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9 What you will need: Scissors String Tape or Glue Holiday Spirit 2


Winter 2016, Vol. 12, No. 2  •  statemagazine.okstate.edu

Welcome to the Winter 2016 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, a new Welcome Plaza greets visitors outside the OSU Admissions Office in the Student Union. The center of the gateway landscape features bronze statues of a galloping mare and her foal. Arbor columns are inscribed with Cowboy ethics and the alma mater. Read more about the new Welcome Plaza starting on Page 16. (Cover photography by Phil Shockley)

The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts


18 Return to Nature Playground Breaks Ground

14 National Wrestling Hall of Fame Reopens 18 Pete’s Pet Posse Contributes to Wellness 70 ROTC Counts 100 Years of Cowboy Cadets 74 Cimarron Review Celebrates Golden Jubilee


The groundbreaking for The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts sets the stage for excellence with the announcement of a 2019 New York Philharmonic partnership.


92 President’s Leadership Council Turns 50

78 Oklahoma Winemakers Toast OSU

82 Cowboys on Wall Street Visit NYC Finance World

84 Democracy Reins at Polo Club

88 Zarrow Foundations’ Legacy Continues

89 Graduate Student Earns Tribal Title

98 Human Sciences Wing Expands Programs


Patented Device Tests DNA in a Flash


Students Find Success At Math Center



Generations of Cowboys returned to Stillwater to reconnect at “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration.” From the rodeo to the winning football game, crowds gathered to celebrate ‘A Cowboy Dream’ with a Stillwater Strong spirit.

Legacy Link


Research Briefs


Recipe 100

Letters to the Editor


OSU Medicine


Veterinary Medicine


President’s Letter


OSU-Tulsa 34

Alumni Chapters




OSU-Oklahoma City

Chapter Leader Profile

112 114


Distinguished Alumni



Class Notes

Diversity Hall of Fame


Wellness with Ann Hargis 52

In Memoriam/Passages 118

POSSE Replay


O-STATE Stories


Book Corner

The Cowboy Way


OSU Library


History 122



UNIVERSIT Y 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 Faith Kelley / OSU Student Intern 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 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 Chris Batchelder / President and CEO Jace Dawson / Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer

It’s a very orange holiday season at the Aycocks – Katy, Roy, Marcy and Connor.

Lighting Up the Brightest Orange Holidays in the Heartland We always have a Cowboy Christmas every year at our house. Orange lights and Oklahoma State University decorations greet our community in Sedgwick, Kansas. My husband Roy is from Boise City, Oklahoma, and graduated from OSU in ’91 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and finance. He earned a master’s degree in ’94. Our daughter, Katy, is an OSU freshman. She grew up bleeding orange and made no other college visits. We’ve had season football tickets for years and expect our son, Connor, will join Katy as a Cowboy soon. Go Pokes! Marcy Aycock Sedgwick, Kansas

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 / 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 D AT 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, Kasi Kennedy, Jennifer Kinnard, Chris Lewis, Jacob Longan, Amanda O’Toole Mason, Michael Molholt, Matthew J. Morgan, Benton Rudd / Marketing and Communications

Dear Readers: Does America’s Brightest Orange® light up your holiday season? We’d love to see how you celebrate at your house. Send your holiday spirit snapshots to editor@okstate.edu. We look forward to hearing from you. Continue to share your stories and ideas through mail service at: STATE Magazine, 305 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater OK 74078 Happy Holidays! Elizabeth Keys STATE Editor

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. 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 405-7449154. 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: 33,133/December 2016/#6679. Copyright © 2016, STATE magazine. All rights reserved.

2016 Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists Best Public Relations Magazine 2016 Oklahoma College Public Relations Association Magazine Excellence Award



G i v e a n d Yo u S h a l l R e c e i v e Many people want to give more to Oklahoma State but their financial needs prevent them from donating income-producing assets. With our gift annuity program, they can make a significant gift and still retain lifetime payments. In some cases, they can even increase their annual cash flow.

How charitable gift annuities work:

Stock or Cash Gift A gift of cash or a marketable security such as shares of stock can establish a charitable gift annuity, and there are tax advantages for both.

Steady Income In return, the OSU Foundation guarantees the donor fixed income for life. The payment amount is based on the donor’s age and the value of the gift.

Tax Benefits to You An income tax deduction for itemizers, partial bypass of capital gains tax, and possible reduction of estate taxes can make a gift annuity a prudent option for many of our older friends. In fact, some of our donors create additional annuities as payment rates increase with age.

Remainder to OSU Perhaps the greatest benefit of a gift annuity is the personal fulfillment you receive by helping Oklahoma State University. Your gift annuity can be designated to support our students, faculty or programs in areas of particular interest to you, or can be directed to meet the greatest priority needs of the university.

Please check with our office for specific rates and state availability.

Consider such an option for your own plans. To learn more about charitable gift annuities or obtain a personalized illustration, please contact our OSU Foundation Office of Gift Planning at 800-622-4678.

As you can see in the pages that follow, it has been a busy and colorful fall semester.

We celebrated the beginning and the completion of several

Of course, one of the highlights of the fall is “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration.” Many

campus projects, highlighted

of the activities are captured in this edition. This

by the groundbreaking for

year’s event had special meaning as we honored

The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts. We

the victims, survivors and first responders from the

also announced that the opening week of the center,

parade tragedy a year ago. The love and power of the

expected in the fall of 2019, will feature performances

OSU family was omnipresent in this Homecoming.

by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. This was made possible thanks to a $25 million

First Cowgirl Ann and I are blessed to lead your university. Have a happy and healthy holiday season.

programming gift from alumni Billie and Ross McKnight, as well as the support of a number of other

Go Pokes!

donors. We’re still seeking funds if you are interested! The McKnight Center will be one of Oklahoma’s premier cultural institutions and the partnership with

Burns Hargis

the New York Philharmonic will mean once-in-a-life-

OSU President

time educational opportunities for OSU students. We opened a beautiful new Welcome Plaza that masterfully evokes the Cowboy spirit and will be an impressive “front door” for new students, their families, alumni and other visitors. The plaza is located southeast of the Student Union. OSU also broke ground on a much-needed engineering and technology laboratory for undergraduate students. Since 2008, our College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology enrollment has doubled. This issue of STATE highlights an assortment of special anniversaries. OSU ROTC began in the midst of World War I and this year marks its 100th anniPHOTO / GARY LAWSON

versary. The OSU English Department is nearing the 50th anniversary of its national literary magazine, Cimarron Review. And, President’s Leadership Council for outstanding freshmen is celebrating its 50th anniversary. I know. I was privileged to be in the first class.



OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis join Rodeo Team members Alexa Major, left, and Kandi Shuman at the Cowboy Stampede, which kicked off Homecoming events.

Thank you! At OS U , p hi l a nthro py i s m uch mo re t h a n a t ra n s a c t i o n . For every gift, there is a story. Scholarship recipients love telling their stories to donors as they come together each year to express their gratitude for those who make their educations possible. Without the support of people like you, their OSU experiences would not be the same.

