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.
Features
Have skates (and tuba) will travel

Have skates (and tuba) will travel

Doug Whitten is known to most as a music professor, director of the university’s renowned Pride of the Plains Marching Band, and one of the finest tuba players in the region. But Whitten has a small secret. On certain nights, he will heed the call, lace up his skates, don the uniform and helmet, and...

Hands-on experiences lead to global professional success

Three students, each from a different part of the globe, had nothing in common until they wound up in PSU’s Department of Communication. Now, they share a tie to Pittsburg, and professional success they attribute to the hands-on experiences they had here. Ramina Wade, a Russian student who came here by way of South America,...
Changing Lives - Study abroad trips teach life, humility.

Changing Lives – Study abroad trips teach life, humility.

Often, those Pitt State experiences that have the greatest impact on a student’s life take place far from the Oval. Senior Emily Allen said she thought she understood something about poverty until she went on a trip to Peru this spring to study the Amazon Rain Forest. “Until this trip I feel like I never...
Art, wood tech students collaborate on exhibit

Art, wood tech students collaborate on exhibit

Typically, art students tend to live in the abstract, while wood tech students focus on the functional. They don’t often think the same, dress the same or even talk the same. Their worlds hardly ever collide. It took an art exhibit to shatter those stereotypes. That was the point behind “Home,” an exhibit in the...
Plastics student lands dream job at Nike IHM

Plastics student lands dream job at Nike IHM

When Jordyn Showers enrolled IN the plastics engineering technology program at Pittsburg State, she had confidence that her degree would one day land her at the job of her dreams. “I knew that maybe five or 10 years into my career, I could end up at a large, well-known company,” she said. “Our plastics program...
Student finds her passion and charts a new path

Student finds her passion and charts a new path

Many of us can point to a person or event that changed the direction of our lives. For Hannah Thomas, who graduated in May, it’s several people and two amazing experiences. It’s not the path Thomas expected to be on when she came to PSU from Ottawa, Kansas. “I was thinking pre-med,” Thomas said. A...
“Tail-End Charley”

“Tail-End Charley”

Gary Brown never thought of his father as an adventurous man. And why would he? Jim Brown was an English teacher who spent more than 30 years in classrooms sharing his love of the written word with students throughout Kansas. So it was a bit surprising when Gary came across a manuscript, following his father’s...
Capturing History

Capturing History

Statistically speaking, noted Ron Womble, he probably shouldn’t have wound up as one of the most revered storytellers in Pittsburg State University history. With a class of 30, his high school newspaper was published on a mimeograph machine. And Womble, a practical joker, didn’t take school seriously. His family, shaped by the Depression and World...
Guys in grade school: Men remain a small minority among elementary school teachers

Guys in grade school: Men remain a small minority among elementary school teachers

Tim Vesco loves his job and it shows. It’s after lunch when Vesco, a fifth-grade teacher at Frontenac’s Frank Layden Elementary School, dives into a math lesson involving fractions. The students sit in small groups, scattered among a variety of bean-bag chairs, benches and high tables. Vesco pivots between the white board, where he illustrates...
Prairies: a glimpse into our past

Prairies: a glimpse into our past

The only sounds on this hot, humid September day are the insects and a crow in the distance as Dixie Smith, chair of the Department of Biology at Pittsburg State University, plods through the tangled mass of bluestem, bright azure asters, sunflowers, goldenrod and scores of other native grasses in the O’Malley Prairies just northeast...
Why I teach third grade

Why I teach third grade

Paul Hanney was THAT kid. Hanney (BSE 2000, MS 2010), a third-grade teacher at Westside Elementary School in Pittsburg, is not shy about his academic record as a youngster. “I absolutely hated school,” Hanney recalled. “I was not good in a single thing, except art. When I was in elementary school, all of the desks...

What a day

Saturday, May 28, 2016, will be etched clearly in Head Coach Russ Jewett’s memory for the rest of his life. It was the day PSU’s women’s outdoor track and field team captured the program’s first-ever national championship. “We scored 13 points total on Thursday and Friday,” Jewett recalled. On Saturday, the Gorillas started to build...