General RSS Feed en-us General RSS Feed <![CDATA[Cherokee Maidens & Sycamore Swing to Perform at Southwestern College]]> The Cherokee Maidens & Sycamore Swing will perform on Saturday, April 18, at 8 p.m. in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration Building on the campus of Southwestern College.  The show is part of the RPAC Presents Series that was created to showcase the renovated Richardson Performing Arts Center. 

The Cherokee Maidens are a trio of songwriters made up of Bartlett Arboretum steward Robin Macy; Jennifer Pettersen, a singer whom Macy taught over a decade ago when she was a teacher at Wichita Collegiate School; and Monica Taylor, a member of the Cherokee Nation who lives in Perkins, Okla., and was featured on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” radio show.  The Maidens are accompanied by Sycamore Swing, a troupe of veteran jazz musicians led by Macy’s husband, Kentucky White.  Other members include Jimmy Campbell, dobro; Jordan Bollig, bass; and Kirk Russell, drums. Macy has described their music as a confluence of three singer-songwriters and a fabulous hillbilly jazz combo. Much of their material is vintage and western.

The event will occur during Founders Weekend at Southwestern College.  

 “The Cherokee Maidens are a regional favorite and it’s an honor to have them perform at SC,” says Jessica Falk, director of camps and conferences at Southwestern College.  “This is also a terrific opportunity to showcase the renovated Richardson Performing Arts Center to our alumni as well as our friends in the community during our Founders Day Weekend celebration.”

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for Southwestern College alumni, and $10 for students.  Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling Jessica Falk at (620) 229-6141.


Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:52:10 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Founders Day Weekend April 16-19 at Southwestern College ]]> Founders Day weekend at Southwestern College will be Thursday through Sunday, April 16-19.  Five Southwestern College halls of fame will open their doors to new inductees. The celebration will include recognition of inductees entering the Leaders in Service Hall of Fame for the Social Sciences, as well as the Fine Arts, Business, Scholars, and Educators Halls of Fame.

The festivities will begin at 3 p.m., on Thursday, April 16, with readings and a book signing by family members of Helen and Orville Strohl in Deets Library.  They will read from “Fifty Years to Shape a Dream, 1933-1983,” by Helen and Orville Strohl and copies will available to purchase for $24.99.

On Friday, April 17, at 2 p.m., Jackson Lashier, associate professor of religion, will lead a discussion on his book, “Irenaeus on the Trinity,” in Deets Library.  Lashier will analyze Irenaeus' Trinitarian conception of God and how it contributes to the development of Tinitarian thought in early Christianity.  A book signing will follow the presentation.

Hall of Fame festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday with the unveiling of plaques of those entering the Leaders in Service Hall of Fame for the Social Sciences and a dedication of the hall of fame to outgoing Southwestern president, Dick Merriman, in recognition of his outstanding 17-year tenure.  At 6 p.m. there will be a dinner in Deets Library followed by the induction ceremony at 6:45. The cost is $20, limited seating is available, and RSVP is necessary.

From 8-9 p.m. in Darbeth Fine Arts Center, there will be a reception for Madeline (Magnusson) Norland ’83.  Items from her personal art collection will be on display in the President’s Gallery throughout the weekend.

Saturday’s schedule begins at 8:30 a.m. with an open house at the President’s Gallery, for persons who were not able to attend the evening reception to view paintings from the Norland collection.  At 9 a.m. the Fine Arts Hall of Fame brunch will be held on Richardson stage (limited seating, RSVP necessary), followed immediately with the induction ceremony honoring the inductees into the Fine Arts Hall of Fame in Richardson Performing Arts Center.  

A luncheon will be held for the Business Hall of Fame in Deets Library at 12 p.m., with the induction ceremony to begin at approximately 12:45 p.m.  The cost is $15, seating is limited, and RSVP is needed.

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.  There is no charge but to insure adequate seating, RSVP is appreciated. 

Another exciting component of Founders Weekend is the President’s dinner (by invitation only) at 6 p.m. on Saturday night.  New inductees to the Heritage Society, persons who have made provisions for Southwestern College in their estate plans, will be recognized.  Heritage Society inductees for 2015 are Dr. Martha Kyle ’67, Dr. David ’60 and Grace Nichols ’80, and the Rev. Dr. Robert and Delores Eads.