Thank you, OSU donors, for enriching the lives of students and supporting America’s Brightest Orange.Ž

OSU Foundation | 400 South Monroe | Stillwater, OK 74074 | 800-622-4678 | info@OSUgiving.com

Dear OSU Alumni and Friends, With schools out for vacation and more time to spend with family, the holiday break is a perfect time to apply to Oklahoma State University. Applications submitted before February 1 receive priority attention for scholarship selections. Encourage prospective students to visit admissions.okstate.edu for more information. Besides the thousands of college students traversing campus each day, hundreds of high school students visit regularly for campus tours. Invite a potential student to explore OSU with you. Schedule a visit at orange.okstate.edu/campus-visits. Campus tours last about two hours and are led by current OSU students. You have the ability to design your day on campus however you would like including viewing housing options, meeting with an academic area representative or talking to pre-professional program advisers. Research shows students make up their mind about a college within the first 15 minutes of stepping on campus. The new Welcome Plaza outside the Student Union will help greet students, alumni and families. The Welcome Plaza highlights tenets of the Cowboy code of ethics. One theme that fits perfectly is that we stick together. The OSU family supports each other at all times, especially when the going gets tough. Today’s financial climate is creating a lot of challenges for many of our current and future students. This is why donor support is more important than ever. For example, a scholarship offer may be the difference maker when a bright young individual is determining where to go to college, or


whether a college degree is economically feasible. Likewise, gifts supporting programs and faculty help provide a firstclass education at OSU. Through the generous support of thousands of donors, we are doing everything we can to bring in and offer support to new members of the Cowboy family every year. The resilient Cowboy spirit was on display at this year’s Homecoming celebration. We hosted alumni in record numbers at Harvest Carnival, Walkaround and the Sea of Orange Parade. “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration” is a great testament to how much our alumni love this university and how it leaves an indelible mark on their lives. With the Homecoming win over West Virginia, OSU’s football rankings rose to the top 25. For the 11th straight season, Cowboy Football is bowl bound! Be on the lookout for upcoming bowl travel package details at OKStateFanTravel.com. We can’t wait to blanket the stadium with America’s Brightest Orange.® Winter sports have begun with spring just around the corner. We look forward to cheering on a highly ranked wrestling squad, a formidable Cowboy baseball team, Cowgirl basketball and softball, and our Cowboy basketball team under the new guidance of Coach Brad Underwood. We hope you’ll come out and support each team every chance you get.

Happy Holidays!

Chris Batchelder

Kirk Jewell

Kyle Wray

President OSU Alumni Association

President OSU Foundation

OSU Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing







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Alumni Awards BY H O L LY B E R G B O W E R


During halftime of OSU’s football game against the University of Pittsburg, the 2016 Distinguished Alumni celebrate together with, from left, OSU President Burns Hargis, honorees Greg Massey, AJ and Susan Jacques, Helen Hodges, Joe Eastin, retired Major General Myles Deering, OSU Alumni Association Board Chairman Phil Kennedy and OSU Alumni Association President Chris Batchelder.



The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes former students who attain distinctive success in their chosen field or profession and perform outstanding service for their community. The 2016 Distinguished Alumni honorees were recognized at a reception the evening of September 16 at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center and on the field during halftime of the University of Pittsburg and OSU football game on September 17. Meet the newest inductees to join the elite group of Distinguished Alumni Award recipients:

Myles Deering always dreamed of going to OSU, but his route to Stillwater was a unique one. Deering grew up in Ada where he attended East Central University and met his wife, Pam. Deering was drafted and, instead of waiting for his number to come up, enlisted in the United States Army Reserve. Three years later, Deering entered the officer candidate program and was commissioned as an infantry second lieutenant in the 36th Airborne Brigade. Deering’s professional life includes serving as a store manager for Tandy and working two years as an oil and gas landman. In 1984, he returned to the National Guard on a full-time basis. During his time in the military, Deering served as director of plans, the chief of staff for the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard joint headquarters and commanded the 45th Infantry Brigade. While working full time, he received his master’s degree in natural and applied sciences from OSU in 1996. In 2005, Deering was deployed to New Orleans as commander of the Oklahoma National Guard’s Joint Task Force to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. For his work in Louisiana, Deering received

numerous awards. His next large undertaking was Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007, where he commanded the 45th Infantry Brigade. In 2008, Deering was promoted to major general. Deering was appointed as the adjutant general for the Oklahoma National Guard in February 2009 by Governor Brad Henry and was reappointed by Governor Mary Fallin in January 2011. He retired as a major general from the military on January 31, 2015. Governor Fallin then appointed him the secretary of Veterans Affairs for the state of Oklahoma. Deering also serves as the executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs. “I want to take care of veterans right out of the military by offering easier ways to obtain degrees or skills and creating efficiencies within the program,” Deering says. He and Pam live in Oklahoma City. They have one son, Daniel. Deering is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. “This award is something I will carry with me forever; it’s an extension of me,” Deering says.

Joe Eastin, president and CEO of ISN, is a 1992 graduate of OSU with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. ISN is a platform business that manages performance, safety and compliance data for oil and gas organizations. It has grown from three employees in 2001 to more than 500 employees worldwide. Eastin cites his time at OSU with preparing him for his future endeavors. “OSU helped me navigate life,” Eastin says. “Sometimes with kindness and sometimes with discipline, but most of all with a presence of family.” Since graduating, OSU has continued to be an integral part of Eastin’s life. He serves on the board for the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, the OSU Foundation Board of Governors and the advisory board of OSU Eastin/ISN Center for Talent Development. Eastin was also recognized by the Spears School of Business with its 100 For 100 Tribute. The Distinguished Alumni Award will leave a lasting impression on him. “This award means that the university appreciates alumni involvement,” Eastin says. “It makes me want to be a better steward of Oklahoma State University.” Eastin and his wife, Monica, live in Dallas with their four children: Nick, Alexandra, Kate and Arie. He is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. 


Helen Hodges grew up on a farm outside Hennessey, Oklahoma. Both her parents were Oklahoma A&M graduates, and when Helen headed off to college, it was her pragmatic father who encouraged her to major in accounting rather than political science. “Every job I’ve ever gotten has been because of my OSU accounting degree,” Hodges says. Hodges learned to fly as a student and graduated from OSU in 1979. She was a member of the Flying Aggies and competed in national competitions. She earned a law degree in 1983 at the University of Oklahoma, where she was the managing editor of the Law Review. After graduation from law school, there were few law jobs to be had so she took a job as a staff accountant with Arthur Andersen. She credits her time there as invaluable training for her future. Hodges went on to serve as the law clerk for the Penn Square bank cases. Beginning in 2001, she helped prosecute the securities fraud case on behalf of Enron investors, which received a record recovery of $7.2 billion. Once again, she says her accounting degree played a large part in understanding the intricacies of the case. Hodges lives in San Diego and has received the Top Lawyer in San Diego and Super Lawyer honors. She has served on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees since 2013. Hodges says she is humbled to be recognized and is proud to be in good company. She is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.



