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From the Cowboy code of ethics to the beautiful landscaping and sculptures, the new Welcome Plaza at Oklahoma State University is something to be proud of. It’s something you can be a part of, too. To find out how you can support this new campus landmark, own a reproduction or add your name to a piece of Oklahoma State history, please visit:


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Spring 2017, Vol. 12, No. 3 • statemagazine.okstate.edu

Welcome to the Spring 2017 issue of STATE, the official magazine of Oklahoma State University, and your source of information from the OSU Alumni Association, the OSU Foundation and University Marketing. On the cover, OSU alumnus Justice Steven W. Taylor has spent a lifetime characterizing “The Cowboy Way.” He recently retired from the Oklahoma Supreme Court after presiding over more than 500 trials including the trial of the century for Oklahoma City bombing co-conspirator Terry Nichols. Read more about Justice Taylor on Page 45. (Cover photography by Phil Shockley) Salute to the Military

COWBOY COLLECTION President’s Fellows Benefit Programs Throughout OSU 8

28 Fashion Follows Native Inspiration 56 General Scholarship Fund Assists Students 66 Chinese Piano Students Attracted to OSU


As mandated under the Morrill Act, OSU has a long affiliation with the military and continues to support student veterans. A new center and special activities are devoted to educating and retaining student veterans.

The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts Names New Director

70 Johnson Scholarship Fund Aids Native Americans

79 OSU Alumnus Inspiring Change In Foster Care 82 Animal Relief Fund Supports Care After Disasters 84 Couple Attracting Attention In Marketing World 98 Cobb Speaker Series Hosts Acclaimed Authors DE PA R TME NT S Letters



Socially Orange


Snapshot 46

President’s Letter STATEment


Mark Blakeman, Tucson Symphony Orchestra president and CEO, is the first Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director for The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts.






Alumni Chapter News / Events


Seniors of Significance


Outstanding Seniors


Wellness with Ann Hargis


Legacy Link




OSU Library


Alumni Hall of Fame


New Life Members


Campus News


Class Notes




In Memoriam/Passages


Research Briefs


Book Corner


Veterinary Medicine




OSU-Oklahoma City


O-STATE Oral Stories




POSSE Replay


OSU Medicine





UNIVERSITY MARKETING Kyle Wray / Vice President of Enrollment Management & Marketing Mark Pennie / Assistant Director Marketing Services Elizabeth Keys / Editor Paul V. Fleming, Valerie Kisling, Dave Malec & Mark Pennie / Design Phil Shockley & Gary Lawson / Photography Karolyn Bolay, Shelby Holcomb & Dorothy Pugh / Editorial Brandee Cazzelle, April Cunningham, Pam Longan, Leslie McClurg & Kurtis Mason / Marketing University Marketing Office / 305 Whitehurst, Stillwater, OK 74078-1024 / 405-744-6262 www.okstate.edu / statemagazine.org / editor@okstate.edu / osu.advertising@okstate.edu Contributors / Kim Archer, Derinda Blakeney, Barbara Brown, Bonnie Cain-Wood, Zach Hake, Casey Hentges, Kourtney Johnson, Todd Johnson, Jeff Joiner, Faith Kelley, Kasi Kennedy, Leilana McKindra, Sara Milligan, Jim Mitchell, Sandy Pantlik, David Peters, Brian Petrotta, Sara Plummer, Anastasia Reed, Jordan Richards, Taryn Sanderson, Lyndall Stout, Michelle Talamantes, Kandace Taylor, Terry Tush, Nina Thornton, Ariel West, Kim Woodard

O S U A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N Phil Kennedy / Chair Kent Gardner / Vice Chair Jennifer Grigsby / Immediate Past Chair

Reilee Berger and Sarah Sauer met at Camp Cowboy in 2013. They plan to marry in May 2018. Read more about their love story at contests.okstate.edu/orangecrush.

Chris Batchelder / President and CEO Jace Dawson / Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Pam Davis / Vice President and Chief Programs Officer Treca Baetz, Chris Batchelder, James Boggs, Gregg Bradshaw, Larry Briggs, Burns Hargis, Kirk Jewell, Angela Kouplen, Tony LoPresto, Mel Martin, Travis Moss, Tina Parkhill, H.J. Reed, Tom Ritchie, David Ronck & Tina Walker / Board of Directors Holly Bergbower, Alexis Birdsong, Lacy Branson, Chase Carter, 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

O S U F O U N DAT I O N Jennifer Grigsby / 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 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 / Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Deborah Adams, Mark Allen, Chris Batchelder, Bryan Begley, Jerry Clack, Bryan Close, Jan Cloyde, Patrick Cobb, Joe Eastin, Jennifer Grigsby, John Groendyke, Helen Hodges, David Houston, Gary Huneryager, A.J. Jacques, Kirk Jewell, Steven Jorns, David Kyle, Diana Laing, John Linehan, Joe Martin, Ross McKnight, Bill Patterson, Becky Steen, Lyndon Taylor, Phil Terry, Stephen Tuttle, Jay Wiese, Jerry Winchester / Trustees Shelly Cameron, Jennifer Kinnard, Chris Lewis, Jacob Longan, 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 $.972 per issue: 33,147/May 2017/#6811. Copyright © 2017, STATE magazine. All rights reserved. Higher Education Marketing Report / 2017 Publications Silver Award Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists / 2016 Best Public Relations Magazine Oklahoma College Public Relations Association / 2016 Magazine Excellence Award



We’re feeling the love! Students, alumni and friends share their love stories in the annual Orange Crush contest. From meeting their spouse to the first twinges of love, we learn how Oklahoma State University has won a place in the hearts of the Cowboy Family. Many reveal how they met, fell in love at OSU and got engaged while making lasting memories. The bonds created at OSU are strong. With more than 200,000 graduates and over 18,000 couples, the love for OSU extends well beyond the time spent on campus. There are many ways to keep your Orange Crush alive throughout the year. Know a future Cowboy? Bring them to campus for a tour or encourage them to apply at admissions.okstate.edu. Missing out on news from former classmates? Start your connection for life with the OSU Alumni Association at orangeconnection.org. Want your legacy to continue well beyond your years at OSU? Invest in a student’s future with a gift to the OSU Foundation at osugiving.com. Read about OSU love stories at contests.okstate.edu/orangecrush. The contest is one of many ways we use technology and social media to stay connected with the Cowboy Family. Throughout the year, events on campus are broadcast for you on OState.TV, Facebook Live and other social media networks for instant interaction with people all over the world. From academic colleges, departments and organizations to athletics and sports celebrities, you can be “Socially Orange” with OSU on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and others. Check out okla.st/socialdir to begin joining the Cowboy Nation conversations. We always love to hear from you. Continue sharing your stories and ideas by emailing editor@okstate.edu or mailing to STATE Magazine, 305 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.

Socially Yours Elizabeth Keys STATE Editor

#okstate You had me at #GoPokes! Many alumni share their love stories in the Orange Crush contest. #TBT



Atherton Prize Package Winners: Justin and Kathleen Street

Orange Crush Judges Choice: Candice and Jon Karas

Memorable Stories

@OSUAthletics  14,059. WOW.

Snapchat is where our students live. It’s the perfect place to capture special moments and share with friends.


Mason Rudolph takes over the #okstate Snapchat account.

Campus Scenes


#WHYOSUWednesday: Because we’re #AmericasHealthiestCampus, wellness is key. Oklahoma State University @okstate

@okstate  O R A N G E

@okstateu OStateTV @okstateu Oklahoma State University @okstateu  May your day be filled with sunshine and productivity.

Visit okla.st/socialdir for more social media connections.


Pete says,

You can help us find the next generation of Cowboys by identifying potential students. You provide the contact information. We do the rest.

Oklahoma State University is one of America’s best values for earning a college degree. In a time of rising costs and declining state

Orchestra, where he was president and CEO. A gener-

support, OSU works hard to keep tuition and fees

ous $5 million gift from alumni Marilynn and Carl

significantly below national averages while maintain-

Thoma established the position.

ing top quality. Still, many students need support. This issue of STATE offers a snapshot of students

The McKnight Center is moving forward ignited by the $25 million programming gift from alumni

who are pursuing their academic dreams thanks to

Billie and Ross McKnight, and it is already having

need-based scholarships. I’m sure you will be touched

an impact on future students. Be sure to read how

by their stories and the difference a scholarship can

the building is influencing the recruitment of music

make in a student’s life. A big Cowboy thanks to all

students from here and abroad.

who support student scholarships. Justice Steven Taylor is featured in “The

We will soon complete another successful academic year. Thanks for your ongoing support.

Cowboy Way” as part of a special mili-

First Cowgirl Ann and I wish you all

tary section. He has served our country as

the best.

a Marine and served our state as a district judge and as a justice on the Oklahoma

Go Pokes!

Supreme Court. He is also a loyal alumnus who never hesitates to help his alma mater. OSU’s new Veteran Success Center

Burns Hargis OSU President

is playing a vital role in serving those who have served us. Oklahoma State was proud to receive the prestigious designation as a Purple Heart University, the only one in Oklahoma. We took another exciting step in the history of The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts when we named Oklahoma native Mark Blakeman to lead the transformative facility. The Center is under construction south of the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center and Bennett Chapel. Mark comes from the Tucson Symphony

OSU President Burns Hargis receives the Purple Heart University proclamation from retired United States Army Sergeant 1st Class James Battles Jr., commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 820. PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY


PR E SI DE N T ’ S F EL L OWS O F F E R I M M E D I AT E I M PAC T Donor group provides more than $1.3 million for students, faculty and campus BY JAC O B LO N G A N

group of generous Oklahoma State University supporters are making a real difference at OSU. The members of the President’s Fellows each donate at least $10,000 annually to allow OSU President Burns Hargis to address the university’s unbudgeted needs and opportunities. Since its inception four years ago, participants have contributed more than $1.3 million to benefit OSU’s students, faculty and campus. “We are extremely fortunate to have dozens of households support this program every year,” Hargis says. “It provides unrestricted funding to address OSU’s greatest needs, including need-based scholarships, student and faculty research, campus beautification, equipment and diversity. “The President’s Fellows are generously helping OSU achieve greatness in ways that would not be possible otherwise.” He says one great example is the acceleration of construction of the Welcome Plaza, which has transformed the southeast corner outside the Student Union into a new gateway to Oklahoma State University. Jennifer Grigsby is one of the most passionate supporters of the President’s Fellows. The 1991 accounting graduate is chairman of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees and past chair of the OSU Alumni Association. She has

endowed scholarships for accounting majors, veterinary medicine students and third basemen on the Cowboy baseball team. She was also the first donor to the President’s Fellows back in 2013. “I love this concept,” Grigsby says. “There are obviously certain areas I’m interested in, but generally we as alumni and supporters have no way of knowing the university’s most immediate needs. I love that I write a $10,000 check every year, having no idea where the money is going, while being confident that it will go where it is needed most. “I have complete faith in President Hargis. Every single day he sees opportunities to make a difference for a student, professor or program and we give him the ability to quickly seize those opportunities,” she says. Each year, President’s Fellows contributors receive a report accounting for expenditures as well as an invitation to a dinner at the president’s house where recipients tell their stories. “I love the immediate impact,” says Grigsby, the executive vice president and chief financial officer for Ascent Resources, an independent energy company based in Oklahoma City. “I hear from deans and professors all the time that immediate, unrestricted funds are the most meaningful way to support their schools. As a donor, I

want to find ways to help OSU be better and those opportunities may have nothing to do with my specific passions or involvement at the university.”



Freshman Peyton Weiss received a need-based scholarship from the President’s Fellows. HELPING STUDENTS PURSUE THEIR DREAMS The President’s Fellows Scholarship Program is partially why Peyton Weiss is at OSU. The Tulsa, Oklahoma, freshman is one of more than 300 students who have received direct financial assistance through programs supported by the Fellows, including 49 who have received Fellows scholarships. Weiss, a human development and family science major, received the needbased, $1,000 award, which became

“As a donor, I want to find ways to help OSU be better.” — JENNIFER GRIGSBY


S PR ING 20 17

crucial after her father’s unexpected death when she was in high school. “When my dad died and mom went back to work, it really increased the importance of self-funding my education and getting as many scholarships as I could,” Weiss says. “The relief of financial stress allowed me to get all A’s my first semester and really focus on my dreams and getting experience through volunteering.” Her goal is to become a labor and delivery nurse after she graduates from OSU. She is excited about the impact nurses have on people’s lives. The scholarship has allowed her the ability to volunteer for Stillwater Medical Center and get an early start on boosting her résumé for nursing school. “I’m so thankful for this and other scholarships I’ve received,” Weiss says. “I’ve built up a lot of resiliency over the past two years. Even though this catastrophic, life-changing thing can happen, miracles can happen. The love and generosity of others can make it easy on you when that pressure is put on you.”

EMPOWERING FACULT Y TO CHANGE EVERY THING Kaan Kalkan is working to save the world with an assist from the President’s Fellows. The mechanical and aerospace engineering professor is studying the way plastics break down in nature. For example, a plastic bottle lasts about 500 years. With $15,000 in seed funding from the President’s Fellows, he is researching which nanoparticles could accelerate plastics’ decomposition in sunlight. Kalkan’s Faculty Research Award allows him to pursue larger federal grants from organizations such as the Gates Foundation and the National Science Foundation. “In the current low-funding-rate landscape, green projects like this are generally not funded by major grants because the return is in the long term,” Kalkan says. “The funding agencies are also looking for projects with proven feasibility or trend. The President’s Fellows funding allows us

to start from scratch on an innovative idea and get data credibility before going for federal funding.” Kalkan utilized the President’s Fellows grant to hire a student research assistant and buy a laser to simulate the sun’s ultraviolet light. He presented his preliminary findings at the San Diego conference of the prestigious American Chemical Society. And he was able to purchase chemicals to allow more lab work on various polymers. Kalkan believes his work could lead to a new generation of green plastics that degrade in the sunlight. “Plastics are really threatening our planet,” Kalkan says. “For example, post-consumer plastic waste in the U.S. is more than 30 million tons per year, and we only recycle about seven percent. We burn another seven percent, which creates a lot of pollution. The remaining 86 percent goes into landfills and oceans. When fish eat plastics, they get toxic and then we eat the fish. So, it comes back to us. There are already plastic sand beaches in the middle of the Pacific.” O


To learn more about the President’s Fellows, including how you can get involved, visit OSUgiving.com/PresidentsFellows.

Dr. Kaan Kalkan is researching ways to accelerate the breakdown of plastics in nature. He used a President’s Fellows Faculty Research Award to buy this laser, among other things, to enhance his work. The award helped him secure additional funding to continue his important research.


Dear OSU Alumni and Friends, Time Inc.’s Travel + Leisure is telling the world Oklahoma State University has the most beautiful college campus in the state. The website travelandleisure.com says, “A good-looking university does much more than attract potential students. Manicured footpaths and photo-worthy architecture are often utilized (and appreciated) by everyone in town, including tourists. Even if you finished your degree decades ago — or have no interest in academia — the beautiful college campuses scattered across the United States are worthwhile destinations for travelers.” When selecting the most enchanting school in every state, Travel + Leisure considered the setting and scenery, the design of the buildings and the upkeep of the campus grounds, saying, “We took plenty of other details into account, too, including knowledge from campus visits, in-depth virtual tours, first-person references and word of mouth, extensive general research, and hours upon hours of examining campuses from images shot at just about every imaginable angle.” Our campus would not be what it is today if not for generous donors who are dedicated to sustaining the university’s image and beauty. One prime example is the new Welcome Plaza between the Student Union and the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. The gateway was created to provide a lasting first impression of OSU and to demonstrate the hallmark values of the Cowboy family. There are still opportunities to contribute to this iconic landmark, information about which can be found at OSUgiving.com/welcome-plaza.


Spring graduation is an exciting time of new beginnings on campus. Grad Finale is welcoming graduating seniors as new alumni. We’re excited to see more and more students becoming OSU Alumni Association members while in school. The OSU Alumni Association honored outstanding alumni with induction into the Hall of Fame. Read more about the honorees on Page 15. This year’s Grandparent University sponsored by the OSU Alumni Association will be the largest ever. We’re expecting 700 participants with 32 majors offered — the most ever. Our legacy program now has a full suite of gifts for every age. Register your legacy at orangeconnection.org/legacy today. You play a big role in supporting and recruiting the next generation of students. Applications are still being accepted for fall enrollment. Bring potential students to campus and tour what Time Inc. is calling the “collegiate gemstone” of our state. Register for tours at admissions.okstate.edu/visit.

Congratulations, Class of 2017!

Chris Batchelder

Kirk Jewell

Kyle Wray

President OSU Alumni Association

President OSU Foundation

OSU Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing




recognizes students who have

excelled in scholarship, leadership and service to campus and community and have brought distinction to OSU. “The OSU Alumni Association is honored to recognize these seniors for the achievements they’ve made during their time at OSU,” says Chris Batchelder, OSU Alumni Association president. “We are very proud of our students, and we look

Julia Benbrook, Woodward, Oklahoma

Multimedia Journalism Eric Brinkman, McKinney, Texas Mechanical Engineering Ryan Brinkman, McKinney, Texas Mechanical Engineering/Aerospace Engineering Price Buckley, Tulsa, Oklahoma Mechanical Engineering Jordan Burns, Wichita, Kansas Chemical Engineering Allison Christian, Duncan, Oklahoma Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Lauren Clark, Eagle, Idaho Agribusiness Megan Coder, Tulsa, Oklahoma Finance Rachel Davis, Fort Smith, Arkansas Chemical Engineering Codi Demere, Canyon, Texas Nutritional Sciences/Human Nutrition Pre-Med Katelin Fath, Stillwater, Oklahoma Hotel and Restaurant Administration Eric Fleet, Edmond, Oklahoma Architectural Engineering and Spanish Addi Freiner, Tulsa, Oklahoma Elementary Education Stephanie Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma Human Development and Family Science Emily Henning, Wichita, Kansas Architecture and Spanish

forward to seeing them excel as part of the OSU alumni family after they graduate.” The 43 students represent the top one percent of the Class of 2017 including all six OSU undergraduate colleges. A public reception to recognize the

winners and their families was held November 21, 2016, at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. The Seniors of Significance are listed below with their hometown and major.

Ashton Hierholzer, Heath, Texas

Garrett Reed, Locust Grove, Oklahoma Agribusiness/Pre-Law Gerardo Rico, Anadarko, Oklahoma Marketing and International Business Sarah Sauer, Highland Village, Texas Nutritional Sciences/Pre-Dental Science Tyler Schnaithman, Garber, Oklahoma Agricultural Economics Ricki Schroeder, Nash, Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership and Agribusiness Ashley Simenson, Delano, Minnesota Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Maci Slater, Davis, Oklahoma Hotel and Restaurant Administration Chandler Steele, Midland, Michigan Animal Science Lawson Thompson, Medford, Oklahoma Agricultural Education Tiffany Thurmond, Edmond, Oklahoma Marketing and Business Management Carson Vinyard, Altus, Oklahoma Agribusiness Jason Wetzler, Clackamas, Oregon Agricultural Education Courtney Wolfe, Lucas, Texas Architecture

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Microbiology Michele Higgins, Spring, Texas Chemical Engineering Bethany Howard, Elmore City, Oklahoma Communication Sciences and Disorders Ridge Howell, Checotah, Oklahoma English Austyn Iven, Stillwater, Oklahoma Sports Media Austin Johnson, Afton, Oklahoma Finance Chelsey Johnson, Cottonwood, Minnesota Strategic Communications and Political Science Dillon Johnson, Afton, Oklahoma Agribusiness/Plant and Soil Sciences Jacquelyn Lane, Beulah, Colorado Chemical Engineering Katie Lippoldt, Kingfisher, Oklahoma Agribusiness Lorena Mayorga, Hinton, Oklahoma Communication Sciences and Disorders Ryan Neal, Elgin, Oklahoma Chemical Engineering Anna O’Hare, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Natural Resource Ecology and Management Autumn Only A Chief, Pawnee, Oklahoma Nutritional Sciences-Allied Health Kelsey Ray, Tulsa, Oklahoma Accounting


Dear Cowboy Family, I love living in Oklahoma for a lot of reasons. One is the ability to experience each season and fully appreciate what each has to offer. Spring is one of my very favorite times of the year. After the coldness of winter, I am always amazed to see the earth re-awaken and give new life and breath to our environment. It’s like rediscovering the earth’s beauty all over again. One of the special offerings of spring is the ability to garden and grow. Not only do I love being involved in my own garden, but I also enjoy the farmers markets that create a healthy and sustainable environment for our beautiful state. The agricultural capabilities are so diverse, and I am proud of Oklahoma State University for the prominent role played in our state’s sustainability. In keeping with our land grant mission, OSU Cooperative Extension offices in every county spend time helping our communities better understand agriculture and the role it plays in our lives. The experts at OSU are a source of knowledge for everything from master gardening to crop management, canning, wine research and creating healthy and colorful plates at each meal.   University Dining Services completes the mission on campus by featuring a variety of Made In Oklahoma products,

focusing on offering fresh and local produce, and even providing an on-site farmers market to our campus population. The College of Human Sciences will soon be adding Planet Orange, a locally sourced and globally focused dining facility that will offer unique and healthy options. I love that as we are teaching our students healthy principles, we are also teaching our community and state. If you haven’t spent time shopping at your local farmers market, I encourage you to find one in your area. A list of markets and produce tips can be found at okgrown.com. Spend some time exploring and understanding all of the options available to help you fill your life with fresh, local food. Reach out to the experts at OSU Cooperative Extension and learn additional skills to create the healthiest environment for you and your family.    I hope each of you consider becoming more aware of the impact your local community can have on your ability to create a healthy and sustainable life today and for future generations. In health,


OSU First Cowgirl Ann Hargis

Find more resources for programs and classes at: Ann Hargis OSU First Cowgirl

oces.okstate.edu fcs.okstate.edu madeinoklahoma.net dasnr.okstate.edu/ master-gardeners

Customers gather early for fresh produce, eggs, honey, jam and beef offered by Whitmore Farms at the Stillwater Farmers Market.




Oklahoma Gardening show features ideas and recipes


asey Hentges has kicked off her second season of hosting Oklahoma Gardening, the longest-running gardening show on television. Farmers markets are a focus this season on the popular OETA program. Oklahoma Gardening is showcasing some of the farmers and their crops, various markets across the state and all the work that goes on behind the scenes at them. “While viewers can still expect to see quality, reliable horticulture information, we have more helpful tips and unique projects ready for this new season,” Hentges says. “We’ll take a look at the importance of pollinators, as well as other animals that we may or may not want in our gardens.” Hentges encourages viewers to share what they are doing in their gardens via Facebook. Gardening enthusiasts also can

follow Oklahoma Gardening on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. “One of the things that makes Oklahoma Gardening as popular today as it has ever been is the fact that gardening is never completed,” she says. “There’s always something else to do, new plants to learn about, new methods and techniques to explore or just simply getting some new ideas. Gardeners are some of the most optimistic people I know, and spring brings a fresh start for all of us.” Oklahoma Gardening’s home is The Botanic Garden at OSU located west of Stillwater on the north side of State Highway 51. The show is produced by OSU Cooperative Extension Service, OSU’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Agricultural Communications Services and OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.


Casey Hentges, “Oklahoma Gardening” host, showcases the beauty and challenges gardeners face due to the state’s diverse climate and growing conditions.

Rice Bowls with Spring Vegetables Ingredients: 4 cups cooked brown rice, cooled but still warm 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds 4 slices bacon, chopped 2 green onions, thinly sliced

8 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut in one-inch pieces ¼ teaspoon pepper 1 avocado, thinly sliced 4 radishes, thinly sliced 4 hard cooked eggs, peeled and sliced

Directions: Oklahoma Gardening airs Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. and Sunday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. on local OETA channels. Subscribe to the Oklahoma Gardening YouTube channel and watch full shows on the internet or search for specific segments.

Combine sesame oil, vinegar and sesame seeds in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk well. Set aside. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Add green onions, asparagus and pepper and cook one minute. Remove from heat. Divide warm rice into four bowls. Top each bowl with a quarter of the cooked vegetables, avocado, one radish and one sliced egg.

If needed, re-whisk oil mixture to combine, then drizzle some over each bowl. Serve remaining dressing on the side. Serves four. (See more recipes from Dr. Barbara Brown, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service food specialist and Nutritional Sciences associate professor, at oklahomagardening.okstate.edu/recipes.)









Hall of Fame

OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY Induction into the OSU Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the university. This annual award recognizes a lifetime of achievement in society and professional life. The 2017 induction ceremony was held February 10. The evening boasted record numbers of attendees as the OSU Alumni Association honored a prestigious and varied group of four individuals. Each recipient has made their mark in their area of expertise and has given back to the university time and again. An esteemed panel of OSU dignitaries and alumni members chose the recipients. The OSU Alumni Association would like to thank the OSU Foundation for helping to sponsor the 2017 OSU Hall of Fame. PHOTO ABOVE: OSU Alumni Association President Chris Batchelder, left, joined hosts and honorees at the 2017 OSU Hall of Fame banquet including, from left, OSU Alumni Association Board of Directors President Phil Kennedy, Hall of Fame honorees Dr. Barry Pollard, Terence Kern, Jim Vallion and Rhonda Hooper, and OSU President Burns Hargis. Visit orangeconnection.org/hof or scan the QR code to watch the induction videos of 2017 honorees on OState.TV.




honda Hooper graduated from OSU in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an emphasis in advertising. She calls OSU the most important part of her life, providing her with confidence, experiences and the ability to make a difference. After graduation, Hooper took a job as a copywriter with Ackerman McQueen. She went on to become the assistant creative director and an account executive before joining Technical Oil Tool Corporation (TOTCO), a Baker International Company, as director of advertising and public relations. In 1986, Hooper joined Jordan Associates, where she is president and CEO. She credits her success with a unique gift she once thought everyone possessed. “I want to leave things better than I found them,” Hooper says. “I didn’t realize everyone didn’t process things the way I do, but I have vision. I can see what we could be.” Hooper has shattered glass ceilings in the professional world and as a volunteer. She is currently the chair of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce — the first woman to do so in the



organization’s 127-year history. Hooper also chairs the governing board of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science & Technology (OCAST), and the Oklahoma River Horse Park. She is also vice chair of the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust. She serves on the boards of the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship at OSU, the OKC Boathouse Foundation, the Alliance for Economic Development, OKC Arts Council, Oklahoma Health Center Foundation, the OSU Foundation, the OSU-OKC president’s advisory board and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Hooper and her husband, Stephen, reside in Oklahoma City. She is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.



udge Terence Kern, a native of Ponca City, Oklahoma, depended upon Lew Wentz scholarships and Pell Grants along with campus and store clerk jobs to put himself through college. He was on the Dean’s Honor Roll, president of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and an All-University volleyball player before graduating from OSU in 1966 with a degree in business. He went on to graduate from the University of Oklahoma School of Law in 1969 with a juris doctorate and later received a master’s of law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. After graduating from law school and serving in the United States Army Reserves, Kern began his career as a general attorney with the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. He later returned to Oklahoma and joined the law firm of Fischl, Culp & McMillin in Ardmore, where he became a partner. In 1986, he started his own firm and continued a general practice, including trying more than 75 jury cases. While in Ardmore, he was active in the community and served as chairman of the board of Southern Oklahoma Memorial Hospital.

In 1994, Kern was appointed to the federal bench, and he served as chief judge of the Northern District of Oklahoma from 1996 to 2003. He has been a member of the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Committee on Security and Facilities, the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Committee on Space and Facilities and the 10th Circuit Judicial Council. Kern continues to serve as a senior judge with an active civil docket. He has conducted over 200 civil and criminal trials. Kern is the first OSU graduate to serve as a United States district judge. In 2001, OSU recognized him with the Leadership Legacy Award. He is a past president of the Council Oak/Johnson-Sontag American Inn of Court and received the Lion of the Bar Award in 2013. In 2014, he was selected as the Oklahoma Association for Justice’s Judge of the Year. Judge Kern has three adult children and two grandchildren. He and his wife, Jeanette, reside in Tulsa and are honorary co-chairs for the 2017 “A Stately Affair in Tulsa,” which benefits OSU’s Tulsa campuses. He is a lifetime member of the OSU Alumni Association.




r. Barry Pollard’s lifelong interest in agriculture began early on his family’s farm in Hennessey, Oklahoma. The son of two teachers, Barry showed livestock in 4-H and FFA while growing up. While at OSU, he was named a Top Ten Freshman and was a member of FarmHouse Fraternity. Pollard graduated with a degree in biochemistry in 1973. After completing medical school, he started a neurosurgery practice in Enid in 1982. Pollard has performed more than 17,000 cranial and spinal surgical procedures and believes his best professional accomplishment is “having the opportunity to take care of so many people with spinal and neurosurgical problems.” In 1984, Pollard started P&K Equipment, a John Deere dealership in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, that has expanded to 10 locations across Oklahoma and nine dealership locations in Iowa. PK employs more than 550 people and is a strong supporter of youth in agriculture. Pollard served as chairman of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2011 during the Branding Success campaign. He founded the OSU Medical Cowboy Scholarship, which has



raised more than $3.7 million for students interested in careers in medicine. Pollard has also funded a chair in agribusiness as well as scholarships in agriculture and athletics. He has served as an OSU Homecoming judge and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources. Pollard is also one of the original members of President Burns Hargis’ President’s Fellows. True to his roots, Pollard also operates a premier registered Angus cattle herd and serves on the National Board of the American Angus Association. He has been named Enid Chamber of Commerce Business Man of the Year, Physician of the Year at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and a Pillar of the Plains nominee. Pollard and his wife, Roxanne, have five children and seven grandchildren. He says his greatest personal success is his pride in his children’s character and their accomplishments. Pollard is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.

JA M E S “J I M ” VA L L I O N


$50 4-H scholarship began a lifetime of achievement and generosity for James “Jim” Vallion. The eldest of seven children, Vallion graduated from OSU with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1951 and a master’s degree in political science in 1954. Vallion went on to put all his numerous employees, friends and family through college. “I realized that in this world you really cannot do the things you want to do without an education,” Vallion says. “An education is everything really.” Throughout his college career, Vallion worked in food service. He went on to work at The Townhouse, then located at the corner of Main and Miller, for assistant basketball coach and part-time restaurateur Gene Smelser. In the early 1960s, Vallion and Smelser went into the restaurant business full time with ValGene’s Restaurants. Their eating establishments blanketed Oklahoma City and still hold a place in the memories of many Oklahomans today.

Following his restaurant ventures, Vallion found a passion for floral design. In 1980, he purchased Trochta’s Flowers and has owned it ever since, continuing to make daily visits even now at the age of 86. Vallion has endowed two scholarships at OSU – the SmelserVallion Basketball Scholarship and the Smelser-Vallion Doel Reed Art Scholarship. He has served on numerous boards for the American Heart Association, Allied Arts of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Zoological Society, Red Earth Inc. and the Advisory Council for Doel Reed Center for the Arts. Vallion has also received several awards including the Oklahoma Living Treasure Award from the University of Oklahoma and the Red Earth Spirit Award. Vallion resides in Oklahoma City with his sister, Maggie Barrett, and is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.


