September 15, 2004
Making the grade: September Student of Month serious about school
Lory Turney wasn’t a straight-A student at Arkansas City High School.
But she is after one year at Cowley County Community College.
Turney, 19, a sophomore business administration major, holds a 4.0 grade-point average. She is the daughter of Larry and Angie Turney and the granddaughter of Edna Faulkner of Arkansas City.
Her success in the classroom, her involvement on campus and her outgoing personality all contributed to her selection as the September Student of the Month.
“This is really a neat honor,” Turney said. “I know that it’s pretty prestigious. I’m thrilled to be selected.”
Turney is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, is a Student Ambassador, was nominated and accepted to be on the National Dean’s List for young scholars, and is on the Humanities Advisory Board. She plans to transfer to Emporia State University to finish her bachelor’s degree, then pursue a master’s degree in business.
“I want to go into human resources or human relations,” she said.
Turney, whose sister Marissa, 21, is a junior at Oklahoma State University, and brother Chase, 16, is a junior at ACHS, shared her thoughts on the Student of the Month.
“I think it’s someone who is responsible, and very dependable in and outside of class,” Turney said. “They are involved. And they are a person who isn’t afraid to talk to people and to get involved.”
When Turney isn’t busy studying, she’s likely giving a campus tour as a Student Ambassador, or working at two part-time jobs off campus. She waitresses at Sirloin Stockade in Arkansas City, and she teaches gymnastics at the Arkansas City Recreation Center.
Despite her busy schedule, Turney finds plenty of time to focus on her studies.
“School’s more important to me now,” she said. “I take it more seriously. It was important in high school, but in college, you become more goal-oriented. You start thinking about a career.”
Turney’s father works at Conoco-Phillips in Ponca City, and her mother is secretary at the ACRC. Turney is happy she chose Cowley for a variety of reasons.
“I had lots of offers to go different places,” she said. “I had a choice between academics and cheerleading, and I decided to focus on academics.
“My sister went to Cowley for a year, and she liked it a lot.”
Turney is attending Cowley on a Presidential Scholarship, which is based on grades.
The former ACHS cheerleader and, when she was younger, competitive gymnast, misses cheering. She said Kristi Shaw, Cowley’s cheerleading coach, has approached her no less than eight times about joining the squad.
“I decided I really wanted to focus on my school and academics and get good grades,” Turney said. “I want to go on to a four-year school on an academic scholarship.”
Turney, who described herself as “very outgoing and easy to get along with,” likes Cowley for numerous reasons.
“I like Cowley because the teachers treat you like an adult,” she said. “Living at home, it’s cheaper for my parents. But I’d heard good things about Cowley. Growing up here, you’re kind of attached. I don’t regret it at all.
“I’ve seen a lot of kids from high school, who weren’t the best in high school, come to Cowley and do well. The classes are small, and I wanted that one-on-one instruction. My instructors know who I am, and you get to know your teachers.”
Business and Service Technology Instructor Bart Allen is Turney’s academic advisor.
“I really enjoy him,” Turney said.
Turney enjoys hanging out with her friends and teaching and performing gymnastics. She was 5 when she started.
“I was a member of the Ark Valley Tumblers,” Turney said. “I have lots of trophies, ribbons and awards.”
Turney said she watched the gymnastics competition during the Summer Olympics in Athens very intently. Her favorite event as a competitor is the floor exercise. She teaches around 50 boys and girls ages 3-13 at the recreation center.
Being a Student Ambassador has been a particularly satisfying experience for Turney.
“The most rewarding is to tell people who don’t know Cowley and tell them how great it is,” she said. “I want to let them know that it’s a really neat place. It’s not like high school where you see your classmates every day. You also get to learn a lot about Cowley that you didn’t know.
“I’m really glad I came to Cowley. I wouldn’t change it if I had to. I’ve met a lot of really neat teachers and people. It’s been a good experience.”