Bokoshe GEAR UP students tour Carl Albert State College & the LeFlore County Museum


WILBURTON, OK (Oct. 28, 2015) – Eighteen Bokoshe High School GEAR UP students recently traveled to Poteau to tour the Carl Albert State College campus. Recruiter and Enrollment Specialist Aaron Emberton greeted the group and provided an educational tour.

The tour began in Hemphill Hall where the students saw the offices of Admissions, Business and Financial Aid. Students toured several buildings on campus which included the Costner–Balentine Student Center, Hamilton Auditorium, Dr. Joe E White Library, Ollie Center for Academic Excellence and Deanna J. Reed Science & Math Center. Mr. Emberton informed the students that there is free tutoring on campus, and students are encouraged to use the library as much as possible.

Carl Albert State College was first known as Poteau Junior College, and in 1950’s it was changed to Poteau Community College. It wasn’t until 1971 that it became Carl Albert Junior College in honor of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1990, the name was changed to Carl Albert State College. There is a small historical section in the Dr. Joe E. White Library detailing the history.

There are 250 dorm rooms on campus. Carl Albert offers six academic divisions: Division for Business & Technology which includes Child Development and Occupational Health & Safety Technician; Division for Communications & Fine Arts; Division for Health Sciences which includes Health Information Technology, Nursing (RN), and Physical Therapist Assistant; Division of Health, Physical Education, & Recreation; Division for Math & Science; and Division for Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Bokoshe students had the opportunity to visit the Physical Therapy Lab with the PTA Instructor Jeri Hobday. Hobday explained that the program was a two–year program to get the students ready for the field. After two years of instruction, students would be ready for the work environment. There were several students in the class in wheelchairs. Hobday explained that as part of their class, students have to spend two weeks in a wheelchair. When students start working with a patient, they will have a better idea and understanding of what the patient experiences.

After touring the campus of Carl Albert the students traveled to the LeFlore County Museum at Hotel Lowrey. Upon arrival, tour guide Bonnie Prigmore provided tea and cookies. She began the tour by explaining the three different levels to the museum. Hotel Lowery was built in 1922 and used as office buildings between the Frisco railroad and the KCS railroad. There are 31 rooms in the three story building. Travelers would stay here at Hotel Lowrey or stop to take a shower in the public shower. In 2012 the LeFlore County Historical Society opened the doors to this museum for the public to see the unique artifacts of this area and it is run by part–time employees plus volunteers.

Prigmore escorted the students through the first two levels. Students walked to the third floor to browse through the rooms of artifacts and display showcases. The students were amazed at the items from years ago and the wonderful condition each item was in—from books to shoes to dolls to quilts.

“The students enjoyed the tours and learning about their opportunities in the area,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Dara Self. “I feel some of the students will return to see the museum again.”

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 or educational in nature.

Bokoshe GEAR UP students in front of the Dr. Joe E. White Library at Carl Albert State College are: Front Row: Tekoa Sanders, Rica Beam Shawnee Gibson, Casey Price, Talia Cox, Kalina Warner and Rainie Pettit. Back Row: Gracie Stroup, Christian Stroup, Kimberly Swindle, Cheyenne Crase, Jake Lovell, Joseph Stevenson, Logan Carver, Dalton Langdell, Jackson Reiter and Ronald Ward.

Carl Albert State Recruiter and Enrollment Specialist Aaron Emberton tells Bokoshe students about the different offices located in the Hemphill Hall. Bokoshe students are Kalina Warner, Casey Price, Jake Lovell and Christian Stroup.

Bokoshe GEAR UP students tour the LeFlore County Museum of Hotel Lowrey. Front Row: Gracie Stroup, Shawnee Gibson, Rica Beam, Casey Price, and Rainie Pettie. Row 2: Kimberly Swindle, Cheyenne Crase, Christian Stroup, Tekoa Sanders, and Jake Lovell. Back Row: Logan Carver, Dalton Langdell, Kalina Warner, Talia Cox, Jackson Reiter, Joseph Stevenson and Ronald Ward.

Bokoshe girls gather to watch as junior Christian Stroup played the homemade tub string base at the LeFlore County Museum.

Physical Therapy Assistant Instructor Jeri Hobday discusses with the students why some of the students in his class are in wheelchairs, and why that is an important part of the physical therapy program. Bokoshe students are Joseph Stevenson, Rainie Pettit, Talia Cox, Casey Price and Rica Beam.

Bokoshe GEAR UP students enjoy tea and cookies before the tour of the LeFlore County Museum of Hotel Lowrey. Tour Guide Bonnie Prigmore explained the history of the museum and provided insight to interesting items housed in the museum. Students listening are: Front table: Tekoa Sanders, Gracie Stroup, Shawnee Gibson, Kimberly Swindle, Cheyenne Crase, Christian Stroup and Rica Beam. Second Table: Casey Price, Ronald Ward, Dalton Langdell and Kalina Warner. Back table: Rainie Pettit, Talia Cox and Joseph Stevenson.

Museum Tour Guide Bonnie Prigmore demonstrated the antique record player. Students were amazed at the beautiful sound from just winding it up. Students listening are Casey Price, Rainie Pettit, Kimberly Swindle, Cheyenne Crase, Gracie Stroup, Shawnee Gibson and Tekoa Sanders.

Shawnee Gibson steps into the privacy booth to make a phone call. I wonder who she is calling?

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