McAlester High School GEAR UP Students Tour UAFS & Connors State College


WILBURTON, OK (Nov. 20, 2015) – Forty–three McAlester High School sophomore and junior GEAR UP students recently boarded a bus early in the morning bound for Fort Smith, AR, the home of the University of Arkansas—Ft. Smith Lions.

The university tour began in the meeting room of the Smith–Pendergraft Campus Center. Students were introduced to the University of Arkansas—Fort Smith where they were excited to learn Oklahoma residents are not charged out–of–state tuition when they attend UAFS. Things only got better from that point onward. The students were divided into two groups and headed out to tour the beautiful campus. UAFS has won national recognition for the landscaping and layout of their campus.

The walking tour featured such sites as the Donald W. Reynolds Plaza, Tower, and Campus Green—an outdoor area that plays host for many student activities and gatherings. UAFS recently completed construction on an Amphitheater that can be utilized as an outdoor classroom and has already played host to a UAFS Drama Production. The Boreham Library is next to the Amphitheatre. The Library features state–of–the–art research and study databases. The students have access to high tech study aides and access to tutoring on an “as needed” basis. The library is in close proximity to “The Lion’s Den,” the newest student housing on campus.

The dorm rooms are spacious and can accommodate up to four students per suite. The dorms feature convenient gathering lobbies, laundries, mail service, and security. Between the two towers of the dorms is nestled the “Lion’s Den Cafeteria” which offers students a variety of dining options. Sitting directly across Kinkead Avenue from the Lion’s Den is the newly constructed Windgate Art and Design Building. The building includes a letterpress and printmaking studio, a film theater, a videography and photography studio, and numerous classrooms and professional–quality artistic spaces. Students enrolled in the classes offered in the Windgate Building are treated to the newest and most up–to–date equipment available.

When the UAFS tour was complete, the McAlester students traveled to Warner, OK, to visit the campus of Connors State College. The tour of Connors began with a brief introduction to the campus hosted in the auditorium. Students immediately ventured into Randolph Hall, the CSC dorms. The apartment–style dorm rooms feature a living and kitchen area shared by two bathrooms and four sleeping areas.

The Education and Equine Buildings were also visited. The highlight of the day for several students was found in the biology department where they were provided the opportunity to handle two different varieties of snake as well as a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. The tour ended with a quick visit with the Equine Building.

After a long day of visiting college campuses, the students returned home to McAlester High School. The day was sponsored by the EOSC GEAR UP Program in an effort to assist the students in selecting a positive environment, and fit, where they will be able to continue their post–secondary educational pursuits.

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.

MHS GEAR UP students assemble in front of the newly–opened Windgate Art and Design Building on the UAFS Campus. The students were: Front Row: Jake Rattan, Coltyn Price, and Madison Lyles. Back Row: Noah Guoladdle, Stone Adams, Cayse Logan, Damian Breshears, Bethanie Gray, Carson Quinton, Conner Stewart, Hunter Smith, Bryce Shuman, Nina Holly, Kyle Vieux, Riley Dunaway, John Dixon, Emily Worstell, Davie Dobbs, Tessa Adams and Seth Crow.

Connors Biology Professor Dr. Ryan Carlton holds up a snake from the science lab for students to see. McAlester students include Jake Rattan, Coltyn Price, Carson Quinton, Karter Kelley, Celeste Lawson, Samantha Tilley, Brittany Stickler, Dylan Stobaugh, Jacob Nooner, Tessa Adams, Seth Crow, Noah Guoladdle, Casye Logan, Riley Dunaway and Kyle Vieux.

McAlester sophomore Kaitlyn Michael gets brave in the CSC biology lab and poses for a photo with the King snake. Other students pictured are Halee Simpson, Morgan Creekmore and Brayden McKelvey.

UAFS Student Ambassadors stop in front of the library to discuss campus opportunities with GEAR UP sophomores and juniors from McAlester High School.

McAlester High School GEAR UP students listen as UAFS student ambassadors give information about UAFS student organizations on campus. Front Row: Celeste Lawson, Samantha Tilley, Bianca Pharr, Samantha Nabours, Davie Dobbs, Nina Holly, and Tessa Adams. Row 2: Kaitlyn Michael, Isaac Briggs, Brayden McKelvey, Kyle Vieux, Madison Hammer, Emily Worstell, and Seth Crow. Back Row: John Dixon, Dylan Stobaugh, Jacob Nooner, Connor Stewart, Bethany Gray, and Carson Quintan

Students pose for a group tour pic in the student union at UAFS. Front Row: Bryce Shuman, Jake Rattan, Coltyn Price, Kaylee Bryson and James Morgan. Row 2: Nina Holly, Celeste Lawson, Tessa Adams, Madison Lyles, Seth Crow, Kaitlyn Michael, Bianca Pharr, Samantha Nabours, Halee Simpson, Camryn Powers, Carson Quintan, Morgan Creekmore, Brett Jameson, Hannah Bernhardt and Caynon Pascale. Back row: Karter Kelley, Madison Hammer, Davie Dobbs, Isaac Briggs, Dakota Breshears, John Dixon, Dylan Stobaugh, Dalton Lovell, Casye Logan and Destiny Johnston

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