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New Heights OSU’s newest building is open for Business

Where smiles from strangers abound, hometown spirit is a way of life, and cowboys really do ride off into the sunset.

Experience America’s Friendliest College Town!

PROVIDING ENERGY. IMPROVING LIVES. At Phillips 66, protecting our people, our environment and our communities guides everything we do. That’s why we’re a committed partner with Oklahoma State University and a strong supporter of the OSU Alumni Association, contributing $500,000 to OSU annually. We are proud to be a part of the OSU “Cowboy Family.”



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© 2018 Phillips 66 Company. All rights reserved.

CM 18-0058

Spring 2018, Volume 13, Number 3 • statemagazine.okstate.edu

Welcome to the Spring 2018 issue of STATE magazine, your source of information from the OSU Alumni Association, the OSU Foundation and University Marketing. On the cover is the new home for the Spears School of Business anchoring Legacy Walk on the east end of campus. The new Business Building has plenty of room for everybody, bringing staff, faculty and classes together that had been spread across six buildings on campus. The nearly 150,000-square-foot building has a basement and four floors that curve like a horseshoe surrounding a courtyard. Spectacular views of the campus can be seen from the windows and balcony. More than $36 million in gifts from over 800 donors helped fund the $72 million structure. (Cover photography by Phil Shockley)

New Business Building 88

Elliott + Associates Architects of Oklahoma City designed the new Business Building. Architect Rand Elliott, an OSU alumnus, created a crescent shape drawn from the campus’s historical Georgian-inspired architecture. Manhattan Construction began work on the new building in early 2015, and classes started there in January 2018. Several students have been following the rise of the structure since they were freshmen. Learn more about the “I Am Building” students and a family with three generations of Cowboys touring the new building in a special section beginning on Page 88.

A Decade of Leadership Since taking office March 10, 2008, President Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis have created a campus culture of collaboration, innovation, wellness and success at Oklahoma State University. We’re celebrating them with a look back over their first 10 years beginning on Page 10.




Back in the Saddle


54 Dr. Jawad Trad

The OSU alumnus, right, has taken his school’s focus on service to heart, both as a surgeon and a humanitarian.

64 Lopez Foods

The company’s chief operating officer, John Patrick Lopez, was honored as a 2017 DASNR Champion.

76 Cambridge Scholars

In 2005, Joel Halcomb and Ashleigh (Hildebrand) Ross won Gates Cambridge Scholarships as OSU undergraduates. Both have returned to campus for visits in the past year.

80 Biosystems Student Joanna Quiah


After nearly 20 years, OSU alumnus Chad Weiberg has returned to OSU Athletics as the new deputy athletic director. You could say he’s coming full circle as he once again rides for the brand.

For the Love of Lawana

The OSU junior, right, is planning to use her biosystems engineering degree to improve access to clean water around the world.

83 Houston Astros Employees

Four OSU alumni join the celebration as their employer, the Houston Astros, win the World Series.

104 Energy Management

OSU is marking 10 years of its Energy Conservation Program, now the Energy Management Program.

128 Magazine Survey Prizes

Got an opinion about STATE? We’d love to hear it! Check out the prizes you could win by telling us.


107 72 Lawana Kunze battled cancer for 24 years — 23.5 years longer than doctors originally thought she would. She supported OSU every one of those years, and her legacy lives on with her family’s creation of two OSU scholarships.

Letters to the Editor 


OSU-Oklahoma City


Socially Orange


Outstanding Seniors


President’s Letter


KOSU: Uniquely Oklahoma



OSU Library


Alumni Hall of Fame

Donor Impact



Seniors of Significance


The Cowboy Way

Wellness with Ann Hargis




OSU Museum of Art


New Life Members


Campus News


Alumni Chapters


Research Briefs


Legacy Link

Chapter Leader Profile



Traveling Cowboys

112 113

Veterinary Medicine


Class Notes

POSSE Replay


In Memoriam/Passages

OSU Medicine 


Book Corner



O-STATE Stories





Oklahoma State University is a land-grant system of interdisciplinary programs preparing students for success. As Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves lives through integrated teaching, research and outreach. OSU has more than 34,000 students across its five-campus system, including 24,000 on its Stillwater campus, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated more than 260,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation and the world.


UNIVERSITY MARKETING Kyle Wray / Vice President of Enrollment Management & Marketing Erin Petrotta / Director of Marketing and Advertising and Enrollment Management Communications Megan Horton / Director of Digital Marketing Elizabeth Keys / Editor Paul V. Fleming, Valerie Kisling & Dave Malec / Design Phil Shockley, Gary Lawson & Brandee Cazzelle / Photography Dorothy Pugh & Karolyn Bolay / Assistant Editors Adrianna Cunningham / Intern Kurtis Mason / Trademarks & Licensing Pam Longan, Leslie McClurg / Marketing University Marketing Office / 305 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078-1024 / 405-744-6262 / go.okstate.edu / statemagazine.okstate.edu / editor@okstate.edu / osu.advertising@okstate.edu Contributors / Kim Archer, Robert Billings, Derinda Blakeney, Jordan Benson, George Bulard, Kelly Burley, Chelsea Burns, Bonnie Cain-Wood, Kendria Cost, Tanya Finchum, Barry Fuxa, Sean Hubbard, John Helsley, Ryan Jensen, Todd Johnson, Jeff Joiner, Jacob Longan, Norvelle Kennedy, Leilana McKindra, Jim Mitchell, Rachel Metzer, Melissa Mourer, Sandy Pantlik, David Peters, Sara Plummer, Clifton Roberts, Gary Shutt, Michelle Talamantes, Kandace Taylor, Beth Theis, Nina Thornton, Jimmie Tramel, Terry Tush, Bruce Waterfield, Julie Weathers & Kim Woodard

O S U A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N Kent Gardner / Chair Tony LoPresto / Vice Chair Phil Kennedy / Immediate Past Chair Chris Batchelder / President and CEO Pam Davis / Vice President and Chief Programs Officer Treca Baetz, Chris Batchelder, John Bartley, James Boggs, Gregg Bradshaw, Larry Briggs, Burns Hargis, Kirk Jewell, Angela Kouplen, Mel Martin, Travis Moss, Tina Parkhill, H.J. Reed, Tom Ritchie, David Ronck & Tina Walker / Board of Directors Lacy Branson, Will Carr, Chase Carter, Tori Moore, Leanna Smith & Jillianne Tebow / Communications and Marketing OSU Alumni Association / 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 74078-7043 / 405-744-5368 / orangeconnection.org / info@orangeconnection.org



I read the article in the Winter 2017 STATE magazine about the six scholars in the Native Americans Trained In Various Entomological Sciences program. I went to Oklahoma State University from 1959 to 1961 and received my degree in entomology with a minor in agronomy in June 1961. At the beginning of my life, I wanted to be a doctor, but when I moved to Oklahoma, I realized that agriculture is the most fantastic field of life. I was very lucky to have great teachers, and I especially loved Dr. D.E. Bryan and Dr. Richard Price, who were my professors and mentors. OSU helped me find a job with FMC Corporation in New York. I worked for other agriculture companies in the United States, too. I had the opportunity to travel to more than 90 countries promoting insecticides and fertilizers in agriculture. If I had to start life again, I would never change it. I loved my work. The field is great and the challenges are huge. Everybody in one way or another depends on agriculture — everyone has to eat. We should continue to encourage the new generations to study in these challenging fields with no boundaries. I am confident if you get a degree in entomology, then you will always have a secure job. Please keep up the good work at OSU. I was born in Mexico, but I will always call Oklahoma my home.

Lyndon Taylor / Chair Kirk Jewell / President Donna Koeppe / Vice President of Administration & Treasurer Chris Campbell / Senior Associate Vice President of Information Strategy Shane Crawford / Senior Associate Vice President of Leadership Gifts

Best Regards, Pedro J. Pantoja Joplin, Missouri

David Mays / Senior Associate Vice President of Central Development Paula Voyles / Senior Associate Vice President of Constituency Programs Blaire Atkinson / Senior Associate Vice President of Development Services Robyn Baker / Vice President and General Counsel Pam Guthrie / Senior Associate Vice President of Human Resources Deborah Adams, Mark Allen, Chris Batchelder, Bryan Begley, Bryan Close, Jan Cloyde, Patrick Cobb, Ann Dyer, Joe Eastin, Jennifer Grigsby, John Groendyke, Helen Hodges, David Houston, Gary Huneryager, A.J. Jacques, Brett Jameson, Kirk Jewell, Griff Jones, Diana Laing, John Linehan, Joe Martin, Ross McKnight, Jenelle Schatz, Becky Steen, Lyndon Taylor, Phil Terry, Stephen Tuttle, Jay Wiese & Jerry Winchester / Trustees Shelly Cameron, Jennifer Kinnard, Chris Lewis, Amanda O’Toole Mason, Michael Molholt, Matthew J. Morgan & Benton Rudd / Marketing and Communications OSU Foundation / 400 South Monroe, P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076-1749 / 800-622-4678 / OSUgiving.com / info@OSUgiving.com STATE magazine is published three times a year (Fall, Winter, Spring) by Oklahoma State University, 305 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078. The magazine is produced by University Marketing, the OSU Alumni Association and the OSU Foundation, and is mailed to current members of the OSU Alumni Association. Postage is paid at Stillwater, OK, and additional mailing offices. Magazine subscriptions are available only by membership in the OSU Alumni Association. Membership cost is $45. Call 405-744-5368 or mail a check to 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater OK 74078-7043. To change a mailing address, visit orangeconnection.org/ update or call 405-744-5368. Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity has been designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies. Contact the Director of Equal Opportunity at 408 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; telephone 405-744-5371; or email eeo@okstate.edu. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator at 405-744-9154. This publication, issued by Oklahoma State University as authorized by the vice president of enrollment management and marketing, was printed by Royle Printing Co. at a cost of $0.97 per issue: 37,622/May 2018/#7276. / Copyright © 2018, STATE magazine. All rights reserved. Higher Education Marketing Report / 2018 Publications Silver Award Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists / 2016 Best Public Relations Magazine Oklahoma College Public Relations Association / 2016 Magazine Excellence Award Member / Council for Advancement and Support of Education




We at STATE magazine appreciate hearing about what you like to read. Tell us more! Visit okla.st/statesurvey to answer some questions for a chance to win some great OSU prizes. Continue sharing your stories and ideas through mail service to STATE Magazine, 305 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater OK 74078. Email your letters and digital photos to editor@okstate.edu. Go Pokes! Your STATE Magazine Team

What’s Your Orange Passion?

#okstate Join the conversation on social media with the Cowboy Family.


Thank you Cowboy nation for an unforgettable four years. For a city and family to always call home. It’s been an honor to represent you. Go Pokes! @okstateu Everyone needs a #squad ! Find yours with these insider tips from #iamokstate: okla.st/Student_Blog. jposmin We made it!! texas_american22 Greatest University in America hands down.

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Memorable Stories

@burnshargis Beautiful day to add a tree to the #okstate campus as part of #Oklahoma’s Arbor Week. @OSUFirstCowgirl and I enjoyed meeting members of the @foresters student chapter.

On Campus

Oklahoma State University @okstate @okstateu OStateTV @okstateu

  Check out the colorized photo of the #okstate legend here: okla.st/Pistol_Pete

Coffee and Conversation @cariboucoffee in @OSUUnion with @OSUFirstCowgirl

Oklahoma State University Visit okla.st/socialdir for more social media connections.


One of the highlights of this semester at Oklahoma State University was the opening of our new Business Building. This beautiful new campus addition is featured on

OSU has accomplished much this past decade

the cover. We opened its doors to students to start the

thanks to passionate and unselfish donors and alumni,

spring semester and held a dedication in April.

hard-working faculty and staff, ambitious and ener-

I was a student when the previous business build-

getic students, and many others. We thank each one

ing opened more than 50 years ago, so it was a special

for the part they have played in advancing the mission

honor to participate in the opening of this fantastic

of Oklahoma State University.

new facility. It will greatly enhance our preparation of tomorrow’s business leaders.

In closing, STATE magazine is proud to regularly feature the achievements of our alumni through Class

The building was made possible thanks to many generous donors. The unique design of the beautiful, crescent-shaped building is due to the vision and

Notes. We hope you will stay in touch and keep us posted on milestones in your life. Again, Ann and I want to thank you for your

talents of OSU architecture alumnus Rand Elliott and

ongoing support and for making the past 10 years

his team. The iconic, high-tech building opened to

a decade of historic transformation at our beloved

rave reviews from students, faculty and donors. It will

university. We wish you all the best.

serve our university well for many years to come. This issue of STATE also highlights the impres-

Go Pokes!

sive accomplishments of a number of Oklahoma State students. The OSU Alumni Association has named

Burns Hargis

the 2018 OSU Outstanding Seniors, a select group of

OSU President

campus stars. You can also read about several impressive student scholarship winners. Ann and I reached our 10-year anniversary as Oklahoma State’s First Cowgirl and president in March. It has been an incredible honor and one of the greatest joys of our lives to serve this great university. It has truly been the best 10 years of our professional lives.

Students gather in the courtyard to celebrate the new Business Building. PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY



Thank You! Thank you to everyone who chose to Gi ve Oran ge on April 10 & 11! Together, the Cowboy Family can accomplish so much.

“Give Orange: 1,890 Minutes for OSU� took place April 10 & 11, when Oklahoma State University students, alumni and friends came together for 1,890 minutes to support their ORANGE passions. For 31.5 hours, campus programs and units took part in OSU's Give Orange event by sharing how Cowboys from across the globe can help them achieve their goals and bring success to OSU. Every gift given during those 1,890 minutes was counted toward Give Orange.

To see the impact from this year's Gi ve Oran ge , visit giveorange.okstate.edu.

Dear OSU Alumni and Friends,



Congratulations to President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis for a decade of leadership at Oklahoma State University. President Hargis’ bold vision of a modern land-grant university has attracted record enrollment with OSU welcoming the largest freshman class in history in 2012. During Hargis’ presidency, the Branding Success campaign surpassed the $1 billion goal. The funds have provided student scholarships, faculty endowments and funding support for needed facilities. Another sign of Hargis’ leadership is the way the campus has grown with new construction, including the dedication of the new Business Building in April. Read more about this state-of-the-art facility beginning on Page 88. Energy Management is also celebrating a decade on campus. The program, one of the first products of Hargis’ direction, was created to ensure the campus could run efficiently as it maintained quality in lighting, air conditioning/ heating and other energy-related amenities. More than $39 million has been saved on the OSU-Stillwater campus alone since the inception of the program. The opening of the new Central Plant will continue this success. The ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center distinguished itself as being the first facility at OSU to earn the Energy Leadership Award. As a conservation leader on campus, the OSU Alumni Association strives to be good stewards of all our membership dollars and donations.

In their 10 years at OSU, President Hargis and the First Cowgirl have created a campus culture of collaboration, innovation, wellness and success. Still, our defining characteristic may very well be our friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Please visit anytime — and when you do, bring along a high school student and inspire a future Cowboy.

Best Wishes to the Class of 2018!

Chris Batchelder

Kirk Jewell

Kyle Wray

President OSU Alumni Association

President OSU Foundation

OSU Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing


Pete says,


Encourage the rising high school senior you know to apply beginning July 1 to be one of the first considered for admission and scholarship opportunities. ADMISSIONS.OKSTATE.EDU

Honoring 10   Historic Years

President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis celebrate a decade of excellence at OSU

V. Burns Hargis was unanimously chosen by the Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents as the 18th president of Oklahoma State University in December 2007 and took office on March 10, 2008. Since that time, President Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis have created a campus culture of collaboration, innovation, wellness and success. During Hargis’ presidency, OSU has set historic enrollment and fundraising records, with pledges and cash surpassing the Branding Success campaign $1 billion goal nearly two years ahead of schedule. The funds have provided student scholarships, faculty endowments and funding support for much-needed facilities and vital programs. A firm believer in the power of imagination and collaboration, President Hargis has been guided by a bold vision of a modern landgrant university that cuts across disciplines to better prepare students for success. As OSU is one of the nation’s most comprehensive land-grant university systems, taking charge of it has been no small task. President Hargis has support from OSU First Cowgirl Ann Hargis, who partners with him on activities with students, faculty, alumni and donors. You can often find her giving students rides to class in her orange golf cart, “Clementine.” The couple also take great pride in making OSU America’s Healthiest Campus® and being members of Pete’s Pet Posse with their dog, Scruff.





Highlights 2007

OSU/A&M Regents unanimously choose

V. Burns Hargis as OSU president

December 4, 2007 V. Burns Hargis is named 18th president of Oklahoma State University. “Burns Hargis will do a great job leading Oklahoma State University,” said Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry. “He’s well respected in both the public and private sectors and has the vision and intellect to take OSU to even greater heights in the state’s second century. More than anything, Burns loves his alma mater, and he will work harder than anyone to see that it succeeds at all levels. I think he will be a perfect fit for OSU.”



By the Numbers

Boone Pickens makes historic $100 million academic gift

May 21, 2008 A crowd of more than 3,000 gathered on the south library lawn for the announcement of a $100 million academic gift to endow faculty chairs and professorships from alumnus T. Boone Pickens. The gift is the largest single academic donation to a university or college in Oklahoma, is eligible for a dollar-for-dollar state match, and is a matching gift incentive for OSU donors. Burns Hargis said, “This gift launches us on our way to achieve big dreams, and will ignite a bold vision of a new era in land-grant universities.”


$1.7 billion in private support Doubled OSU endowment 200 new $1 million-plus donors



Garth Brooks, Barry Sanders and Robin Ventura inducted into OSU Alumni Hall of Fame

October 17, 2009 The OSU Alumni Association inducted into its Hall of Fame three of the most celebrated and famous names in OSU history when Garth Brooks, Barry Sanders and Robin Ventura participated in Homecoming events. The award “recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement in society and professional life and few have reached the heights Garth, Barry and Robin have reached,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “They have entertained and thrilled millions around the world. They have made their fellow Cowboys proud.”

67,000 new donors

Record enrollment: Freshman (2012) Undergraduate (2016) Graduate (2013) OSU Stillwater/Tulsa (2013) OSU System (2013) 38,447 new freshmen (including five largest classes in OSU history) Doubled out-of-state new freshmen enrollment 73% increase in minority student enrollment 261,461 course offerings (sections) 64 dogs in Pete’s Pet Posse pet therapy program $1.2 billion external grant funds for research, other sponsored programs


$22 million license/royalty income for OSU intellectual property 194,628 citations of OSU research publications in scientific literature


$100 million from Pickens helps launch $1 billion Branding Success campaign

February 26, 2010 Before an orange-clad crowd in the packed atrium of the Student Union, OSU President Burns Hargis unveiled the five-year, $1 billion Branding Success: The Campaign for Oklahoma State University to fund scholarships, faculty positions, research, programs and facilities. “This campaign marks the most ambitious fundraising initiative in the history of OSU,” Hargis said. The campaign is chaired by Ross and Billie McKnight. OSU announced it had raised more than $437 million during the “quiet phase” of the campaign, which started at Hargis’ appointment in December 2007. At the event, Boone Pickens announced a surprise $100 million challenge gift to push the total raised past $537 million.

6,696 new Alumni Association members, a 26% increase 77 new Alumni Association chapters, a threefold increase 53,881 degrees granted (including all-time highs each of the last four years) $38 million energy savings on Stillwater campus $48 million energy savings across OSU System


More than 2 million square feet of new or updated facilities Nearly 3 million bricks for campus projects More than 10,000 tons of steel for campus projects




OSU dedicates Henry Bellmon Research Center

September 9, 2011


At an event attended by members of the Bellmon family, Oklahoma State dedicated the Henry Bellmon Research Center, which will facilitate interdisciplinary research. The highlight of the event was the unveiling of a bust of the late Oklahoma governor and senator, which will sit in the lobby. “This facility is a lasting tribute to Henry Bellmon’s legacy at OSU and throughout Oklahoma,” said Burns Hargis. “It exemplifies research, discovery and economic growth — all things Henry Bellmon was passionate about.”

OSU welcomes largest freshman class in university and state history

September 6, 2012 Oklahoma State University announced a historic enrollment for the 2012-13 academic year, highlighted by a freshman class of 4,289 that was the largest in university and state history. Enrollment for the combined OSU-Stillwater and OSU-Tulsa campuses totaled a record 25,554 and systemwide enrollment hit a record of more than 36,500.

Oklahoma State University

surpasses $1 billion in fundraising campaign

April 24, 2013 Five years after launching its $1 billion Branding Success fundraising campaign to support students, faculty, programs and facilities, OSU held an event on the north plaza of the Student Union to announce the goal was surpassed nearly two years ahead of schedule. Burns Hargis said the campaign would continue through its scheduled completion date of December 31, 2014. As of April 1, 2013, more than 85,000 donors had participated. “We began the campaign not long before the nation’s economy collapsed, but the incredible generosity of our supporters kept us moving forward,” Hargis said. OG&E and OSU partner to add wind power to support sustainability efforts


December 2, 2011 PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY



OSU launches nation’s most comprehensive universitywide pet therapy program

September 17, 2014 Backed by 13 lovable, highly trained dogs, OSU launched Pete’s Pet Posse, the nation’s most comprehensive, full-time, universitywide pet therapy program. “As America’s Healthiest Campus®, one of our biggest priorities is the emotional health and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff. The dogs from Pete’s Pet Posse have already made an impact on the emotional health of the OSU campus and we’ve only just begun,” said First Cowgirl Ann Hargis, a Pete’s Pet Posse handler. PHOTO / GARY LAWSON

OG&E and Oklahoma State University announced a 20-year agreement to provide wind power to the Stillwater campus. “As a land-grant university, we have a historic responsibility to lead the way when it comes to using our natural resources wisely and efficiently,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “The signing of this agreement with OG&E is part of our overarching sustainability initiative aimed at saving money, reducing carbon emissions and improving efficiency.”






Chickasaw and Choctaw leaders help launch OSU Center for Sovereign Nations

August 21, 2015 OSU President Burns Hargis welcomed Chickasaw and Choctaw nation leaders to officially launch the OSU Center for Sovereign Nation Engagement and Partnerships. “As a land-grant institution, OSU has an important role to play in creating initiatives to increase engagement and educational opportunities,” Hargis said. “We hope this center will not only strengthen relationships between the university and sovereign tribal nations but will also increase the number of American Indian graduates from OSU.”



Government leaders announce nonstop American Airlines service to Dallas/Fort Worth

February 5, 2016 The City of Stillwater, American Airlines and Oklahoma State University announced the arrival of nonstop American Airlines jet service to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport during an overflow event at Stillwater Regional Airport. “Oklahoma State sees tremendous opportunity to reduce air travel costs, improve efficiencies and greatly enhance personal travel for our students and employees,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. Ross and Billie McKnight give $25 million to establish Performing Arts Programming Endowment

March 30, 2016 OSU’s planned performing arts center received a major boost with a $25 million gift from alumni Ross and Billie McKnight to establish a programming endowment. The 93,000-square-foot center will be named The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University. “This visionary gift from the McKnights will ensure our new performing arts center truly maximizes the opportunities for cultural enrichment that the magnificent modern facility will afford,” said OSU President Burns Hargis.

OSU joins elite group as national Diversity Champion

August 30, 2017



INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine named OSU one of 11 Diversity Champions, which honors unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout campus communities, across academic programs and at the highest administrative levels. The magazine’s publisher called OSU “a visionary leader” that “exceeds everyday expectations.” As a Diversity Champion, OSU is in the top tier of this year’s Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award recipients. OSU has won the award six consecutive years.


OSU celebrates 10 years of energy savings

January 25, 2018 The university celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its nationally acclaimed Energy Management Program during a Decade of Excellence ceremony. OSU President Burns Hargis congratulated the energy management team, as well as all employees and students, for making the behavior-based energy management program a huge success. Systemwide energy savings from the program are approaching $50 million, with nearly $40 million of that on the OSU-Stillwater campus.

View 100 highlights from the Hargis presidency at president.okstate.edu/10years.


Hall of Fame




The OSU Alumni Association honored the four newest members to the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame at a ceremony February 9 in the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. Sarah Coburn, Marlin “Ike” Glass Jr., United States Representative Frank D. Lucas and the late Nancy Randolph Davis all received the highest honor the university can bestow upon its alumni, which celebrates the success each graduate has had in their respective careers and lives.

The OSU Alumni Association recognized, above from left, United States Representative Frank Lucas, Marlin “Ike” Glass Jr., and Sarah Coburn. Calvin Davis, right, the son of Nancy Randolph Davis, accepted her award posthumously.

Visit okla.st/HOF2018 to watch the induction video for each honoree.




arah Coburn graduated from OSU in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. She went on to receive a master’s degree in voice performance from Oklahoma City University in 2001. While at OSU, Coburn served as Ritualist and Alumni Relations officer for Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Coburn has become a renowned operatic soprano, performing throughout the country and around the world for almost two decades. She has performed leading roles with the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Welsh National Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Portland Opera, Tulsa Opera, Atlanta Opera, Arizona Opera and many others. She has performed in concert with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Washington Concert Opera, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic,



the Russian National Orchestra and others. Coburn created the role of Kitty in the world premiere of Anna Karenina at the Florida Grand Opera and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. In the summer of 2017, Coburn recorded Bellini’s opera I Puritani with Delos Records, to be released next fall. Her 2017-2018 season includes a return to the Tivoli Festival in Copenhagen, concert performances in Latvia, and a role and company debut in Manon with Opera Santa Barbara. She will also be performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Choral Arts Society of Washington at the Kennedy Center. Coburn has received awards from the George London Foundation, the Richard Tucker Foundation, the Jensen Foundation, the Liederkranz Foundation, Opera Index and was a National Grand Finalist in the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Coburn and her husband, Chris Rothermel, reside in Tulsa, where they are raising their three children, Katie Rose, 8, Ruby, 5, and George, 2.



n 1949, Nancy Randolph Davis became the first African-American enrollee at OSU, then Oklahoma A&M College. She had received her bachelor’s degree in home economics from Langston University in 1948. Davis began her teaching career in 1948 at Dunjee High School in Spencer, Oklahoma. She attended OSU during the summers and received her master’s degree in 1952. Davis retired from Oklahoma’s Public Education System in 1991 after 43 years of service — 20 years at Dunjee and 23 years at Star Spencer High School. She was also active in the Oklahoma City NAACP Youth Council, a member of the Oklahoma Retired Teachers Association, Langston University Alumni Association, OSU Alumni Association and the OSU Black Alumni Association. In 1999, Davis was honored with the OSU Distinguished Alumni Award, and OSU’s Davis Hall residence was named in her honor in 2001. Each year, OSU celebrates “Nancy Randolph Davis Day” at both the OSU-Stillwater and OSU-OKC campuses. She was also the recipient of the OSU College of Human Sciences’

Enhancing Human Lives Award and inducted into OSU’s Greek Hall of Fame in 2012. Davis has also been recognized and honored multiple times by the state of Oklahoma. In 1991, Governor David Walters designated May 31 as “Nancy Randolph Davis Day,” and she received the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. Davis was also inducted by the Ntu Art Association into the Oklahoma Afro American Hall of Fame. After she passed in 2015, she was inducted posthumously into the Oklahoma African-American Educators Hall of Fame. Davis was married to the late longtime educator Fred C. Davis. She was the mother of Dr. Nancy L. Davis of Oklahoma City and Calvin O. Davis, Esq., of Lubbock, Texas, and the stepmother of Freddye M. Davis of Kansas City. She also had two grandchildren. She was a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.




arlin “Ike” Glass Jr. graduated from OSU in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in personnel administration. After graduation, Glass returned to Newkirk, Oklahoma, and Enid, Oklahoma, to work for Groendyke Transport and Bay Transportation before taking over Glass Trucking Company from his father. Glass is a veteran of the Korean conflict, having served in the United States Navy from 1952-56. Under his leadership, Glass Trucking has shown tremendous growth with $8.5 million in annual revenue, 70 employees and more than 60 tractor-trailer units delivering a variety of goods throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Nebraska. In April 1997, Governor Frank Keating appointed Glass to a nine-year term on the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, a constitutional board that coordinates all 25 public higher education institutions in Oklahoma. He was reappointed



by Governor Brad Henry for a second nine-year term. In 2016, Glass was recognized as a state regent emeritus. He has served on the boards of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce as president, the Oklahoma Trucking Association, the Oklahoma Heritage Association, and Pioneer Bank and Trust. He also served as a chairman of the Oklahoma Transportation Center, a joint venture between OSU and the University of Oklahoma. Glass also served on the board of the OSU Alumni Association as a member and chairman. Glass is active in many civic and community organizations including the American League, Navy League, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Cowboys for Higher Education. He was also inducted into OSU’s Spears School of Business Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2009, which is the highest honor bestowed upon the state’s residents. Glass and his wife, Marybeth, reside in Newkirk. They have two children, Rob and Jennifer. Marybeth and the children are all OSU alumni as well. Glass is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.



nited States Representative Frank D. Lucas graduated from OSU in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. Lucas and his family have lived and farmed in Oklahoma for more than 100 years. After graduating, Lucas served more than five years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. In a 1994 special election, he was first elected to the United States House of Representatives. Lucas represents Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District, which includes all or a portion of 32 counties in northern and western Oklahoma. As a wheat farmer and representative of a largely agricultural region, Lucas has focused on helping farmers and ranchers throughout his tenure in Congress. From 2011 through 2014, he served as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, overseeing the passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014, which eliminated the direct payment program and strengthened the safety net for livestock producers.

Lucas is also vice chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, where he has participated in a number of efforts to ensure the science behind public policy is sound and accurate. He introduced the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, which brings increased transparency and fairness to the panel of experts who provide the scientific information that is used to justify federal regulations. The third committee Lucas sits on is the House Financial Services Committee, where his work varies from providing regulatory relief for community banks to questioning the Federal Reserve chairman about monetary policy. Lucas has worked with his committee colleagues to help find ways to rein in regulations that are overwhelming smaller banks and hurting consumers. Lucas and his wife, Lynda, reside in Cheyenne, Oklahoma. They have three children and three grandchildren. Lucas is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.




The OSU Alumni Association has honored

48 students with the Senior of Significance Award for the 2017-18 academic year. The award recognizes students who have excelled in scholarship, leadership and service to campus and community and have brought distinction to OSU. “These students will go on to become impactful alumni upon graduation and will undoubtedly make Oklahoma State proud,” says Chris Batchelder, OSU Alumni Association president and CEO.

Alicia Aguilar, Edmond, Oklahoma

Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry Brooke Bastie, Dallas, Texas English, Spanish and Geography Allison Brockette, Dallas, Texas Communication Sciences and Disorders Gage Calhoon, Tulsa, Oklahoma Finance Brya D’Abrosca, Dallas, Texas Health Education and Promotion Cody Dean, Agra, Oklahoma Agricultural Education Megan DeVuyst, Morrison, Oklahoma Agribusiness Ashley Donovan, Lawton, Oklahoma Psychology and Applied Sociology Lana Duke, Edmond, Oklahoma Nutrition Jake Fanning, Laverne, Oklahoma Agribusiness Stephanie Ferrante, Chardon, Ohio Biochemistry, Microbiology/ Cell and Molecular Biology Claudio Ferrer, Enid, Oklahoma Economics and Finance Cassidy Gierhart, Choctaw, Oklahoma Chemical Engineering Micah Gillezeau, Amarillo, Texas Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Spanish Tyler Goldsmith, Texarkana, Texas Chemical Engineering Emily Hart, Edmond, Oklahoma Animal Science Erin Hart, Edmond, Oklahoma Marketing



The 48 students represent the top one percent of the Class of 2018 and include all six OSU undergraduate colleges. A reception recognized the winners and their families on November 30 at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.