At 8 p.m., the Cherokee Maidens & Sycamore Swing will perform in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  Tickets are $20 per person, $15 for alumni, and $10 for students.  For tickets, call (620) 221-7720.

“Just like the welcome excitement of seeing the first flowers of springtime, I look forward to Founders Weekend every year at Southwestern College,” says Susan Lowe, director of alumni programs at SC.  “In addition to all the activities going on, we celebrate outstanding Moundbuilders at five halls of fame during this weekend.  Their successes validate the education provided here.”

Individuals entering the various halls of fame include:
•    Leaders in Service: F. David Froman ’68, Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez ’94, and John William “Bill” Todd ’51.
•    Fine Arts: Michael Brummett’79, Terry McGonigle ’73, and Madeline (Magnusson) Norland ’83.
•    Business: Shawn Fanshier ’83, Gregg Howell ’73, and Leo “Pete” Whalen ’51. Business Builder Award: Winfield Economic Development (board members: Rodger Steffen, Jill Long, Warren Porter, Craig Duncan, and Stan Ahlerich).
•    Educators: Gyla (Brock) Conklin ’58, Cheryl (Bernard) Schasteen ’71, and Kenneth Valentine ’70. 
•    Scholars: Dale Sims ’80, and Philip Schmidt. 

Southwestern College hall of fame displays are located in Mossman Hall, Darbeth Fine Arts Center, Beech Science Center, Deets Library, and Stewart Field House.  Electronic viewing of the halls may be found at  The Heritage Society display is located in the Christy Administration Building.
For more information about any of the events for Founders Day, contact Lowe at (620) 229-6334.

Mon, 09 Mar 2015 15:52:59 -0500 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[SC to Host League of Legends Tournament March 27]]> Southwestern College eSports will host a League of Legends 5 versus 5 tournament on Friday, March 27, at 7:15 p.m., in the lower level of the Christy Administration Building. There is no entry fee required however players must supply their own computer with wifi capability.  Free pizza and drinks will be provided. 
Pre-registration is encouraged.  To register, go to or  Players may also register in person between 6 and 7 p.m., on March 27.  According to Zenas Lopez, a Southwestern College student and the co-founder and president of the club, they will be using the Riot Games Inc. tournament rules.  Riot Games Inc. will also provide prizes for the top four teams. 

Southwestern College director of admission Marla Sexson recently announced that beginning in the fall of 2015, a student may receive a $5,000 grant each year, equaling $20,000 for four years, to participate in eSports at SC. 

League of Legends has become the most popular of the eSports.  According to developer Riot Games Inc., 27 million people play the game each day.  Southwestern becomes just the third school in the United States to offer scholarships for eSports.

According to the game’s website, League of Legends is a “fast-paced, competitive online game that blends the speed and intensity of a real-time strategy game with role playing game elements.”

For more information about the March 27 tournament, contact Lopez at  

Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:16:39 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Sebastian Junger to Deliver Docking Lecture at Southwestern College Thursday]]> Award winning journalist, director, and best-selling author Sebastian Junger will present the Docking Lecture on Thursday, March 5, at 11 a.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration building on the campus of Southwestern College.  Junger became a fixture in the international media when, as a first-time author, he commanded the “New York Times” best-seller list for more than three years with “The Perfect Storm,” which became a major motion picture starring George Clooney.
Sebastian Junger
As part of its Pillars Project, the college focuses each year on one of the virtues celebrated in its alma mater and represented by the Christy pillars of Knowledge, Hope, Courage, and Freedom. The 2014-15 focus on courage inspired the choice of Sebastian Junger to give this year’s Docking Lecture.

The public is invited to attend and there is no admission charge.

Junger is a graduate of Concord Academy in Massachusetts.   He received his bachelor of arts degree in cultural anthropology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.  

Some of Junger’s works include:
•    “Fire” is a collection of articles dealing with dangerous regions of the world,
•    “Restrepo” was his first film.  The documentary was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and received the 2010 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. 
•    “War.” “Time” magazine named it a top 10 non-fiction book in 2010.
•     “Which Way is the Front Line From Here” is about the life and times of photographer Tim Hetherington and focusing on his documenting the humanity of people caught up in war. 

