McAlester GEAR UP sophomores and juniors tour UAFS & CSC


WILBURTON, OK (Nov. 20, 2015) – McAlester High School students had a full day of activity recently as they traveled to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, to tour the University of Arkansas at Ft. Smith (UAFS) and to Warner, Oklahoma, to tour Connors State College (CSC).

The 40 McAlester GEAR UP students began their day in the Baldor Technology Center at the UAFS where they were welcomed to the campus. Student ambassadors shared their experiences at UAFS. McAlester students completed information cards and ambassadors discussed programs, majors and degree options available. Students learned that Oklahoma residents attending UAFS may receive in–state tuition rates. UAFS offers Associate’s degrees as well as Bachelor and Graduate degrees. UAFS is one of the few campuses where freshmen are not required to live on campus.

Admissions Officer Rebecca Cheek and the student ambassadors led students around the new, modern campus. Students were divided into groups and traveled the spacious campus. The tour included stops at the Boreham Library where students learned about technology services including free rental of laptops for research and assignments.

The Smith–Pendergraft Campus Center included art displays as well as the food court, Campus Activities Board and the Lion’s Bookstore.

Students waived to UAFS Chancellor Paul Beran as they passed the Fullerton Administration Building, and ambassadors discussed services offered.

A highlight for students was touring the residential housing suitably named the Lion’s Den. The student housing at UAFS is impressive with the newly–built structure which includes a commons kitchen and laundry facilities. Students toured dorm rooms that were spacious and private with the largest rooms accommodating three students.

Students boarded the bus and traveled to Warner to visit the Connors State College campus. The tour at CSC began in the Fine Arts Auditorium where students were welcomed to campus and given basic info about Connors State College. CSC Recruiter Casey Owens and Coordinator of Residential Life and Special Events Jonathan Rowe led the students on the campus tour.

Students toured the Randolph Hall student housing and were impressed by the single room set–up available. They were also excited about the pool on campus in the middle courtyard of the dorm halls.

After viewing the dorms, the tour moved across campus to the Agriculture program and buildings. The Ag horses were on display. Students also learned about Connors’ collegiate rodeo team. To conclude the tour, the group was given an inside seat to the CSC women’s basketball program and watched the Cowgirls practice.

“This was another great trip,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Rachael Ranallo. “Visiting two campuses in one day was tiring, but really gave students a lot to think about. The campuses were very different, yet each had positive elements to offer 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.

McAlester GEAR UP students gathered for a photo on the steps of the UAFS Baldor Technology Center. Pictured are:Front Row: Sarah Harrison, Manning White, Thomas Delcid, Angelica Postoak, Kaitlyn Brown and Bianca Sanchez. Row 2: Bailey Fry, Lindsey Old, Sydney Tarron, Cheyenne Hearst, Chandler Peckio and Estella Santamaria. Row 3: ReAnn Wall, Nate Alexander, Colton McEachern, Alyx Samuel, Jessica Foote and Sydney Lowe. Row 4: Christian Grein, Anthony Ford, Courtney Smith, Kayla Marcum, Payton Foster and Andrea Lawrence. Row 5: MaKayla Hurley, Sierra Villablobos, Merry Beth Marcum and Skylar Burris. Row 6: Jesus Gaytan, Jacqueline Gaytan, Stormy Sullivan, Kaila Sherwood, Ashlyn Gentry, Alyssa Carrell and Mariah Waldrip. Back Row: Skylar Moss, Jamie Macias, Brentleigh Rousey and Taryn Good

Student Life Coordinator Jonathan Rowe talks to McAlester GEAR UP students before a tour of the dorms and residential life on the Connors State College campus. Students pictured are: Mariah Waldrip, Taryn Good, Payton Foster, Manning White, Manning White, Skylar Moss, Kaila Sherwood, Sierra Villalobos, Skylar Burris, MaKayla Chapman, Chandler Peckio, Sydney Tarron, Sarah Harrison, Kayla Marcum, Merry Beth Marcum, Stormy Sullivan, Courtney Smith, Nate Alexander, Christian Grein, Brentleigh Rousey, Lindsey Old, Andrea Lawrence, Jacqueline Gaytan, Bailey Fry, Colton McEachern, Kaitlyn Brown, Angelia Postoak, Anthony Ford, ReAnn Wall, Cheyenne Hearst, Jamie Macias, Thomas Delcid, Sydney Lowe, Jessica Foote and McAlester Math Instructor Charles Geis.

McAlester GEAR UP students Sydney Tarron, Lindsey Old, Bailey Fry and Sarah Harrison are living works of art in the Windgate Art and Design Building

Connors State College Ag Instructor Jake Lawson talks to McAlester High School students about Ag program opportunities. McAlester students include MaKayla Chapman, Taryn Good, Payton Foster, Ashlyn Gentry, Alyssa Carrell and Andrea Lawrence

McAlester sophomore Ashlyn Gentry asks the UAFS student ambassadors about nursing and other medical–related majors. Also pictured are Payton Foster, Andrea Lawrence, Mariah Waldrip and Alyssa Carrell

ReAnn Wall, Cheyenne Hearst, Thomas Delcid, Nate Alexander, Colton McEachern, MaKayla Chapman and other McAlester students met in a seminar room at UAFS to fill out student information cards

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