Hammons Hepner, Freedom, Oklahoma Agricultural Economics and Finance Nathan Herrmann, Stillwater, Oklahoma Accounting Averie Hinchey, Guymon, Oklahoma Communication Sciences and Disorders Omar Ibarra, Guymon, Oklahoma Health Education and Promotion Michael Jamaleddine, Tulsa, Oklahoma Microbiology, and Cell and Molecular Biology Brittany Krehbiel, Hydro, Oklahoma Agricultural Economics Grayson Kuehny, Elmore City, Oklahoma Agricultural Economics Logan Kunka, Owasso, Oklahoma Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Wendy Lau Wong, Oklahoma City Industrial Engineering and Management Courtney Mapes, Alva, Oklahoma Animal Science Tyler Martin, Omaha, Nebraska Chemical Engineering Aubrey McCutchan, Collinsville, Oklahoma Civil Engineering Alexis Miller, Aurora, Colorado Management Information Systems and Management Angel Molina, Johnson City, Kansas Agribusiness Gonzalo Morillas, Lima, Peru Finance and Marketing Taylor Neilson, Meeker, Colorado Animal Science and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Nicholas Nelsen, Stillwater, Oklahoma Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering Grace Ogden, Muskogee, Oklahoma Plant and Soil Sciences Macy Perry, Prather, California Animal Science Ashleigh Rauner, Tulsa, Oklahoma Strategic Communications Libby Schultz, Wichita Falls, Texas Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Andrew Schulz, Pullman, Washington Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics Josh Seaberg, Moline, Illinois Chemical Engineering Madison Slawson, McAlester, Oklahoma Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Gatlin Squires, Kingfisher, Oklahoma Agribusiness William Starr, Tulsa, Oklahoma Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Link Strickland, Tulsa, Oklahoma Mechanical Engineering Liza Van der Laan, Frederick, Oklahoma Plant and Soil Sciences Luke Werth, Elk City, Oklahoma Agribusiness Caleb Wilson, Tulsa, Oklahoma Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Darcy Worth, Tahlequah, Oklahoma Management and Marketing

Leisure Learning Classes July 23-27 | Taos, New Mexico

Oklahoma State University’s Doel Reed Center for the Arts invites you

to participate in a weeklong educational experience in beautiful Taos, New Mexico. These classes, designed by expert instructors for inquiring adults, invite you to explore the art, culture and recreational experiences that multicultural Northern New Mexico offers. Classes may combine lectures, discussion, hands-on activities and visits to local sites. Summer courses cost $600. To enroll today, visit drca.okstate.edu. Fantastic Visions of the Southwest Dr. Tim Murphy, Regents Professor of English at OSU

Flyfishing — Beginning and Intermediate Marc Harrell, Veteran Angler

Art and Devotion in Spanish New Mexico Dr. Cristina Cruz Gonzalez, Associate Professor of Art History at OSU

Pueblo and Spanish Cooking in New Mexico Dr. Carol Moder, Ann & Burns Hargis Professor at OSU and Doel Reed Center Director

Geolog y in Taos Dr. Deborah Ragland, Adjunct Professor of Geology at the University of New Mexico-Taos

From Plant to Paper Megan Singleton, Artist and Adjunct Professor at Saint Louis University

Don’t miss our Fall 2018 Leisure Learning Courses from October 4-6! The theme, Fall into Art, will include wonderful classes such as The Art of Metal Work, Plein Air Printing and The Art of Fused Glass. Courses cost $400 with an early enrollment special of $350 for those enrolling before July 15. For further information on courses or logistics, contact: Carol Moder | carol.moder@okstate.edu | 405-612-8295 Hollye Goddard | hollyesue@cox.net | 602-465-1644


Dear Cowboy Family, Wellness is a very big part of life. When Burns and I arrived on campus 10 years ago, I was thrilled to know wellness was also an important part of the Cowboy Culture. It’s part of what made me instantly feel at home. While physical activity, nutrition and emotional health are all important components of wellness, my “wellness window” is open for even more. Joy through the arts. Sustainability. Recycling. Nature. My own personal wellness plan includes not only taking care of myself, but also taking care of others and respecting our earth. I am proud of the campus beautification efforts at Oklahoma State University. Throughout the perfectly manicured lawns, a nurturing environment has been created for our campus population. The formal gardens, including the lovely Mothers’ Garden, the labyrinth, the topiaries, additional art pieces, and even the Pistol Pete Walking Trails, labeled by brass plates, are a few examples. These are all pockets of peace and serenity that exist among a sometimes chaotic and stressful environment. It’s good to step away and meditate or just “be” for a few moments. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year, and there are many things to celebrate. It is refreshing to see students celebrate Earth Day and understand the importance of being good stewards of the environment. OSU is making a difference in a variety of ways — from creating a pathway for monarch butterfly migration to establishing a beekeeping club and protecting the bees. Across the entire OSU/A&M System, recycling and sustainability efforts continue to increase, and our students are leading the way. Conserving energy is a big focus for the administration. We are educating our employees as well as our students on energy savings measures — and we are reducing our footprint. I encourage each of you to practice some form of nontraditional wellness and to make a difference in your corner of the world. Even the smallest change can have a positive impact. Together, we can create a better and more sustainable environment for generations to come.

In Health,

Ann Hargis OSU First Cowgirl



Burns and Ann Hargis celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree on the OSU-Stillwater campus.

OSU President Burns Hargis and Ann Hargis prepare for Sneakers Day at OSU.

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an American Artist at the Table

The 2018 Masterpiece Moments: Artist at the Table auction and fundraising event on April 28 was a wonderful success. Thank you to all who attended, organized and sponsored this important community event. Proceeds from the evening will benefit OSU Museum of Art exhibitions and educational programming. Hosted by the OS U M U S E U M o f A R T A DVO C AT E S

For a recap of the evening, as well as a full list of our generous sponsors, please visit


Bill Barrett’s sculptures are in the middle of a yearlong visit to OSU BY A D R I A N N A C U N N I N G H A M


“Sojourner,” 2013, fabricated bronze Edmon Low Library




f you’ve been on Oklahoma State University’s campus recently, you’ve probably noticed the new bronze sculptures outside various buildings. The sculptures, by internationally recognized artist Bill Barrett, arrived in June 2017 for a yearlong stay. Born in Los Angeles, California, Barrett earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in design from the University of Michigan. Art has always been a big part of Barrett’s life, and he says he believes his father had a great influence on his decision to pursue a career as an artist. “My father was an artist,” Barrett says. “He was a painter, and he studied in New York and Europe, so I’ve always been living with an artist. It was such a natural thing for me to gravitate toward art.”

Throughout Barrett’s 60-year career, his work has been displayed in Switzerland, Bulgaria, Japan, Germany and the United States. His exhibition titled Action Abstraction made its way onto OSU’s campus this past summer, thanks in part to the OSU Museum of Art. Kickstarting an ongoing plan to implement public art on campus, OSU Museum of Art Director Victoria Berry reached out to Barrett about an exhibition in Stillwater, believing that Barrett’s work would offer the university an engaging introduction to public art. “Barrett’s sculptures display forms that exude a swirling energy,” Berry says. “Distinctly American in their directness and lightness, Barrett’s sophisticated constructions are balanced through their

Artist Bill Barrett, left, visited with guests at a reception in the historic Atherton Hotel to celebrate the “Action Abstraction” exhibition of six monumental bronze sculptures on the Stillwater campus. Visitors included, from right, Mark Sullivan, Lynda Hillier, Lela Sullivan and Debora Barrett.

“Aria (DNA 5),” 2013, fabricated bronze Student Union Amphitheater

calligraphic sensibility and abstract references to form.” Barrett says he finds inspiration for his sculptures and paintings in many different facets of nature. “I like to look at everything around me,” Barrett says. “Landscapes, cities, countrysides and so forth. It’s such a natural thing for me. I like to make art, create art and just have it around me.” The six sculptures on OSU’s campus are strategically placed within walking distance of the Student Union, creating a conveniently located outdoor exhibition in the heart of the campus. Alongside each sculpture, viewers can read a brief description about the piece and the artist. Not only an artist, but also a collector, Barrett said he and his wife enjoy being surrounded by art, even in their home. My wife and I like to collect all kinds of art,” he says. “African art, Chinese art, pre-Columbian art. We collect everything.” This exhibition was organized by the OSU Museum of Art, the OSU Public Art Committee and LewAllen Galleries, Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was made possible in part by the loan of artworks by Bill and Debora Barrett and LewAllen Galleries. Action Abstraction is the first in a series of exhibitions planned for the Stillwater campus over the next several years. The Public Art Committee at OSU is planning to implement a program to showcase the power of public art and the positivity it can bring to campus.

“Pinnacle XIX,” 2010, fabricated bronze Student Union Plaza

“Bill’s Comb,” 2003, fabricated bronze Henry Bellmon Research Center 25


Alumni cross the stage — many years later Oklahoma State University honored more than 1,000 graduates during two undergraduate commencement ceremonies at GallagherIba Arena in December 2017. The OSU Graduate College recognized nearly 300 graduates.

The Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University welcomed two alumni for their long-delayed formal walks across the stage at the December 2017 commencement ceremonies PHOTO / TODD JOHNSON

Class of 1953 graduate James Cavender returned to campus 64 years later to enjoy commencement ceremonies he missed due to military duties.



James Cavender, class of 1953, and Jerry Ott, class of 1970, both completed their degree programs in the college but military duty kept them from participating in their respective graduation ceremonies. Now, decades later, the two celebrated the degrees they hold dear with their family and friends. For Cavender, who went on to found the Texas-based western wear company that bears his name, war tensions in Korea resulted in orders to report immediately to the Air Force. After he returned home and started what grew to be a chain of 80 stores, he had little time to return for graduation. “His mother always wanted him to do it, but James being James, he was always too busy,” says his son, Mike. On the other hand, when Oklahoma A&M changed its name to Oklahoma State University a few years after his

graduation, Cavender was fast on the draw, paying his $1 for the diploma with the new university name on it. Though it took him 64 years to make good on his promise to his mother, Cavender has always appreciated the price of that new-name diploma. As he likes to put it, “That’s the cheapest education I’ve ever had.” As for Jerry Ott, the Vietnam era was his roadblock to walking the graduation stage in May 1970. He completed his requirements for bachelor’s degrees in vocational agriculture and agronomy in the fall of 1969, but graduation was once a year in the spring then — and he was already stationed at the U.S. Army post in Fort Dix, New Jersey. Ott served 10 years in the Army and the Oklahoma Army National Guard and put his education to work as a vocational agriculture instructor, science and math teacher, principal and superintendent



Dr. Thomas Coon, vice president, dean and director of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, congratulated Jerry Ott, right. get to see me graduate from college — they’re gone now — and I think of how they helped me, encouraged me and kept me going.” While Ott says he does not feel deserving of all the attention, time and effort given to his day of walking across that stage, he is appreciative and proud to be an OSU Cowboy. “I’m happy to represent OSU. I’m happy to represent the country, and I’m happy to represent the flag, because they’re all very important to me.”


in the Ames, Drummond, and PioneerPleasant Vale school districts. He is currently the administrative assistant to the principal at Pioneer-Pleasant Vale and lives on a family farm just outside Enid. Ironically, as an educator and administrator, Ott has often officiated at graduations over the last 48 years. “Every time we had those graduations, I’d always think about not being able to walk at graduation,” Ott says. “It’s always been important to me. My parents didn’t

OSU alumnus and Native American advocate Neal McCaleb received an honorary doctorate of science degree at the December 2017 commencement. He spoke to graduates in the afternoon ceremony sharing that he earned his degree in civil engineering in 1957, but was unable to attend his commencement, so he welcomed the chance to return 60 years later.


Board of Regents Chairman Douglas E. Burns presented former OSU President James Halligan, left, and his wife Ann with the Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award, which is the highest humanitarian award given by OSU. Jim Halligan served in the Oklahoma Senate for two terms before retiring from the legislature in 2016. He was the commencement speaker in the first ceremony for December 2017 graduates.

OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph, right, graduated at the December 2017 commencement ceremony. He earned national recognition, winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award presented to the nation’s top quarterback. The award emphasizes character, citizenship, scholastic achievement and leadership qualities. Rudolph also earned the Sammy Baugh Award which is given to the top college passer. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes honored the winningest quarterback in Cowboy history with the Bobby Bowden Award.



Expanding growth and service lead to college’s name change The OSU College of Education has made a significant and historical name change to the College of Education, Health and Aviation. The new name, which became official last fall, showcases how much the college has grown and highlights its expanded offerings to better serve students, education and industry. The college has also reorganized its academic structure, shifting from three schools to four. The new academic units are School of Teaching, Learning and Educational Sciences; School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Aviation; School of Community Health Sciences, Counseling and Counseling Psychology; and School of Kinesiology, Applied Health and Recreation. The inclusion of “health” in the college’s name promotes the concept of health and education working together, which Dr. Julie Koch says makes perfect sense. Koch is head of the new School of Community Health Sciences, Counseling and Counseling Psychology. “A big part of our program is prevention through education. If I can teach a kindergartener how to brush their teeth, which is a big part of health education, and I can also teach them anti-bullying techniques in their school, then that prevention goes a long way for them in their future life,” she says. “So that’s an example of what ties health education and prevention with the mental health counseling and counseling psychology.”



The college’s new name will also bring recognition and increased visibility to OSU’s aviation programs. The department was established in 1987, but flight training has a rich history on campus, dating back to World War II. “We have seen tremendous growth in our programs,” says Dr. Chad Depperschmidt, associate head of the School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Aviation. “A couple of years ago, we had 200-250 total students, within all of our degree options, and now we are at 400 total students.” A number of students are interested in earning a professional pilot degree, which Depperschmidt says is currently the most popular option offered. The College of Education, Health and Aviation has also introduced four new degree programs in the last two years, including a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Bachelor of Science in Applied Exercise Science, a Bachelor of Science in Sports and Coaching Science, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing for registered nurses.

Thurman earned her doctorate in psychology from OSU in 1999. She previously was on a team of research scientists who helped develop the Community Readiness Model in the 1990s. This model has been used internationally to engage communities to effectively address various social issues including the prevention of domestic violence, child abuse, and suicide. The CRM model has been used in Africa in the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS. Thurman has also served as a leader for National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, creating posters and other content used nationally by tribal groups to promote education and testing. Along with extensive work in HIV education and prevention, Thurman has also worked with former first lady Laura Bush on the Helping America’s Youth Campaign and with Ohio’s first lady Hope Taft on her Building Bridges Campaign to reduce underage drinking. Thurman has published more than 100 articles and book chapters. She is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and served as co-editor of Cherokee National Treasures: In Their Own Words. The book includes Cherokee stories that have been handed down over thousands of years and reflect Cherokee heritage and how it has woven itself into the present.

OSU wins award for community engagement

Students congratulating Dr. Pamela Jumper Thurman, center, at the OSU American Indian Alumni Society reception include, from left, Arielle Farve, Che Deer, Cydney Atsye, Reagan McGuire, Zach Kensinger, Tegan Maxson and Ravyn Bevard.

American Indian Alumni Society honors distinguished graduate The Oklahoma State University American Indian Alumni Society honored Dr. Pamela Jumper Thurman with the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Oklahoma State University is the 2017 winner of a national community engagement award presented by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship recognizes how colleges have redesigned their learning, discovery and engagement missions to become even more involved with their communities. OSU’s award-winning collaboration with the Chickasaw Nation to improve child nutrition and public health is one of many outreach initiatives. The project includes the Eagle Adventure program for children in the first through third grades, embracing the Native American tribe’s historical storytelling, language, culture

406-744-6835 AthertonHotelatOSU.com

405-744-BEEF (2333) theRanchersClub.com


and dance traditions to educate participants on practices that prevent Type 2 diabetes through diet and physical activity. More than 7,000 students and their families in over 40 local schools have participated in the Eagle Adventure program. A recent survey showed 67 percent of the parents whose children are involved in the program, report that it has helped their youngsters be more active after school, eat more vegetables at dinner (49 percent), and reach more often for fruits as snacks (55 percent).

Grant Harper won top recognition in the Metropolitan Opera district competition held in Tulsa.

Huey Battle, right, was Oklahoma’s first African-American to earn doctoral degree in 1954.

OSU historical timeline updated Read the latest updates to OSU’s historical timeline at timeline.okstate. edu/ and scroll through the years of fond memories and accomplishments that make our university special, including highlights of 2017. Don’t miss the recent additions to earlier years, featuring Huey Battle, Oklahoma’s first African-American to earn a doctorate (1954); the first black fraternity on campus (1958); the first minority counselor (1971); and the first female Spirit Rider (1988).



Grant Harper, an undergraduate student at OSU, was one of three winners in the recent Tulsa district Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. His performance advanced him to the regional competition with a $2,000 award. The national council auditions are designed to discover exceptional talent and provide a venue for young opera singers to be heard by representatives of the Metropolitan Opera as well as assist those with the greatest potential for operatic careers. Harper, a senior from Fort Smith, Arkansas, majoring in university studies, was one of the youngest singers to compete in the competition. A regional win will advance him to the finals at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, where he will be coached by Met conductors and vocal coaches.

OSU’s Jazz Orchestra students performed with noted professional trombonist Michael Dease to cut the university’s first commercial jazz album, Solid Gold, released in February. Produced by Dr. Tommy Poole, director of jazz at OSU, the album landed some very positive reviews from music critics. Online magazine All About Jazz called the student orchestra’s performances “exemplary” andinsisted that adding Dease to the mix results in “… a tasty banquet that’s sure to quicken the appetite of almost any champion of straight-ahead big-band jazz.” Go to okla.st/jazzlp to purchase the album online. PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY


Undergrad earns Tulsa district Met Opera award

OSU’s first commercial jazz album released

Michael Dease performed with students on the university’s first commercial jazz album.

The women of Chi Omega and the men of Beta Theta Pi teamed up to win the 2018 Varsity Revue including, from left, Carter Link, Ross Black, Rebecca Black, Caleb Wilson and Kelly Steichen.

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Chamber Music


THANK YOU TO ALL WHO MADE THE INAUGURAL McKNIGHT CENTER CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL A HUGE SUCCESS! The weeklong concert series April 8-14 featured a variety of performances in Stillwater, Tulsa and Oklahoma City with the finest chamber musicians in North America. Famed concert pianist and chamber musician Anne-Marie McDermott was the Festival’s artistic director. A special thank you goes to our generous sponsors, who made the Festival possible. You can read more about the event and see a full list of sponsors online at McKnightCenter.org. Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2019 Chamber Music Festival!


Rickie Fowler endows fund to support OSU’s participation in National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program PGA Tour star Rickie Fowler proudly displays his love for Oklahoma State University by wearing orange on Sundays as he competes against the best golfers in the world. Now he is proudly putting his money where his heart is by establishing the Rickie Fowler Grand Challenge Scholars Program at OSU. An inaugural gift of $100,000 through the Rickie Fowler Foundation will establish the scholars program in the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. His plan is to continue contributing to the fund so that it grows to $1 million. Rickie Fowler is helping fund a scholars program in the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. PHOTO / BRUCE WATERFIELD

OSU dedicates Remember the Four memorial Oklahoma State University dedicated a memorial in remembrance of former Cowgirl basketball head coach Kurt Budke, assistant coach Miranda Serna and OSU supporters Paula and Olin Branstetter. The four perished in an airplane crash on November 17, 2011, in Arkansas while on a recruiting trip. Coach Budke was just one game into his seventh season as OSU’s head coach. Coach Serna had been on his staff for each of those years. The memorial was constructed as a permanent reminder of those lost, honoring the lives they lived and the legacies they left behind. An inward-looking space with stone benches alongside each of the four allows for an area of quiet reflection. The memorial serves as a gateway to Gallagher-Iba Arena on the northeast corner of the building.Architect Don Beck of Oklahoma-based Beck Design created the concept and Naboltz Construction donated talent and resources to build the memorial.



“My home away from home will always be Stillwater, Oklahoma,” Fowler says. His gift to OSU has roots in the 2015 announcement that Cobra Golf, Fowler’s equipment sponsor, had designed a new equipment line in partnership with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, which facilitated research on the International Space Station. That partnership inspired Fowler to create a scholarship supporting initiatives in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Fowler reached out to Dr. Paul Tikalsky, dean of the college, to ask where his gift would be most effective. Tikalsky told him about OSU’s participation in the NAE Grand Challenge Scholars Program, which features more than 45 engineering schools around the world addressing some of society’s most pressing issues. The National Academy of Engineering has identified 14 goals for the Grand Challenge, such as engineering better medicines and providing worldwide access to affordable clean water. “Rickie Fowler’s support expands OSU’s effort to engage more young women and men in the greatest challenges of the millennial generation,” Tikalsky says. “I look forward to Rickie meeting some of these extraordinary entrepreneurs.” Fowler’s gift reflects his passion for helping OSU students, especially those with financial need, and supporting efforts to solve global challenges. That is why the endowment benefits engineering and technology students in undergraduate research and entrepreneurial projects that address the world’s most pressing needs. Fowler has four PGA Tour victories since turning pro in 2009. He studied economics at OSU and played two seasons for the Cowboys, earning All-America honors and becoming the first freshman to win the Ben Hogan Award, which recognizes the outstanding male amateur and collegiate golfer of the year. He has represented the United States in three Ryder Cups, two Walker Cups, the Olympics, World Cup, and The Presidents Cup.

Construction begins on new baseball stadium Preliminary work has begun on a new home for the Cowboys baseball team. Oklahoma State’s new baseball complex is scheduled to open for the 2020 season at the corner of Washington Street and McElroy Road. Inspired by Boone Pickens Stadium, the new home of the Cowboys has several amenities that cater to fans and players alike. The complex will include approximately 3,500 permanent seats, 13 suites and 400 premium seats in dedicated club and suite areas. Seating can be expanded to 8,000 as needed. A playground area and an outfield plaza space highlight the new familyfriendly concepts incorporated into the design. The concourse area encompasses the entire playing field and features restroom and concession stands down the first-base and third-base lines, plus restrooms and spaces for temporary options such as food trucks in the outfield. Other features of the concourse area are tailgating tents, refreshment areas down both the right field and left field lines, a dedicated student section, and terrace seating in the outfield that will serve families with young children and groups looking for space and the ability to move around freely while watching games.

A 2,000-square foot video board allows for top-of-the-line graphics and video content to further enhance the game day experience, and fans will benefit from a large parking lot that accommodates about 600 vehicles beyond center field. Near the right field foul pole will be space for hosting game day birthday parties and group functions. The lead architects are Jim Hasenbeck and Joshua Hill of Studio Architecture, who have also worked on the Sherman Smith Center and the Greenwood Tennis Center in the Athletic Village, along with several other facilities on campus. Hasenbeck said two of the most unique features of the new baseball stadium are the 360-degree concourse that wraps around the stadium and a glass batter’s eye that allows fans to stand directly behind it and look straight back into the batter’s box. Manhattan Construction Company is building the stadium. OSU has played the last 38 seasons in Allie P. Reynolds Stadium, which hosted its first game in April of 1981. The venerable ballpark has been home to 18 Cowboy squads that won conference championships and 12 that appeared in the College World Series.


After nearly 20 years, OSU alumnus Chad Weiberg has returned to OSU Athletics as the new deputy athletic director.

BACK IN THE SADDLE Chad Weiberg used his OSU roots to excel outside of Stillwater. Now, he’s riding again for the brand. BY C H A S E CA R T E R





t doesn’t matter if the arena is dark or the rowdy is raging, Chad Weiberg still gets the same feeling. “You walk out onto that floor,” Weiberg says, pausing. “It can be in the middle of the day when no one else is in there, and I still have that feeling.” Looking up from Eddie Sutton Court, Weiberg can always spot the banner that bears his brother’s name, Jared Weiberg, who was killed in the 2001 plane crash in Colorado. “I think he would be excited that I’m back, and proud,” Weiberg says of Jared. “I know he’d be happy for me to be back.”


“What you hope for everyone is just to get to a place where they can exceed what they even think is possible for them.” — Chad Weiberg

After nearly 20 years, Oklahoma State athletic department engage with students University alumnus Chad Weiberg has on campus. returned to OSU Athletics as deputy athletic “From that, I ended up interning here director. Like many Cowboys, his connecmy junior and senior years, and fortution with Oklahoma State goes back to nately, they started paying me my senior his childhood. But until recently, he didn’t year,” Weiberg jokes. “That’s when I know if he’d ever get back to Stillwater. started thinking this is what I really Weiberg was born in the southern wanted to do and pursue.” Oklahoma town of Pauls Valley, but he grew up all over the state. A Life-Changing Conversation His father, Mick, was a basketball Dave Martin wore many hats with coach. The family moved to Poteau and OSU Athletics, serving for more than Warner before landing in Stillwater when three decades as a senior associate athletic Mick was hired by OSU men’s basketball director and as interim athletic director coach Paul Hansen. twice. He also was interim commissioner “When I first went to an OSU game of the Big 12 Conference in 1998. with my dad, it was still the old Gallagher,” You could almost always find Martin Weiberg says. “It still had the wooden seats, within Gallagher’s halls, and one mornbut I remember it being loud.” ing in 1995, he nearly ran into Weiberg Ultimately, Weiberg finished high — literally. school in Tonkawa after his father became “One of the guys I had interned for in the head coach at Northern Oklahoma POSSE had left unexpectedly and gone Junior College. Weiberg attended into the private sector,” Weiberg says. Northern for one year before transferring “One day, I was walking into the arena, to OSU, where his uncle’s career helped and as I was rounding a corner, I almost set his own course. bumped into Dave Martin. And Dave, in “I knew pretty early on I didn’t want to Dave’s way, said, ‘Weiberg, are you going coach,” Weiberg says. “My uncle was on to apply for that job or what?’ the administrative side of athletics. I saw “The truth was, no, I wasn’t planning what he was doing and thought I could do on it, but I knew the answer at that point something like that.” (His uncle, Kevin was yes.” Weiberg, served as the second commisAlthough he’d been looking at entrysioner of the Big 12 Conference from level positions all over the country, 1998-2007, among other positions.) Weiberg landed his first job out of college With a business major, Weiberg was at his alma mater, handling corporate still unsure about his future until a fratersales and donor relations. nity brother appointed him to the Student “We didn’t have any video boards back Athletic Advisory Council to help the then,” Weiberg jokes. “I was really only



selling some signage and program ads and helping to put on fundraising events.” Several years later, Weiberg got a call from Larry Shell, vice president of the OSU Alumni Association. He asked Weiberg to be thinking of candidates for a field operations position that was opening up. But Weiberg didn’t have to look very far. “Even then, it made me nervous, and I had to give it a lot of thought and talk to a lot of people,” Weiberg says. “But I thought it’d be good experience so I decided to make the transition, and it was great.” With the OSU Alumni Association, Weiberg traveled across the country meeting Cowboys from coast to coast. Through it all, he says he learned two things. “First, I learned how to travel, because I traveled a lot,” Weiberg says. “But I also learned there were alumni just as passionate about OSU and OSU athletics living in L.A. or Chicago. They couldn’t come to every home football game, but I remember learning that didn’t make them any less passionate.” Weiberg’s time at the OSU Alumni Association was marked with both great happiness and deep sorrow. His younger brother, Jared, a student manager for the Cowboy basketball team, was one of 10 people killed in the Colorado plane crash on January 27, 2001. He met his future wife, Jodi, while attending a Big 12 Alumni Conference in Austin. At the time, Jodi was working for the Kansas State Alumni Association. Because of the distance, Weiberg says the two were friends for a long time before they started dating. He proposed to Jodi in a suite high atop GallagherIba Arena before the K-State-OSU football game in 2003. By this time, Weiberg had moved on to fundraising as an OSU Foundation employee, first for the College of Business and then back with OSU Athletics, where the first phase of the Boone Pickens Stadium campaign was just beginning. “Jodi and I had to figure out how to get in the same town at that point,” Weiberg says. “We both applied for jobs in both places and had to decide what the better combined option was, which ended up being at K-State.”

Purple Pastures Weiberg started in the KSU Foundation as the director of corporate relations. It’s a position that he says allowed him to build many good relationships on campus, including one with K-State athletics. “I had only worked at the foundation for a year when the athletic director called me about a position,” Weiberg says. “I was very thankful I had the time in the corporate relations position because of everyone I got to meet.” Drawing on all his experience from OSU, Weiberg hit the ground running as a fundraiser for K-State Athletics. He assumed the lead role in 2009 and, over the next five years, his team doubled the number of donors to the department. He was named National Fundraiser of the Year by the National Association of Athletic Development Directors during his final year at KSU. “I ended up using a lot of my experience from the OSU Alumni Association there, harkening back to the realization there are passionate people who care just as much about athletics but can’t come to

every football game,” Weiberg says. “We implemented a program that reached beyond the state’s boundaries, and what we found was people just hadn’t been asked to support the program; they’d only been asked to buy season tickets. “It was really separating the need for tickets and the ask for support. That made the difference.” In 2015, another opportunity presented itself to Weiberg. “When I was asked what my next steps were, it was hard for me to say because I couldn’t picture it,” Weiberg says. “I can tell you I would have never imagined it would be Texas Tech in Lubbock, but I knew almost immediately the opportunity was right. It all just seemed to fit.” The offer came from K-State alumnus and Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt, who hired Weiberg as his secondin-command. In this role, Weiberg was responsible for the day-to-day operations and oversight of the department. “I was very fortunate to get that opportunity,” Weiberg says. “We were happy there and could have been there for a long time, until this opportunity happened.” PHOTO / BRUCE WATERFIELD

Coming Full Circle In spring 2017, that opportunity came when Dave Martin — the longtime administrator whose encouragement originally led to Weiberg’s first job with OSU athletics — announced his retirement. “I’ve given Dave a lot of credit for that conversation, and at his retirement event, he talked about that,” Weiberg says. “From his perspective, it was an inconsequential conversation. From mine, it was life-changing. That’s what’s cool about fast-forwarding to now, trying to fill Dave’s shoes essentially. It’s come full circle, and it’s an honor for me to get to do that.” Weiberg says he views his role as one who connects the dots helping the staff, the programs and the coaches with the challenges and opportunities they face. He also says it’s vital to emphasize the impact of the fans’ experience. “I want them to know and understand how important they are,” Weiberg says. “Their support and presence is something I hope we never take for granted, and I hope they never take that for granted, because it is so important.” And for all of us championing the success of our Cowboys and Cowgirls, Weiberg says it’s important for our student athletes to compete with heart, much like his brother, Jared. “He was not the most talented, and he knew it,” Weiberg says with a grin. “But his heart got him to even that point. He overachieved to even have the opportunity to be here. “I think that’s what you hope for everyone is just to get to a place where they can exceed what they even think is possible for them.”

For Chad Weiberg, that place is Oklahoma State.

Chad Weiberg greets fans in GallagherIba Arena before the OSU men’s basketball game against Kansas State.



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Three colleges unite for novel technology “Basically, think of it as a Fitbit for cows.” That’s how Ryan Reuter, associate professor of animal science in the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, describes the technology being developed at Oklahoma State University to track livestock and monitor their health with a small device built into ear tags. The research team is composed of faculty from three OSU colleges. “A strength of the project is collaboration among a multidisciplinary research team,” says project lead Sabit Ekin, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. The small, affordable and easy-to-use devices will provide location, blood pressure, temperature and heart rate data that will be relayed to a livestock manager’s laptop or phone using the internet. “We can use the data to review how the animal is performing and make the process more efficient,” Reuter says. “That means producing food at a lower cost.” In 2017, the team won the OSU President’s Cup for Creative Interdisciplinarity, which recognizes interdisciplinary instruction, research and service. Besides Ekin and Reuter, the team also includes John Long, assistant professor, biosystems and agricultural engineering; Chris Richards, professor, animal science; and Richard Gajan, clinical assistant professor of entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business.

Researchers collaborating on a livestock ear tag monitoring technology include, from left, master’s degree student Hussein Kwasme, computer and electrical engineering assistant professor Sabit Ekin, animal science associate professor Ryan Reuter and doctoral student Hisham Abuella.

Henry Adams, an assistant professor of plant biology, ecology and evolution, is experimenting with pine saplings and the effects of higher temperatures and drought on tree health.

Rising temperatures threaten forests in an unexpected way Researchers all over the world are studying the effects of climate change, and few ecosystems, including forests, are escaping the impact of rising temperatures. Henry Adams, an OSU assistant professor of plant biology, ecology and evolution, is exploring tree mortality associated with rising temperatures and drought. He is the lead author on a recently published paper on climate change and forest die-off. His findings are not optimistic: Increased temperatures will result in more drought that will kill more trees. No surprise there, but what is surprising is that higher temperatures are changing the nature of drought. The research from Adams and his collaborators suggests more trees will die from an increase in the number of short-duration droughts than long-term droughts. That means forests face accelerating die-off with warmer temperatures. “Let’s use droughts of the past as a guide to the future, but let’s throw projected change in temperature on top of that,” Adams says. “Trees simply don’t live as long during drought, but we’re seeing shorter droughts causing mortality that only longer droughts did in the past.”



OSU technology helps feed the world

The technology startup Plasma Bionics is led by OSU alumni Kedar Pai, left, and Chris Timmons, working on a prototype of their system for sterilizing medical instruments.

Investors reward technology entrepreneurs What began as research in Dr. Jamey Jacob’s mechanical and aerospace engineering lab has turned into a business with a product, eager customers and investors who have provided more than $1.35 million in funding. The team of former Oklahoma State University graduate students behind Plasma Bionics LLC developed a system to allow mobile, cold plasma-based medical and veterinary instrument sterilization. The business, launched in 2012, is now headed by Kedar Pai, a doctoral graduate in mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Chris Timmons, who earned a doctorate in plant pathology, two of the original student founders.

With early investments from the OSU Research Foundation and Cowboy Technologies LLC, Plasma Bionics received $1 million from an investor group in late 2017. That influx of cash launched Pai and Timmons into hyperdrive to finish developing and testing their product, the PZ100. The patented device sterilizes medical instruments without the dangerous chemicals and high temperatures needed by other systems. And because it’s portable, the device can be used in the field. Timmons and Pai have used feedback from veterinarians, the product’s key market, to improve the system that is now ready. “This goes along with the land-grant mission to convert research into real-world applications,” Timmons says.

Millions of farmers in the developing world lack access to modern technology and still plant crops using a stick as they’ve done for generations. Oklahoma State University researchers, working with colleagues worldwide, have spent years developing, field-testing and improving a modern take on the stick planter. Bill Raun, Regents professor in plant and soil sciences in the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, has worked for decades with subsistence farmers. He leads researchers at OSU and worldwide who have developed the Greenseeder Hand Planter, a modern engineered improvement on the traditional stick planter that increases crop yields, decreases erosion and protects farmers from contact with chemically treated seed. “The OSU Greenseeder is being used in Central America, Africa and Asia with more than 350 planters delivered around the world,” Raun says. “Recent work with Rotarians in Stillwater, Oklahoma; Minden, Nebraska; and Lira, Uganda, has enabled a network that will lead to local manufacturing in the developing world.”