The Docking Lecture is underwritten by Union State Bank and by William and Thomas Docking.  The Docking family has played a prominent role in Kansas government and politics for over half a century.  In 1956 George Docking was elected governor of Kansas.  He served two terms, leaving office in 1961.  His son, Robert Docking, was elected governor in 1966 and served four two-year terms, more than any other Kansas governor, leaving office in 1975.  Robert Docking’s sons have continued the family’s commitment to public service.  William Docking was appointed to the Kansas Higher Education Board of Regents in 1995, and served as its chair.  Thomas Docking was lieutenant governor of Kansas from 1983 to 1987, during the governorship of John Carlin.


Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:58:35 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Southwestern College Enactus Team Offering Help for Job Fair Attendees]]> The Southwestern College Enactus team is offering assistance for anyone at Southwestern College or in the community who would like assistance putting together a resume, cover letter, and interview skills in preparation for the upcoming job fairs in Winfield and Arkansas City. The job fairs are sponsored by Cowley First.

Enactus team members will work with individuals who plan to attend the job fairs to help enhance their chances of gaining employment.  Each individual who comes for help will receive a leather portfolio.

The job fairs will be Tuesday, March 3, in the Winfield High School auxiliary gym from 9 a.m. to noon, and Wednesday, March 4, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., in the Wright Room on the Cowley College campus in Arkansas City.

For more information or to set up an appointment with an Enactus team member, contact Southwestern College internship coordinator Jim McEwen at (620) 229-6346.


Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:20:12 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Award Winning War Documentary 'Restrepo' to be Shown at Southwestern College]]> Southwestern College will present a free screening of Sebastian Junger’s critically acclaimed documentary “Restrepo” on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  The public is invited to attend.

“Restrepo” is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, Restrepo, named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. It was considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military. This is an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley and there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. According to the “Restrepo” website, the only goal of the documentary was to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 90-minute deployment.

Co-directed with photojournalist Tim Hetherington, “Restrepo” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and received the 2010 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. 

“‘Restrepo’ is an unforgettable and terrifying story—an adrenaline drip of blazing action that assaults your senses and locks your eyes to the screen,” says Steve O’Brien, CBS Radio.  “This is war as only the bravest experience it; enormously affecting.”

Junger will present the Docking Lecture on Thursday, March 5, at 11 a.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration building on the campus of Southwestern College. 

As part of its Pillars Project, the college focuses each year on one of the virtues celebrated in its alma mater and represented by the Christy pillars of Knowledge, Hope, Courage, and Freedom. The 2014-15 focus on courage inspired the choice of Sebastian Junger to give this year’s Docking Lecture.


Thu, 12 Feb 2015 10:44:49 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Kansas Private College Week is February 9-16]]> Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has issued a proclamation identifying Feb. 9-16 as Kansas Private College week in the state of Kansas. 
The governor’s proclamation brings attention to Kansas higher education, especially the role played by Southwestern College and the 17 other independent colleges and universities that form the Kansas Independent College Association.

Kansas private colleges award over $120 million in institutional grants and scholarships to students annually; 20% of the state’s bachelor’s degrees and 23% of the state’s master’s degrees are awarded to students attending private colleges.

“Kansas private colleges are efficient and effective,” says Southwestern president Dick Merriman.  “We provide significant educational opportunities for Kansas students without direct support from Kansas taxpayers and our focus on service learning and leadership means our graduates make important contributions to Kansas communities.”

“There are 18 private colleges in Kansas, enrolling 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year; and there are over 275,000 living alums—half of whom live and work in Kansas; among these alums are some of the state’s most important civic, business, and cultural leaders,” Brownback says.

Along with Southwestern College, the other 17 independent colleges and universities are Baker, Benedictine, Bethany, Bethel, Central Christian, Donnelly, Friends, Hesston, Kansas Wesleyan, McPherson, Manhattan Christian, MidAmerica Nazarene, Newman, Ottawa, Saint Mary, Sterling, and Tabor.