OSU Flying Aggies win regional title for three-peat For the third straight year, the Oklahoma State University Flying Aggies flight team placed first in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association SAFECON Region VI Competition. The team defeated eight other schools to win the regional and secure a place in the national competition set for Columbus, Ohio. OSU totaled 508 points, including a competition-best 326 points in flight events. The University of Nebraska placed second, and Kansas State University third, to join OSU in advancing to the national competition in May. OSU team members are Nate Anders, Zachary Alstatt, Alex Dunbar, Clifton Durante, Andrew Edgeller, David Koch, Dillon Lain, Bennett Miller, Rusty Ridenour and Harrison Stegmann. Dr. Matt Vance serves as head coach, and Jared Dunlap as assistant coach for the team. Three team members placed in the top ten among all competitors including Durante (second), Miller (tied for fourth) and Stegmann (10th). Durante and Miller also placed second and third, respectively, in the top pilot category.

OSU Flying Aggies head to nationals in May.

Varsity Revue exceeds fundraising goal for Stillwater United Way One of the biggest performance events of the year, Varsity Revue, raised more than $33,000 to support Stillwater’s chapter of United Way, thanks to four sold-out nights of dazzling entertainment provided by Oklahoma State University’s Greek community. Following auditions, eight fraternities and eight sororities are paired up by a random drawing, and each pair is responsible for creating and practicing an 11-minute show with a medley of parody songs and dance numbers related to their

group’s chosen theme, which always tells a story. First place this year went to Kappa Delta and Phi Gamma Delta, including best song choice and best choreography, for a 1950s-themed show titled “Take Me Out to the Ballgame!” which pitted a baseball team against the waitresses from the team’s favorite diner.

Mortar Board chapter earns Gold Torch The Oklahoma State University Mortar Board chapter, Achafoa, received a Gold Torch award at the Mortar Board National Conference in Indianapolis. Chapter Vice President Rachel Davis accepted the award,

Kappa Delta and Phi Gamma Delta captured first place at Varsity Revue with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame!”




conference, increases awareness of the chemical engineering discipline among the public, industry leaders, educators and other students. At OSU, Team Orange Juice won the poster competition. Team members were Oklahomans Josh Baker, Choctaw; John Hayes, Broken Arrow; Holly Palmer, Cashion; Nathan Shellady, Sapulpa; and Sara Wilson, Owasso. For the car component, each team had two chances to run their car on a flat surface. The car created by Team ABS(0) or Absolute Zero traveled the longest without driving out of bounds. Members of Chem-E-Car contest the winning team were Musaad Al-Jafari, challenges engineers Saudi Arabia; and Oklahomans Luke The School of Chemical Engineering at Bower, Claremore; Joshua Sallee, Broken Oklahoma State University hosted its 17th Arrow; and Adam Summers, Ponca City. annual Chem-E-Car Competition, naming The winning car traveled 57 feet and both poster and car winners. four inches on its first run and 76 feet and Four teams delivered a poster presentasix inches on its second run. tion that detailed the cost and creation of Sundar Madihally, associate chemical its car. Judges were from Chevron Phillips engineering professor, has been a part of Chemical Company, which also sponsored the Chem-E-Car competition since 2002. the OSU event. “It has been a fun activity for students AIChE’s annual Chem-E-Car contest and industry participants,” says Madihally. engages college students in designing and “It has the students turn theoretical knowlconstructing a car powered by a chemical edge into practical use.” energy source that will safely carry a speciTeam ABS(0) went on to place third fied load over a given distance and stop. at the Chem-E-Car regional competition The competition, which involves in Tulsa, Oklahoma, qualifying for the multiple regional competitions and a national competition. final competition at the Annual Student

which was presented to 36 national chapters in 2016. Mortar Board is a national honor society for college seniors that recognizes superior scholastic ability, outstanding leadership and dedicated service to the community. The Gold Torch is awarded annually to the chapters that best exemplify these qualities. Six young women founded OSU’s chapter in 1930 and named it Achafoa, which is a Choctaw word for “a few rare and precious ones.”

Student volunteers with OSU’s Housing and Residential Life collected a record 43.25 tons of cardboard during the 2016 move-in week. That’s almost double last year’s collection and evidence of an upward trend since the first recycling move-in event in 2013. “We are very grateful to the residential student volunteer group, Ready to Lead, which really makes move-in recycling happen,” says Ilda Hershey, OSU sustainability coordinator. “It’s not an easy job, and the heat can be brutal. This time, our busiest day was also the hottest one of the year, but our volunteers persevered like true Cowboys.” The first two years, OSU collected a little over eight tons of cardboard during the move-in day recycling event, which was an idea from environmental science graduate student Robyn Salisbury, a former OSU Residence Hall Association member. That number increased to 25 tons once larger recycling containers were introduced by Housing and Residential Life. The cardboard boxes recycled during the program are made into paper bags, paperboard packaging and new corrugated cardboard boxes.

Recycling during move-ins has increased every year since 2013.


Chevron Phillips Chemical Company sponsors OSU’s Chem-E-Car Competition.

A greener move-in week doubles recycling


Junior takes national top student honor BY KO U R T N E Y J O H N S O N

“Oklahoma State … helps create not only successful students in Oklahoma, but nationally as well. OSU’s Residential Life has truly changed my life.” — Jared Kimbrell

Kristin Ball, Kourtney Johnson, Jared Kimbrell, Kaylee Boice, Malik Miller, Hunter Kelley, Brittany Windsor, Aspen Schmidt, Delton Gordon, Marseille Crawford and Wesley Tinnin celebrate at the national conference.



ared Kimbrell, a junior chemical engineering major from Owasso, Oklahoma, was presented the Student of the Year award at the National Association of College and University Residence Halls’ (NACURH) conference at the University of Delaware. “It’s truly an honor,” says Kimbrell, a third-generation Cowboy. “Oklahoma State pushes you to be your best. It helps create not only successful students in Oklahoma, but nationally as well. OSU’s Residential Life has truly changed my life.” NACURH is an organization that aims to bring together residential student leaders from across the country to share ideas, strengthen their programs and reward exceptional students and schools for great achievements. There are currently 411 schools affiliated with NACURH, which is split into eight geographic regions. OSU is a member of the Southwest region, which covers Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Before Kimbrell could be in the running for the national title, he first had to win the region’s Student of the Year. OSU students submitted nine bids for the award through presentations outlining campus achievements. Then at the regional convention, held at Texas A&M, a panel of students voted Kimbrell’s submission as the best entry. “I was in complete shock,” Kimbrell says. “The competition was very stiff, and I couldn’t believe that I’d won.” However, he didn’t just luck into his award. When he arrived at OSU, he never intended to dive into Residential Life. An upperclassman in his dormitory practically forced him to run for a leadership position. He was instantly hooked, and he has been helping transform OSU’s Residential life programs ever since. As president of OSU’s National Residence Hall Honorary, an organization comprised of the top one percent of residential leaders on campus, he has helped the organization grow from seven members to 35, with 11 students currently working to become members as well.


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Oklahoma State University awarded degrees to 1,774 scholars in fall 2016, including 1,159 Oklahomans. The Honorable Steven Taylor, retired Oklahoma Supreme Court justice, spoke at commencement in December. Read more about Justice Taylor on Page 45.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing program launching in fall 2017 Oklahoma State University is accepting applicants for its new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program launching in fall 2017. The online program, offered by the College of Education, is designed for licensed registered nurses who have successfully completed either an accredited associate degree or diploma program. Designed for working adult learners, the coursework for the BSN is totally online and delivered over three successive semesters. Each student will have an adviser who provides system guidance and support with online activities. The adviser will serve as a mentor while the student navigates the online degree process. “With a national focus on the need to prepare more registered nurses with advanced education, OSU and the College of Education welcome the opportunity to provide a quality program that will produce leaders in the clinical nursing practice,” says Dr. John Romans, dean of the College of Education. The OSU RN to BSN program concept is unique because of the health and wellness concentration of the degree. The College of Education includes a strong health focus with programs in health education and promotion, applied exercise science, recreational therapy, physical education, and counseling and counseling psychology. The program plans to seek accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education by



the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. “The new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program meets an expressed need for the state’s health care community and it expands the emphasis on health that is already one of the many strengths of the College of Education,” Roman says. “We are excited to offer a high-quality program that will produce more nurses with advanced educations for Oklahoma, the region and the U.S.” Visit education.okstate.edu/bsn for more information or to apply for the BSN program. Questions may be directed to heather.stranger@okstate.edu.

Regents approve music industry degree program Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents have approved a new bachelor’s degree in music industry intended to address a growing demand from students and employers alike. OSU’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Industry will train individuals to work in recording, music publishing, and live entertainment, offering courses taught by those who are familiar and active in the industry. The board’s decision is still subject to approval by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. “Over the last quarter century, the music world has undergone a whirlwind of change — and there’s no end in sight,” says Dr. Howard Potter, head of the OSU Music Department. “Musicians in all


Oklahoma State University offers new degree programs

Dr. Howard Potter performs in a jazz concert. areas of the industry have been working hard to stay one step ahead of these changes, and a small number of the most entrepreneurial artists have forged new and creative avenues for others to follow. “We are quite sure that we can build on OSU’s many strengths, from its worldclass music faculty, its strong academic standing, and the developing of The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts to offer a music industry program which will prepare young, talented and creative entrepreneur/artists to be leaders in this exciting new world of music.” The degree is designed for those interested in music careers other than K-12 education or performance and will replace the current degree, known as the Bachelor of Music with Elective Studies in Business.

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Inventors Lee Brasuell, left, and Henry Segerman demonstrate the Tao-Line at the Seretean Center.


An unlikely partnership creates artistry in motion The device resembles an awkward skeleton of a large round animal — maybe a giant armadillo rolled up into its defensive position. But once a person steps into the device and begins rolling around in it onstage, the awkwardness disappears in a combination of human agility and geometric beauty creating artistry in motion. The device, called a Tao-Line by its creators, is designed to be used by circus performers or acrobats. One or more performers can interact with the device from inside and on the outside and manipulate its motion by shifting their weight. The Tao-Line can also be suspended to become a human-powered aerial apparatus. The Tao-Line was designed by OSU faculty Lee Brasuell, production manager and technical director in the Department of Theatre, and Henry Segerman, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics. The fields of math and theatre rarely cross paths, but Brasuell



and Segerman had a chance meeting at an orientation for new faculty at OSU. Brasuell noticed Segerman drawing sketches of what looked like a device for acrobatic performers to use, and he asked the mathematician about it. That chance meeting led to the partnership between Segerman, who contributed his knowledge of 3D geometric shapes, with Brasuell, the theatre production master, who brought years of expertise in creating devices for acrobats. The collaboration perfectly used each person’s talents. Brasuell searched his contacts in the circus world to find experts who could build the initial Tao-Line device based on Segerman’s computer-generated 3D renderings. A company in Chicago built the prototype that was tested by performers there. The prototype is now at OSU where the inventors demonstrate and evaluate the design while working to come up with funding to continue developing and marketing the device.

“We were doing a lot of great research on the movements and balance points, but we didn’t have any funding,” Brasuell says. “I started writing proposals. I received a DaVinci Fellowship, and that was the seed money to get us going.” The team also received a Technology Business Development Program “gap funding” grant from the OSU Technology Development Center to help with prototype development. The two have learned that developing anything new from the ground up is an excruciatingly slow process. “There’s a lot of structural analysis we have to do to the hardware and the splicing so when it’s up in the air it will take the shock loads put on it by the aerial artists,” Brasuell says. “It’s going to take time because none of this is off-the-shelf. It’s all custom-made.”

OSU wheat geneticist wins national honor

Dr. Brett Carver provides direction for the nationally renowned OSU Wheat Improvement Team.

Iba and Bentley are additional OSU wheat varieties that help wheat growers maintain yield in the water-limited environments of western Oklahoma, while varieties such as Ruby Lee help high-input producers capture yield.


Dr. Brett Carver with OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources has won the 2016 National Association of Plant Breeders’ Plant Breeding Impact Award, which recognizes significant advancements that demonstrate measurable impact on crop production. An OSU Regents professor and holder of the university’s Wheat Genetics Chair in Agriculture, Carver provides program direction for the nationally renowned OSU Wheat Improvement Team. The team has released 20 hard red winter and hard white cultivars since 1998, including the top four varieties planted as part of Oklahoma’s 4.9 million acres of wheat in 2016.  Cultivars developed and released by Carver and his team are now grown on 45 percent of Oklahoma wheat acres, 15 percent of wheat acres in the southern Great Plains states and 6 percent of all wheat acres in the United States. The accomplishment is more impressive when you consider slightly less than 5 percent of Oklahoma’s wheat acres were sown with OSU varieties prior to those developed under Carver’s leadership.

Carver led OSU efforts to develop Hessian fly-resistant varieties Duster and Gallagher, which have allowed producers to continue to implement soil-saving production practices such as no-till without sacrificing forage or grain yield.

OSU postdoctoral researchers Josu Cantero, left, and David Jamin work in the ATLAS control room at the station that monitors the central tracking detectors at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland.

Exploring the boundaries of human knowledge from Stillwater and Europe


Science has no boundaries and certainly Oklahoma State University research is not confined to the state’s borders or within American shores. In fact, one OSU physics investigation not only takes student and faculty researchers to Europe, but the research subject explores the infinite expanses of space and the subatomic particles that scientists believe make up that vast, infinite cosmos. A part of the OSU High Energy Physics program, a group of physics researchers from Stillwater also work at the European Organization for Nuclear Research laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. The facility is better known as CERN, a French abbreviation for the European Council for Nuclear Research. CERN is home to the world’s largest particle accelerator called the Large Hadron Collider, where large subatomic particles are smashed into each other at near light speed. Several different experiments are underway at CERN, and OSU faculty, student, and post-doctorate researchers are working on the ATLAS project that

measures energy output from the LHC to observe phenomena not previously observable. The OSU team is led by Dr. Joseph Haley, assistant professor of physics and includes Dr. Fiera Rizatdinova and Dr. Alexander Khanov. “The basic idea is that it boils down to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity,” Haley says. “It works well, but we know it has problems. It explains almost every measurement we’ve done, but if we use it to calculate what should happen at higher energies, certain calculations give nonsense answers, such as probabilities greater than 100 percent.” Part of the allure of working on the ATLAS project is joining a prestigious group of scientists from all over the world as well as working on one of the most important modern experiments that hopes to take man’s understanding of the universe beyond Einstein. “We can explore new areas of physics,” says OSU post-doctorate researcher Dr. David Jamin. “Here, we can access and test the limit of the boundaries of human knowledge.”



Design as an expression of sovereign tribal culture features collection inspired by Native Americans

Inset: Leslie A. Deer’s apparel designs are influenced by the spirals and abstract florals of her ancestors. She is reaching back to her native southeastern roots, reclaiming designs and using them in a contemporary way.



tudents from Dr. Mary Ruppert-Stroescu’s advanced apparel design class at Oklahoma State University created a collection inspired by “From the Belly of Our Being: art by and about Native creation,” an exhibition featured at the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art. The Center for Sovereign Nations, under the direction of Elizabeth Payne, hosted the fashion show in collaboration with the Sovereignty Speaks® series. The exhibition brought us face to face with indigenous female-centered creation stories. Curator heather ahtone says the artists “explored the ideals of feminine behavior and gendered roles — the ability to be both delicate and gentle, while also being a force that is powerful and bold. These narratives often teach that the Earth is our mother and all things that come from the Earth are given to nourish and provide for the people as a mother cares for her children.” The advance apparel design class was challenged to look for inspiration for their senior collection in the Native American culture. To generate ideas, a group of students from the OSU Native American Student Association from the Cherokee, Pawnee and Choctaw tribes gave a presentation about their traditional clothing and its meaning. “The collection is centered in North American indigenous peoples who helped craft the world around us,” RuppertStroescu says. Native Americans’ deeply-held convictions connecting them with nature inspired a dedication to sustainability and symbolism. To integrate sustainability, the fabric utilized in all the designs is recycled or reused through dyeing and felting. Claire Kennedy donated all the fabric. “In homage to additional elements of the indigenous culture, the students decided to incorporate the matriarchal society structure,” Ruppert-Stroescu says. “They interpreted matriarchy as a bold, driven, independent woman who

Alumna Leslie Deer came to class and shared her perspectives with the graduating seniors. As a 5-year-old, Deer’s mother was sent to an American Indian boarding school by the United States government until she was 20 years old and placed in an urban California relocation program to assimilate. However, “Indians found Indians from all over the country,” Deer says. Her mother delivered her in Oakland, California, in the 1960s. Deer grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area until the age of 18, when she moved to Oklahoma. Throughout her childhood, Deer’s family

on tour. As her love for creating apparel grew, so did her clientele, and she decided to pursue a degree in apparel design to strengthen her skills. She earned a bachelor’s degree in apparel design and production at OSU in 2015. Although Deer is a citizen of the Muscogee (Mvskoke) Creek Nation, she was introduced to traditional applique ribbonwork art over 20 years ago by two Sax & Fox women in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Her work is influenced by the motifs of her Mvskoke people and their ancestors, the Moundbuilders. She creates classic looks infused with bright color combinations and curvilinear lines. Deer


facilitates equality in society through her leadership.” Models ranging in age from 6 to 60 years old represented a matriarch at various times in her life. Many of the garments incorporated the shape of the triangle, whether in seaming or silhouette, to symbolize the female. Each garment continued the matriarchal theme by reflecting the group’s collective vision of how a strong woman in the various age groups would dress. “I enjoyed this group design project. It was good to collaborate and work with my friends,” says senior Sydney McAleb of Dallas who wants to learn more about fair trade and the logistics of law in apparel production after graduation. “I came to OSU to study because the program is nationally ranked.” Apparel Design and Production at OSU is one of only 13 apparel programs in North America to receive the American Apparel and Footwear Association approval, which assures that the curriculum and facilities have met rigorous industry standards. Senior Chandler Craven of Springfield, Missouri, says she researched programs all over the country before enrolling at OSU. After graduation, she is moving to New York City to work in the corporate office of Ulla Johnson. Seniors Hannah Baker and Kara Rainey of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Hannah Haines of Stroud, Oklahoma; and Akhilaa Akurathi of Visakhapatnam, India, worked on the collection, too.

OSU First Cowgirl Ann Hargis and Provost Gary Sandefur applauded with the crowd in appreciation of the garment designs modeled at the OSU Museum of Art. was active in the indigenous community and participated in several historical events including the Occupation of Alcatraz, the Longest Walk, and the first two 500 Mile Runs. She also danced at intertribal powwows. “There were lots of different tribes in the Bay Area,” Deer says. It was her love of dancing and a 12-year run with the American Indian Dance Theatre that led to her current profession. Deer is an apparel designer and artist who began her career by making her own dance regalia out of necessity while

prefers to use natural fibers and strives to be as sustainable as possible by producing limited editions of her garments and maximizing use of fabric scraps. She describes her garments as storytellers and envisions each piece being handed down in families, and she wonders, “Maybe I’m here as a placeholder to keep these things alive until the next generation.” Watch a video of the fashion show at okla.st/RE_birth_A_Fashion_Show.


On April 11-12, the Cowboy family united to Give Orange in support of Oklahoma State University. Give Orange was OSU’s first annual day of giving and we are so proud of what your generosity accomplished. OSU alumni, students and friends all over the world discovered their Orange Passion by sharing and supporting a variety of campus programs and units.

We are grateful for the continued support of our Cowboy family. Thank you for making Give Orange a success! Go to giveorange.okstate.edu to see the impact we have when we come together!

If a horse can feel it …


Oxley Chair in Equine Sports Medicine promotes research that helps both equines and humans






it really does — hurt you to breathe, that is. That’s the finding of research done by Dr. Michael Davis, director of OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Science’s Comparative Exercise Physiology Laboratory and holder of the Oxley Chair in Equine Sports Medicine. “For the first five or six years (at OSU), I was working in the area of equine airway disease — and specifically, the effects of exercising in cold weather on the airways,” Davis says. “I think pretty much everybody has some frame of reference without really knowing it. When you go outside during a really cold winter day and exercise a little bit, and then you breathe a little hard and you get that sort of burning sensation in the back of your throat — that’s essentially injury to the airway as a result of breathing really cold air.” Davis and his team discovered that this sort of injury can extend all the way into the lungs. “You can’t feel it because you’re not wired to feel it,” he says. “And it (the cold air) does it in horses as well. In fact, we have been able to reproduce nearly all of the common clinical signs and symptoms of chronic airway inflammation in horses using nothing but breathing cold air while exercising. It’s a significant cause of illness for horses, and we have been able to identify it. Identifying it is half the battle of doing something about it.” One of the main things that has kept Davis’ research steady is the Oxley Chair in Equine Sports Medicine, which he has held for the last 10 years.



Twenty-five years ago, the Oxley Foundation of Tulsa, Oklahoma, decided to invest in the equine program at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. Its endowment created the Oxley Chair in Equine Sports Medicine. “The chair was established by John T. Oxley,” says Konnie Boulter, executive director for the Oxley Foundation. “Horses are part of the family.” The endowment is a huge asset providing resources that are difficult to get. “The Oxley Chair basically allows us to maintain an infrastructure for equine sports medicine that no other university has,” says Davis, who joined OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences in 1998. Funds help maintain a herd of horses and expensive equipment which expands research capabilities. “I like how he is doing a lot of research with the racing horse,” Boulter says. “I had the opportunity to see the race horse on the treadmill and talk about the different breathing issues that are created from racing and also with people running. I love how he comingles the research for humans as well as equines.” More recently, Davis and his team started looking at the way muscle adapts to exercise. “Essentially exercise is the muscle taking chemical energy and converting it to mechanical energy,” Davis says. “And really good exercise is doing that very, very quickly. We began using the resources created by the Oxley endowment to help us better understand how that process occurs in muscle and how it improves when horses actually become fit. “One of the things that we have been able to do is use animal athletes — dogs and horses — successfully as models of human exercise and do that in a way that still actually helps the animal athletes. By using the robust nature of human funding,


“One of the things that we have been able to do is use animal athletes — dogs and horses — successfully as models of human exercise and do that in a way that still actually helps the animal athletes.”


we get further and get there faster than we would if we just limit ourselves to the amount of money available specifically for horses.” Another bonus with the Oxley Chair is that it provides revenue to employ undergraduate and graduate students. Former graduate student Dr. Jessica Quigg, an intern at Montana Equine Medical and Surgical Center in Three Forks, worked with Davis on both his equine and canine research projects. “I feel that research has had a very positive impact on my veterinary career,” Quigg says. “It has opened my mind to new heights and dimensions that I most likely would not have appreciated before. There are so many questions that come up in equine veterinary medicine, just in my first year, that have sparked my thinking — ‘this seems to be recurring, and there are no papers out on this topic,’ or ‘this would be a good area to perform a study or collect data for research.’ I can only imagine how much more I can question and study as times change. I greatly appreciate being able to do research with Dr. Davis. Times will change, veterinary medicine will change, and more often than not, it is thanks to those performing ongoing research.” Davis employs about a dozen undergraduate students to help take care of the lab, focusing to improve the health and wellbeing of animal athletes.


“The chair was established by John T. Oxley. Horses are part of the family.”

“It’s more than just a workforce to keep the horses fed,” he says. “I am teaching them how to care for horses properly — sort of raising their standards for what it takes to maintain a healthy, happy horse. There’s nothing that makes me and everybody in the lab prouder than for folks to see our research horses and mistake them for actively competing athletes. They are cared for in just exactly the same level of meticulous detail as if they were owned by somebody who viewed them as a million-dollar asset.” Davis’ research horses will have ample opportunities to race on the treadmill in the future. “We’re starting to make some really interesting progress in the field of muscle metabolism,” he says. “We’ve known for centuries that a working horse gets hot. In the last century, we’ve realized that it’s an incredibly high temperature that is generated inside the muscle. Temperatures that if a horse were to generate that just standing still, it would damage the muscle. And yet, it doesn’t seem to damage the muscle when they do it through exercise. So, I’m really interested in figuring out what protects the horse’s muscle from those high temperatures? How do they maintain the correct muscle function when the temperature goes up in the muscle upward of 10 degrees?” Some of Davis’ preliminary work shows that maybe the muscle doesn’t preserve itself as well as previously thought. “There’s some indication that the high temperature directly results in muscle damage that we commonly see and just attribute to overexertion,” Davis says. “There is also some reason to believe that part of the training process of a horse is the muscle learning to tolerate those higher temperatures. So that a muscle temperature of 108 or 110 degrees in a fit horse does far less damage than the exact same temperature in an unfit horse. That becomes a very important practical consideration. How do we make those muscles more tolerant to the high temperatures that are inevitably going to occur when the horse exercises?” How indeed is a question Davis will no doubt continue to explore thanks to the veterinary center, the Oxley Foundation and the Oxley Chair in Equine Sports Medicine. For more information on research at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences visit cvhs.okstate.edu/Research. For details about Davis’ work, click on Comparative Exercise Physiology Laboratory. Watch a video on OState.TV at okla.st/2mj1iGq. To support equine research or learn more about establishing funds in support of the veterinary center, contact Chris Sitz, OSU Foundation senior director of development, at 405-385-5170 or csitz@osugiving.com.

“We’re starting to make some really interesting progress in the field of muscle metabolism. … How do they (horses) maintain the correct muscle function when the temperature goes up in the muscle upward of 10 degrees?”



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OSU-OKC EMS students Chris Bookout, Gibson Miller, David Graham and Andrew Bills arrive at a simulated scene of a singlevehicle crash. Their patient is a hi-fidelity manikin who was ejected from the vehicle.

OSU-OKC Nurse Science students Vanessa Fehr and Desi Womack take the vitals of simulation accident victim Jaxson Teel.

“The most important benefit is improving communication and teamwork dynamics between emergency room nurses and paramedics.” — Justin Hunter, OSU-OKC EMS program director

Except on this chilly day, the “accident scene” was staged in the parking lot of Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City’s new Allied Health building that houses the latest in simulation labs and equipment designed to propel health care students into lifelike situations. The injured adult was a high-tech simulation manikin and the moulaged children were helping their dad, OSU-OKC Emergency Medical Services Program Director Justin Hunter. Twice a year, OSU-OKC’s fourthsemester paramedic and nursing students participate in Interprofessional Education Simulations (IPE) to better prepare professionals to work together in response to a traumatic event. It’s just one of the interdepartmental partnerships that uniquely prepare OSU-OKC graduates for their future careers. The exercise follows a scenario in which paramedics treat, transport and deliver a patient into nursing care. Once



the handoff is official, nursing students step in and gain emergency treatment experience under the watchful eyes of instructors in a simulation lab designed to present an array of realistic patient-care scenarios. “The most important benefit is improving communication and teamwork dynamics between emergency room nurses and paramedics,” Hunter says. “When they are in the field, they work together very closely, and it can get tense. Historically in nursing and Emergency Medical Services, there is little if any training on how to work through this process prior to actually going on the job. We know that when teamwork suffers, patient care suffers. So, we create these large-scale simulations that purposely build in some conflict between both professions with the objective of recognizing the importance of cooperation, mutual respect and clear communication.”

For Brent Gibson, who is scheduled to graduate from OSU-OKC’s paramedic program this May, the IPE experience was invaluable. “It gives you a different perspective,” Gibson says. “The exercise stresses the importance of sharing as much critical information as possible with the nurses and the medical team. Cohesion can save lives. It’s not all about ‘load and go.’ We have to be able to give a concise and thorough report to the nurses and medical team. It’s the ultimate form of patient advocacy.” OSU-OKC President Natalie Shirley believes interdepartmental programs such as IPE are critical to student success. “Internal partnerships expand learning opportunities by teaching collaboration, problem-solving and communication skills — important abilities that will set our graduates apart in the workforce,” Shirley says. “By working


across department lines, we have also found creative ways to support our students when they need it the most.” A special group of Early Care and Child Development students received that support with the removal of a barrier to attending night and weekend classes. In 2015, OSU-OKC partnered with Sunbeam Family Services related to a federally funded grant that pays for Early Head Start teachers to earn a Certificate of Mastery in Early Care Education with an Infant/Toddler option or pursue an Associate in Applied Science degree in Early Care Education providing a seamless path to a bachelor’s degree. More than 20 students are currently enrolled. Since all of the program’s students work during the day and many are single mothers, the evening and weekend classes created their own child care challenges. The solution came when OSU-OKC’s Child Development Lab School, a fully functioning child care center and teaching lab during the day, opened to care for the students’ children during weekly night and special weekend classes. Grant funding pays for the care.

“This solution allowed many of our students to stay in the program. It not only touched their lives, but also the lives they touch as teachers now and in the future,” says Kim Pearsall, interim department head for OSU-OKC’s Early Care and Child Development Program. Shirley says interdepartmental cooperation can be found in and out of the classroom setting. “We are a hands-on institution,” she says. “Our students learn by doing and experiencing. Whether we are partnering on curriculum development or creating cross-learning scenarios, we are saving dollars and resources. Working across academic programs is one of the reasons we are able to direct all the money OSU-OKC raises through fundraising events toward student scholarships and mentoring.” OSU-OKC’s Associate Director of Development Donovan Woods says interdepartmental partnerships provide unique opportunities for donors. “With one investment, our donors can impact multiple programs and students across a range of disciplines,” he says.

In the Human Services Division, there is a natural partnership between Police Science and the Crime Victim/Survivor Services Department. “When they are in the field employed in their professions, chances are high that graduates of both programs will either be working together or at least need to have a clear understanding of what the other does,” says Ann Lowrance, department head for OSU-OKC’s Social Services Program. “By forging that relationship now, we are giving our grads one more tool to be successful.” Other interdepartmental programs across campus are more unexpected. The surveying program in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Division is working with students in Police Science to explore how drone technology can assist in search and rescue. And, curriculum is underway pairing the Science Department’s cadaver lab with the Crime Scene Investigation program. “My hope is our willingness to partner across departmental lines sets an example for our students,” Shirley says. “Solutions and opportunities appear when you broaden your perspective and understanding of others.”

OSU-OKC EMS students Kat Biggs, David Miguel and Kahl Colon work on simulated crash victim Soraya Hunter. In the crash scenario, she was wearing a seatbelt but experienced facial injuries and difficulty breathing.





ometimes when you want something done, you have to do it yourself. Tulsa native and OSU Institute of Technology alumna Libby Billings wanted to see more life downtown, so she opened her first restaurant, Elote Café, in 2008 at 514 S. Boston Ave., in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “I was nervous. I was 25 years old getting a business loan. The economy was in a downturn. That was crazy. What was I thinking?” Billings says. But being in the restaurant business is all Billings has ever known professionally. Her first restaurant job was at Mexicali Border Café when she was 16. “I fell in love with the restaurant industry. I loved the fast pace; it fit my personality,” she says, so at 18 her dad recommended she look into culinary schools. She started attending OSUIT’s School of Culinary Arts in 1999 and graduated three years later. PHOTOS / KYLE LOMENICK

When she first opened Elote, it was primarily a Monday through Friday venture like most of the restaurants in that part of downtown Tulsa. “It can be difficult making money Monday through Friday only,” she says. “I started throwing festivals to get people downtown in the evening. I wanted another business to draw more people. I wanted to grow the district, and I wanted to help my employees.” After the success of Mexican-witha-twist Elote Café, Billings opened The Vault in 2012 in the former First National Auto Bank built in 1958, just a block away from Elote. Classic American food and craft cocktails are served at the midcentury modern building at 620 S. Cincinnati Ave. But she wasn’t done. Last fall, Billings opened Roppongi, a ramen noodle bar at 601 S. Boston Ave., half a block away from her other ventures in the Deco District of downtown. “I wanted my neighborhood to grow. If you want people to come, you have to give them something to do. I wanted

something else open in the evenings. Ramen is getting popular, so I booked a trip to Japan to get ideas and inspiration,” she says. And while running one restaurant can be more than enough work for one person, owning three seems to be working just fine for Billings. She gives much of the credit to her employees. “I have amazing employees. My general managers are amazing. It’s the people that make it happen. I love my employees; they’re so good to me,” she says, and now that downtown Tulsa has once again become a destination on nights and weekends, she can focus on the food and not the festivals. “I still work very hard, but my job was a lot harder when I had to get people down here. I’m a chef. I want to feed people. When half my job was planning festivals and doing marketing, I wasn’t doing what I really wanted,” Billings says. She’s moved beyond her kitchens and works with other community leaders on urban revitalization and growing the Tulsa Deco District. She also supports institutions like OSUIT that promote applied, experiential learning. “I’m a big proponent of tech schools now. I think people are surprised I only have an associate degree and I'm the owner of three companies,” she says. “It’s hands on, and it’s a good alternative to a traditional college.”

