**For Immediate Release**
Provides Quality Graduates to Growing Area
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 04-04-06
by Scott Puryear
Goodwell, Okla.- Oklahoma Panhandle State University serves
as a valuable educational institution for the region.
As part of their overall mission, OPSU also plays
an integral role in assisting area employers by providing
them with trained employees prepared to face future
challenge. For nearly 100 years, OPSU graduates have
worked in responsible positions in both the public
and private sector, and many of them seek and secure
employment in the Panhandle and other areas in the
state of Oklahoma.
currently has a placement rate of nearly 100 percent.
Graduates from the school are in demand and are recognized
for the preparation and training they have received.
As a four-year university in a rural setting, OPSU
offers small class sizes which enable students to
maintain close relationships with faculty members
as well as acquire valuable leadership and teamwork
experience while participating in supervised team
Panhandle region itself has experienced an unprecedented
population growth. Guymon, located ten miles northeast
of the OPSU campus, has seen its population increase
from 7,803 in 1990 to an estimated 14,000 today.
The entire region has grown at approximately the
same rate, and both public and private sector companies
and organizations have worked hard to meet the challenges
that accompany this kind of growth.
organization that has met these challenges is Tri-County
Electric, a public utility headquartered in Hooker.
It has responded to the increasing needs of the area
by virtue of both its advances in technology and
it strong workforce.
strong and committed member of the Tri-County team
is Joel Gerber, the organization’s Manager
of Computer Information Technology (CIT). The
Manter, Kan. native graduated from OPSU
in 2003 with a degree in Computer Information Systems.
Gerber is responsible for all of Tri-County’s
computer operations, an enormous task considering
that the utility serves over 12,000 individual residential
and commercial clients.
also manages and maintains the Tri-County web site. He
says he enjoyed his time at OPSU and still maintains
close ties with the school. Gerber added that
while a student, he especially enjoyed the relationships
he had with several of his instructors as well as
his association with clubs in both the Computer Information
Systems and Art Departments.
Smotherman, Gerber’s supervisor, enjoys working
with Gerber and is very pleased with Tri-County’s
relationship with OPSU. “Joel is a hard-working
young man with a good attitude and a fine example
of what local education can do,” Smotherman
its establishment in 1909, OPSU has graduated well-trained
individuals who are ready to provide their skills
and expertise to businesses in this fast-growing
area. Gerber is just one of the many OPSU graduates
who has made an impact in the Panhandle region.
of Oklahoma’s most important
resources is an educated and trained workforce. Area
companies continue to count on OPSU to provide quality
graduates, and OPSU looks forward to educating students
to fill the needs of employers in the Panhandle and