Fri, 06 Feb 2015 15:40:38 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Sebastian Junger to Deliver Docking Lecture at Southwestern College; ‘Restrepo’ to be Presented February 17]]> Award winning journalist, director, and best-selling author Sebastian Junger will present the Docking Lecture on Thursday, March 5, at 11 a.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center in the Christy Administration building on the campus of Southwestern College.  Junger became a fixture in the international media when, as a first-time author, he commanded the “New York Times” best-seller list for more than three years with “The Perfect Storm,” which became a major motion picture starring George Clooney.
Sebastian Junger
As part of its Pillars Project, the college focuses each year on one of the virtues celebrated in its alma mater and represented by the Christy pillars of Knowledge, Hope, Courage, and Freedom. The 2014-15 focus on courage inspired the choice of Sebastian Junger to give this year’s Docking Lecture.

Prior to his visit to the college, Southwestern will present a screening of Junger’s critically acclaimed documentary “Restrepo” on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m., in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.  Co-directed with photojournalist Tim Hetherington, “Restrepo” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and received the 2010 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.  It documents the war in Afghanistan by reporting from the soldiers’ perspectives.

The public is invited to attend both events and there is no admission charge.

Junger and Hetherington worked together in Afghanistan on assignment for “Vanity Fair.” They spent a year with one platoon in the Korengal Valley, which is billed as the deadliest valley in Afghanistan. They recorded video to document their experience, and this footage went on to form the basis for “Restrepo.” The title refers to the outpost where Junger was embedded, which was named after a combat medic, Pfc. Juan Restrepo, killed in action.

The Docking Lecture is underwritten by Union State Bank and by William and Thomas Docking.  The Docking family has played a prominent role in Kansas government and politics for over half a century.  In 1956 George Docking was elected governor of Kansas.  He served two terms, leaving office in 1961.  His son, Robert Docking, was elected governor in 1966 and served four two-year terms, more than any other Kansas governor, leaving office in 1975.  Robert Docking’s sons have continued the family’s commitment to public service.  William Docking was appointed to the Kansas Higher Education Board of Regents in 1995, and served as its chair.  Thomas Docking was lieutenant governor of Kansas from 1983 to 1987, during the governorship of John Carlin.


Wed, 04 Feb 2015 15:10:33 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Patrick Ross Returns to Southwestern After Exploration Place Sabbatical]]> Patrick Ross, Southwestern College professor of biology and chair of the natural science division, has returned to his teaching duties at the college after spending the  fall semester on sabbatical at Exploration Place in Wichita.  
Pat Ross Expo Place
While at Exploration Place, Ross participated in a number of activities connected with the museum’s education staff.  

“I was surprised at the degree museums are involved with education,” Ross says.  “The technical term is informal education.  You don’t have students bolted in their seats for 50 minutes.  People are coming in for a variety of reasons but the control of the visit is up to the visitor.  If you’re not doing anything interesting they will move on.  You can put up cool pictures and gobs of text but the learning experience is ultimately up to them.”  

Ross had opportunities to teach a wide range of age groups, from third and fourth graders to senior citizens.  

For example, Wichita has an event, “Senior Wednesdays,” that gives senior citizens the opportunity to visit museums and other area attractions. During the fall, Ross was the key speaker for this activity at Exploration Place, and talked about their fall exhibit on parasites.  

“That went over very well,” Ross says.  “It was a 50-minute lecture based Powerpoint presentation, a format I often use in my classes.  However, my next assignment stretched me considerably as I had to design an appropriate, hands-on activity about diseases and germs for elementary through high school kids.  This was my first really big assignment.  With the kindergarteners we used glow in the dark dust to teach proper hand washing technique and how sharing toys could lead to the spread of a disease.  With the high school students, we simulated the spread of an epidemic and talked about how vaccinations work to stop the spread of disease.”

Soon after this, one educator left their traveling education operation so Ross filled in for four weeks and was known as Professor Pat as he taught third and fourth graders.  Ross traveled to Wellington, Belle Plaine, Conway Springs, and Oxford.

“That was the most fun I had,” Ross says.  “I enjoyed all of my fall at Exploration Place, but working with those little kids was great.  They are so curious; they are not bored or jaded toward science.  One exercise we did involved watching a candy dissolve in a cup of water.  In those five minutes, that was the most fascinating thing on the planet.”

An educator was eventually hired for this position but Ross wasn’t too disappointed:  They hired a former student of his, Southwestern College graduate Victoria Mitchell.