OSU Research App now available A new way to learn about OSU research activities, the OSU Research App, will help you stay up-to-date with events, news and contact information for services related to the OSU research community. The app was developed by the Division of the Vice President for Research, in partnership with the OSU App Center, to give faculty, staff, students and alumni quick access via a smartphone or other mobile device. Research events can be added to a user’s calendar directly from the app, texted to a friend or emailed to a colleague. The latest news about OSU’s top researchers, scholars and artists is available on the news feed. The app is available for the iPhone and other Apple devices on the Apple Store and for Android phones and devices on Google Play. Search for OSU Research.



A farmer using the OSU hand planter near Lira, Uganda, is protecting her hands from exposure to chemically treated seeds.















The number of majors available for study at Grandparent University 2018.




The number of Grandparent University camps hosted since it began (including this year).


Suzy, a permanent resident of the Cohn Pet Care Facility, relaxes in her favorite spot.


Puppy Love


Family’s foundation honors woman’s work rescuing animals


People come and go in your

lifetime. They may even impact

your life without you knowing it. If you are an animal lover, such could be the case with the late Leah Cohn Arendt of Oklahoma City.



Arendt’s family established the Mercy Work Foundation of Oklahoma in 1992 to perpetually care for small animals. Mercy Work makes two to three awards each year, typically ranging between $5,000 and $20,000. The Oklahoma City woman had an insatiable love of rescuing companion

animals. When Arendt died, she left several dogs with no one to turn to for shelter, care and love. Knowing her love of animals, administrators of the estate at Boatmen’s First National Bank of Oklahoma decided to use some of the Mercy Work funds to care for Arendt’s dogs. Patty Whitecotton served as administrator of the program for more than eight years. “We worked with Dr. Joe Alexander, who was then dean at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences,” Whitecotton recalls. “We agreed to establish an endowed chair and to help fund the construction of the Cohn Pet Care Facility. For as long as Leah’s dogs were alive, we would provide funding to help cover the cost of their care and any necessary veterinary treatment. OSU was also welcome to apply for an annual grant distribution for funds that support needs that align with the overall mission of Mercy Work.” Thus began the more than 20-year relationship the veterinary center enjoys with the Mercy Work Foundation of Oklahoma. Through the years, OSU has received more than $1.7 million in annual grants from Mercy Work, which has allowed the veterinary center to keep the Cohn Facility in good repair, make equipment and technology upgrades, and ensure the animals are cared for 24/7. Mercy Work’s generous support has also allowed OSU to care for animals involved in domestic violence situations. “I think it’s a great place for people who don’t have relatives or anyone left who can take their animals when they pass away, so their animals have a safe place to live out their lives,” Whitecotton says. “It’s also wonderful that the Cohn Pet Care Facility is a safe haven for animals whose family environment may be threatened.” The Cohn Pet Care Facility opened in 1998. It housed Arendt’s dogs, another dog named April, and is currently home to two cats, Sophie and Suzy. Approximately 25 families have provided endowed gifts to the OSU Foundation for their animals to be cared for by the Cohn Facility should their animals outlive them. More than 870 pets have been boarded at the facility, including birds, cats, dogs, a hedgehog and a rabbit.

Cohn offers care for life

The Cohn Pet Care Facility is located on eight acres.


the Oklahoma State University’s Cohn Pet Care Facility offers pet owners a permanent home for their animals when they are no longer able to care for them. An upfront endowment secures the funds necessary to provide shelter, food and veterinary medical treatment for the life of their pet. The facility is on eight acres north of the OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital. The 6,600-square-foot building is equipped with some special features:

▷ An indoor cat room, specifically designed to meet the exercise needs of cats, is located where the sun shines into the room most of the day. ▷ An area designated for veterinary medical examinations, treatment and grooming. ▷ Outdoor runs and separate dog kennels. ▷ A comfortable visiting area where the animals can enjoy being with people.

“My endowment, which ensures that my pets will receive excellent care and companionship for the remainder of their lives, has given me utmost peace of mind. After visiting the shelter, I was inspired to contribute additional funds to support the facility’s program, which provides temporary housing for animals that have been removed from at-risk situations,” says Jean Williams-Gent, a client of the Cohn Pet Care Facility. As a community service, the Cohn Facility provides temporary housing for pets from domestic violence cases at no cost to these pet owners. Research shows that up to 48 percent of battered women delayed the decision to leave unsafe situations out of fear for the welfare of pets or livestock. Seventy-one percent of battered women with pets affirmed that batterers had threatened, hurt or killed their animal. The Cohn Pet Care Facility is also equipped to serve as a boarding facility for pets as space allows. The facility is open during the week with Saturday and Sunday drop-off hours between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and pick-up between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. For more details on boarding your pets, call 405-744-3647. To contribute to the Cohn Pet Care Facility or learn more about securing your own pet’s place, contact Chris Sitz, senior director of development with the OSU Foundation, at 405-385-5170 or csitz@osugiving.com.



Cohn Family Chair for Small Animals Dr. Danielle Dugat holds the Cohn Family Chair for Small Animals. A board-certified small animal surgeon at Oklahoma State University’s Veterinary Medical Hospital, Dugat has been a faculty member since 2011. “The Cohn Family Chair opens the door to expand research, teaching and educational opportunities in both small animal medicine and surgery,” Dugat says. “This chair gives me some flexibility to use funding for collaborative research or to help young interns and residents with their research goals to fulfill their requirements to become specialized. “It lets me utilize my interests and goals to advance clinical medicine and surgery,” she adds. “Having the opportunity to be financially supported through the chair allows me to collaborate with my colleagues and provide a service to the veterinary

In addition, at least 48 animals involved in a domestic violence situation have been safely cared for until reunited with owners or a stable, permanent home was made available. “Mercy Work Foundation of Oklahoma has impacted the lives of so many animal lovers who just want to know their beloved pets are going to be safe and cared for when they are no longer able to provide for them,” says Dr. Chris Ross, interim dean of OSU’s Center



community thanks to a donor that believes in the work we provide here at the university. I am blessed to be a part of a faculty at the veterinary center that strives to improve medicine daily. Without chairs such as the Cohn Family Chair, some of our research goals cannot become reality.” Originally from Huntington Beach, California, Dugat came to OSU in 2003 to begin pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. Following her undergraduate work, she earned her doctorate of veterinary medicine degree, and completed a small animal surgical residency and master’s degree in biomedical sciences, all at OSU. In 2013, she became a board certified surgeon and Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Dugat is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences.

for Veterinary Health Sciences. “Add to that the research, education and veterinary medical care provided by the faculty who have been appointed as Cohn Family Chair for Small Animals, and that impact just grew exponentially. We are forever grateful for Mercy Work of Oklahoma’s continued support.” “The mission of the Cohn Pet Care Facility nicely aligns with the mission of The Mercy Work Foundation of Oklahoma.

Financial support for the many programs of the center is a wonderful example of how the grantor’s wishes are being fulfilled today,” adds Kelly Donohue Garlock, vice president and philanthropic relationship manager at the U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, the bank now managing the account. For more information about the Cohn Pet Care Facility, visit cvhs.okstate.edu/cohn-pet-care-facility.


What started as a small foundation in Owasso, Oklahoma, is now a nationwide effort to help provide educational scholarships to families of fallen and disabled service members. Eskimo Joe’s proudly partners with Folds of Honor, designing a shirt each year to support the mission, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to the cause. To date, Folds of Honor has donated upwards of 12,000 scholarships that help students make a path in life.You can help, too. Wear a shirt, change a life.







This news was first published in the Winter 2017 issue of POSSE magazine. To read other great stories, consider joining the POSSE. Annual donations to OSU athletics of $150 or more qualify for POSSE membership and include an annual subscription to POSSE magazine. Visit okstateposse.com for details.



C O W BO Y W RE S T L E R / 2006-09 ATHLETIC HIGHLIGHTS “It is hard to consider a certain moment that is the highlight of my wrestling career,” Brandon Mason says. “One of the highlights for my individual accomplishments is becoming an NCAA ALL-AMERICAN at the 2007 NCAA Championships.” Mason finished fifth at 174 pounds that season and, reflecting on team accomplishments, he says it was a highlight and honor to be a part of teams that won NCAA championships. A memorable dual came in January of 2008 when Mason contributed to No. 6 OSU’s road upset of No. 1 Iowa in front of one of the largest crowds (14,332) in NCAA dual history.




THE PATH TO MEDICINE Both of Mason’s parents are chiropractors. They had an X-ray machine in their office, taking X-rays of patients and developing the images in a darkroom. “Because of this, from a young age, I thought radiology was something that was extremely interesting and something I would be interested in doing,” he says. Mason became more and more involved in the sciences as he grew older. He began shadowing doctors. His experiences confirmed his desire to go into radiology. He applied (and was accepted) to OSU’s medical school with the intention of completing a residency in diagnostic radiology. After four years of medical school, he applied to radiology programs across the country and says he was fortunate to gain a spot in the radiology residency program at OSU’s medical center. He is in his fifth (and final) year of the radiology residency. Next? Mason has accepted a one-year fellowship at Body MRI imaging at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiolog y at Washing ton University/Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He calls it the top radiology program in the country.

After his fellowship, Mason will practice diagnostic radiology at Stillwater Medical Center with a specialty in MRI body imaging. The fellowship training will allow him

to be a specialist in interpreting a majority of cancer imaging, including prostate, colon, renal, liver and gynecologic cancers. Mason was asked this question: In your experiences so far, what are some things that have happened in your patient interactions that let you know you are absolutely making a difference in lives and pursuing the right profession?

“Radiology is such an integral part of patient care, and I know I am making a difference in patients’ lives.” His reply: “I love what I do and couldn’t see myself doing anything else. Radiology is such an integral part of patient care, and I know I am making a difference in patients’ lives. I don’t have much interaction with patients except when I am performing a biopsy. Even though I typically only see patients prior to a biopsy or a drain placement, I know that I am helping the patient, and I have been told many times that they appreciate everything we do.”

Mason has tried to mentor the other former OSU athletes who are part of this story, helping them, if necessary, navigate medical school. He says he and Muncrief are always in close communication. Mason is McNeil’s official physician mentor.


K ENDR A W OODSON MUNCR I EF C O W G I RL T R A C K / 2 00 9 -1 2 ATHLETIC HIGHLIGHTS An ALL-BIG 12 and ACADEMIC ALL-BIG 12 performer, Kendra Woodson Muncrief says she has thought about the “career highlight” topic before and isn’t quite sure what it would be. She says she ran the 400-meter hurdles reasonably well as a freshman, but her hurdles coach, Jim Bolding, died at the end of the year. Dave Smith, who previously coached only the men’s team, assumed responsibility for the women’s team, and she ran the 800 meters and the 3k steeplechase after that. “I struggled with injuries towards the end of my sophomore year for the remainder of my time at OSU,” she says. “College athletics are not about who is the most naturally talented necessarily but about who can stay healthiest the longest. I look back, and I think struggling through those injuries helped me have a more mature outlook and overall stronger character.” Muncrief says she had great teammates and made great friends (she counts Smith among them) during her time at OSU. She calls Smith an amazing coach and says she cherished the opportunity to run for him. “I can’t say I have one race or meet that stands out as being that defining moment,” she says. “I think I am most proud that I was able to be a strong student and athlete at the same time. Being a pre-med student-athlete was extremely difficult, but it made me a great medical student. While my (sports) career didn’t turn out how I would have hoped, I don’t reflect on it with any regrets. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity and am grateful for my coach, Dave Smith.”

“I am humbled by what this responsibility entails, and I am ready.”




THE PATH TO MEDICINE Muncrief says she always knew she wanted to be in medicine. Maybe it’s in her DNA. Her parents owned a veterinary clinic in New Mexico. Once upon a time, it was her dream to attend veterinary school and return to New Mexico to take over the family practice. This is an excerpt of a personal statement Muncrief included in her application to medical school: “I eagerly spent hours observing my parents’ work and watching them foster meaningful relationships with clients at their veterinary clinic in New Mexico. My dad stressed providing quality care, emphasizing preventative medicine and client education. His preventative motto of ‘changing the oil now is more sensible than a new engine later’ is a principle embedded in my mind as a mandatory value of any health professional. My Puerto Rican mother complemented my father’s philosophy by exhibiting sincere compassion and identifying with their diverse culture of clients in the Four Corners region. With two exceptional role models, I witnessed that the most powerful and redeeming experience is to help heal.”

“Human” medicine also was in her family background. She says a grandfather was a pediatrician in Puerto Rico.

Should she follow in her parents’ footsteps or in her grandfather’s footsteps? Medical school became the more attractive option after she started dating her future husband, Grant, a former baseball player at Wichita State University.

Grant was interested in petroleum engineering. In that field, jobs are tied to certain geographic areas. So, she knew she would probably never be returning to New Mexico. “It was a very tough decision,” she says, adding that she applied to OSU’s veterinary medicine school and medical school in the same year. She was accepted to both within the same week and chose you-know-what. Muncrief started her intern year (the first of a four-year residency) in emergency medicine and is concurrently pursuing a master’s degree in public health administration. She

says she enjoys the academic aspect of medicine and would find a lot of pleasure in teaching medical students in the future.

In Muncrief ’s personal statement part of her medical school application, she wrote that she says she was grateful for the efforts of doctors who helped her to pursue her athletic goals and improved her quality of life. She says those experiences will make her a more empathetic doctor. “One day, I will have the honor to take the oath of accepting a lifelong obligation to the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence as a doctor. People are going to put their trust in me and their lives in my hands. I am humbled by what this responsibility entails, and I am ready.”

Smith, Muncrief ’s former coach, says he always told her she could do anything she wanted. “I wanted her to coach because I think she is really good with people,” he says, “I thought she really could have changed some lives working with young people, but, in the medical field, it’s the same thing. She can help people if they are having a tough time in their life. Anything where she is going to be working with people, she is going to be really good.”

Because of the way Muncrief is wired, Smith predicts she will excel in her chosen profession.

“She’s really intuitive, really good at reading people,” he says. “I imagine as a doctor she has a great bedside manner. She is one of those people that — it’s a cliché, but she can walk into a room and kind of light it up. When she talks to people one-on-one, she makes them feel good. As a doctor, I’m sure she has the same personality that I have seen as an athlete as a student host when we had recruits in town. She just makes people feel like it’s all about them when she talks to them. If you can do that, you are going to be a great doctor.”



C O W BO Y W RE S T L I NG / 2 00 7-1 2 ATHLETIC HIGHLIGHTS Chris McNeil says none of his favorite moments involved cutting weight. “But two days before the Big 12 Tournament, I was the third guy deep as a redshirt freshman on our roster at 184,” he says. “We had all gone back and forth in matches for the starting position with a sophomore and senior in front of me. In one hour, my whole season got flipped upside down when Coach (John) Smith allowed us to have a ranking match to convince him who would fill the final spot on the roster.” McNeil says he found a way to win that day and went on to PLACE FOURTH AT THE BIG 12 MEET. “I fell short of being an All-American at my first appearance in the NCAA tournament, but I’ll never forget the power of perseverance and preparation because, just like getting accepted to medical school, you never know when you’ll get the call so you always need to be ready.”

“I want to be in a position where I can use my skills to work with and build interdisciplinary teams.”



THE PATH TO MEDICINE McNeil says he was blessed to watch his father serve in the U.S. Army for 24 years as a physician’s assistant. He witnessed how traumatic injuries could bring even the toughest guys to tears.

“I initially got interested in medicine when I saw the relief come to a soldier’s face as my dad entered the room,” he says.

McNeil experienced the same feeling of relief in junior high. He fractured a femur. Bad news got better because a doctor of osteopathic medicine convinced an MD not to put a rod in the fractured leg. That was a big deal because it allowed McNeil to continue his athletic career after recovering. “DOs are traditionally known to be trained to view the body and the environment it’s in from a holistic perspective, while MDs are traditionally trained to primarily treat the diseased state of the body,” McNeil says. “The two philosophies are pretty much intertwined in medical schools today, but the training and thought processes can lead the two physicians to ask very different questions and therefore arrive at different levels of quality care and patient outcomes. In the case for me, the femur is one of the strongest bones in the body, and I broke it at 15. I don’t know the full extent of the surgical procedure since I was able to avoid it, but any time there is an option to not have to cut the body open to fix it is a mark of an excellent physician.” McNeil says if he had undergone invasive surgery, he would have needed a longer recovery time and may not have been able to continue with high-impact sports — or at least that’s his understanding of the road not taken. “I missed the rest of football season my freshman year of high school,” he says. “But when wrestling came around I was able to excel at the state and national level to help me get on the radar for college recruiters and eventually earn a scholarship at the most prestigious wrestling school in the world — Oklahoma State University. Long story short, the DO helped me have a shorter recovery time and opportunity to get exposed to college recruiters, which, in turn, changed my life.” When asked if there was anything personal in his background that made him want to

go into the health profession, McNeil talked about his educational roots. He says science and math were always difficult subjects for him to comprehend without investing a tremendous amount of time and effort in understanding the big picture. “I remember in eighth grade getting a letter sent home that told my parents I would be on academic probation if I didn’t improve my algebra grade,” he says. McNeil’s math teacher offered to work with him before school, at lunch and after school if he wanted to improve. “I saw her each time until I made sure another letter wouldn’t be sent home,” he says. “Neither math nor science ever got easier, but my competitive nature and curiosity always drew me to the subjects. I can see now that, in finding a way to make the sciences more comprehendible for myself, I can come up with better ways to explain the status and plan of action to my future patients and colleagues.”

McNeil says wrestling taught him perseverance.

“Mentors/teammates like Brandon and Kendra set the standard and vision for what I should be doing to complete this journey,” he says. “After spending time around OSU wrestling and Coach Smith, I also don’t think I could ever consider taking a career path that came ‘easier’ to me. All things considered, I feel that I was drawn to medicine because I knew I would have to endure some

extraordinary circumstances to develop me into an extraordinary physician for my family, friends and patients.”

McNeil, introduced to the Oklahoma Center for Health Sciences by Mason in 2011, says he wants to learn every specialty in medicine. “I want to be in a position where I can use my skills to work with and build interdisciplinary teams to deliver quality care to disadvantaged groups and areas in Oklahoma from the perspective of preventive care,” he says. McNeil says he is interested in being able to start his own business/practice someday to streamline a process to recruit more minorities into the medical field through science and sports. Through an opportunity provided by OSU’s Kuehne Postgraduate Scholarship, he says he was able to use the time it took to gain acceptance into medical school to learn from “amazing” professors at the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship and the Spears School of Business to get a master’s degree in entrepreneurship. He says that gave him a different perspective of what his role and long-term vision in medicine might be.



Healing from the Heart BY W I L L CA R R

Dr. Jawad Trad traveled to Haiti for a medical mission.

Cura team members treat patients in the Luwero District in Uganda.



Jawad Trad takes his alma mater’s focus on service to heart, first as a surgeon and then as a humanitarian.

“Being so young, I was definitely welcomed in the most brotherly way possible,” Trad says. “I think that made my identity more relatable to the people around me at OSU than to my past in Lebanon. hen Jawad Trad was It was just amazing. I never once born in Beirut in 1981, felt people were looking at me Lebanon was six years differently.” into a bitter civil war. Even though he had a passion As a child, Trad grew up for art and originally wanted to seeing poverty on a scale study it, his interest in human most of us can’t imagine, a firstanatomy and diseases led him to hand witness to its effects on the medical school. Trad earned a people of Lebanon. bachelor’s degree in biochemistry His father, Mohsen Trad, was at OSU-Stillwater, a master’s in a lawyer and a politician unwillbiomedical sciences at OSU Center ing to leave the country. But Jawad Dr. Jawad Trad volunteered in Tanzania through a partfor Health Sciences and his medinership between Cura for the World and Mainsprings Trad knew he had to escape to cal degree from the OSU College of whose mission is to provide a safe home for girls. ever find peace. He didn’t know Osteopathic Medicine. then how the experiences of his “Out of all of the osteopathic childhood would stay with him, ultimately “The OSU culture gives you an idenprograms in the country, I think OSU is guiding him to the work he’s doing today. tity,” Trad says. “And growing up in top five, hands down in every aspect,” Trad would end up following his Lebanon and coming at that young of an Trad says. “You can go to programs like brothers, Ghaleb and Tarek, to Oklahoma age, I was searching for an identity.” Harvard and see stuff like what they are to pursue an education. He began his Becoming immersed in OSU’s culture doing at OSU. It’s very relatable.” college career at the University of Central was vital to Trad. He joined many differTrad completed his residency in interOklahoma at the young age of 15. A year ent clubs on campus, worked as a tutor for nal medicine and a fellowship in invasive later, he transferred to Oklahoma State, some of OSU’s student athletes and joined cardiology at the OSU Medical Center where he would spend the next 16 years a fraternity on campus. in Tulsa. learning within the OSU system.


A Cura for the World team provided medical care in Uganda through a partnership with Project Orphans.


While he received offers from Los Angeles and Boston, he chose to remain in the community he loved because he saw a need. “I love working at Stillwater Medical Center,” Trad says. “I’m busy all day long with procedures at the hospital, which tells you this community really needed an invasive cardiologist.” Trad also wanted to serve beyond the borders of the state and country he had come to love. That drive to serve began as soon as he finished his studies at Oklahoma State. “I graduated from my fellowship on Friday, and on Monday, I was on my way to Haiti with an organization out of Tulsa,” Trad says. In many ways, Trad’s first trip was a journey back in time to his childhood in Beirut. “While I was there, I saw a lot of ways organizations were functioning that were lacking. They were not delivering what I thought was an optimal way to be purely humanitarian.” His drive to improve ways to serve those in need led Trad to found Cura for the World. Cura means “helping hand” in Latin. The foundation aims to help pull communities in developing countries out of poverty using education, medical treatment and agriculture projects without spreading any form of doctrine. He began fundraising to build Cura. In 2017, the first Cura Gala at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa ultimately helped raise more than $100,000 for the organization. “That allowed us to go around the world,” Trad says. “We went to Uganda. A lot of people who came with us paid their own way. When they donated to our cause, that money went straight to our mission. It didn’t go to any logistics.” Cura partners with existing nongovernmental organizations that don’t already provide medical aid or food solutions in developing countries. This allows Cura to make a major impact on the area with a focus on orphanages or women’s centers. “These neglected people, they aren’t looked at,” Trad says. “We found if we attach a clinic to it, then suddenly the



community needs them. If we attach a food source or a permaculture project to these entities, people need them. All of a sudden, these people feel like they mean something to their community.” All of these efforts provide additional support to women and children, offering them a level playing ground and a better shot at attaining their dreams. Trad says the goal for Cura is to reach every developing country by 2030. They have already made an impact in Haiti, Uganda and Tanzania with plans to visit Congo, Peru and Tibet in the coming year. All of this progress and dedication to humanitarianism has its roots at OSU, where service remains a key pillar in the university’s mission. Many of the people who accompany Trad on these trips have OSU ties and share his pride in the institution. “We are not only individuals doing good things in this world,” Trad says. “We are ambassadors for OSU.”


Dr. Jawad Trad practices at Stillwater Medical Center.

Dr. Jawad Trad and his team are welcomed at Project Orphans in Uganda.

Oklahoma needs doctors like YOU.

Choose a career in medicine and make a difference. OSU-trained physicians work and live in every county in Oklahoma, providing excellent patient care to generations of Oklahoma families. Learn how the College of Osteopathic Medicine at the OSU Center for Health Sciences can help you achieve your dream of becoming a doctor. Learn more about applying to medical school at health.okstate.edu.

1111 West 17th Street

Tulsa, OK 74107-1898



English teacher Tamara Danley discusses research methods with her students at Webster High School in Tulsa.

Investing in Oklahoma’s Educators



amara Danley, a high school English teacher for Tulsa Public Schools, has long wished to become a principal. Yet, she and other teachers who want to provide fresh leadership and advance professionally often don’t have the financial means to earn the required graduate degree. “Many classroom teachers struggle to pay for an advanced degree even though it may mean an increase in salary once they


Oklahoma State University-Tulsa and the Brock Community Family Foundation have partnered to create an affordable pathway to leadership for public school teachers.


move into an administrative position,” says Dr. Katherine Curry, the John A. and Donnie Brock professor at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa. According to the National Education Association, Oklahoma teacher salaries are the third-lowest in the nation, leaving little room in a teacher’s budget to pay for tuition. OSU-Tulsa has partnered with the Brock Community Family Foundation to help local teachers advance and school districts develop leaders.

Established by Tulsa businessman and philanthropist John A. Brock, the foundation believes educating children is society’s most important role. With an $80,000 donation from the foundation, OSU-Tulsa launched the Brock Fellowship in Educational Leadership last year. The first cohort of nine began classes last fall. Each is on track to earn a Master of Science in Educational Leadership Studies in 18 months for a total out-of-pocket cost of less than $5,000.

Danley, who teaches at Tulsa’s Webster High School, was among the first group to seize the opportunity. “I really didn’t think I could ever afford to get the graduate degree I need to move into school leadership,” she says. “Without this fellowship, I wouldn’t be able to do it at all.” Redesigned with the time and financial constraints of teachers and school districts in mind, the program provides hybrid courses that allow students valuable face-to-face mentoring and networking on campus while completing most work online. With embedded clinical experiences, it also enables a teacher’s job to serve as a practicum. “The fellowship at OSU-Tulsa not only saves our teachers money, but it allows them to stay in their workplaces while pursuing a graduate degree and to receive the state-mandated raise for a master’s degree much more quickly than many other school leadership programs,” says Dr. Ed Harris, an OSU-Tulsa professor who holds the Williams Chair of Educational Leadership. Because many school systems prefer to recruit and develop leaders from within their ranks, the Brock Fellowship enhances the ability of superintendents to plan and promote leadership throughout their districts, says Curry, the program’s director. According to a study by the Southern Regional Education Board, school districts that have demonstrated the greatest progress in student achievement are those that identify the skills and knowledge they want in their leaders and create pathways for their teachers to move up. A lack of resources isn’t always what holds schools back. In many cases, school districts simply don’t have the leadership, expertise or will to use resources effectively, the study says. “The Brock Fellowship helps to identify leaders within the school district and promotes the development of necessary skills and knowledge to lead effectively,” Curry says. The program curriculum combines entrepreneurship and education in an approach referred to as “edupreneurship.” It focuses on using entrepreneurial

Tamara Danley, who teaches high school English for Tulsa Public Schools, teaches during the day and works on her master’s degree in educational leadership as part of OSU-Tulsa’s Brock Fellowship in Educational Leadership.

“As a teacher, this program has enabled me to see things through a different lens. But most of all, this fellowship gives me hope and inspiration.” — Tamara Danley

and business concepts to build a learning environment that is adaptable to constant economic, technological and societal changes. That might mean allowing students to use their smartphones in class to make videos about what they are learning or using the video game Minecraft to teach concepts in new ways. “As a teacher, this program has enabled me to see things through a different lens,” Danley says. “But most of all, this fellowship gives me hope and inspiration.” The philosophy also centers on managing resources more efficiently, which is particularly critical in Oklahoma with its lower education funding. Oklahoma leads the nation in funding cuts to K-12 education over the past decade, down 28.2 percent since 2008, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan national research and policy institute. School districts are learning to do more with less. The Brock Fellowship provides students strategies to implement in their districts to adjust to the budget climate.

Danley says she is learning to think beyond standard teaching methods and strategies. “I get so excited when I learn how education is shifting,” she says. “We live in a technological age and an instantaneous society, so it stands to reason that we must change our methods of educating students to reflect the changes in our world.” Shelley Holman, principal at Webster High School, says Danley’s participation in the Brock Fellowship is already making a positive impact at their school. “Tamara’s decision to continue teaching and learning is not only beneficial to her but to her students and to Webster High,” she says. “Tulsa Public Schools is committed to offering opportunities for teachers to develop into leaders, and OSU-Tulsa is helping us do that.” Like many, Danley says teaching is a calling, and she wants to make a difference in her students’ lives. “Education is the great equalizer,” she says. “I use what I learn at OSU-Tulsa every day. So when I see a student suddenly understand a new concept because I’ve used those strategies, it is especially gratifying.”




OSU High Voltage Linemen program alumni Michael Dickinson, middle row second from right, and Bruce Paulus, first row right, were part of the crew.

Responding to storm-ravaged areas is part of the job for a lineworker with electric companies and utilities. Last year’s hurricane season was especially devastating and kept the country’s lineworkers busy; many are still working in Puerto Rico, the hardesthit American territory in 2017. Several OSU Institute of Technology alumni from the High Voltage Lineman program were among those who spent several weeks in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria demolished much of the island, including its entire power system, when the Category 4 storm roared ashore on September 20, 2017. Bruce Paulus, a journeyman lineman for Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company, was one of those who arrived in Puerto Rico in January.



When he and his crew arrived, power was still out on about 35 percent of the island. “It was complete devastation across the whole island,” says Paulus, who graduated from OSUIT in 2007. “There were still poles everywhere. Still were when we left.” There are myriad reasons why recovery is taking so long in Puerto Rico, but Paulus says just the location alone is a big hurdle for those working in the field trying to restore power.

OG&E crews work to get the power back on to residents in and around the Arecibo area along the northeast coast of Puerto Rico.

Crews worked around rough terrain and narrow roads to restore power.

“Just seeing us pulling in, they were grateful. People cheering, out in the street dancing. One hundred forty days without power and they were great.” — Bruce Paulus, OG&E journeyman lineman “It’s an island. They just didn’t have the materials; they didn’t have the manpower. For the longest time, they didn’t have anything,” he says. Michael Dickinson, who graduated from OSUIT in 2008, says working in Puerto Rico had its own unique complications. “Anything that gets to the island gets there from an airplane or a ship. It just takes a while to get there,” says Dickinson, who has been with OG&E for 10 years and has worked at many storm recovery sites. “This was different. The terrain, the narrow roads. It was pretty challenging.” Both men worked in and around Arecibo, on the northeast coast about 40 miles west of San Juan, for two weeks. “Some (people) have electricity, but it’s just running their refrigerators and a

couple lights. They’re not charging their cell phones every night,” Paulus says. Still, the residents rejoiced when they saw crews driving into their neighborhoods. “Just seeing us pulling in, they were grateful. People cheering, out in the street dancing. One hundred forty days without power and they were great.” That had a big impact on Dickinson. “They’re the most grateful people I’ve ever been around. Everyone wants to give you something. They may not have a dollar to their name, but they want to give you something — a bottle of water, a Coke, some food,” he says. But helping people is why they do what they do. “We got a skill — we know how to fix the power. We do it for the pride of it and to help people out. It makes you feel good,” Dickinson says.

It also puts things back home in perspective, Paulus says. “They just lost everything and you’re there to help them and get them the basics of power,” he says. “You never realize what you have until it’s gone.” Both say recovery is continuing and will take years for some residents to get back to a sense of normalcy. “We did get a lot of lights on, but it felt weird to leave knowing you didn’t get everybody’s lights on,” Dickinson says, adding he’s glad he was able to make a difference to some families. “We’re proud to have the opportunity to work for a company that would send us down there to help people. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”





Partnership uniting OSU-OKC, public school and Dell provides new path to success BY S A N DY PA N T L I K


ith the help of Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, five students from the Advanced Science and Technology Education Charter (ASTEC) public school in Oklahoma City have taken their senior year to a whole new level. They work in technical support at the Dell Oklahoma City Campus 25 hours a week, earning a salary, contributing to a 401(k) and gaining life-changing experience, all while working toward their high school diplomas and getting college credit hours. The pilot program originated with the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development and merges a partnership between ASTEC and OSU-OKC with Dell’s willingness to integrate the apprenticeship model into its customer support operations. Not only do students complete college credits while finishing high school, but they learn valuable hands-on career skills working for a Fortune 500 technology company.



This is the first youth apprenticeship program in the state, and it’s in an industry that traditionally hasn’t utilized an apprenticeship model. After progressing through internal training, the students are now officially part of Dell’s tech support, responsible for taking customer service calls and troubleshooting issues. Scott Haworth, site director for Dell EMC Oklahoma City, calls the partnership with ASTEC and OSU-OKC extremely valuable, saying he considers the first semester a “huge” success. “The students are a part of the Dell EMC OKC family,” Haworth says. “Our team members are always available to answer questions and mentor the students. I have personally seen the students develop and strengthen technical skills, interpersonal skills as well as grow their confidence. “Dell has a passion for STEM and youth learning initiatives so we are

extremely proud of the Dell Youth Apprenticeship Program and the five deserving ASTEC students. The program gives Dell the opportunity to train tomorrow’s workforce where they will receive classroom training and on-thejob learning which, in turn, helps create solutions for Dell’s valued customers.” “I really love helping people solve their problems,” says Corina Megia, an ASTEC student in the program. “I was nervous at first, but I’ve had lots of support from Dell and OSU-OKC.” Another student, Maya Viezcas, was happy to help a younger customer — a 10-year-old calling about an iPhone issue. Even though it wasn’t related to a Dell product, she was able to help him. For OSU-OKC President Brad Williams, the work-based learning program epitomizes the college’s mission to be responsive to industry needs while providing critical support to students as they earn a degree that leads to a career.


