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
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...
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 and field team captured the program’s first-ever national championship on May 28 in Bradenton,...
Former president shares lessons about diversity

Former president shares lessons about diversity

When Lee and Linda Scott decided to endow a major speakers series at PSU, it was clear that the first speaker in that series would need to be someone of national significance. How about the 42nd president of the United States? On Nov. 23, 2015, President Bill Clinton spoke to a standing-room-only crowd in the...
Alumni give lead gift for Kelce College of Business improvements

Alumni give lead gift for Kelce College of Business improvements

Pitt State alumni John and Susan Lowe, of Houston, Texas, have pledged the largest single gift in the history of the Kelce College of Business. The $3 million gift will go toward facility improvements at the KCOB. “John and Susan understand the difference a quality education can make in a student’s life because they experienced...
Wishes do come true

Wishes do come true

The basketball game on Jan. 30 was a very special black-tie affair, thanks to the hard work of the PSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and a little girl named Lily. SAAC hosted the Make-A-Wish celebration between the Women’s and Men’s games against Northwest Missouri State University for Lily, a 7-year-old from Wichita, Kan., who has...
Big buildings; big impact

Big buildings; big impact

IT’S CLEARLY A BIG BUILDING, but the Robert W. Plaster Center’s location, away from the street and tucked behind the Weede Physical Education Building, makes it easy to underestimate the most recent addition to the campus. “Visitors’ reactions are almost always the same,” said Tom Myers, associate athletics director for facilities. “Stepping inside the door...
Having people who believe in me has made all the difference

Having people who believe in me has made all the difference

“HAVING PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN me has made all the difference,” said David Schlee, his voice filling with emotion. In May, Schlee was one of about 1,270 students who earned degrees from PSU. In fact, Schlee walked in two different ceremonies. On Friday, Schlee joined classmates in the College of Arts and Sciences to receive...

First-generation grad fulfills a promise

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, SHONTAE COBB MADE A PROMISE TO HER grandfather. This year she kept it and in the process set an example for her four siblings and many others she may never know. “When I was in first grade, my grandfather came to my school for Grandparents Day,” Cobb said. “He always told me...