Ross beamed as he spoke about his role during Halloween at Exploration Place.  Zombies took over the museum for a two-day event titled “Museum of the Undead.”  Adults toured the museum and witnessed Ross dissecting a zombie.  Each room had something to startle the audience.  For Ross, it was an explosion of ‘blood’ during the dissection.  

Ross’s final chore was to prepare for the next traveling exhibit.  

“They are constantly re-inventing themselves,” Ross says.  “For each new national exhibit, they want programming--new lessons, new shows, something to connect that exhibit to our area.  Wildlife Rescue is the latest exhibit.  Jan Luth (Exploration Place president) is fascinated with the lesser prairie chicken and she gave me the charge of coming up with an exhibit to tell that story.”

The exhibit’s grand opening occurred Jan. 24.

“From the day Pat arrived he just fit right in,” Luth says.  “Having him take his sabbatical with Exploration Place helped provide our staff with professional development by a Ph.D. scientist.   Several of our key projects aligned with his expertise.  Pat jumped right in and did research to make a Kansas connection for our current national traveling exhibit ‘Wildlife Rescue.’ The museum added exhibit components, is having a series of guest speakers, and is offering innovative spring break field expeditions for students thanks to his research and connections.  He opened new doors for our museum and engaged our staff in thought provoking discussions.  We will miss him.”

So as Ross begins the spring semester back at Southwestern College, he feels he has a fresh outlook thanks to his fall at Exploration Place.

“I feel re-energized,” Ross says.  “The time away showed me that this place (Southwestern College) does just fine without me.  It gave me a little distance, a little altitude.  Maybe I don’t have to sweat the small stuff quite as much.  There is a teaching model used by Exploration Place that stresses engagement.  Before you can teach students anything you have to grab their attention.  I didn’t worry much about that before.  My students have to be in class, they are captives, so to speak.  But I now realize that the learning process will work so much better if they want to come to class.  A little entertainment can help liven up any lesson, whether it be at the museum or in my lectures.  If I can find ways to get them more revved up and I am trying to do more of that, I think it will be better for my students.  I want my students to enjoy the learning process as much as I do.”

Ross is grateful for the opportunity but at the same time, he did miss his students and colleagues.  

“I am thankful for all my colleagues, but especially Michael Tessmer and Rick Cowlishaw,” Ross says.  Early in the semester when I would drop in to check on things, Michael would almost physically chase me out of the building.  He was trying to make sure I got as much of a respite from the day-to-day activities of the college as he had on his sabbatical in China, even though I was just in Wichita and coming back home each night to Winfield.   Rick took care of the division while I was gone and he made sure the big things like our alumni meeting in November and our career workshop day went off just fine, which they did.  He did great.  I have such good colleagues in the natural sciences division and I had no misgivings about their ability to run the place, I had a lot of trust and that isn’t always the case in academia.”
Sabbaticals are available for professors at Southwestern for the purpose of professional enrichment.  They may apply for these sabbaticals every seven years.


Wed, 04 Feb 2015 14:15:03 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Brad Griffin to Lead Southwestern College Football Team]]> Southwestern College Director of Athletics Dave Denly has announced that Brad Griffin has been hired to lead the Moundbuilder football program. Griffin becomes the 28th head coach in the team’s 111-year history.
Brad Griffin
“We are excited to put our football program in Brad Griffin’s hands,” Denly said. “He came to us highly recommended, and his values and philosophies fit what we were looking for. I truly believe that his dedication and vision for success will breathe new life into our football program.”

Griffin comes to Southwestern from William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he recently completed his 10th season as the defensive coordinator for the Statesmen. During his 10 years at WPU, he helped transform the program from one of the worst in college football to a contender in the Mid-States Football Association. William Penn spent 42-straight weeks as a nationally-ranked team, and finished the 2014 season ranked No. 19 in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top-25 Poll with a 7-4 record. In 2010, William Penn won its first MSFA Midwest Conference Championship since 1976. Two seasons later, the Statesmen won the 2012 MSFA Midwest Conference Championship, and advanced to the NAIA Football Championship play-off series.