Students at Oklahoma City’s Advanced Science and Technology Charter School and OSU-OKC, from left, Corina Mejia, Mayra Viezcas, Brenda Oleveda and Juan Ruiz, are part of the Dell Youth Apprenticeship Program. “Support for this program comes from every direction — parents, OSU-OKC, ASTEC and Dell management,” he says. “Working together, we’ve established a framework to ensure student success. I am so proud of what these five students have accomplished, and I know they are, too. Our goal is to expand the program to benefit even more students.” Juan Ruiz says his experience in the program has changed his future. “I am the first person in my family who has been able to go to college. I am proud of that and the work I am doing at Dell.” From the perspective of workforce development, programs such as the Dell Registered Apprenticeship are a win-win for the state. “The OSU-OKC/Dell Youth Apprenticeship Program allows for high school students to not only receive their high school diplomas but gives them the opportunity to obtain college credits toward a degree, get paid to learn

“Working together, we’ve established a framework to ensure student success. Our goal is to expand the program to benefit even more students.” — OSU-OKC President Brad Williams

applicable skills, and become eligible for future tuition support. This partnership is beneficial to the students as they earn while they learn, and can stack their education toward a degree in a related field. The partnership is beneficial to the business because it can fill critical positions earlier and ensure that its workforce is trained to its specific needs,” says Erin Risley-Baird, executive director of the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development. To expand work-based learning opportunities and increase education and training among Oklahoma’s workforce, the state established Earn and Learn Oklahoma with a goal to increase the

number of registered apprenticeships and internships to 20,000 per year by 2020. “The experience has truly been special for Dell EMC OKC, and we are excited to continue developing these students and the next generation of workers, which is one of Oklahoma’s most precious resources,” Haworth says. For the five ASTEC seniors, the Dell apprenticeship has already opened doors they never imagined. “What I’m most proud of is that I am able to go to college and get a head start on my career,” Viezcas says. “It really shows me the sky’s the limit. I can do anything.”


Taking Care of (Family) Business OSU honors leader of nation’s largest Latino-owned meat manufacturer BY L E I L A N A M C K I N D R A

John P. Lopez, chief operating officer of Oklahoma City-based Lopez Foods, chairs DASNR’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center’s Industry Advisory Committee.





Lopez Foods earns more than $500 million in annual revenue and employs about 500 Oklahomans.


ohn Patrick Lopez, chief operating officer of Oklahoma Citybased Lopez Foods, doesn’t seek recognition for his accomplishments. He doesn’t covet the attention, and it certainly isn’t why he’s so driven. So, imagine his surprise when word came that Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources was honoring him as one of four 2017 DASNR Champions. The annual award goes to those who didn’t graduate from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources but have brought distinction to DASNR. “I was very honored,” Lopez says. “I do believe in what we’re doing and I believe, quite honestly, we’re advancing not only the food industry in Oklahoma, but also making OSU more attractive for students.” That attitude, backed up with bold action, such as his high-energy leadership of a key OSU advisory group, landed Lopez the OSU honor. Lopez Foods is a principal supplier

to McDonald’s Corporation of all-beef patties, sliced Canadian bacon and precooked premium pork sausage patties. The largest Latino-owned meat manufacturer in the United States, Lopez Foods earns more than $500 million in annual revenue, employs about 500 Oklahomans and operates a state-of-theart 200,000-square-foot food-processing facility.

we’ve made as a company to be progressive and forward looking,” Lopez says. “We’re not looking at now. We’re looking at tomorrow, and we’re helping to make a lot of that happen for McDonald’s.” Lopez is applying that same progressive mindset to his work with OSU. Closely aligned with DASNR’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center, he was appointed to FAPC’s

“For me, it was an easy decision to get involved. We’ve used FAPC to help our company grow over the years.”

– John P. Lopez

While all of Lopez Foods’ customers are important to its success, McDonald’s is the company’s single largest customer. Not surprisingly, then, with such closely entwined fortunes, Lopez Foods has been at the forefront of some of McDonald’s most prominent recent initiatives, including its addition of an all-day breakfast. “Think about how big those changes have been. These are nationwide initiatives that are starting right here in Oklahoma. That’s the fun thing about the decision

Industry Advisory Committee in 2013 by Governor Mary Fallin. Lopez is in his second term as the group’s chairman. “For me, it was an easy decision to get involved,” he says. “We’ve used FAPC to help our company grow over the years. We’ve tested new products, equipment and procedures. It’s always been a resource for Lopez Foods. So when they asked me if I would consider joining the advisory committee, I thought it would be a wonderful group to be a part of.”



At Lopez Foods in Oklahoma City, the largest Latino-owned meat manufacturer in the United States, family rules with John P. Lopez, left, chief operating officer; his brother and vice president of operations, Dave Lopez; and their father, John C. Lopez, seated, founder and chairman emeritus.



His leadership led to the development of a food safety degree option for food science majors in CASNR’s Department of Animal Science. The new option, which will allow food manufacturers to hire qualified food safety specialists, debuted in the fall of 2015, one of few like it in the nation. “I think we’ve been proactive in finding new ways to address some of the needs in the food industry, not only in Oklahoma, but in the United States and internationally, and that’s the food safety option we developed,” he says. Given its size and scope, Lopez Foods is not a one-man operation, though the company continues to be fueled by a single pervasive thought: Family first. Lopez Foods is a multi-generational family-owned business with a hard emphasis on family. Lopez’s brother, Dave, is the vice president of operations, and his three sisters each own and operate multiple McDonald’s franchises. A nephew also is an owner/operator with the global fast food corporation. It all started with Lopez’s father, company founder and chairman emeritus John C. Lopez, who dreamed of becoming a millionaire. His parents operated a grocery store, so he grew up surrounded by food. While the food intrigued him, he didn’t like the long hours. It was too hard on the family. However, after several accomplished years in banking, the elder Lopez transitioned into an owner/operator of four McDonald’s franchises in Los Angeles. He was looking for more when McDonald’s approached him about replicating his restaurant success in the supply chain. John C. was interested, but he wanted and needed the support of his two sons. “When we got into this business, my wife and I decided that we wanted perpetuity. The reason we wanted to be involved in this type of environment was to open the doors for these two gentlemen,” he says. “They were just in college, but that’s what McDonald’s wanted and that’s what we wanted. Family has always been first and continues to be.” Although it’s a family business, nothing has been handed to the younger Lopez or his siblings.

“I remember vividly [my father] said, ‘If you want to be in a position of leadership with Lopez Foods someday, you’re going to have to start at the very bottom and work your way up. You’re going to have to work twice as hard as everyone else, and you’re going to have to earn it. There’s no guaranteed position of leadership, power or authority,’” Lopez says. In fact, both Lopez brothers rose through the ranks, working every shift in every department within the company, including sanitation in the plant. “I think it was a great way to go about it, quite honestly,” Dave Lopez says. “We earned the respect of a lot of people, some of whom are still around today. They are good memories to talk about what we did back in the day.” Those bonds have matured over the years, adding to the teamwork within the company. “We’ve got great people that help this business run, and without them, it would be impossible,” Dave says. “I really enjoy working with all aspects of our team. We do a lot to engage them and make them feel like they are part of the Lopez family. I’m very proud of that, and I’d like to continue to have that as a part of our company’s legacy and our family’s legacy.” The experience also gave the brothers an in-depth knowledge of the entire meat industry. “We know everything about how to make this business run, and that was the intent, to have a complete understanding, top to bottom, and understand the impacts of the decisions you have to make in order to make a business,” Lopez says. “Working hard, earning everything has been probably one of [our father’s] biggest gifts.” Lopez and his brother expect to own Lopez Foods one day. But for now, they are laying the groundwork for a legacy of family first, treating people right and an unwavering commitment to food safety and quality. “It’s something the customer takes for granted. We just eat the food in front of us. We don’t think anything of it,” Lopez says. “So, we have to be the responsible party when it comes to food manufacturing. That’s one of the biggest gifts we can give so customers and consumers alike don’t have to worry about the products they get from our company. To be recognized as one of the safest and highest quality food manufacturers in the country is very important to me.”


Lopez Foods’ sausage patties are used in McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches.

Canadian-style bacon is packaged for shipment to restaurants.



Outstanding SENI RS

The OUTSTANDING SENIOR AWARD recognizes students who distinguish themselves through academic achievements; campus and community activities; academic, athletic and extracurricular honors or awards; scholarships; and work ethic.

After reviewing the students’ applications, the OSU Alumni Association Student Awards Committee met with 47 Seniors of Significance who were honored in the fall of 2017 and selected 14 for this prestigious honor. The 2017-18 Outstanding Seniors were recognized at a banquet April 23 in the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. Visit okla.st/OS18vids to see interviews with each honoree. MEGAN A. DEVUYST Morrison, Oklahoma Agribusiness Megan A. DeVuyst was ambassador president and student council vice president of student affairs for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at OSU. She was the special projects director and parents weekend coordinator for OSU

ASHLEY C. DONOVAN Lawton, Oklahoma Psychology and Applied Sociology During her time at OSU, Ashley C. Donovan was founder and president of the Honors College Student Association. She was the president of the Psi Chi Honorary Society as well as a student ambassador

CLAUDIO J. FERRER Enid, Oklahoma Economics and Finance Claudio J. Ferrer was president and treasurer of the Economics Society while at OSU. He was a member of the Financial Management Association as well as the Free Enterprise Society. His community involvement



Student Government Association, as well as secretary and director of programming for Chi Omega Women’s Fraternity. Her community involvement includes being a state FFA reporter and volunteering for Coaches vs. Cancer, Sunnybrook Christian Church Early Childhood Ministries, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. She received such honors as the Women of OSU Student Philanthropist of the Year, American Farmers and Ranchers Torch Bearer

Leadership Award, OSU Homecoming Court, Top 10 Freshmen Woman and was a national FFA Organization American FFA degree recipient.

for the College of Arts and Sciences. Her community involvement includes volunteering at the Oklahoma WONDERtorium, Mosaic Church Reconstruction, Into the Street Community Event and Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. She was honored with the Cowboy Spirit Award, Psychology Department Student of the Month, Fourjay Foundation Leadership Award, named Outstanding Senior of the Department of Sociology and will graduate from OSU with honors.

After graduation, Donovan will continue her education at Texas A&M-Commerce to pursue a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. She plans to become a licensed professional counselor, working with trauma coping in adolescents and young adults.

includes working with Net Impact, a nonprofit that promotes using business skills to support various causes, as well as volunteering with Student Support Services (TRiO), Camp Cavette, Civitan International

Ferrer is aiming to enter the workforce in finance with a focus on commercial lending. He would like to have a career that impacts people through business.

and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. He was honored as an Up to Us top ten student, a Shield Scholar, a top five economics senior, Economics Society Student of the Year and an honor scholar graduate from Northern Oklahoma College.

DeVuyst’s future plans include marrying fellow OSU Cowboy Jake Fanning and moving to Oklahoma City to begin a career in lending as a credit analyst for BancFirst.

CASSIDY GIERHART Choctaw, Oklahoma Chemical Engineering While at OSU, Cassidy Gierhart was president and vice president of stewardship for the Student Foundation. She was the engineering Homecoming director and treasurer for Chi Omega Women’s Fraternity as well as

HAMMONS P. HEPNER Freedom, Oklahoma Agricultural Economics and Finance During his time at OSU, Hammons P. Hepner was executive director of the Homecoming Executive Committee. He was a Class XIII member of the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Encounter as

AVERIE HINCHEY Guymon, Oklahoma Communication Sciences and Disorders Averie Hinchey was the vice president of administration for CowboyThon at OSU. She was the activity fee allocation process chair and College of Arts and Sciences senator for the OSU Student Government Association

OMAR ALEJANDRO IBARRA Guymon, Oklahoma Health Education and Promotion During his time at OSU, Omar Alejandro Ibarra was the president and community service chair for the Hispanic Student Association. He was an undergraduate representative in the College of Education, Health and

WENDY LAU WONG Oklahoma City Industrial Engineering and Management Wendy Lau Wong was president of the Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering Honor Society at OSU. She was a council member for the President’s Leadership Council as well as new member coordinator for the

COURTNEY MAPES Alva, Oklahoma Animal Science While at OSU, Courtney Mapes worked with the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Encounter. She was top 10 freshman coordinator for Mortar Board Honor Society and philanthropy chair for the Animal Science

executive committee member for the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology Scholars. Her community involvement includes being an adviser for the Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center and Mid-Del Technology Center. Gierhart also volunteered for OSU Grandparent University, Into the Streets and Make-A-Wish Foundation. She was honored as the CASE ASAP District 4 Outstanding Student Leader,

well as president of the Blue Key Honor Society. His community involvement includes being a builder for Habitat for Humanity and volunteering for Life.Church Stillwater, Hotdogs for the Homeless, Heart of a Champion Special Needs Livestock Show and Gundy Halloween Trail. He was honored as a Harry S. Truman Scholar institutional nominee, an undergraduate research scholar for OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and a Lloyd Noble

as well as public relations director and calendar editor for Mortar Board. Her community involvement includes being a Sunday School teacher for the Faith Class at First United Methodist Church and volunteering for the Special Olympics, Conversation Partner and adult basic education classes. She was honored as a Green Student Initiative Grant winner, Top 10 Freshmen Woman, OSU Student Worker of the Year finalist,

Aviation’s new dean search and screening process as well as an ambassador for the OSU Student Alumni Board. His community involvement includes being a bilingual tutor at Will Rogers Elementary School and volunteering for the Fiestas de las Americas in Oklahoma City, Cowboys with Compassion at Hillcrest Baptist Church, Oklahoma Blood Institute and Bike Multiple Sclerosis. He was featured in The New York Times’ “I Won’t Give Up — How First-Generation College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology Student Council. Her community involvement includes volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities, food banks, Feed the Children and Ridgeview Elementary School. She was a Women for OSU scholarship recipient and honored with the Outstanding Industrial Engineering & Management Student Award and the Start Helping Impacted Neighborhoods

Leadership Alliance. Her community involvement includes being a mentor and OSU liaison for the Boren Mentoring Initiative as well as volunteering with Relay for Life, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Oklahoma Blood Institute. She was a Women for OSU scholarship recipient, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Mentor of the Year, Top 10 Freshmen Woman, Department of Animal Science Senior Leadership Award recipient,

OSU Homecoming Court, a Top 10 Freshmen Woman and an Outstanding Freshman Presentation. After graduation, Gierhart will relocate to Amarillo, Texas, to become a division engineer for Phillips 66 Midstream.

Scholar in Agriculture for the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. After graduation, Hepner plans to attend law school. He will use his legal degree to protect and advocate for the interests of American farmers and ranchers.

Outstanding Student Alumni Board New Member and Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society Member. After graduation, Hinchey will continue her education at OSU, pursuing a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. She plans to become a speech language pathologist.

Students See College,” chosen as an OSU Convocation student speaker and named a National Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar. After graduation, Ibarra will continue his education in the University of Oklahoma’s public health program with a focus on health policy and management.

Everywhere (SHINE) Award. Lau Wong was also on the President’s Honor Roll throughout her time at OSU. After graduation, Lau Wong is moving to Houston for a position with ExxonMobil at its headquarters. She will also be looking for opportunities to continue her education.

and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources’ Outstanding Freshman. Mapes will look to further her education after graduation and is applying to medical schools with the dream of becoming a rural family medicine physician.



Outstanding SENI RS TYLER MARTIN Omaha, Nebraska Chemical Engineering Tyler Martin was president and vice president of committees for the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology Student Council at OSU. He was treasurer of both Student Government

ANGEL MOLINA Johnson City, Kansas Agribusiness During his time at OSU, Angel Molina was president of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Student Council. He was a CASNR ambassador as well as pledge class president for

GATLIN SQUIRES Kingfisher, Oklahoma Agribusiness While at OSU, Gatlin Squires was executive director for “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration” and participated in the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Encounter. He was president, Winter Bonanza

WILLIAM STARR Tulsa, Oklahoma Microbiology and Molecular Genetics William Starr was logistics coordinator and executive director for the Rooted Conferences at OSU. He was secretary and president for Pre-Health Professions Club as well as vice president for Tau Sigma. His

CALEB WILSON Tulsa, Oklahoma Biochemistry and Molecular Biology During his time at OSU, Caleb Wilson served on the leadership team for Bridges International. He was a member of the Beta Theta Pi National Fraternity as well as a committee member for CowboyThon. Wilson



Association and FarmHouse Fraternity. Martin also served on the CEAT Freshman Council. His community involvement includes volunteering at the Oklahoma WONDERtorium, ChemKidz, Lights on Stillwater and Eastern Oklahoma Food Bank. He was a W.W. Allen Scholar, Top 10 Freshmen Man and Homecoming Royalty Top 15. Martin was also a Wentz Research

Upon graduation, Martin will be pursuing a master’s of philosophy in machine learning and machine intelligence at the University of Cambridge in England.

Grant recipient and was honored as having an Outstanding Senior Design Project. FarmHouse Fraternity. His community involvement includes being a Stillwater youth athletic coach at the YMCA and volunteering for Relay for Life and the Oklahoma Youth Expo. He was a McKnight Scholar, Top 10 Freshmen Man and a member of the Mortar Board Honor Society. Molina was also a recipient of the Study Abroad Ireland and Czech Republic Scholarship as well as a member of Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Encounter, Class XIV.

After graduation, Molina will relocate to Enid, Oklahoma, to become a commercial loan officer with Interbank.

Livestock Show chairman and Heart of a Champion Livestock Show chairman for Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity as well as a campus tour guide for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. His community involvement includes being an Oklahoma FFA Alumni Camp small group leader and volunteering for the Oklahoma Youth Expo and the Oklahoma FFA Hunger Challenge. He was an American FFA Star in Agriscience finalist,

Top 10 Freshman Man and a member of the Order of Omega Honor Society.

community involvement includes working on Diversity STEM initiatives and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and Real Impact Missions. Starr was also a children’s church leader. He was a Barry Goldwater National Honorable Mention in Mathematics, Science and Engineering, as well as an Arts and Sciences Outstanding Junior, a Niblack Research Scholar and Lew Wentz Research Scholar. Starr was also

awarded first place in the Oklahoma Research Week Undergraduate poster competition.

also performed as a member of the OSU Men’s Choir. His community involvement includes serving on a sustainability committee and volunteering with Global Health Outreach, Well’s Project, Sunnybrook Christian Church and Early Head Start Daycare Center. He was a Wentz Research Scholar, Freshman Research Scholar and a member of the President’s Honor Roll. Wilson also won “Best Male Director” for Freshman Follies.

After graduation, Squires intends to attend the University of Oklahoma School of Law with the goal to eventually represent agricultural interest groups in law. He also hopes to return to the family livestock operation.

After graduation, Starr will be continuing his education at University of Oklahoma College of Medicine to receive a medical degree with a possible focus on antibiotic resistance.

Upon graduation, Wilson will attend the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Oklahoma City.

North to Alaska and back again BY J I M M I T C H E L L

“It’s an incredible opportunity to report on issues that much of our country has recognized as a priority. And it’s especially nice to be home.” — Quinton Chandler

Kachemak Bay, near Homer, Alaska, is Quinton Chandler’s former “backyard.”


fter a fulfilling detour to Alaska, Oklahoma State University alumnus Quinton Chandler has returned to Oklahoma to cover criminal justice news as the newest member of the StateImpact Oklahoma team. Like the rest of the team, he’ll file regular news reports heard on KOSU and other public radio stations around the state. “‘Criminal justice’ is just the quick description for the topics I’m covering,” Chandler says. “My beat is a little more than that. I find out how Oklahomans are interacting with law enforcement, the judicial and corrections systems. Basically, I try to give people a better look at how these areas of government affect all of our lives.” Chandler recently produced a report about restructuring Oklahoma’s drug courts now that state laws have been reformed to keep minor, nonviolent offenders out of prison. The report covered a movement to get the courts to offer the misdemeanor offenders treatment

that could help them avoid more serious charges in the future. “I could find myself talking with prison inmates, police, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, people in court-ordered programs, criminal justice reform advocates, crime victims and their families — anyone who could lead me to a story,” Chandler says. “It’s an incredible opportunity to report on issues that much of our country has recognized as a priority. And it’s especially nice to be home.” He started his radio career in 2011 as a college intern at KOSU, after growing up in the Oklahoma City metro area, including in Spencer. “I learned how to write news stories for radio, host newscasts, record and mix audio. Most importantly, I learned that the best news stories are those that focus on realities that affect people’s lives. I also learned how to recognize and develop those stories.” After graduation, that hands-on experience and knowledge helped Chandler secure his first full-time radio job at a station in south central Alaska. “I was the Morning Edition host and general assignment reporter for KBBI

Public Radio in Homer for a couple of years,” he says. “Then I moved to southeast Alaska to serve as education reporter for KTOO Public Media in Juneau.” Chandler says Alaska offered him a rich and nurturing environment, allowing him to sharpen the reporting skills he’d learned at OSU. “The land and people are beautiful,” he says. “Living there was an invaluable experience for which I will always be grateful. I miss the salmon, mountains and the Tongass National Forest.” As for the cold weather? “It’s really not as cold in Alaska as people think,” Chandler says. “Oklahoma winters are actually colder than Homer’s and Juneau’s, although those towns are in the southern part of the state. North of Anchorage, the cold is a bit more intense, but I never lived out that way.” Chandler now lives and works in Norman, but you can hear him reporting from any area of the state. Listen to his latest reports online at stateimpact.npr.org. StateImpact Oklahoma is a collaboration of public radio stations in Oklahoma including KOSU, KGOU, KWGS and KCCU.

Quinton Chandler is back home again in Oklahoma.





The Kunze men are grateful for the time they were able to spend with Lawana, pictured. From left are Jay, Richard and Tim Kunze.

Richard Kunze and his sons support scholarships to honor their family’s late matriarch BY JAC O B LO N G A N


n 53 years as a season-ticket holder for OSU football, Richard Kunze has missed only two home games.

In 1996, he was proudly watching his son Jay receive an American FFA Degree, an honor given to fewer than 1 percent of FFA members that signifies the highest level of commitment to the FFA and significant accomplishments. And in October 1993, his wife, Lawana (Mills) Kunze, had a biopsy on a brain tumor. That was the first step in her battle with cancer, which lasted nearly a quarter-century before she died August 29, 2017, 27 days after her 68th birthday. “She was 43 when she was diagnosed, and they basically gave her four to six months to live,” says Richard, a Shawnee, Oklahoma, native who completed a 1969 agricultural economics degree and a 1971 MBA. “We went through radiation, chemotherapy and finally brain surgery. At one point, the specialist told us she had lived longer with this type of cancer than anyone they could find in all of the medical literature.”

Jay said he spent a lot of time with his mother as she battled the disease and her health deteriorated. “Considering she was only supposed to live for a few months, it was great that we got all that extra time,” says Jay, a 2000 agricultural economics graduate. “Good times or bad times, they are still memories, and they were good memories for the most part. There really wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for you.” Leaving a Legacy That heart for service led to the creation of two OSU scholarships that will honor her memory in perpetuity. The Kunze Family Quarter Baseball Scholarship was created through a lifeinsurance policy Lawana purchased in the 1980s. With the addition of a recent pledge from Richard, the fund will be fully endowed at $125,000.

Richard Kunze’s home is filled with pictures of his family, many of which were taken at OSU events.

Josh Holliday is OSU’s head baseball coach and a former three-time All-Big 12 selection. He grew up at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium, where his father, Tom, was first an assistant coach and then head coach from 1978, when Josh was 2, until 2003. He calls this scholarship a fitting tribute for Lawana, whom he knew as long as he can remember.

“There are fans, and there are supporters, and then there are truly passionate, genuine followers of what you do. … The Kunze family meets all criteria when it comes to their love for Oklahoma State.” — Josh Holliday, OSU head baseball coach


“I was fortunate enough to receive the Lawana Kunze scholarship at a time when I was a single mom struggling on a teacher’s salary,” Seay says. “Thanks to the generosity of the Kunze family, I have been able to move on to my current position, helping teachers like myself change lives. I am also nearing completion of my Ph.D., which includes research on Oklahoma’s teacher shortage. I am so grateful that the Kunze family believed in me.” Growing, Learning and Loving

Lawana Kunze, far right, taught kindergarten at Oklahoma City’s Schwartz Elementary School in 1988-89.

“There are fans, and there are supporters, and then there are truly passionate, genuine followers of what you do — supporters, believers, fans, encouragers,” Holliday says. “The Kunze family meets all criteria when it comes to their love for Oklahoma State. You see them in the stands, you hear them, and you see it in their actions, going the extra mile to follow your team and be there with you on the road in a lonely place. “To also see it through financial support and endowing scholarships shows a rare love for the school and the belief in what you’re doing. You can’t beat having friends like that. It really is a relationship that extends way beyond the field.” The life-insurance policy also added about $32,000 to the Lawana Kunze Scholarship, which supports graduate students in the educational administration program within the College of Education, Health and Aviation. Because Lawana wanted to see the impact of this fund immediately, it has been awarded since 2001 through the family’s outright gifts.



They met the recipients for years, and as travel — and life — became more difficult for Lawana, her days were brightened when she received a letter from a Kunze scholar. “She had been a working mother going to school at the same time, so that was really important to her,” says Tim, Lawana’s other son and a 1991 agricultural economics alumnus. “She was always such a caring person and so involved with many different things — FFA, band, athletics.” Trent Murner, a 2012 scholarship recipient, is the principal at West Middle School in Ponca City, Oklahoma. “The scholarship obviously helped with the financial side of things, but bigger than that, it made me feel appreciated and encouraged me to work toward my higher degree,” Murner says. “It was an honor to receive that and I truly appreciate the generosity of the Kunze family.” Lisa Seay, a 2016 recipient, is dean of instruction at ASTEC Charter Schools in Oklahoma City.

Lawana grew up on a dairy farm in Alex, Oklahoma, which taught her the value of hard work from an early age. She was salutatorian of Dibble High School and began studying music education at what is now the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha, but withdrew to move to Oklahoma City. She worked at the Oklahoma County Court Clerk’s Office during the day and sang with Tommy Nelson’s band in the evening. She then went to work in the offices of the Wilson Foods Plant in the Oklahoma City Stockyards, where she met Richard. She was an assistant in one department while he was in the management development group in another. “I spent as much time as I could at the pencil sharpener near her desk,” Richard says. “Two years later, we were married on September 26, 1975.” Lawana had always liked children, so she decided to complete her elementary education degree at Oklahoma Baptist University. “It took her 196 hours with transfers, but she stuck with it until she finished in 1984,” Richard says. “Then she didn’t want to be the only one in the family who didn’t get a degree from OSU, so while teaching, she went to school at night and in the summers until she finished her master’s in educational administration in 1988.” She began her dream job as a Title I grant application writer at the Oklahoma State Department of Education in 1990, but her career was cut short by cancer treatments in 1994. The first thing she did after leaving the position was to fulfill a

promise to her mother-in-law by taking the family on a trip to their ancestral homeland of Ireland. It was a special trip for a family that had traveled to so many events closer to home to cheer for the Cowboys. The Kunzes are longtime season-ticket holders in men’s basketball and wrestling along with baseball and football.

“She was as big an OSU fan as I was,” Richard says. “If there was a sporting event, we felt like we needed to go. If they were selling season tickets, we felt like we needed to buy them. Everybody knew that Lawana’s primary job at athletic events was to keep me under control.” She might not be around to calm Richard down at games anymore, but her memory will live on through her friends

and loved ones, as well as the scholarships that bear her name. Whether created through an estate plan, pledge, outright gift or other vehicle, an endowed scholarship can provide a powerful way to leave a legacy or honor a loved one. For more information about how you can create an endowed scholarship or other fund benefiting OSU, contact the OSU Foundation Office of Gift Planning at 800-622-4678 or giftplanning@OSUgiving.com.

“She was as big an OSU fan as I was. If there was a sporting event, we felt like we needed to go. If they were selling season tickets, we felt like we needed to buy them. Everybody knew that Lawana’s primary job at athletic events was to keep me under control.” — Richard Kunze



OSU’s 2005 Gates Cambridge Scholarship winners return for campus visits BY J I M M I T C H E L L P H O T O G R A P H Y BY G A RY L AW S O N


wo undergraduate students at Oklahoma State University made big news when they won Gates Cambridge Scholarships in 2005, giving them a “full ride” to graduate degrees at the prestigious university in England. Both Joel Halcomb and Ashleigh (Hildebrand) Ross returned to OSU this past year. Looking back, they agree that one of the first pluses in being selected at the same time was to immediately have a friend in graduate school. “It was great to have Joel as a builtin friend when we were transplanted to Cambridge. He was so good about listening and offering feedback on ideas,” says Ross. Ashleigh Ross: “The master’s degree in environmental policy I received while on the Gates Fellowship changed the course of my life.”



“We prepared all the paperwork for the Gates scholarship to Cambridge together through the Office of Scholar Development at OSU,” Halcomb says. “It was nice to have someone you know to share the experience once we got there.” The scholar development director at OSU, Dr. Robert Graalman (now retired), was especially happy to see the former students return to campus, since he was the man who inspired the pair to go for the scholarship in the first place. “These are two very talented individuals who put in the work to win a coveted honor that was a historical accomplishment at OSU. A set number of scholarships a year are given to American students, and to have two students receive such an honor and opportunity in the same year was very fortunate,” says Graalman. “I’m so proud of what they accomplished in going to Cambridge and pursuing successful careers that are very meaningful to each of them.” Halcomb was returning for his initiation into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society at OSU and to speak about his life and work in England. At Cambridge, he studied the early modern history of Great Britain with an emphasis on religion. “As a double major (history and math) at OSU, I was really leaning toward a higher degree in math until I began working with Dr. (James) Cooper, who was gathering information on the history of colonial-era Congregational churches in the U.S.,” Halcomb says. “The more I transcribed the information from each church James visited, the more I found I enjoyed it. He cornered the colonialera, but we thought there may be similar records in England, and we couldn’t find anyone who’d worked on that.” Halcomb’s doctoral work recreated Puritan religious practices and religious politics during Britain’s mid-17th century “Puritan Revolution.” Since earning his doctorate, he has worked at the universities of St. Andrews, Cambridge and now is a lecturer at East Anglia in Norwich, England, where he teaches early modern British history.

“Of course, I had a lot of great times with friends at OSU and those social experiences were fun,” Halcomb told OStateTV. “But what sticks with me the most were the classes that changed me as a person because they challenged me.” Ross, who earned a chemical engineering degree at OSU, says she cherishes her time at Cambridge, where she received a master’s degree in environmental policy and was inspired to follow up with double master’s degrees in chemical engineering and technology policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “The master’s degree in environmental policy I received while on the Gates Fellowship changed the course of my life,” Ross says. “Not only was it an incredible educational and cultural experience, it reawakened in me a deep passion for environmental protection, sustainability and, most importantly, realistic strategies to strive toward these ideals.” Ross, who is in remission after battling cancer, was a senior reservoir engineer at ConocoPhillips preparing to move to BP when she visited campus to speak to students in the OSU Honors College and attend a function in honor of her former dean. — Joel Halcomb Ross says her work focuses on carbon capture and storage, which will take several forms at BP, including using carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery Ross holds fond memories of OSU. or in cement production. It can also be “The diversity and variety available in such stored underground in depleted gas or a beautiful, accessible place — whether saline formations. that’s different kinds of people, or differ“I’m committed to using innovation ent nooks for studying, or organizations and technology to minimize the envito be part of — is such a unique offering, ronmental and climate impact of energy and I really miss that.” production and use,” she says. Ross may be making a return trip As part of her job, Ross has travto Stillwater soon. The Phi Beta Kappa eled to several nations and calls Jakarta, Honor Society has selected her as its next Indonesia, her favorite stop so far. OSU inductee. The honor society chooses “I taught a training class there, and it one graduate per year who excelled during was just such a different culture than I’d their studies at OSU and have attained ever been exposed to before,” she says. similar heights in their professional and “The people were so friendly and so interpersonal lives. The Gates winners and ested in learning. I went with a really fun Cambridge graduates will also have group of people from work too, so it was a membership in the world’s most famous great experience.” academic organization in common.

“But what sticks with me the most were the classes that changed me as a person because they challenged me.”


MAKING theirPLACE Library program helps first-generation students feel at home at OSU BY B O N N I E CA I N -W O O D

he OSU Library has launched a new program that brings together mentoring, work experience and educational programming to help retain first-generation college students at OSU. The first cohort of 10 students joined the Library’s First Generation College Student Employment and Mentor Experience last August. The program was developed by Jackie German, library senior business manager. She presented the idea at an annual pitch competition where OSU library employees are invited to share their ideas for improving services. “I have seen first-hand how working at the library has made a difference in the academic careers of so many students,” German says. “For many of our workers this is more than a job, it’s a place to call home. Our students find support and mentorship while developing research skills and learning how to navigate the university landscape.”



Matt Upson, left, Undergraduate Services librarian, leads a library tour and study skills session for the cohort of students. His mentee, Chase Burris, works in Interlibrary Loan.

The mentors serve as a resource for the students when they have questions and concerns. Elaine Weese, sports management freshman, visits with her mentor, Holly Luetkenhaus, first-year experience librarian, between classes.