Susan and AJ Jacques are opposites in many ways. Susan is energetic, talkative and engaging. AJ likes to sit back, take in his surroundings and ponder what’s being said. Together, they make the perfect team. The Jacques both graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1975 – Susan with a bachelor’s degree in recreation and AJ in agricultural economics. They were active on campus and in their Greek houses. “AJ asked me to marry him on the Pi Phi front porch,” Susan says. “And that is my favorite memory from my time at OSU.” The couple went on to great successes in their professional lives as well. AJ was the president of Atlas Drilling while Susan worked as a middle school teacher. Susan was inducted into the OSU College of Education Hall of Fame in 2014 and serves as the events chairman for Women for OSU. AJ serves on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees and the alumni board of Alpha Gamma Rho. Together, they have endowed four scholarships at OSU. In 2016, AJ and Susan moved back to Stillwater after living in Fort Worth, Texas; Woodward, Oklahoma; and Kansas. “We love this place,” AJ says. “It felt like we were coming home.” AJ and Susan are lifetime members of the OSU Alumni Association.

Greg Massey never intended to attend OSU. Growing up a University of Oklahoma fan, he always thought he’d attend the “university to the south,” as he puts it. A chance visit to Oklahoma State accompanying a friend on his football recruitment trip was all it took to change his mind. “Where I decided to attend college was my choice. I think my parents were just glad I was choosing to go to college,” Massey says. “Throughout high school, I had a very successful pool business that caused me to question if college was the right path.” While in college, Massey greatly enjoyed his time spent on campus as well as the opportunity to begin his banking career at Stillwater National Bank. He attended mostly business classes and will never forget the bonds and memories created with his fraternity brothers. Massey graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He is the chief operations officer of First United Bank in Durant, Oklahoma, which operates in more than 60 locations in Oklahoma and Texas. In 2014, Massey was recognized by the Spears School of Business as one of the 100 for 100 Tribute, and in 2008, Ernst & Young named him Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southwest Region Financial Services Division. He has also served on the OSU Alumni Association Board of Directors and on the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents. Massey lives in Durant with his wife, Kay, and has three children: Blake, Brooke and Corbin. He believes OSU was a stepping stone in life to help him lead his organization with the motto “Spend Life Wisely,” impacting and changing lives of employees, customers and communities.

As a graduate of Oklahoma State University, you could receive exclusive savings on auto and home insurance from Liberty Mutual.1

Join thousands of satisfied customers with Liberty Mutual Insurance.2 Discounted Rates—You could save up to $519.52 a year3 on auto insurance and receive additional discounts on home insurance. Exceptional Service—Whether you’re in an accident or just need some advice, know we’ll always be on call for you. Superior Benefits—Enjoy a number of superior benefits, such as 24-Hour Claims Assistance, Accident Forgiveness4, Roadside Assistance5 and Better Car Replacement.™6

For a free quote, call 877-477-4321 or visit libertymutual.com/okstate Client # 110345 Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. 2 Based on Liberty Mutual Insurance Company’s 2014 Customer Satisfaction Survey in which more than 81% of policyholders reported their interaction with Liberty Mutual service representatives to be “among the best experiences” and “better than average.” 3 Average annual savings based on countrywide survey of new customers from 01/27/2014 to 01/16/2015 who reported their prior insurers’ premiums when they switched to Liberty Mutual’s group auto and home program. Savings do not apply in MA. 4 For qualifying customers only. Accident Forgiveness is subject to terms and conditions of Liberty Mutual’s underwriting guidelines. Not available in CA and may vary by state. 5 With the purchase of optional Towing & Labor coverage. Applies to mechanical breakdowns and disablements only. Towing related to accidents would be covered under your Collision or Other Than Collision coverage. 6 Optional coverage. Applies to a covered total loss. Deductible applies. Does not apply to leased vehicles and motorcycles. Not available in NC.


©2016 Liberty Mutual Insurance Valid through April 5, 2017.

National Diversity Award Presented Hall of Fame honorees pave the way




Oklahoma State University was recognized nationally for its commitment to diversity and inclusion with the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “OSU has exhibited a significant and sustained commitment to diversity and inclusion that is being recognized as a model for institutions around the state and across the nation to emulate,” says Jason F. Kirksey, vice president for institutional diversity and chief diversity officer at OSU. “As one of the few five-year recipients of the HEED Award, OSU continues to earn national distinction for our pursuit of inclusive excellence. We are passionate about ensuring that every member of the university community is provided an opportunity to achieve their educational goals.” Minority students represent 30 percent of the 2016 freshman class. More than 70 diversity-related student organizations at OSU empower students to promote their heritage and become leaders. The university also supports K-12 programs that facilitate students’ ability to successfully transition to college. At the 2016 Diversity Hall of Fame banquet, Kirksey recognized OSU President Burns Hargis for his level of commitment and dedication to inclusion. Five new inductees and a rising star were recognized at the sold-out event in the ConocoPhillips Alumni Center during Homecoming week. Hall of Fame honorees include William E. Hogan II, Sam Howard, and L. Patrice Latimer. Melvin B. Tolson Jr. and Phail Wynn Sr. were inducted posthumously. Tambra Raye Stevenson is the 2016 Rising Star. “Because of many alumni and friends of OSU who fought for faculty, staff and students of color to have access to higher education, students like ourselves

Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of “INSIGHT Into Diversity” magazine, presented the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award to OSU’s Jason Kirksey, left, and Burns Hargis. are afforded opportunities that we have on campus today,” says Tiffany Thurman, an OSU marketing senior from Oklahoma City. On May 29, 1950, Melvin B. Tolson Jr. became one of first two African-American students to earn a degree from Oklahoma A&M College. He later became the first full-time African-American faculty member at the University of Oklahoma, where he taught French for 31 years. The OU Henderson-Tolson Center is named in his honor. Tolson died in 2011. Phail Wynn Sr. attended Langston University before enlisting in the U.S. Army, where he became a pilot and rose to the rank of cadet captain in flight training. He was one of the first two AfricanAmericans to graduate from OSU in 1950. Soon after, he started a career in civil service that took him to Texas, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and Vietnam. He was the first African-American to be elected to the Board of Education in Lawton, Oklahoma. Wynn died in 1973. Sam Howard serves as chairman of Phoenix Holdings Inc., an investment

holding company in health care and real estate. Howard served as a vice president in various capacities for Meharry Medical College, Hospital Affiliates International Inc, and Hospital Corporation of America. He graduated with degrees from OSU and Stanford and served as a White House fellow. Since 1993, William E. Hogan II has served as founder, chairman and CEO of The Hogan Group, a management consultant firm. He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from OSU in 1965 and became a full tenured professor and administrator at the University of Kansas before working for Honeywell and Medtronic Company. Hogan has served on White House task forces for education. In 1975, L. Patrice Latimer became the first African-American student at OSU to be elected president of the Student Government Association. Following graduation, she worked for Cargill Inc. as a commodity merchant before earning her law degree at the University of Oklahoma. Her legal career ranged from criminal prosecution in Oklahoma to civil, employment and labor litigation in Washington, D.C. Rising Star recipient Tambra Raye Stevenson graduated from OSU in 2002 with a degree in nutritional sciences and a minor in Spanish. She taught community health abroad before initiating the first Washington, D.C. Mayor’s Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives, the first Women and Girls Wellness Conference, and the first D.C. Victims Assistance Academy. She recently launched an organization in Nigeria to transform the food system. Watch a video of the 2016 Diversity Hall of Fame at http://okla.st/DiversityHOF.

Making Disciples, Creating Leaders, Transforming Lives The Wesley Foundation at Oklahoma State University is taking big steps to EMPOWER its ministry and better FULFILL its mission. Its Imagine Campaign is in progress with a remaining goal of $3 million to complete the vision of a SHARED LIVING COMMUNITY on the third floor of its new facility. To learn more about the Imagine Campaign, visit wesleyosu.com/imagine.