Libby Billings holds a bowl of vegan ramen, one of the dishes offered at her newly opened restaurant, Roppongi, located at 601 S. Boston Ave. It's Billings' third restaurant to open in that part of downtown Tulsa since 2008.


OSU in Tulsa Icons gathered with university representatives at A Stately Affair in Tulsa kickoff event including, from left, first row, OSU-CHS President Kayse Shrum, D.O, OSU President Burns Hargis, OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett, and back row, Bill Major, of the Zarrow Group of Foundations, Dennis Neill, of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and Jay Helm, Oklahoma State Regent for Higher Education.


OSU in Tulsa Icons are known for their leadership, community involvement and service to higher education An Oklahoma State Regent for Higher Education, a prominent charitable organization, and a generous philanthropist who left his mark on the city have been selected as OSU in Tulsa Icons by Oklahoma State University-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences for their leadership in education throughout the state.



These Icons for OSU in Tulsa are the 2017 honorees for A Stately Affair in Tulsa, the biennial fundraising gala that plays a key role in providing scholarships for hundreds of OSU students in Tulsa. Nearly $1.5 million has been raised for scholarships by the joint campus event since it began in 2011. This year’s Icons are Jay Helm, a Tulsa businessman and member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; and the late Henry Zarrow, who with his wife, Anne, co-founded the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation.

Ted and Shiela Haynes, co-chairs for A Stately Affair in Tulsa, are strong OSU supporters.

Each of the Icons for OSU in Tulsa has a history of supporting higher education in Oklahoma, especially within the OSU system. As an OSU business graduate and civic leader, Helm’s impact on higher education has been felt statewide. In addition to OSRHE, he previously served on the OSU/A&M Board of Regents and the OSU-Tulsa Board of Trustees. He is chairman of American Residential Group Ltd., a Tulsa-based multifamily residential property development and management firm that has been a leader in the renaissance of downtown Tulsa. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the University Center at Tulsa Authority as well as the Board of Trustees for both OSU Medical Authority and the OSU Medical Trust. The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation was established by Lynn Schusterman and her late husband, Charles, in 1987 to benefit education, child advocacy and youth leadership programs in Tulsa and Oklahoma. The

and Marylouise Tandy Medical Academic Building, set to be completed this year. The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation Lecture Hall in the new building will be named in their honor. The Foundation also provides scholarships at OSU-Tulsa and OSU-CHS and supports the Center for Family Resilience at OSU-Tulsa. These Icons for OSU in Tulsa have directly impacted the daily lives of Oklahomans. Matthew Haney, D.O., who is in his residency at Tulsa’s In His Image Family Medicine program at St. John Medical Center, can attest to the significance of their gifts. He says the A Stately Affair scholarship was crucial for him to complete his medical degree at OSU-CHS. “This financial help was a huge blessing for my family and me,” he says. “It was an essential part of achieving my dream of becoming a doctor.”

“This year’s OSU in Tulsa Icons share OSU’s mission to educate and help others,” says OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett. “All have spent their lives in service to our community and contributed to the breadth and quality of life and education in Oklahoma and throughout the country.” Also strong OSU supporters, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma To learn more about contributing to scholPresident Ted Haynes and his wife, Shiela, arship funds for OSU-Tulsa and OSU-CHS president of the board for Domestic students, contact the OSU Foundation in Violence Intervention Services and board Tulsa at 918-594-8500. vice chair for the Tulsa Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, are co-chairs of the event. Senior U.S. District Judge Terence Kern and his wife, Jeanette are honorary co-chairs. “A Stately Affair in Tulsa plays an integral role in producing physicians who will — OSU-CHS President Kayse Shrum provide quality health care service in rural and underserved areas of Oklahoma,” foundation has provided generous support says OSU-CHS President Kayse Shrum, A Stately Affair honorary co-chairs for student scholarships at OSU-Tulsa who is also dean of the College of include Judge Terence and Jeanette Kern. and provides assistance for OSUTeach, a Osteopathic Medicine. program designed to attract students with Scholarships are increasingly imporscience and mathematics majors to careers tant to college students focused on realin secondary education. Lynn and daughizing their educational and career goals, ter Stacy are co-chairs of the Foundation particularly as state funding has declined and lead the family’s commitment to in recent years. Three-quarters of the investing in young people and strengthenfastest-growing occupations in the nation ing communities. require education and training beyond a Henry Zarrow established The Anne high school diploma, but rising tuition and Henry Zarrow Foundation in the costs can thwart college plans, according 1980s. The foundation provides broadto the U.S. Department of Education. based programs benefiting children, the “The A Stately Affair scholarship alledisadvantaged, health programs, educaviated so much financial stress for our family,” says Tiffany Zwart, who is pursu- tion and medical research. An OSU supporter, the foundation’s generosity ing her master’s degree in mental health counseling at OSU-Tulsa. “It was seriously has enabled OSU-CHS to underwrite a portion of construction costs for the A.R. a blessing.”

“A Stately Affair in Tulsa plays an integral role in producing physicians who will provide quality health care service in rural and underserved areas of Oklahoma.”


Counseling Center  for the Community OSU-Tulsa facility expands to meet growing needs for assistance BY K I M A R C H E R


niversity counseling centers traditionally provide assistance for students, faculty and staff and serve as training grounds for graduate students. The OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center does that and more. It reaches beyond to honor OSU’s land grant mission of instruction, research and outreach. “Outreach is all about nurturing positive relationships in the community, and that is central to the mission of the OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center,” says Dr. Al Carlozzi, director of the counseling center and OSU professor of applied health and educational psychology. When Carlozzi became director of the counseling center in 2006, only two master’s degree interns and two doctoral student graduate associates provided counseling services to students, faculty, staff and the public, he says. Today, about 80 appointments are scheduled at the counseling center each week with student counselors, who serve under the guidance and supervision of faculty. “The counseling center is an integral and valuable resource that Tulsans have at their fingertips,” says Hayley Brown, an OSU-Tulsa student pursuing her master’s degree in school counseling. “It provides



a service to the community on an ongoing basis as well as in times of crisis.” Last summer, when a gunman entered a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and killed 49 people, the pain from that act was felt across the world — and in Tulsa. In the aftermath, the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center asked the center for help following a spike in calls from frightened members of the LGBTQ community. “Our service not only benefits the university and the community but allows me the educational opportunities to learn by having a more diverse client population,” doctoral student Brendon Glon says. “Having clients from a variety of racial, gender, religious, sexual and cultural backgrounds helps deepen my understanding of identity and how that shapes overall mental health.” Andria Whipple, a master’s degree student and intern at the counseling center, agrees that working with diverse groups of people has bolstered her education. “That experience has enabled me to grow both personally and professionally,” she says. In addition to offering workshops and presentations, OSU-Tulsa faculty and graduate students network with numerous social service and correctional agencies to provide counseling for those with eating disorders, substance abuse issues and other mental health problems.

Dr. Al Carlozzi is the director of the OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center and an OSU professor of applied health and educational psychology. “The OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center is a demonstration of honoring our commitment as a land grant institution to serve the community,” says OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett. “Dr. Carlozzi is behind the growth of the counseling center’s outreach throughout the area and in developing a quality educational program for future mental health professionals.” With the growing demand for affordable mental health care in Tulsa, the counseling center has tripled the number of graduate student interns who provide services, Carlozzi says. Today, about 80 percent of the counseling center’s clients are low-income community members, says Tara Brim, a doctoral student graduate associate. “There are very few resources for lowincome people who need mental health counseling,” she says. “We add a couple of additional counselors each year because the need is greater and greater.”

psychology and a doctoral program in educational psychology. Aside from providing clinical supervision of the counseling center’s interns, Carlozzi and other faculty focus on multiple areas of outreach. Carlozzi guides outreach efforts for the LGBTQ population while Dr. Valerie McGaha, associate professor of applied health and educational psychology, networks with substance abuse and correctional agencies. Dr. Tonya Hammer, assistant professor of applied health and educational psychology, collaborates with organizations such as Family and Children’s Services and the eating disorders treatment program at Laureate Psychiatric Hospital.

training and intensive supervision, but the center celebrates and affirms differences among people from diverse backgrounds,” she says. “The center is a safe place for students and clients who feel marginalized or oppressed. And it provides assistance that is affordable to those who need it.” Brim believes her counseling center training is crucial to her education and will better prepare her for her career. “Through my work at the counseling center, I have been able to network with other social service agencies and meet leaders in the mental health community,” she says. “My future clients will benefit from my education and first-hand experience. And it has inspired me to be an advocate for those in the Tulsa area who have limited access to mental health care.” PHOTOS / KIM ARCHER

Brim and other graduate students attribute the center’s ability to meet increasing community needs to Carlozzi. “I can’t say enough about what Dr. Carlozzi has done for the center. His strong connections with service agencies throughout the city and state provided a focus and a growth the counseling center otherwise wouldn’t have experienced,” Brim says. Carlozzi is a member of the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, a statewide organization aimed at providing affordable housing and support services and referrals for people who experience a variety of mental health and substance use concerns. He was president of the group’s board of directors in 2015 and a member of the board for six years. In addition, he served as co-chairman of the association’s education committee for years and remains an active member. He has been involved with planning the committee’s annual Zarrow Mental Health Symposium, including last year when more than 1,000 mental health professionals attended from throughout the country. “It is not enough to simply build programs in the hope that people will come,” Carlozzi says. “You have to build excellent programs and services and then you have to engage in outreach and engagement activities to promote what you offer.”

“Not only does the center provide support to counselor interns to enhance their counseling skills … it provides assistance that is affordable to those who need it.”

Doctoral students Sultan MacGruder, left, and Tara Brim discuss clinical techniques to determine suicide risk.

— Valerie McGaha

As an example of that philosophy, Carlozzi made himself available to faculty and staff after an OSU employee died. And the counseling center participates in professional development at the university, including recently when Carlozzi and doctoral student Fallyn Lee conducted workshops for OSU employees on emotional intelligence in the workplace. OSU-Tulsa offers master’s degree programs in counseling and educational

“This kind of exposure, networking and connection with other providers and resources helps to make the services we offer known and respected,” Carlozzi says. McGaha says the low-cost services to the community demonstrate the counseling center’s commitment to promoting social justice. “Not only does the center provide support to counselor interns to enhance their counseling skills through hands-on

Parker Shaw, a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology, studies at the OSU-Tulsa Counseling Center.


Foundation; 2012 OMHF inductee Boyd L. Barclay, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps; retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William R. Schwertfeger, 2013 OMHF inductee; 2010 OMHF inductee Gary W. Vance, Captain, U.S. Army ; 2015 OMHF inductee James M. Horn, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps; retired U.S. Army Major General Douglas O. Dollar, 2007 OMHF inductee; retired U.S. Air Force Colonel William H. Talley, 2016 OMHF inductee; and OSU President Burns Hargis.

OSU Unveils Oklahoma Military Hall Of Fame Wall The Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation honors men and women who have served and those who continue to serve our country today. OSU students have served the United States in every branch of uniformed service at many levels of rank. The Oklahoma State University Reserve Officers’ Training Corps has commissioned more than 6,000 officers for the United States Army and Air Force.



A wall recognizing OSU alumni who have been inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame is showcased in the North Classroom Building at the entrance to the new Veterans Success Center. Find out more about OSU Cowboys, who have not only sacrificed, but have performed heroic acts while defending our nation at okmhf.org.


Alumni and guests celebrating at the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame Wall, recognizing inductees who were OSU students, included from left, Lynn C. Long, brother of 2002 OMHF inductee U.S. Army Brigadier General Glen C. Long; retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Glen C. Long Jr., son of U.S. Army Brigadier General Glen C. Long; retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Michael E. Slonicker, 2013 OMHF inductee; retired U.S. Army Major General Bradley D. Gambill, former president of the Oklahoma Military Heritage

THE HONORABLE STEVEN W. TAYLOR has spent his life serving the United States and the people of Oklahoma. He joined the United States Marine Corps and served on active duty from 1974 to 1978. He was trained as an infantry platoon commander and later served as a prosecutor and chief defense counsel. In 1977, he became the youngest judge in the U.S. Armed Forces. He was promoted to the rank of major. Following active duty service, Taylor practiced law in McAlester, Oklahoma, and was later elected mayor, making him the youngest mayor in that city’s history. He led economic development, and the city of McAlester later named a multi-million dollar industrial park for him. In 1984, Governor George Nigh appointed him associate district judge for Pittsburg County, and in 1994 he was elected district judge of the 18th Judicial District. In 1997 and 2003, Taylor was elected presiding judge of the 10-county EastCentral Judicial Administrative District. In 2004, Governor Brad Henry appointed him to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, where he served as chief justice from 2011 to 2013. In December 2016, after nearly 33 years of judicial service to Oklahoma, Taylor retired from the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

TRIAL OF THE CENTURY In his 20-plus years as a trial judge, Taylor presided over more than 500 jury trials, including the trial of Oklahoma City bombing co-conspirator Terry Nichols. Taylor stood calm and collected as Oklahoma and the nation struggled through the painful process. The trial resulted in the conviction of Nichols on 161 counts of first-degree murder. “That case consumed my life for a year — and the publicity and notoriety of the event caused the challenge of a fair trial to be great,” he says. “My mission was to have a fair trial. For a year of my life, I lived and breathed the challenge of assuring a fair trial to both sides. This was the largest and most deadly domestic terror attack in U.S. history. The state trial was the most counts of murder ever tried in one case.” Taylor told defendant Terry Nichols that the motive for him and Timothy McVeigh targeting the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was their hatred of the government.

LEARNING LEADERSHIP OSU was a laboratory for Taylor to study leadership and develop his interest in public policy and the law. Serving in the Student Senate and other student government positions gave him a strong foundation. He lived all four years in the Kappa Sigma house becoming lifelong friends with his fraternity brothers. In December 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War, he signed up for the U.S. Marine Corps in the OSU Student Union. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from OSU in 1971. Taylor received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1974.

HALL OF FAME HONORS Taylor has been honored with a number of distinctions and awards throughout his career, including the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Award of Judicial Excellence, the University of Oklahoma Regents’ Alumni Award, and induction into the OU College of Law Order of the Owl Hall of Fame, Oklahoma State University Alumni Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

A LOVE STORY Taylor met his wife Mary when he was in the Marines and stationed at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina. Their son, Wilson H. Taylor, earned degrees at OSU while serving as a student manager for the Cowboys basketball team and now is manager of operations for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.

CHAMPION OF OPEN GOVERNMENT Taylor has always been a fierce advocate of Oklahoma’s Open Records Act. He has a deep abiding belief that the more citizens know about their government, the better government will be. As a Supreme Court justice, he wrote many opinions upholding transparency in government. “As a judge, my oath commanded me to follow the law without regard to my personal or political beliefs,” he says. “I tried to do that every day for 33 years on the bench.”


In 1997, Taylor was named “Citizen of the Year” in McAlester. He serves on the board of directors “They were angry with the federal government, and their of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY mission was based on revenge and hate,” Taylor says, but Oklahoma City National Memorial and the he assured Nichols early on that he would get a fair trial after Oklahoma Heritage Association. Taylor is a ordering a change of venue from Oklahoma City to McAlester. “At the member of the First United Methodist Church of sentencing, I told the defendant that it was ironic that the government McAlester and a trustee of Oklahoma City University. During the that he hated so much was the government that was big enough, strong 2007 Oklahoma Centennial year, Oklahoma magazine named enough and good enough to give him a fair trial.” Taylor as one of the “100 Who Shaped Us” — a list of Oklahomans who influenced the state’s first 100 years.


Rick Hansen, coordinator of Veteran Student Academic Services, organized the flag display on the library lawn during a week of activities honoring veterans. Each of the 6,884 flags represented one American lost during the Global War on Terrorism since September 11, 2001. A roster of all fallen service men and women was available for viewing at the Edmon Low Library Plaza. The roster included name, rank, branch of service and home of record of all service members who have given their lives in defense of our nation since 9/11. PHOTO / JORDAN RICHARDS




ROTC Cadet Kody Conley, management information systems senior from Pryor and ROTC Cadet Mack Bryan, aerospace and mechanical engineering senior from Las Cruces, New Mexico, help set up 6,884 American flags during Veterans Day week to honor the fallen in the Global War on Terrorism since 9/11.


Oklahoma State University Opens Veteran Success Center


Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE) program at OSU and NOC. The offices are also utilized by counselors from the Vet Center in Tulsa, who provide reintegration counseling to combat veterans at OSU and in the community, and by veteran service officers with Disabled American Veterans and veteran service representatives with the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, who both help veterans and their families file benefit claims. “Veteran students are the most nontraditional of nontraditional students,” Hansen says. “Not only are they older, but most have families, and a majority of them work to support their families. They have often experienced things in their lives that most of us cannot understand. This group of individuals has proven themselves in some of the most difficult situations a person can encounter, and they have developed strengths and leadership beyond their years.” Casey Patterson, president of the OSU Student Veterans Organization, says she didn’t know anyone when she moved to Stillwater after serving four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. The clinical psychology student started college in California, and says OSU’s Veteran Success Center offers “a place where you have something in common.” Steven Moody joined the United States Director of Transfer and Veteran Navy out of high school in Alvarado, Academic Services Amy Cole-Smith, right, Texas, “to get out of town.” Now he is and Veteran Student Academic Services studying accounting and aspires to be a Coordinator Rick Hansen presented OSU CPA, but sometimes he finds “I’m older Challenge Coins to OSU President Burns than my teachers.” After serving on a Hargis, left, along with members of the submarine, he says he has a different life OSU/A&M Board of Regents. The coins perspective than many of his classmates so are given to veterans and other individu“it’s great to connect with other veterans at als who have supported student veterans the center.” in their educational goals. University “Everyone here makes you feel wanted Marketing Senior Graphic Designer at the university,” Moody says. And Paul Fleming, a Navy veteran, designed that’s a goal of PAVE representative Zane the coins. he new Veteran Success Center provides a space for the veteran and other military-affiliated students at both OSU and Northern Oklahoma College to study or just gather and share information and experiences. “The center allows veterans to talk candidly amongst themselves as they make the transition from the military to student life,” says retired United States Marine Corps Captain Rick Hansen, Veteran Student Academic Services coordinator. The primary task of the Veteran Student Academic Services office is to coordinate with campus, community, state and federal organizations to provide services to more than 850 veterans and military-affiliated students at OSU. Offices on the third floor of the North Classroom Building provide space for student veterans who administer the




Purple Heart University

Oklahoma State University is the first Purple Heart University in Oklahoma and the 25th nationally. The Military Order of the Purple Heart approached OSU in June of 2016 with the desire to recognize the university for OSU’s long affiliation with the military and continued support of veteran and military-affiliated students on campus and the ROTC programs at OSU.

Lovelace, who says awareness of veterans’ needs is critical. Lovelace, who is studying philosophy, says the battlefield and military service in general offer a very different world than the one student veterans find on the OSU campus, and that often makes their transition to college life challenging. Retention is key to veteran student’s future success. An emergency fund has been established to help student veterans get through education-ending situations. Donations to the emergency fund may be used to cover several types of expenses, including Veterans Administration funding shortages, assistance with rent and utilities, child care costs, unexpected personal or dependent medical problems, as well as groceries and fuel. Donations of any amount are accepted at osugiving.com/veterans. For more information, contact Rick Hansen by emailing richard.hansen@okstate.edu or calling 405-744-1390.


Veterans Entrepreneurship Program 2017 250 200

Delegates (232)


Males (193)

100 50

Females (39)


States (35)


69% 19%






* Proud to continue our 8th year of VEP (2010-2017)





Commercial & Professional Services

3 2

Specialty Retailing

Branches include Active Duty & Reserve

Capital Goods


Food & Staples Retailing Transportation

1 1


Delegate concepts and ventures represent a broad range of industry.



Accepting all 3 military rankings.






Non Commissioned Officers




CONCEPT VS VENTURE Those accepted to VEP have either a concept for a business they would like to start or an established business they wish to grow.



Ages ranging from 33-65 years old.




32% 68%




Distinguished OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences alumnus led investigative team identifying the first virus outbreak on Yap Island


he Zika virus is not new. For many decades, it remained in the shadow of its older and more common sibling, the dengue virus. But Zika is spreading across the globe — and its association with a birth defect known as microcephaly is causing alarm. Zika got off to a slow start. Symptoms, which include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (pink eye), are typically mild and often go unnoticed. In the 70 years since Zika was first identified in the forests of Uganda, less than five cases have been confirmed in that country. However, many people in




Uganda have Zika antibodies in their blood, meaning they were infected but never sick enough to seek treatment. Zika antibodies have also been found in people in India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines — evidence that they have been exposed to the virus, too. Yet between 1947 and 2006, there were just 14 confirmed cases worldwide. In 2007, something changed.

That year, United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mark R. Duffy, an OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences distinguished alumnus, was serving as a public health officer with the Centers for Disease Control’s Epidemic Intelligence Service stationed in Fort Collins, Colorado, in the Arboviral Diseases Branch. “We got a call from a very astute physician on Yap Island,” Duffy says. “The physician said, ‘Hey, we’ve Lieutenant Colonel got an outbreak here. It could Mark R. Duffy and be dengue but our physicians his wife, retired U.S. Air Force Major just don’t feel like it is dengue because they have had some Angela Duffy. experience with Arboviruses, arthropod-borne viruses, mosquito-borne viruses in the past.’ I was able to go there and actually be the lead on the team of

very accomplished scientists to investigate the outbreak.” Dengue is a potentially deadly mosquito-borne disease that affects as many as 100 million people around the world each year. Chikungunya, another virus spread by mosquitoes, was also considered. Patients’ blood samples tested by a CDC lab confirmed the doctors were seeing something novel on the western Pacific Ocean speck of land — the world’s first significant Zika outbreak. Duffy published a paper with his team in the New England Journal of Medicine documenting the outbreak. The National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases division of the Centers for Disease Control recognized the investigation paper. His published literature on Zika and other outbreaks has been cited by more than 1,000 peer-reviewed papers. “It was really a very nice, classical epidemiologic investigation,” he says. “We characterized the illness in terms of person, place and time once we determined that it was a unique virus outbreak.” Duffy earned his doctorate of veterinary medicine degree at OSU in 1994. He partnered in a rural western Montana practice before accepting an Air Force commission in 1999. In 2003, he earned a master’s degree in public health. “It’s a one-health concept,” Duffy says. “Health is something that is similar whether you are talking about animals or whether you’re talking about humans. My focus while I was in vet school, and definitely in practice, was herd health. And, public health is simply herd health, with the herd of a different species. “We’re looking at the good of the population in public health versus the good of the individual. In veterinary medicine, especially food animal production

medicine, that’s very much what we do every single day. It’s a real easy leap to go from herd health in the veterinary world to public health in the human medicine world.” His work has taken him on humanitarian disaster response efforts around the globe, training teams in The Gambia, Iraq, Afghanistan, The Republic of Congo and Macedonia. Duffy has led multiple infectious disease outbreak response teams including to an outbreak of plague in northern Uganda and in a collaborative survey of Japanese encephalitis disease incidence with Vietnam’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology. In 2015, the United States Secretary of Agriculture presented the Dr. Daniel E. Salmon Award to Duffy for exemplary achievement in Federal Veterinary Medicine. Some of the military awards he has earned include the Bronze Star, Air Force Commendation Medal and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. He currently serves as the Air Force Education and Training Command Public Health Officer stationed at Fort Randolph, Texas. He is an active diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. “My veterinary school experience was just absolutely amazing,” Duffy says. “If you understand the science, if you understand the physiology and the anatomy, you can develop your own answers to these things sometimes. That ability to think outside of the box is something veterinarians have a tremendous advantage of in the way that they are trained.” Since the team investigation on Yap Island in 2007, Duffy’s focus has turned to other projects and the Zika virus has been on the move. About 50 people were infected on the Micronesian island. Six

years later, thousands fell victim to the virus in French Polynesia, about 5,000 miles away. Zika has spread rapidly with more than 1.5 million people in Brazil infected as the country played host to the world during the Summer Olympics in Rio. The biggest threat continues to be the



“My veterinary school experience was just absolutely amazing. That ability to think outside of the box is something veterinarians have a tremendous advantage of in the way that they are trained.” — Lieutenant Colonel Mark R. Duffy

U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mark R. Duffy conducts an investigation of the mosquito population during an outbreak of the Zika virus on Yap Island. association with a birth defect that causes babies’ heads to be unusually small and their brains to not develop properly. “I’ll take off my Zika expert hat and put on my hat as a public health officer,” Duffy says. “It’s always a great idea to keep our mosquito exposure to a minimum. Not only for Zika virus, but we’ve also got West Nile virus and several other encephalidities that are transmitted by mosquitos. Not to mention, it’s just not fun to get bitten by mosquitos. Wear longsleeved clothing treated with permethrin and wear DEET on exposed skin.” Watch a video of Dr. Duffy’s visit to OSU at okla.st/LTC_Duffy_on_Zika.


An Investment in Time BY H O L LY B E R G B O W E R





lone figure can often be seen standing at attention in the parking lot next to the ROTC building on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater. He quietly stands vigil both morning and evening as the colors are presented and struck by the ROTC cadets. Rex Finnegan, a retired university counselor, says his journey with the ROTC began serendipitously. He started working on campus for counseling services in 1967, receiving his doctorate in 1970. He often rode his bike to work, except when it rained. On those occasions, he parked between Thatcher and Hanner Halls. One such day, he happened to hear the Army playing “Retreat” followed by “To The Colors.” Finnegan’s natural reaction was to stand at attention with the cadets. “I realized a short time into it that standing at attention here made me feel closer to my son who was away at Iowa State University and was involved in Air Force ROTC there,” Finnegan says. What began as happenstance became an almost daily ritual for Finnegan. He tried his best to arrive before the raising of the flag and during the striking of the colors at the end of each day. It was a simple sign of respect, and it was noticed. “My first meeting with Dr. Finnegan was during my freshman year. We noticed an older man who always stood outside during our detachment for retreat,” says Air Force ROTC Cadet Schuyler Trenary. “We asked some upperclassmen who he was and they told us about his contributions to the program.” Rex and his wife, Dee, who worked for OSU in the financial aid department, found themselves drawn to the ROTC cadets. Over the years, Finnegan says he

saw a change in university students. They seemed to be surrounded by more stress and accessed the university’s counseling services more often. Many students didn’t have a set direction in mind when coming to college. Finnegan says that wasn’t the case with the ROTC cadets. “It seemed like the cadets were more like the students we’d worked with when we initially came to campus,” Finnegan says. “They knew where they were headed; they had goals; they can tell you what they’re going to be doing when they graduate. That’s very different than the average student.” Finnegan quickly became a steadfast fixture at the flag ceremonies, and cadets took notice. They began inviting him and his wife to functions. In return, the Finnegans began hosting dinners at their house for groups of cadets. Dinners quickly gave way to enriching post-meal discussions. “These students tend to know about anything and everything,” Finnegan says. “We would discuss world affairs, their future plans and whatever came to mind.” Dinner menus often included grilled steaks (a treat for any college

student) or Dee’s authentic Italian meals. What the cadets may not have realized is how important these times together were to their hosts. Finnegan’s affinity for the cadets makes it clear that it has been the couple’s pleasure to be associated with the ROTC, and it has served as markers of times in their lives.

“These students tend to know about anything and everything. We would discuss world affairs, their future plans and whatever came to mind.” — Rex Finnegan 53

One of those markers is the coming and going of detachment commanders, whose stints last three years. Current Detachment Commander Ben Dahlke arrived in July, with an introduction from his predecessor, Lieutenant Colonel Steve Cherrington, to make Finnegan’s acquaintance. “My first impression of Rex Finnegan was that he may be the kindest man I have ever met,” Dahlke says. “We’ve regularly met for ‘mental health’ coffee breaks since that time. I always come away from those meetings feeling good.” “The one constant is the support of the Finnegans,” Air Force ROTC Cadet Caleb Ritchie says. “There is no Detachment

670 without the Finnegans, because they have been a part of our cadet corps longer than anyone.” This symbiotic relationship has taken on a life of its own. One complements the other, and both parties draw strength out of the partnership. Cadets move on from OSU but keep in touch with the Finnegans through email and cards. Active cadets are quick to recognize the impact the Finnegans have on them. “The Finnegans have been some of the biggest supporters in my life,” says Air Force ROTC Cadet Desirae Martinez. “They have this same impact on everyone who gets to know them.”

The experience has also been addictive for the Finnegans. It has served to keep Rex younger. A long-time distance runner, he still runs occasionally with the Army ROTC battalions and stays toward the back to encourage them. He says it often spurs them on to remind them that the old guy is still moving. Both the Air Force and Army ROTC recognize the efforts put forth by the couple. On a recent evening, Finnegan heard a knock on his door. An Air Force cadet asked when they were planning to take their flag down, Rex replied and went back inside. When he returned to take down his own flag, he found 40 cadets in uniform, ready to perform the formal




flag event. The sentiment was not lost on the Finnegans. “It was quite something,” Rex says. “It’s a memory I won’t soon forget.” Perhaps the Finnegans’ favorite event of the year is the Air Force Dining Out, a formal evening complete with toasts, a speaker and leadership awards. Unfortunately, Dee is no longer able to attend these events, but she is still in the cadets’ hearts and minds. The auxiliary chapter, previously known as the Silver Wings chapter, has been renamed the Dee Finnegan Chapter. Rex Finnegan continues to stand vigil on what is now his 28th year. His hope is that he will continue to encourage the

cadets. He also hopes others will stop and join him during the ceremonies. What began as a simple gesture of validation has become a significant part of life for the Finnegans. Their investment in others with a simple gift of time and attention has changed the lives of many for the better. “It’s important to realize that some people have to step forward to take care of this country,” Finnegan says. “It’s important for other students to see that commitment. There was a time when the military was not in favor with our country, so this is an important group to recognize.”

Air Force ROTC Cadets surprised Rex and Dee Finnegan with a flag ceremony on the driveway of the couple’s home.