“It’s a great program. Any concerns or problems you may have, you can share with your mentor. They can also give you great advice and tips.” — Nicole Johnson, freshman accounting student

Such factors as making early connections with friends or a place of employment have been identified as improving the likelihood that students will stay in college. In the library’s program, geared specifically toward first-generation freshmen, participants are offered a part-time job at the library, a mentor who is a fulltime employee and a series of programs on need-to-know topics for freshmen such as study skills, time management, scholarship tips and email etiquette. The program has already demonstrated success, more than doubling in size before it even began. “We expected to begin our program with four students,” German says. “There

was so much interest, we quickly decided to expand the program. We were able to accommodate 10 in our opening year.” In the first semester alone, mentors recorded more than 72 hours of contact with their students. All 10 participating students returned for their second semester at OSU. Plans to expand the program continue. Thanks to the generous support of the Tom J. and Edna M. Carson Foundation, the library’s program will soon include a peer mentoring component. Applications are open for current freshmen to serve as peer mentors during their sophomore, junior and senior years at OSU.

The peer mentors will team up with library faculty and staff mentors to support the next cohort of freshmen in the Library’s First Generation College Student Employment and Mentor Experience program. Each peer mentor will receive a $1,000 annual scholarship during their time in the program. “We’re excited by the success of the program and the results we’ve already seen,” German says. “By expanding to peer mentors, we hope to see these students develop leadership skills, interpersonal skills, self-esteem and confidence, as well as compassion toward others as they help and interact with the new freshmen.”


Mentors and their students meet monthly for programs designed to help the freshmen navigate their first year at OSU. Psychology freshman Sami Simon works in the library scanning unit. Her mentor, Abby Albert, a coordinator in Interlibrary Loan, joins her.

Accounting freshman Nicole Johnson, works in the OSU Archives. She says her favorite part of the program has been meeting new people and learning new skills.



Working on Water Wishes

Joanna Quiah works in a lab as she pursues her bachelor’s degree in biosystems engineering at OSU.



OSU junior plans to use biosystems engineering degree to improve access to clean water around the world.



oanna Quiah has a dream to change the world. She realized that dream on a trip to her parents’ home country of Bangladesh. “I can’t drink the water there because I get sick every single time,” she says. “I think water is a basic human right, and everyone should have access to it. It is sad that a lot of places still don’t, especially where my family is from.” Fueled by her passion for water and helping people, Quiah wanted to pursue an engineering degree. “I was looking for a university that could push me academically, support me financially and provide a home away from home,” she says. “Little did I know my dream university was less than an hour away from my own house.” While touring OSU’s campus, Quiah experienced the feeling of home and the family atmosphere she had heard so much about. “Everyone who talked about OSU around me just had such a passion for it, and I was thinking, ‘I want to be one of those people someday,’” Quiah says. Her interest in engineering coupled with her desire to be outdoors led Quiah to biosystems engineering, a major housed within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. “I have this passion and love for the outdoors,” she says. “Throughout middle school and high school, we had a lot of programs that taught us about how the

environment is deteriorating, and it broke my heart.” Quiah, now a junior at OSU, was interested in water and wanted to help people even before she entered college, and undergraduate research opportunities are furthering her interest and desires. “I think undergraduate research is extremely important to anyone who is really wanting to further their experience and their education, not only in their field, but also when it comes to working with other people,” she says. “If you want hands-on work with what you are going to be doing later on in your education, I think it’s a great thing to do.” Quiah also is learning more about the opportunities for engineers to improve water systems. “Improving water systems means finding ways to make [water] cleaner and finding ways to make it less expensive to deliver to people,” she says. “That is our biggest challenge right now.” She hopes to travel internationally one day to help improve local water systems. “I am hoping to go to Africa and help build water wells and help with their irrigation and water systems,” she says. “That is the dream.” Quiah is participating in the Consortium for Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Education program. As OSU’s student representative in the CABLE program, which is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, Quiah travels to conferences, attends webinars and will develop and lead an on-campus activity for students that focuses on the bioeconomy.

Her mentor for the program, Ray Huhnke, director of the OSU Biobased Products and Energy Center and professor in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, says Quiah was selected as OSU’s delegate because of her interest in renewable energy as well as her experience in leadership and in the industry. “Joanna is passionate about renewable energy; she is inquisitive and is a hard worker,” Huhnke says. “She is willing to move out of her comfort level to try something new.” Quiah stepped out of her comfort zone when she chose a major in CASNR. With her suburban background in Edmond, Oklahoma, she was initially afraid she would not fit in, but she soon realized a cowboy hat and boots aren’t required to be a part of CASNR. “My first impression was that though a lot of the students here lived a different lifestyle growing up than I did, it’s also a really diverse [college],” she says. “There are a lot of kids that grew up the way I did, too. It broke all of my expectations.” Quiah is enjoying the unique experience biosystems engineering offers and encourages future students to look into the program, especially those who have an interest in food or water. “[Biosystems engineering is] a growing industry, and it’s growing in technology,” Quiah says. “There are constantly new factors being added in. If you like a world of change, it is definitely something to consider. People are never going to run out of a need for water and a need for food.”


A Women’s 1/4 Zip Tempo Pullover S-XXL | $64 B Women’s Rundown S-XXL | $46.95 C Hooded Pocket Tee S-XXL | $40.95 D OSU Photo Box $28.95 E Life is Good Grey Long Sleeve Cool Vee S-XL | $36 F Infant Ham Porter Set 3-18M | $32 G Rally Racer Back Stripe Tank S-XL | $29 H Life is Good Orange Short Sleeve Cool Vee S-XL | $32 F

I Weathered Henley Black S-XL | $46 J Gold Halo Alumni Mug $17.95 K Life is Good Short Sleeve Tee S-XXL | $32 L Infant Sandlot Overall Dress 3-18M | $29 M OSU Vintage Sandlot Tee XS-3XL | $32 N Gone to the Game Arrow $22.95 O National Woven S-2XL | $44.95 P Automatic Pullover S-XXL | $60.95



OSU alumni show pistols firing including, from left, Rob Runnels, Lauren Blackwell, Brenda Schiro and Brannon Ramos at Minute Maid Park, where they all work for the 2017 Major League Baseball World Champions — the Houston Astros.

Powered by range O BY C H A S E CA R T E R

From the front office to the field, four OSU alumni witness history as the Houston Astros capture their first championship.


here’s a lot of love for orange in Houston. The second-largest metropolitan area in Texas is home to more than 6 million people, including nearly 8,000 alumni and fans of Oklahoma State University. But the Cowboys aren’t the only ones proudly wearing orange. On November 1, 2017, the Houston Astros topped the Los Angeles Dodgers in game seven of the World Series, earning the first World Championship in the franchise’s 56-year history. The win capped an emotional season that included a city brought to its knees by Hurricane Harvey. Fans needed something to believe in and cheer for. They needed an escape from the disaster and subsequent cleanup. And the Astros delivered, with the help of some Cowboys.


‘Special connection’

Lauren Blackwell rode on a float in the parade honoring the Houston Astros after they won the World Series.

In-game host “When we won the World Series, the first thing I did was throw up my guns and take a picture at Dodgers Stadium,” says Lauren Blackwell. Many fans will recognize the 2010 sports media graduate as the in-game host for the Astros, appearing on the video board with fans and players throughout the game. When she’s not on camera, she’s writing public address announcer scripts, making batter headshots in Photoshop™ or working on any number of pieces of in-game content. “I always knew I wanted to do some kind of reporting in baseball,” Blackwell says. “I was hired as a producer, but the



experience I had helped my position evolve to what it is now.” Blackwell grew up in Chicago but knew at an early age she was going to go to OSU. “When I was 9, my cousin played football for OSU, and I went to Homecoming,” she says. “I told my dad that’s where I’m going to school, and that’s where I went.” In Stillwater, she was part of OSU’s budding sports media program and gained a lot of experience through the Sports Media Club before graduating. “I tell everybody OSU is the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” she says. “I think everyone who went there feels the same way.”

Rob Runnels, the Astros’ production manager, is also an OSU alumnus. The Plano, Texas, native was the first in his family to go to college, and after visiting several schools, something kept bringing him back to Stillwater. “I had a special connection with OSU from the start,” Runnels says. “I loved the campus and loved how it was more of a small-town feel from what I was used to.” Runnels studied marketing and management at OSU and graduated in 2010. Outside the classroom, he says he learned a lot by working in several positions at Joseppi’s Italian restaurant in Stillwater. “I really felt that was my real-world application to what I was studying in school,” he says. “I worked there all four years of school and several summers, and one thing I learned was the importance of putting the customer first. That’s probably the biggest part of my experience there.” Back in Houston, Runnels says that “customer first” mantra is something he emphasizes with his team every day at Minute Maid Park. “Our main goal is to make sure when someone comes to the ballpark, they are going to create a memory that will last the rest of their life,” Runnels says.

The Houston Astros celebrate after winning Game 7 of the World Series on November 1, 2017. The 2017 season filled the bases with memories for Astros fans. The team took down historic powerhouses: the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Longtime Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and second baseman Jose Altuve was named the American League Most Valuable Player.

Playing on Stillwater

“The environment in our ballpark was deafening,” says Brannon Ramos, a 2014 management graduate and group sales account executive for the Astros. “The best way I can explain the postseason is opening day on steroids. It’s almost like a full month feeling of Saturday tailgating at a college game.” Like many students, Ramos says tailgating was a favorite pastime while he attended OSU. After he and his mom searched for “top sports management programs” on the internet, he landed in Stillwater in 2010 and graduated 4½ years later. “I like to say my first sale was getting myself an extra semester in college from my mom,” Ramos jokes. Ramos landed a job with the Astros just three weeks before graduating. Baseball has been his favorite sports since he was 5, and he says Stillwater’s environment helped him build the skills he’s using today.

“I specialize in bringing groups to the ballpark,” Ramos says. “We host performances, business conferences, family reunions and we attach tickets to all of those events.” “In my opinion, the intangibles are probably more important when you’re trying to get into the business industry,” he says. “In Stillwater, you can just walk up to anyone and start a conversation, and you don’t have to feel like you’re bothering people. I was growing up and maturing at the same time, acquiring a skill to build relationships that I brought to Houston.”

Opportunity knocked Those intangibles like integrity and friendship stuck with Brenda Schiro as well. The 1988 elementary education alumna worked as a teacher for nearly a decade after graduating, but a phone call two years ago threw her a curveball. “I was working for a Harris County (Texas) politician when I received a call one day from an Astros investor, asking if I knew Jim Crane and would I be interested in working with him,” Schiro says. “I had a great job, but I never turn down an opportunity.” Jim Crane and the Crane Capital Group had purchased the Astros in 2011. Schiro says she sent Crane her résumé and four interviews later, she was offered the job as his executive assistant.

Brenda Schiro holds up the World Series trophy at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

“He’s an amazing boss,” Schiro says. “He’s very generous, respectful and kind. Every day is different.” Schiro grew up in the small Oklahoma town of Okarche and says she was a fan of baseball before, but in the two seasons she’s been with the Astros, she and her sons have become their biggest fans. She described the World Series win as “surreal,” as she ended up on the Dodgers’ field holding the trophy after the game. “I would say my favorite part of this job is the people I work with first and foremost,” Schiro says. “I’ve never worked with such a great group of people before in my life.” The Astros are already looking to repeat as champions in 2018. OSU Day with the Astros has already been set for Friday, July 27, against the Texas Rangers. You can bet the Cowboys behind the team will be providing a lot of orange power for the upcoming season.


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a difference in the lives of people touched by OSU and its land-grant mission. OSUTeach is a unique program that allows students majoring in science and mathematics to simultaneously earn their degrees and teaching certificates, ensuring passionate and qualified teachers are entering the workforce. OSUTeach, which is funded by various grants and private donations, will graduate its first cohort in 2018. O



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Design for new Business Building creates an iconic look for the east end of the Legacy Walk



“Not only does it fit the campus, obviously, but it’s about business. Businesses are often successful because they look at something differently. And you look at this building differently.” — R AN D E LLIOT T, ARCHITECT




OSU alumnus Rand Elliott, the architect who designed the new Business Building, says the crescent shape is associated with the origins of Georgian architecture as seen throughout the campus.



While Elliott, an OSU graduate and architect and founder of Oklahoma City’s Elliott + Associates, moved on, OSU architect Nigel Jones kept thumbing through the stack, seeking an outlier, a crescent-shaped design different from anything on OSU’s campus. As Elliott tells it now: “At one point, Nigel said, ‘Rand, wait, can we go back?’ And I said sure. We went back to that particular idea, and he just said, ‘I think that’s it.’” The rest is history — literally — in revealing why the unique shape of the new Business Building is so right. History shaped the new building, through different ways, for the two architects. “I’m from England originally,” says Jones, who was OSU’s architect with Long Range Facility Planning. Elliott went to England, figuratively, to research the roots of Georgian architecture, the style dating back to the reign of England’s King George that is already featured across the Stillwater campus. The result is OSU’s eye-catching new structure, the crescent-shaped Business Building that houses the Spears School of Business. Its distinct personality is showcased inside and out through its look, its feel and its aim to effectively serve both students and faculty. The building, which opened in January 2018 with Spears Business Dean Ken Eastman declaring it “Open for Business,” has drawn rave reviews. “I was amazed by the beauty and uniqueness of the design,” says OSU President Burns Hargis. “It was classical and traditional while at the same time fresh and functional for our campus. Thanks to the design brilliance of Rand Elliott and his team, we knew we had a special, iconic building for our beautiful campus.”

A CRESCENT PUSH Thanks, too, to Jones, who kept turning back to the crescent design, seen more commonly in England through the architectural styles formed between 1714 and 1830, when a series of King Georges — I, II, III and IV — ruled in succession. Jones recognized the look, was drawn to it and pushed it for consideration. “The idea of the crescent — there’s one called the Royal Crescent in Bath (England) from the 18th century — that was quite a well-known architectural form of Georgian architecture,” says Jones, now OSU’s emeritus university architect after retiring in the fall. “Think of the Coliseum; it’s sort of an inside-out Coliseum. That’s part of what those architects at that time were looking at. They were looking at the precedent, but they were also seeing how they could apply it to what they needed in the 18th century.” Elliott found the use of crescents and curves and arcs in his research, and he included the concept in one of his many drawings for OSU, although with little thought it would be the choice. “I was completely surprised,” Elliott says, “because I thought it was a radical approach to doing this. But the reality is, it’s truly associated with the origins of Georgian architecture. So, we took it on in a very pure point of view. “I didn’t have any expectation. We were just trying to do our job. As we went through those, (Nigel) picked up on it. And of course, he would, because he’s British. And I was really happy we had found something we truly understood the connection to and would be unique to the campus.”

Generation Gasp Exterior design and interior details impress three generations of business students   BY T E R RY T U S H PHOTOS BY JORDAN BENSON

As Ed Keller tours Oklahoma State University’s new Business Building for the first time,

his mind races back nearly 60 years to his student days. On this Friday afternoon in February, the Tulsa banker is getting his first look at the state-of-the-art building on a tour provided by three of his grandchildren: Kennedy Jones, Kale Jones and Kassidy Paul, all current students in the Spears School of Business. For someone who first walked onto the Stillwater campus as a freshman in 1959 — and fondly remembers taking classes in the Classroom Building — the 77-year-old Keller is in a state of awe after the tour, as is his 49-year-old son, Griff Jones. As the current students listen, the pair of OSU business school graduates reminisce about their past experiences while marveling at the new home for business students. The afternoon tour is a walk down memory lane for the five members of three generations of OSU business school students — Keller (’63, finance), Griff (’91, finance), Kennedy (2019, marketing and strategic communications), Kale (2021, finance) and Paul (2021, sports management and marketing with a finance minor).


N OT R E A L LY FO R B A S E B A L L The design is so unique to OSU that the building’s early construction created more than a little curiosity and confusion on campus. One popular story tells of a school staff member walking on the heels of two students during the building’s infancy. One woman was insistent that it was the site of the school’s new baseball stadium, despite her friend’s arguments to the contrary. The building’s courtyard might invite a fun game of wiffle ball, but mostly it’s all business. “Not only does it fit the campus, obviously, but it’s about business,” Elliott says. “Businesses are often successful because they look at something differently. And you look at this building differently. We think that is a real asset and something that Ken (Eastman) has really embraced, that, ‘Wow, this is a really unexpected business school,’ in how it was designed and how it was focused from a functional point of view, but its appearance as well.” The building’s many features, both interior and exterior, were all made possible through the collaboration between Elliott + Associates and Manhattan Construction. “Our relationship with Manhattan with this project — and we’ve worked with them on several projects — is one of great respect and collaboration,” Elliott says. “And that’s what you have to do. It’s about drawing it, conceiving it, putting it together. Then when you get in the field, there are all sorts of opportunities to improve on it, to move a pipe left or right and you get more ceiling height. And it takes everyone to be dedicated to that point of view to truly create a successful project.”

From the advanced technology to the student-friendly classrooms to the collaborative team rooms, both Keller and the elder Jones are impressed with the amenities in the 147,450-square-foot building.

“It’s awesome. It’s just the nicest academic building I’ve been in,” Keller says.

Griff says the new building will provide opportunities to his children and niece that haven’t been available to OSU business students for many years. “When I was here, you went to the Business Building, did your hour or hour-and-a-half class and then you turned around and left,” he says. “You might go to the Student Union or other places on campus where you commingled

Ed Keller



with people. (But) this feels like a real social place where you would spend more time between classes. “If you’re a prospective student coming on campus, to just walk into this, just as a great athlete would look at a football stadium or a baseball stadium or a basketball arena, someone really interested in business is going to see this building and say, ‘I want to be there. That looks really

cool.’ I’d say it’s a real calling card.”

The technology throughout the five-floor building is among the most advanced available, including wireless presentation systems that allow students and faculty to connect and collaborate during classes. Each of the building’s 13 classrooms are equipped with super-size HD 1080p monitors. Four new classrooms are computer-teaching classrooms, and three have lecture-capturing technology. There are 793 total classroom seats.

Named Spaces Many spaces in the new Business Building are named after donors. A complete list of donors is available on the Legacy Wall digital sign on the first floor of the new Business Building.

BASEMENT BancFirst Classroom

Stephen and Diane Tuttle Accelerator

Julie and Claude Connelly Team Room

BKD CPAs and Advisors Classroom

Jack Allen Family Education Foundation Genius Bar

Merrill Family Sticky Space

Riata Center for Entrepreneurship

Robert and Sharon Keating Team Room

Watson Trading Floor

Robert Glenn Rapp Foundation Team Room

Bob and Peggy McCormick Breakout Room (Merrick Foundation) Deloitte Data Analytics Technology Applications (DATA) Lab Grant Thornton Breakout Room

Wiese Brothers Faculty Office Suite in memory of Jon A. Wiese

Norman and Suzanne Myers Dean’s Suite

Herod Family Breakout Room HoganTaylor Breakout Room KPMG Breakout Room


Le Norman Auditorium

Bill and Marsha Barnes Conference Room

Billings Family Team Room (Frank, Jennifer, Taylor, Cole and Kelsey)

Leitner and Ken Greiner Technology Classroom

Dr. B. Curtis Hamm Classroom

Boelte Family Sticky Space

Dr. Lloyd Garrison Conference Room gifted by Dr. Carlos Johnson

Calvert Family Sticky Space

Pregler Family Breakout Room (Mike, Jan, Chris, Matt and Brooke) PwC Breakout Room Shellie and Don Greiner Breakout Room Wesley E. and Mary Lea Sample Family Classroom

F I R S T F LO O R BOK Financial Ticker Brian and Angela Callahan Conference Room Center for Advanced Global Leadership & Engagement (CAGLE) Chesapeake Energy Business Student Success Center ConocoPhillips Student Lounge Eastin Center for Career Readiness EY Entrepreneurial Zone First United Bank and Trust Room gifted by the Massey Family Bob Austin Family Team Room Rob, Stacey and Haley Stephens Media Wall

ExxonMobil OSU Alumni Sticky Space

Dr. B. Curtis Hamm Office of the School of Marketing & International Business

Michael and Anne Greenwood Center for Online Learning

Dr. Wilton T. Anderson Office of the School of Accounting

The Nix Family Team Room

Joel and Melinda Stinnett Team Room

Elwell Family Sticky Space

John Yeaman Team Room

Grigsby Family Upper Loggia (South) (Jennifer and Steven Grigsby)

Roger Lumley and Suzanne Dimmel Team Room

Jones Family Upper Loggia (North) (Mindi and Griff Jones)

School of Entrepreneurship

Watson Graduate School of Management

T H I R D F LO O R ExxonMobil Controllers Alumni Classroom

Sharon and David Trojan Family Faculty Office

EXTERIOR BancFirst Time Capsule Marker Richard L. Tourtellotte Family Garden

Howard Thill Team Room John and Caroline Linehan Conference Room

The OSU Foundation provided the list of named spaces in the new Business Building as of February 22, 2018.



INSIDE AND OUTSIDE From any distance, the shape of the One premium classroom is the circu147,450-square-foot, $72-million struclar, glass-enclosed Watson Trading ture itself is captivating. The courtyard, Floor, which mimics the New York Stock designed as a welcoming, relaxing outdoor Exchange, complete with an electronic space, is complete with a water element ribbon displaying the trends of the day in that will create a fog cloud. The Georgian the market. brick is accented by expansive windows The Keystone Commons is a large gathand columns. A second-floor balcony, ering space for students on the building’s with its view onto the courtyard, offers east side. And there’s a coffee shop, too, more space for studying or relaxing. Business Perks, which adds more conveInside, the building contains classnience and comfort. The special hidden rooms, team/breakout rooms, conferareas, nooks and crannies, have their own ence rooms and offices, as well as feature special term from Elliott: sticky spaces. spaces. One, the Crystal Room on the “There are wonderful surprises north end’s fourth floor, is all white, with throughout the building,” Elliot says. white marble floors and white walls, and “Sticky spaces are those little adjunct features a large arched-glass window places in a corridor or outside a classoffering a new take on the campus. room where something sort of surprising “It affords views on campus that have happens. A group finds itself coalescing never been seen before,” says Mike Mays, or coming together to study, and they one of Elliott’s staff architects. “It frames do it right there. It doesn’t have to be in perfectly the library clock tower. It is a classroom. It can be in an impromptu stunning, absolutely stunning.” kind of space.” The south end’s fourth floor houses the Tack Room, another unique meeting space, highlighted by one wall fully adorned with cow hides.

Finding spaces to work together has been a struggle in the past, says Kennedy, but the new building was designed to provide collaborative areas throughout, enticing students to make the Business Building a destination instead of a stop-off during their day. There are 16 team/breakout rooms, each equipped with a video screen that students can use to connect on projects. And the Business Perks coffee shop on the first floor is open weekdays. “Business students have been spread across campus the whole time I’ve been here. My Intro to Marketing class was in Ag Hall, so I’ve kind of been everywhere on campus,” Kennedy says. “I think the best part is finally having one place

to connect and build relationships with one another.”

Griff Jones



Kale, a freshman, is looking forward to taking advantage of all the new building offers. “I’d probably say the best thing about the new Business Building would be the opportunities, from the nice new classrooms to the study rooms to the coffee shop. All the opportunities

you have in this building are awesome.”

Those opportunities haven’t been available to OSU business students in years. Opening in 1966, the old Business Building served thousands of OSU students well, but it was time for an upgrade. The business school was housed in Morrill Hall when Keller was a student from 1959-63; the Business Building was nearly 25 years old when Griff attended. Both still fondly remember classes in the Classroom Building, and Griff recalls taking some in the Business Building’s classroom annex, which was razed for the new building.

U P TO T H E L I G H T I N G Even the lighting is specialized, featuring many circles that reflect the crescent identity. The floors on the loggia feature a series of four-foot discs made up of three layers of glass, stretching end to end and acting as skylights offering natural light to the basement. “Once you walk inside the door, the outside is a ‘Wow,’ but the inside, the way that Rand has developed all those spaces around the loggia and the different centers, each one is unique in its own way,” Jones says. The building also offers a distinct flow on the east end of campus, its crescent shape softer than a blockade. And it’s an impressive bookend to a key stretch of campus. “It is a perfect complement to our campus design and tradition, and it is the perfect east anchor for Legacy Walk,” Hargis says. “It greatly enhances what is already one of America’s most beautiful campuses. As wonderful as it is on the outside, most importantly, it is a functional gem inside as well. The building provides a dynamic, educational environment that promotes interaction and collaboration, while offering highly flexible space and the latest in technology.” How the building connects, more than just physically, was another key focus for Elliott and his staff. They delved into making the building tick on the inside. “We always start by (asking) who is the occupant?” Elliot says. “Who’s going to be in this building? And what might we do to answer their questions and solve their problems?”

A new building with nice features is exciting but it goes far beyond aesthetics. Several new initiatives are better preparing OSU business students to enter the workforce. In recent years, Dean Ken Eastman and his leadership team have spearheaded updates to the core curriculum and created the Eastin Center for Career Readiness. These changes aim to ensure that students build their professionalism and analytic skills, have engaging and collaborative learning experiences, get significant practical experience, are ready to hit the ground running when launching their careers and are well-equipped for rapid promotions. “This approach to learning is completely different, and I think it’s exciting to see,” Keller says. “I really believe that those who are really successful are going to have these leadership skills and be able to work in group environments. They are going to be the ones who win.”

After years of watching the building go up just north of the old one, students enjoyed experiencing the new Spears Business home for the first time on January 16, the start of the spring semester.

“The first day of my class I called (my grandpa) afterward and asked him, ‘Have you seen this building? It’s just amazing.’

It’s been awesome getting to share it with him,” Paul says. “I was just absolutely amazed at how modern it is and the updated technology. It feels so natural, it’s a very calming environment, and it’s nice and social. The coffee shop and furniture make it very easy for the students to want to come here and to want to learn.”

Kassidy Paul


A B U I L D I N G S T U DY In search of the answers, Elliott requested that OSU do a study of its students and faculty to find out what was important to them in a new building. “It was a very interesting research project in that it’s not often done for buildings,” he says. “It’s just assumed you know this or know that. But this particular instance, we really wanted to know what the students expected out of it, and what the faculty expected out of it. The word that came out of that is everyone wanted an ‘interactive opportunity.’ Interactive. So that became our keyword. And how do you do that? “If you interview the millennial audience, you know that they’re educated differently. They’re educated in teams. They work in groups. And it tends to be that point of view. So, what does a collaborative space begin to look like? If you want interactive things, interactive requires collaboration. And it was really wonderful research to be able to do that. And we translated that to this building.” Elliott and his company have made a mark with unique designs, leading to many awards. It built the Chesapeake Energy campus and worked along the Oklahoma River Boathouse District, where Elliott’s touch is apparent in the sharp noses of rowing shells that highlight the area. His work also includes Pops restaurant in Arcadia, as well as other original buildings outside Oklahoma. Interestingly, Elliott says he never would have envisioned getting involved with Georgian architecture when he was studying his craft at OSU.

After the tour, Keller agrees with his granddaughter. “I do think it’s welcoming. As opposed to 40 or 50 years ago walking into the Classroom Building, there was nothing necessarily welcoming about it. It was just a bigger building than you had at your high school. This seems to me to be a very warm and welcoming environment,” he says. Although the interior provides an exceptional educational experience for students, the exterior is also beautiful. Architect Rand Elliott’s Georgian revival architectural style matches the traditional look of the Stillwater campus. “I don’t know how you can’t walk through here and not be proud of it,” Griff says. “There are some neat buildings on campus that we all have fallen in love with over the years,

Kale Jones



and this feels like this is going to be one of those buildings that everybody gets drawn to, whether you’re a business major or another major. “In our house, we have a painting of Old Central; that’s an iconic building on this campus. And as people graduate, I can see them saying, ‘I want to have a picture of this Business Building.’ It’s just an iconiclooking building, and although it’s brand-new it seems like it really taps into the rest of the architecture on campus.” Keller admits to getting a little emotional when thinking about the legacy he is leaving on OSU’s business school. “I’m thrilled personally that (all three grandchildren) are in the business school,” he says. “I haven’t tried to influence that. I want them to follow what they’re really passionate about and what they’re interested in. Regardless of that, I just want them to have an experience here. I

“Not at all,” he says. “As I was being trained, it was about modernism, about doing contemporary buildings and so forth. If you would have said, ‘Rand, do you see yourself doing historic buildings in your career?’ I would have said, ‘No, no, no, I’m a modernist. That’s not my point of view.’ “But as I began to get involved in doing historic preservation projects and so forth, your love for them, your appreciation for history, the realization of what came before becomes really important. I think that appreciation and that experience on my part of the firm has made a big difference. You tend to be sympathetic. And you see a challenge in terms of, ‘How do you make something great happen that is sensitive to a particular stylistic approach that is difficult to deal with?’” With the new Business Building, he succeeded in addressing that challenge, adding his stamp to a campus he credits for largely shaping who he is today.

“In order to get a building designed and on that campus that is sympathetic to everything that is going on with its history and architectural point of view is a real challenge. I think we rose to that challenge.”

“It wouldn’t have happened had Nigel not said, ‘I think this is pretty cool,’” Elliott reminds. “That went to Burns, and it was important for him to sign on and be enthusiastic as well. And he has been. And I’m thankful for that.” Jones is thankful to have played a part in a new signature building on campus. “In a way, (Elliott) rather dismissed it as being a rather whimsical thing and sort of turned the page and we went forward,” Jones says. “I was sitting there, and he turned the page, and I kept going like this (pretending to peek through the stack). “I don’t know what we would have ended up with. I don’t know if my successor would have gone for it or not. I suspect no. We would have probably ended up with a rectilinear u-shape, or something or other, rather than the crescent. “So, you can praise me or blame me.” In this case, it’s all praise, for both the concept and the building. “I am very critical of my own work, as I think most creative people are,” Elliot says. “You envision it being perfect. And nothing in life is perfect. But I’m really proud of this building. “In order to get a building designed and on that campus that is sympathetic to everything that is going on with its history and architectural point of view is a real challenge. I think we rose to that challenge. And we’re excited about the result.”

— Rand Elliott, architect

think there are roots that you build here that will serve you well wherever you go.” “It’s been the best opportunity,” Kennedy says. “Having my grandpa and my dad go here, and now I have the opportunity to go to OSU, having my brother and my cousin here with me, it’s honestly incredible. It’s made us closer, I think. We’ve gotten to share some of the same experiences, same opportunities, and find our own paths.” That path now leads to a different building, and one that will change the lives of thousands of Oklahoma State business students for years to come.

Learn more at okla.st/Business_Building.

Kennedy Jones



The “I Am Building” students, from left, Braxton Noble, Jeana Wilson, Forrest Hull, Peyton Hillery and Tim Sakabu, gather in front of the new Business Building.

Sharing the Growth ‘I Am Building’ project pairs freshmen’s paths with building’s construction




The “I Am Building” project began in August 2015 when a group of freshmen walked onto the Stillwater campus, just in time to accompany the rise of the new Business Building. From that class, a handful of Spears School of Business newcomers were asked to share themselves during their college careers. The initiative documents the lives of these Oklahoma State students as they grew and developed, both academically and socially, corresponding with the construction and opening of the Business Building from a big hole in the ground to an impressive structure. They have shared their stories through videos, magazine articles, social media and more, attracting many followers. A few days after the new Business Building officially opened for classes on January 16, we visited with these students about a number of topics. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

What has the experience of being an “I Am Building” student meant to you?

Peyton Hillery

Forrest Hull: It has been an opportunity to kind of be forced into looking back at the path that my college career is taking and whether that time was filled with failures or successes, good decisions or bad decisions. It reminds me to be mindful of both the way that certain events molded my life in the past and also how the decisions I make now are going to affect my future. Peyton Hillery: I have gotten to relive my college experiences, retell some of those stories and see it all in video and pictures. It has given me so many opportunities and networking opportunities as well. Jeana Wilson: I feel like it’s been so much bigger than myself. I feel like I’ve been able to be a part of a legacy.

Forrest Hull

What have you seen or learned differently than if you had not been a part of the project?

Let’s hear from:

Accounting major Wichita Falls, Texas Finance major Economics minor Jenks, Oklahoma

Braxton Noble Finance major Stillwater, Oklahoma

Tim Sakabu Finance major Antelope, California

Jeana Wilson Management major Finance minor Stroud, Oklahoma

Forrest Hull: I think one of the things I’ve learned in being in the project is to not really take myself too seriously. When I first look back and see the changes that have been made, especially through the hard times and the times of adversity, and realize I’m still here, I’m still OK, and it wasn’t the end of the world. I think being more comfortable in just everyday decisions and big decisions, and even small decisions, has been a huge benefit to me.

How has the project impacted your life outside of school? Forrest Hull: It holds me accountable because I know that from the very first video that we did, this is something that’s going to be for the next four years.

I should keep my act together because it’s going to be followed, and I don’t want to get to the end of our college career and think, ‘I look basically the same. I am basically the same. I have not learned a bunch of stuff.’ I want to see the progress. Tim Sakabu: I always get a call from my mom when a new video is posted. She really enjoys being able to see both the program that I’m a part of in the Spears School of Business as well as my growth as a student.

How have you grown since coming to OSU? Peyton Hillery: I’ve learned so much about networking, about leading others and just about making intentional relationships. Forrest Hull: I am willing in general to just work with other people and the value that I place on that now versus from when I started at OSU. I think that maybe I thought a lot of stuff that I can do on my own, a lot of stuff I didn’t need or want other people’s opinions, but now I understand that interdependence is really more effective and way more valuable that just being an independent person. Jeana Wilson: I feel like the biggest growth I’ve seen in myself is my confidence.

