RSU Pryor to Present Faculty Showcase Lecture Series

Rogers State University Pryor is presenting a Faculty Showcase Lecture Series during the spring 2015 semester that will feature four professors sharing insights into topics such as Oklahoma’s prehistoric past, our state’s rich musical legacy, the Civil War on the frontier and native wildlife.

The lectures are scheduled for January 28, February 24, March 25 and April 29. Each presentation will begin at 12:10 p.m. in the RSU Pryor Auditorium, which is located in the new RSU campus at the MidAmerica Industrial Park, 2155 Highway 69A. Admission is free and open to the public.

Sherry Alexander, Director of the Pryor Campus, said she was excited about the opportunity to have members of the public hear from RSU professors about their areas of research and expertise.

“We have great faculty at RSU and this is a great chance for Mayes County residents to hear first-hand about the exciting research being done on issues related to Oklahoma’s past and present,” she said.

Dr. Brian Andrews will present a lecture titled “The Ice Age and Beyond:  Recent Research in the Archaeology of Northeastern Oklahoma” on Wednesday, January 28. Dr. Andrews is an Assistant Professor in RSU’s Department of Psychology and Sociology. He is an anthropological archaeologist interested in prehistoric hunter-gatherer adaptation. He has conducted research throughout the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains, examining questions of mobility, settlement, technology, spatial patterning, and social organization.

About 11,000 years ago, the ancient ancestors of modern Native Americans first came to Oklahoma. The archaeological record of this occupation suggests that these groups of hunters and gatherers adapted to changing environments after the end of the last Ice Age, starting as relatively small, mobile social groups and eventually forming large and socially complex civilizations. Dr. Andrews will talk about this as well as his ongoing excavations and research at Goodson Shelter near Chelsea.

On Tuesday, February 24, noted Oklahoma musical historian Dr. Hugh Foley will discuss our state’s tradition rich musical history, which has deep roots in many genres, in a lecture titled “From Powwows to Power Pop: An Oklahoma Music Survey.”

Dr. Foley, an author and a founding board member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, will survey musical traditions from the state of Oklahoma, present rarely discussed facts about Oklahoma music, and discuss his research of Muscogee (Creek) Hymns that formed the scholarly basis for the film, This May Be the Last Time, featured at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014.

Dr. Foley is a Professor in RSU’s Department of Fine Arts. Dr. Foley’s primary areas of scholarship are American Studies with an emphasis on Oklahoma music and culture, Native American Studies, and Cinema.  He currently serves as the faculty consultant at the campus radio station, KRSC-FM, where he produces a weekly Native American current events and music program, and mentors students in basic studio operations.

Dr. Jane Johansson will present a lecture titled “A Constant School of Excitement: Albert C. Ellithorpe and the Civil War on the Frontier” on Wednesday, March 25.

Dr. Johansson serves as a Professor in RSU’s Department of History and Political Science. She specializes in the history of the American Civil War and worked for several years as co-editor of the Papers of Will Rogers Project. She received a master’s degree in library science and doctoral degree in American history from the University of North Texas.

Albert C. Ellithorpe, a Union officer, served in the First Indian Home Guards, a tri-racial unit comprised of whites, refugee Muscogee Creek and Seminole Indians, and African Americans. Campaigning in Arkansas, Indian Territory and Missouri, Ellithorpe wrote of guerrilla warfare, the role of Indian troops, the plight of refugees and the internal problems of the Army of the Frontier. Dr. Johansson, who is based out of the Pryor campus, recently completed a book on Ellithorpe and the Civil War.

Dr. Keith Martin will speak on Wednesday, April 29 on the status of endangered species of cave life in eastern Oklahoma, especially bats, and the measures that his research efforts through RSU to protect them.

Dr. Martin is the Dean of RSU’s School of Arts and Sciences and is a Professor of Biology. Dr. Martin received a doctoral degree in Fish and Wildlife Ecology from Oklahoma State University, and a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Higher Education-Biology from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He currently conducts research involving protection of critical habitat for cave-dwelling species of bats in eastern Oklahoma. Dr. Martin teaches courses in Cellular Biology, Ecology, Field Botany, Environmental Conservation and Ecology of Mammals.

For more information, contact the RSU Pryor campus at 918-343-7867.