We hope you enjoy this issue of the PittState Magazine as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you. In this issue are some things we hope you will find fun and helpful. Read new issues every May and August.
National champion Gorillas

National champion Gorillas

Russ Jewett recalls returning to Pittsburg with his cheeks sore from smiling on the long trip back from the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field National Championships. He had a lot to smile about. The Pitt State women’s outdoor track...

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Faculty follow different paths to the classroom

Faculty follow different paths to the classroom

One of Pittsburg State University’s Dr. Robert K. Ratzlaff Outstanding Faculty Award recipients for 2016 has known he wanted to be a teacher since second grade, but the others discovered their passion for teaching later in life. The Outstanding Faculty...

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In love with Gus

In love with Gus

Only Gorilla Nation can truly understand how much we love our adorable mascot, Gus. So while it may have surprised the rest of the world, it made perfect sense to us when PSU alumni and friends embraced an online contest...

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In this issue...
A Paraguayan journey

A Paraguayan journey

Alheli Aranda-Britez was just 17 when she arrived on the Pitt State campus five years ago from her home in Paraguay. It was frightening, exciting and sometimes confusing, all at the same time. Today, Aranda is a confident young woman who has just embarked on an exciting career and sometimes she marvels at how much...

Gift is more than a bike; it’s a legacy

When Joe Morris picked up his diploma in May, he also received the title to a 1963 FLH Duo-Glide Harley Davidson with a 74-inch, 1,200-cc engine. More than getting perhaps one of the coolest graduation gifts ever, Morris got a piece of his family legacy. Joe’s unique gift had its genesis when he was born....
PSU alum restores iconic Yosemite sign

PSU alum restores iconic Yosemite sign

Mark Switlik, BFA ’79 and originally from Parsons, Kan., is known for his big art, like the 43×41-foot Centennial Mural on PSU’s Mitchell Hall. Now he can add iconic and historic to the list of adjectives that describe his work. Recently, Switlik completed the restoration of a sign that many visitors to Yosemite National Park...

Alum enters Teachers’ Hall of Fame

Dave Torbett is well known for having a humorous response to just about anything. He turned just a little serious, however, when reflecting on his recent selection to the Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame. “It’s a very humbling thing,” Torbett said this week. “There are many, many teachers who deserve it more than I.” A...

Grad’s dreams take her to Geneva

Katy Giffin dreams of having a global impact and taking the next step toward making that happen. Giffin, the daughter of Steven and Latisha Potter of Mindenmines, Mo., earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from PSU in May. This fall, Giffin and her husband, Michael, will move to Geneva, Switzerland, where Katy will begin a...

Auto tech receives parts donation

Automotive technology students at Pittsburg State have an increased supply of tools and parts on which to train thanks to a donation from a local business. Molle Automotive in Pittsburg recently donated a collection of vehicle parts and tools to the Pitt State auto tech program, which will be used by students in a variety...

Alum among nation’s top construction leaders

Reed Graham, a 2001 PSU graduate and Chief Operating Officer at Erickson Construction in Chandler, Ariz., was named a 2016 winner of Professional Builder Magazine’s “40 Under 40” award. The honor recognizes young industry leaders who are making a significant impact at their respective companies. Graham, 38, has helped Erickson increase revenue by 33 percent...

Architect selected for KCOB project

As co-owner of the Lawrence-based architecture firm Clark Huesemann LC, Steve Clark is no stranger to the PSU campus. “Members of our firm, including myself, have been working on projects at Pittsburg State since 1994,” he said. “We enjoy working with PSU because the people there are fantastic. We work with a lot of universities,...

MBA program among nation’s most affordable

The Kelce College of Business offers one of the best and most affordable Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees in the nation, according to the online business education and career guide, Top Management Degrees. Pitt State’s MBA degree is ranked second on Top Management Degrees’ “Top 50 Affordable MBA Programs 2016” list. The list includes...

PSU, city partner on project

PSU is partnering with the City of Pittsburg on a project to redevelop 350 acres of land near the city’s center. Earlier this year, the city received a $196,000 Environmental Protection Agency planning grant to clean up and redevelop more than 350 acres of land between 7th and Washington and Rouse and Joplin streets. The...

Cadets become officers

Nine Army ROTC cadets became second lieutenants on Friday, May 6, in a tradition-rich ceremony in the PSU Veterans’ Memorial Amphitheater. The commissioning ceremony is one of the most memorable days in every officer’s career and the setting – clear blue skies and the memorial’s eternal flame and reflecting pool – make it picture-perfect for...

Gorillas gather in Texas

Meagan Swafford, assistant director of Pittsburg State’s Alumni and Constituent Relations office, wasn’t certain what to expect when they put out the word about hosting an alumni event at the Fort Worth Zoo. “We’d never held an event in Fort Worth,” she said. “And summers in Texas can be pretty hot. But we knew our...