“The one constant is the support of the Finnegans. There is no Detachment 670 without the Finnegans, because they have been a part of our cadet corps longer than anyone.” — Air Force ROTC Cadet Caleb Ritchie 55


By Jacob Longan


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I hope they can see that I was able to make my father proud because of their help.” — SAM SMITH


am Smith is one of Oklahoma State’s newest graduates. But that wouldn’t be the case without the General Scholarship Fund, which provides emergency support for students experiencing major life events that threaten to derail their academic careers. The Fayetteville, North Carolina, native was three weeks into her first semester at OSU when she got the call that her father had died unexpectedly at age 53. Mike Smith left behind three daughters, a wife who had always been a homemaker and no will. Sam Smith used up her college savings to pay for the funeral and faced a massive out-of-state tuition bill. She worked three jobs, but still couldn’t earn enough to pay her bursar bill and enroll for the next semester. Smith applied for every scholarship she could find, but her out-of-state status, combined with a lack of non-work activities, left her unqualified for many. She wound up in the office of Chad Blew, OSU’s director of scholarships and financial aid. After she explained her situation, he was able to use emergency funding from the General Scholarship Fund to pay her bill. The GSF is one of the funds most commonly supported by OSU Foundation donors. Over the past eight academic years, nearly 12,000 donors have given almost

$5.7 million for the endowment; the most common contribution amount is $100. About $215,000 is generated in unrestricted funds each year, allowing Blew and his staff to help students in dire situations. Blew says the emergency funding is what keeps many students at OSU and on the path toward success. “Helping students through the GSF is absolutely the best part of my job,” Blew says. “It is the genesis of all of my best stories.” Smith says the experience helped her overcome the devastation of losing her father. Blew followed up with her regularly, checking on her and making sure she wasn’t being overwhelmed by grief. He would even ask if she was eating. Before receiving the emergency scholarship, Smith didn’t see any hope of staying at OSU. “Seeing that kind of generosity made me work harder,” Smith says. “It made me realize the importance of good grades. With the OSU Foundation and all of those donors going out of their way to help me, the least I could do was work my butt off.” She graduated with a university studies degree in December and is doing online courses to add a degree in health education and promotion and a minor in business. She recently moved to San Diego, where she is a corporate recruiter for an IT staff firm.

Smith says she is incredibly grateful for each donor who has contributed to the fund and wishes she could thank each of them in person. “I hope they can see that I was able to make my father proud because of their help,” she says, her voice cracking.


Blew meets students like Smith regularly and is thrilled when he has good news for those who think financial difficulties will end their dreams. “The number of students I’ve seen just break down and cry because they can’t believe we have a solution for them — they come in and say, ‘I’ve got a $6,000 bill,’ or, ‘I’m three months behind on my rent. I don’t know what I’m going to do,’” Blew says. “They think we are going to start them on some payment plan and we go, ‘Oh, we can actually just take care of it.’ It’s amazing.” That’s not to say the GSF is unlimited or that a recipient qualifies without exhausting other options. Students first work with financial-aid counselors to ensure they have accepted all possible federal aid and borrowed the maximum federal student loans for which they are eligible. At that point, the counselor can request funding for the student, and a committee reviews the situation to determine eligibility.


Hannah McReynolds visited 13 countries in two years, including a 2017 trip to the Sahara in Morocco. “We get a ton of referrals from faculty and staff who know they have a student struggling because of a death in the family, or sickness, or whatever other complication that is beyond their control,” Blew says. Students also talk with advisers about avoiding financial distress in the future. Blew, like Smith, is incredibly grateful for the thousands of gifts to the GSF each year. “Those are people who are selflessly giving what they can to help students in dire need, facing an absolute turning point in their lives,” Blew says. “As a land grant institution, OSU has a responsibility to provide an education as affordably as possible and to do what we can to help students graduate. Needbased scholarships like the General Scholarship Fund are crucial to our ability to fulfill that mission.”


Over the past eight academic years, the GSF has provided more than $1.4 million in assistance to 511 students. Blew can rattle off a long list of recipients who have gone from potentially dropping out to successfully earning degrees. It’s a turning point that benefits the student and many others over the course of their lives. Hannah McReynolds was 17 when she arrived at OSU from southeastern Oklahoma after graduating high school a year early. She had $100 in her pocket, knew no one and immediately began searching for a job. “I borrowed a car to move and just kind of showed up and hoped it would work

Graduating from OSU is our dream, and we don’t always have the resources to do that. Donors make that possible. They give students the opportunity to accomplish our goals and achieve our dreams. They make a reality of something that was previously unattainable.” — HANNAH McREYNOLDS 58

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You’re lucky I’m not in your office because it would take a police officer to get me to stop hugging you.” — JUSTIN LEONARD out,” McReynolds says. “I wanted a degree from OSU, and I would do whatever it took to make that happen. I accepted three jobs within two weeks of moving here, so I was working 60-70 hours per week while taking summer classes. “At the end of the summer, I realized I wouldn’t be able to pay off my bursar bill so that I could enroll in the fall. That happened again in the spring.” McReynolds was fortunate to have gotten to know Wes and Lou Watkins through her jobs. Lou Watkins is on the Board of Regents, and Wes is a former U.S. congressman. They connected McReynolds to Blew, who utilized the GSF to help her complete her freshman year. She graduated in December with an agricultural economics degree. “I was a good student in high school, but I had been to three high schools in three years,” McReynolds says. “So my résumé wasn’t getting me any scholarships coming in. After my first year at OSU, I was able to earn enough scholarships and pay for school all the way through to graduation. If it weren’t for the OSU Foundation, I would not have graduated. I wouldn’t have been able to stay in school.” McReynolds discovered a love for travel through her studies. She visited 13 countries in two years, including being the first OSU student to visit China Agricultural University as part of a new exchange program in agribusiness.

Since graduation, she has been adding more countries to her list with a trip around the Mediterranean. “I definitely want to thank all of the donors for helping me and so many other students like me,” McReynolds says. “Graduating from OSU is our dream, and we don’t always have the resources to do that. Donors make that possible. They give students the opportunity to accomplish our goals and achieve our dreams. They make a reality of something that was previously unattainable. She adds, “Without the GSF, I wouldn’t have graduated. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to live in other countries and help the university establish programs. I wouldn’t be as passionate about helping other people as I am now. It really impacted my life completely.”


Many students who have qualified for the awards have been hesitant to ask for the help they need. Such was the case for Justin Leonard from Eudora, Kansas. His family could offer only limited financial support, and out-of-state tuition became a serious issue after his freshman year. Leonard does what he can to keep costs down and make money, including working and living at OSU’s Swine Center. The animal science and agricultural communications junior also

took out the maximum amount in federal loans and applied for every scholarship he could find, but he was still short of paying his bursar bill so that he could enroll for the next semester. Gerald Fitch, an animal science professor, told Leonard to seek emergency assistance, but Leonard was hesitant to ask for “handout help instead of me working.” “Dr. Fitch said, ‘You have done all this at OSU. You have helped with the Oklahoma Youth Expo and the Tulsa State Fair every year. You are president of the Swine Club, treasurer of Ag Communicators of Tomorrow and involved in Block and Bridle. You have done all of these things to be able to go ask for that help,’” Leonard says. “It’s not a handout. You earn that help with your résumé. So I got over it because I definitely wanted to be here.” Later in the process, Blew called Leonard and told him the GSF was providing the funding he needed to enroll for the next semester. Leonard nearly cried. “I said, ‘You’re lucky I’m not in your office because it would take a police officer to get me to stop hugging you,’” Leonard says. “The OSU family really shows how much they care about you. When you get knocked down, the faculty and staff help you get up on your feet.” Kyle Wray, OSU’s vice president for enrollment management and


marketing, calls need-based scholarships an example of the Cowboy ethic of not a handout but a hand up. Leonard adds, “First and foremost, I want to thank the donors very much. What they are doing really, really does help students who are in a pickle because their brakes go out and they can’t afford to enroll. It absolutely makes a difference.”


The GSF and other need-based funds are among the biggest tools OSU has to help students remain in school and eventually graduate. “Without funding like this,” Wray says, “we leave many students on their own to make a decision at Christmas or at the end of the spring semester to not come back. That’s not good for OSU,

and it’s not good for the student. We don’t want finances to be the reason why a student drops out or doesn’t even apply to OSU in the first place.” Fortunately, many donors support this funding and help students such as Leonard, McReynolds and Smith to continue pursuing their dreams. “The OSU family is always looking for opportunities to help,” Wray says. “We have so many people who have been blessed and want to pass that on to people so they can achieve their dreams.” One of Wray’s dreams is for OSU to be able to announce a dramatic increase in support for need-based scholarships, including the GSF. “We want to be known for helping students,” Wray says. “We would love to have more examples of students who succeeded when the statistics showed

they were going to have a difficult time. Research shows us that students who have degrees will make roughly a million dollars more over their lifetime than their peers who don’t. Funding like this allows us to help even more students live that life instead of accepting a dead-end job right out of high school.”

To learn more about need-based scholarships, visit OSUgiving.com. To make a gift to the General Scholarship Fund, visit OSUgiving.com/give.

BY T H E N U M B E R S Over the past eight complete academic years… • 511 students have received help from the GSF • 11,794 donors have supported the GSF • 30,376 total gifts have been made to the GSF • $1,443,544 has been awarded to GSF recipients • $5,669,356.63 has been donated to the GSF endowment


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Whatever is happening in your li fe,

there’s a good chance your

college exp e rie nce help e d you get to whe re you are to day. Whe n you refle c t on that time , you may b e ove r whelme d by fond me morie s — me eting your sp ouse , cele brating a big football win , pulling an all- nighte r to stu dy or laughing with p e ople who b e came your lifelong frie nds . To day ’s O kla h om a State U nive r sit y students are having the same experiences as they pur sue bright orange futures . Visit OS Ugiving.com to learn how you can b e a par t of their journey.

The First Marilynn & Carl




There is a group of leaders with this vision who are championing The McKnight Center, and they are limitless and boundless in their thoughts. It’s a dream, and that’s what makes this job so appealing.” — MARK BLAKEMAN

The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts hires Mark Blakeman, Tucson Symphony Orchestra president & CEO, as the first Marilynn & Carl Thoma Executive Director After nearly 20 years away, Oklahoma native Mark Blakeman is being lured

He will work with the McKnight

Center, the residency partnership

Foundation Board of Trustees and

will include educational opportunities

back to his home state by his dream job:

provide strategic direction and oversight

for OSU students with Philharmonic

running The McKnight Center for the

to The McKnight Center.

musicians and management such as

Performing Arts at OSU. Following an extensive nationwide

One of his first tasks is scheduling the 2019 inaugural season and grand opening

masterclasses, audition workshops and lectures.

search, Blakeman, president and CEO

of The McKnight Center, which includes

of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, was

interfacing with the New York Philharmonic

announced as the first Marilynn and

to develop and implement its residency

Moore native who adds that he is eager

partnership that was announced last

to create a multi-faceted event people


will remember decades from now.

Carl Thoma Executive Director of the center in early March.

In addition to multiple New York Philharmonic performances at The McKnight

“I want the community to be a part of this celebration,” says Blakeman, a

“That’s what is fun about this opportunity. The sky’s the limit — it’s a blank slate. There is a group of leaders with this vision who are championing The McKnight Center, and they are limitless and


Mark and Sarah Blakeman will call Oklahoma home for the first time in nearly 20 years. The couple is pictured here with their daughter, Emma.

boundless in their thoughts,” he says. “It’s

Carl Thoma, who donated $5 million to

a dream, and that’s what makes this job

the project.

so appealing.”

The Thomas are noted philanthropists

Blakeman was also impressed by OSU

endowment ensures world-class

and art collectors. After successful

programming, musicians and artists

careers in brand management and

come to Stillwater. “Both Oklahoma State

make The McKnight Center an institutional

private equity, they established the Carl

University and Oklahoma are so fortunate


& Marilynn Thoma Foundation in 1986 to

for Billie and Ross’s leadership in making

fulfill their passion for philanthropy.

the center possible.”

President Burns Hargis’ dedication to

“He believes so strongly in the ability of art and culture to positively shape and transform the lives of individuals

“Marilynn and I believe in the power

Blakeman echoes those sentiments,

of the arts to connect people and enrich

saying he feels indebted to the McKnights,

and communities,” he says. “This type

learning,” comments Carl Thoma. “When

Thomas and other Patron-level donors

of support is important to the success

we heard about The McKnight Center

who have committed $1 million or more to

and future of the programs we will build

and the innovative vision driving its

the project.

in Stillwater.”

programming, we wanted to get involved.

Prior to Blakeman’s three-year tenure

“They’re creating an economic model

Supporting this position and bringing in a

that will make this work in such a way that

with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra,

prestigious leader like Mark was critical

The McKnight Center can deliver on the

he was the chief operating officer of the

to us. We are confident Mark will bring

dream of bringing the best artists from

Nashville Symphony Orchestra, where he

the inspirational leadership necessary

around the globe to Stillwater,” he says.

worked for 15 years.

to create a robust, invigorating center.

“For many performing arts centers, their

He brings vast knowledge and direct

We are excited about the future of The

crowning achievement over a 30-year

experience overseeing large-scale

McKnight Center, which will enrich the

period of time may be to have the New

construction projects, building programs

university and community, and will have

York Philharmonic perform in their building

and raising philanthropic support.

far-reaching impact on a national level.”

once. For The McKnight Center, that’s the

Blakeman’s position is named for avid OSU supporters and alumni Marilynn and

The Thomas add that the McKnights’ $25 million gift to create the programming

starting point — that’s the launch pad for everything. The idea is that we will bring

Ma r i l y n n a nd I b el i eve i n t he p ower of t he a r t s to c on ne ct p e o ple a nd en r ich l ea r n i ng. When we hea r d a b o ut The McK n ig ht C enter a nd t he i n novat ive v i s ion d r iv i ng i t s pr o g r a m m i ng, we wa nte d to get i nvolve d .” — CARL THOMA



in the best orchestras from Europe, Latin America and all over the United States.” Blakeman says many components are

“I don’t believe the reality of The

“Likewise, the recent announcement of

McKnight Center would have been possi-

Marilynn and Carl Thoma’s generous gift

ble were it not for the visionary leadership

to create the executive director position is humbling. It makes it possible for me to

coming together to make The McKnight

and profound generosity of Billie and

Center a special arts destination that will

Ross McKnight. Without their passion for

have this amazing career opportunity and

play a role in shaping and enhancing the

this project, I wonder if it would have ever

will help in attracting outstanding leader-

world’s view of OSU and Oklahoma.

gotten off the ground,” Blakeman says.

ship for generations to come.” O

OSU alumni Marilynn and Carl Thoma believe art enriches lives These passionate art supporters created the Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director position at The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts

The McKnight Center is currently under construction and is expected to open in fall 2019.

at OSU as part of a $5 million gift. Carl Thoma is managing partner and founder of Thoma Bravo, a leading private equity investment firm. Marilynn Thoma oversees the marketing of Van Duzer Vineyards, an 80-acre estate Pinot Noir winery in Oregon that the Thomas founded in 1998. The couple established the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation in 1986 to fulfill their broad passion for philanthropy. They have supported many needs at OSU, including the Learning and Student Success Opportunity Center and the OSU Museum of Art. They also helped establish the Wine Forum, the Marilynn Thoma Chair in Human Sciences, and the Carl Thoma Distinguished Clinical Professorships in Entrepreneurship. They have both received OSU’s highest honor, as they were inducted into the OSU Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 2010. Previously, Carl Thoma was inducted into the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame in 1996 and received the OSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002. Marilynn Thoma was honored with the Human Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004, the Women for OSU Philanthropist of the Year recognition in 2009, and will be inducted into the Human Sciences Hall of Fame in April 2017.


Dr. Thomas Lanners’ students from China include Yi Zheng, Yanjun Huang, Kexin Liu and Jiewei Hu.

B I G   L A N D  to a ‘LITTLE COMMUNITY’ F r o m   a  

Piano professor builds system to attract Chinese music students






t is not often the words “China” and “little community” wind up in the same sentence. The most populated country on the planet is packed with metropolitan cities, each jammed with 20 million or more people. But in Stillwater, Dr. Thomas Lanners has worked tirelessly over the last three years to build a “little community” of Chinese students at Oklahoma State University. After three years of active recruiting in China, successful tutelage of several Chinese students at OSU, and with construction underway on The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, Lanners feels he has a system in place to make OSU a “destination school.” Lanners is a professor of piano at OSU. In fall 2016, he welcomed two undergraduate and two graduate students from China. The group shares a two-hour class with Lanners each week and converses on WeChat, a popular Chinese socialnetworking application. These sessions help the students connect with each other and become more comfortable at OSU.

While the students may hail from enormous cities, their schools were far smaller. At Shanghai Conservatory, for instance, two buildings house several hundred students, ranging from kindergarten to master’s level. So while the city of Stillwater is cozier than they are accustomed to, the OSU campus can seem quite large. “This campus is a very wide world, especially for freshmen who have been raised in a conservatory setting,” Lanners explains. Yi Zheng is one of the new recruits who arrived in Stillwater about a week before classes began in August 2016. Following a 20-plus-hour flight, Zheng arrived at 4 a.m. His luggage, however, did not make it. “It’s my first time to America, and I lose my bag,” he laughs. Fortunately, Lanners was there to help. His willingness to lend a hand outside the classroom may be his best recruiting tool. China has become fertile ground for music majors, particularly those focusing on strings and piano. U.S. schools provide a level of one-on-one tutelage that students in China simply cannot get. Still, the students are taking a risk by

Dr. Thomas Lanners, OSU professor of piano, auditions potential students at Shanghai Conservatory of Music. His work in China, from left, has included meeting with Dr. Tang Zhe, chairman of the Piano Division at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, in the lobby of the famous Jin Jiang Hotel where former United States President Richard Nixon stayed during his trips to China to see Chairman Mao in the early 1970s; visiting with piano faculty members at East China Normal University in Shanghai, immediately following his masterclass there; and congratulating one of the younger winners in the Shanghai Open International Piano Competition where he served as a judge in October 2015.


traveling thousands of miles across the globe to study in a place they have never been with a professor they barely know. It makes the teacher-student relationship critical. “You’re not going to have a good final impression of that school if you’re not compatible with your teacher,” Lanners says. His connection to China began to blossom in 2014 when he was invited to participate in a new program at Shanghai Conservatory. The program called for piano students from all over China to attend a live audition and masterclass with several professors from U.S. schools. First the students performed their auditions and then the professors taught a series of masterclasses over two days. The hands-on approach completely changed Lanners’ ability to recruit in China. Previously, he would receive a video or audio recording and while that gave him an idea of the performer’s technical prowess, it impaired his ability to judge intangibles. “There’s a certain level of communication I am looking for, as though they are speaking through the music,” Lanners says. It also helps ease the student’s mind. They get a taste of Lanners’ teaching style from the very beginning. For Zheng, the introduction to Lanners proved to be the deciding factor in choosing between two graduate assistantship offers. Not only did the audition and masterclass go well but Lanners struck up an email correspondence afterwards. “He gave me good advice about learning piano in America,” Zheng says. “I really appreciate him.” With the social building blocks in place, Lanners is excited about the possibilities The McKnight Center creates. Not only will the building provide state-of-the-art amenities but a $25

million gift from the McKnight family provides a budget to bring in internationally and nationally acclaimed acts. In fact, the New York Philharmonic has already signed on for a residency partnership to open the building in 2019. The final step is to create more opportunities through scholarship money. Even the students who can afford to study in the U.S. without a financial incentive still value the offer. “It looks like you want the student more if you offer assistance,” Lanners says. In 2016, Lanners had 14 applicants for his lone graduate assistantship, which was awarded to Zheng. Assuming Zheng returns in 2017, Lanners will not have a position to offer but expects to have another 20 applicants. Oklahoma State has been able to successfully recruit in China due to Lanners’ boots-on-the-ground approach. He has gained traction by emphasizing the campus community, the quality of OSU’s Steinway pianos, and the one-on-one attention students receive. Now he can add a sparkling new home for the music program to his recruiting toolbox. “We’re going to have something really singular at OSU, not only with the facility but with the programming budget,” Lanners explains. “I cannot think of another school in the country that has that.”

The Shanghai Conservatory’s Recital Hall sparkles at night.

Dr. Thomas Lanners instructs first-year graduate student Yi Zheng.

Watch a video with Dr. Lanners and OSU President Burns Hargis talking about the Steinway pianos in the Music Department at okla.st/Steinway_Inside_OSU.

“We’re going to have something really singular at OSU, not only with the facility but with the programming budget. I cannot think of another school in the country that has that.” — D R . T H O M A S L A N N E R S



230 S. KNOBLOCK ST., STILLWATER, OK 74074 | 405-372-4777

Native American students benefit from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation BY A R I E L W E S T


oming from Adair County, one of the poorest counties in Oklahoma, was going to make attending Oklahoma State University difficult for Tori Coates. Coates grew up as part of the Choctaw Nation in small-town Westville, just a few minutes west of the Arkansas border. Her parents were supportive of her collegiate endeavors, but with a younger sister entering college as well, they found it impossible to provide any financial assistance beyond living expenses. “Scholarships are the only reason I am here, absolutely,” says Coates, who will graduate with a human resource management degree from the Spears School of Business in May 2018. “Coming from one of the poorest counties in Oklahoma, it’s difficult for my parents to provide for both my sister and me. I knew paying for education was on my own, and with aspirations of going to graduate school, I recognized that student loans were not an option for me, or I’d be in a lot of debt in the future. “I applied for a lot of scholarships and worked two jobs in order to stay. Scholarships like the Johnson Scholarship Foundation make it where I can focus on my studies and be successful.” Getting out of a small town and attending a big university was an exciting and growing time for Coates. She loves being part of traditions such as attending sporting events and participating in organizations as well as experiencing the diversity she didn’t encounter in Westville. “There’s so much to learn, and I enjoy that,” Coates says. “I just want to say thank you to the Johnson Scholarship Foundation and all the donors that made this possible for me. OSU has been so

life-changing for me. Scholarships are not just a blessing for me, but my whole family and everyone supporting me. It’s a huge investment that I don’t take lightly.” “We applaud the Johnson Scholarship Foundation for the countless lives it has improved through its support of education,”

“Scholarships are the only reason I am here, absolutely. Coming from one of the poorest counties in Oklahoma, it’s difficult for my parents to provide for both my sister and me.” — Tori Coates

Luke Fillmore, right, meets with Elizabeth Payne, director of the Center for Sovereign Nations.




OSU President Burns Hargis says. “Oklahoma State has a long history of preparing Native American students for success and we greatly appreciate the Johnson Scholarship Foundation partnering alongside us in this worthwhile endeavor.” The Johnson Scholarship Foundation is founded on charity and philanthropy to provide opportunities. Its founder, Theodore R. Johnson, sought to help future generations obtain an education. The Foundation has given more that $117 million in grants nationwide. “The Foundation chose OSU because it is one of the country’s leaders in providing education to indigenous students,” says Malcolm Macleod, president of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. “OSU’s new Center for Sovereign Nations underlines its dedication and connection to this diverse and growing population. The Johnson Scholarship Foundation focuses on business education as part of a strategy to catalyze economic development in indigenous communities. OSU has a stellar business program and a School of Entrepreneurship. OSU’s emphasis on business and its commitment to indigenous students make it a natural partner for the Johnson Scholarship Foundation.” The Foundation’s focus on indigenous people stems from Johnson’s desire to improve quality of life, and by equipping Native Americans with tools and business education, it seeks to do just that. With OSU’s record as a national leader for Native American graduates, it was an obvious choice for the two to pair up. “Supporting the endowment of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation fund at OSU is a proven successful investment,” says Elizabeth Payne, director for the Center for Sovereign Nations at OSU and principal investigator for the Johnson Scholarship Foundation grant for OSU business students. “We have continued to increase the numbers of American Indian students at all three levels of collegiate education. With Oklahoma being home to 39 federally recognized tribal nations, it makes sense that OSU should be the best place to invest in American Indian higher education.”

Further demonstrating the importance of providing business education for Native Americans, the Johnson Scholarship Foundation is challenging OSU to raise funds for permanent endowment. If OSU can raise $1.3 million over the next three years, the Johnson Scholarship Foundation will make a matching gift of $1 for every $2 donated by others. “It speaks volumes for the Johnson Scholarship Foundation to partner with Oklahoma State University to offer a scholarship for Native American students

Matching Opportunity Endowment goal: $2 million Match ratio: $1 in matching funds for every $2 donated. Sample gift: A $50,000 donation would be matched with $25,000 from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, and would generate approximately $3,000 a year in scholarship funds in perpetuity. Time frame: OSU needs to raise approximately $450,000 each year (from 2017 to 2019) to reach the goal and receive the matching funds. Benefits: Donors would increase the impact of their generosity and have the opportunity to meet scholarship recipients. By designating your gift to Native American students majoring in business, you could qualify for a match and further OSU’s leadership in enhancing opportunities for Native American students. How to help: For more information or to make a gift, visit OSUgiving.com/JSFmatch or contact Jeromie Tucker of the OSU Foundation at jtucker@osugiving.com or 405-385-0736.

in Oklahoma,” says Diane Crane, senior director of development for the Spears School of Business at the OSU Foundation. “The Johnson Scholarship Foundation could give money anywhere, but they believe that OSU is the best university to serve underprivileged Native Americans. In Oklahoma, the state with the secondlargest Native American population, that means almost 350,000 people have an opportunity to better themselves.” Just an hour and a half down the road from OSU’s Stillwater campus in Mustang, Oklahoma, accounting sophomore Luke Fillmore benefited from the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. Coming from a middle-class Cherokee Nation family, Fillmore’s parents could provide more for his education but couldn’t afford to cover every aspect. The Johnson Scholarship Foundation helped keep Fillmore afloat. “The scholarship has benefited me in so many ways,” Fillmore says. “I had to take out student loans and it was putting me in debt, but the Johnson Scholarship Foundation helped take care of some of that debt for me, so I’m not so far underwater once I leave this campus. I appreciate everything that I’ve received, and I am trying to be the best person and citizen I can and contribute to my community, and I couldn’t do that without the help of this scholarship.” OSU has been recognized locally and nationally for its commitment to diversity. In 2016 alone, OSU was recognized by Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Minority Access Inc.; the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce’s diversity business council, Mosaic, for having a five-star inclusive workplace culture; by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award for the fifth consecutive year; and the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education’s Institutional Excellence Award. OSU’s commitment to continuing the support of diversity and education is reflected in the endowment of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation fund. To learn more about OSU’s Institutional Diversity office, visit diversity.okstate.edu.


Garnering Research BY M A N DY G R O S S

Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center partners with companies to support Oklahoma State University’s land grant mission

OSU’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center, a part of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, is partnering with companies to support research benefiting the food industry. FAPC is training and educating future industry leaders, thanks in part to graduate student research sponsorships provided by companies, says Chuck Willoughby, FAPC business and marketing relations manager.

Patricia Rayas works as a cereal chemist in OSU’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center.




Research is a staple for land grant institutions, and Oklahoma State University is no exception.

“Although FAPC is not a university academic unit, the center employs approximately 70 graduate and undergraduate students,” Willoughby says. “While working and conducting research at FAPC, these students work with center faculty and staff and representatives from food companies, which prepares them for working in the food industry.” One such example is a two-year commitment by Unitherm Food Systems of Bristow, Oklahoma, to support food science graduate student Manish Aryal in Peter Muriana’s food microbiology laboratory. “Because of Unitherm’s support, we can provide support to a graduate student

out there for weeks or months at a time before it’s harvested, so there is plenty of opportunity for bacteria to get onto these products.” Unitherm Food Systems developed a gas-fired flame grill to help reduce bacteria in products. Onions are moved along a conveyer belt and hit with flames to burn the outer layer where bacteria reside. A secondary system with a wet scrub brush removes the ash residue from the onions. Muriana’s team collaborated with Unitherm for microbial validation of the system. The researchers looked at yeast, mold and listeria on onions and quantified how much bacteria remained after going through the system. They found the

“The research has already proven beneficial both domestically and internationally.” Thanks to Unitherm’s generosity during the past several years, FAPC has received more than $260,000 in support of food safety research and activities. Howard says the Unitherm-FAPC relationship is interdependent. FAPC uses Unitherm’s support for different studies, and Unitherm uses that information to generate business. “FAPC is a unique opportunity for both existing and new food companies to get expertise across all aspects of operating business,” Howard says. “I would like to encourage all companies involved in

“What we learn from our investigations helps the industry produce safer foods for the consumer.” — Peter Muriana

system is beneficial because onions are cleaned without physical manipulation or yield loss. Eliminating the bacteria on the outer layer is important for consumers, too. Preparing onions for consumption typically involves cutting, so any listeria on the outside is dragged to the inside or the cutting surface with each slice. Unitherm Food Systems is a market leader in innovative equipment technologies for pasteurization, cooking and chilling of raw, partially cooked and fully cooked food products and agricultural food commodities. The Oklahoma company is known globally throughout the food-processing industry for its innovative approach to the design and creation of machines and systems to maximize yields and reduce processing times while enhancing safety and profitability. “The motivation to develop the process was a direct result of recalls of contaminated onions in Washington and California,” says David Howard, president and CEO of Unitherm Food Systems.


to focus investigations on antimicrobial processing strategies to eliminate or reduce foodborne pathogens and/or spoilage organisms,” says Muriana, FAPC food microbiologist. “These organisms may grow as biofilms on produce, or similarly, create biofilm contamination of surfaces in food-processing facilities.” Unitherm’s $20,000 sponsorship allowed Aryal to collect validation data to identify how specialized food-safety equipment and processes are beneficial to the industry. “What we learn from our investigations helps the industry produce safer foods for the consumer,” Muriana says. “It’s a win-win-win for us, the graduate student and Unitherm.” A recent study focused on onion food safety. This widely consumed, versatile vegetable is susceptible to environmental insults because of being grown in and on the ground during long periods, he says. “They’re out there in the open, possibly to receive any kind of fecal contamination from birds, rodents, deer, rabbits, you name it,” Muriana says. “The produce is

Food microbiologist Peter Muriana conducts studies on onions using Unitherm’s food-safety equipment.



the food industry to get to know the scope and capability of the center.” Another example is continuing support from Log10 of Ponca City, Oklahoma, which has provided $81,000 to FAPC’s cereal chemistry laboratory the past three years. The sponsorship initiated a bioinformatics project, conducted by food-science graduate student Pryscila Velasco; Patricia Rayas, FAPC cereal chemist; Patricia Canaan, OSU biochemistry and molecular biology microbial geneticist; and Lane Law, Log10 molecular geneticist. The research project focuses on the application of fundamental biochemical tools, such as bioinformatics and data

Rayas says the objective is to use bioinformatics to find “gold nuggets” in genes yet to be discovered and expressed. “Our approach includes gene-finding and protein-domain recognition, which are considered classic topics in bioinformatics and data mining,” Rayas says. “The research conducted by Pryscila will allow us to advance the field of identification of genes of interest per the type of product produced.” Log10 serves the food and agriculture industry to enhance food safety and combat foodborne illness on a global scale, says Siobhan Reilly, founder and CEO of Log10. Newly developed Log10 products have eliminated pathogens in more than

“FAPC is a unique opportunity for both existing and new food companies to get expertise across all aspects of operating business.” — David Howard, CEO of Unitherm Food Systems mining, to discover genes in microorganisms that have a function or structure or are in a pathway of interest. The research team is investigating possible candidate genes associated with functional sequences of DNA used by some bacteria to thrive. “The frontiers of science continue to expand the human knowledge on how life works, and the most interesting subjects to learn this from are microorganisms such as bacteria and molds,” Rayas says. “They are found everywhere in nature, they enrich our fermented foods with complex flavor and texture profiles, and some can be a gold mine for solving current challenges in food production.” Velasco is utilizing bioinformatics science to investigate the genes responsible for complex quorum-sensing activities and bio-substrate interference factors in newly isolated probiotic organisms. The research is being used to find organisms that competitively inhibit deadly pathogens in the food environment and the food itself.