Welcome Plaza

provides new campus front porch Galloping horses Proud and Immortal greet OSU visitors


he new Welcome Plaza opened Homecoming week for campus tours with a formal dedication before Walkaround. The area on the southeast corner of the Student Union has traditionally been a designated gathering point for prospective and new student orientation groups and is many times the first impression of the university for students and families. The space connects the entrance of the Undergraduate Office of Admissions in the Student Union with the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center across the street. The Student Union hosts over 2 million visitors and the Alumni Center has more than 300,000 visitors each year. A crowd gathered at the dedication including alumni Paula and Jeff O’Dell of Arlington, Texas, who met at OSU. “This is a special place to us,” Paula says. “We always take a couple of days off at Homecoming to come back to Stillwater. When students step on this campus and see the Welcome Plaza, it will make OSU even more desirable.” The inviting outdoor living space provides shade and boasts native plants, which serve as a pollinator garden.



“The new landscape and plaza vibrantly greets visitors, potential students and their families, as well as provides a peaceful gathering spot for alumni, current students and employees,” says Steve Dobbs, OSU landscape services manager. In 2012, Kyle Wray, OSU vice president of enrollment management and marketing, called Dobbs’ crew into his office and challenged them with the question, “What can you do with that space out there?” Dobbs credits OSU alumnus Dave Brown, a landscape architect in the facilities management department, for creating a plan to warmly and symbolically greet everyone with a Cowboy welcome. “The space epitomizes the strong bond of community and family that exists among students, alumni and employees,” Dobbs says. The featured attractions in the plaza are two horse statues, a mare and her colt. Designed by Marrita Black of Gainesville, Texas, the sculptures are 1.25-times larger than reality and cast in bronze. The artist created the horses to show the emotion of parents watching a child become independent, leaving their side to blaze a new trail. “The foal represents energetic and sometimes nervous prospective students ready to run wild out on their own and change the world,” Dobbs says. “The mare represents the older


generation — guiding, nurturing, shaping, encouraging and welcoming that new generation to the Cowboy family.” A social media contest helped name the two horses — Proud and Immortal. The two individuals submitting the Kyle Wray, OSU vice president of enrollment management and marketing, says the new winning names were a recent graduate in Welcome Plaza provides a great first impression to prospective students. electrical engineering, Sean Tyler Hendrix, who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Andy Kirby, an OSU senior studying landscape architecture. helped make the Welcome Plaza a reality. They include the Along the plaza sidewalks, arbor columns are inscribed President’s Fellows, Women for OSU Council, Claudia and Gary with Cowboy ethics and the alma mater. A bronze sculpture Humphreys, family of Galyn Pownell, friends of Lynn Pulliam, of a saddle sitting atop a fence features a John Wayne quote, Joe Weaver and family, and Alice and Paul Richardson. “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” The arbor columns inscribed with tenets of the Cowboy code “It can be intimidating coming onto campus,” Wray says. of ethics also feature a plaque that can be engraved to a donors’ “This helps start a conversation about how students will find specifications, offering a unique way to participate in this impresa place here at OSU. We are thankful for all the high school sive project. Limited edition reproductions of the horse sculptures students who give us a chance to make a first impression. The are available, too. beginning of a great adventure for visiting prospective students More giving opportunities remain. Visit OSUgiving.com/welcomeand their parents will begin here and culminate across the street plaza to learn more. For more information, call Heidi Griswold at in the Alumni Center as graduates.” 405-385-5656 or Deb Engle at 405-385-5600. The Welcome Plaza is an important component of OSU’s master campus beautification plan, which aims to sustain and increase the quality and quantity of green spaces. Donors have



School Steps Outside Cleo L. Craig Child Development Lab breaks ground for Return to Nature Outdoor Classroom The Cowboy family gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Cleo L. Craig Child Development Lab Return to Nature Outdoor Classroom Project including, from left, College of Human Sciences Dean Stephan Wilson, April Craig Stobbe, John Stobbe, C.L. Craig, Helen Craig, Ann Hargis, Scarlett Harris, Jennifer Ferrell, Sissy Osteen and Dianna Ross.



he Cleo L. Craig Child Development Lab in the College of Human Sciences has been a national leader in the research of early childhood education for 92 years. It will soon add a new, impressive resource by opening a playground to foster lifelong learners with strong imaginations and an appreciation for the outdoors. Human Sciences Dean Stephan Wilson led a groundbreaking on September 22, 2016, for the 13,750-square-foot Return to Nature Outdoor Classroom Project. Also present were representatives of the Oklahoma State University President’s Office, the Child Development Lab ParentTeacher Organization and the Cleo L. Craig Family Foundation, which provided the lead gift for the playground. “We are so grateful to the Craig family for their longtime support of the Child Development Lab,” Wilson says. “Their significant gift in 2006 helped renovate and double the capacity of the entire lab. Today, we are celebrating their leadership and support of Return to Nature, which



will transform the lab’s playground into a cutting-edge ‘outdoor classroom’ for teaching, learning and research.” The renovated space is scheduled to reopen in January and will include many features to enhance both its utility and fun, while implementing a naturebased curriculum to creatively introduce concepts and establish best-practice models for schools. For example, the windmill music and movement area will allow the exploration of sound, music and instruments. The entry and gathering area will include shade and flexible seating, allowing the space to be used for children to learn and teachers to observe. The rain garden will incorporate a fun walking bridge and water-tolerant plantings. The climbing adventure will help children safely test their boundaries and become expert climbers. “One of the most important tenets of early childhood education is that children learn best through free play and discovery,” Wilson says. “Research shows a strong connection between brain development and opportunities to participate in outdoor activity. The Return to Nature

Outdoor Classroom will allow the children to play, explore and interact with the natural world, enhancing the development of their independence and autonomy. It will unleash children’s imaginations and senses of wonder through a variety of sensory and learning stations.” The CDL provides a research-based, early childhood learning environment to approximately 70 children during the school year. From 75-100 OSU students utilize the lab for observation, research or practicums each week. Every day, OSU’s youngest students are teaching undergraduate and graduate students from human development and family science, nutritional sciences, communication sciences and disorders, health and human performance, and recreation therapy management and recreation therapy. If you are interested in supporting the Return to Nature Outdoor Classroom Project or any other aspect of the Child Development Lab, contact Stephanie Vogel at 405-385-5615 or svogel@OSUgiving.com.



