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Silence Is Violence event is headed to PSU

The Silence Is Violence event heads to Pittsburg State University on March 26th. This event draws attention to the topic of domestic violence. It will also show attendees how to give and receive help to those experiencing domestic violence.

The event will feature multiple speakers. Doctor James Otter, owner of Japan Karate – Do Genbu Kai, will conduct a self-defense training simulation.

The event starts at 10 am at the Overman Student Center the Pittsburg State University.

Call the following number for more information: 918-944-9606.

Jaquelyn Bouchie organized the event and is a student at PSU.

 

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International Showcase heads to Pittsburg State University

Pittsburg State University hosts an International Showcase on March 5th. PSU students Marlon Merida and Claire (Yu-Hsuan Chen) sat down with Michael Hayslip in the KOAM studio to talk about the event. Here are some of the details:

  • The event runs from 5:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Held at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts
  • Food samples served from 5:30 to 6:45 pm in the lobby and art gallery
  • $1 at the door and food samples are $1 while supplies last
  • Performances start at 7:00 pm

Everyone is invited, not just Pittsburg State University students!

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PSU student gives back to local nonprofit

JOPLIN, Mo. — A young entrepreneur is giving back this holiday season.

Bailey Gilmore is a Pittsburg State University student who’s helping families staying at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States in Joplin.

Tonight, he gave them holiday rides.

“It brings a sense of normalcy to life. It helps morale when you have a sick child at the hospital you’re very much on a roller coaster ride with ups and downs,” said Annette Thurston, RMHC Executive Director.

Bailey Gilmore is responsible for some of that normalcy.

The owner of Yeti Expeditions, LLC is making sure families feel the spirit of Christmas.

Wednesday night he drove Ronald McDonald House families through Joplin, Webb City and Carl Junction to see Christmas lights.

“It feels amazing. My goal in life is to make people happy and that’s what I get to do by doing this. The little kids get excited to look at the lights and the adults get to sit back and relax while their kids are entertained so its a good time,” said Bailey Gilmore, Owner of Yeti Expeditions, LLC.

Families enjoyed hot chocolate and Christmas cookies during the tour.

“I hope they get an evening just to relax and not worry about anything other than Christmas and have a good time with each other,” said Gilmore.

Gilmore’s business is donating a portion of paid tours through December back to Ronald McDonald House.

“It’s refreshing to see a young person such as Bailey to actually come and do what he’s doing and give back to our community. As families stay here its a stressful time. They have a seriously ill child in the hospital. During the holidays its even more stressful. And so to actually offer a relaxing night for them to get on the bus and tour and look at the lights,” said Thurston.

The money donated to Ronald McDonald House will help pay for each families suggested donation of ten-dollars a night.

To book your tour click here.

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PSU offers vaccine incentives to students 

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg State University is offering students financial incentives to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re doing everything we can to protect our campus. The more people on our campus vaccinated, the less likely disruptions will happen to our fall operations, students won’t miss as much class or as many activities, and everyone can have a safer, more productive semester,” said Howard Smith, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. 

Related: Pittsburg State University announces COVID-19 mitigation measures 

Students can get vaccines for free at the Bryant Student Health Center in addition to other locations in Pittsburg.

Students with regular on-campus classes in Pittsburg who provide proof of vaccination by Sept. 17 will each receive a $500 scholarship. They’ll also be entered to win one of two $8,500 grand prizes that are equivalent to a semester’s worth of full tuition, fees, meals, and housing. 

Related: MSSU rolls out employee vaccine incentive program

To be eligible, students must have received both shots of either Pfizer or Moderna, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine. To meet the Sept. 17 deadline, that means starting the vaccination process by Aug. 20 for Moderna and Aug. 27 for Pfizer, which require a fourweek and three-week waiting period between doses, respectively. 

PSU will apply the scholarships and grand prizes to the Spring 2022 semester. For those who graduate in December, it will be applied to the Fall 2021 semester and a refund issued, if applicable. 

The incentive applies to undergraduate students, graduate students, international students, and any other student who regularly attends classes on campus.

“The goal is to protect the campus and those who use it regularly, so online-only students are not eligible,” states PSU in a release.

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PSU adds telemedicine course this fall

PITTSBURG, Kan. – PSU nursing students will be learning a new skill set this fall. One, that’s become vital in modern medicine.