Manish Aryal is a graduate student in the food microbiology lab who has the support of Unitherm Food Systems of Bristow, Oklahoma.



2 billion pounds of food and have been successfully used in dozens of United States food facilities. “This research guides us in selecting the best organisms for bio-control in a world overpopulated by pathogens,” Reilly says. “Supporting graduate-student development in this case was absolutely necessary to capture and maintain this type of talent in Oklahoma and to move our research program forward.” Other companies that have donated to FAPC’s graduate assistant program and research activities include Chef’s Requested Foods in Oklahoma City; NuTek Food Science in Omaha, Nebraska; Extraction Alternatives Biotech in Daytona Beach, Florida; Michael’s Foods in Minnetonka, Minnesota; Value Added Products in Alva, Oklahoma; and foodindustry members of FAPC’s Global Food Safety System. Donations help FAPC provide even more impact to Oklahoma’s value-added food industry, Willoughby says. “We are extremely grateful for the collaboration from food companies to help support FAPC’s mission and graduatestudent research,” he says. “This kind of support drives success in the food industry and provides valuable information to help our food supply be even safer.”

North Texas Chapter

OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis greet Stuart and Jennie Reeves at the Brighter Orange of North Texas Alumni Chapter event.

Oklahoma City Chapter

OSU alumna Brondalyn Nicole Coleman, left, and Maurice Clark enjoy a night of orange and good friends at the Oklahoma City Alumni Chapter party “Vintage O-State.”

Houston Chapter

Upcoming Alumni Events 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 or scan the QR code. May 4

Cowboy Caravan, Wichita, Kansas

May 6

Cleveland/McClain Counties 5K/Fun Run Purcell City Lake, Oklahoma

May 10

OKC Chapter Board Meeting, Oklahoma City

May 11

Tulsa Chapter Networking Night Tulsa, Oklahoma

May 16

Tulsa Chapter Board Meeting Tulsa, Oklahoma

May 18

Bedlam Baseball Tailgate, Tulsa, Oklahoma

May 18

A Night with OSU, Castle Rock, Colorado

May 19 & 20

Bedlam Baseball Tailgate, Oklahoma City

May 20

Orange County Chapter Tanaka Farms Tour, Irvine, California

June 2

Black Alumni Society Trailblazer Nomination Deadline

June 6

Northwest Arkansas Cowboy Caravan Springdale, Arkansas

June 10

Kansas City Golf Tournament and Picnic Lenexa, Kansas

June 13

Cowboy Caravan, Ponca City, Oklahoma

June 14

OKC Chapter Board Meeting, Oklahoma City

June 16

American Indian Alumni Society Meeting Stillwater, Oklahoma

June 20

Tulsa Chapter Board Meeting Tulsa, Oklahoma

June 20

Cowboy Caravan, McAlester, Oklahoma

June 22

OSU Alumni Night at the Tulsa PAC for Matilda — the Musical, Tulsa, Oklahoma

June 27

Cowboy Caravan, Woodward, Oklahoma

June 30

Orange County Chapter Night at the Angels vs Mariners Baseball Game Anaheim, California

July 3

OSU Night at the Texas Rangers Baseball Game, Arlington, Texas

July 12

OKC Chapter Board Meeting, Oklahoma City

July 14

OSU Night at the Astros Baseball Game Houston

July 15

Tulsa Chapter Legacy Day, Tulsa, Oklahoma

July 18

Tulsa Chapter Board Meeting Tulsa, Oklahoma

July 22

Orange County Chapter Night at the Angels vs Red Sox Baseball Game Anaheim, California

August 9

OKC Chapter Board Meeting, Oklahoma City

August 10

Cowboy Caravan, Enid, Oklahoma

August 12

OSU Night at the OKC Dodgers Oklahoma City

August 14

Cowboy Caravan, Tulsa, Oklahoma

August 15

Tulsa Chapter Board Meeting Tulsa, Oklahoma

August 17

Cowboy Caravan, Oklahoma City Traveling Cowboys Trips

Pistol Pete joins friends at the Houston Chapter’s Brighter Orange Event.

May 7–15 Passage of Lewis & Clark May 10–21 Mediterranean Masterpiece June 3–12 Southern Culture & the Civil War June 15–25 Great Journey through Europe July 14–22 Oxford/Cotswolds July 28–August 7 Glacial Adventures of Alaska August 23–31 Scotland


Oklahoma State University Alumni Chapters Compete for Spirit Paddles The OSU Alumni Association invited chapters to compete for the title of the city with the most Cowboy spirit. Chapters were given signs to take photos with to show that they had their “#OrangeOn� at their watch parties. Each week, a winning chapter received a replica spirit paddle as their trophy.

San Diego Chapter



Across the country, 49 chapters held watch parties for Cowboy football. The winning chapters were Houston, Atlanta, New York City, Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Diego, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City Metro, Southeast Idaho, Southeast Virginia, Orange County, California, and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Chapter members were elated to receive a replica OSU spirit paddle. The paddles were proudly displayed at watch parties. Attendees took turns getting a picture with the paddle and posted on social media using the hashtag #OrangeOn to show it off to the fellow Cowboy faithful.

Orange County Chapter

New York City Chapter

“Everyone at the watch party wanted a picture with it,” says Valerie Pritchard, president of the OSU Alumni Association Chapter in New York City. “There’s just something so iconic about the paddle that reminds you of that energy of being at a game at Boone Pickens Stadium.”



John Andrews John Andrews, a 1992 Oklahoma State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, serves as president of the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the OSU Alumni Association. Andrews has enjoyed serving the chapter in many different ways throughout the years as a board member, vice president and now as president. Andrews grew up in Edmond, Oklahoma. He quickly knew that OSU would be his home when he toured the campus and fell in love with the scenery and the kind faces that greeted him. He loved attending sporting events. One of his most vivid memories is watching Barry Sanders breaking football records. Andrews was a freshman in 1988 when Sanders broke 34 NCAA records and captured the Heisman Trophy. “That solidified the process of me bleeding orange, watching him not only break records, but the classy manner in which he did it,” Andrews says. Andrews still enjoys taking his family to watch football and basketball games at OSU each year. He has influenced his wife and children to bleed orange as well. The Andrews family lives in Bentonville, Arkansas, and makes it a point to travel to Stillwater as often as they can to catch some Cowboy football and basketball. After college, Andrews began working for Wal-Mart in Phoenix and was later transferred to the home office in Bentonville. He now works for MoneyGram International, a worldwide

The Andrews family, Connor, Kendra, John and Katie, enjoy America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater. financial services company. Many years after planting his roots in Northwest Arkansas, a friend of his started an OSU Alumni Association chapter in their area and encouraged Andrews to get involved. Andrews became a board member and expressed interest in the office of chapter vice president. The next year, he became president and has enjoyed serving the chapter and all of the philanthropic efforts. Andrews’ favorite part of being involved in an OSU Alumni Association chapter is the effort to provide scholarships to students from Northwest Arkansas who will attend OSU. He is passionate about helping pave a way for

future Cowboys to have the opportunity to go to school. “We started off giving one scholarship per year, then last year we expanded it to two, and this year we’re going to give twice as much,” he says. “Our goal was to try and give more and more every year.” The Northwest Arkansas Chapter hopes to one day have an endowed scholarship, so that the opportunities for students will never end. Andrews enjoys riding bikes since he retired from racing in triathlons. He and his wife Kendra stay busy with their two children, Katie and Connor, who usually have their own sporting events to attend on many weekends, too.


2,430 alumni and friends 213 members 211 current students from Arkansas

164 miles from Stillwater



A Light in the Dark

Local author, youth director and OSU alumnus offers hope to former foster youth and others



Alton Carter spoke with Payne County area youth at his Aging Out Conference for ninth-12th grade students at Stillwater First United Methodist Church. The event taught students about job applications, how to build résumés, personal messaging, personal finances, community service, preparation for life after high school and more.


2 25 25-30 30 50 50 60-70 62

percent will earn two-year college degrees. percent will still be enrolled in college by age 21. percent will be homeless within three years. percent will be arrested between ages 18-21. percent will drop out of school. percent will be unemployed by age 21. percent will have babies by age 21. percent will be unemployed within 12-18 months.


N ANY GIVEN DAY, there are roughly 428,000 kids in foster care in the United States. Each year, an estimated 30,000 of them exceed the age limit of foster care. “Everybody ages out. It’s just what you age out from,” says Alton Carter, Stillwater First United Methodist Church youth director, Oklahoma State alumnus and author of two books, The Boy Who Carried Bricks and Aging Out — his latest work. “Most people age out from their house. Some people age out of foster care or juvenile detention centers.” As a kid, Carter left behind a shattered life where reality was a squalid, drug-ridden home, a pile of overdue bills, abusive relatives and friends, and so much more. At age 10, he willingly entered the Oklahoma Department of Human Services system, where he stepped in and out of 17 foster homes and a boys ranch. As time went by, he thought his circumstances couldn’t get any worse, but at 18, he found himself more alone, lost and unprepared than ever.



“It’s universal,” he says. “There are a lot of kids who read my story, and they feel the same way, but we don’t talk about it. Who wants to be the kid who’s saying, ‘I’m scared?’” Carter’s second book, Aging Out, details the realities of aging out of the foster care system. But the book’s timeline expands so much further — diving into his various college trials and errors, meeting his wife and having two boys, seeking help, facing the past and so on. The book is a true account of his life thus far, and in a sense, it’s limitless. It not only resonates with former and present foster youth but also with people overall — regardless of age, background or circumstances. “If I stopped in the middle of it, there was no happy ending,” he says. “If I stopped where people wanted me to, it was just a dark time.” Transitioning into the real world as a young adult is no simple task for anyone. But imagine suddenly being forced to be on your own. For the majority of former foster kids, this is an all-too-familiar experience.



“If we can reach these kids at an earlier age and get them to start thinking about the issues that could possibly cripple them, maybe they can be a little bit healthier before they age out,” Carter says. “The system needs to do a better job of helping the kids find resources — they need to do a better job of making sure kids are plugged in. You know, help them get into trade school, or just help them get situated instead of waiting.” As Carter tells his story, he reflects on each moment — what he knows now and what could have been different. His words are completely and utterly transparent. “I think young people who have experienced abuse and/or neglect will see how Alton did not allow those experiences to define his future and will realize if he can pull it off, so can they,” says Leanne Chaffin, wife of Stillwater First United Methodist Church senior pastor the Reverend Mike Chaffin. The Chaffins have been foster parents for seven years, fostering nine children and adopting one.


Alton Carter received the 2016 Oklahoma Book Award in the young adult category for his first book, “The Boy Who Carried Bricks,” published by RoadRunner Press, at the 2016 Oklahoma Book Awards. His second book, “Aging Out,” details the realities of growing up and out of the foster care system. He’s currently working on a children’s book.

Alton Carter met Dr. Grandville Coggs, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, as well as numerous other WWII veterans, during his trip to Washington, D.C., for the 2016 Library of Congress National Book Festival.

The cover of Aging Out is symbolic in itself, illustrating a boy stepping off the edge of a mountainous pile of bricks into a dark abyss. “Most have experienced abuse, neglect, and/or abandonment during formative years, through no fault of their own, and yet they have persevered past the failures of adults they should have been able to depend upon. Through their demonstrated strength and willingness to reach for a better future, they present untapped potential to contribute to our state and to our world,” says Kerri Kearney who leads the R is for Thursday Network of Oklahoma. Carter shares his story with countless groups in schools, group homes, detention centers and organizations all over the U.S., to give people hope and encouragement in seeking help as well as to educate everyone on the realities of growing up in an abusive household. Through this, he says, “We can become healthy.” Unfortunately, most kids who age out of the system never get to connect with an adoptive family. Without that relationship, they’re likely to lack guidance or an established support system, which can lead to catastrophic results. “The story of Alton’s early years reveals the truth that every child is created with the need and the right to be embraced by love, treated with respect and nurtured with encouragement,” Mike Chaffin says. “And his overcoming the wounds of his childhood bears witness to the reality that each of us, as we express genuine compassion and care, can help others to find healing and wholeness.”


“It is critical from both a social and an economic standpoint that we respond, as a united Oklahoma family, to the needs of foster youth who are aging out of the system and who desire to attain postsecondary education.” — KERRI KEARNEY

Alton Carter plans to hold various aging-out conferences and similar events in the future to prepare foster youth well before they age out of the system.

Currently, more than 1,000 foster families are needed in the state, according to Oklahoma DHS. And each year, roughly 300 youth age out of the state system without securing a permanent family or reuniting with families, according to the state agency. “Alton’s story is an inspiration to both young people in the foster care system, and to those who cross their paths,” Leanne Chaffin says. “He inspires all of us, as he makes it clear that you don’t have to be a foster parent to make a difference. Whether you are a teacher, school administrator, pastor, Sunday school teacher, youth leader, coach, neighbor, extended family member or interact with the child in any role, you may be the one that is able to reach this child as no other can.” Carter hopes to implement special programs that prepare foster kids for the present and future. He would like to see the general public become involved and

educated on the issue as well, to ensure that changes are made. “To me, this book is a window into who you are today or who you’re trying to be and not who you were or how you see yourself,” Carter says. “It’s not about remembering mistakes you’ve made and such. It’s about encouraging people to overcome personal obstacles and struggles, so they can some day be who they want to be.” To learn more about Carter’s books and purpose, as well as his foundation that assists young men and women from foster homes, boys’ ranches and group homes in earning college degrees, visit altoncarterinspirefoundation.com. His personal blog can be found at altoncarterinspire.com. For more information regarding the Oklahoma DHS, visit okdhs.org.



WHEN DISASTER STRIKES OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences treats tornado injuries BY D E R I N DA B L A K E N E Y


You never know when disaster will strike.

In Oklahoma,

the threat of destruction rises when tornadoes rip across the state. On May 9, 2016, such was the case for C. David and Andi Culbertson when a category EF-4 tornado hit the Oklahoma ranch where they raise quarter horses with partners, Pete and Cheri Wolfe.

The Culbertson ranch’s flagship stallion, Call Him The Flash, was treated by OSU veterinarians after a tornado ripped across the state. A foal from the Culbertson’s ranch, right, frolics in the grass.



Although all eight people on the 80-acre ranch were safe in a tornado shelter, the houses, trucks, horse trailers and most of the fencing were destroyed. Several horses were injured. Thanks to the OSU Animal Relief Fund, those injured horses received care at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences at no cost to the owners. “In times of need like this, we are thankful for the generous donors who support the OSU Animal Relief Fund,”

says Dr. Mark Neer, director of the center’s Veterinary Medical Hospital. “This fund covers the cost of hospitalization, diagnostic evaluation, and medical and surgical treatment for injured animals. When you lose your home or livelihood, the last thing you need to worry about is how you are going to cover the medical care of your pets, horses or livestock.” OSU treated five horses and two foals from the Culbertsons’ ranch. The flagship stallion, Call Him The Flash, was treated


“When you lose your home or livelihood, the last thing you need to worry about is how you are going to cover the medical care of your pets, horses or livestock.” PHOTO / GARY LAWSON

— Dr. Mark Neer, OSU Veterinary Medicine Hospital director

for lacerations and multiple facial bone fractures. One mare with a foal was treated for a deep gash on her right front leg, which took weeks to heal. Other mares were treated for lacerations caused by flying debris during the storm. “We are truly grateful for the fine veterinarians and others who lovingly cared for our horses,” says Andi Culbertson. “Dr. Amanda Plunkett was tireless in giving me reports and encouragement during this difficult time. I do not know how we could have made it through this without OSU and their

fine veterinary staff. I also want to thank Dr. Troy Herthel of the Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Clinic in Los Olivos, California. Troy is a graduate of the OSU veterinary program and offered invaluable assistance and technical coordination with the veterinarians of OSU. Between Troy and Amanda, I was able to keep my mind in one piece!” The fund used to treat the Culbertsons’ horses was established in 2013 following the May tornadoes that struck several Oklahoma communities, including Moore. Thanks to donations

that poured in from across the country, OSU treated more than 60 animals injured during those storms. The Culbertsons generously donated $10,000 to the OSU Animal Relief Fund to help ensure funds are available in the future for others. If you would like to give to the OSU Animal Relief Fund, contact Christine Sitz, senior director of development with the OSU Foundation, at csitz@osugiving.com or 405-385-5170.


Two for the Rhoads B Y H O L LY B E R G B OW E R

Chris and Sarah Rhoads are many things.

They are Oklahoma State University alumni, they are highly sought-after celebrity and lifestyle photographers and video directors, they are creators of edgy campaigns, they are storytellers, they are brand-new parents and, possibly most importantly, they are a team. The Rhoads met their freshman year of college. Sarah, who grew up in Chicago, toured OSU at the behest of her mother. Chris, a Tulsa native, grew up with Cowboy blood in his veins. Upon arriving at OSU, they pledged Greek houses,




OSU alumni Chris and Sarah Rhoads photograph actress Rachel McAdams for the beauty issue of “The Hollywood Reporter” at the Houdini Estate in Los Angeles.


Chris to Fiji and Sarah to Chi Omega. Both contend that Stillwater and OSU hold special places in their hearts because it’s where they fell in love. “Chris and my relationship has a foundation in a safe place to explore your curiosities. OSU provides that type of atmosphere,” Sarah says.

“It’s a microcosm of wonderful people, and it’s a place where you can spend a lot of time getting to know people in what I consider, and this may be cheesy, but a magical little land,” Chris says. Photography was not initially either of their end goals. Sarah majored in journalism and planned to tell stories through the written word; Chris was a musician studying liberal arts with an emphasis in philosophy who happened to enjoy shooting photos while on the road. He’d always had a camera close at hand, believing that’s how everyone was. Photographs held significance for Sarah. She lost her father at age 14 and treasured photos of him. As her writing career took shape, she began to carry a camera with her and often shot photos for the O’Colly or other assignments. She spent the summer between her freshman and sophomore years backpacking through western Africa and Europe — and discovered she preferred telling her stories via photos. By her senior year, Sarah found herself photographing any and everything for the experience. She shot bands, newspaper assignments, creative landscapes and more than a few lucky brides, who have engagement photos she took. Meanwhile, Chris shot more photos on the road with his band. Both say their partnership happened organically.



“We complement each other with our strengths and weaknesses,” Sarah says. “Chris is very technical and compositional; he’s a problem solver. I’m more focused on telling a story, the people in the photos and the aesthetics.” Upon graduation in 2007, the Rhoads decided to move to Seattle. “We wanted a creative landscape to develop our voices, but we didn’t want to do that in L.A. or New York where we might be swallowed up,” Chris says. “Seattle was a great place for us. We shot a little bit of everything at first — real estate, university projects — and the jobs got bigger and bigger.” Working with what they now refer to as “bravery teamed with blissful ignorance,” Chris and Sarah took on larger projects. Their unique viewpoint prompted companies to seek them out. As their following grew, one industry giant took notice. In 2009, they scored a Sony campaign. They both describe the campaign, which involved commercials, banners on New York’s Madison Avenue and more, as the tipping point of their careers. The team known simply as We Are The Rhoads was suddenly on everyone’s radar.

Both the Rhoads credit their perspectives for their successes.

As a team, they think of the big picture and avoid placing limits on what they can accomplish. “We started to look at the greats and say, ‘Why can’t we do that? Why can’t we be the next Annie Leibovitz or whomever?’” Chris says. While working together daily can be great for a couple, it can also have its drawbacks. Learning how to respect, trust and complement each other was a


Photo shoots take Chris and Sarah Rhoads from off the beaten path in West Hollywood, California, to across the globe for work with international corporations and celebrities.


Chris and Sarah Rhoads shoot behind the scenes for a Timex watch campaign in New York City.



delicate and deliberate dance in their early years together. “The hardest part was that you have two opinions, and how does one win out?” Sarah says. “You really have to lean in and trust the other person.” Spending long hours together calls for an intentional effort to not discuss work at home. They continue to develop their work/ life balance. Still, the couple travels the world together and shares in creating beautiful products that millions of people get to see.

“Every day is different; no shoot is ever the same,” Chris says. “We work in beautiful settings and get to create amazing things from scratch,” Sarah says.

Depending upon the shoot,


the We Are The Rhoads crew today can consist of as few as five people, while a huge campaign can require location permits, set planning and a large staff to execute. By 2013, the Rhoads found themselves spending a great deal of time in Los Angeles. Friends and family never knew when they’d be in Seattle or when they’d travel to L.A. The couple found it was time to headquarter in Los Angeles. The duo and their team have created major campaigns. Brands such as Timex, Converse, Keds, Facebook, Pandora Radio, Dockers, AT&T and Bose have entrusted their visual campaigns to We Are The Rhoads. Their aim is to always create a story that the viewer would like to be a part of. “If someone would like to hang out with the people we photograph,





Sarah and Chris Rhoads welcome a son, River Anden, to We Are The Rhoads.

then we’ve accomplished what we’ve set out to do,” Chris says. When they’re not handling major campaigns, they’re conducting celebrity shoots for such magazines as Vogue Paris, Teen Vogue, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Bon Appetit, Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter and Architectural Digest. Their celebrity client list is a who’s who of Hollywood’s red carpet: Taylor Swift, Kristen Bell, Rachel McAdams, Kendall Jenner, Ruth Negga, the Lumineers and the Flaming Lips are just a few of the notables who have posed for the Rhoads. The Rhoads’ jet-setting lifestyle seems a far cry from their beginning at Oklahoma State University, but their alma mater was an important part of their formative years. OSU is never too far from their minds. They often employ OSU interns during the summer, a move prompted by Sarah remembering her need for such an internship when she was in college. “We just feel like students today need to dream big,” Sarah says. “Don’t put limits on yourself. I think that’s a big part of our success. We never put limits on ourselves.” They recently welcomed River Anden Rhoads into the family. As parents of a baby boy, they are steering a new path. We Are The Rhoads seems to be an even more appropriate name for the team now. “We’ll see how he’ll do with us as we work,” Chris says. “We hope to just bring him along when we travel.”

The Rhoads say they will always return home to Stillwater. Spending holidays in town is like going back in time for them. Nostalgia plays a large part in drawing them back. “We’ve lived where a lot of different colleges are — UCLA, University of Washington — but they’re all in the middle of big cities,” Chris says. “We just feel a sense of community in Stillwater.” That may not be so surprising. Look at a map of all the locations they’ve shot, and you’ll see one link: The Rhoads’ road to success began in Stillwater.


Capturing images of Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated actors Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga from the motion picture “Loving” is one of the celebrity projects shot by sought-after photographers Chris and Sarah Rhoads.

We Are The Rhoads

Celebrities such as Kristen Bell and Rachel McAdams hire We Are The Rhoads to shoot portraits.





Magazine projects include shooting French-American model Camille Rowe for “French Glamour.”

Converse and Timex are corporate clients calling on the talents of We Are The Rhoads.

Chris and Sarah Rhoads create art for “Kinfolk” magazine.


Outstanding Seniors 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 applications, the OSU Alumni Association Student Awards and Selection Committee met with 43 Seniors of Significance who were honored in the fall of 2016 and selected 16 for this prestigious honor. The 2017 Outstanding Seniors were recognized at a banquet April 27 in the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. Scan the QR code or visit okla.st/OS17vids to see interviews with each Outstanding Senior.

JULIA BENBROOK Woodward, Oklahoma Multimedia Journalism While at OSU, Julia Benbrook has been a four-year member of the OSU Pom Squad and Miss OSU 2017. She has been a facilitator for the President’s Leadership Council, a President’s Partner with the Student Alumni Board, and president of the National

ERIC BRINKMAN McKinney, Texas Mechanical Engineering During his time at OSU, Eric Brinkman was involved in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry as a student leader and mentor. He served as a facilitator for the President’s Leadership Council, was on the drumline in the Cowboy Marching Band and an executive board

ALLISON CHRISTIAN Duncan, Oklahoma Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness At OSU, Allison Christian served on the Homecoming Executive Team as the Walkaround executive and the athletic pride executive. She was a College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Ambassador, Collegiate Farm Bureau reporter, CASNR

ADDISON FREINER Tulsa, Oklahoma Elementary Education While at OSU, Addison Freiner served as president of Blue Key Honor Society, vice president for Education Student Council, secretary for the OSU Tau Beta chapter of Chi Omega, family relations director for CowboyThon and a College of Education ambassador.



Broadcasting Society at OSU. Her community involvement includes creating the Dance for Shelter Foundation and volunteering for Coaches vs. Cancer, Helping Hands, Children’s Miracle Network and CowboyThon. She was honored as the Women of OSU Student Philanthropist of the Year, Broadcast Education Association Award of Excellence, OSU Homecoming Court and Top 10 Freshman Women. She won a first-place news video magazine award in

the National Broadcasting Society’s undergraduate competition. After graduation, Benbrook will pursue a career in broadcast journalism and hopes to one day host a nationally televised show.

member for the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. His community involvement includes serving in Stillwater KLIFE, Sunnybrook Christian Church, the Regional Food Band of Oklahoma, Special Care Inc. and CEAT Scholars. Brinkman was chosen for the Karl N. Reid CEAT Scholars Program and the President’s Honor Roll.

After graduation, Brinkman will work as a mechanical engineer intern in Hutchinson, Kansas. He plans to return to OSU in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in thermal systems and controls.

Student Council student spokesperson and Mortar Board member. She volunteered for the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Camp, Oklahoma Youth Expo, Oklahoma and Tulsa State Fairs, OSU Foundation Thank-a-Thon, Into the Streets and Big Event. She was honored as an OSU Top 10 Freshman Women, Charles and Magda Brown CASNR Outstanding Freshman, and was on the President’s or Dean’s Honor Roll every semester. Christian interned for United States Senator James

Lankford and the Oklahoma secretary of energy and environment.

Freiner volunteered for Make-A-Wish Foundation, Into the Streets, Special Olympics State Games, Orphan Run Stillwater and interned for Bless the Children Ministries in Uganda. She earned an Honors College degree, an Academic Excellence Scholarship and the President’s Service-Learning New Program Award. Friener is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She was listed on the President’s Honor Roll.

After graduation, Freiner plans to teach elementary school and hopes to instill confidence in her students’ ability to learn at a young age so that they can strive to achieve their dreams.

Next year, Christian will attend law school.

CHELSEY JOHNSON Cottonwood, Minnesota Strategic Communications and Political Science During her time at OSU, Chelsey Johnson was a facilitator for the President’s Leadership Council, new member coordinator for the OSU Student Foundation, peer adviser for OSU Study Abroad and vice chair for the Student Government Association Sustainability

DILLON JOHNSON Afton, Oklahoma Agribusiness/Plant and Soil Sciences At OSU, Dillon Johnson has been president of the Student Government Association, president of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Student Council, chairman for the Oklahoma Ag Credit Student Board of Directors, vice president

JACQUELYN LANE Beulah, Colorado Chemical Engineering While at OSU, Jacquelyn Lane was involved in undergraduate research, the National Prayer Breakfast and Student Leadership Forum. She served as the alumni relations executive for the Student Alumni Board, secretary for Mortar Board and a senator for

LORENA MAYORGA Hinton, Oklahoma Communications Sciences and Disorders During her time at OSU, Lorena Mayorga served as the Hispanic Student Association vice president, student assistant for the Retention Initiative for Student Excellence program, president and charter member of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority Inc., mentor for

RYAN NEAL Elgin, Oklahoma Chemical Engineering At OSU, Ryan Neal served as the director of the OSU Speakers Board, president of Omega Chi Epsilon, ambassador for the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, vice president of publications for the CEAT Student Council, and a President’s

GARRETT REED Locust Grove, Oklahoma Agribusiness/Pre-Law While at OSU, Garrett Reed was vice president of business affairs and treasurer for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Student Council, state president and Northeast district vice president for Oklahoma FFA Association,

Committee. She served on the Student Union Activities Board’s Cultural Arts and Social Issues Committee. In the community, she was involved at Salem Lutheran Church, Make Way It’s Monday radio show, the Tailgate Recycling Program, Real Pokes Pass it On Program and Project Linus. Her honors include recognition as a Harry S. Truman institutional nominee, selection as the Ann Ryder and Clara Smith Women’s Faculty Council Leadership Scholar, and nomination for the

OSU Student Employee of the Year. Johnson served as a United States representative for Phi Beta Delta Honor Society. She earned an Honors College degree in political science. Johnson plans to serve global humanitarian efforts with the Peace Corps and then pursue more education in graduate school.

of programming for FarmHouse Fraternity and a student advisory board member for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. He volunteered for Coaches vs. Cancer as the SGA fundraising event coordinator and coached YMCA youth flag football. Johnson served in a voter registration drive, Habitat for Humanity and Into the Streets. He received the Wentz Leadership Award and was a President’s Distinguished Scholar and CASNR Undergraduate Research Scholar.

Johnson was a member of Blue Key Honor Society and Order of Omega Honor Society.

the Student Government Association. Lane was the founder of the Stillwater Strong T-shirt campaign, volunteer tutor at Ubuntu Youth after-school program in South Africa, counselor at Kanakuk Camps, co-founder of Helping Hands & Meal Plans and was part of the SGA Sustainability Committee. She was named a W.W. Allen Scholar, Homecoming Queen, Student Philanthropist of the Year by Women for OSU, a Top 10

Lane plans to work for the Phillips 66 lubricants division in Houston starting in June. In October, she will move to the United Kingdom to attend the University of Cambridge and pursue a master’s degree in engineering for sustainable development.

His plans include moving to Washington, D.C., to make sure that people from Oklahoma and elsewhere have a voice in the capital.

Freshman Women and a Wentz Research Scholar.

the Inclusion Leadership Program and Miss Hispanic/ Latina OSU 2014. She volunteered as a resident adviser for the JumpStart Summer Program, Stillwater English Language Learners Program, Cowboys with Compassion, Big Event and Into the Streets, and assisted in adult education classes for individuals with disabilities. She was selected to Latinas Learning to Lead program under the National Hispana Leadership

Institute and was named a Student Employee of the Year Top 5 Finalist, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Outstanding Senior and a Wentz Leadership Scholar. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Mayorga plans to complete a yearlong service program working with underserved youth before pursuing graduate school.

Partner for the Student Alumni Board. Neal volunteered

Following graduation, Neal plans to start his career

for the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children in La Merced, Peru; Habitat for Humanity; Bennett Jam; Camp Cowboy; and Oklahoma Special Olympics. He was named a CEAT scholar, Lew Wentz Leadership Scholar, Top Ten Freshman Men, Bell Chapter Undergraduate Scholar and RHA Vice President of the Year.

with ExxonMobil as a process engineer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

vice chairman for the Farm Credit Student Board of Directors, treasurer for CASNR student ambassadors and a part of Oklahoma Ag Leadership Encounter Class XIV. His involvement in the community included the Oklahoma Youth Expo, Oklahoma FFA State Convention, Into the Streets, Oklahoma FFA Alumni Leadership Camp and the Oklahoma Forestry Service Summer Camp. Reed was selected as a Top 10 Freshman Men and Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium

Scholar. He was a member of the 2016 OSU World Champion Horse Judging Team and Mortar Board. Reed earned the American FFA degree. After graduation, Reed plans to study agricultural economics in graduate school. He wants to attend law school and practice as an attorney in Oklahoma, focusing on agricultural issues.


