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.
Spring 2020
Meet “Alexander”

Meet “Alexander”

  On Aug. 28, a hawk became a Gorilla, thanks in part to a PSU alumnus who is a pilot.  Alexander replaces Harriet, a 35-year-old Harris’s hawk who had represented PSU Nature Reach in hundreds of outreach programs since 1988; she died in January 2019.  Last summer, Director Delia Lister found a replacement, thanks to...

A dream come true

World-renowned operatic tenor Robert Dean Smith (BS ‘80) grew up in the tiny town of Chetopa, Kansas, and  once dreamed of making music his career. Two degrees in music from PSU helped put him on the path.  In October, he returned home for two concerts with PSU students and faculty, one on campus in the Bicknell...

Pritchett Trust scholarships

The PSU Scholarship Committee awarded $50,000 in scholarships from the Pritchett Trust to 109 graduates of high schools in Crawford County, Kansas, last fall, to be used to further their education in the 2019-20 academic year.  “We appreciate the fact that these local students chose to stay home to get their education here, and we...
The business of art

The business of art

Art professor S. Portico Bowman does not believe in the starving artist mentality.   “When students leave our program, they will know how to make a living with their art,” said Bowman.    To back up that claim, Bowman teaches the Business of Art, a unique class that met last semester in The Foundry in the newly-opened Block22.   “We’ve...
The life aquatic

The life aquatic

On a hot autumn day, graduate student Kali Boroughs didn’t mind getting a bit wet as she collected research samples from a creek near Galena, Kansas. She and classmate Joshua Holloway and a recent alumna, Alexandra King, stretched a seine across the water so that the current swept aquatic life into it.  Their purpose: to...
Opossums, armadillos, and bobcats — oh my!

Opossums, armadillos, and bobcats — oh my!

Some 30 miles north in wooded areas, motion-activated  trail cameras set out by biology major Caleb Durbin and Assistant Professor of Biology Christine Brodsky were capturing images of mammals.   By the end of the semester, they had photographic evidence of bobcats, deer, raccoons, gray and fox squirrels, opossums, eastern cottontail rabbits, mice, armadillos, coyotes, groundhogs,...
Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice

Former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush Condoleezza Rice made remarks and participated in a Q&A with President Steve Scott last fall to an audience of more than 1,000.  Rice had a front seat at historical events such as the Berlin Wall coming down, Germany reunifying, and Sept. 11,...
“I fit in”

“I fit in”

When NaviT’ Hill blew the head gaskets in her Subaru Forester, she didn’t bat an eye. She rebuilt the engine herself. She also fixed some body damage on the car after hitting a stump, using Associate Professor John Thompson’s lab for the work.  “I’m super proud of it. It speaks to the amount of knowledge and...

Students create old-style radio show

Jason Knowles, a new assistant professor in the Department of Communication, is capturing the imagination of today’s audio production students — and their audiences — with an age-old technique: Foley sound effects to bring a radio story to life.  Their classroom: a stage with microphones. Their learning materials: random objects and a folding table.  Senior...
Bringing home the win

Bringing home the win

Five students were faced with the ultimate learning challenge last fall: create a web-based application that matches entrepreneurs willing to mentor new entrepreneurs. But they didn’t have a semester; they had one weekend.  They wound up doing well: they brought home a first-place trophy and bragging rights from Code-A-Thon 2019, a unique competition hosted by...
‘A sense of accomplishment’

‘A sense of accomplishment’

Melissa Payne’s mantra: “Don’t quit your senior year, kids.”  Payne, 50, became one of the newest alumni last year when she earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. It took her 26 years to complete it.  “I have such a sense of accomplishment,” she said.  She wasted no time in returning to campus: she soon...

Award-winning

The College of Education chose Steve Lilly, superintendent of schools for USD 342 at McLouth, Kansas, as the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Service Administrator Award, and Jimmika Lawson, instructional coach to classroom teachers at Silver City Elementary School in Kansas City, Kansas, for the 2019 Distinguished Teacher Award.  Lilly (MS ’96) has worked in public education...