career Fair, Java Jinx snack bar
• 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. — Registration for class reunions in Pounds Lounge.
• 3 and 4 p.m. — Campus walking tours, meet in Pounds Lounge.
• 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.—Builder tennis reunion reception in Deets Library.
• 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. — All class Homecoming dinner and auction, Roy L. Smith dining hall.
• 8 p.m. — “The Good Woman of Setzuan” theatre production, Messenger Recital Hall, Darbeth Fine Arts Center.
• 9:30 p.m.  — Bonfire and pep rally, north end of the grass soccer field.

Saturday’s schedule includes:
• 8 to 10 a.m. — Alumni registration, Pounds Lounge.
• 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 12 p.m. — Rock painting at the Mound with George Lowe ’74 and Teresa Bevis-Yeoman ’80.
• 10:30 a.m.—Computer science, English, and communications reunion brunch, lower level of the Christy Administration building. Contact Jane Handlin, (620) 229-6293 to RSVP.
• 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Alumni registration, Stewart Field House foyer
• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Homecoming Picnic, Stewart Field House, $5.50 per person, $2.75 for children under 6.
• 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 1963, 1968, 1973; 12:15 p.m. – classes of 1978, 1983, 1988; 12:30 p.m. – classes of 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008
• 1:15 p.m. – Class Reunion Gatherings, Jantz Stadium
• 1:30 p.m. — Homecoming Football game vs. Bethany College
• 2:30 to 5 p.m. – Fine Arts come and go reunion, Darbeth Lobby
• 4 to 5 p.m. — Builder Nation Party and drawing for $100 gift card for young alumni from class years 2009-2013.
• 5 to 8 p.m. — Child care services, Grace UMC. Reservations required and walk-ins accepted if space allows.
• 5 p.m. — Class of 1963 reunion photo, Winfield County Club, 2916 County Club Rd.
• 5:30 p.m. — Class of 1963 reunion dinner, Winfield County Club. 50-year gala celebration.
• 5:30 to 7 p.m. — Class reunion gatherings. (For full details on class reunion activities, check the Homecoming website for specific class—
• 8 p.m. — Kaleidoscope, performing arts production, Richardson Performing Arts Center.

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, Kelly Bender ’68 will be the 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.
• 2 p.m. Theatre production “The Good Woman of Setzuan,” Messenger Recital Hall, Darbeth Fine Arts Center. 

Fri, 27 Sep 2013 09:16:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Stacy Sparks to Lead First Ever Photo Walk in Winfield]]> Stacy Sparks, Southwestern College associate professor of journalism, will be leading the first ever Worldwide Photo Walk in the Walnut Valley on Saturday, Oct. 5, 9-11 a.m., in Winfield. 

“We will gather at 8:30 a.m., at College Hill Coffee to get acquainted and finalize plans for a morning of photography,” Sparks says.

College Hill Coffee is located at 403 Soward Street.

This is the sixth annual Worldwide Photo Walk and, according to Scott Kelby, president of Kelby Training and #1 bestselling photography and technology book author, it is the world’s largest global social photography event in the history of photography itself. It takes place on the same day around the world where photographers of all walks of life and skill levels gather together, usually in downtown areas to socialize, learn new tips from each other, and explore their corner of the world through photography.

“In 2012, we had 1,300 walks,” says Kelby, editor-in-chief of Photoshop User magazine, and president of Kelby Media Group. “Last year, we had over 1,300 walks with more than 32,000 photographers joining in. Over 10 million photos were taken in that one single day that wouldn’t have been taken otherwise. And, I can’t wait for this year’s walk. This is easily my favorite day of shooting throughout the entire year.”

Anyone can participate in the event. All you need is a camera and a passion for photography. It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you use. According to Kelby, people have used simple point-and-shoot and even disposable cameras in the past, had a blast, and left with a new appreciation for photography and some great local connections.

Kelby credits the success and popularity of the event to the social aspect of photography.

“Photography is usually viewed as a solitary activity, but the truth of the matter is that people love to shoot together, compare notes, and just have fun with photography,” says Kelby. “The Worldwide Photo Walk is a social phenomenon. I’ve had group leaders contact me to say that they’ve turned their walk into a monthly event. Other people tell me that they’ve made friends at the very first Photo Walk that they’ve kept to this day. It’s the joy of shooting with friends, new and old, that makes this event so special.”

In addition to enjoying a day of photography with other local photographers, participants may also be eligible to win prizes from the Worldwide Photo Walk’s sponsors if their photo is chosen as the best photo of the day by their walk leader. Each winning walk photo is then entered into a global competition where Kelby picks the single “best photo” of the event along with 10 runners-up. Full details are available at:

There is no charge to participate.  Sparks recommends that walkers wear a comfortable pair of shoes.  For more information, contact Sparks at (620) 229-6320.

Fri, 20 Sep 2013 14:51:00 -0500 (Southwestern College)