2017 Outstanding Seniors GERARDO RICO Anadarko, Oklahoma Marketing and International Business During his time at OSU, Gerardo Rico served as the executive vice president for the American Marketing Association at OSU; vice president of communications for the Honors College Student Administration; and president, internal vice president, treasurer, public

SARAH SAUER Highland Village, Texas Nutritional Sciences/Pre-Dental Science At OSU, Sarah Sauer served as president of Mortar Board and the College of Human Sciences Student Council, senator and Internal Affairs Committee chair for the Student Government Association, sustainability executive for the Residential Hall Association and as

RICKI SCHROEDER Kremlin, Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership and Agribusiness While at OSU, Ricki Schroeder was the Homecoming VIP executive, Student Alumni Board programming executive, Alpha Zeta Agricultural Honor Fraternity censor, financial director for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Student Career Board

TIFFANY THURMOND Edmond, Oklahoma Marketing and Business Management During her time at OSU, Tiffany Thurmond was president of the African-American Student Association, vice president and secretary of the National Honor Society of Collegiate Scholars, vice president of the Theta Mu Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.,

JASON WETZLER Clackamas, Oregon Agricultural Education At OSU, Jason Wetzler was a member of Blue Key Honor Society, the Student Alumni Board, president of Alpha Gamma Rho, a part of McKnight Leader Scholars Program and spoke for TEDxOStateU. Wetzler volunteered for LifeChurch’s youth ministry,

COURTNEY WOLFE Lucas, Texas Architecture While at OSU, Courtney Wolfe served as president and freshman council coordinator for CEAT Student Council, vice president of Mortar Board, student giving campaigns executive and president of the Student Foundation, district representative for the Council for



relations chairman, historian, standards officer and sergeant of arms for Omega Delta Phi Fraternity Inc. Rico volunteered for Fiestas de las Americas, Into the Streets, Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society and Serve Moore. He earned an Honors College degree and was named a Spears School of Business Orange Book Scholar and Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar. Rico is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

and Hispanic Student Association. He received the University Leadership Scholarship. Rico plans to seek a career in marketing before pursuing a master’s degree.

a Cowboy Cousins executive within the SGA. She volunteered in the community for Edmon Low Library, LASSO Center, YMCA, Camp Cowboy and Share the W.E.A.L.T.H. As a member of Pi Beta Phi, Sauer was honored as Greek Woman of the Year 2015. She was selected as a Student Philanthropist of the Year by Women for OSU, Nutritional Sciences Top Ten Senior, Wentz Research Scholar and Top Twenty Freshman Women.

After graduation, Sauer will begin dental school at Texas A&M College of Dentistry.

of Directors and the alumni relations executive for Mortar Board. He volunteered as an agricultural education teacher in Ghana. Schroeder served as the Big Event community development executive. He was on the Into the Streets community involvement committee and the CowboyThon public relations committee. He participated in the Agricultural Leadership Department Hunt for Hunger Food Drive. Schroeder was selected a Student Philanthropist of the Year by Women for

OSU, a Top 10 Freshman Men, OSU Agricultural Leadership Department Outstanding Freshman and a Student Foundation Outstanding New Member. He was inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame. After graduation, Schroeder plans to move to Washington, D.C., to pursue a career in agricultural policy.

president and secretary of the African-American Business Student Association and chapter plan chair of the Marketing Club. She volunteered for the Stillwater Humane Society, Oklahoma City Food Bank, Salvation Army, United Way and Into the Streets. She was honored as a Spears School of Business Outstanding Senior and the 2015 Big XII on Black Student Government: Outstanding Sophomore of the

Year. Thurmond was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Gamma Sigma.

FFA, Washington Leadership Conference, Special Olympics Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank. He was named the OSU Homecoming King and an Outstanding Student in Agricultural Education. Wetzler received the Alpha Gamma Rho Excellence in Brotherhood Award, National FFA Lifetime Alumni Membership and was an OSU Interfraternity Council Outstanding Male Finalist.

After graduation, Wetzler hopes to work in the agricultural industry and invest in his community as an agricultural education instructor and FFA adviser.

Advancement and Support of Education and Affiliated Student Advancement Programs and secretary of Tau Sigma Delta Architecture Honor Society. She volunteered at Sunnybrook Christian Church, Architecture Students Teaching Elementary Kids, Give What You Can food drive, PhilanthroPete and Mortar Board Pen Pals. A Centennial Leadership Fellow, she completed her honors thesis and is a member of Phi Kappa

Phi Honor Society. She was nominated for Student Employee of the Year and OSU Homecoming Queen.

She will be relocating to Salt Lake City to join the sales development team of Qualtrics, a private research software company.

Wolfe hopes to pursue a career in architecture that synthesizes her passion for design and nonprofit ventures.

Legacy LINK AW E S O M E Orange OOZE Recipe WHAT YOU’LL NEED • Clear glue or white glue

(Elmer’s washable glue works best)

• • • • • • In one bowl, mix 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup of glue. Mix completely. Add orange food coloring (or 6 drops of yellow with 6 drops of red) and glitter/confetti to glue mixture. Slowly mix the glue/water mixture into the starch with a spoon. Be sure to get all glue out of bowl. Switch to mixing with hands for a few minutes until you feel it come together. Transfer ooze to a clean, dry container or a plate.

Liquid Starch Water Measuring Cup 2 Bowls Spoon Orange Food Coloring

(Red + Yellow also works)

• Glitter/Confetti (optional)

Note: Playing with slime helps it reach correct consistency. Adult supervision of children is always recommended. The OSU Alumni Association does not accept any liability for events that occur as a result of the activities described herein.

Show us your orange ooze using #OKStateLegacy on Twitter or Instragram! Register your legacy in the OSU Alumni Association Legacy Program at ORANGECONNECTION.org/legacy to receive all the legacy benefits available with your membership!


Pat and Pat Cobb watch from the suites at Boone Pickens Stadium as the OSU football team defeated Texas-San Antonio, 69–14, on September 19, 2015.

Alumni Bring Their Love Back To Stillwater

Couple supports H. Louise and H.E. “Ed” Cobb Speaker Series,


hosting famous authors at Oklahoma State University Edmon Low Library



It sounds like the beginning of a joke: Pat and Pat met at OSU in 1971 on a blind date with another couple, Pat and Patty. But rather than a

punchline, the true story led to a dedicated couple who fell in love and displayed generosity that continues to make a significant difference at their alma mater.


Today, Pat and Pat Cobb are proud OSU alumni and supporters, members of the OSU Foundation’s Board of Governors and parents of three sons who became Cowboys. Among their greatest contributions at OSU is the Cobb Speaker Series, which brings famous authors to speak at the Edmon Low Library. When the two met, they were college kids trying to finish degrees. Patricia Wasson grew up in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, the youngest of four children raised by a single mother, Mary Nell Wasson. “I didn’t know financially if I’d be able to go to college, but I was able to get several scholarships and student loans,” says Patricia, who completed her sociology degree in 1974. Patrick grew up in Tulsa, one of three children born to Ed and Louise Cobb, both alumni of then-Oklahoma A&M College. At OSU, Patrick planned to major in architecture before discovering his lack of creativity. “I met some great people and really enjoyed it thoroughly, but I got four hours of D in art — and the only reason it was that good was I showed up to class every doggone time,” Patrick says. “I switched to engineering until computer programming and calculus ate my lunch.” He eventually found his academic strengths and completed a finance degree in 1973. He and Patricia continued to date, with him working for Mobil in Dallas and her becoming a social worker in Okemah, Oklahoma. They married February 1, 1975. They moved to Philadelphia so that Patrick could earn his MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton

The author of the “Longmire” series, Craig Johnson, left, autographs books following the 2016 H. Louise and H.E. “Ed” Cobb Speaker event.



Some members of the family of Pat and Pat Cobb join Craig Johnson, author of the “Longmire” books, at the 2016 H. Louise and H.E. “Ed” Cobb Speaker Series event. The group included, from left, the couple’s son and daughter-in-law Hannah and Alex Cobb; Pat’s brother Victor Cobb; Pat and Pat Cobb; “Longmire” author Craig Johnson; and the couple’s daughter-in-law and grandson, Meagan and Henry Cobb.

“OSU is like a big family, and I know that’s said over and over again, but it’s really true.” — Patricia Cobb School. Patricia worked for a local doctor and gerontological researcher, Donald Balaban, who became a good friend of theirs. In fact, he exemplified the kind of life they wanted to lead. “As you move through this life, you run into special people who help you and inspire you to help others,” Patrick says. “He was worried these two Okies wouldn’t make it in Philadelphia. He hired me to work on his old house and babysit his kids, and once he sent us both to deliver a grant request for him in D.C.” Patricia adds, “You find yourself wanting to pay it forward because he really did take very good care of us, developing not only a professional relationship but a personal one as well. He is one reason that we love the idea of helping young people. When you have the experience of people helping you, you find yourself wanting to do that even more.” After Patrick completed his MBA, he and Patricia moved to San Francisco for three years. Their first son, Aaron, was born there in 1979.



“My mom and dad came to meet Aaron shortly after he was born, and it wasn’t long after that my dad decided he desperately needed me back helping him with Cobb Oil and Gas Company,” Patrick says. “He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, so we put our house up for sale and moved back to Oklahoma.” Their other two sons — Alex and Austin — were both born in Tulsa, where today Patrick is president of Broken Arrow Royalty Company and co-manages Kolding Oil and Gas with Alex. Aaron and Alex both graduated from OSU’s Stillwater campus, while Austin’s degree is from the OSU Institute of Technology. Patricia and Patrick Cobb met during their college days and travel the world together including a trip to Iceland.

“We consider ourselves very openminded, because Aaron is married to an OU graduate,” Patrick jokes. Patrick and Patricia have found their love for OSU has increased over time. “When you meet and marry someone, you don’t realize how some of your commonalities are going to materialize,” Patricia says. “We obviously both had great experiences at OSU, but I don’t think either of us could foresee that bond would be something that would not just always be there but grow and develop. We raised our kids going to Stillwater. We had great times with Patrick’s parents — three generations of us going over there for sports and gatherings.

“It certainly wasn’t something when we got married that we thought, ‘We have this in common. Won’t that be fun?’ It just was, and that became important to both of us.” When they were asked to join the OSU Foundation’s Board of Governors in 2007, — Patricia Cobb they were thrilled because they had been looking for ways to get more involved with their alma mater. “This has been a great experience because we feel like we’re in the loop,” Patricia says. “We have met such wonderful people. OSU is like a big family, and I know that’s said over and over again, but it’s really true. It helps us feel even more connected because we have that group to be involved in.” The Cobb family has done much for OSU. They have supported many areas, including the H. Louise and H.E. “Ed” Cobb Speaker Series, which brings in renowned individuals to speak at the annual fundraiser for the Friends of the OSU Library. Patrick’s father established the program in 1991 to memorialize Louise, who had been an avid reader and member of the Friends of the Library. The rest of the family later increased the Pat and Pat Cobb greet best-selling author Nicholas Sparks at the 2011 endowment for the program, which has H. Louise and H.E. “Ed” Cobb Speaker Series. booked authors such as William F. Buckley, Ken Burns, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Brad Meltzer, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Kurt Vonnegut. Patricia says, “Then it’s like, ‘Oh, The Cobbs also support the arts, The family has been pleased with not good. We now get to try to figure out including The McKnight Center for the just the renown of the speakers, but also how to fulfill what we committed in an Performing Arts. Patrick’s parents passed the quality of their presentations. One environment that doesn’t look good. It’s the love of the arts on to him, and when of their favorite events featured Boone a little hard right now to think about the couple lived in Philadelphia, they Pickens speaking with Burns Hargis. committing to anything financially.’ If bought season tickets to the Philadelphia “Wealthy people get a bad rap a lot, that’s the case, you have to remember Orchestra conducted by the internationand some of it is because some wealthy during the good times, ‘Now is the time ally famous Eugene Ormandy. people do some stupid stuff,” Patrick says. that you can afford to do something.’ So “I didn’t really know that I would “You can’t fix stupid whether you have it’s a juggling act. like that sort of thing,” Patricia says. money or not. But Boone and (Oklahoma “Somehow you find out as you go along. “We don’t always know the impact billionaire) Harold Hamm are the two that something we do or say might have We definitely discovered that those were most interesting people that I’ve ever on someone, but you just have to keep at things that we both enjoy, so when we known. I’ve interacted with both, and it, do the right thing and be what you can travel, we love to go to art museums they’ll openly talk with you, and I’m a be to help other people. To know that you and other cultural activities. It’s been nobody. They both started with nothing made a difference in someone’s life, that’s great that we have shared those things and became very successful.” the best gift of all.” in common.” Along with the Cobb Speaker Series, Patrick adds, “And it’s a lot more fun The Cobbs have lived a life full of the Cobbs support other projects that varied experiences, including nerve-wrack- to give money away than to make it.” reflect their orange passions, including ing times when they have made commitathletics. They agree with Hargis that ments to help others with various needs athletics are a great way to bring attention just before oil prices plunged and greatly to the university’s academic prowess. diminished the family’s assets.

“To know that you made a difference in someone’s life, that’s the best gift of all.”



Leave a Legacy at the Library The Oklahoma State University Library serves every student at OSU. Regardless of major, GPA, athletic status or year in their program, each student has access to the same resources, services and facilities. The library is constantly evolving in an effort to offer students the best and most innovative tools to succeed at OSU and beyond. Giving opportunities at the library are as diverse as the students who use the building every day. There are opportunities to support services, equipment, spaces and student employment. Gifts of any amount can have a direct impact on the lives of students.

Learn about these giving opportunities and more by contacting Jill Johnson, senior director of development, at 405-385-0733 or jjohnson@ osugiving.com.



Paid Library Internships A gift of $5,000 per year funds an intern’s salary. The library began its internship program in 2005 and now boasts 21 internships, offering hands-on work experience in a wide range of fields.

Closed Captioning for Library Videos, Digital Signage and Exhibit Area A gift of $5,000 per year funds a video intern to create closed captioning for the library’s video content used in digital signage and exhibits.

Library Student Ambassadors

Technology and Makerspace Equipment

A gift of $10,000 per year funds the program. Ambassadors are the student face of the library outreach. They increase library engagement by working at university recruitment events, hosting tours and providing event support.

Today, academic libraries house Makerspaces for hands-on learning. Examples of equipment costs planned for the library’s Makerspace are:

A gift of $14,000 per year underwrites the cost of graduate assistants who coach students on presentations and offer guidance on improving speaking skills.

• $8,000 for a Glowforge 3D Cutter/ Printer with air filter • $7,000 for two Lulzbot Taz 6 3D Printers with extra tool heads and filament • $2,200 for four 3D Scanners (two Makerbot Digitizers and two Systems Senses) • $600 for Oculus Rift Augmented Reality Kit • $200 each for Raspberry Pi 3 Kits.

Undergraduate Library Research Award (ULRA)

Virtual Reality (VR) Equipment

A gift of $8,000 per year funds the awards. ULRA rewards outstanding undergraduate research. Awards are based on the students’ reflection on both the research product and process.

At a cost of $2,500 per library, VR allows students in the Architecture Library to virtually walk through computer-built 3D renderings to see details in life size. For students at the Veterinary Health Science Library, VR shows them the entire surgical suite and surgical procedure as if they are present in the room.

Student Presentation Skill Development

Science Programming in the Library A gift of $5,000 per year supports public presentations on relevant and current scientific research. Presentations are geared to a general audience, including students who previously may not have considered science careers.

Friends of the OSU Library Gifts of any size to this fund support services for students.

Masterpiece Moments: Artist at the Table combines artists’ talents and the community’s commitment to the arts in a fun-filled night sure to please. Famous artwork and their creators — think Warhol, van Gogh and Degas — will be the inspiration behind an artist gallery of tablescape creations, constructed by friends and advocates of the OSU Museum of Art. Join us for a silent and live auction, entertainment and heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine and more! For more information, visit OSUgiving.com/MasterpieceMoments Proceeds to fund the OSU Museum of Art exhibitions and educational programming. Hosted by the OSU Museum of Art Advocates

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 2016.

McKenzie Faulkner, ’16

Aaron Haley*

Catherine Ferrell, ’15

Rachael Halligan, ’14

Brice Fiddler, ’14

Dalton Hamilton, ’12

Jacob Fielder, ’15

Travis Hammer, ’16

Natalie Fieldsend, ’16

Jeff Handwerker, ’92

Amber Fife*

Jayde Hansen*

Cindy Filson

Drew Harbour*

Michael Filson, ’73

Carrie Hardison, ’02

Jordan Fischer, ’16

Stephen Hardison, ’00, ’02

John Florence III, ’16

Andrew Harlan, ’14

Linda Flores, ’74

Lindsey Harr, ’16

Breanne Flusche, ’10

Ryan Hauser, ’16

Matt Flusche, ’10

Sterling Hayden Jr., ’16

Learn more at orangeconnection.org/join about the benefits of becoming a

Deron Fontenot, ’11

Michel Head, ’15

life member or call 405-744-5368.

Corinna Ford*

Taylor Hedger, ’15

Jessica Abernethy, ’16

Mike Bale, ’74, ’93

Clinton Brandt, ’15

Seth Cleary, ’16

Juan De La Vega, ’07

Andy Adams, ’14, ’15

Luke Ball, ’16

Desiree Breech

Trent Cleary*

Sammi De La Vega, ’08

Ashley Adams, ’16

Jeanette Barber, ’14

Jim Breech, ’10

Grant Clift*

O’Donna Dean, ’14

Bob Adams, ’75, ’78

Amanda Barbera*

Kendall Broadbent, ’16

Leslie Coats*

Ashley Deaville*

Bobby Adams, ’91

Cheryl Barrett, ’14

Dalton Brooks*

Taylor Coffee, ’16

Myles Deering, ’96

Katy Adams

Michael Bartley

Danielle Brown*

Adam Coffey*

Chris DeMoss, ’02

Kevin Adams, ’16

MarcAnthony Basco, ’15

Morgan Brown, ’16

Jamie Coffin, ’16

Lauren Dennis, ’05

Marsha Adams, ’73, ’75

Jamie Baskin, ’12, ’13

Johnny Brownlow, ’15

Alan Coffman, ’03

Sarah Denton, ’16

Ryan Adams, ’16

Katherine Bastie, ’16

Courtney Bruce, ’16

Sammy Coffman, ’08

Heath DePriest, ’93

Terry Adams*

Conner Bayliff, ’16

Bailey Bruns, ’16

Rose Cohlmia, ’71

Madison Dettor, ’16

Hemanta Agarwala, ’91

Corbit Bayliff, ’14, ’16

Christopher Buckstaff*

Ashley Coles, ’01, ’04

Nicholas Deyoe, ’16

John Agee*

Nicole Bayne, ’16

Rachel Burkey, ’16

Matthew Coles, ’00, ’03

Samuel Diacon, ’16

Andrea Ahlerich, ’03, ’06

Jeff Bays, ’05

Chloe Burks*

Amy Combs, ’96

Corbin Diaz, ’16

Alex Alabbasi, ’16

James Beauchamp, ’01

Miranda Burks*

Jaycie Conaway, ’15

Jennifer Dickson, ’11

Annie Alexander, ’16

Joshua Burns, ’16

Rob Confer, ’16

Cassidy Diehl*

Daniel Allen, ’16

Stephanie Beauchamp, ’88, ’90, ’94

Mary Burruss, ’16

Kelsey Conley, ’13, ’15

Matthew Douglas, ’16

Mary Allen, ’16

Ashtin Bechtold*

Kyle Buthod, ’12

Taylor Conley, ’16

Calvin Downey, ’16

Justin Ammons, ’00

Joseph Beck, ’16

Andrea Caldwell, ’15

Caleb Cook*

John Doyle*

Caitlin Amox, ’16

Spenser Becker*

Lorraine Caldwell, ’82

Zadie Cook*

Jeffrey Drebes*

Amber Anderson, ’15

Jared Beiermann, ’16

Mark Caldwell, ’82

Kevin Cooke*

Madeline Drummond, ’16 Lorena Dubois*

Coree Foster, ’09

Karina Heidlage*

Heath Foster, ’10

Chase Hellan, ’16

Fritzi Francis*

Michelle Hemperley, ’16

Sarah Frank, ’16

Janice Hemphill, ’14

L. C. Fuller Jr., ’79

Haley Hendricks, ’16

Kathleen Furr, ’05, ’09

Nickole Henke, ’16

Claire Gallagher*

Emily Henning*

Matt Gallagher*

Alicia Henry*

Matt Gard, ’13

Hannah Herman, ’16

Joe Gardner, ’71, ’73

David Herron*

Sharon Gardner

Jordan Hershey, ’16

Catherine Garland*

Michele Higgins*

Austin Garner, ’09

Steven Hightower, ’79

Carrie Garner, ’10

Kyle Hilbert, ’16

Trey Garner, ’12

Alexus Hill*

Jeremy Garrison, ’16

Kezia Hines, ’14

Tait Garroutte*

Jacob Hoak*

Amber Gates*

Cynthia Hoffman

Mike Gebremeskel, ’16

Nathan Hoggard, ’15

Evan George*

Cheryl Holbrook, ’93

Madison Gerritzen, ’16

Don Holbrook, ’93, ’02

Charlie Gibson, ’16

Kimberly Holekamp, ’92

Christopher Gibson*

Steve Holekamp, ’16

Fred Anderson

Matthew Belanger*

Patricia Calzolari, ’92

Carol Cooley

Kourtney Anderson, ’16

Tricia Belz, ’12

Kathryn Campbell, ’09

Mikyla Cooper, ’16

Kelsey Duepner, ’16

Susan Anderson, ’91, ’96

Tiffanie Bentley, ’97, ’00

Donald Copley, ’72, ’77, ’95

Greg Duffy, ’99, ’03, ’09

Taylor Anderson*

Aletor Beresford-Cole, ’16

Steven Campbell, ’82, ’83, ’86

Matthew Cortez, ’10

Jake Duffy, ’16

Kelli Angell, ’87

Nicholas Bertling, ’16

Preston Cardwell, ’15

Hayley Cosgrove, ’16

Jana Duffy, ’02

Russell Angell, ’82

Jacob Bertrand, ’16

Madison Carey, ’16

Madison Cotherman, ’16

Bobby Dupree, ’78

Ryan Anthony, ’16

Lyndall Berwaldt, ’16

Desiree Carl, ’16

Colby Cottom*

Ann Dyer, ’85, ’87

Archibald Anum, ’14

Madison Betcher, ’15

Andrew Carlquist*

Kaylee Cowan, ’16

Dustin Easterling*

Jeremy Aragon*

Kirat Bhonsle, ’15

Jack Carson, ’81

Randi Cox*

Jason Elder, ’05, ’07

Joseph Archer*

Hunter Billen*

Brian Casey, ’91

Thomas Cox, ’12, ’14

Sage Ellis*

Alden Armstrong, ’16

Jeff Blackstone

Alex Cash, ’16

Verity Cox*

Nicholas Elroy, ’16

Kylee Armstrong, ’16

Donald Blakley, ’62

Lee Ann Cavener, ’76, ’90

Brandan Crabill, ’14

Jessica Arteaga*

Sheila Blankenship, ’80

Ricky Cavener, ’76, ’78

George Crane*

Jessica Engelbrecht, ’05, ’08

Marcus Ashlock, ’06

Evan Blasingame, ’10

Nick Chabot, ’16

Matthew Creech, ’11

Jon Engelbrecht, ’07

Amelia Gordon*

Brett Humphrey, ’16

Robert Backiel*

Jilene Blasingame, ’11

Broderick Chapman*

Alexandria Crockett, ’16

Brittany Engles, ’16

Brett Gordon, ’07

Malory Hunt, ’15

Roslyn Bailey, ’16

Robert Bloomfield, ’16

Charles Chapman, ’75

Rowena Crockett, ’16

David Enkey*

Katie Gossman, ’16

Bailey Hurd, ’16

Riley Bair, ’16

Jennah Blose*

Derek Chastain, ’96

Aaron Cromer, ’16

Amanda Epplin, ’05

John Grabko, ’53

Jimmy Hutson, ’16

Alyssa Baker, ’16

Brett Bluma*

Mark Cheek, ’10

Kaitlyn Croston, ’16

Eric Epplin, ’04

Jilliann Grable, ’14

Kaela Ibrahim*

Denis Baker, ’95

Zoe Book, ’16

Steve Cherrington, ’95

Alex Crow, ’16

Gordon Eubanks Jr., ’68

Nathan Greer, ’05, ’15

Ruth Inman, ’06, ’08, ’16

Kelcie Baker*

Maggie Botkin*

Shirley Chesbro, ’61

Skylar Cummings*

Harlie Eubanks*

Gabrielle Gregg, ’16

Savana Irons, ’16

Marshall Baker, ’12

Dylan Bowie, ’16

Ashleigh Chiaf, ’16

Ronn Cunningham, ’90

Ellis Evans, ’84, ’85

Steve Griffin, ’03, ’08

Ama Isaac, ’10

Robyn Baker, ’02, ’05

Douglas Braches, ’15

Lacy Ciupak, ’16

Connor Daugherty*

Laurel Eve, ’16

Ginger Gripe, ’94, ’02

Anna Isaacs, ’90

Ronald Baker, ’78

Kathryn Bradford, ’09

Amelia Clark, ’16

Jake Davis, ’12

Elizabeth Ewen, ’14

Jennifer Gripe, ’07

John Ivy*

Benita Bale, ’72

Zachary Bradley*

Tanya Clawson, ’95

Shannon Davis, ’15

Aubrey Ewing, ’16

Beau Grisez Jr.