Caring for patients via telemedicine.

Health experts have used the tool throughout the pandemic, but it takes special training to give quality care without a patient present.

A $78,000 grant is funding the new telemedicine course.

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PSU President Steve Scott to step down in 2022

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott announces he will step down in June 2022. However, he’s not calling it retirement.

Scott told the Kansas Board of Regents he’ll keep his future options open.

I’ve strived to lead a life of purpose serving others, and even in the years ahead, I’m not finished,” he said. “It will be clearer as the year closes what that might entail; I’m still tenured as a faculty member here, so perhaps that might entail teaching — I just don’t yet know.” 

According to PSU, he’ll be staying in Pittsburg. The university says he and his wife have already bought a home, adding they love the community and plan to remain active participants at university events and within the community. 

“My mentor, former Commissioner of Education Andy Tompkins, once told me ‘You’ll know when the time is right’,” Scott said. “A few months ago, I realized that time is here.” 

A release from PSU elaborated the following on Scott’s life and tenure.

Leadership 

An alumnus of Pittsburg State, Scott has for the past three decades served the university in every leadership capacity possible: as a faculty member in the College of Education, chair of the Department of Special Services and Leadership Studies, dean of the College of Education, vice president for Academic Affairs, and most recently, provost in 2008.  

His presidency, which began in 2009, has been nothing short of challenging: it was bookended by the Great Recession and will come to a close as the world continues to fight a global pandemic. It also marked a time during which Kansas universities saw a decline in state financial support. 

Tompkins praised Scott’s steady guidance and described him as a dedicated and visionary servant leader with a passion for higher education. 

“One quality that has been at the heart of his success is an unrelenting commitment to continually improve his leadership so that he can be worthy of the opportunities and responsibilities that his position has afforded him,” Tompkins said. “The care he takes in working through difficult decisions, the focus that he places on growing leaders at the university, and the risks that he has taken to help Pittsburg State evolve in its service to students, faculty, alumni, donors, colleagues, and the state are prime examples of this commitment.”  

Lifelong connection 

A Baxter Springs native and the son of two teachers, Scott’s relationship with Pittsburg State began in childhood: his mother and father were both graduates, as is his brother, longtime CEO of Walmart. 

Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Pittsburg State in 1973, then went on to complete a master’s degree in mathematics from Oklahoma State University in 1977, an educational specialist’s degree from Pittsburg State in 1984, and a doctorate degree in education from Oklahoma State University in 1990. 

He married his high school sweetheart, Cathy Johnson, who also became a teacher, and their children, Kylie and Phil, and grandchildren, Josie, Hank, and Beau, have become ardent and active Gorilla fans. 

Milestones 

During Scott’s tenure, the campus has seen some of the most ambitious building projects in its history, including the funding and completion of the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, Block22, the Plaster Center, and the expansion of the Overman Student Center.  

One of the highlights of his time in office was leading a conversation on stage at the Bicknell Center with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, as well as welcoming former President Bill Clinton and former first lady Laura Bush to campus. 

Under his leadership, the university also completed many academic milestones, including the addition of a Doctor of Nursing Practice — the first doctoral program in university history — and the addition of the region’s first undergraduate polymer chemistry degree, as well as the expansion of the Gorilla Advantage program to 31 states. 

As chief executive officer of Pittsburg State, Scott has overseen all aspects of the university. Under his guidance, the university developed a comprehensive strategic plan which defines academic excellence, student success, partnerships, and innovation as the top priorities of the institution.

Councils and Boards

Beyond serving as CEO of the university, Scott has held seats on numerous regional and national councils and boards, including serving as chair of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council, the highest governing body in Division II; as the chair of the MIAA CEO Council; and as a member of the University of Kansas Cancer Center Community Advisory Board. 

He has been a leader in fostering a deeper and more productive relationship between the university and the region, including a strengthened bond with the community of Pittsburg and the city’s leaders. 

But for Scott, he said, some of the most rewarding moments have come when reconnecting with graduates about the ways in which Pittsburg State changed their lives; sometimes it’s by email, but often it occurs by chance in their place of employment when they recognize him or he’s wearing Gorilla gear. 

“It’s a reminder that our graduates are everywhere, that they’re making a difference in the workforce and in their communities, and it’s always a goosebump moment to see them and know we played a role in getting them there,” Scott said.  

