NSA, Alva High Students Collaborate to Plan Student Council Conference, Two Scholarships Awarded

October 23, 2023

Wide shot of OASC District 11 conference attendeesStudents from 17 northwest Oklahoma and Oklahoma panhandle schools filled the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Herod Hall Auditorium recently for the Oklahoma Association of Student Councils District 11 fall leadership conference. The conference will return to the Northwestern-Alva campus next October.

The lucky winners of a drawing for scholarships to attend Northwestern Oklahoma State University in the fall just because they were in attendance at the Oklahoma Association of Student Councils District 11 fall leadership conference are seniors Aspen Freeman of Balko, $500; and Jackeline Bautista of Alva, $250.

Nearly 400 middle and high school students and their advisers were on the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Alva campus recently for the Oklahoma Association of Student Councils (OASC) District 11 fall leadership conference.

Northwestern’s Scholar Ambassadors (NSA) and members of the Alva High School Student Council teamed up to organize this event and worked on this student-led event since July.

“It is a great opportunity for Northwestern Oklahoma State University to play host to the District 11 Oklahoma Association of Student Council Conference,” Calleb Mosburg, dean of student affairs and enrollment management, said. “OASC and Northwestern have a great partnership with hosting the summer OASC BASIC Workshops, and this event is another great opportunity for this partnership.

“Northwestern Oklahoma State University is committed to promoting quality and ethical leadership, and this event is another great example of our commitment and the commitment of our local schools.”

Registration began at 9:30 a.m. with advisers receiving packets and free Northwestern t-shirts for the students designed by Josie Gibson, Guymon senior majoring in agriculture, especially for this event and were sponsored by several businesses in northwest Oklahoma.

Students were asked to fill out a short digital form upon arrival, and a random drawing of senior students for two Northwestern scholarships took place during the morning session. Tylar Thompson, admissions counselor/recruitment coordinator in the Northwestern Office of Recruitment, spoke to the students about the quality of education they could receive at Northwestern along with the lower cost advantages.

She then announced the Northwestern scholarship winners. Jackeline Bautista from Alva High School won the $250 scholarship while Aspen Freeman from Balko High School won the $500 scholarship.

Members of NSA were part of a question-and-answer panel during the morning session where they shared their various leadership experiences, both in high school and in college, and the importance of collaborating to serve in greater capacities.

Three breakout sessions for the students took place throughout the morning including a Make Big Talk presentation in the Student Center Ranger Room by Emily Smith, Holdenville senior and 2023 Miss Northwestern; fun pep rally games in the Health and Sports Science Education small gym; and boxed lunches in the Student Center Ballroom.

Seventeen of the 25 member schools in District 11 from northwest Oklahoma and the Oklahoma panhandle attended. Schools coming were from Alva, Balko, Boise City, Canton, Fairview, Fargo-Gage, Ft. Supply, Forgan, Laverne, Mooreland, Seiling, Shattuck, Taloga, Texhoma, Turpin, Waynoka and Woodward.

“How fabulous to have close to 400 student council kids on our Northwestern campus,” said Karen Koehn, career counselor at Northwest Technology Center in Alva who also has worked with OASC for more than 30 years. “I’ve never seen a District 11 meeting with this many students!

“Alva High School Student Council and Northwestern are to be congratulated on their collaboration to host this outstanding group of students. The symbol of excellence and Ranger pride was certainly bursting out today.”

Because Alva High School student Cameron Longhurst was elected secretary of District 11 it meant that AHS would be playing host to the event.

Mendi White, AHS student council adviser and math teacher, knew that the moment they learned Alva High’s Student Council members would be hosting the event, she wanted to have it at Northwestern. She and her team worked with Ethan Sacket, student success coordinator/transfer student recruiter/NSA adviser, and members of the NSA to make plans for it.

White has been a student council adviser in both Boise City (25 years) and Alva (four years) for 29 years as well as serving as the District 11 adviser for 23 of those years. She also works with Koehn and others at the BASIC Summer Camp at Northwestern.

“Alva High School has an amazing group of young leaders, and I knew when put to the challenge, they would step up and put together an amazing day of leadership activities,” White said. “I also knew that hosting at AHS would be a challenge so when we asked Northwestern officials if they would collaborate with us on this event, they were more than willing. 

“The students put this event together while still working on our other beginning of the year events, homecoming, pink week and our state campaign,” White added. “I am proud of the work they put in and the success that they had. I am also excited they are willing to put in the work to host again next year. It was such a great experience for them to work with the Northwestern NSA leaders and see firsthand leadership at the college level. We want to thank Northwestern for this experience.”

White added that this was the largest group that had ever attended the district conference.

“Other advisers commented that they liked having their students on a college campus and interacting with the NSA students,” White said. “For some of them, it was the first time they had ever been on a college campus.”

Sacket echoed White’s comments about this having been a great experience for all the students involved in the conference’s planning. The groups will collaborate on this event again when the conference returns to Northwestern in October 2024.


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