Ashley Jackson*

Robert Day, ’97

Chandler Farris, ’15

Lynn Grisez

Kaitlyn Jackson, ’16

Jose Guillermo De Haseth

Julia Faught, ’04

Carson Guinn*

Kevin Jackson*

Taylor Faught, ’03

Derek Hackett, ’16

Octavia Jackson*

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



Annie Gilbert*

Chris Holland, ’15

Kaili Gilbert*

Julie Hollowell*

Steton Gilley, ’16

Sydnee Homeyer, ’15

Amy Gilliland, ’16

Biff Horrocks, ’74

Joseph Glenn, ’13

Sue Horrocks

Stephanie Goekeler, ’86

Lea Horton, ’88

Tom Goekeler, ’84

Blair Hosier, ’16

Mary Goins, ’16

Robert Houk III, ’14

McKenzie Goldsby, ’16

Clinton Hughes, ’14

Haley Goodell, ’16

Janie Hughes

Robert Goodno, ’93, ’95

Scott Hughes, ’85

Shayna Jackson*

Lora Long, ’16

Mason Mungle, ’70, ’72

Kenneth Preston*

Marissa Schmidt*

Chris Swanson

Brooks Walker, ’16

Baylee Javellas*

Julie Low, ’91

Kim Murphy, ’16

Ethan Propp, ’16

Alexandria Schneider, ’15

Ali Syed, ’16

Lawrence Walker, ’84, ’86

Ashlee Jayne, ’11, ’14

Kiah Lowe, ’16

Mike Murray, ’16

Casey Pruitt, ’16

Christine Schoaps, ’05, ’09

Don Sylvester*

Patty Walker, ’84, ’86

Julie Jelley, ’90

Jeanne Lowrey, ’85, ’87

Leilah Naifeh*

Cathee Pullman, ’84

Taylor Schooling*

Alex Talbot*

Emily Wallace*

Steve Jelley, ’87

Bobby Lucas III*

Ethan Nall, ’16

Ray Purdy, ’67, ’71

Jordan Schreiber, ’16

Erin Talley, ’16

Heidi Wallace, ’16

Darran Jensen*

Len Magby, ’13

Brooke Nation, ’16

James Putnam, ’16

Mandy Schroeder, ’16

Kelsi Tapper, ’15

Brian Walters

Nancy Jiles, ’83

William Maltbie, ’16

Van Neilson

Kurtis Quillin, ’16

Seth Tate, ’16

Jacob Walters*

Stephanie John, ’16

Kenzie Manuel, ’16

Hannah Nelson*

Garrett Quinby, ’16

Shannon Schultheis, ’90, ’93

Mason Taylor, ’16

Zachary Walters, ’14

Julianne Johnson, ’08

Grace Markes, ’10

Jim Nelson, ’86

Karli Quinn, ’16

Todd Schultheis, ’96

Michael Taylor, ’90

Nicholas Walton*

Linda Johnson, ’80

Lindsey Marsh*

Kerry Nelson, ’09

Craig Rackley, ’01

Barry Schwarz

Michelle Taylor

Donna Ward, ’71, ’73

Amanda Jones, ’16

Frances Marshall*

Tyler Nelson, ’09

Evi Rader

Bonnie Schwarz, ’94

Hannah Tether, ’16

Sidney Ward III, ’72

Anthony Jones, ’15

Rachel Martin*

Chandler Nett, ’16

James Rader, ’06

Rachel Schwarz*

Emily Thill, ’16

Beth Watson, ’84

Bill Jones, ’13, ’15

Shay Massey, ’14

Benjamin Nicholas, ’16

Aaron Ralstin, ’15

Bill Schwertfeger, ’67

David Thomas

Branden Watson*

Dillon Jones*

Naman Mathur, ’16

BJ Nicholas, ’72

Thornton Raskevitz, ’16

Erin Scott, ’96, ’00

Denise Thomas, ’80

Kaylee Watson*

McGregor Jones, ’16

Brenna May, ’10

Lindsey Nicks, ’16

Sarah Ray, ’15

Tim Scott, ’00

Geri Thomas, ’14

Suzanne Watson, ’02

Samuel Jones, ’16

Jerry May, ’08, ’10

Andrew Nieman*

Carly Reaves, ’16

Robyn Scribner*

Karynn Thomas, ’16

Alan Watt, ’74, ’75, ’82

Shauna Jones, ’03

Katie McBryde, ’08

Brenda Nimmo, ’95

Sara Reding*

Jordan Scully*

Hannah Thompson, ’15

Tara Weatherford, ’16 Amanda Weaver, ’12, ’14

Daniel Jordan, ’16

Lucy McCollom*

Paris Nottingham, ’16

Amanda Reece, ’07

Robert Seiber, ’62, ’70

Lauren Thompson*

William Jordan IV, ’16

Ken McEntire, ’10

Susie O’Connor, ’16

Charles Reece

John Sellers, ’08, ’16

Orin Thompson, ’93

Lance Weaver, ’12

Chelsie Keener*

Sebian McFalls, ’16

Izzy O’Dell, ’15

Daniel Reed*

Annette Shamas, ’90

Mark Thornbrough

Alex Webber, ’99, ’12 Denise Webber, ’99, ’01

Kylie Keener*

Stacy McGuire, ’91

Britt Oglesby, ’14, ’16

David Reed, ’94

Jimmy Shamas Jr., ’81

Meredith Thornbrough, ’10

Leslie Kegel, ’87

Todd McGuire, ’91

Sterling Olive, ’16

Jason Reed, ’96, ’00

Austin Sharp*

Dusty Thrasher*

Heather Wedel*

Byron Keith, ’11

Adam McKay*

McKenzie Olson*

Joe Reed, ’85

Garrett Sharp, ’16

Melanie Tipton, ’01, ’13

William Wedge, ’16

Gary Kendall, ’77

Christina McKee*

Clara Orr, ’12

LeeAnn Reed, ’10

Jennifer Shears, ’01

Angie Tompkins, ’16

Jennifer Western*

Mary Kendall

Garrett McKinney*

Kyle Osborn, ’16

Lori Reed, ’94

Kylie Shentwu*

Caleb Townsend*

Audrey Westphalen, ’09

Morgan Kerr*

Jordan McLemore, ’16

Victoria Otto, ’16

Mark Reed, ’10

Sarah Sherrell, ’02

Gerald Tracy III, ’16

Justin Westphalen, ’09

Jenonne Kessler, ’75, ’78, ’97

Kaitlyn McMahan*

Justin Packard, ’16

Megan Reed*

Caroline Short, ’15

Tina Tran*

Tyler Wheat, ’16

Aimee McMurl, ’15

Teresa Pankratz, ’14

Y. Ly Reed, ’95, ’96

Ned Kessler, ’72

Toby Treadwell, ’06

Howard White, ’73, ’95

Amber McNeil, ’98

Andrea Papke, ’15

Katherine Rescino, ’16

Jeffrey Silvertooth, ’76, ’82, ’86

Samantha Ketcham

Barry Treas, ’80

Madeline White*

Melissa Means, ’90

Matthew Parish

David Reser, ’87, ’92

Morgan Kettlewood*

Scott Means, ’91

Becca Park, ’08, ’11

Jill Rhoades, ’15

Jennifer Kilian, ’15

Allison Meinders, ’16

Brad Park, ’04, ’11

MacKenzie Rhoads, ’16

Anmei Kirkes, ’16

Ingrid Meinders, ’89, ’91

Stephany Parker, ’97, ’02

Danielle Rich, ’16

Elizabeth Klein, ’16

John Meinders, ’89

Hannah Parnell*

Arianna Richard, ’15

Kaitlin Knight*

Allison Meisenheimer, ’16

Megan Pasteryk, ’15

Dalton Richardson, ’16

Kristin Knight, ’14

Madeline Meister*

Kaley Pate, ’09, ’10

Harley Richardson, ’16

Tyler Konarik, ’16

Savannah Melton, ’16

Ryan Patrick*

Jim Ricker*

Whitnee Konwinski, ’16

Lauren Merida*

Cameron Patterson*

Sidney Ricketts*

Brian Krafft, ’06

Coulter Merrill, ’16

Colton Pease, ’13

Jonathan Ries, ’11

Jonathan Kroll*

Rachel Metzger, ’16

Mary Pedigo, ’07

Anna Robinson*

Hollie Kuehni, ’12, ’16

Adam Meyer*

Marla Peek, ’84

Candace Robinson, ’06

Kirby Kunka, ’15

Anna Miller, ’14

Dakota Peery

James Robinson*

Emily Landoll, ’16

Brandi Miller, ’16

Laine Peitzmeier*

Taylor Roblyer, ’16

Garrett Lane*

Christina Miller, ’16

Taylor Perkins, ’15

Scarlet Rock*

Charlotte Langley, ’73, ’75

Morgan Miller, ’16

Jacob Peters, ’16

Julie Rogers, ’04

Terry Langley

Ryan Miller, ’16

Adrian Peterson, ’99

Kirsten Rogers, ’16

Jenny Lansford, ’07, ’08

Anthony Minor*

Anna Peterson*

Madison Rogers, ’16

Julie Lawrence

Austin Mitchell, ’16

Joshua Phelps, ’01, ’09

Pete Rogers

Matthew Lazewski, ’16

Kerrie Mollet, ’06

Chris Phenicie, ’95

Shelby Rogers, ’16

Danielle Leach, ’10, ’12

Todd Mollet, ’06

Heather Phenicie, ’95

Susan Rogers, ’81

Nathan League, ’14

Megan Montgomery*

James Phillips, ’01

Brooke Romine, ’16

Matt Ledbetter, ’03

Brandy Moore, ’02, ’07

Cole Pierce*

Katherine Roskamp, ’14

Gretchan Moore, ’16

Bradley Pittman, ’16

Josiah Rossdeutscher, ’16

Jennifer Lee, ’96, ’99

Mike Moose

Amy Pitts, ’13

Monae Rowland*

Kelsey Lee, ’09

Chase Morgan, ’16

Cody Plumbtree, ’16

Vicki Rudolph-Williams, ’74

Naomi Lemon*

Samantha Mori, ’16

Marisa Powell, ’16

Connor Rutherford*

Brandon Lee*

Alexandra Lenorman*

Lori Morton, ’04, ’05

Katie Powers, ’12, ’14

Hannah Sanders*

Linen Lessert*

Joshua Mosley, ’11

Jill Prather, ’87

David Scheidt

Natalie Mosley, ’10

Mark Prather, ’87

Mary Scheidt

Brett Lessley, ’96 Jenny Lessley, ’06, ’13

Michael Mrkacek, ’15

Nicholas Prather, ’14

Emma Schemmer, ’16

Jessica Lisenbee, ’14

Taylor Mullan, ’16

Terrence Pratt, ’14

Caleb Scheve, ’12

Jeff Livingston, ’90, ’02, ’05

Brad Mulsow, ’01

Summer Prentiss, ’16

Rachel Scheve

Hayley Long, ’16

Kyndall Muncrief, ’16

Mike Presnal, ’95

Lauren Schmidt*

Suzan Simmons, ’80, ’83 Wayne Sims, ’75 Patrick Slagle* Aarron Slaten, ’14 Ashlee Smart, ’09 Cedric Smith* Clayton Smith* Elizabeth Smith, ’16 Kathryn Smith, ’12, ’13 Kay Smith, ’75 Mackenzie Smith* Ray Smith Jr., ’74 Stefanie Smith, ’14 Tyson Smith* Barry Snook, ’89, ’90 Janet Sorenson, ’74, ’84 Robert Soult, ’16 Lyndsay Sshoenhals, ’16 Bailey Stacy* Ezrajames Stacy*

Stephen Trotter, ’74, ’78

Nicole White, ’16

Samuel Trout*

Tyler Whitehead, ’16

Danielle Trower, ’16

Logan Whitson*

Brian Truman*

Joshua Wichers, ’12

Dylan Tucker, ’15

Alexis Wiebe, ’16

Sam Tucker Jr., ’85, ’89

Parker Wilkerson*

Madison Tupper, ’16

Kendall Willey, ’16

Victoria Turner*

Adam Williams, ’06

Ryan Underwood*

Brent Williams*

Erin Ungerecht, ’16

Erica Williams, ’14 Katherine Williams, ’16

Kristen Valenski, ’16 Claire Van Beek, ’16

Laredo Williams*

Katie Varner, ’16

Melissa Williams*

Joshua Vaughn*

Torayia Williams, ’16

Ryan Vitelli, ’16

Caylen Willingham, ’16

Ben Wagener, ’16

Brittany Willis, ’16

Carl Waid*

Matthew Wilson, ’16 Carrie Winslett, ’98 J.D. Winterhalter Jr., ’02, ’15

Padyn Stanley, ’14

Courtney Wolfe*

Gary Steinert, ’74

Jared Wolkens*

Lauren Stewart*

Martha Wood, ’16

Charlotte Stith, ’15

Katie Woodruff, ’15

Pamela Stokes, ’14

Brent Wooldridge*

Whitney Strong, ’16

Shelby Wyatt*

Megan Stuart, ’16

Robert York, ’16

Matthew Sumner, ’16

Ashleigh Young, ’16

Melanie Sumner, ’06, ’08

Jordan Zandler, ’16

Ainsley Sumpter, ’16

Regina Zauner, ’16

Christopher Sunday*

Nicole Zeien, ’16

Caleb Surly, ’16

Dustin Zingale, ’15

Andrew Suter, ’13, ’15 Ashley Swanson


Gene Drechsler, ’59 civil engineering, was widowed in 1998 and married Dolores Culp Merritt in 2002. The two spend their summers in Ouray, Colorado.

’50s Joe Sewell, ’50 animal husbandry, has retired after 40 years as president at First Bank and Trust in Perry, Oklahoma. He will be 90 years old on July 30 and is in good health. Robert Walton Sr., ’52 dairy science and ’56 master’s degree in animal biotechnology, received the Henry Wallace Award from Iowa State University in October 2016.

Jacque Fowler, ’54 secondary education, is proud of her granddaughter Anna Robinson for starting physician assistant’s school at Wichita State University. Her other granddaughter Caroline Robinson will start at OSU in the fall of 2017. Carl Shafer, ’55 and ’58 master’s degree in agricultural economics, and his wife, Peggy Shafer, ’56 elementary education, have retired and are enjoying their three grandchildren.

Kenneth Kirby, ’53 agronomy, is still a farmer at 90 years of age and has no plans to retire. John Fasciano, ’54 psychology, tries to keep in touch with college friends and enjoys watching the OSU Cowboys on TV.

Donald Hixon, ’59 trade and industrial education, and his wife, Margaret Hixon, ’58 elementary education, have been married 66 years and have two children, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

’60s John Reynolds, ’60 mechanical engineering, is celebrating the birth of his first great-grandson, Graham Reynolds, born to parents Brad and Molly Reynolds of Blanchard, Oklahoma.

Ed Long, ’56 agricultural education, and his wife, Gladeen, attended the Alamo Bowl with the OSU Alumni Association.

OSU American Indian Alumni Society Honors Distinguished Graduate

R. Henry Migliore, ’62 management, was the dean of the Oral Roberts University business school from 1975-1986 and a professor of strategic planning and management at Northeastern State University from 1987-2002. Migliore has written 17 books in seven different languages. He and his wife celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary this year.

in honor of her community service. Sullivan has a lifetime of service to the Oklahoma City community, including chairing the YMCA Oklahoma City’s $15 million campaign to provide a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Eugene “Pete” Williams, ’63 master’s degree in occupational and adult education, an Oklahoma 4-H leader and head of 4-H, was inducted into the national 4-H Hall of Fame in 2003. Williams earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Robert Carroll Huggins, ’64 industrial arts education, has served on the Carl Albert State College Board of Regents for the last 20 years. Huggins is the executive director and CEO of KI BOIS Community Action Foundation Inc. He lives in Stigler, Oklahoma, with his wife, Lana. Marion Council, ’65 electrical engineering doctorate, retired from Louisiana Tech University in 2002 and started a retail business selling garden containers this year. Dave Davis, ’65 architectural engineering, is the second-oldest living Pistol Pete. His daughter, Anne Copeland David, was awarded an Emmy by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Mid-America Chapter.

Tom Jackson, ’67 forestry, attended the president’s reception at the annual Association of Consulting Foresters conference in Mobile, Alabama, where he met some Azalea Trail Maids. The Trail Maids go through an extensive selection process before being chosen for the Trail Kim Ford, ’63 animal science live- Court. Jackson wore a Pistol Pete stock operations, has been mar- tie and OSU lapel pin since he was ried for 55 years and farmed the surrounded by foresters from ACC three quarters that her grandfa- and SEC schools. ther, his father and brother started in the summer of 1893. She still has the homestead certificate for each of the quarters that was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt on March 1, 1904.

Bill Thompson, ’62 economics, is enjoying life in Tulsa with his wife of 58 years, Catherine Ann Thompson. Thompson’s grandson, Eston Blair, is a junior at OSU, studying pre-med with a 4.0 GPA.

The OSU American Indian Alumni Society recognized Chief Bill Follis, ’59 animal science, as a distinguished graduate. He serves as chief of the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma and has been instrumental in the federal recognition of the tribe. He has also played a large part in establishing Red Cedar Recycling, The Stables Casino and the reintroduction of a bison herd. Students, alumni and guests gathered to celebrate including, from left, Arielle Farve, Autumn Only a Chief, Logan Welge, Chief Follis, Paige Wofford, Zach Kensinger and Meg Baker.



Lela Bennett Sullivan, ’63 political science, has received the Pi Beta P h i F r a te r n i t y ’s prestigious Carolyn Helman Lichtenburg Crest Award

Glenn Olson, ’69 psychology, is one of the farthest-north Cowboy fans enjoying Bedlam football from Anchorage, Alaska.


Keep Us Posted Alumni Association members may submit information to be published as a classnote online and in STATE magazine based on availability of space. Announcements that are incomplete (such as marriage/union and birth announcements without spouse/partner information) or older than a year may not be considered for publication. Clearly print your information and mail to Class Notes, 201 ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, Stillwater, OK 74078. Information can also be emailed to info@orangeconnection.org or submitted online at orangeconnection.org/update. A L U M N U S /A L U M N A









O K L A H O M A S TAT E D E G R E E(S) A N D Y E A R (S)


Steven Schnitzer, ’70 business administration, is semi-retired and living in Owasso, Oklahoma. He is spending as much time as possible traveling and restoring antique, classic and sports automobiles. Schnitzer has two sons, Landon and Trenton, who are both living in Stillwater and attending school at Meridian Technology Center and OSU

S P O U S E / PA R T N E R




O K L A H O M A S TAT E D E G R E E(S) A N D Y E A R (S)


Rose Cohlmia, ’71 radio and television, retired from Northern Oklahoma College in 2011 and recently moved to Taos, New Mexico. Cohlmia is enjoying her time in Taos by taking up cooking and art classes.

P O S I T I O N (n o a b b r e v i a t i o n s p l e a s e)








M O N T H / DAY / Y E A R







M O N T H / DAY / Y E A R

S O N / DAU G H T E R / G R A N D S O N / G R A N D DAU G H T E R ( p l e a s e c i r c l e)





( p l e a s e i n c l u d e p u b l i s h e d n o t i c e)


M O N T H / DAY / Y E A R


M O N T H / DAY / Y E A R







(a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s , h o n o r s , e t c .)

C L A S S Y E A R (S)

Michael Osborne, ’71 political science, a former Beaver ski racer and coach is a professor of history of science in Oregon State University’s School of History, Philosophy and Religion. He has been elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. David Pope, ’71 master’s degree in agricultural engineering, is mostly retired now but still doing some limited water management consulting. He enjoys time with his family and traveling the United States and Europe. Stephen Frazier, ’72 accounting, retired from his accounting career and is trying to fish as much as possible.



Diversity Hall of Fame Honors Alumni

S t e p h a n i e C ra ig h e ad, ’73 accounting, was appointed to the board of directors of the Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma. Karen Severe, ’74 special education, and John Severe, ’74 pre-law, are proud to announce the birth of their grandson John Thomas Severe IV. He was born in Tulsa in February to J.T. Severe, ’06 civil engineering, and Alicia Severe, ’06 journalism. He joined his two older sisters, Ruby and Maci. Edward Vomacka, ’74 mechanical power technology, will become the new director of Charis Bible College in Tampa Bay, Florida, starting in September 2017.


Former OSU student athletes returned to Stillwater for the Diversity Hall of Fame celebration including, from left, Jerry Redo, ’71 business administration, who worked in management for Sears and other major corporations in Texas; Kenneth Jackson, of Stafford, Texas, who had a 38-year career in the petrochemical and petroleum industry as a process operator and operations training coordinator and now serves as a professor of process technology at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas; Robert T. Buck, ’71 sociology, retired St. Louis social worker, and John W. Robinson, retired Oklahoma City educator who served 25 years in education as a principal, athletic director and campus director at Oklahoma Career and Technology Centers, along with running a petroleum distribution company.

Steven Elwart, ’75 chemical engineering, received the lifetime service award from the American Fuels and Petrochemical Association. He was also named a member of the board of advisers for the International Standard Version of the Bible. Stephen Adams, ’76 management, was named Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers for his work in commercial litigation. Scott Buzzard, ’76 political science, is going to Tanzania in April on a photo safari and will be spending two weeks there. Jill Rooker, ’76 radio, TV and film,’78 journalism education and ’84 master’s degree in library science, retired from the University of Central Oklahoma as a professor of library media education in January 2016. She is finishing her second year as librarian at Naples Middle-High School and is looking forward to her second retirement and heading back to Stillwater. Patty Sinclair, ’76, special education, has been an international purser flight attendant for American Airlines for 39 years. She is based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area but recently purchased her childhood home in Oklahoma City and plans to retire there in a few years. Sinclair never married or had children because she is too busy traveling around the world. She was the president of the Fort Worth OSU Alumni Association chapter for three years.

At the Diversity Hall of Fame banquet, alumni were welcomed back to campus including Hall of Fame inductee Dr. William E. Hogan II, ’65 electrical engineering and ’73 electrical engineering doctoral degree; rising star Tambra Raye Stevenson, ’02 nutritional sciences; inductee Patrice Latimer ’75 sociology; and inductee Sam Howard, ’61 business.



Albert Wigchert, ’76 electrical engineering, is a member of the liberFactory team that wrote software needed for the recent migration of the computers at CNAF, an agency of the French government, to ATOS,

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Dignitaries and guests gather to present the oversized $25,000 Milken Educator Award check including, from left, Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma secretary of education and workforce development and president of Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City; Dr. Fred Rhodes, Putnam City Schools superintendent; recipient Amanda Raupe; Greg Gallagher, senior program administrator for the Milken Family Foundation; and Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma superintendent of public instruction.

OSU Grad Recognized With Milken Educator Award Amanda Raupe, ’11 elementary season. Raupe is the only Milken Educator school’s academic culture. In 2012, the school received a state grade of D. By 2015, education, a first-grade teacher at Hilldale Award recipient in Oklahoma this year. the report card was raised to a B. Elementary School — part of Putnam The Milken Educator Awards Raupe was singled out for her work in City Schools in Oklahoma City — was were conceived by the Milken Family the school’s literacy program and reviewsurprised with the Milken Educator Foundation to attract, retain and motiing new textbooks and other reading Award by Milken Family Foundation vate outstanding talent to the teaching materials. She builds firm foundations Senior Program Administrator Greg profession. It is the nation’s preeminent Gallagher, Oklahoma Superintendent of teacher recognition program, hailed as the in literacy and math to help her students Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister and “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher magazine. excel in school and life. Students catch up in her class, with each surging up to Putnam City Schools Superintendent Dr. Over the past three decades, the Milken at least four levels on reading assessFred Rhodes as well as cheering colleagues, Family Foundation has devoted more than ment tests in one year, and many jumpstudents, dignitaries and the media. $138 million in funding to the Milken ing to eight levels — double the expected Special guests Oklahoma Education Educator Awards, including $68 million growth rate. Secretary and OSU-OKC President Natalie in individual awards to more than 2,700 “I think she stands as a model of a Shirley and Pistol Pete were part of the recipients plus powerful professional develteacher who’s only been teaching for six all-school assembly where the award was opment opportunities and networking years but has been recognized for making announced which includes an unrestricted with leading education stakeholders. such a difference,” says Hofmeister. $25,000 cash prize. There were 35 awards Raupe is part of a faculty team at presented during the 30th anniversary Hilldale that is dedicated to improving the



one of the largest migrations from one vendor to another in the computer industry.

Rick Holder, ’81 agricultural economics, married Angie Valdez on May 15.

Patty Hunt, ’77 English, announces the marriage of her son Daniel S. Hunt, ’12 aerospace engineering and master’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering ’14, to Stephanie Wegener, ’14 aerospace engineering, in Oklahoma City in September. Her oldest son, Charlie Hunt, ’09 athletic training, is working at the Oklahoma Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

Cheryl Wood-Myers, ’82 psychology, is the recipient of the annual excellence in teaching award at Eastern Oklahoma State College. She is currently in her ninth year of teaching at Eastern after 21 years as a Department of Human Services social worker in Latimer County.

Jerry Winchester, ’77 agronomy, welcomed his seventh grandchild, Charlotte Grace Winchester, in May. Bruce Brasington, ’79 h i s to r y, h a s t a u g h t a t We s t Texas A&M in the history department since 1990 and was named a Regents Professor of the Texas A&M University System in 2011 and a Piper Foundation Professor in 2013. He recently received the university’s Magister Optimus Award, which is given to the outstanding teacher. Mary Etta Campbell, ’79 foreign language, is farming in Jet, Oklahoma, with her husband, Dean. The two have enjoyed following their 13 grandchildren to all of their school, sports and 4-H activities. They are very active in OSU Extension in Alfalfa County and Nash Christian Church.

Bruce Boyer, ’81 petroleum engineering technology, lived in New Mexico for 19 years before retiring in Oklahoma to be near family and OSU events.

Carol Hughes, ’90 accounting, has a family that is truly all orange now. She and her husband Dan Hughes, ’89, finance, met at OSU in 1988 and both of their children are currently attending OSU. Cody Hughes is majoring in architectural engineering and Ashlynn Hughes studies industrial engineering. Amelia Fogleman, ’91 English, was named Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers for her work in appellate practice in the Tulsa area.

Kelli Tarantino, ’83 marketing, is proud to announce the marriage of her daughter, Kylee, to Danny Milligan on April 16, 2016. Her other children, Shelby and Clayton, were also in the wedding. Delores Cox, ’85 family relations and child development, has a granddaughter, Alex Ryan, who is now attending OSU. John Russel, ’85 political science, was named Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers for his work in commercial litigation.

Ethan Little, ’93 mechanical power technology, and his wife Gerrye Little, ’93 general business, are excited that their legacy Shelby will be attending OSU in the fall of 2017. Shelley McNeill, ’93 advertising, celebrated her 15th anniversar y at Deloitte, the world’s largest professional services firm. She is the experiential activation leader for Deloitte’s U.S. Greenhouse consciously-designed spaces that help Fortune 500 leaders solve their most complex organizational issues.

Robi Heffington, ’87 journalism, is a chaplain for the Oaklawn Jockey Club in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Her years at OSU prepared her for jobs as a golf professional, on-the-track horse racing and now to being a chaplain alongside her husband.

Sandi Bliss, ’96 psychology and ’99 master’s degree in family relations and child development, joined Virginia Tech Corps of Cadet’s advance team as the chief advancement officer. Bliss will lead the corps’ advancement team and will be responsible for raising major gifts and building relationships with the corps’ alumni and donors.

Melinda Stinnett, ’89 accounting, has been named the 2016 Tulsa Crystal Star Small Business Person of the Year. She is the managing director of Stinnett & Associates with offices in Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Tulsa.

Trae Gray, ’98 agricultural sciences, is an attorney and founder of landownerfirm.com and naturalresourcemedia to r.c o m . G r a y spoke at the Realtors Land Institute’s National Land Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, in March.

’80s Michael Meyers, ’80 animal science, received the 2016 Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention Injuries Award at the American Or thopedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in July. Meyers was the first recipient of the prestigious award established in 2015 to recognize top research leading toward significant awareness and change in the prevention of traumatic and overuse injuries in youth sports.


Bryan Wright, ’97 veterinary medicine, is proud to be a representative of OSU-CVHS and is living in Norman, Oklahoma. Wright owns Walnut Creek Animal Hospital in Purcell, Oklahoma, since 1998 and Silver Leaf Animal Hospital in Moore, Oklahoma, since 2015.

’00s Jason Blubaugh, ’01 electrical engin e e r i n g, i s t h e director of electrical engineering at Frankfur t, Shor t, Bruza in Oklahoma City. Emily Steele, ’01 elementary education, became principal of Sequoyah Middle School in Edmond, Oklahoma, in the fall of 2016. She and her husband, Jimmy, welcomed their second child, Emmett Jameson, in December. Jacquelyn Ford, ’02 business administration, is an attorney in Oklahoma Cit y celebrating two major m i l e s t o n e s , 10 years of law practice and five years since opening her own firm. Sharon Wood, ‘02 psychology and Tom Wood, ’01 chemical engineering, welcomed their third future Cowboy, Evan James, on April 26, 2016. Big sister Annabelle, 8, and brother Zane, 5, love teaching him about OSU traditions. Valerie Barker, ’03 mechanical and aerospace engineering, is an associate at Baker Botts in Austin, Texas, where she practices patent law. She enjoys sharing her OSU pride


with her nieces, Kasyn and Lakyn Meadows. Valerie and her husband, David Biggs, live in Pflugerville, Texas. Cherisse Miller, ’03 marketing, is excited about her engagement to Nate Stone on September 25, 2016 in Central Park, New York City. Dan Bomhoff, ’04 agricultural economics, was promoted to tax partner at Hogan Taylor LLP on January 1, 2017. Hogan Taylor LLP is a CPA and advisory firm in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as well as in Fayetteville and Little Rock, Arkansas. Nate Klein, ’04 marketing, and his wife, Mallory, welcomed their new baby boy, Foster William Klein, on April 12, 2016.

OSU Grads Climb Mountains Mike Bale, ’75 business administration and ’93 master’s degree in higher education administration, has climbed every 14,000foot mountain in Colorado. He completed his 58th and final “fourteener” in Colorado in 2015. He is director of OSU Risk and Property Management. Bale enjoys climbing with other OSU graduates and joined an expedition on Mexico’s Pico de Orizaba, which is over 18,000 feet. On the top of the mountain, John Rogers, ’67 industrial education, snapped a photo of his OSU buddies, from right, former OSU outdoor adventure coordinator Scott Jordan, ’86 geography, ’99 physical education and leisure and



’13 doctoral degree in health, physical education and leisure, and assistant professor of outdoor recreation leadership and management in health, physical education and recreation at Northern Michigan University; Bale; Chase Lindell ’11 geology; and M.B. Seretean Endowed Professor in Wellness and Regents Professor Bert Jacobson, ’73 physical education/health and ’82 doctorate in educational administration. Jacobson has also climbed all the ranked “fourteeners” in Colorado. He played football at OSU from 1969 to 1972 and was team captain in 1972. Bale got started climbing mountains by enrolling in Jacobson’s extension class more than 25 years ago.

Ashley Quillin, ’07 elementary education and her husband, Joshua Quillin, ’09 master’s degree in agricultural education, are excited to announce that their oldest son, Baron, age 4, started pre-K and is on track to be an OSU Cowboy one day.

’10s Heath Foster, ’10 general business, and his wife, Coree Foster, ’09 elementary education, welcomed their second child, Mavis Kate Foster, on September 28, 2016. Haley Zimmerman, ’10 international business and Spanish, married Chris Creecy in Dallas on December 3. Creecy is an Oklahoma Sooner, and their wedding took place during Bedlam football.

Joe Dvorak, ’05 biosystems engineering and ’07 master’s degree in biosystems engineering, and his wife, Tanya Dvorak, ’09 doctorate degree in agricultural education, welcomed their daughter, Caroline Dvorark, into the world on July 23, 2016. Caroline joins her big sister, Anne Marie, and big brother, Karsten. Haley Hayton Brorsen, ’11 agricultural business, and her husband, Wesley Brorsen, welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Hayes Gentry, on November 15, 2016.

Travis Schwandt, ’05 animal science, and Michelle Schwandt, ’96 finance, announce the birth of their son, Mason Lynn, on July 27, 2016. Jordan Russel, ’06 agribusiness, was appointed by the governor to serve on the Oklah o m a Wo r ke r s ’ Compensation Commission. Paul Newsome, ’07 finance, and Katie Newsome, ’09 elementary education, welcomed their th ird ch i ld, Sadie Lynn News o m e, o n S e p tember 15, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ashley Ray, ’15 journalism, and Austin Ray welcomed their son, Hudson Gregory Ray, on June 27, 2016. Hopefully he will be a great legacy and become a third-generation Cowboy, following in the footsteps of his parents and grandparents.

Adam Stout and his wife Becki Klauss own Black Bear Coffee House in Denali National Park in Alaska. They live there May to September with their son, Bear Von Stout. Black Bear Coffee House is known for serving craft coffee. Their specialties everyday offer vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free items, in addition to their smoked meats. They use Steam Dot coffee, roasted in Anchorage, Alaska, and sourced from around the world.

Accounting graduate applies OSU experiences to business ventures in Alaskan national park Adam Stout, ’04 accounting, earned his CPA and worked as an accountant in Dallas for several years after graduation from Oklahoma State University. His job allowed many opportunities to travel the world, but when one of his close friends suggested Stout join him for a cross-country journey to Alaska, he was off on a new adventure. “I stopped my job where I sat in a cube all day,” Stout says. “I felt the need to go up there knowing it was only for the summer — it was one of those transitional periods of my life. So I packed up all of my guitars and the rest of my stuff, my savings, and drove 5,000 miles to Alaska.” He headed to Denali National Park, which is a seasonal attraction with limited access except from mid-May



to mid-September. Upon his arrival, Stout was stunned to find the job he had lined up in Denali was no longer available. However, three days later he had a feeling something was calling to him. “Sometimes in life you have these things that you need to look into and see if it might be something for you,” he says. “So I didn’t have a job, but a couple days later I met Becki Klauss, who is now my business partner, wife, the mother of my child — everything you could possibly be. She helped me get a job at the local health clinic, which I managed for two summers. I knew nothing about the health industry, but just knowing numbers and accounting, they threw me right into it.” One year later, Adam and Becki had their first child,

Bear Von Stout, who is now 7 years old. At the time, Becki was the general manager of the Black Bear Coffee House. Stout stepped in to help her grow the business by offering his financial abilities. In 2011, the couple decided to purchase the business together, and Stout works as the chief financial officer and accountant while Becki continues to manage the business. Black Bear Coffee House stands out among chain coffee shops by serving craft coffee in the wilderness. They start from scratch and use locally roasted Steam Dot Coffee. The shop also offers several vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free food items. Customers with food sensitivities appreciate the alternative options. In addition to its smoked meats and side dishes, the shop

is known for its exotic Alaskan meats such as moose and reindeer. The adventure of living in Denali means being in the middle of nowhere. Black Bear Coffee House is 130 miles away from the nearest grocery store and hospital, which is difficult for some to fathom. But while Alaska can sometimes feel like another world, there are aspects of the area that are decidedly familiar. “The reason I showed up here is because there’s a big Oklahoma connection in Alaska,” Stout says. “The lady who previously owned Black Bear Coffee House, Beth Barrett, is from Okemah, Oklahoma. She found her way here 35 years ago and started Black Bear Coffee House in 1997. Everyone’s intertwined.”

“I have used everything I learned from my accounting experience and from my time at OSU, which is where it all started,” he says. Thanks to Stout’s experience in financial management, he has helped grow the business by almost 300 percent in five years. After such success with Black Bear Coffee House, Stout expanded with the purchase of Denali Adventure Tours. The company offers everything from flightseeing to glacier tours, rafting, horseback riding, fishing, hiking and even more thrilling activities. “Not only do we serve coffee and food to all the tourists, we also help them with their vacation activities,” he says. “At the Black Bear, it has the best real estate and best spot, so everybody comes here asking questions. We’re trying to expand our business but also help them have a good time. “I get to take what I’ve learned in the big city, traveling and school, and apply

Black Bear Coffee House is known for serving a variety of baked goods, in addition to its smoked meats and side dishes.

it to this place out in the middle of nowhere — it’s cool. Alaska is really on the forefront of popular culture right now, and fascinating. It’s the frontier, the same country but a different world, a completely different place with its own completely different set of rules — you just have to be tough.” Being so far away from home can take its toll on Stout as well. Since Denali National Park’s primary season for visitors is in the summer, Stout and his family live in Dallas, where his son attends elementary school, the rest of the year. There Stout works as a CPA specializing in small business consulting, where he applies knowledge from his business successes in Alaska. “People don’t realize that having a business only open part of the year and 5,000 miles away means you have to open and close the business, move, and make that journey twice all in one year,” Stout says. “Then, once you’re done with that and have made some money, it’s time to hire a new staff, create a whole new budget and do it all over again. I’m so thankful for Becki and without her — my support system and the best partner I could have ever found — I wouldn’t be able to do this. But this is an adventure, and I’ve used what I learned growing up in Oklahoma to make it happen.” For more information about Black Bear Coffee House, visit blackbeardenali.com.

