Twenty-seven Frink-Chambers seventh grade GEAR UP students recently toured Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU) in Durant.
Students began the day at the Glen D. Johnson Student Union where they were greeted by Director of Admissions and Recruitment Jeremy Rowland, Admissions Counselor and High School Recruiter Sarah Hughes, and Transfer Student Recruiter Charles Jackson. Students were asked which careers they wanted to pursue, and then Rowland discussed the paths students could take through high school to get to college. Hughes and Jackson then presented students with an overview of SOSU, which included a discussion on the top five majors SOSU offers: aviation, biology, education, business and safety.
“Here at Southeastern, we base ourselves on being personable,” Jackson said. “Our enrollment is a little more than 4,000 students yet we have extremely small class sizes. You will get to know others well but continue to meet new people each day.”
After the presentation, students were separated into two groups to tour the student union and other buildings on campus with Hughes and Jackson each leading a group. Located in the student union, students visited the Student Health Services and Counseling Center, cafeteria, and wellness center. The Glen D. Johnson Student Union serves as the hub of student activities.
Next, students visited the Paul Laird [football] Field, theater department, and the Bloomer Sullivan Arena, where former National Basketball Association (NBA) player, Dennis Rodman, has a jersey hanging on display. Rodman played for SOSU from 1983 to 1986.
Students also toured Shearer Hall and Suites, one of three housing options at campus. Students saw a four-bedroom suite furnished with kitchen appliances and furniture.
Students toured the Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library and classroom buildings, including the oldest building on campus Morrison Hall, Science Building, Math Building, Fine Arts Building, and Russell Building, which is home to the Johnson Massey School of Business.
Throughout the tour, guides would provide tidbits of information about each building and an insight to what it is like being a SOSU student. Jackson and Hughes discussed a variety of opportunities on campus, including financial aid and scholarships, internships, clubs and organizations, and Greek life.
After the campus tours, students ate lunch at Dairy Queen. During lunch, students shared their favorite parts of the tour and campus.
“For most of the students, this was their first university tour,” said Brianna Brassfield, GEAR UP Education Coordinator. “The tour offered a great detail of what it would be like as a college student at Southeastern, which could be a great fit for some of these students.”
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature. In 2017, Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and is serving over 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.