McAlester GEAR UP students tour Murray State College


WILBURTON, OK (Nov. 18, 2016) – Fifty–three McAlester GEAR UP juniors recently toured Murray State College (MSC) in Tishomingo. Students began the morning by participating in a tour through the beautiful campus led by a MSC student ambassador and college recruiter. Students saw numerous resources available including the Allied Health program, the Gunsmith program, Fine Arts, residence living, dining options, and more.

Students journeyed through the Nursing & Allied Health Building where they met with instructors to learn about the various health programs offered. This building houses the Nursing program, as well as the Physical Therapy Assistant and Occupational Therapy Assistant programs. As an added bonus, there were popcorn machines set up around campus. The football players enjoyed the free snack to keep them energized.

Next stop on the tour was the Aggie Suites. The suites are set up similar to apartments with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. They come with the furniture needed for each bedroom and a commons area. Floors are a stained concrete which is a popular design while also making clean up simple.

Murray State is one of only four NRA–approved affiliated schools across the country to offer a Gunsmithing program. MSC students Michael Williams and Guy Womack showed students what each year of the program offers and what the different classrooms look like. The two–year program provides an Associates of Applied Science degree and has an option to apply for a third year where they make a hunting rifle and learn pistol making. This is an extremely competitive program with over 250 applicants last year. MSC only accepts 30 into the program annually.

The last stop before lunch was to visit the Fine Arts Building which houses numerous art majors such as Communications, Music Theory, Musical Theatre and Theatre programs. Instructors Susan Yeager and Alan Burris gave students a quick overview of how fine arts fits into all majors if students are open minded. Students viewed art works by current MSC students and toured the studio where dance, music and other creative art classes take place.

To gain the full college experience, the McAlester students ate on campus in the Dining Hall and enjoyed lunch with MSC students. After lunch, students took group photos in the center of campus where an old Haskell Lucas Hall dormitory had once stood. The old entrance still remains with new seating areas and fountains for design.

“I think this was a wonderful tour for students to see such a beautiful campus and learn about the unique programs they have available for students right here in Oklahoma,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Rachael Ranallo.

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 juniors touring Murray State College were: Front sitting: Coltyn Price, Dhilan Patel, Nathan Reynolds, Jacob Thomas, Bryce Singleton, Lilli Martin, Kaitlyn Michael, Mahrle Angel, Dailee Robbins, Katelyn Cobb, Shirley Madden, Nina Holly, Davian Noels, Clayton Slater, Lara Allen, Jessica Foote, De’Shell Rhone, Jacob Smith, Austin Vilar, Austin McKay, Connor Wilkinson, Payton Foster, Zoee Lovett and Camissa Cox. Standing bottom: Emerald Lynn, Bailey Fry, Carmine Prichard, Jacob Luna, Jacob Ethridge, Sarah Harrison, Manning White, Dalton Ferguson, Skyler Moss, Kolton Ellis, Sam Shelton, Arturo Aguirre, Dylan Bigham, Rhett Regan, Josh Swartzlander, Erickson Giles, Carter Lewis, Matthew Wilson, Hailey Freeman. Standing above: Bren Cable, Taryn Howard, Josh Countz, Matt Dombek, Vinny Williams, Eli Martin, Cameron Richards, Matt Drake and Austin Morgano.

McAlester High School students touring Murray State College included: Front Row: Coltyn Price, Dhilan Patel, Nathan Reynolds, Jacob Thomas, Bryce Singleton, Lilli Martin, Kaitlyn Michael, Mahrle Angel, Dailee Robbins, Katelyn Cobb, Shirley Madden and Nina Holly. Middle Row: Jacob Ethridge, Sarah Harrison, Manning White, Camissa Cox and Zoee Lovett. Back Row: Josh Countz, Matt Dombek, Anthony Watts, Eli Martin, Cameron Richards, Matt Drake, Austin Morgano, Dalton Ferguson, Skyler Moss.

McAlester students stand in front of the Aggie Suites before touring the inside. Students L to R – Clayton Slater, Josh Countz, Matt Dombek, Jacob Thomas, Matt Drake, Bren Cable, Taryn Howard, Sam Shelton, Austin Morgano, Davian Noels, Dylan Bigham and Anthony Watts.

Students pose for group photo near the baseball outfield. Students L to R: Shawn Minzes (MSC Recruiter and tour guide), Carter Lewis, Rhett Regan, Coltyn Price, Connor Wilkinson, Sam Shelton, Austin Morgano, Cameron Richards, Jacob Smith, Matt Dombek, Clayton Slater, Bryce Singleton, Jacob Thomas, Anthony Watts, Matt Drake, Bren Cable, Josh Countz, Taryn Howard, Davian Noels, Arturo Aguirre, Josh Swartzlander and Austin McKay.

While touring the studio art classroom where MSC students learn to sketch, Payton Foster looks over a MSC student’s art work. Students pictured in the back from L to R: Hailey Freeman, Zoee Lovett, Nina Holly, Shirley Madden, Katelyn Cobb, Jacob Luna, Jacob Ethridge, Lara Allen, Mahrle Angel, Dailee Robbins, Camissa Cox, Vinny Williams, Eli Martin and Dhilan Patel.

McAlester students listen as Fine Arts Instructors Susan Yeager and Alan Burris speak about the various majors and courses in the arts. Pictured are: Front row: Coltyn Price, Anthony Watts, Taryn Howard, Davian Noels, Matt Dombek, Jacob Thomas and Clayton Slater. Back row: Austin Morgano, Sam Shelton, Bryce Singleton, Matt Drake, Bren Cable and Josh Countz.

Students tour an art classroom at MSC. Front row – Anthony Watts, Taryn Howard, Davian Noels, Matt Dombek and Jacob Thomas. Middle row – Jacob Smith, Austin Morgano, Sam Shelton, Bryce Singleton and Matt Drake. Back row – Josh Swartzlander, Carter Lewis and Arturo Aguirre.

McAlester Junior Josh Swartzlander carefully reads the sign in the Gunsmithing Building

Students see the classroom for first–year gunsmithing students where they create the gun barrels out of raw metal. Second–year gunsmithing students Michael Williams and Guy Womack explain the tools used in this course. McAlester students are: L to R: Coltyn Price, Josh Countz, Connor Wilkinson, Clayton Slater, Bren Cable, Cameron Richards, Jacob Thomas, Matt Dombek, Bryce Singleton, Davian Noels and Austin Morgano.

Students visit the second–year classroom where MSC students carve out the gun stocks and begin assembling the handmade rifles. MHS students from L to R: Rhett Regan, Austin Vilar, Arturo Aguirre, Carter Lewis, Erickson Giles and Anthony Watts.

Students explore campus on a walking tour from the Campus Corner to the Aggie Suites. MHS students are: Coltyn Price, Josh Countz, Jacob Smith, Clayton Slater, Bryce Singleton, Matt Dombek, Cameron Richards, Bren Cable, Taryn Howard and Jacob Thomas.

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