In Memoriam Charles Browning died December 1, 2015, in Gainesville, Florida. He served as dean of the College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University for 17 years and was instrumental in building the Noble Research Center and the Oklahoma Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center. There are two endowed scholarships in his name to benefit students at OSU for years to come. He is survived by his wife, Magda, children, Susan Kreps (husband Gary), Charles Browning Jr. (wife Liz), Steven Browning (wife Karen), Karen Bassetti (husband Kevin), Heidi Dahlander (husband Jon), and Gary Browning (wife Ellen). Bobby Ho ld en, M.D., died November 6, 2016, in Richmond, Virginia. He attended Oklahoma A&M before entering the United States Navy and attending the Naval Academy Preparatory School. He attended pharmacy school at the Medical College of Virginia and graduated from the University of Richmond in 1953. He spent his career as a physician and was very involved in his community. William Ruel Bain Sr., ’53 animal husbandry and ’58 master’s degree in agronomy, died August 10, 2016, in Antlers, Oklahoma, at the age of 85. He was born February 15, 1931, to William and Reba Bain. He served in the U.S. Army before returning to Stillwater to earn his master’s degree. He worked as a soil scientist across Oklahoma before retiring in 1994. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Shirley, and their children. Leonard Ray Brown, ’54 business administration, died May 7, 2016, at the age of 84. He was born October 5, 1931 to Birl and Mae Brown. During his time at OSU, he was a member of the ROTC. After graduation, he accepted a commission as a military officer in the United States Air Force. He spent 20 years in the Air Force before retiring. He is survived by his wife, Jeannie, and their children. Carolyn Wagner, ’55 home economics, died October 2, 2016, in Tulsa. She was born in Okemah, Oklahoma, on September 19, 1932, to Louise and Raymond Lipe. She was passionate about creating a loving home and caring for her family. She was

preceded in death by her husband, Frederick Wagner Jr. She is survived by her son, Frederick Wagner III and daughter, Kristin Henderson (husband Stewart). John Criswell, ’61 forestry, died October 20, 2016, in Post Falls, Idaho. He was born in Wewoka, Oklahoma, to J.T. and Paulyne Criswell. He was a proud alumnus of OSU, earning his bachelor’s degree in forestry. He spent 33 years with the United States Forest Service. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; sons, Herk, Jay and Jim Criswell; brothers, Paul (wife Sharon), Ted and Jim T. Criswell (wife Angela). Dr. John G. Whitney, ’61 bacteriology, and ’67 doctorate degree in microbiology, died January 28, 2017, in Indianapolis. He was recognized for producing two patents and several publications within the first four years of his career. He held a variety of managerial positions in the research and development of human and animal drug discovery and development. Whitney was named an OSU Distinguished Alumni in 2016. He is survived by his wife, Sherry; daughter, Shellie Brooks (husband Michael); sons, John Whitney III (wife Kathy), Jim Whitney (wife Angie), Brady Whitney (wife Holly) and Joshua Whitney (wife Andrea). Marylee Beth Imgarten, ’80 elementary education, died November 18, 2016, at the age of 59. She was born in Enid, Oklahoma, to Leland and Jean Golliver. She went on to receive her master’s degree in counseling from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. She is survived by her husband, Ted Imgarten, daughter, Mandy Bradley (husband John) and son, Steven Imgarten (fiancée Becky Douglass). Christopher Caldwell, ’96 philosophy, died October 14, 2016. He was born November 12, 1973, in Stillwater to James and Marcia Caldwell. He taught philosophy at the University of Kansas, Southwestern College, Wichita State University and Virginia State University, where he chaired the Department of History and Philosophy. He is survived by his mother, Marcia, his wife, Delilah, and son, Jay.


Book Corner Jonita Mullins, ’81

Come to Lovely County is the final of three novels set in the early days of settlement in Oklahoma by author Jonita Mullins, a 1981 Oklahoma State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English. Her Missions of Indian Territory trilogy covers true events in the 1820s, following young missionaries who traveled from Connecticut to settle on the untamed prairie among the Osages and Cherokees in what was then western Arkansas Territory. With the opening of the Union Mission School, lead character Clarissa Johnson became one of the first schoolteachers in Oklahoma. Union Mission was quickly embroiled in a feud between Osage leader Mad Buffalo and Cherokee leader Walter Webber. The novels capture the hopes, fears, blood and tears of these Oklahoma pioneers. The preceding novels in the trilogy are Journey to an Untamed Land and Look Unto the Fields. The books are available from online distributors or at okieheritage.com. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Come to Lovely County will support the restoration of the home of missionary teacher Alice Robertson, Oklahoma’s first congresswoman. Mullins has researched and written about Oklahoma and Arkansas history for nearly 15 years. She is available for presentations by emailing Jonita.Mullins@gmail.com.



Passages The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association has received notice that the following graduates died between November 1, 2016, and February 15, 2017. 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. Nichols, Betty, ’41, Pond Creek, Oklahoma Brown Jr., Barney, ’42, Oklahoma City Graff, Maxine, ’42, Oklahoma City Ackerman, Jean, ’44, Oklahoma City Fenimore, Harry, ’44, Chickasha, Oklahoma Rodrigues, Martha, ’45, ’62, Ponca City, Oklahoma Wilson Jr., Paris, ’45, ’51, Oklahoma City Hammond, Margaret, ’46, Tulsa, Oklahoma Combes, Anole, ’47, Lubbock, Texas Stark, Roger, ’47, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Watson, Donna, ’47, ’70, ’86, Santa Fe, New Mexico Brenneman Jr., Ralph, ’48, ’70, Georgetown, Texas Drake, Patricia, ’48, Ponca City, Oklahoma Snell, Virginia, ’48, Altus, Oklahoma Cooper, Don, ’49, ’53, Stillwater, Oklahoma Doutey, Frank, ’49, Yale, Oklahoma

Driskill, Kenneth, ’49, Walters, Oklahoma

Scearce, Joe, ’53, Leawood, Kansas

Howard, Winston, ’49, ’65, Hinton, Oklahoma

Wiemer, Mary Ann, ’53, ’56, Greenwood Village, Colorado

Neely, Paul, ’49, Claremore, Oklahoma

Aupperle, Lois, ’54, Rockwall, Texas

Bamberg, Charles, ’50, Kingfisher, Oklahoma

Bell, Mary, ’54, Bethany, Oklahoma

Bellatti, Jim, ’50, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Kennedy, Pauline, ’54, Weleetka, Oklahoma

Bogert Jr., Frank, ’50, Sand Springs, Oklahoma

Milburn, Paul, ’54, ’63, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Hoppe, Jay, ’50, Oklahoma City

Smith, Ed, ’54, ’59, ’62, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Slavich, John, ’50, ’55, San Antonio, Texas Whittaker, Gene, ’50, Oklahoma City Nichols, Gene, ’51, Midwest City, Oklahoma Suchan Jr., William, ’51, Shirley, New York Warlick, Dale, ’51, Oklahoma City Blevins, Edward, ’52, Chickasha, Oklahoma Custer Jr., Art, ’52, Midland, Texas Dyer, Billy, ’52, Whitewright, Texas Robison, Vince, ’52, ’54, Edmond, Oklahoma Walls, Bobby, ’52, Drumright, Oklahoma Whittington, Wallace, ’52, Cushing, Oklahoma

Winterringer, Jim, ’54, ’59, Shawnee, Oklahoma Young, Jim, ’54, Tulsa, Oklahoma Cagle Jr., John, ’55, Tulsa, Oklahoma Cleveland, Karldene, ’55, Stillwater, Oklahoma Day, Charles, ’55, Leedey, Oklahoma Crossland, Diane, ’56, Tulsa, Oklahoma Maxon, William, ’56, Peculiar, Missouri Divelbiss, Charles, ’57, Sand Springs, Oklahoma Epley, Eddie, ’57, Benbrook, Texas Heaton, Bill, ’57, Woodward, Oklahoma Hazlip, Bill, ’58, Thompsons Station, Tennessee

Austin, Earl, ’53, Oklahoma City Butler, Rodye, ’53, ’60, Plainfield, Indiana Krehbiel, Wayne, ’53, Hydro, Oklahoma Loney, William, ’53, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

McQuiston, Faye, ’58, ’59, ’70, Stillwater, Oklahoma Smalley, Keith, ’58, Shawnee, Oklahoma Wayant, John, ’58, Edmond, Oklahoma Anderson, Patricia, ’59, Enid, Oklahoma

Montgomery, Roy, ’59, Hugo, Oklahoma

Hayes, Ramon, ’67, Enid, Oklahoma

Brooks, Richard, ’85, ’04, Chelsea, Oklahoma

Sanders, James, ’59, Walters, Oklahoma

Maule, Dorla, ’67, ’75, Springfield, Missouri

Spaulding, Eric, ’85, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Sumpter, George, ’59, Springdale, Arkansas

Philipps, Nancy, ’68, Anna, Texas

Wester, Karen, ’85, Harriet, Arkansas

Hargrove, Jan, ’60, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Baird, John, ’69, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Bullard, Brenda, ’90, ’01, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Houston, James, ’60, Hemphill, Texas

Carl, Frank, ’69, Eufaula, Oklahoma

Mobbs, Michael, ’90, Caney, Oklahoma

Jueschke, Thomas, ’60, ’62, Flandreau, South Dakota

Glasscock III, Kirby, ’69, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Blair, Tracy, ’91, Muskogee, Oklahoma

Watts, Darrell, ’60, ’62, ’75, Lincoln, Nebraska

Sumter, Monroe, ’69, ’80, Holdenville, Oklahoma

Hudspeth, Kyle, ’91, Sulphur, Oklahoma

Brown II, Paul, ’61, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Watkins, Larry, ’69, Maysville, Oklahoma

Mitchell, Sharlene, ’92, Poteau, Oklahoma

Chabot, Joe, ’61, ’63, North Grafton, Massachusetts

Hensley, Georgia, ’70, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Cox, Jack, ’96, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Ritter, John, ’61, ’70, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Ludwig, Craig, ’71, Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Cate, Misty, ’97, Madill, Oklahoma

Tribble, Marvin, ’61, Emery, South Dakota

Ott, Glenna, ’74, ’78, Norman, Oklahoma

Hutcherson, Kristin, ’97, ’00, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Whitney, John, ’61, ’67, Monrovia, Indiana

Howell, Alan, ’77, Westville, Oklahoma

VanLandingham, Kim, ’98, Alva, Oklahoma

Conn, Russell, ’62, Oklahoma City

Imel, Ben, ’79, Wellston, Oklahoma

Gorman, Jessica, ’99, ’09, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Gilmour, Sylvia, ’62, ’01, Kingfisher, Oklahoma

Worden, Earl, ’79, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Griffin, Scott, ’00, Rogers, Arkansas

Maxson, Joe, ’62, ’76, Durant, Oklahoma

Imgarten, Marylee, ’80, Perry, Oklahoma

Yoder, Eric, ’02, Inola, Oklahoma

Hanson, Adelia, ’63, ’87, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Shepard, Tony, ’80, Miami, Oklahoma

Sanders, Holden, ’10, Tecumseh, Oklahoma

Thompson, Richard, ’63, ’66, Midwest City, Oklahoma

Bartheld, Thomas, ’81, McAlester, Oklahoma

Powell, Charles, ’13, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Ramsey, Roy, ’64, Holdenville, Oklahoma

Cohlmia, Lana, ’81, Oklahoma City

Lyons-Anderson, Kimberly, ’16, Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Martin, Nancy, ’65, Enid, Oklahoma

Atkinson, Marlana, ’82, ’85, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Frazier, Don, ’66, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Kincaid, Dori, ’82, Elk City, Oklahoma

Smith, Daniel, ’66, Parsons, Kansas

Evans, Debra, ’83, Oklahoma City

York, Thomas, ’66, ’76, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Harris, Jacqueline, ’83, ’90, Perkins, Oklahoma

Book Corner Charles L.W. Leider, ’89

Written by an OSU professor and director emeritus in the landscape architecture program, Oklahoma State University, is a highly illustrated new book. Author Charles L.W. Leider earned a doctoral degree at OSU in 1989. In the book, Leider discusses the master plans that guided the development of the university from the Prairie Victorian Period starting in 1889 to the present Millennial Period, including the influential Neo-Georgian plan developed under the direction of President Henry Bennett. Historical photos take the reader on a 125-year tour with brief descriptions of the people and plans that resulted in one of the most attractive college settings in the nation. The book showcases professional OSU designers and students. To commemorate the OSU Centennial, students in Leider’s historical landscape preservation course recreated the 1930 Neo-Georgian Master Plan, which had become fragmented and partially lost. The students reconstructed the entire plan as line and interpretive drawings to present to the university on its centennial. These drawings are now on file in the U.S Library of Congress and the OSU Edmon Low Library. Copies of the drawings from the 1930 master plan are included in the book. Oklahoma State University is available from OSU’s University Store and major online distributors. For more information, visit www.arcadiapublishing.com.


ENGINEER A GREAT CAREER, FUEL OUR GROWTH. Now is an exciting time to join the engineering team at Phillips 66. We are transitioning to a new era of innovation built on a 130-year tradition of ingenuity and achievement. Engineering Majors Hiring: ME, ChE, EE and MatE Positions Available: Internship, Full-Time Classifications Accepted: Senior, Junior and Sophomore Restrictions: Must be a U.S. citizen

To apply, submit resumes to: OSU Career Services: HireOSUGrads.com and Phillips 66 Campus Recruiting: www.p66oncampus.jobs Š 2017 Phillips 66 Company. All rights reserved.

CM 17-0159

Home on the Range First Families of OAMC 1892-1951 BY DAV I D C. P E T E R S O K L A H O M A S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y A R C H I V E S

P H O T O S /O S U A R C H I V E S

Emma Adelia “Delie” Neal, wife of Dr. James C. Neal, Oklahoma Experiment Station state director, looks southeast toward Stillwater while standing on the front porch of the first house on the OAMC campus in 1892. The home was the first two-story house in the area and was built using Hatch Act funds.


he first on-campus housing at the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College was designed for two employees, the college president and the farm manager of the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station. One home, for the president and his family, was built on the campus; a smaller home went up on the Experiment Station for the farm manager. It would be 17 years before residential housing would be available for students, but in 1892 it wasn’t needed with over 95 percent of the student body residing in Stillwater with their families. The Oklahoma Territorial Legislature did not allocate any funding for construction in 1892 but the United States Hatch Act, which had been passed to support extension work at land grant colleges, provided $3,000 to the young college. These funds were used to complete the College Barn, Experiment Station Laboratory and the two homes. The

president’s home and the college barn were the two most expensive structures completed that first year. Both were built by local carpenters using college students as laborers. The home for the college president was ready for occupancy during the fall

In 1910, the wood-framed home, originally built for the university president, was moved 200 yards to the northwest to house the commandant of cadets. This image of the house after the move was created from a colorized postcard.

of 1892, but President Robert Barker was hesitant to move his family into the house located in the southeast corner of campus on Knoblock, south of Morrill Avenue. It was a great distance from the nearest residents in Stillwater. But Barker was more concerned that he might lose his homestead in Logan County and his residency in the county that had elected him to the territorial legislative assembly. His participation in the legislative assembly had placed him on the board for the college and his role on the board had put him into the presidency. These connections might crumble if Barker took up residency in Stillwater and Payne County. He also didn’t want to disrupt his wife and four children from the farm home they had established only three years earlier during the April land run of 1889. He opted instead to rent an apartment in town, and the president’s home was used instead by the family of Oklahoma Experiment Station State Director Dr. James C. Neal.


Mrs. Neal, daughters Katie and Amie, and two friends play croquet circa 1893 on the court south of their home. Most of the campus property was designated for the Agricultural Experiment Station. The campus vineyard can be seen north of the house.

Prairie Home Dr. Neal was intimately involved with the 200-acre campus, most of which was being utilized by the experiment station with only five acres for the college campus. Dr. and Mrs. Neal, with their two daughters, Kate and Amie, moved into the house during the fall semester. The first president’s home was constructed in a modified Queen Anne style, which was popular beginning about 1880 and lasted until the first decade of the 1900s. One of the Victorian-era styles, Queen Anne homes were embellished with bay windows and wrap-around porches covering a front façade decorated with columns and brackets. These homes were asymmetrical and frequently had a dominant front-facing gable. Chimneys were in the interior of the home with the central fireplace as the main source of heat. Stillwater carpenters were hired to build the home which was considered lavish for the new community just three years after settlement. The two-story structure faced east, with a front porch that wrapped around to the north, three bedrooms upstairs and large living spaces on the first floor. Before a bathroom conversion took place inside the home, there was an outhouse located out back, and an underground tornado shelter was dug between the experiment station barn



and the home. The tornado shelter also served as a cellar to store canned fruits, vegetables and wine. The college vineyard and orchard were established just north of Morrill Avenue, but initially there wasn’t a tree anywhere near the home. Amie Neal described their new family home: “At the front was the living room, and to the right of it was Father’s office, which also had an outside door. A large fireplace in the living room was supposed to heat all that part of the house. Back of the living room was the dining room. There, the stairway rose to the second floor – as no doubt did most of the heat! The dining room had a side porch on the north, and there, in a barrel, was stored drinking water, brought from the village by students in the farm wagon. Porch steps led to a gate and to the road or lane running west to the big barn. The kitchen had a door and side porch facing south. There was a pantry and another room, later to serve as a bathroom. Space was ample.” Dr. Neal and his family were forced out of the home when he was removed as experiment station director in 1895. President Barker had resigned during the summer of 1894 and been replaced by Henry E. Alvord. Neal had supported Alvord’s efforts to combat corruption and inefficiency. But when Alvord resigned after only six months in Stillwater, Neal

lost his main supporter from the college administration. After attending a lecture on campus with his two daughters in December 1895, Dr. Neal felt ill during their walk back home. He died five days later of heart failure at age 52. Mrs. Neal, Kate and Amie left Stillwater in January 1896. Kate Neal was only one semester shy of graduation with the first senior class. The house was converted for muchneeded laboratory and classroom use. As the college was preparing to construct a new auditorium at this site in 1910, the home was moved about 200 yards northwest, remodeled and refurbished for use as a home for the commandant of cadets. The house was south of the new Boys’ Dormitory, the first residence hall for male students on campus. Although the house was built for the college presidents and their families, none of them ever lived there. Family Residence In 1910, plans were initiated to begin construction of a new presidential home on campus. It was estimated to cost $10,000 for a structure located in the small wooded area southwest of what is now Old Central. But once again political turmoil erupted, and the project was delayed another seven years. Finally, in

“… The stairway rose to the second floor – as no doubt did most of the heat!” – Amie Neal

the fall of 1917, funds were designated for construction. The wood-framed structure was estimated to cost $7,000, but the Board of Agriculture allocated only $6,000. The funding gap was resolved by utilizing college staff as carpenters, skilled vocational training students and student laborers. Minor adjustments to the design also reduced expenditures, and materials were purchased locally. Millwork was assigned to DeWitt T. Hunt and completed in the shops on campus. Hunt was the industrial arts and engineering shops department head. College building superintendent Edgar E. Brewer supervised the construction site. The home was built on Hester, just north of what is now University Avenue. A little grove of trees served as a home for a small family of deer kept at that location surrounded by fences. Some of the trees were removed for construction, but the shaded setting and quiet location seemed a fitting spot for the president’s home. This would allow the president and his family to live on campus, be readily available for college activities, and yet be close to neighbors and services provided by businesses from the community that were filling in the southern and eastern boundaries of the college. Frederick W. Redlich, from the architectural engineering department, had worked closely with OAMC President

James Cantwell on earlier campus construction projects and was selected to provide the blueprints for the home. Beginning in the spring of 1917, Redlich collaborated on the design of the home with C. H. Cowgill, formerly a member of the architecture faculty. Senior architecture student Eldridge Steward assisted. In the fall of 1917, the detached garage was the first structure built at the back of the site. Hunt directed the efforts of vocational training students in their work on the garage, and college carpenter Ed Hogel was involved at all stages of construction. Deep concrete footings were poured in November 1917, and the wood-frame structure began to take shape. The front of the two-story home faced east. The foundation measured 39 feet by 40 feet, and brick was laid from the ground level to the first floor. The exterior of the first floor was covered with wood clapboards with wood shingles used on the second floor. The home looked like a large cottage with the first floor featuring a large living room with fireplace, dining room, kitchen with pantry, breakfast nook and a bathroom. The first floor interior trim and flooring was constructed using oak lumber, especially in public areas used for entertaining. Ed Brewer purchased the white oak during a special trip to Wichita, Kansas.

The bedrooms were all on the second floor. A second bathroom was located on the top floor along with three bedrooms and a serving room. Yellow pine was used for the flooring and trim on the second floor. Hardware for the home was brought from Oklahoma City. There was also an unfinished basement, which later served as a laundry area. A large screened-in porch with windows on three sides also served as a sleeping room. The home was built more than 30 years before air conditioning would be installed in campus facilities, and the second-floor porch provided a cooler place for the president’s family to rest during Oklahoma summers. The shade from surrounding trees, light summer breezes, and screens to keep out insects made the porch a popular family gathering place. James W. Cantwell was the college’s seventh president when he was hired to begin work on July 1, 1915. Three years later, the Cantwell family was the first to reside in the new presidential home in the fall of 1918, and he became the first college president to reside on campus. After two houses, seven presidents and 28 years since its creation, the college finally had a resident “first family.” Cantwell and his wife, Ada, had five children — James, who was 21; Caroline, 19; Robert, 16; Christine, 15; and Conan, 10, occupied the three-bedroom home. James and


A white, wood-framed house on Hester Street southwest of Old Central served as the official residence for OAMC presidents and their families for 33 years. During the first 10 years, the occupants were the Cantwells, Eskridges and Knapps. Henry and Vera Bennett lived with their family on campus for 23 years from 1928 through 1951. Several campus religious organizations occupied the structure for a few years until it was torn down in 1954.

Caroline were both OAMC students. Caroline would soon move to Guthrie after she became a school teacher, and the family was joined by their niece, Wynona Robbins. James B. Eskridge replaced Cantwell as president in 1921. Eskridge and his wife, Nancy, had two of their four children with them when they moved into the president’s home: their youngest son, Joseph, 22, and Mary, 19. The Eskridge family resided in the home for two years before Eskridge’s dismissal during the political turbulence of Oklahoma Governor Jack Walton’s era. Eskridge’s replacement, George Wilson, only served as the college president for eight weeks before he was removed and never established a permanent residence in Stillwater. Some stability returned to campus with the appointment of Bradford Knapp as the next college president beginning September 24, 1923. Knapp and his wife, Mary Estella, resided at the home with their children: Bradford, 17; Marion, 16; DeWitt, 13; Roger, 11; and Virginia, 4. During the next five years, Knapp provided a calm and steady hand leading the land grant college. The oldest two children would enroll in classes before Knapp



accepted the presidency at another institution in 1928. The selection of Henry Garland Bennett as the next president in 1928 would provide the dawn of a new age for the college. He would become the institution’s longest-serving president, and the Bennett family would occupy the campus home for 23 years. The Bennetts, Henry and Vera, moved in on July 1, 1928, with their five children: Henry, 14; Phil, 12; Liberty, 10; and 7-year-old twins Mary and Thomas. Dr. Bennett’s father, Thomas, also resided with the family. Of the many guests who stayed in the OAMC President’s home, one of the most famous was United States President William Howard Taft. Tom Bennett remembered hearing that former President Taft had been provided a room at the house during a campus visit and rested in the bedroom located in the northeast corner. Taft was a guest of OAMC President Cantwell and spoke on campus February 19, 1920. At this time, Taft was the chief justice of the Supreme Court and had presented a lecture on the League of Nations in the college auditorium, less than a block from the home.

The White House The house served as the home for four families covering 33 years: Cantwells, Eskridges, Knapps, and Bennetts. Numerous breakfasts, receptions and teas were held here — some guests invited though others arrived quite unexpectedly. Crowds of students would sometimes fill the front yard in appeals to cancel classes in celebration of victorious athletic teams. College students during the Great Depression were known to show up at the front door looking for work. Dr. and Mrs. Bennett would find some small job they could perform at the house to earn a little money or help them find more permanent work on campus. At the time of the Bennetts’ tragic death in December 1951, the couple were the home’s last residents. Their children had married and had moved out years earlier. The home was vacant for a short time. It was renamed the “White House” in 1953 after it was converted for use by several college religious organizations including the YMCA, Pi Zeta Kappa and Kappa Tau Pi. It also housed offices for the Religious Emphasis Week Committee and the Student Religious Council. The building was razed in 1954.

2017 Leisure Learning Classes July 24-28 | 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, discussions, hands-on activities and visits to local sites. To enroll, please visit drca.okstate.edu.

Course cost: $600 Ecology & Visual Landscape of Northern New Mexico Dave Engle and Marty Avrett, Professor Emeriti

Art & Literature in New Mexico Post-1940 Ed Walkiewicz, Professor Emeritus

Taos Photography & Solar Printmaking Workshop Jennifer Lynch, Master Printmaker

F ly Fishing (Beginning and Intermediate) Marc Harrell, Taos Fly-Fishing Expert

New Mexico Food & Culture

Carol Moder, Director, Doel Reed Center for the Arts

Fashion Studies

Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, Assistant Professor

For further information on courses or logistics, contact Carol Moder at carol.moder@okstate.edu, 405-612-8295 or Hollye Goddard at hollyesue@cox.net, 602-465-1644.

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.

In 1978, the university hosted watermelon feeds for students throughout campus.

Looking Back on Watermelon Feeds BY TA RY N S A N D E R S O N , L I B R A RY I N T E R N


hroughout late March and early April, watermelon planting kicks into high gear in Oklahoma. Designated the official Oklahoma state vegetable in 2007, the juicy watermelon also has an interesting history on the Oklahoma State University campus. OSU has hosted watermelon feeds dating back to 1899. During the university’s founding days, students forged ahead with activities that were affordable and promoted social interaction. Both then and now, watermelons have served as a staple food for many of these events. In the 1920s, OSU engineers sponsored four major functions, including a watermelon feed in the fall. For years, there was an intense rivalry between engineering and agricultural students; frequent truces never lasted very long. In 1927, the agriculture students destroyed all the watermelons an hour before the engineers’ scheduled watermelon feed. The engineers got revenge a

few weeks later when destroying the apple cider and doughnuts the Agricultural Society was preparing to serve. All pranks aside, watermelon feeds continued to be a popular social event even through the 1980s. In the 1970s and 1980s, as campus administrators sought to make the first week on campus comfortable for incoming freshmen, the watermelon feed remained an integral part of “Howdy Week.” Former Director of Campus Life Kent Sampson recalled the Residence Hall Association sponsored annual event, “where the deans [were] invited out to the Willard lawn to serve watermelons.” Eventually events like the annual watermelon feed were replaced with more structured events for freshmen orientation, but the memories surrounding one of Oklahoma’s favorite gourds are recorded in oral histories and university archive collections.

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. Interviews are available online. Read or listen to more recollections by visiting www.library.okstate.edu/oralhistory/ostate/. For more information, call 405-744-7685.



The Heritage Society recognizes OSU’s alumni and friends who have made future provisions of any value for the OSU Foundation in their estate plans. This includes bequests, trusts, annuities, life insurance, retirement plans or other means. If you have chosen to support OSU through one of these methods, we invite you to join the Heritage Society. When you share the good news of your generosity with us, we can ensure your wishes for its use are met, including requests for anonymity.

Heritage Society members enjoy the satisfaction of providing a pipeline of future support for our students, faculty, staff, facilities and programs. For more information about the Heritage Society or to let us know your support of OSU already includes an estate provision, please contact:

O f fice of Gif t Plan n in g | 8 00.6 22 .4 678 | OSUg i v i n g .co m /e st a te p l anni ng

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Menʼs Basketball National Champions: 1945 (OK A&M), 1 Baseball National Champions: 1959

The 1945 Oklahoma A&M football team has been retroactively named national champions by the American Football Coaches Association. Led by the “Blond Bomber” Bob Fenimore (No. 55), the Aggies were 9-0 and won the Sugar Bowl. They join Hank Iba’s basketball team and Art Griffith’s wrestling squad as NCAA champs during the 1945-46 academic year.



This news first published in the Winter 2016 issue of POSSE Magazine. To read about other Oklahoma State University athletic accomplishments, 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.





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Moving On Up Top rankings recognize quality and value of OSU programs Oklahoma State University is showing up on an array of top university lists these days. A glance at a few of them: •  Niche.com, a ranking and review website, named OSU to its top-50 list of public universities nationally for 2017, and first among Oklahoma public colleges and universities. Go to Niche.com, click on “college search,” and select “Oklahoma” for rankings on all colleges in the state. •  Nature Index, which extensively tracks the research article output of thousands of organizations in 68 distinguished research journals, ranked OSU No. 19 among its top 25 “rising stars” in North America, thanks to an 84 percent increase in published articles from 2012–2015. •  OSU has been named a 2017 Best College Value by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for the 14th time since 2000. Kiplinger ranks OSU among the top 100 best values for public universities, and in the top 300 public and private colleges chosen from an initial pool of 1,200 nationwide. • The GoodCall 2016 Best Schools for Scholarships Report ranks OSU’s main campus among the top 100 in the nation for providing scholarships and fellowships to help students fund their education. OSU ranked 76 among the 4,000 public colleges and universities surveyed. • The Spears School of Business has been recognized as having the second most affordable master’s degree program in management information systems, as judged by BestMasterDegrees.com.



• The BestMasterDegrees.com rankers lauded OSU’s College of Human Sciences’ online master’s program in nutrition and dietetics. The program is open to registered dieticians or those who are eligible for similar credentials. •  U.S. News & World Report has ranked the OSU College of Engineering Architecture and Technology’s online master’s engineering programs 25th among public institutions and 31st among other regionally accredited institutions, a significant increase from 56th in the 2014–2015 rankings. •  College Choice ranked OSU in the Top 25 of the best online big data programs. Currently, the top five jobs in technology are positions that rely heavily on data mining and analytics, according to U.S. News & World Report. OSU’s Spears School of Business offers a number of analytics and data mining programs, including an online Master of Science in Business Analytics degree.

•  Greatist.com named OSU among 26 universities nationally that go the extra mile to create an environment where students have access to top-notch fitness facilities, and robust medical and mental health services. OSU’s Pete’s Pet Posse Therapy Program and Camp Redlands also received favorable mentions. •  For the third consecutive year, the online MBA program offered by the Spears School of Business was ranked nationally among the Top 50 Online MBA Super Rankings. The program moved up from No. 29 a year ago to No. 26 for 2016–2017, according to TopManagementDegrees.com. •  OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship has been selected as the top program in the nation offering an online Master’s in Entrepreneurship. SuccessfulStudent.org’s ranking of the 15 Best Online Entrepreneurship Colleges in the United States placed OSU No. 1 on the list. The School of Entrepreneurship had also been ranked the No. 1 Best Online College for Entrepreneurship by OnlineColleges.com, No. 2 for the Most Affordable Top Ranked Online MBA Entrepreneurship Program by EDsmart.org and BestMastersDegrees.com. This isn’t the first time OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship has received nationwide recognition. The program started in 2008 and quickly gained recognition a short four years later in the Princeton Review’s Top 25 Graduate School of Entrepreneurship Studies.

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STATE Magazine Spring 2017  

STATE magazine is the official magazine of Oklahoma State University, America's Brightest Orange®

STATE Magazine Spring 2017  

STATE magazine is the official magazine of Oklahoma State University, America's Brightest Orange®

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