Network with peers, take initiative

I’ll start this thing off by apologizing, because this is going to be cheesy. Seeing this is my very last editorial for the Pioneer, I wanted to leave some words of advice to my peers at OCCC. I’ve attended OCCC since fall of 2012 and it’s been a ride, and it has been quick. Peers, this college is full of opportunities — not only for learning, but for networking. I cannot stress enough how important it is to network with fellow students and professors. These people can help you out in many ways, and will if you’re nice enough to them.

According to, here are a few tips on learning to network:

“Be cognizant of your image and reputation.” I have to say, dressing nicely and maintaining a perfectly groomed beard has gotten me places. Okay, not really, but people take you more seriously when you look professional. Showing up to an interview like you just woke up and mowed your lawn isn’t the way to go.

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Testing Center sets hours for finals week

Finals week in the Testing Center starts out busy and gets busier, said Linda Little, director of Testing and Assessment at OCCC. On average, about 4,000 tests are administered during finals week, Little said.

To accommodate students, the Testing Center will be offering extended hours during finals week.

Monday through Friday, May 11 through 15, the Testing Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. The doors will lock at 10 p.m.

On Saturday, May 16, the hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and doors lock at 4 p.m.

For students who have some flexibility about when they take final exams, Little had some advice on how to make the best of a hectic period.

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College degree paves road to success

The college Board of Regents recognized Devery Youngblood on April 27 for his service as a regent and presented him with a framed proclamation, thanking him for his dedication to the board.

Then he was sworn in to serve a full seven-year term, after being reappointed by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Youngblood served the remaining four years of Dave Lopez’s term when Lopez was appointed as Secretary of Commerce.

Youngblood said he chose to be a regent, which is a volunteer position, because of the students.

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The Absolute 2015 reception a night of literature and jazz

About 100 people turned out to sample original literature and smooth jazz April 30, at the annual reception for The Absolute, OCCC’s literary and art journal.

The college union room slowly filled with both students and faculty while the sounds of the Student Jazz Ensemble played in the background.

Faculty Advisor Marybeth McCauley introduced the journal’s 2015 student editors to the room before they announced this year’s award-winners.

Kylie Combs, the winner of the Critic’s Choice Award for nonfiction, was the first to be called to the stage to read her work.

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Spanish students visit Costa Rica in May

A small group of OCCC Spanish students will be going to Costa Rica to study from May 18 through 30. They will join a class from Northeastern Oklahoma State University in Tahlequah for the trip to Central America.

The students will improve their Spanish and at the same time will enjoy the adventures and beauties of Costa Rica, said Oklahoma Study Abroad coordinator Christian Alyea, who will guide the group.

Costa Rica is a country with one of the world’s biggest biodiversity environments. It might be a small country but from the Caribbean Sea on the east coast to the Pacific Ocean on the west coast, students will learn in a variety of settings, most of them outdoors, Alyea said.

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Blood highlights need for donation, falls short of goal

OCCC’s most recent blood drive fell short of its goal, said Terri Townsend, coordinator of the Oklahoma Blood Institute. They had hoped to collect at least 70 donations during the two days that the donation center was on campus, April 14 and 15.

But only 53 blood donors responded to the call. In the first day 29 blood donations were registered and in the second day only 24.

“We were expecting at least 70,” Townsend said.

Townsend said that blood donations save millions of lives across the U.S.

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Just leave the guns at home, OK

The Norman Music Festival is an event I look forward to every year. The diverse music and energetic atmosphere combine to create an entertaining experience for all to enjoy. But this year, I didn’t feel as safe as I normally would have in the past.

Recently, the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association claimed the Norman Music Alliance and City of Norman infringed on their Second Amendment rights by not allowing people to bring guns to the festival.

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Former student wants help for Nepal

You might be already aware of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in the morning of April 25.

According to the Nepalese government officials, more than 4,600 people have been confirmed dead, and the casualty is expected to go up. Thousands of injured are in desperate need of medical attention. Countless have lost their lives, homes and are on the streets in need of food, warm clothes and medicines.

Organizations are on the ground with supplies and volunteers but it is no match to the devastation the earthquake has left behind. We may not share the victims’ anguish but we can help to alleviate it.

Please make a tax-deductible contribution to these organizations who have opened up direct links to their Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund.

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Swim club hopes pool can stay open

We are saddened to hear that OCCC plans to close its pool at the end of the summer. For 25 years, this facility has given countless children water safety skills that save lives, aspiring competitive swimmers a place to build their dreams, and adult swimmers a lane to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

It has played host to multiple daily practices and hundreds of swim meets from local to national-level meets that bring in some of the fastest national, collegiate and amateur swimmers.

Throughout this time, King Marlin Swim Club has enjoyed working with OCCC to meet the swimming community’s needs and make a positive impact. The benefits are far-reaching and our community is the greatest benefactor.

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