Carl Albert State College is proud to announce that Chelsie Barnes, Rachel Johnson, and Ka Xiong are the recipients of awards from the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges.  

Chelsie Barnes received the Outstanding Faculty Award.  She serves CASC as a Health Physical Education Recreation (HPER) Instructor and also as the Sports Medicine Program Director, serving as Head Athletic Trainer for approximately 150 athletes.  Barnes is originally from Sallisaw, Oklahoma, where she attended Sallisaw High School. She began her collegiate journey at Carl Albert State College where she received an Associates of Science in Allied Health. From there she attended East Central University and was a part of the Athletic Training Education Program, working toward a Bachelors of Science degree. She continued her education at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. While working towards her Masters of Science in Sports Studies and Athletic Administration, she also participated in the Graduate Assistantship program. 

“I’m currently in my 6th year at Carl Albert State College,” said Barnes.  “I serve as the Director of Sports Medicine and also a Health, Physical Education and Recreation Instructor. It’s such a joy to serve the institution I love so much.”

“I have known Chelsie since she was a sports medicine student here at CASC,” said Bill Carroll, Division Chair for Health Sciences.  “When we were looking for an HPER faculty member and also to expand our sports medicine program Chelsie’s name was the first one that came to mind and we went specifically to recruit her for that position. She is a woman of character and poise and a dynamic professional.  Her commitment to her students, athletes, and CASC is unparalleled.  I really do not know what CASC would look like without her. I could not think of a better person to receive the OACC Faculty Member of the Year award.”

Receiving the Outstanding Professional Staff award is Rachel Johnson.  Rachel serves CASC as the Director of Enrollment Management.  Johnson was born and raised in Mena, Arkansas. Upon graduating from Mena High School, she continued her education at Southern Arkansas University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Business and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She has served CASC for the past 5 years and currently serves as the Director of Enrollment Management. 

“During my time as a student and an employee at SAU, I fell in love with higher education and witnessed the direct impact that instructors and administrators have on the lives of their students,” said Johnson.  “My hope, and motivation, is to impact the lives of students just as so many important people have impacted mine.”

“Rachel is a gem that shines more with each and every day,” said Bill Nowlin, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.  “She continues to amaze me with her growth as a professional and leader on our campus. The sky truly is the limit for Rachel Johnson.” 

Ka Xiong received the Outstanding Support Staff Award.  She currently serves CASC as Administrative Assistant in Student Affairs.  

I moved to the states when I was 1 year old, living in North Carolina all my life until I settled here in Poteau,” said Xiong.  “I graduated from Eastern Carolina University with my BSBA. I have served at Carl Albert State College for about a year and a half and am currently the Administrative Assistant in the Student Affairs Office. Carl Albert State College has been a huge enjoyment for me from the responsibilities I have to the people I’ve met and work with.”

Ka is one of the nicest and most talented individuals I have ever met,” said Nowlin.  “She does everything with high quality, timeliness, and a smile on her face. CASC is a better place because of Ka.”

“What makes Carl Albert so special is our people,” said President Jay Falkner.  “Outstanding individuals such as Ka, Chelsie, and Rachel are the backbone of our continued success .  Chelsie’s leadership of our sports medicine program is unmatched and she has responded to the increased number of athletes with grace and tenacity.  Ka’s presence in Student Affairs has heightened efficiency, streamlined processes, and served our students well.  Rachel Johnson is a tremendous asset to our organization not only through fostering efficiency in her department but also ensuring our students are mentored and supported during their time at Carl Albert State College.”