The Learfield Directors’ Cup measures each university’s national finishes in NCAA postseason competition throughout an athletic year to determine America’s most successful athletic departments. The standings are based on a cumulative point total. Qualifying for an NCAA championship event nets a school a smattering of Learfield points. Winning a national title is good for 100 points. Schools can use the results of 20 of their sports teams toward their Learfield point total (10 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams). Oklahoma State sponsors 18 sports (spending approximately $80 million), and only 17 of those programs can be counted in the Learfield Cup standings because equestrian is not yet recognized as an NCAA sport. The 2015-16 school year was a banner one at Oklahoma State. OSU led the Big 12 Conference with eight league championships. From the Sugar Bowl to the College World Series to NCAA runner-up finishes by wrestling and women’s tennis, OSU made its presence felt across college athletics. Incredibly, 15 of OSU’s 17 eligible sports scored Learfield Cup points for the athletic department. Eight programs earned

top-10 finishes and 11 teams finished the year in the equivalent of their Sweet 16. Fourteen programs ended the year in their top 25. OSU had 28 All-Americans in 11 sports, four individual national champions and four Big 12 players of the year. As a result, Oklahoma State finished No. 13 nationally in the final 2015-16 Learfield Cup standings. It is the highest finish ever by OSU. When it comes to finances, only one school in the final 201516 Learfield Cup had expenditures less than Oklahoma State. It was No. 11 California, which has 28 sports and finished ahead of Oklahoma State by just 15.5 points. Texas and its 20 sports finished ninth in the Learfield Cup to lead the Big 12, with OSU second in the league. Texas also spent somewhere close to $153 million, about twice as much as OSU, to accomplish that feat. Texas and OSU were the only Big 12 schools to finish in the top 15 of the Learfield Cup.

Winning on the Women’s Side Entering the 2015-16 athletic year, OSU had been on a slow, steady rise in the Learfield Cup standings. The 2011-12 athletic year saw the school anchored at No. 42. The next year












N C A A S P O R T S 1 B U D G E T 2






The equestrian program won the Big 12 for the fourth time in five years. The women’s track and cross country teams had record-breaking seasons. Not only did the Cowgirls win the Big 12 cross country title for the first time, but their national finish in cross country was seventh, the best championship performance by OSU since 1989. And the female runners weren’t finished. As a team, OSU was 10th at the NCAA track and

field indoor national championships and 12th at the NCAA track and field outdoor national championship meet. Both finishes were the best in school history. First-year coach Kenny Gajewski took over an OSU softball program that had not qualified for the NCAA Tournament since reaching the Women’s College World Series in 2011. He led his youthful squad to a trip to the 2016 NCAA regional final and extended the homestanding Georgia Bulldogs to a one-game, winner-take-all finale. Georgia qualified for the Women’s World Series the next week by ousting two-time national champion Florida in a two-game sweep. The OSU

women’s golf program picked up its

first Big 12 championship since 2013, and its 11th place finish in the national championship tournament was its best since 2010. Under coach Jim Littell, the Cowgirl basketball program has become a regular in the NCAA Tournament with four straight appearances since the NIT championship season in March of 2012.

there was a jump to 27th and then a school-best No. 22 in 2013-14. Last year OSU was No. 28 before climbing all the way to 13th. The rising tide of OSU Athletics has been fueled greatly by the OSU women. Of OSU’s eight conference championships in 2015-16, five were won by women’s programs, including some landmark championships. Cowgirl cross country won the league for the first time, while women’s tennis — Big 12 champs for the first time since 2003 — marched through the regular season and conference tournament without losing a match. But the success has been across the board for the Cowgirls. The strong showing by the women’s teams simply set the stage for a month of fun provided by the Cowgirl tennis program. First it was a romp through the Big 12 Conference postseason tournament, hosted at the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center. The following week it was the NCAA regional tournament, once again held in Stillwater. The Cowgirls cruised through the competition to reach the national tournament in Tulsa where 16 regional champions gathered to decide the national title. In front of packed crowds decked out in orange, OSU marched to the national championship match, upsetting fifth-seed Georgia, fourth-seed Ohio State and No. 1-seed California. In a thrilling back-and-forth finale, the Cowgirls fell to Stanford but may have blazed new trails along the way, according to coach Chris Young. “When one program has success, it inspires others to envision what is possible for them,” he says. “On the women’s side, we are all striving to be the first program to win a national title, and that has driven us all to a higher standard. It is fun to see your peers achieving at a high level, and I hope we can build on what was an amazing year.” Young doesn’t believe that surge in the success of OSU’s women’s programs is an accident. “One of the greatest assets at Oklahoma State is the staff within our athletic department and the caliber of coaches Mike Holder has hired during his tenure,” Young says. “With increased resources for the women’s programs and a greater emphasis placed on our success, we have been able to push each other to higher levels.” Holder agrees with Young that it is more than coincidence that has led several Cowgirl programs into national relevancy. “The coincidence is the product of excellent coaching and a commitment from the administration to fund each sport at a level that allows them to compete for championships,” Holder says. “A significant part of that commitment is facilities, and we still have some work to do in that area.”

Manpower The men’s programs were far from idle over the past year, and their national finishes covered the entire academic calendar. Like the boost the OSU women got from the Cinderella run by tennis, the men’s programs got a boost from a late spurt when Cowboy baseball got hot. Very hot.





The Cowboys’ postseason featured seven straight wins, including a regional championship at Clemson (ACC Tournament champion) and a super regional sweep of perennial SEC power South Carolina. OSU closed the season by going 2-2 in the College World Series. It was OSU’s first appearance in Omaha since 1999, and the third-place finish at the CWS was OSU’s best since 1993. According to Holder, the idea of a well-rounded program at Oklahoma State is nothing new.


“In my opinion, all of the sports success at OSU began with Ed Gallagher,” Holder says of the legendary father of collegiate wrestling. “The dynasty he built inspired coaches and athletes of other programs to dream of winning championships, which has resulted in 51 NCAA banners hanging from the top of GallagherIba Arena.” Dating back to 2004, Oklahoma State has won at least one Big 12 championship in 12 different sports. The tradition of winning across the board is still strong at OSU.

cross country team once again brought home a top-20 finish, placing 18th at the NCAA

Championships after sweeping conference and regional titles. The Cowboys captured the Big 12 indoor track and field title for the second time in three years. The men were No. 24 at the NCAA indoor meet and finished 15th at the outdoor national championships. OSU is now perceived as one of America’s top programs when combining track and field and cross country programs. The OSU

football team was credited with finishing 19th nationally in the Learfield standings

after its 10-3 season and Allstate Sugar Bowl appearance. The Cowboy wrestling program overcame injuries to two starters to finish second at the national championships, in what would have to be considered an over-achievement by John Smith’s crew. Another OSU staple on the national scene —

men’s golf — finished 10th at the NCAAs.

The runner-up finish by the women’s tennis team overshadowed another developing program at the Greenwood Tennis Center as the

men’s tennis team returned to the national stage with a

run of its own to the sweet 16, where it lost to eventual national champion Virginia.

Nick Miller, National Champion Hammer Throw

This story first published in the Summer 2016 issue of POSSE Magazine. To read other great OSU athletic stories, consider joining the POSSE. Annual donations to OSU athletics of $150 or more qualify for POSSE membership and include an annual subscription to POSSE Magazine. Visit okstateposse.com for details.




indsey Claire Smith is the editor of American Indian Quarterly and an associate professor of English at Oklahoma State University. At OSU, Smith combines her love for English and Native American studies in her work by teaching her favorite class. It’s cross-listed between the two subjects, called “Native American Studies and the Arts.” “The course connects students with writers and artists who are presenting their work locally,” Smith says. “We often have class in museums or at literary readings. It’s a wonderful way to engage students in the world beyond the classroom as well as provide opportunities for those in the Native American arts scene to engage with higher education and the public.”

