GEAR UP Juniors from Atoka High School tour Murray State College


WILBURTON, OK (Oct. 21, 2015) - Murray State College in Tishomingo was the destination for Atoka High School GEAR UP juniors for a college tour. The students were greeted by MSC’s Aggie Ambassador Club and Recruitment Coordinator Shawn Minzes.

Students were divided into three groups, and each went on a detailed tour of the campus. Students toured the campus armory and learned the history of the armory building and the college. Next, students viewed the dorms in the Aggie Suites. Each Aggie Suite includes four bedrooms, a spacious living room and two bathrooms. The tour continued as students saw the administration building and the wide open spaces of the college.

Students went in the health lab in the Nursing/Allied Health Building where several mannequins were laid out in several rooms for current nursing students to practice their nursing skills. Students had the opportunity to see and touch a mannequin that was connected to an iPad and viewed a heartbeat, respirations, and blood pressure. The instructor demonstrated how they can simulate actual nursing situation so the students can learn to respond to different’ patients and illnesses.

Next stop was the Murray State Admissions Office where students learned about scholarship applications and concurrent enrollment. Murray State has several scholarships available, and students were surprised to learn the types and amount given each year. Students discovered the importance of good grades, community service, and being willing to put forth the effort to succeed at their college education.

Students toured the business programs in the Clyde Hall Classroom Building. Business instructor Kathy Bowen talked to the students about finding the right program for them—whether business or sports. Students were asked what excited them about college and in what major they were interested in pursuing. Next, it was off to the science department in the Zimmerman Library Sciences Building. Science Instructor Dr. Mayadunne conducted a science experiment. She melted a gummy bear in a solution to demonstrate how our body burns energy. She mixed two compounds together to show a reaction that foamed and overflowed over the counter. The final tour was in the Courtney Engineering Building with the Occupational Therapy Program where students learned how the programs teach students to work with patients to re–teach them how to perform everyday tasks.

A full buffet lunch awaited the students in the dining hall where students could interact with current college students and campus staff. After lunch, students gathered in the ballroom for a final thank you from Shawn, and each student was given a MSC t–shirt.

“The students had a great time touring Murray State,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Natalie Kennedy. “Educational and cultural trips are an important part of Eastern’s GEAR UP program. The students really enjoyed learning about a college that is so close to their home.”

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.

Atoka High School GEAR UP juniors toured Murray State College. Front Row (left to right): Indiana Lee, Weston Sheffield, Samantha Standridge, Thomas Fugate, Mason Henegar, and Matthew Ermis. Row 2 (left to right): Lauren Lang, Hope Angel, Delanie Griffin, Olivia Pierce, Jasmine Rodriguez, Angel Reya, Autumn Miller, Sara McMaster, Kara Benson, Erica McTavish, Caleb Riley, Averi Scott, Ariel Smith, Soffie Smith, Callie Helms, GEAR UP Education Coordinator Natalie Kennedy, Atoka High School Teacher Melissa Hicks Teacher, and Atoka High School Teacher Debby Elliot. Back Row (left to right): Andrew Worley, Jaime Daney, Trent Mixon, Faith Maxey, Traelon Yarbrough, Weslee Shiplee, Mallory Loftin, Lyndee Jackson, Donovan McConnell, Kasemir Vah, Conrad Holland, Ty Brannon, Jessie Johnson, Dakota Satterfield, Evan Smith, Jarett Wieldt, Will Graham, Aaron Lewis, Phillip Perry, Kaine Bowen, Stetson Newkirk, and Jason Wiley.

Atoka GEAR UP juniors check the heartbeat on a mannequin in the nursing department during a tour of Murray State College.

Science Instructor Dr. Erandi Mayadunne conducts an experiment for Atoka GEAR UP students.

Atoka GEAR UP students Indiana Lee, Jasmine Rodriguez, and Autumn Miller learn about Murry State College.

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