Spiro eighth grade GEAR UP students tour Northeastern State University


WILBURTON, Okla. (May 13, 2019) – Sixty-six Spiro eighth grade GEAR UP students recently toured NSU (Northeastern State University) in Tahlequah. Students began the day at the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center where they were greeted by Gabby Clayton, Northeastern State University Graduate Assistant of Campus Visit Program; Kaylee Switzer, Northeastern State University Representative and alumnae; and Northeastern State University Student Ambassadors Megan Schwabe and Freeman Degraffenreid. Switzer presented students with an overview of NSU which included, how to apply for college, scholarship opportunities, things to do in Tahlequah, and an emphasis on NSU’s The Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) Program. The SOAR Session for first-time freshman is designed to assist in setting students up for success in the classroom and adjust to life on campus by getting to know their classmates and instructors before the semester starts.

After the presentation, students were separated into four groups to tour the other buildings on campus with student ambassadors. Spiro students toured the Center for Performing Arts, the College of the Liberal Arts, the John Vaughn Library, Haskell Hall, and the Gregg Wadley College of Science & Health Professions.

Students continued through campus where they visited the Center for Admissions and Student Enrollment, better known as C.A.S.E. C.A.S.E. offices include most general student services, such as financial aid, careers, and admissions. During the tour, guides answered questions from students and offered advice for future college students.

Students stood in the Circle of Excellence Plaza and Centennial Plaza. The Circle of Excellence Plaza is dedicated to NSU faculty members who have been nominated by students and colleagues for their contributions in teaching, research, and service. Each honoree has his/her name on a brick that is installed in the plaza. The Centennial Plaza is a gathering place established on the 100th anniversary of the founding of NSU. A bronze statue of Sequoyah, which stands as a symbol for the strong relationship NSU has had with the Cherokee Nation since the 1800s, is the focal point of the Centennial Plaza.

Lastly, students visited Leoser Hall, part of the residential complex, where they saw a dorm room. Students had a first-hand look at what their future college dorm may look like.

“College tours are an important part of Eastern’s GEAR UP program as they give students a first-hand look at life as a college student,” said Bethany Hicks, GEAR UP Education Coordinator. “NSU Student Ambassadors offered positive insight to what it would be like as a Northeastern State University RiverHawk.”

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. In 2017, Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and serves over 3,000 students in 39 area schools.

NSU’s Graduate Assistant of Campus Visit Program Gabby Clayton and Representative Kaylee Switzer instructing Spiro eighth grade GEAR UP students through activities in the Auditorium.

Spiro eighth grade GEAR UP students recently toured Northeastern State University. Pictured are (front row, left to right): Abby Beshers, Samantha Roeder, Haley Cowan, Brennen Porter, Christian Dukes, Jacob Walls, MacKenzi Clayton, Xaylie Burney, Tavion Badger, Nicholas Baxter, Emily McDonald, Nizhoni Lowe, Anna Monks, Emma Feemster, Whitney Finley, Cheyenne Taylor, Julie Knobelsdorff, Morelia Perez, Mya Israel, Brianna Lafferty, Joleena Comer, Madilyn Lovell, Lacey Reed, Lucas Bandy, Reagan Gist, Blaise Douglas, Caycee Tackett, Jasmine Dees, Ciana Dees, Christina Perez, (back row) Bryson Hogan, Brandon Moody, Whitnie Moore, Joshua Partain, Aidan Wind, Gunner West, Dalton Dollar, Montanna Flaherty, Gracelyn Rice, Marissa Harvey, Arella Stimac, Cheyenne Stewart, Ilizabeth Howell, Gannon Shackelford, Brayden Shirley, Matthew Killion, Memphis Ridenour, Calvin McKinney, Joel Romero, Nico Kinney, Blake Owens, Abigail Standridge, Emily Roy, Blake Dedmon, Zander Riggs, Jordan Johnson, Braydon Draper, Blaze Rogers, Gabriel Perez, Elexander Perryman, Tommy Worton, Bryan Hammontree, Cash Richardson, Kennan Cain, Jarron Tom, and Parker Gray.

Spiro eighth grade GEAR UP students visit Seminary Hall at NSU. Pictured are (front row, left to right): Mya Israel, Whitnie Moore, Marissa Harvey, Reagan Gist, Jasmine Dees, Blaise Douglas, Madilyn Lovell, Ciana Dees, (back row) Joleena Comer, Brianna Lafferty, Emma Feemster, Whitney Finley, Ilizabeth Howell, Haley Cowan, Abby Beshers, Julie Knobelsdorff, and Xaylie Burney.

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