Who are some of the people at Spears Business who have impacted your life, and how have they helped guide you the last few years? Braxton Noble: The most impactful person in the School of Business thus far for me has probably been Dr. Mary Gade. Dr. Jose Sagarnaga is my boss in the Center for Advanced Global Leadership and Engagement Center, and he has really helped me become the type of student and person that I want to be upon my graduation from Oklahoma State. Peyton Hillery: My adviser, Marissa McIntyre, has been through everything with me, through the ups and the downs. She’s led me through basically everything accounting. Also, one of my professors, Sarah Johnson, helped me get



Peyton Hillery: “I have gotten to relive my college experiences, retell some of those stories and see it all in video and pictures.”

Braxton Noble: “I’m building a habit of challenging myself and trying to pursue excellence.”

Forrest Hull: “I think one of the things I’ve learned in being in the project is to not really take myself too seriously.”


The balcony of the new Business Building follows the crescent shape of the structure, offering a view of Edmon Low Library.



To watch interviews with the “I Am Building” students, visit okla.st/Business_Students.

Tim Sakabu: “I always get a call from my mom when a new video is posted.”

Jeana Wilson: “When I first walked into the building it was complete awe. The building itself is just absolutely beautiful.”

connected with accounting firms and gave me advice on interviewing and applying for jobs. I’ll forever be thankful for both of those women. Forrest Hull: My peers, whether they be in FarmHouse or just people I know on campus and in classes, have inspired me in a lot of ways to make me a more balanced person. Jeana Wilson: A few different faculty and advisers have really impacted my experience here. One would be Marissa McIntyre, my academic adviser. She is incredible in all forms of the word. Another would be professor Andrew Urich, who challenges the way that you think.

was really an outstanding experience to see all of these people rally behind one building.

What was it like to see the building come up from the ground the last few years? Jeana Wilson: Seeing the building come from the ground up from my freshman year has been phenomenal. It’s been so cool to be a part of seeing the hole in the ground and then just level by level going up, and now finally being able to walk into those doors and call this place my home. Tim Sakabu: Watching the development of the building since my freshman year has really reaffirmed my decision to come here all the way from California. It

What was your first impression when you walked into the completed building for the first time? Braxton Noble: I would say the biggest thing was seeing all the students welcoming the other students, helping them find their classes, and realizing how state-of-the-art it really is. Jeana Wilson: When I first walked into the building it was complete awe. The building itself is just absolutely beautiful. Peyton Hillery: Everything looks so inviting. I think the thing that I’m most excited to be able to use on a regular basis are the study rooms. The glassed-in study rooms are so cool, and they’re open and very well-lit, but they’re also private rooms that you can study in.

How do you see students taking advantage of the new state-of-the-art building? Forrest Hull: I would say one of the biggest ways that students are going to benefit from the building is with accelerateOSU being moved into the building.

Jeana Wilson: I know that we have some of the most advanced technology on campus now because of this building. I feel like students will be able to take advantage of having a central location to do their homework, grab a cup of coffee, connect with professors and other students, work on their classwork, and want to be at the business school and feel at home at the business school. Tim Sakabu: I’ve definitely noticed that a lot more students are excited to be taking business classes. Everyone is always talking about what classes they get to take in there, and there’s a lot more excitement around the campus.

What are you building at OSU? Peyton Hillery: I am building skills to influence others by pursuing leadership roles in organizations I care about. Forrest Hull: I am building the educational foundation that is going to set me up for the highest possible success in a changing business world. Braxton Noble: I am building a habit of challenging myself and trying to pursue excellence. Tim Sakabu: I am building a collection of meaningful experiences at Oklahoma State. Jeana Wilson: I am building a legacy for future business students.


LEE MANZER works a classroom like a


pro. After all, now in his fifth decade of teaching at OSU, he is a pro. Yet it’s not just his expert knowledge that keeps the 77-year-old Manzer a favorite among Oklahoma State business students past and present. There’s also the way he mixes a certain cool with comic relief, strolling classroom aisles in search of connection. Manzer can be a bit ornery, passing out occasional playful jabs — and some have even evolved into signature sayings. “Unless you’re a bully,” he says, “you tease the people you like.” Manzer is no bully. He is, however, bullish on OSU. He went to school here. Met his wife here. Saw three children and one grandchild graduate from here. Another grandchild is here now. Manzer’s made his mark here, too: Outstanding Teacher in the Spears School of Business four times and OSU’s Teacher of the Year three. He has OSU’s “Loyal and True” award that recognizes long-term service as well as the 2018 University Professional & Continuing Education Association Excellence in Teaching Award. A native of Hominy, Oklahoma, Manzer arrived at OSU in 1959. He completed his bachelor’s degree in chemistry, earned a master’s in business and later added a doctorate. After a stint at Dow Chemical, Manzer returned to OSU in 1975 to teach, and he’s been here ever since.

With sun and cold alternatively taking aim at his balding head, Manzer sought cover some 15 years ago. Little did he know that he would unveil his own signature look with the tams he sports year-round. Manzer alternates his tams, opting for a heavier chevron-patterned version in the winter and a lighter tan look for the summer.

GRADE CHECK Manzer figures he’s taught more than 30,000 students at OSU. Thirty. Thousand. And every one of them is listed, along with their scores, in these vintage grade books. Sure, technology has advanced, but Manzer still records grades in the books first. “It got to a point where it was a matter of honor to keep doing that,” he says. He still has every grade book dating back to 1975.




UNION, TIMES TWO After his sophomore year, Manzer went on a two-year mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His return was a game changer. “It’s the best thing I ever did, because the first day of school I met Saundra, my wife of 52 years,” he says. “In August of 1963, I sat right down next to Saundra DeVore in the Student Union.” A union born in the Union.

KEEPING SCORE At Cowboys basketball games, Manzer’s rather conspicuous in his striped official’s shirt. He’s a member of OSU’s stat crew, working as the official scorer. He’s been at it since 1983, spanning seven head coaches and including his son Bryndon’s two seasons as a Cowboy.

LOYAL AND TRUE Who better fits the mantra of Loyal and True than Lee Manzer? “It’s a lucky person who gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, ‘I get to go to work.’ That’s been me,” Manzer says. “I’ve had a nice career: 43 years this summer. Gosh, just being around young people, and they think you’re halfway neat and you don’t have to pay their tuition? Everybody around here is always the same age; you don’t ever grow older. It’s just a fantastic environment.”


Spears School of Business demonstrates the ‘Power of Personal’ with a fundraising cookbook BEANS AND CORNBREAD COWBOY CAMP BEANS 4 slices of bacon, fried crisp 1/2 cup onion, chopped 1/4 cup green pepper, chopped 1/4 cup orange pepper, chopped 1/2 cup ketchup 1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon powdered barbecue seasoning 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke 1 teaspoon dry mustard One 31-ounce can pork and beans, partially drained

In a small skillet, fry bacon, remove and set aside. Sauté onions and peppers just until onion begins to become transparent. Drain on paper towels. In a large bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue seasoning, liquid smoke and dry mustard. Skim liquid from top of beans while still in can and remove fatty pieces of pork. Combine sauce mixture, bacon, onions, peppers, and pork and beans and pour into a two-quart buttered casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30-45 minutes. Serves six to eight people.


he Building Best Recipes Cookbook is a collection from alumni, staff, faculty, students and friends of the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. The cookbook is an extension of the college’s mantra, “The Power of Personal,” sharing many family and heirloom recipes. From comfort foods to party hors d’oeuvres and desserts, the cookbook presents a variety of dishes. Here are two from Rex Horning, ’74 business administration, who was named one of the “Spears School Tributes: 100 for 100” in 2014, the year of the groundbreaking for the new Business Building.

Doubling the recipe makes a more substantial dish that cooks more evenly. If the recipe has been doubled, bake for a minimum of one hour, stirring occasionally. The dish can be cooked longer to accommodate the taste of the Cowboys who will be eating it.

CAST IRON SKILLET CORNBREAD 1 1/2 cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (for a rougher texture, use corn flour) 2 1/4 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt 1 3/4 cups buttermilk 2 large eggs 3 tablespoons salted butter

Preheat a 10-inch cast iron skillet in an oven heated to 450 degrees F. for seven minutes. Stir together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together the buttermilk and eggs in a medium bowl. Add butter to the hot skillet and return to the oven until the butter is melted. Stir buttermilk mixture into cornmeal mixture until just combined. Pour melted butter from the skillet into the cornmeal mixture and quickly stir to blend all ingredients. Pour mixture into hot skillet and immediately place in oven. Bake at 450 degrees F. for 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown and cornbread pulls away from the sides of skillet. Cool slightly before serving.

Call Marisa Dyess or Julie Weathers in the OSU Center for Executive and Professional Development at 405-744-5208 or e-mail spearscookbook@gmail.com to order a cookbook for a $15 donation. Cookbook sales will contribute to scholarships. Funds generated through December 2017 were donated to the United Way of Payne County.


AN ENERGY INVESTMENT OSU celebrates a decade of energy savings



nvesting is defined as “devoting time, effort or money to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.” And this definition perfectly describes the energy transformation on Oklahoma State University’s campuses. Led by the vision of President Burns Hargis, OSU has made significant changes over the past decade to bring energy management and sustainability to the forefront. “We are a big part of the university and its overall mission,” says Tammy Johnson, energy manager in Energy Management and Sustainability. “It is the university’s mission and goal.”



In July 2007, OSU launched the Energy Conservation Program, now the Energy Management Program, using a behavioralbased system to make changes in energy consumption. Since then, the OSU-system has saved more than $50 million in energy costs; more than $39 million has been saved by OSU-Stillwater alone. Among the first steps was an agreement between OSU and OG&E to source power from the wind farm in Blackwell, Oklahoma. Now known as the Cowboy Wind Farm, OSU receives 67 percent of all its electricity from the wind turbines. One of the most exciting and newest advancements in energy management is the opening of the new Central Plant — the central source of heating and cooling for most buildings on campus. The

old power plant was built in 1948 with surplus WWII boilers. Replacing that equipment takes OSU’s energy management system into the future. While the old power plant served the university well over the years, its ability to be operated and maintained to reliably serve the campus needs has drawn to a close. “The old facility was more complex because it produced electrical power through steam turbines,” says Craig Spencer, director of energy services. “There was more electrical infrastructure needed to distribute the power it produced. The new facility, in comparison, is somewhat simpler because we don’t have all the extra piping and cabling for steam turbines and power generation.”

While the new Business Building features high-efficiency windows, an automation system and an efficient HVAC system, one of its most interesting features is the use of heat sensor lighting. This allows lights in offices to remain on and in use while the office is occupied but to shut off when it is vacant. “The newer buildings run kind of like a computer,” Cheves says. “The lights are scheduled to sweep off at a certain time because they turn on with occupancy sensors or thermal detectors. So even if you are sitting still at your desk, it will sense your body heat but if you’re not there, it will turn off after a certain period of time.” One might ask why energy management and sustainability is so important, especially if it costs more money upfront. It goes back to investing in the future of the university. “The more efficient you build the buildings on campus, the longer they will last,” Cheves says. “They are easier to maintain and your utility bills go down, which puts less stress on our plants, which helps the overall campus.” With different teams across campus — along with individual staff and faculty — working together to make the best choices for energy management and sustainability, the success of OSU is a group effort.


The new Central Plant provides the steam and chilled water necessary to heat and cool the Stillwater campus with state-of-the-art steam boilers and water chillers. It also features unique and creative elements such as spaces for staff and students. “Probably one of the biggest differences our new building presents is the additional administration wing,” Spencer explains. “We are able to house nearly all of the energy services department within the same footprint.” On top of that, the new Central Plant also fulfills components of the university’s land-grant mission, including teaching and outreach. The new building will have a classroom for students in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, giving them direct access to the mechanics of the building. The building lobby will also feature a special viewing area for visitors. “We planned this with the mission of education in mind,” says Casey Keyser, senior energy manager in Energy Management and Sustainability. “We provided the space, and they (CEAT) have worked on what kind of student seating and things will function for them. We also have an observation area in the center of the building. You can actually walk in and see out to the boilers and chillers and see a working plant.” Energy management is also a key part of any building process on campus. The new Spears School of Business building, which opened in January, is the latest example of taking sustainability and energy management into consideration with the design. “To capture all the efficiencies that are possible, most people think of the energy usage, which is the air handlers, and most of the equipment that is going to be in the building,” says Jay Cheves, the construction project manager. “But it really starts with getting a good envelope and getting a good sealed building so you can maintain different set points and temperatures.”

Recognition for energy savings Twenty OSU employees and the Wes Watkins Center have been recognized for contributing to the success of OSU’s Energy Management program, which has saved the university millions of dollars over the last decade. President Burns Hargis congratulated the honorees during a luncheon hosted by OSU Energy Management and sponsored by Johnson Controls Inc. at the Wes Watkins Center. He attributed their individual efforts and the daily commitment of the university’s staff, faculty and students for the program’s overall success. OSU’s Energy Management Program is nationally recognized as a leader in behavior-based energy management, saving more than $39 million at OSU-Stillwater and more than $50 million systemwide.


New Life Members A lifetime connection to America’s Brightest Orange® The OSU Alumni Association would like to recognize and thank the following individuals who are now connected for life to Oklahoma State University through their new life memberships purchased in 2017. Learn more at orangeconnection.org/join about the benefits of becoming a life member or call 405-744-5368. Alexa Able* Joe Abshere, ’03 Ostyn Abshere Lindsey Acree* Keidric Adair* Aerial Adams* Andrea Adams, ’91, ’03 Brandon Adams* Noah Adams, ’02 Austin Admire* Melissa Agnew, ’14 Ruby Aguilar-Henriquez* Bodunrin Aka-Bashorun, ’82 Ray Akin III, ’16 Bryant Alexander, ’05 Hannah Alexander* Stephanie Alexander Amy Allison, ’10 Travis Allison, ’09, ’11 Faisal Alzahrani* Kaitlyn Amen* Elise Amundson* Sarah Anderson* John Angell* Ben Annuschat* Chelsea Arnhart* Dawn Arnold, ’86 Stefani Arpealer, ’16 Blake Arrington* Christina Arszulowicz* Nicole Ashton* Jacob Augustyn* Lauren Austin* Sarah Baer* Brett Bailey, ’05, ’16 Larry Bair, ’78, ’82 Kenneth Balkus III, ’16 Jonathan Ballew* Rachel Banes* Maghan Barber* Destiny Barker* Larry Barker, ’79 Justin Barnett, ’10 Kory Barnett* Sarahi Barrios* Larry Bassham, ’09 Cooper Baumann* Brent Baumberger, ’89 Pam Beck, ’09 Justin Bell, ’00

Karla Bell, ’00 Jacqueline Benatar, ’15 Cameron Benge, ’14 Lionel Bentley, ’70 Luenna Bentley Erin Benuzzi* Catherine Bergstrom* Jennifer Bergstrom, ’96 Blayne Bettinger* Brooke Beyen Evan Bird* Sherry Bishop, ’74 Jake Blackwood* Josh Blair, ’09 Dalton Blankinship* Heather Bliss* Josie Blosser* William Bogert, ’’86, ’88 Vanessa Bolin Sims, ’02 Ashlyn Bone Rusty Bookout* John Bordy, ’15 Devin Boswell* Austin Bounds* Blake Bowen, ’06 Kaitlyn Bowling* Erin Bowman* Bart Brashears, ’77 Connie Brashears, ’74, ‘80 Courtney Brendal* Connie Brickman, ’69 Gary Brickman, ’72 Eric Brinkman* Ryan Brinkman Tom Britton Jr., ’66, ’68 Kimberly Broce-Walker, ’88 Amber Brock, ’06, ’09 Samantha Brosh* Cory Brown, ’08 Jake Bugg* Blake Bulard* Amy Burd, ’03, ’07 Tyler Burke* David Burns, ’84 Rachel Burns, ’83, ’84 Ashton Burris* Casey Burson* Jack Burt* Erikk Burton* Brady Buss*

Edward Butch, ’08 Savannah Byford* Autumn Cagle, ’05 Travis Cagle, ’04 Baleigh Cain, ’14 Dusti Calavan, ’98 Jay Calavan, ’97 Russell Calk, ’97 Angie Callahan, ’93 Brian Callahan, ’94, ’02 Blake Cameron* Collin Campbell* Molly Cannon* Samuel Cannon, ’15 Sarah Cannon* Michelle Cantrell, ’93 Steven Cantrell, ’92, ’16 Ashley Cardwell, ’15 Elizabeth Carlson, ’16 Caden Carlton* Alexandra Carpenter Alain* Anita Cartwright, ’84 Samuel Cartwright, ’85 Chandler Case, ’16 Kylie Castillo* Bailey Chambers* Frank Champlin, ’75, ’81 Marissa Chapa* Luke Chapman* Waily Charlton* Adrienne Chastain, ’12 Webb Chastain Ryan Cheatham, ’10 Samantha Cheatham Isaiah Chitica* Sara Choate* Allison Christian* Alexandra Christie* Jimmy Ciolino* Caleb Clark* Mitchell Clark, ’01, ’09 Cole Claxton* Christian Claypool* Linda Cline Crystian Clinton* Jeff Clymer, ’77 Sarah Clymer* Shari Clymer Reagan Coates* Hunter Cobb*

*An asterisk designates Life Members who joined as OSU students.



Glenn Coffey III* Andria Coker, ’04, ’08 Kimberly Coker, ’93 Ronald Coker, ’92, ’93 Austin Cole* Jacob Cole* Curtis Coltharp* Mason Congdon* Tabitha Conner* Marisela Contreras, ’99, ’03 Bryce Cook* Tristen Cook* Kelly Cooper, ’93, ’96 Dale Cornelius, ’70 Tyler Cortinas* Amanda Cothern* Tamera Cotney* Chelsea Coulson* Lauren Cousatte* Thomas Cox* Cathy Craig Ashley Crambrink* Michael Crank* Alexandra Crawley* Chandlee Cresap* Christi Cummings* Shuo Dai, ’13 Melissa Dandy* Matt Daniel, ’99, ’02, ’16 Alyssa Danker* Christina Danzi* Brittany Dao* Rachel Davis* Rad Davis* Tricia Davis, ’94 William Davis* Carter Davison* Alyson Dawson, ’99 Jace Dawson, ’99 Orlando De Jesus, ’98, ’02 Andy Deck, ’84 Becky Deck, ’84, ’85 Zachary Deck, ’11 Mary Deguzman, ’15 Bryan Denton* Jeff Denton, ’82 Elizabeth Desocio, ’16 Alexandria Devoll-Donaldson* Alisha Devore* Joshua Dewitt* Abbey Dickerson* Brittany Dinan* Patty Dixon, ‘75

Jeff Dlabach, ‘90 Douglas Dodson Ivy Dolf* Gavin Dolsky* Holly Donaldson* Taylor Douglass* Cortez Downey, ’14 Andrew Dowty, ’99 Stephanie Dowty, ’98 Megan Drury Spencer Drury, ’14 Wesley Duchene* Maddie Duffy* Jessica Duncan* Tim Dyer, ’84, ’86 Madeline Earl-Choate* Brittany Earnest, ’11 Miranda Easom, ’14 Duane Easterling, ’78 Jan Easterling, ’83, ’85 Conner Eggers* Leanna Elkins* Colin Ellis* Ric Ellis, ’13, ’16 Taryn Elston* Ariane England* Byron Enix, ’84 Carol Enix Natalie Euziere* Kyle Fanning* Bridgette Farris* Hannah Felder* Crystal Felix* Gary Fennema, ’13 Connor Ferguson, ’11 Kayleen Ferguson, ’75 Larry Ferguson, ’75 Leslie Fimple, ’11 Laurianne Fisher* Myles Fisher, ’16 Laurie Fitch* Karsten Fleak* Jordan Fleming* Jeane’ Flesner, ’77 Lauren Fletcher* Joseph Ford* Kyle Foreman* Inyoung Forney* Mary Forsythe* Mason Fowler* Cheryl Fox, ’15 Audrey Franck* Michael Franklin, ’93, ’96

Lester Freeman, ’72, ’84 Marlena Freeman, ’73 Jason Frerichs, ’95 A.J. Fried* Justin Frost* Ian Frye* Deanna Fuller* Lance Fuller, ’88 Michelle Fuller Kenny Gajewski Nicholas Galbraith* Jennifer Gardner Jacob Garis* Chelsea Garner* Katelyn Garvie* Stephen George* Rob Gephardt, ’82 Teresa Gephardt Cody Gerdes* Bailee Geries* Kellie Ghormley, ’95 Mike Ghormley, ’93 David Gibbons* Garrett Gibson* Sierra Gilkey* Grayson Gillette, ’16 Steve Gilliland, ’07, ’11 Ethan Gingrich* Lauren Gipson* Jared Glass* Samantha Glass* Jacob Glasscock, ’16 Christina Glenn, ’04 Douglas Glenn, ’03 Jamey Goddard, ’15 Savannah Godwin* Amber Goerke, ’16 Aaron Goff* Ben Goh, ’86, ’88, ’01 Bob Goodman, ’69, ’75 Mary Ann Gowdy, ’80, ’82, ’84 Richard Gowdy, ’82, ’84, ’88 Tony Goyang, ’79, ’81 Tammy Graves, ’87 Anna Greene-Hicks, ’90, ’12 Jessica Greenshield* Randall Grier Jr., ’16 Kelly Griffin, ’02, ’06 Penelope Griffin, ’05 Leslie Griffith, ’93 Todd Griffith, ’92 Kaylynn Gruntmeir* Chris Guara, ’06 Tracy Guara Jamie Hadwin, ’10, ’15 Mike Hafner, ’06 Geoff Hager, ’02 Andrew Hahn* Jill Hainkel, ’78 Mike Hainkel A.L. Haizlip, ’07 Margaret Haizlip Jan Hall, ’69 Lyndall Hall* Riley Hall* Jerryca Haller* Dani Hamand, ’13 Harlin Hamilton Jr., ’93 Sara Hamilton, ’93 Alexis Hamous* Kylie Hane

Megan Hannabass, ’06 Donald Hardin, ’80 Danielle Harmon, ’97 Brooke Harrel, ’16 Gail Harris Isaiah Hartman* Kaylee Hartman* Bray Haven* Joshua Haven* Brandon Havens* Karen Haworth, ’85 Stephen Haworth, ’85 Nicholas Hayes* Riley Hays, ’08 Sarah Hays, ’08 Sheryl Hazelbaker, ’85 Morgan Hearrell* Tanner Heath* Emily Helms* Corey Hembree* Laurel Henagan* Blake Henderson* Kristen Henry* Anna Hentges* Hammons Hepner* Lisa Hepner, ’84 Monte Hepner, ’81 Taylor Herhold* Rachel Hewin, ’12 David Hicks, ‘91 Amy Hocker, ‘16 Terrance Hockless* Eric Hodges Jaci Hodges* Lori Hodges Kayla Hodgin* Butch Hogan Jr., ’95 Terry Holeman Jean Holland, ’67, ’70, ’78 Jennifer Holliday, ’99 Josh Holliday, ’04 Pamela Holmes, ’77 Brittany Hoose* Cameron Hopper* Blayne Horn, ’15 Kristi Horschler, ’03 Mallory Hosey* Sakib Hossain* Bethany Howard* Maggie Howard, ’16 Dalton Howell* Rendi Hudson* Sarah Hufnagel* Jesse Hughes, ’10 Kary Hughes, ’80 Logan Hukill* Jake Humphreys* Morgan Hunt* Landon Hunter* Genevieve Hurst, ’58, ’65 Morgan Hurst* Patrick Hurst, ’01, ’04 Erin Hutchinson* Chance Imhoff* Austyn Iven* Colton Jackson* Melanie Jackson, ’16 Teresa Jackson, ’07, ’09 John Jensen* Gannon Jerome* Abby Jessell* Kiley Johansen, ’15

Austin Johnson* Autumn Johnson* Chase Johnson* Dillon Johnson* Emily Johnson* Jessica Johnson* Megan Johnson* April Johnson-Kinzie, ’99 Sarah Johnston, ’07 Austin Jones* Cheryl Jones, ’72 Dakota Jones* Dennis Jones, ’73 Jaymie Jordan, ’14 Ganawa Juanah Colton Jung* Colton Kalivas* Charles Kalmar, ’16 Alec Keddrell, ’15 Donna Keffer, ’93 Glen Kellerhals, ’67, ’74, ’80 Bridgette Kennedy, ’99 Alec Kerce* Laura Kerschen* Luke Ketchum* Brooke Kibble* John Kilgallon, ’95 Melody Kilgallon, ’96 Emily Kilgo* Hwan Ki Kim* Caleb Kimberling, ’16 Hana Kimberling, ’16 Sylvia King-Cohen, ’81 Victoria Kingdom, ’16 Bryce Kippenberger* Kirsten Kirchner, ’11 Mark Kirchner, ’11 Sumer Kiser* Kalli Kliewer* Kathryn Knight* Shelby Knight* Emily Koetting* Raychel Kozik* Michael Krebs, ‘99 Brittany Krehbiel* Kathryn Kubin* Taryn Kulig* Zachary Kunneman* Justin Kuykendall, ‘03 Mandie Kuykendall, ‘03 Lauren La Riva* Jake Lackey* Dillon Lain* Maggie Lam* Tyler Lambert, ’15 Casey Landis, ’16 Kelsey Landreth* Hannah Langley, ’14 Hilary Lanier* Tanner Larson* Darby Latting* Anna Le* Alex Leatherman* Madeline Lee* Kaylyn Lefan* Weston Leonard* Ann Lewis, ’79 Kyle Lewis* Robert Lewis, ’78 Greg Liles, ’90 Lori Liles, ’02, ’16 Katherine Lindgren*

Bill Lingren, ’69 Amanda Linhardt* Katie Lippoldt* Victoria Lloret* Kimberly Lloyd* Brady Lobue* Mary Logan, ’71, ’86 Taylor Long* Garrett Lorenz* Kelly Love* Tyler Loveday, ’14 Kelsey Lowery* Danny Lowrance, ’73 Mary Lowry* Jessica Lyle, ’12 Robert Lyle IV, ’10 Deborah Lynch, ’97 Tyler Lynch Sr.* Emaun Mack* April Mackie, ’86 Stephen Maly, ’86 Hunter Manes* Kaleigh Mangrum, ’15 Danielle Manship* Johnny Maravich Jr., ’92 Joseph Marigny Brown, ’16 Josephine Marin* Christopher Marr* Amber Martin* Chase Martin, ’14 Dennis Martin Dominic Martin* Jaclyn Martin, ’12, ’16 Tyler Martin* Christina Martinez, ’16 John Massey* Jessika Matthews* Carlie McArthur* Amanda McCabe* Sean McCabe, ’06, ’08 Garrett McCafferty* John McCall, ’16 Daniel McCay* Morgan McClain* Grant McClendon* Caleb McCray* Marjorie McCubbins* Kali McCuistion, ’15 Makayla McDaniel* Tom McDougal, ’61, ’64 Sean McGraw, ’08 Jansyn McKinney* Cole McKnight* Jack McMichael IV, ’01 Nicholas McMillen* Alison McMurran* Paulina Medrano Garcia* Caroline MerrittSchiermeyer, ’98, ’03 Madelyn Messenger* Jake Meyer* Molly Meyer* Alexandria Miller* Katie Miller* Matthew Miller, ’03 Owen Miller* Tyler Miller, ’16 Shelby Milleson* William Mimbs, ’15 Ryan Minear, ’16 Diamante Mitchell* Mayoor Mohan, ’04, ’07, ’13

Rebekah Moomau* Samantha Moon* Jeremy Moore, ’01 Marissa Moore* Nolynn Moreau* Matt Morgan, ’07 Jan Morris Madysson Morris* Mitch Morris Tyler Morris* Steve Morrison, ’74 Lori Mouse, ’16 Neel Muni, ’11 Christopher Munkres* Michael Muse* Jay Nail* Keith Nation, ’97 Shannon Nation Jayme Nauman, ’14 Richard Nemmer* Joshua Neumaier* Talor Newville* Trey Niblett III, ’16 Elyssa Niebel* Emily Niebel* Amber Niebruegge* Matthew Nieman* Michael Nightingale, ’08 Hannah Niles* Cooper Norman* Miranda O’Connor* Mackenzie Odom* Jesse Ogle* Kelly Ogle, ’85 Teri Ogle, ’86 Georgianna Oliver, ’92 Kenneth Olivier, ’77, ’81 Yvonne Olivier Dylan Oney* Patrick Osborne* Emily Outhier* Jim Parcher Jeb Park, ’14 Jenna Park, ’14 Ryan Parker* Kern Parman* Clay Patterson* Parker Patton, ’12 Kimberly Peak, ’97, ’98 Anna Pearson* Connie Pearson, ’98 Sierra Pecha* Jessica Perry* Cheryl Peters, ’69, ’85 Jerry Peters, ’79 Sandi Peters, ’79 Veronique Pittman* Colby Platner, ’98 Jennifer Platner, ’98 Alexandria Platter* Kate Plaxco* Kathryn Plummer* Christos Pontikes, ’86 Laura Pontikes, ’85 Josh Poteet* David Prater* Brian Price, ’14 Jacob Pry* Bryce Quigley* Sean Quintana* Nicholas Ramirez* Chad Randall,’’03, ’13

Whitney Randall, ’09 Kelsey Ransom* Madison Rash* Kelsey Ray, ’16 Juli Redwine Barrett Reed, ’12 Bashira Reed* Garrett Reed Christine Reis Alyssa Reiss, ’10 Dena Rice, ’87, ’92 Jim Rice, ’89 Audrey Richardson* Courtney Richardson* Rachel Ricker, ’05 Zachary Ricker, ’05, ’09 Drew Rickets, ’87 Tim Riddle, ’84 Carleigh Rinehart* Genifer Ring, ’94 Robert Ring, ’91, ’98 Marit Ripley* Kristen Ritchie, ’13 Scott Ritchie* Thomas Ritchie III Kelsey Ritz Tate Roberson* Brendan Roberts* Tanner Roberts* Brad Robinson, ’15 Candace Robinson, ’06 Grant Robinson* Hunter Robinson Rafael Rodriguez, ’16 Brian Rosebrook, ’15 J.D. Rosman* Beverly Ruedy* Nathan Ruiz* Brad Rush, 96 Brandon Russell* Sheryl Rust, ’93 Ralph Ryan Elisabeth Ryon* Craig Sackett* Danielle Saile, ’16 Katherine Sajewski* Stephen Sanderson* Jordan Satterfield* Pradeep Savadi, ’15 Scott Sawyer, ’02, ’10, ’11 Amber Sawyers* Natalie Schafer* Brenda Schiesel, ’05, ’09 Abigail Schlotthauer* Cory Schmidt, ’15 Jim Schmitt, ’99, ’02 Tyler Schnaithman* Lilly Schneberger* Sarah Schobert, ’15 Kena Schroeder, ’04 Ricki Schroeder* Parker Schultz, ’15 Cole Schwab* Tyler Schwandt, ’15 Andra Schwenk, ’03 Ryan Schwenk, ’02 Harold Seggerman* Reece Seibold* Lauren Selph* Samantha Semmer* Cody Seth, ’08 Tricia Seth, ’08

Shelby Sever, ’15 Garrett Shaffer, ’15 William Shaffer* Lincoln Shallenburger* Blaine Shelite* Scott Shepherd, ’04, ’08 Cap Shidler Jr., ’67 Andrew Shimkus* Kolton Shipley* Jody Shipman, ’80 Madesen Shippman* Jaclyn Shirley* Abby Sholar* Max Short, ’16 Angela Shortess, ’94, ’02 Scott Shortess, ’93 Cody Shults* Jay Simonton* David Sims, ’94 Dylan Singleton* Tyler Singleton* Alexis Sirois, ’15 Ashley Skaggs* Nicholas Skidmore* Tina Slagle, ’89 Bailey Slane* Jessica Slemmons* Amanda Slife* Robert Sloan Jr., ’16 R.E. Smallwood, ’66, ’75 Austin Smith* Brooke Smith* Caleb Smith* Jonathan Smith* Karleigh Smith* Leanna Smith* Peyton Smith* Ranae Smith, ’15 Thomas Smith* Caitlin Snider* Mark Snyder, ’69 Camille Sokolosky* Hunter Soto* Mark Spampinato Jr.* Cheyenne Sparks, ’15 Tyler Sparks, ‘06 Rebekah Spaulding, ’12, ’16 Alexandra Spinner* Drake Stafford* Isaac Stansell* William Starr* Emily Steffes* Cassie Stephens, ’07 James Stephens, ’06, ’10 Alex Sterk, ’14 Johnathan Stewart* Elizabeth Stidham, ’04 Adam Still, ’10, ’12 Natalie Still, ’04 Glenn Stinchcomb, ’14 Samuel Stockard* Kyle Stoltz, ’14 Rilla Stone* Karla Storm, ’98 Matthew Storm, ’94 Elizabeth Straatveit, ’73 Odin Straatveit Destin Stratton* Meghan Strauss* Bill Streeter, ’84 Mason Strom, ’16 Beth Stropes, ’97

Danny Stunkard, ’08 Samantha Sturtevant* Austin Stutts, ’16 Erica Summerfield, ’16 Lisa Swagerty, ’10 Brock Taylor, ’96 Hunter Taylor* Kyle Taylor* Mikaela Taylor* Darian Teague* Rebekah Telford* Karissa Thomas* Krista Thomas* Lerin Thomas* Lisa Thomas, ’82 Phil Thomas, ’82 Sean Thomas, ’11, ’16 Grant Thomason, ’14, ’15 Laurel Thomason* Josh Thompson, ’12 Lawson Thompson* Maloree Thompson* Shannon Thompson, ’94, ’97 Valerie Thompson, ’86 Warren Thompson, ’91 Taylor Throne* Kimberly Thrower, ’90 Kelsey Trast* Nate Trauernicht, ’04 Johnna Troglin, ’08 Scott Troyer, ’97 Emily Tuder* Marcia Tuttle, ’70 Brent Tyler, ’00 Kent Tyler, ’89 Polly Tyler, ’87 Trevor Tyree* Addison Ufkes* Alexis Ussery, ’14 Kevin Varela* James Vaught* Connor Velasquez* Taylor Vickers* Raymond Viel* Shabeen Vijayan Carson Vinyard* Eduardo Viveros* Skylar Vogle, ’16 John Voss* Natalie Vowell

Bailee Waibel* Kristine Waits, ’00 Matt Waits, ’99 Mickayla Waldrup* Chelsea Walker Jessica Walker* Karson Walker, ’14 Kelsey Walker* Madison Waller* Alexandra Ward* Spencer Ward* Taliyah Ware* Betty Warner, ’75, ’77 Bill Warner Cody Warner, ’12 Caleb Watkins* Steven Watkins, ’01 Brian Watson, ’02 Tristan Watson* Sierra Watts* Austin Waugh, ’10, ’11 Erica Waugh John Webb* Veronica Webb* Madison Wedel, ’16 Jordan Weeks* Morgan Wells, ’15 Madeline West* Rachel West* Ray West, ’75, ’92, ’13 Sarah West, ’75 Jacob Westhusin* Rebecca White* Sierra White* Stephanie Widick* Rachel Wilk* Thomas Wilkins* Whitney Wilkinson* Lisa Will* Dean Williams Emily Williams* Jared Williams, ’07, ’08 Myriam Williams, ’04, ’08 Nelly Williams, ’08, ’15 Sidney Williams Jr., ’68 Tayler Williams* Lori Williamson, ’85 Shayla Williamson Ronald Willingham, ’72 Sherry Willingham, ’71 Catherine Wilson* D’Arion Wilson* Nolan Wilson* Samantha Wilson* Lori Winkle, ’81 Jordan Wisby* Steven Wolfe* Jonathan Womack* Greg Wood, ‘94 Ashane Woody* Darcy Worth* Tara Wright, ’13, ’15 Amy Wurm, ’91 Mark Wurm Kimberly Wyatt, ’03 Whitt Wyatt, ’03 Taylor Wynne, ’15, ’16 Linda Yarlagadda, ’94 Ryan Yarlagadda, ’95, ’00 Anna Zander*


Four OSU Alumni Association Chapters raise money for local scholarships Compiled By Will Carr


Pistol Pete steps on stage at the Redneck Country Club in Houston, a new venue for this year’s Houston Brighter Orange Gala. The event raised money for a scholarship fund for OSU students from the Houston area.