Originally from Tulsa, Smith is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School. She earned a doctoral degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After working out of state for several years, she returned to her native roots in Oklahoma 10 years ago to begin her career at OSU. The College of Arts and Sciences has honored her with a Junior Faculty Award in 2012 and Community Engagement Award in 2015. “I have come to appreciate the land grant mission of OSU and its commitment to education across Oklahoma and beyond,” she says. “It has been wonderful to reconnect with family and friends here.”

AMERICAN INDIAN STUDIES As editor of the American Indian Quarterly, the leading academic journal in interdisciplinary American Indian studies, Smith reads and directs the peer review process for all manuscripts and solicits submissions for each volume’s cover art.

VOICES OF UNITY The white scarf is part of Smith’s uniform for Voices of Unity, a community choir with whom she performs. The group of singers is from Tulsa and surrounding areas. Voices of Unity sings a large variety of music, ranging from African-American spirituals to love songs from the 1950s.

“We are committed to publishing the most thought-provoking scholarship in the field and to highlighting the sovereignty of American Indian nations,” she says. “I was interested in assuming the editorship because the journal has an excellent reputation, and I knew I would learn a lot from reading the latest research in American Indian studies. I’m especially drawn to interdisciplinary work and enjoy hearing about topics in the field from a variety of vantage points.”

“I like to think that we are ambassadors of sorts for creating community across racial divides,” she says. “We have sung for public officials and visitors to Tulsa, including Reverend Jesse Jackson, and as backup for Barry Manilow. We have also sung at weddings, retirement homes and city observances of Martin Luther King Day.” Voices of Unity is currently prepping to perform at the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation and a winter concert.

ON THE GO An avid cyclist, Smith is a member of the Tulsa Bicycle Club and the Oklahoma Bicycling Coalition. She has served as a board member for OK Freewheel and has biked across Oklahoma seven times with the organization.

FURNITURE MAKER In her spare time, Smith enjoys making furniture. One of the tools she uses is a Kreg jig for woodworking. “I’ve built an eight-foot farmhouse dining table with benches, a farmhouse guest bed, an upholstered bench, a flip-top coffee table, and bookshelf and toy storage for my daughter’s bedroom,” Smith says.



“I participate in several one-day rides in various parts of the state,” Smith says. “My favorites are Dam Jam in Pryor and Flower Power in Muskogee.” PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY

2017 Leisure Learning Classes in Taos, New Mexico Through the Doel Reed Center for the Arts in Taos, New Mexico, OSU is offering unique non-credit educational opportunities to alumni and friends of any age during two seasons in 2017. The Center invites you to participate in these leisure-learning courses taught by expert faculty during the summer ( July 24-28) and fall (September 25-29 or October 2-6). Information about the one-week courses will soon be listed on our website, drca.okstate.edu. For more information, contact Director Carol Moder at carol.moder@okstate.edu.

The Doel Reed Center for the Arts is named for the renowned artist who directed OSU’s Department of Art from 1924 until retiring to the family estate in northern New Mexico in 1959. Thanks to the generosity of his daughter, Martha, the picturesque property and three historic adobe structures now serve as an inspiring setting for teaching, research and outreach related to the Southwest.

Research Efforts Ranked Nationally

Oklahoma State University is getting noticed. The increasing publication

success of OSU scientists has been noted by Nature Index, a publication of the journal publisher Nature. OSU was 19th in a ranking of the 25 most improved research institutions in North America by Nature Index 2016 Rising Stars. Rankings are based on journal articles published from 2012 to 2015. Making the list, which includes the likes of Stanford and Carnegie Mellon universities, means OSU is “making an impact on the scientific and scholarly communities,” says Vice President for Research Kenneth Sewell. He added that the ranking “speaks highly of the quality faculty we’ve hired … as well as our growth in the number and quality of our students.” Those successes can also be traced to a wide range of impressive studies underway at OSU.


Protecting and restoring habitat of pollinators




Research involving OSU and a wide cross section of collaborators is examining the management of rangeland habitat of native pollinators, such as butterflies and bees, to protect them in Texas and Oklahoma. OSU scientists Kristen Baum, associate professor of integrative biology, and assistant professor of integrative biology Monica Pape have joined researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, state wildlife officials in Oklahoma and Texas, an Indian tribe and conservation groups to choose habitats vital to threatened pollinators in the two states and launch restoration efforts. Restoration includes prescribed burning of rangelands and seeding native plants vital to pollinators. The project includes the development of models to predict current and future distributions of threatened pollinator species

including native butterflies, namely the monarch, and bees. The project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through its competitive State Wildlife Grant program that funds large cooperative conservation efforts.

Kristen Baum

Helping pilots sense and avoid unmanned aerial vehicles A collaboration between faculty at the OSU College of Education and the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology will investigate the ability of pilots to detect and avoid collisions with unmanned aerial systems. The study by Jon Loffi, COE assistant professor in aviation and space, and Jamey Jacob, CEAT professor of mechanical and aerospace, along with a colleague from Polk State College in Florida, will look at “sense and avoid” methods and developing technologies to mitigate the risk of collisions. A challenge of integrating UAS platforms into the National Airspace System is the potential for midair collisions between manned aircraft and unmanned systems, according to Loffi. “The varied size, color, configurations and operational applications of UAS make those platforms difficult to identify,” Loffi says. “We are trying to determine the

A work of contemporary art visually interpreting multidisciplinary research underway at the Henry Bellmon Research Center is a public outdoor art project east of the building. The six transparent glass disks, each six-foot in diameter, are the work of California artist Gordon Huether. He created the individual disks to portray six research disciplines found in the HBRC: biodiversity, bioforensics, biogeophysics, biophysics, photonics, and synthetic chemistry. PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY

Gene expression and embryos

visibility distance of various UAS systems to an alerted pilot flying a general aviation aircraft under Visual Flight Rules conditions.”

The impact of historic hardship on American Indian women An OSU scholar has received a grant to study the impacts of hardship on fertility among American Indian women in early Oklahoma history. Mary Towner, a human behavioral ecologist, along with a collaborator at the University of Oklahoma, will use historical data, such as the 1910 U.S. Census, to gauge the effects of migration and ethnicity on fertility variation. The National Science Foundation awarded the $203,000 grant. The project will also explore how fertility patterns varied, depending on tribal nation and place of residence in Oklahoma.

Mary Towner “Although we know a fair amount about the high disease and death rates experienced by Native Americans forced to relocate to Oklahoma, much less is known about how women’s reproductive lives were impacted,” Towner says.

An Oklahoma State University scientist is studying the effects of abnormally expressed imprinted genes on embryonic development and maternal behavior. Integrative biologist Polly Campbell has been awarded a four-year $720,000 National Science Foundation grant to investigate an area of genomic research that has yet to be explored. Campbell and collaborators will use advanced genetic tools and behavioral studies in mice to better understand how dysregulation of imprinted genes affects brain development and behavior, including regulation of a mother’s instinct to care for her offspring, which can be disrupted if imprinted genes are not expressed normally. In humans, disrupted expression or deletion of imprinted genes is often associated with physical and cognitive abnormalities and is the cause of several


genetic disorders, including Angelman syndrome and Prader–Willi syndrome. “It’s important ultimately for human health to think about how dysregulation of these genes might potentially affect mothers and may correlate with imprinting disorders in humans,” Campbell says. “It’s an area that we really don’t understand yet.”