Under Griffin, the William Penn defensive unit made its home in the national spotlight. His 2014 Statesmen were the 10th-best pass defense in the NAIA, allowing 160 yards per game. In 2013, Griffin’s squad was ranked No. 6 nationally, and allowed 292 total offensive yards per game. Griffin was recognized as the MSFA Midwest Co-Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011. 

“Southwestern College is getting a great young coach who has been through his share of battles,” William Penn head football coach Todd Hafner said. “One of his biggest battles was getting the William Penn program going in the right direction, and he has played a huge role in our success over the last 11 years. He is very meticulous in his weekly preparation, and his players are very well-versed on what to expect on game day. He will hold the players to a high level of discipline and accountability. Southwestern College will have one of the best young head coaches in the country!”

A Kansas native, Griffin graduated from Nickerson High School in 1996, and started his college football career at Hutchinson Community College, where he was a two-year starter and team captain. He continued his playing career at Emporia State University, where he was a two-year starter and team captain under Southwestern alumnus and current University of Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill. Griffin started his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Emporia State from 2001-03. During that time, the Hornets won the 2002 Mineral Water Bowl, and claimed the 2003 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championship to advance to the NCAA Div. II National Championship play-offs.

“This is a very exciting time for me and my family,” Griffin said. “Becoming a head coach has always been a career goal of mine, and I feel like Southwestern is a great place for me to get it started. I believe we can make great things happen as we move our program in the right direction. I’m happy to be close to my family, and I look forward to getting to know the community. I feel like this is a great fit for me, and I’m excited to get started.”

Griffin earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and recreation from Emporia State in 2001. He and his wife, Katie, will come to Winfield with two daughters, Brielle (6) and Bayler (2).


Wed, 21 Jan 2015 10:01:08 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[Video Gamers Can Receive eSports Grants at Southwestern College]]> Video games have become so popular as a competitive sport that Southwestern College is now offering activity grants for in-coming students to play for the college’s teams. 

According to Marla Sexson, vice president for enrollment management at Southwestern College, a student may receive a $5,000 grant each year, equaling $20,000 for four years to participate in eSports at SC. These students will be part of a team of gamers who compete against other teams throughout the nation.
League of Legends photo
League of Legends has become the most popular of the eSports.  According to developer Riot Games Inc., 27 million people play the game each day.  Southwestern becomes just the third school in the United States to offer scholarships for eSports.

Currently, Southwestern Colleges offers this as a club activity and according to Tom Jacobs, chair for the division of computer science and communication, around 40 participants now meet several times each week to improve their skills and scores on the computer game. 

According to the game’s website, League of Legends is a “fast-paced, competitive online game that blends the speed and intensity of a real-time strategy game with role playing game elements.”

Zenas Lopez, a Southwestern College student and the co-founder and president of the club, says that the game has brought different groups of students together.

“League of Legends has a global reach,” Lopez says.  “We have lots of international students on our campus and sometimes it’s tough to get to know them.  But I have found that this club unites everybody and with the game’s help, we seem to speak the same language.”

If parents are concerned that their students will attend Southwestern just to play video games and not study, Jacobs says not to worry.  To participate, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress.  

The club currently meets in the computer lab on the lower level of the Christy Administration Building but a gaming area is being renovated just for eSports players.

​For more information, contact Jacobs at (620) 229-6351 or Sexson at (620) 229-6364.

Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:34:42 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![CDATA[McCormick to Speak at MLK Observance]]>

The life of Martin Luther King Jr. will be remembered at Southwestern College Tuesday, Jan. 20, with a presentation by a prominent Wichita author and historian. Mark McCormick will speak in Mossman 101 beginning at 7 p.m.

There is no admission charge, and refreshments will be served. In addition, Deets Library books about Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X will be displayed.

Now living in Wichita, McCormick is on his second tour of duty as executive director of the Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM), but was trained as a journalist. Mark is a New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning writer and editor. Mark serves as a trustee of two journalism schools (the University of Kansas and Wichita State University) and he has been a Professional in Residence at the Gaylord School of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma.

McCormick is featured in a documentary about WSU’s efforts to acquire the collected works of trailblazing photographer, author and filmmaker Gordon Parks, who grew up in Ft. Scott.

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 professional studies sites in Kansas and Oklahoma, or online around the world.

Thu, 15 Jan 2015 16:50:00 -0600 (Southwestern College)
<![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)