Guests at this year’s Houston Brighter Orange Gala were all smiles as they were treated to a night full of food, auctions and an appearance by OSU President Burns Hargis.




Join an Oklahoma State University Alumni Association Chapter near you to celebrate OSU and connect with Cowboys. For the most current events listing, visit ORANGECONNECTION.org/chapters. May 10 Shop Orange With Silver Accents OKC Metro Chapter Oklahoma City May 14 Cowboy Caravan Enid, Oklahoma May 17 Orange Power Happy Hour OKC Metro Chapter Oklahoma City

Orange Peel OKC included performances by Cody Canada, Mike McClure and comedian Spencer Hicks, as well as a live auction that offered this painting. All of the proceeds went to a scholarship fund for OSU students from the Oklahoma City metro area.

May 18 OSUAA Member Appreciation Tailgate OSU vs Texas Tech Baseball Game Stillwater May 19 Houston Chapter Golf Tournament Houston Chapter Wildcat Golf Club — Lakes Course June 5 Cowboy Caravan McAlester, Oklahoma June 9 Kansas City Chapter Golf Tournament Kansas City Chapter June 9 Summer Picnic & Senior Sendoff Kansas City Chapter June 19 Cowboy Caravan Ponca City, Oklahoma July 19 Cowboy Caravan Springdale, Arkansas July 21 OSU Night at the Texas Rangers Baseball Game North Texas Chapter Arlington, Texas July 23 Pistol Pete Charity Golf Classic Orange County Chapter Tustin, California

Pistol Pete poses with guests at Orange Peel OKC, which included local K-12 teachers who were offered free tickets to thank them for all that they do.

July 24 Cowboy Caravan Woodward, Oklahoma July 27 OSU Night at the Astros Houston Chapter August 2 Cowboy Caravan Altus, Oklahoma August 6 Cowboy Caravan Tulsa, Oklahoma August 14 Cowboy Caravan Oklahoma City



Pistol Pete was on hand with some of the OSU alumni and friends for a night full of music and laughter as funds were raised for scholarships for OSU students from the Tulsa area.

Orange Peel Tulsa at the Historic Cain’s Ballroom included performances by the Great Divide, Red Dirt Rangers and the Chance Anderson Band to the delight of nearly 600 attendees.


Sixteen of the Brighter Orange of North Texas planning committee members enjoy the party they worked hard on for over six months.

This group of alumni shared one of 32 tables of attendees at the Dallas Country Club where over 300 alumni and friends gathered to reconnect and raise $180,000 for scholarships for OSU students from the North Texas area.




Justin Landers



ustin Landers was born and bred to be an Oklahoma State University Cowboy. Growing up in Altus, Oklahoma, Landers played football and participated in the National FFA Organization, and his heart was set on attending OSU. “I was always an OSU fan growing up,” says Landers, now the president and social chair of the Jackson/Harmon Counties OSU Alumni Chapter. “I was raised to be a fan.” Landers’ upbringing in southwest Oklahoma and the influences of family and friends led him to pursue a degree in animal science at OSU. He lived and worked on a purebred ranch as a student and spent time helping out at the beef barn for the university. Landers assisted with overseeing a 300-head cow-calf operation and was actively involved in breeding cows. Outside of working, Landers enjoyed watching Cowboy football. One of Landers’ favorite memories from OSU was walking across the stage at graduation in 1997 when he obtained his bachelor’s degree in animal science. After graduating, Landers returned home to continue working on a cow-calf operation at Bar-S Food Company, where he still works today. But his love for OSU didn’t stop. “I’m really passionate about Oklahoma State, so I felt as a graduate, it was my duty to become an Alumni Association member,” he says. “Over the years, it grew into a lifetime membership, and then I started serving as a chapter officer.” Landers says his favorite chapter event has been the annual Cowboy Caravan. The most recent caravan hosted more than 600 people for its signature ribeye steak meal. Eleven OSU students received scholarships from the chapter at the event.

“I’m really passionate about Oklahoma State, so I felt as a graduate, it was my duty to become an Alumni Association member.” — Justin Landers


“It’s extremely rewarding to be able to give out scholarships to help out students,” he says. Landers says he enjoys being a chapter leader, citing the ease of networking with other alumni in the area. The importance of building relationships is one of the many things he learned at OSU. “Nearly all of the friends I have today who I really value are ones I made in Stillwater,” Landers says. Being an OSU Cowboy means sharing in the passion and love everyone has for the university. “We’re a family, whether you’re a past student, current student or future student,” he says. “And we have the most beautiful campus, as far as I’m concerned.” Pistol Pete visits with Justin and Jamie Landers at an ice cream social for scholarship recipients. JACKSON/HARMON COUNTIES OSU ALUMNI CHAPTER BY THE NUMBERS 672 alumni and friends 126 members 70 current OSU students from chapter area 165 miles from Stillwater




hen Michael and Velda Lorenz were ready to sail the Panama Canal, the only phone call they made to plan the trip was to the OSU Alumni Association. Now in its third year, the Traveling Cowboys program continues to grow, with more than 20 trips planned in 2018 alone. The program provides unique packages that take travelers to exotic destinations around the world with fellow OSU alumni and friends along with alumni from other universities.

“One great thing about going with the Traveling Cowboys is … there are a lot of nice amenities that come with that.” — Michael Lorenz

OSU alumni are Cartagena, Colombia, was one discovering of the many stops on the once-in-a-lifetime cruise through the Panama experiences with Canal. the Traveling Cowboys

Traveling Cowboys, from left, Michael Lorenz, Velda Lorenz, Sue Coberly and Andrea Walker pose with the OSU flag as they cross the Continental Divide in the Panama Canal.



“One great thing about going with the Traveling Cowboys is when the Alumni Association and a travel agency put a trip together, there are a lot of nice amenities that come with that,” says Michael Lorenz, a former dean of the OSU Center of Veterinary Health Sciences. “There are great shore excursions and the possibility of extra nights before or after the trips.” The Panama Enchantment trip the Lorenzes chose sailed from Los Angeles to Miami through the Panama Canal and across the Continental Divide. Like many Traveling Cowboys trips, a reception for OSU alumni and friends on board was held one night of the cruise, which offered everyone a great opportunity to make friends. Lorenz says he has spent time at other universities throughout his career, and going on a trip with other alumni offered him a unique opportunity to reconnect with old friends. “We ran into friends we knew from the University of Georgia when I had been on faculty there, and we ran into people I knew from Iowa State who were also on board,” Lorenz says. “The entire experience was a lot of fun.” Another highlight of the trip for the OSU alumni was showing their orange pride in front of the ship. An OSU flag was flown on the mast of the cruise liner for a portion of the trip. The OSU group also held the flag for a memorable photo as they sailed across the Continental Divide. The 2018 travel season is full of great trips set up by the OSU Alumni Association. Highlights include a Danube river cruise, a trip to explore the Italian lakes, a young alumni trip to Austria and more. Trips for 2019 are already being planned and will be featured online and in the fall issue of STATE magazine. Many packages are all-inclusive and include flights to and from the destination for the easiest booking experience. Begin your planning for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the Traveling Cowboys at ORANGECONNECTION.org/travel.

’50s Howard K. Wohlfath, ’52 forestry, retired after 44 years in the Army and is living in assisted living. Walter Hackney, ’59 animal science livestock operation, and his wife Sue have been married for 57 years. He owns Hackney Cattle Company.

’60s Mary Fern Vanpool Souder, ’61 home economics education and ’63 master’s degree in clothing, textiles and merchandising, earned a doctorate in home economics at Iowa State University in 1967. She received a fellowship for full-time study from the General Foods Foundation at ISU, and she says her experiences at OSU played a major role in receiving the award. Her career was spent in the field of education teaching at Berryhill High School near Tulsa, OSU, ISU and Oklahoma Wesleyan University. She attended the University of Tulsa and earned certifications in school administration and counseling, along with completing 20 years of service with the Bartlesville Public Schools. In 2011, her family moved to Overland Park, Kansas, and she joined the Kansas City Chapter of the OSU Alumni Association, where at the very first picnic she met a woman who has become one of her best friends. Ann Cain, ’63 human development and family science, is a retired teacher enjoying spending time with her sons Matthew Cain, ’91 marketing, Bryan Cain, ‘96 agricultural economics, and their families. She has six grandchildren, ages 5-18. Marleen Harris, ’65 elementary education, is a retired teacher and stays busy attending events for all eight grandchildren. Her oldest granddaughter, Jerika Herbert, ’17 elementary education, graduated with honors. Captain George Lowrance Hodge, ’65 master’s degree in industrial engineering, celebrated his 61st wedding anniversary on August 23.

Jack B. ReVelle, ’65 master’s degree and ’70 doctorate in industrial engineering, authored the cover article, Forward Progress, for the American Society of Quality’s 50th anniversary issue of Quality Progress journal in November 2017. He was honored by the ASQ Orange Empire Section 0701 in California as its first-ever ‘Quality Guru’ in December 2017. Michael DeBerry, ’66 agricultural economics, is a judge for Oklahoma’s 17th Judicial District. His wife, Linda DeBerry, ’66 elementary education, has been a public school librarian for over 32 years. Jerry Zhal, ’66 agricultural economics, is proud to announce his son, Andy Zhal, will graduate from OSU this spring with a degree in international agribusiness and Spanish. Emmett Carter, ’67 accounting, and his wife Linda Mittelstet Carter, ’70 master’s in family relations and child development, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December 2017. Emmett worked in farming, public accounting and insurance company management before retiring in July 2015. Linda taught school for 30 years before retiring in 2005. They have four grandchildren; the two oldest have attended Grandparent University, and the two youngest are anxiously awaiting their turn. Leon Minton, ’68 electrical engineering, retired as an IT professional in 2007. He is now an avid runner, volunteers for Parker Paws Animal Rescue (including as vice president for a time) and continues to provide IT support.

Charles Perella, ’68 architectural engineering, saw all 13 of his grandchildren wear the OSU hoodies they were given for Christmas. Virginia Vanpool Knapp, ’69 elementary education, is retired from her private practice in mental health counseling. She earned a master’s degree in community counseling from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She and her husband, James Knapp, ’69 animal science and agriculture education, own and operate Knapp Farms Inc. near Ord, Nebraska.

’70s Eddie Feddersen, ’70 physical education and health, and his wife Connie Feddersen, ’70 physical education and health, welcomed a new granddaughter, Kahri Feddersen, on December 1, 2017. Eddie is retired but continues ranching. Connie retired two years ago after her 100th book was published.

Patricia Park Neuwirth, ’70 business administration, retired from owning five Burger Kings and went to work as the executive director of the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra. She also returned to the Lawton Board of Education. She has three legacy grandchildren — Greyson, 6, Addison, 4, and Patton, 2 – being raised by daughter Merideth Neuwirth Erickson, ’00, economics, and her husband, Kris, of Frisco, Texas. Thomas Claytor, ’71 physics, won the Giuliano Preparata med a l f rom the International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science committee in Asti, Italy. He retired from the Los

Alamos National Lab after working 26 years there and nine years at the Argonne National Laboratory. He worked on issues related to reactor safety, instrumentation and nuclear safeguards. He and his wife, Debrah, have been married for 48 years. They have two children, Christine, 47, and Kevin, 31, and three grandchildren. Barbara J. Pfenning, ’72 education, is retired and living in Chickasha, Oklahoma. She serves on the Grady County Fair Board, Grady County OSU Alumni Chapter Board and the Epworth United Methodist Church Trustees. Dee Dossett Thompson, ’72 home economics education and consumer sciences, is a retired senior contract analyst from the Williams Companies in Tulsa. Her daughter, Jennifer, lives in Owasso with her husband, Matt, and children, Luke, Madi and Cole. Dee is enjoying her retirement and says her dogs love having her at home with them. Betsy Aldridge, ’74 humanities, is retiring from PACCAR Technical Library after over 23 years there. She also worked in various public, academic and special libraries, including a contract librarian for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, library director for Oklahoma Baptist University, and tenured assistant professor for East Central Oklahoma State University. She served the Special Libraries Association as treasurer for the Transportation Division, chair of the Materials and Manufacturing Division and facilitated programs. She received her master’s degree in library science from the University of Illinois and doctoral degree from Texas Woman’s University. She is looking forward to having more time to focus on raising her grandson who is 6 years old, getting more exercise, taking classes and reading just for fun. Denise Kathleen Pfeiff, ‘76 secondary education, has been teaching high school mathematics for 42 years. Her son, Brian Pfeiff, ’09 biosystems engineering, and his wife Heather Pfieff, ’10 art, have two sons and a baby girl. Steve Rader, ’76 agriculture, and his children are all OSU graduates living in Canadian, Texas. Justin Rader, ’07 plant and soil science, is a rancher, Haley Rader Ward, ’09 animal science, is an attorney, and Sarah Rader, ’13 accounting, is working as a CPA.


Letha Cardle, ’77 master’s degree in history, is retired from the middle school in Bristow, Oklahoma, and won the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 from the Bristow Chamber of Commerce. Michael Harper, ’77 master’s of business administration, retired in 2017 after 28 years in chemical sales. David Nicholson, ’78 industrial engineering and management, is president and CEO of Girard’s Fine Foods, a division of HACO International. Dave is married to Jessica Wilkirson Nicholson. They have two children: Ian Nicholson, ’07 history, and Hallie Nicholson, ’07 journalism and broadcasting.

’80s Lisa Reed Pockrus, ’83 geology, is married to Alexander Pockrus. They live in Layton, Utah, and have three grown sons. S t a c e y R e e d J a m e s , ’85 accounting, is married to Barney James, ’84 accounting, and they live in Tulsa. Their daughter Meredith is a freshman at OSU and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Their son Tim is a sophomore in high school.

Alison Anthony ’87 and ’90 master’s degree in English, is the chief operating officer of the Tulsa Area United Way after serving as president of the Williams Foundation and director of strategic outreach at Williams. Previously, she has served in various leadership roles at Williams including director of community relations and diversity, director of employee relations and senior organizational effectiveness consultant. She has completed several leadership training courses including the Harvard Talent Pipeline Development Program and senior human resources professional certification from the Society of Human Resources Management. Anthony has served on the board of directors for numerous organizations in the Tulsa area including the Tulsa Community Foundation, Community Action Project, Community Service Council, Teach for America, Impact Tulsa, Leadership Oklahoma, Tulsa Ballet and the Oklahoma Ar ts Institute.

Shannon Thompson, ’94 recreation management and ’97 master’s degree in business administration, played football for the Cowboys from 1990-93. He and his wife, Erin, help host a tailgate with friends outside Boone Pickens Stadium during home football games and love attending as many OSU sporting events as possible. His business partner is OSU alumnus Todd Fimple, ’93 leisure service management. Fimple is a 4th generation Cowboy. Thompson and Fimple met as freshmen at OSU and turned their close friendship into a business venture opening Oklahoma Promo, a screen printing, embroidery and promotional product business based in the Tulsa area. They have more than 40 years of combined experiences in sales and marketing with 14 years in advertising and promotional products. Both Thompson and Fimple serve on the OSU Alumni Association chapter board for the Tulsa area.

Silvanus J. Udoka, ’89 doctorate in industrial engineering, has been selected as dean of the Clark Atlanta University’s School of Business Administration, effective June 1. He is a professor and chair of the Department of Management and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina A&T University.

Christopher Hill, ’96 master’s degree in speech communication, married Amy Blow on September 16, 2017, at the Fir st Uni ted Methodist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Family, friends and their five children, Bailey Hill, 8, Evie Blow, 8, Maddy Blow, 10, Jay Hill, 10, and Hannah Blow, 13, were in attendance.

’90s Lee Ann Hawkins Harper, ’86 journalism, is writing a memoir that includes a blog compiled by her late husband, Terrence Harper, ’86 political science. The story covers the last two years of Terry’s life and his fight with brain cancer. Terry died in 2009. Their sons are Dale, 26, who lives in Atlanta, and Jace, 22, who lives in Ohio. Lee Ann has remarried and lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Christopher Shearer, ’92 doctorate in osteopathic medicine, will be leading the Oklahoma Osteopathic Board beginning April 28, 2018 in Tulsa. He is a lifelong Cowboy and a physician practicing for 23 years in Enid, Oklahoma. Both of his children graduated from OSU: Alex Shearer, ’16 political science, and Alyssa Shearer, ’17 child and family development.

Clint Crane, ’96 master’s degree in accounting, has been named a partner at Whitley Penn, where he is a tax senior manager in Dallas.

Marcus A. P r o p p s , ’98 finance, was promoted to assistant vice president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. He previously served as operations officer. Charyse Ann Maher, ’99 agricultural economics, was awarded the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants’ 2017 Trailblazer Award.

Keep us posted! OSU Alumni Association members may submit information to be published in STATE Magazine. Send news to Class Notes, 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 74078. Information can also be mailed to info@orangeconnection.org or submitted online at ORANGECONNECTION.org/classnotesubmit.



’00s Steven Dusek, ’00 animal science, has been employed as a farm loan specialist at United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency for 16 years. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with family and going to OSU football games. He has two grandsons, Kasen and Kane. Nicholas Austin Savage, ’00 biological sciences, married Autumn Strutton, ’08 art, on September 16, 2017. Eunice Tarver, ’00 psychology, was named Tulsa Community College Northeast Campus provost and will oversee the academic and daily operations there. She had been interim provost there and will continue to serve in a dual role as assistant vice president for diversity and inclusion. She is enrolled in Oklahoma State University’s social foundations of education doctoral program. Brandi Herndon, ’03 agricultural business, is a director of agribusiness for Expo Square in Tulsa. She was honored by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry and OSU as one of the Significant Women in Oklahoma Agriculture. Ryan Teubner, ’03 journalism and broadcasting, won N a t i o n a l Yo u n g Agent of the Year at the 2017 Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America’s National Fall Leadership Conference in September 2017. He works at Rich & Cartmill. Kent Ward, ’04 general business, married Dr. Asma Saleem in 2017 in Toronto. They now reside in Oklahoma City. Donna Robison, ’06 master’s degree in teaching learning and leadership, and husband Mike Robison, ’76 agricultural education, welcomed grandchild Sloan Robison on September 15, 2017. Sloan is already tailgating, and her parents are Toby Robison,

Alumni serving in D.C.

’08 marketing, and Sara Robison, ’13 nurse science. Her uncle is Jared R o b i s o n , ’03 ag r i cu l tu ra l communications. Derek Hines, ’07 finance, is an LPL financial adviser with Gaddis & G ad d i s We a l th management. He was recently named a minority interest partner with the firm, the first in the 22-year history of the Ada, Oklahomabased firm.

Gregory Slavonic


etired Rear Admiral Gregory Slavonic, ’71 journalism and broadcasting, was nominated to be the next assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs. Slavonic is a native Oklahoman and chief of staff for U.S. Senator James Lankford. Before that, he was a senior leader at the Computer Sciences Corporation, where he planned and executed several national Navy community outreach engagements. He also has been executive director of the Jim Thorpe Association and president of Flagbridge Strategic Communications, a consulting company focused on strategic communications and leadership. Slavonic retired from the Navy after a 34-year career, which started with his enlistment as a seaman recruit. Everett Eissenstat, ’85 political science and Spanish, is the current deputy director of the National Economic Council and deputy assistant to the president for international economic affairs in the senior administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. Prior to his appointment, he served as chief international trade counsel for the Senate Committee on Finance. He has

John Tahsuda III

Lance Allen Robertson

also served as assistant U.S. trade representative for the Western Hemisphere. United States Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke appointed John Tahsuda III, ’90 business administration, as the principal deputy assistant secretary – Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Tahsuda is serving as the first assistant and principal adviser to the assistant secretary – Indian Affairs in the development and interpretation of policies affecting Indian Affairs bureaus, offices and programs. Prior to joining the department, Tahsuda led the tribal affairs practice for Washington, D.C.-based Navigators Global LLC. Before joining the company, Tahsuda served on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs since 2002, first as senior counsel and later as staff director with responsibilities for federal policy and legislation affecting gaming, federal recognition, self-governance and health care. Tahsuda earned a juris doctorate from Cornell Law School in 1993. The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nomination of Lance Allen Robertson for U.S. assistant secretary and administrator for the Administration on Community

Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. After serving in the U.S. Army, Robertson earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from OSU in 1993 and a master’s degree with honors in public administration from the University of Central Oklahoma. Robertson has been Oklahoma Department of Human Services’ director of Aging Services for the past decade, overseeing a range of programs that included the Older Americans Act and the state’s Home & Community Based Services Medicaid Waiver (ADvantage). He was also an administrator for 12 years in the OSU College of Human Sciences, where he co-founded and served as assistant director of the OSU Gerontology Institute and as director of the college’s University Extension. During this time, Robertson was also executive director of PartnerShips for Aging, the largest regional gerontology association in the nation. In 2013, the College of Human Sciences named Robertson an honorary alumnus to honor his partnership with its gerontology program.

Clinton James, ’07 agricultural economics, was selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for criminal defense. This peer-nominated and selective award is given to lawyers who have displayed the highest levels of competency and skill. Larry Shawn Bassham, ’09 doctorate in higher education, is starting his own company, Sandalwood Fine Furnishings, in Orange County, California. He will be specializing in custom high-end Ming & Qing dynasty style furniture. Clayton W. Cotton, ’09 accounting and economics, serves as inside counsel for Echo Energy. He recently completed the Oklahoma Bar Association Leadership Academy. Clayton married Emee Leduc Cotton, on June 18, 2016. They are expecting their first child in March 2018. They also have rescued a bulldog named Bella.

Tyler Nelson, ’09 management and information systems, and Kerry Nelson, ’09 economics, reside in the San Francisco Bay area. They welcomed a daughter, Catherine Elizabeth Nelson, on September 1, 2017. She is a potential fourth-generation Cowgirl.


Cowboys at the Winter Olympics Former OSU cheerleader judges men’s figure skating event


orrie Reed Parker, ’80 physical education/health, has been involved in figure skating since she was a baby. Her mother, Margaret Anne Graham Holt, competed in the World Championships in the pairs event with her brother Hugh Graham Jr. and the women’s event during the 1950s. As soon as Parker could walk, her mother got her on ice, and she skated in the Tulsa Figure Skating Club’s Ice Travaganza annual show before she was 2 years old. It was a family sport with sisters Lisa Reed Pockrus, ’83 geology, and Stacey Reed James, ’85 accounting, skating, too. All three became members of Kappa Alpha Theta at OSU. “When I headed off to college, I no longer trained to compete,” Parker says. “The Tulsa Figure Skating Club invited me to come back and skate in the Ice Travaganza in February of my freshman year. Following my sophomore year, I went to Denver and trained most of the summer. I tested and passed my gold figure and freestyle tests — becoming a double gold medalist had always been a goal of mine!” Parker is currently on the U.S. Figure Skating Association board of directors as the group coordinator for athlete services. Prior to this position, she served as the chair of the International Committee and chair of the Selections Committee. This is her second time to participate in the Olympics. She served as team manager and technical adviser for the singles and pairs events at

Lorrie Parker enjoyed visiting PyeongChang, South Korea, representing the U.S. Figure Skating Association.

Lorrie Parker has participated in two Winter Olympics.



the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, where she lived in the Olympic Village and marched in the opening and closing ceremonies. At the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, she served as a judge for the men’s team event, judging both the short and long freestyle programs. She also served as a judge for men’s freestyle skating (long program). Besides judging, she attended the opening ceremonies and all of the figure skating events. Parker says she enjoyed watching other events such as men’s slopestyle skiing, speed skating, short track and curling. When she toured the Olympic village, she ate in the dining hall with athletes from all over the world including a table with a group from North Korea. “Watching the parade of athletes and seeing Yuna Kim, 2010 Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medalist, light the cauldron were inspiring moments,” she says. “It was also very special for me that my family came for a few days.” Lorrie is married to Paul L. Parker, ’78 agricultural economics. They raised their two children in Overland Park, Kansas, and now live in Morristown, New Jersey, where Paul works for Zoetis Animal Health.

Megan Lee, ’09 nutritional sciences, and Eric Lee, ’10 biochemistry and molecular biology, welcomed Keira Jane Lee on August 29, 2017.

Social media strategist connects fans Hannah Miller, ’15 strategic communications and sports media, leads the development, implementation, creative vision and growth of Team USA’s social media strategy. During the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, she managed the social media content and efforts for the @TeamUSA social media properties, reaching over 9 million fans. The social strategy focused on telling athletes’ stories, highlighting and celebrating athletes’ achievements, and connecting fans to the Olympic movement through entertaining content and direct fan engagement. The Team USA social media team consisted of seven staff members during the Games, including six team members based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at its Digital Command Center and one staff member on the ground in PyeongChang, South Korea. Miller managed the digital efforts from Colorado Springs, where more than 2,500 social posts were published, garnering 220,000 new social media followers, and driving 12.4 million website views and 15 million video views. She went to South Korea to cover the 2018 Paralympic Games.

’10s Seth Owens, ’13 business administration, has joined Balcom Agency as a digital insights director.

Stacey Stevens, ’15 marketing, is the on-premise representative for E&J Gallo Winer y in Tulsa.

Charlie Gibson, ’16 economics, has been promoted from account specialist, contracts and customer service, marketing services to regional sales representative, general aviation, U.S. sales at Phillips 66. Eric Blake McGowen, ’14 and ’16 master’s degree in plant and soil sciences, married Mary McGowen, in 2014. Mary works at the OSU Foundation.

In Memoriam  ALUMNI

Hannah Miller managed social media strategy for Team USA during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Elizabeth Rising Diehl, ’49 art, died October 24, 2017, in Tulsa. She was 88. She was a member of Kappa Delta sorority and was selected as a yearbook beauty. In 1948, she married Thomas Wright Diehl of Stillwater. After graduation, the couple moved to Tulsa. Mrs. Diehl worked as a style coordinator for Brown Dunkin until her first child was born. Always an artist and art lover, she was a docent at Gilcrease Museum and took painting classes as often as possible. While in college, Doel Reed was one of her art instructors, and she supported the Doel Reed Center for the Arts in Taos, New Mexico. She is survived by her husband, Tom, and their children, Carol (Diehl) Holt, Daniel Diehl and Jane Specketer, as

well as three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Earle William “Bill” Stanley, ’50 general business, died October 30, 2017, at Good Samaritan Society’s senior living facility in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. He was 89. In college, he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, ROTC and the varsity track team. He met Sheila Alexander in Stillwater and they married on October 21, 1950, at Tulsa’s First Presbyterian Church. Following two years in the Air Force, Mr. Stanley enjoyed a successful career in the meatpacking business with Ark City Rendering Company, which was founded by his father; John Morrell & Company; and Beatrice Foods. During their retirement, the couple loved to golf, travel and play bridge and were active in Kirk of the Pines Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs. Mr. Stanley is survived by his wife, Sheila, and their four children: Thomas K. Stanley and his wife, Beverly; William D. Stanley; Alexa Robinson and her husband, Porter; and Jeri Doane and her husband, Larry. He is also survived by six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Donald M. Gafford, ’59 aeronautical engineering, was born on July 16, 1935, in Haworth, Oklahoma. He passed away December 30, 2017 in San Jose, California. At OSU, he was a member of ROTC and commissioned as an officer in the United States Army upon graduation. After spending three years on active duty military service, he earned a master’s degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado and began a career in the nation’s space program working at TRW’s Defense and Space Systems Group in Houston. Gafford earned many commendations working on a number of NASA programs. He was honored with the highest recognition given to an American civilian — the Presidential Medal of Freedom — as a result of saving the imperiled mission of Apollo 13 and bringing its astronauts safely back to earth in 1970. Gafford moved to California, where he continued to work in the space program and eventually retired in 1996 after founding the Sunnyvale division of Ultrasystems Inc. He and his wife Sondra lived in San Jose and enjoyed spending time with family and friends at their cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains. He is survived by his wife Sondra, daughter Robyn, son Patrick, five granddaughters and two stepdaughters, Kelly and Holly.


Bill “Cotton” Dunn, ’61 accounting, a PGA golf professional, died October 7 in Plano, Texas, after a long battle with congestive heart failure. As a boy, he worked as a caddy and learned the game of golf; by his teen years, he was a member of the three-time state championship high school golf team in Duncan, Oklahoma. In 1955 at 17, he was both the Oklahoma Junior and United States Golf Association Junior National Champion. That same year, he competed on the U.S. Junior Team that defeated the British in a Ryder Cup-format match. As the first person in his family to go to college, Cotton started at the University of Houston before transferring to Oklahoma State University, where he became an NCAA All American and graduated with an accounting degree in 1961. He married his college sweetheart, Jerry Ann Lewis, and they recently celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary. After working two years for Texaco Oil Co. as a junior accountant, he chose professional golf as his true career path. Mr. Dunn competed on the PGA Tour, was a teaching and playing professional at the Apawamis Club in Rye, New York, and enjoyed 13 years as the director of golf and head professional at Kernwood Country Club in Salem, Massachusetts, before serving as the head professional at the Hamlet Country Club in Delray Beach, Florida. Mr. Dunn then spent 25 years as director of golf and head professional at the Prestonwood Country Club in Dallas. He is survived by his wife, Jerry Ann; two daughters, Sonya Hodson (Jim) and Marianne Hailey; four grandchildren, Hayley and Jonathan Hodson and Holt and Ben Calder; two sisters, Joanne Gallup and Mary Daggs; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. William Cecil Brown, ’62 zoology, ’73 master’s degree in business administration, ’75 master’s degree in natural and applied sciences, died November 22, 2017. He was 77 and married to Sharon (Payne) Brown for 56 years. He was a second lieutenant in the Army from 1962-1983 and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ser vice Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal-4 Bronze Star, Republic of Vietnam Commendation, Vietnamese Cross



of Gallantry W Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal. Upon military retirement, Mr. Brown went into accounting. The couple retired in 2000 and returned to Stillwater. He served as the business manager at Elite Repeat and manager of the storehouse at First United Methodist Church, a member of the OSU Emeriti Association, OSU Alumni Association and Methodist Men. He was also an Eagle Scout and served as a district officer for the Exchange Club. Mr. Brown is survived by his wife, Sharon; daughters, Dana Mallett (Don), and Tammi Pitts (Robert); son, Danny Brown; three grandchildren; two great-grandsons, sister, Bobbye Amos (L.B.) and Patricia Sharp (Jim); brother, Richard Brown; sister-in-law, Sandy Winfrey (Gary); brothers-in-law Mike Payne and Pat Payne (Judy), and many nieces and nephews. David Wagner, ’64 industrial engineering and management, lost his long struggle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on January 10, 2018. He was 76. After obtaining his degree, he moved to Rochester, New York, to begin his career at Kodak. He continued at Johnson & Johnson in Sherman, Texas, in 1966 and Spartan Healthcare in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in 1972. He eventually moved to El Paso, Texas in 1979 to work at Convertors, where he became director of technical services. At his retirement in 2005, he received an award recognizing his lifetime achievements with the company. Along the way, he met and married the love of his life, Alice Jeanne Adkins. In 2011, they moved to Austin, Texas, to be closer to family. He is survived by a large and loving family, including his wife, Jeanne; four children and their spouses; nine grandchildren; and his sister, Judy, and brother-in-law, Jack, and two nieces.