Reconstructing a 4-billion-year-old genetic code

In research conducted by an OSU microbiologist and a collaborator, the reconstruction of the genetic code of a single-cell organism that lived 4 billion years ago has opened the door to understanding the evolution of the genetic code found in all known cells today. Wouter Hoff, with OSU’s Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and a colleague in the Netherlands, worked with genomic and biochemical data to reconstruct the code of the last universal common ancestor (LUCA), an organism some scientists believe is the origin of all life on Earth and is believed to have developed in extreme conditions surrounding deep sea magma vents. Though their work, published in the journal PLOS ONE, did not address the controversial question of the source of life, their research did offer new insight into the evolutionary origin of the genetic code found in all cells.



Mango, gut health and obesity

The political polarization of climate change opinion Sociologist Riley Dunlap is a founder of environmental sociology, a relatively young field that examines the impact of environmental issues on humans and has increasingly supplied scholarship on issues taking a front stage in American politics. Dunlap’s research includes the study of public concern and opinions with environmental issues, the environmental movement and research into climate change opinion. His latest published research looks at political polarization surrounding scientific theories of human-caused climate change. Dunlap and collaborators, including OSU doctoral candidate Jerrod Yarosh and Aaron McCright, Michigan State University, published the journal article, “The Political Divide on Climate Change: Partisan Polarization Widens in the U.S.” Dunlap, et al, argues that as Americans increasingly identify themselves as Republicans or Democrats, the possibility of compromise and passage of environmental legislation in Congress has become nearly impossible. This polarization is often encouraged by conservative groups, some of which advocate climate change denial. “Their successful efforts not only helped to block national legislation ... but they led to skepticism and even denial of human-caused climate change becoming normative among Republican elites and activists. This has produced a Republican Congress that provides a sturdy legislative wall against Obama Administration climate change initiatives, and in general does its best to undermine growing evidence of the seriousness of climate change,” wrote the authors.



Wouter Hoff

“While many questions regarding the origin of the genetic code remain, this publication makes a clear step in elucidating part of the evolutionary development of this process that is so important for all living organisms,” Hoff says.

Edralin Lucas Recently published research by Edralin Lucas, professor of nutritional sciences at OSU, has shown the potential of consuming mango to lessen complications of obesity. Her research, published in the Journal of Nutrition, has shown for the first time that mice fed mango may experience decreased loss of beneficial gut bacteria in animals consuming a high-fat diet. Beneficial bacteria have been shown to play a role in reducing complications of obesity such as Type 2 diabetes. “Mango is a good source of fiber and has been reported in previous studies to have anti-obesogenic, hypoglycemic and immunomodulatory properties,” said Lucas in an interview for Health Medicine Network. “The results of this animal study showed that adding mango to the diet may help maintain and regulate gut health and levels of beneficial bacteria.”

Growing algae to clean wastewater What to do with wastewater produced by oil and gas production is a serious concern in Oklahoma, where a large increase in earthquake activity is blamed on injecting waste fluids from oil and gas production back into the Earth. Both energy companies and Oklahoma state officials are looking for options, and research at OSU may provide an answer.

Understanding tornado-caused injuries to dogs


Danielle Dugat Colleagues at the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences teamed up to write a journal article on their treatment of two dogs who were injured during catastrophic tornados in 2013 and treated at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital. Both dogs suffered traumatic lung damage believed to be caused by changes in barometric pressure during tornados. The dogs recovered following surgery, and the cases were written about in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association by Brandy Cichocki, small animal surgery resident; Danielle Dugat, assistant professor of small animal surgery; and Timothy Snider, veterinary pathologist. The Veterinary Medical

Hospital treated 60 animal victims from 2013 tornados. “We believe the pressure change during the tornado caused barotrauma to the lung, leading to its rupture, impeding the dogs’ breathing,” Dugat says. “Shortly after the dogs were operated on to remove the damaged tissue, the dogs were reunited with their owners.”

Are unethical employees more successful? In research conducted by Rebecca Greenbaum, Spears School of Business, unethical behavior in the workplace is often not tolerated unless the employee is a high performer. Associate professor Greenbaum, and a colleague from Baylor University, wrote an article for Harvard Business Review in May describing their research into how the peers of unethical employees react to their behavior. “In spite of the tendency to socially reject those who are unethical, we uncovered a double standard based on a person’s contributions to the bottom line,” the co-authors wrote. “Specifically, we show that unethical high-performing employees are less likely to be socially rejected by their peers, which implies that unethical behavior can be tolerated.” The researchers found that unethical but high-performing employees “get a pass” because they can improve a company’s bottom line. They suggest companies examine priorities, emphasizing ethics over performance.

Obesity and depression in children As the national epidemic of obesity grows in the United States, the problem is equally serious for children. Obesity among American kids has increased significantly since 1980 (1-in-20 in the U.S. is severely obese), and now OSU research reveals the psychological toll of childhood obesity. A recent study has found that as early as first grade, severely obese children are more likely to be withdrawn and show


Nurhan Dunford and her OSU colleagues are developing strains of microalgae to treat wastewater from oil production as well as agriculture. Dunford, a biosystems and agricultural engineering professor, says that as certain species of microalgae grow in wastewater, they remove nitrogen and contaminates. The remaining biomass can be used as a feedstock or to produce energy as a biofuel. The process has been demonstrated successfully in the laboratory, Dunford says, and now the system has to be scaled up and tested at a commercially viable size.

Amanda Harrist signs of depression. Amanda W. Harrist, human development and family science professor of child development in the College of Human Sciences, led the study that looked at 1,164 first graders from 29 schools in Oklahoma. The schools were located in eight counties with adult obesity rates of 28 to 41 percent. Harrist and her collaborators found that the more overweight the children were, the worse the consequences. “Children who are ostracized, as occurred with the severely overweight children in our study, suffer great harm, with feelings of loneliness, depression, and aggression, and these children are more likely to skip school and drop out later,” Harrist says. The study, with collaboration from researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and West Virginia University, appeared in the journal Child Development.


Saint Francis Health System managing OSU Medical Center in Tulsa Saint Francis Health System began managing Oklahoma State University Medical Center on October 1, 2016. The Oklahoma State University Medical Trust voted to enter into a new 10-year management contract with Saint Francis Health System to operate OSUMC in downtown Tulsa and enhance medical residency training programs with the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. “As an organization committed to the current and future health of Oklahoma, OSU is proud to affiliate with Tulsa’s only locally owned and operated health system and the market leader in health care delivery – Saint Francis Health System,” says Dr. Kayse Shrum, president of OSU Center for Health Sciences. “Saint Francis Health System and OSUMC play an important role in providing access to health care to the medically underserved and rural areas in the region. This partnership allows both organizations to bolster their ability to meet the needs of this vulnerable population.” Under the terms of the agreement, Saint Francis Health System will provide executive leadership, operational oversight and strategic direction for the hospital and its affiliated clinics and programs. “This long-term management contract with Saint Francis includes capital investments to improve hospital facilities and operations, as well as medical education commitments to further enhance the longstanding relationship with the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and its

medical residency programs in Tulsa,” says Jerry Hudson, chair of the OSU Medical Center Trust. Saint Francis’ new relationship with OSUMC is not only a benefit to the employees, physicians and medical residents but also to the current and future patients who will benefit from a strengthened OSUMC. “This agreement further solidifies the financial stability and future growth potential of OSU Medical Center,” OSU President Burns Hargis says. “Saint Francis brings a local partner with an outstanding record of operating superior health centers and a commitment to quality and compassionate care right to the heart of Tulsa.” As the teaching hospital for the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, OSUMC plays a vital role in preparing the next generation of physicians and other medical providers who will serve Oklahoma. Through its residency programs, OSUMC trains more than 150 physicians each year. A significant number of these physicians choose to practice in rural and underserved areas throughout the region post-residency. “Saint Francis Health System recognizes the critical need met by OSU medical graduates in the region and seeks to provide a sustainable infrastructure,” says Jake Henry Jr., Saint Francis Health System’s president and chief executive officer. “This is consistent with Vision 2020, our five-year strategic plan that speaks to the development of medical manpower.”

