Dan Goodson works for Western Oklahoma State College
on the custodial staff. Goodson recently learned that a
proposal he wrote for the Thunder Cares Foundation secured
a brand new Thunder Court for the
Hoyt Shadid Park at the Altus City Reservoir.
Goodson Brings Thunder Court to Altus
Dan Goodson, Custodial Staff at Western, recently made local news when he got the attention of the Thunder Cares Foundation, the community relations arm of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In February, Goodson was notified that a proposal he submitted nominating Altus for a refurbished basketball court project at the Hoyt Shadid Park located on the northwest side of the city reservoir, was accepted by the Thunder Cares Foundation. The park project is slated to begin in mid-March with a late Spring completion date projected. The new court will sport trademark “Thunder Up” blue along with team, NBA and Thunder Cares logos. New court equipment will also be installed on the site.
Goodson credits Loran Mayes, Western speech faculty, How-to-Palace owner and local “Blue Alliance” group leader for helping him write his project proposal and giving pointers about who to involve in the project. He says, “She is so “Thunder Up” it’s crazy.”
Goodson is an 2005 Altus High graduate and an Air Force veteran. He heard about the Thunder court projectin 2010 after completing his four years of military service. He says, “The Thunder was just getting good then. We would go and play on the Thunder courts in the city…..It makes you feel like you actually play for The Thunder. It motivates you to get up and get active.”
Dan’s concern for his community and love of the game influenced him to apply for the Thunder Cares project. “I moved back to Altus and I heard about how the Thunder donates courts based on a community’s needs. I kinda let it go by, but then there were some shootings in Altus. I wanted to send a positive message and thought it was the perfect time to take the opportunity.”
When asked why he thought Altus needed the Thunder Court Goodson said, “I feel like Altus has a lack of recreational activities. The only sports you get are the city league or school ball. I thought the Thunder Court could be a positive step in the right direction. There are five elementary schools and so many kids, but nothing for them to do. We need something.”
So far, Dan says he has been getting great feedback about the impending Thunder Court, “ “It’s been crazy. I kinda feel like Hollywood red carpet sometimes. Everywhere I go someone is talking about it or someone recognizes me from the Altus Times article or the Facebook post. I coach four teams of 6 to 9 year-olds for the city basketball league. The little kids are excited about it. I’ll have them with me for the ribbon cutting ceremony on the court.”
Dan is also getting attention with his business The Billionaire Flyy Gang “It’s a movement/label/clothing line that is trying to empower a positive message for the word “gang” We do positive events like our annual Thanksgiving turkey give-away, Easter in the park celebration and community barbecues and now the Thunder Court.”
Dan began working at Western this January and the college is proud to call him a part of the Pioneer community. He says, “ I want to be a positive role model and do positive things for my community. I do it all for Altus.”
Western Joins The Jed Clinton Campus Program
Western is one of fifty-six American colleges and universities to the join The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program in support of student well-being and mental health. The program is designed to help schools prevent the two leading causes of death in young adults, – accidents, including those caused by prescription drug overdoses or alcohol poisoning, and suicide.
The Campus Program, which launched in June 2014, is designed to help colleges and universities assess and enhance mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention programming.
Participating schools make a four-year commitment to work with The Campus Program to evaluate and identify opportunities to augment these activities on campus. The Campus Program provides schools with a framework for supporting student mental health, as well as assessment tools, feedback reports and ongoing technical assistance from The Campus Program team.
In February, members of Western’s Mental Health Task Force including: April Dill, John Phelan, Bob Pearson, Jimmy Poe, Jason Miller, Patricia Purdue and Maegan Martin met with Ariel LeGrand and Nancy Roy, Clinical Director for the Jed Foundation to review Western’s campus health survey and discuss ways the college can enhance its student mental health services. Some of the items suggested included the formation of a Care Team and a BIT team whose purposes would be to identify issues related to student mental health. The team would also help identify at-risk students; issue public service announcements about The Campus Program and initiate memorandums of understanding with area health and mental health care providers. Over the next four years, LeGrand and Roy will make periodic visits to Western to assist its mental health task force and make continued recommendations.
We believe that the implementation of a campus-wide approach to mental health will lead to safer, healthier campuses, and likely greater student retention.” said John MacPhee, Executive Director of The Jed Foundation.
Western Counselor April Dill said, “The Jed and Clinton Campus Program will help Western to strengthen our mental health and drug and alcohol programming policies to better serve our students. With the assistance of this program we will be able to better identify and serve students in need. Our hope is to identify students in need early and assist them as quickly and effectively as possible.”
Phelan Speaks to League of Innovation
John Phelan, Western Social Science Coordinator and Psychology Faculty, will present a forum at the March 8-11, League for Innovation in the Community College 2015 Annual Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. Phelan’s session is entitled “The Nuts and Bolts of Academic Service Learning” and it focuses on the history of service learning in academia and how faculty can incorporate service learning in their classroom.
Phelan has spoken to numerous organization about service learning during his 31 year career in higher education to include: The American Psychological Association Convention; the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges Conference; the North Central Higher Learning Commission Conference and the Campus Compact Regional Conferences. In 2011, Phelan was named the Community Engagement Professional of the Year by Oklahoma Campus Compact.
Service learning combines community service with classroom instruction, focusing on critical, reflective thinking as well as personal and civic responsibility. Service learning programs involve students in activities that address local needs while developing their academic skills and commitment to their community.Service learning has a positive impact on student learning outcomes, civic engagement, and retention. Beginning in 1994, the American Association of Community Colleges promoted the value of service learning to the 1,200 associate degree-granting institutions in the U.S. According to three AACC national surveys, two-thirds of all community colleges offer service learning in their curricular programs.
The League for Innovation in the Community College (League) is an international, nonprofit association dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. CEOs from the most influential, resourceful, and dynamic community colleges and districts in the world comprise the League’s board of directors and provide strategic direction for its ongoing activities. These community colleges and their leaders are joined by more than 800 institutions that hold membership in the League Alliance.
With this core of powerful and innovative community colleges and more than 160 corporate partners, the League serves community colleges around the world by hosting conferences and institutes, developing print and digital resources, and leading projects and initiatives with member colleges, corporate partners, and other agencies.
Pianists Learn from World Class Artist
Donna Tucker, Ashlynn Van Winkle, and Yohan Yeom played
for Hyunsoon Whang, Cameron University Piano Faculty and
McMahon Endowed Chair in Music, February 26 in a piano
master class. Whang also performed that evening in the
Herschal H. Crow Fine Arts Auditorium
Western Regent Steve Miller of Hobart, retired from his
position on the Western Board of Regent after 21 years
of service. Student Senate Representative, Emily Howard,
presented Miller with a plaque on behalf of the Student
Senate and thanked him for his dedicated service to the