In Memoriam  F A C U LT Y Peter M. Moretti died of cancer on July 8, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas. He was born in Zurich, Switzerland on April 13, 1935. His family moved to Santa Barbara, California, when he was 14. He graduated from the California Institute of Technology with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and was a Fulbright Scholar in Darmstadt, Germany, after graduation. He earned his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. After working in Germany and Pennsylvania for several years, Moretti became a professor of mechanical engineering at Oklahoma State University from 1970 until his retirement in 2006. He also served as chairman of the Faculty Council at OSU. He served as an assistant scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts and in many volunteer roles at First Christian Church in Stillwater and Ridglea Christian Church in Fort Worth. He enjoyed singing in barbershop quartets and cars, building a roadster when he retired at 71. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Johanna Tate Moretti, and five children, eight grandchildren, one great-grandson and 14 nieces and nephews. Robert Thomas Radford died January 26, 2018. He wa s 85. Af ter receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Baylor University, he began teaching at an elementary school in Indiana. From there, he taught at Caney Junior College in Kentucky before pursuing a doctoral degree in philosophy. Radford spent the rest of his career as a member of the philosophy department at Oklahoma State University. He was preceded in death by Nevalee Jones Radford, his wife of 42 years, and his daughter, Patricia Radford. Dr. Radford is survived by his companion, Janice Murray; son, Robert G. Adams; and daughter, Louise Payne. Other survivors include cousins, grandchildren and many friends.

Evan Alva Tonsing, a retired OSU music professor, passed away on June 6, 2017, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was born June 21, 1939, in Valley Falls, Kansas. Tonsing was raised in Topeka, Kansas, and attended Kansas University where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cello performance. He began his career as a professor at Amarillo College in Texas, where he conducted the orchestra and taught cello and music theory and composition. He came to OSU to teach cello, string base and music theory and composition. An accomplished composer, Tonsing created more than 400 pieces for combinations of instruments and voices. While at OSU, some of his compositions were used for a short film, Felice. The film won the 1972 Oklahoma State University Film Festival Award. Tonsing composed music for many other award-winning films in his career and was considered a pioneer in the use of synthesizers. His most well-known composition was brought about by a home robbery in which his house was stripped of its furnishings, leaving only the grand piano and a small, toy piano. He wrote a concerto for piano and toy piano which he performed often. Tonsing received the Distinguished Service Award for Programming for the National Public Radio series of programs on world music called, What in the world, from KOSU-FM in Stillwater. Tonsing was interested in exotic instruments and early recordings of music from various Native American tribes. He was present during the 1998 homecoming of the Pawnee Nation in Pawnee, Oklahoma, where it was revealed to him that much of the music and teachings of the early members of the Pawnee tribe had been lost. Finding only a few native Pawnee speakers were alive, he made recordings of them to preserve the language. Tonsing also provided copies of early recordings of music made between 1890 through the 1930s that he had been collecting to any tribe member who wanted one. Through Tonsing’s efforts, a great Native American cultural heritage has been preserved.

Left, Amy Castor, and her husband Val chase storms in a custom truck.

Storming Ahead Stillwater couple help provide early storm warnings


uring storm season in Oklahoma, residents keep their eyes on the skies. So do meteorologists and storm chasers — especially those working for television stations like Oklahoma City’s News 9 (KWTV). While Val Castor has been chasing storms for Channel 9 for 25 years, his wife Amy is getting more attention lately. Amy Castor majored in electrical engineering technology with a minor in computer science at Oklahoma State University. She met her husband when he was already chasing storms for KWTV. Since the pair teamed up, they have reported on and filmed more than 300 tornadoes. Val drives and broadcasts while Amy navigates and runs the camera. “I’ve been Val’s storm-chasing partner since the spring chase season of 1998, but in recent years, I think News 9 recognized that using Val and me as a public duo not only captures the essence of a husband-and-wife team, but also promotes the value of family within the Griffin Communications Company,” Amy tells STATE magazine. “Highlighting us as a team publicly has not only broadened our fan base, but helps us further our goal in being a positive influence to the younger generation,” she continues. “We are not only passionate about serving Oklahomans with life-saving weather information, but count it a great blessing to use our influence to give God glory and honor.” Over the July 4th weekend, CBS Sunday Morning aired a cover story on the storm-chasing couple, covering everything

from their experience in the field (“It can get pretty intense,” Amy tells the CBS audience) to their family with six children and devout faith. She homeschools the children. Amy doesn’t deny the dangers inherent in their work, agreeing that she sometimes thinks it may all be too much for their family. “But then I have to think again, you know, the greater purpose behind it is saving lives,” she adds. And when people come up to her or Val to tell them the broadcasts have saved their lives? “Quite humbling,” she calls the experience. “Being in the public eye is a privilege, and definitely not one I take lightly,” she explains further to STATE. “As a professional storm tracker, whether I am in the spotlight or not, I consider serving Oklahomans a ‘dream job.’ ” Amy and Val live in Stillwater, where their decked-out News 9 StormTracker truck can be a common (if a bit unsettling — eyes to the skies again, please) sight around town. And while they sound calm and make it look easy when they’re on the air … “There’s a lot of work involved to try and get this all put together,” Amy says. “Make a shot look great for the news and be mindful of what our purpose is. “It’s a really high-stress environment, especially when you have a tornado on the ground.”


Book Corner Aaron Hill, ’10 Greg Miller, ’15

The Circle Blueprint: Decoding the Conscious and Unconscious Factors that Determine Your Success is an enlightening book that explains how to reach your full potential in life. Co-authors Aaron Hill and Greg Miller earned their doctorates at Oklahoma State University. Hill is an associate professor in OSU’s Spears School of Business and earned his doctorate in strategic management in 2010. Miller is CEO of CrossCom and earned his doctorate in management in 2015. Jack Skeen co-wrote the new book with the OSU alumni. The Circle Blueprint is a personal guide to fulfillment. This book helps determine the root of why so many people are merely “surviving” when they could be “thriving.” Based on the authors’ proprietary, scientifically validated self-assessment, The Circle Blueprint shows how to evaluate the current size, quality, and balance of your unique circle. This book provides readers with a roadmap. The Circle Blueprint focuses on the inevitability of change and helps readers understand that they can dictate the course of these changes. Hill and Miller say any proceeds from book sales will be donated to charity, including scholarships at OSU. The Circle Blueprint: Decoding the Conscious and Unconscious Factors that Determine Your Success is available at major online distributors and Barnes and Noble.



Passages The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association has received notice that the following graduates died between October 16, 2017, and January 31, 2018. Their college graduation year(s) and last place of residence are listed in Passages. Families may send biographies for Class Notes In Memoriam to the OSU Alumni Association, STATE Magazine, 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 74078-7043. Ruth Gabriel, ’36, ’55, Nipomo, California Cleta Ortloff, ’38, ’65, Dallas, Texas Si Grider, ’40, Arthur City, Texas Elizabeth Billmeier, ’42, Westerly, Rhode Island Vanessa Easterday, ’42, Bethany, Oklahoma Harry Phariss, ’42, Indianapolis, Indiana Melba Sprague, ’42, Florence, South Carolina Charline White, ’42, ’68, Midland, Texas Ray Holman, ’43, ’50, Okemah, Oklahoma Mary Hron, ’43, Ponca City, Oklahoma Dorothea Miller, ’44, Hominy, Oklahoma Betty Morgan, ’45, Tulsa, Oklahoma Pat Murphy, ’45, ’46, Humble, Texas Lucretia Sherrer, ’45, ’50, Moore, Oklahoma Paul Laseman, ’46, ’54, Oklahoma City Carolyn Bates, ’47, Riverside, California Lyle Disch, ’47, Ramona, Oklahoma George Hanggi, ’47, ’50, Ponca City, Oklahoma Lucille Sparks, ’47, Chatham, New York Bill Taggart, ’47, ’58, ’64, Stillwater, Oklahoma Cleo Bass, ’48, ’75, Bixby, Oklahoma Cleo Bracket, ’48, Clinton Township, Michigan Patricia Miller, ’48, Okmulgee, Oklahoma John Baker Jr., ’49, Tulsa, Oklahoma Gerald Bradshaw, ’49, Stillwater, Oklahoma Stanford Cain, ’49, Hilmar, California Elizabeth Diehl, ’49, Tulsa, Oklahoma Duane Hogsett, ’49, ’62, ’72, Oklahoma City James Lemaster, ’49, Ardmore, Oklahoma Kathleen Osborn, ’49, Oklahoma City Eddie Raunikar, ’49, ’56, Muskogee, Oklahoma Nelda Tebow, ’49, ’60, ’67, Oklahoma City Helen Bobbitt, ’50, Bartlesville, Oklahoma Gene Brown, ’50, Village, Oklahoma William Ewing, ’50, ’57, Tulsa, Oklahoma Donald Fulton, ’50, Edmond, Oklahoma John Goddard, ’50, Oklahoma City

Wanda Groom, ’50, ’61, Muskogee, Oklahoma

Dale Cates, ’55, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Maurice Hackler, ’50, Norman, Oklahoma

Wallace Fawcett, ’55, Dallas, Texas

John Huskinson, ’50, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Jim Gigoux, ’55, ’57, Lone Tree, Colorado

Royce McDougal, ’50, Carrollton, Texas

Sally Merryman, ’55, Austin, Texas

Bobbie Sward, ’50, ’52, Lincoln, Nebraska

Jack Stephenson, ’55, ’57, Sulphur, Oklahoma

Gene Ware, ’50, Hominy, Oklahoma

Charles Dodson, ’56, ’62, ’80, Glenpool, Oklahoma

Owen Armbruster, ’51, Abilene, Texas

Joe Garner, ’56, ’57, Merrill, Wisconsin

Lloyd Crank, ’51, Newkirk, Oklahoma

Ronald Little, ’56, Sulphur, Oklahoma

Donald Crutchfield, ’51, Claremore, Oklahoma

Joe Neal, ’56, Coleman, Texas

Mary Easterling, ’51, Fort Cobb, Oklahoma

Kenneth Sallee, ’56, Troy, Kansas

James Farris, ’51, ’53, Noble, Oklahoma

Ulverd Alexander,’57, ’63, Vernon, Texas

Buster Ford, ’51, Wilburton, Oklahoma

Neil Godsey, ’57, Albuquerque, New Mexico

William Goudeket Jr., ’51, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Karl Ness, ’57, Oklahoma City

Harold Haynes, ’51, Oklahoma City

Dale Peier, ’57, ’63, Wichita, Kansas

Gene Hunck, ’51, ’55, ’84, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Marie Perry, ’57, Oklahoma City

Samuel Moore, ’51, ’90, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Alton Rivers, ’57, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Russell Owen, ’51, ’57, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Robert Scott, ’57, Hazelton, Idaho

George Parsons, ’51, San Diego, California

Donald Siler, ’57, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Grover Rains, ’51, Perkins, Oklahoma

Darrell Stinson, ’57, Ames, Oklahoma

Laura Swift, ’51, Tulsa, Oklahoma

David Taylor Jr., ’57, Waynesboro, Tennessee

Harry Vest, ’51, Houston, Texas

Ted Tucker, ’57, Wewoka, Oklahoma

Alice Willison, ’51, West Linn, Oregon

L.R. Womack, ’57, Olalla, Washington

Betty Chandler, ’52, Oklahoma City

Wilson Hood, ’58, ’67, Texarkana, Texas

Allan Clark, ’52, Oklahoma City

James McLauchlin III, ’58, Columbia, South Carolina

Della Dowell, ’52, Hunter, Oklahoma

John Peter, ’58, ’79, Christiansburg, Virginia

Jack Dreessen, ’52, ’87, Yukon, Oklahoma

Odus Rice, ’58, ’61, ’76, Edmond, Oklahoma

Ellis James, ’52, Banning, California

Ron Becker, ’59, Stillwater, Minnesota

Joseph Marak Sr., ’52, ’56, Woodward, Oklahoma

Bud Bronson Jr., ’59, Kissimmee, Florida

Walter Owsley, ’52, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Sylvia Florence, ’59, McLoud, Oklahoma

Charles Turrentine, ’52, Wichita, Kansas

Donald Gafford, ’59, Norman, Oklahoma

Harold Yoakum, ’52, ’80, Oklahoma City

Frank Gierhart, ’59, Benton, Arkansas

Robbie Burns, ’53, ’55, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Betsy Parker, ’59, ’92, Ketchum, Oklahoma

Robert Carver, ’53, ’57, Sun City West, Arizona

Mary Buffington, ’60, Medford, Oklahoma

Bruce Hannaford, ’53, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Ted Frizzell, ’60, San Antonio, Texas

Robert Hoffman Sr., ’53, Oklahoma City

Joel Gilbert, ’60, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Joe Holman, ’53, El Reno, Oklahoma

Marjorie Hill, ’60, Billings, Missouri

Deanne Holzberlein, ’53, ’59, ’71, Dow, Illinois

Melvin Moseley, ’60, Laverne, Oklahoma

Kermit Minton, ’53, ’57, ’58, Lindsay, Oklahoma

Gary Philbrick, ’60, Plano, Texas

Pat Moore, ’53, Ada, Oklahoma

Denis Kearney, ’61, Tallahassee, Florida

Donald Wright, ’53, Oklahoma City

Charles Montgomery Jr., ’61, ’63, Grove, Oklahoma

James Atkins, ’54, Guymon, Oklahoma

Harry Readnour, ’61, Conway, Arkansas

James Baker, ’54, ’62, ’71, Kingwood, Texas

Max Troub, ’61, Canyon, Texas

Connee Camp ,’54, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Norman Abell, ’62, Flagler Beach, Florida

Don Cougler, ’54, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Bill Brown, ’62, ’73, ’75, Cushing, Oklahoma

Robert Ramsey, ’54, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Bruce Collier, ’62, ’72, ’75, Austin, Texas

James Stanford, ’54, Plainview, Texas

Ellen Hodgden Thomson, ’62, Yukon, Oklahoma

Jerry Webster, ’54, Austin, Texas

Johanna Huggans, ’62, ’67, ’77, Buda, Texas

Richard Willham, ’54, ’55, ’60, Ames, Iowa

Delwyn Lemke, ’62, Midwest City, Oklahoma

Tom Blair, ’55, Sand Springs, Oklahoma

Bob Wright, ’62, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Joe Fassler, ’63, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Marlene Sheets, ’72, Independence, Kansas

Chip Howard II, ’89, Elmore City, Oklahoma

Robert Hill, ’63, Enid, Oklahoma

Robert Barbee, ’73, Edmond, Oklahoma

James Musick, ’91, Oklahoma City

Charles Lovett, ’63, Perryton, Texas

Daniel Dickinson, ’73, ’85, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Jeffrey Schminke, ’91, ’01, Oklahoma City

Sam Sheehan II, ’63, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Elizabeth Eckroat, ’73, ’78, Sherman, Texas

Janet Steyer, ’91, Okemah, Oklahoma

Harold Wright, ’63, Bristow, Oklahoma

Bill Holyfield, ’73, Edmond, Oklahoma

Mark Falk, ’92, Taberg, New York

Susan Buck, ’64, Missouri City, Texas

Mark Newman, ’73, Claremore, Oklahoma

Lisa Deason, ’94, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

S.A. Ewing, ’64, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Glenn Bayless, ’74, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Leah Wells, ’96, Newalla, Oklahoma

Ralph Gregory Jr., ’64, Eagle River, Alaska

Lane McFarland, ’74, ’90, ’95, Ada, Oklahoma

Gregory Steward, ’97, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Jerry Nichols, ’64, ’69, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Audora Milani, ’74, Arlington, Texas

Barbara Colclasure, ’01, Milton, Florida

Sally Spurgeon, ’64, Bellingham, Washington

Barbara Pass, ’74, ’75, ’84, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Michael Johnston Jr., ’01, ’04, Newcastle, Oklahoma

David Wagner, ’64, Austin, Texas

Dee Burchfield, ’75, Bayard, Nebraska

Cory Washburn, ’02, Alva, Oklahoma

John Wright Jr., ’64, Sand Springs, Oklahoma

Lelon Schoeling, ’75, Covington, Oklahoma

Courtney Carruth, ’03, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Larry Dillingham, ’65, ’77, Universal City, Texas

Jeletta Tungeln, ’75, Sandia, Texas

Brian Worthington, ’03, Rush Springs, Oklahoma

Lewis Foitek, ’65, Carrollton, Texas

Cynthia Garrison, ’76, Gore, Oklahoma

Gregory Miller, ’04, Dallas, Texas

Michael Knowles, ’65, Seminole, Oklahoma

Ernest Hodge, ’76, Cushing, Oklahoma

Clinton Cosgrove, ’07, ’09, Perry, Oklahoma

James Rocconi, ’65, Camden, Arkansas

Linda Walston, ’76, Redington Beach, Florida

Shelly Kerr, ’07, ’12, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Patricia Throckmorton, ’65, Delmar, Delaware

Lee Fowler, ’77, Guymon, Oklahoma

Allison Wadkins, ’09, Edmond, Oklahoma

John Wyhof, ’65, ’67, ’70, Sanford, North Carolina

Jill Glenn, ’77, ’86, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Jeffery Leach, ’10, Jenks, Oklahoma

Raymond Glass, ’66, Houston, Texas

Peggy Murphy, ’77, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Robert Byrd Jr., ’11, Oklahoma City

Sam Holman, ’66, Yukon, Oklahoma

Brad Truitt, ’78, Chickasha, Oklahoma

Kelsey Shelton, ’15, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Dee McBride, ’66, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Chlee Burleson, ’79, Houston, Texas

Friends of the OSU Alumni Association

Rebecca McKeown, ’66, ’76, Lawton, Oklahoma

Donald Keesee, ’79, Yukon, Oklahoma

Philip Neill, ’66, Seminole, Oklahoma

Denial Blankenship, ’80, Chickasha, Oklahoma

Curtis Brasfield, Edmond, Oklahoma

Linda Regnier, ’66, Carmel, Indiana

Robert Craun, ’80, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Jimmie Beal, ’67, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Regina McBride, ’80, Sand Springs, Oklahoma

Sandra Jones, ’67, Duncan, Oklahoma

Deborah Peters, ’80, Palmetto, Florida

James Legg, ’67, Tonkawa, Oklahoma

Kenneth Taylor, ’80, Elgin, Oklahoma

John Coale, ’68, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Roma Thomas, ’80, ’83, Wichita, Kansas

Audrey Eggers,’68, Morrison, Oklahoma

Ronald Treat, ’80, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Jimmy Archer, ’69, ’75, Oklahoma City

Albert Waller, ’80, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Michael Evans, ’69, ’73, Frederick, Oklahoma

Carole Anderson, ’81, ’83, Stillwater, Oklahoma

John Goodman, ’69, Baltimore, Maryland

Gary Armstrong, ’82, Sulphur, Oklahoma

Roy Speakes II, ’69, ’80, Moore, Oklahoma

Jacqueline Casler, ’82, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Allen Bates, ’70, Claremore, Oklahoma

Larry O’Hair, ’82, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Michael Boyd, ’70, Porter, Oklahoma

Darrell Pearman, ’82, ’88, Collinsville, Oklahoma

Jimmy Freeman, ’70, Sulphur, Oklahoma

Joe Stroemel, ’82, Parker, Colorado

Godfrey Loper Jr., ’70, Flagstaff, Arizona

James Coker, ’83, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Ruth Mock, ’70, Camas, Washington

Phillip Grant, ’83, Lawton, Oklahoma

Stephen Spleth, ’70, Medford, Oklahoma

Wesley Ingram, ’83, ’87, Claremore, Oklahoma

Ralph Walthall, ’70, Vail, Arizona

Jean Coburn, ’84, Muskogee, Oklahoma

Nita Giles, ’71, Oklahoma City

John Hall, ’84, Pryor, Oklahoma

Bob Henry III, ’71, Oklahoma City

Phil Padgett, ’84, ’88, Houston, Texas

Maxey Maxey, ’71, Central City, Nebraska

Russell Curtis, ’85, ’88, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Bob Richardson, ’71, ’82, Oklahoma City

Carl Jordan, ’85, Clarkridge, Arkansas

Kip Short, ’71, Carrollton, Texas

Kerby Baker, ’86, Glenpool, Oklahoma

Marcia Warden, ’71, Edna, Texas

David Hooks, ’86, ’90, Talala, Oklahoma

Howard Jarrell III, ’72, Edmond, Oklahoma

Tonette Morris, ’86, ’90, Owasso, Oklahoma

Janice Jones, ’72, Springfield, Missouri

Kenneth Alfred, ’87, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Joni Brown, Mustang, Oklahoma Wayman Calavan, Perkins, Oklahoma Glen Hartman, Stillwater, Oklahoma Donna Jackson, Tulsa, Oklahoma Albert Mallory, Oklahoma City E.C. Nelson, Stillwater, Oklahoma Clyde Pigg, McAlester, Oklahoma JoClaire Pink, Stillwater, Oklahoma Wanda Rubottom, Tulsa, Oklahoma Nora Smith, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Book Corner Gene Johnson, ’66

He Leads Me Beside Stillwater is the second book written by Gene Johnson, who graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1966. Johnson, a native of Seminole, Oklahoma, was on the OSU basketball team when the Cowboys won the Big Eight Basketball Championship in 1965. Oklahoma State was unstoppable at home that season, posting a 10–0 mark within the friendly confines of Gallagher Hall (now GallagherIba Arena) on the way to a 20–7 overall record. He Leads Me Beside Stillwater is a nostalgic look back at OSU’s history, athletes, teams, coaches and the fans who supported them. Johnson’s first book, Living My Dreams, chronicles his time playing during the era of iconic coach Henry P. Iba, who brought big-time basketball to OSU. Along with two books, Johnson has published more than 40 articles. More of his work can be seen in POSSE magazine, an OSU sports publication. After working in finance for many years, Johnson is retired and lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. He Leads Me Beside Stillwater is available at Hall of Fame Book Trader in Stillwater and Best of Books in Edmond or amazon.com. Books are also available by emailing osu52johnson@yahoo.com.


Listen to audio excerpts of OSU alumni sharing their compelling life stories and college memories or read their interview transcripts at w w w.librar y.okstate.edu/oralhistor y/ostate.


Because They’re Happy


Oklahomans who have reached 100 have positive outlooks in common BY TA N YA F I N C H U M


he Oklahoma 100 Year Life Oral History Project gave 111 Oklahoma centenarians an opportunity to share their life experiences. The project was a collaboration between Oklahoma State University faculty members — Dr. Alex Bishop, Human Development and Family Sciences, and Dr. Tanya Finchum, Oklahoma Oral History Research Program. The generation represented was born before 1915, lived through the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, participated in or had family members participate in World War II, and have seen innovations from the wringing washing machine to the cell phone. They have experienced the best and the worst of times but focus more on the good. In a 2014 interview, Allan Oehlschlager remarked, “There’s something about having lived that long and experienced that much. There’s always something that comes up to remind you of something good that happened to you.” Reaching the age of 100 and beyond seems to be more about attitude and perception. If something is beyond their control, these centenarians appear to let it go. If not, they tackle it. They also prioritize giving back, being mentally and physically active, and staying connected to other people. Enjoying the arts throughout their lives or even late in life was another common theme. In retirement, several centenarians took lessons in art, painting and ballroom dancing. Not all, of course, waited until retirement to hone their talents. Oehlschlager, interviewed shortly after his 100th birthday, shared that he was always interested in the arts. He explained that in the early 1960s he lived in Yale, Oklahoma, and was involved with Stillwater’s Town and Gown Theatre. He stated, “I acted. I did other things, whatever needed doing, but mostly I acted. My first play (laughs) was a Tennessee Williams play. I had a very small part, but as I went along I got bigger parts, and I had a couple of leads. One time — I think my first lead was [The Madwoman of Chaillot].” The 1964 Town and Gown Theatre

Allan Oehlschlager participated in many plays at Stillwater’s Town and Gown Theatre, including the production of “The Madwoman of Chaillot” in 1965. program for Mousetrap has Oehlschlager as portraying a detective and states he was a “faithful back-stage worker despite having to commute regularly from Yale.” The 1965 program for The Madwoman of Chaillot lists him as president, and indicates he had other leading roles. Oehlschlager was born in Kansas, earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and jointly owned a drugstore, a dry goods store, a grocery and a variety store in Yale. After selling these businesses in the mid-1960s, he relocated near Oklahoma City. Getting unexpected pieces of Oklahoma history along with amazing life stories contributes to the value of this collection. Allan Oehlschlager was interviewed as part of the Oklahoma 100 Year Life Oral History Project. Transcripts and recordings are available at www.library.okstate.edu/oralhistory/digital/100/.

O-State Stories is part of the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at the Edmon Low Library, chronicling the rich history, heritage and traditions of Oklahoma State University. Listen to audio excerpts of OSU alumni sharing their compelling life stories and college memories or read their interview transcripts. Read or listen to more recollections by visiting library.okstate.edu/oralhistory/ostate/. For more information, call 405-744-7685.



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In March 1951, the Oklahoma Legislature mandated that all state employees sign a new Oath of Allegiance (Loyalty Oath) or they would lose their jobs.

Williamson, University of Oklahoma President George Cross and the university’s professor of constitutional law all counseled the governor that the proposed oath had significant constitutional flaws. Murray buckled under the prevailing political pressure, fearing being labeled soft on communism, and signed the bill while publicly acknowledging that parts of it were unconstitutional. Implementing the new law would become a logistical challenge for the two largest public universities in Oklahoma. For some college employees in Stillwater, it would become a crisis of conscience. The


The signing deadline was May 9, 1951. All Oklahoma A&M College staff members were required to sign, even part-time student workers, swearing they would defend the U.S. Constitution and the Oklahoma Constitution, even by force if necessary. They also swore that they were not members of the Communist Party, had not joined a communist front organization during the previous five years, and met other provisions in the oath, which ran over 450 words. Oklahoma’s attorney general and governor led a resistance-type movement to this oath, an unusual collection of alliances that pitted friends against each other, united political adversaries, forced authorities to defend legal statutes they believed were unlawful and compelled attorneys to appeal court decisions that had pleased their clients. Events surrounding World War II had raised concerns among Oklahoma residents about the growing influence of communism around the world. They had witnessed the rise of the Soviet Union and seen its expanding influence in Eastern Europe. At the national level, President Harry Truman signed an executive order in 1947 to form the “Federal Employees Loyalty Program.” Review boards examined “un-American” and communist activities and could recommend the removal of government employees suspected of involvement with communist infiltrators. By 1949, the Soviets had successfully tested an atomic bomb, and communists in China had taken control of the mainland. The Oklahoma Legislature

determined it was time to begin fighting the enemies of the United States, especially on the domestic front. The Oklahoma House of Representatives appointed a fivemember special committee to investigate communism in Oklahoma colleges and universities. It required a signed oath from every college president regarding “communistic activities, if any, on the part of deans and heads of departments.” In June 1950, the Soviets and Chinese supported North Korea’s invasion into Regent and former chairman Colonel R.T. Stuart stated: South Korea, and the “Any man who opposed the bill is nothing but a damned Oklahoma Legislature Communist,” and anyone “who does not sign the oath is out.” sprang into action once again. The American Legion in Oklahoma university administration had remained supported and encouraged the legislature relatively mute. By 1951, Dr. Henry and helped develop a loyalty oath to weed G. Bennett was leading the Point Four out any communist influences in state Program out of Washington, D.C., and agencies. the acting college president, Dr. Oliver The loyalty oath proposal passed S. Willham, kept a low profile during unanimously in March 1951 with a deadthe oath signing implementation. One of line for all state employees’ signatures Willham’s few public comments concluded within two months. Governor Johnston with, “It is just another law, and as such Murray was advised that portions of we must honor it.” This was a muted the Loyalty Oath were unconstituresponse compared with the comments tional. Oklahoma Attorney General Mac



Johnston Murray

Mac Williamson

Pictured from left are OAMC Research Foundation Director O.M. Smith, Department of Mathematics faculty member Ainsley Diamond and Arts and Sciences Dean Schiller Scroggs. After World War II, Diamond secured a research contract from the U.S. military for the mathematics department at Oklahoma A&M College and attracted an international team of research mathematicians to work on the project. Thanks to Oklahoma’s Loyalty Oath, Diamond and most of the researchers went with the project to the University of Kansas.

Henry G. Bennett

Oliver S. Willham



from Regent and former Chairman Colonel R.T. Stuart, who stated: “Any man who opposed the bill is nothing but a damned Communist,” and anyone “who does not sign the oath is out.” The distribution and collection of signed loyalty oaths across campus proceeded fairly smoothly at first. The vast majority signed because they either agreed with the oath or feared losing their jobs. Initially, several dozen full-time employees were not going to sign the oaths, but they decided to sign and cross out the portions that they found objectionable. There was a resurgence of the campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

AAUP officers were elected, and an open forum drew 100. Meanwhile, efforts were underway to clarify the law and its consequences. Fred Hansen, first assistant attorney general, listed 11 points of potential constitutional conflict in the original legislative bill or in the oath. His letter to Murray concluded the law did not prohibit or remove any elected or appointed person who had not signed the oath from their public office. All other state employees, however, would be required to sign. As the May 9th deadline approached, some employees were forced from their jobs. Seven student workers were terminated while five faculty members on sabbatical leave were given a 30-day

waiver. Thirty-nine faculty, staff and students signed but included a variety of objections. A few others who did not sign were allowed to resign. Some signers were not U.S. citizens. They had been in contact with their embassies and advised in a variety of different ways to respond. Some signed but stated they were a citizen of another country; others crossed out portions of the oath that might jeopardize or conflict with their citizenship at home. Frank and Gillian Bonsall of Great Britain were visiting professors in a Fulbright exchange program. The British embassy advised them not to sign; they pleaded their case to the college president on May 11th and lost. Although their federal contract and funding went through the end of June when they had planned to return home, they were not paid for the final six weeks on their contract and left early. As the deadline for signing drew near, a new actor in the oath drama entered the scene. Paul W. Updegraff, a Norman attorney, requested a court injunction against state officials and the A&M Board of Regents to stop them from paying those employees who had not complied. Updegraff claimed that if the oath law was not enforced, it would be “opening our colleges to Reds and people from foreign lands with foreign ideologies.” He fanned the flames of fear. On May 19, 1951, District Court Judge W.A. Carlisle ruled that the law and oath were constitutional, salaries would cease immediately, and non-complying employees would be fired. The ruling only applied to OAMC employees. Ten tenure-track faculty members were dismissed.

After Carlisle’s ruling, the attorney general met with the board on May 20th to discuss the consequences of their victory. Although classes were still in session for the spring semester, final exams were canceled for some affected classes, and grades were determined based on student performances to that date. Research efforts and laboratory access were halted for individuals who had been fired. The use of federal funds supporting the Fulbright exchanges were now in jeopardy, as were sources of other federal support. The Fulbright Act was intended to promote goodwill and encourage international exchanges among academic institutions worldwide, and the college’s future participation was in danger. Williamson, the attorney general, stated, “Federal interests are directly involved and adversely affected.” OAMC Vice President Randall T. Klemme reported a number of federal military research contracts were also at risk. The U.S. Navy research contract with the Mathematics Department was in serious danger of being transferred elsewhere. Federal funds invested in the college exceeded $400,000 a year for these projects. This did not include federal funds from the Hatch and Smith-Lever Acts for the agricultural experiment station and extension services. Williamson encouraged the regents to request clarification from Carlisle to allow existing federal contracts to be completed. The judge denied the request, and they began preparing for an appeal. Affected faculty members began looking for — and landing — academic positions elsewhere.

In October 1951, the regents and eight fired employees appealed Carlisle’s ruling to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma but lost. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court ruled that the oath violated the U.S. Constitution’s due process clause. The Oklahoma Legislature began revising the oath so that it would conform to the ruling. On May 8, 1953, the regents agreed to pay 14 individuals the balances due them from their employment contracts, a total of $7,113.40. The regents offered no apologies. Today, a signed loyalty oath continues to be required from all university employees before they are hired and entered into the payroll system.



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STATE Magazine Spring 2018  

The official magazine of Oklahoma State University.

STATE Magazine Spring 2018  

The official magazine of Oklahoma State University.

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