Equally rewarding, he said, have been the relationships he has developed with donors  something deeply meaningful to him, he said, because of the lasting friendships forged, and to the university, which counts on their support.  

One of the best and most fulfilling parts of my time in this role has been those relationships, which have become so personal I’ve attended birthday celebrations, open houses, funerals, visitations, and just all kinds of events that are meaningful to our donors and their families,” he said. “Our donors believe so much in this place. What you see around campus is the result of private money, so without them what we do here just wouldn’t be possible. They will continue to be friends of mine for life, and I’m confident their support of Pittsburg State will endure as well. 

Projects

Three significant capital projects remain on Scott’s mind and on the university’s horizon, and this year he’ll focus on getting those projects underway: Kelce College of Business renovation; a simulation hospital at McPherson Hall, home to the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing; and John Lance Arena updates.  

Scott notified the Kansas Board of Regents of his decision last week and the board will discuss the search in coming months. 

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Four States Farm Show back after pandemic hiatus

PITTSBURG, Kan. (KSNF) – Hundreds of people are making their way to Pittsburg this weekend.

The Four States Farm Show is a welcomed return after the show was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

While the world seemed to stop, farmers and ranchers did not.

They worked hard, and, thanks to the farm show, they now have a little relief.

“A lot of stuff is hard to get, repairs, machinery, a lot of it’s hard to get,” says Bill Quinn, Chanute Resident.

Like Quinn, many farmers and ranchers across the country faced obstacles when the pandemic started.

“COVID has interrupted the supply chain, farmers, ranchers, everybody across the country are having trouble getting product,” says Lance Markley, Four States Farm Show Coordinator.

“It was a hard time to sell cows because places were not processing, there was a Tyson plant that burned and other things like that,” says William Cook, Joplin Resident.

Their equipment became their biggest problem.

Costs began to skyrocket, making it a struggle whenever someone needed to replace or upgrade their tools.

“Steel prices doubled, about everything got so high you can’t hardly afford anything anymore,” says Quinn.

A year later, the situation has gotten better.

Operations are returning to normal, and, thanks to events like the Four States Farm Show, people are able to find cheaper products.

“The show gives them the opportunity to see more vendors, more companies in three days time than they could driving cross the country for a year,” says Markley.

“Things are real interesting to see, we got some good ideas about making some things at home that we see is done here,” says Dave Marple, Buffalo Resident.

Because farms and ranches don’t stop, even in the middle of a pandemic.

“We feed cattle everyday, and have calves in the spring and we continue on. Nothing ever changed there, we still had to do it everyday,” says Marple.

The Four States Farm Show will continue through the weekend.

By moving to Pittsburg State University, organizers are able to bring 800 vendors to the region.

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Pittsburg to host Pittcation in place of Spring Break

PITTSBURG, Ks. — Spring Break is a little different this year because of the pandemic, but one city is trying to make the best of it.

Brittan Brenner, Pittsburg Community Development Specialist, said, “We just started talking about events that should happen and we were like “Well there’s no spring break, maybe we could play off something like that, and then it just kind of blew up.”

Now the city of Pittsburg is hosting its own version of Spring Break.

“We’re planning a week long event called Pittcation starting this Saturday March 20th through Saturday March 27th.”

Pittcation is designed to give the mid-semester break so many are craving, whether they’re a student or teacher.

“Basically if you go to school, you teach at a school, or you work at a school, this week is for you.”

The events aren’t just geared toward Pittsburg, Pittcation hopes to highlight tourism destinations throughout Southeast Kansas.

“It’s truly a regional event, we wanted to get people out and see what our community has to offer.”

Joe Manns, Big Brutus Manager, said, “The win-win for us is go home and tell mom and dad, your neighbors, your aunts and uncles and come on out and see us.”

To help build on what’s been a successful start to the year.

“In the first quarter of last year we had 452 through, in the month of January we had 718.”

Not only helping tourism and businesses, but families as well.

“Families may not be traveling like they normally would and so we want to provide opportunities where families can get out in the community, relax, take a break, have something for the kids to do,” said Brenner.

As something the whole community can enjoy, whether they’re in school or not.

“Even a community member that’s like “Hey yoga in the park, that’s totally my jam,” come on out, we’d love to have you, bring a mask and a towel and a water bottle and you’re good to go.”

More information and updates can be found on the Pittcation Facebook page.