Discovery named Brevimalictic chikasha is the name selected for a new species of mammal discovered last year on an archeological dig by Kent Smith, OSU Center for Health Sciences associate dean in the Office for the Advancement of American Indians in Medicine and Science. In a presentation at the Chickasaw Nation’s Annual Arts & Cultural Awards, Smith presented a replica of the found bone, cast in bronze, to Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. Smith chose the name Brevimalictic chikasha for the new genus and species of mammal “in honor of the unconquerable Chickasaw people, who are known for their highly progressive, educationfocused values and preservation of their Native American culture.” Brevimalictis belongs to the family of mammals known as Musteliedae for badgers, wolverines and weasels. The ancient mammal discovered in the archeological dig is about the size of an existing long-tailed weasel and lived at a relatively high-elevation, in a temperate forest ecosystem in the Great Basin about 16 million years ago. The jawbone replica will be on display for the public in the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma.

Scientific works of art exhibited The Royal Society of London selected an image submitted by Paul Gignac, assistant professor of anatomy, as a finalist in its annual photography competition. Gignac’s submission is a chemically enhanced microcomputerized tomography scan of a snakehead and brain. The image was produced in collaboration with Nathan Kley at Stony Brook University in New York and is part of Gignac’s research into methods capable of visualizing soft-tissue anatomy in micro-CT images. The research is funded through a $300,000 National Science Foundation grant. The photography competition celebrates the power of photography to communicate science and the role images play in making science more accessible to a wide audience.



From the Lab to the Marketplace PHOTOS / RYAN JENSEN

Research Experience for Undergraduates program showcasing the connectivity between research and commercialization at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa


Fernon Clark, NORDAM manufacturing engineering manager, right, leads participants in OSU-Tulsa’s Research Experience for Undergraduates on a tour of the company. Raman Singh, above left, associate dean of mechanical and aerospace engineering and C.F. Colcord Chair professor, speaks during a special ceremony at the conclusion of the nine-week REU program.




ssembling longer-lasting lithium batteries. Developing flexible materials for 3D printing of medical prosthetics. Creating new composites to protect astronauts in space from radiation. Eleven undergraduate students from universities across the country had the opportunity to work on these and other research projects in the Helmerich Research Center at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa. They were the first cohort of OSU-Tulsa’s Research Experience for Undergraduates, a nine-week summer fellowship on materials science and entrepreneurship. The focus was a perfect fit for OSU-Tulsa since it is the home of OSU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering and assists with research and development for several startup companies. Materials science is the study of the structure of materials and the creation of new ones by combining two or more with different physical or chemical properties to create a composite that is stronger or more flexible. While many colleges and universities offer summer research programs to provide undergraduates experience in a scientific discipline alongside professional researchers, the additional emphasis on entrepreneurship makes OSU-Tulsa’s program stand out. “Our program is different from many other summer research programs in that we are trying to show students how a research concept is taken from the lab out into the commercial world. Research goes hand-in-hand with entrepreneurship,” says Ranji Vaidyanathan, Varnadow Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. “We want to give them exposure to local companies and entrepreneurs so that they can appreciate how an idea can become a reality.” Vaidyanathan and Pankaj Sarin, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, are the program coordinators. Jonathan Thompson, an OSU-Tulsa senior majoring in mechanical engineering, says the interdisciplinary focus of materials science attracted him to the program.

“Materials science has a lot of disciplines, such as chemistry, physics and engineering, and I am interested in interdisciplinary work,” Thompson says. “The research projects were also a big draw for me.” North Carolina State University student Jonathan Gillen said the focus on entrepreneurship was the reason he selected the OSU-Tulsa REU program. “There are a lot of other REU programs out there, but this one has an entrepreneurial aspect that others don’t have,” says Gillen, who was selected to present his REU research poster at a national Council on Undergraduate Research symposium. “And OSU-Tulsa has great facilities to work in.” To show REU students how research is being used by industry, the cohort toured Tinker Air Force Base outside Oklahoma City and NORDAM, an international manufacturing company headquartered in Tulsa that designs aerospace interiors and structures for major companies such as Boeing, Gulfstream and United Airlines. Much of the time, students worked on research projects with OSU-Tulsa faculty

and graduate students at the Helmerich Research Center’s state-of-the-art laboratories. “The REU program provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate college students to participate in the type of cutting-edge research typically reserved for graduate students,” says Howard Barnett, president of OSU-Tulsa. “It is a great example of how faculty at the Helmerich Research Center are advancing engineering education in Tulsa and across the country.” Esther Sun, a student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, says the faculty’s enthusiasm and guidance helped her feel at ease. “I was not expecting them to allow us to have so much access to the labs, especially since I am completely new to research. I was a little afraid I might break some of the expensive equipment,” she says. “But they were really open and willing to let you try things out and give you the experience because they wanted us to learn.” Matthew Villareal, an OSU alumnus and co-founder of Infinite Composites

OSU-Tulsa’s first cohort for the Research Experience for Undergraduates are, from left, first row, Alfredo Oviedo, Jakeb Baldridge, Greg Dillard and Aaron Dolan; second row, Elena Davidson and Cesar Gomez; third row, Scott Wilson, Jonathan Gillen and Jonathan Thompson; and back row, Esther Sun and Heyinn Rho.



Heyinn Rho conducts research in the cutting-edge labs at the Helmerich Research Center at OSU-Tulsa.

Alfredo Oviedo, left, explains his research project during his final presentation of the OSU-Tulsa REU program.

Technologies in Tulsa, was one of several entrepreneurs who spoke to students about how his company benefited from its ties with OSU-Tulsa and its faculty. “Dr. Vaidyanathan has been an invaluable resource for us,” he told participants. “He is an expert proposal writer, and our relationship with OSU-Tulsa provided access to research and development we otherwise would not have had.” Raman Singh, associate dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at OSU-Tulsa and head of the School of Materials Science and Engineering, is enthusiastic about the future of OSU-Tulsa’s REU program. “I am pleased that in its first year, the REU program at the Helmerich Research Center attracted students from across the U.S. and across disciplines,” he says. “I believe this fact speaks to the distinct focus of our program and the substantial quality of our faculty.” Faculty expertise is key to an effective research and development educational environment, Singh says. And OSU-Tulsa faculty members are experts in entrepreneurship. For instance, Vaidyanathan holds 16 patents and has developed six different products from concept stage to

commercial stage including Aquacore™ and Aquacast™ water-soluble tooling materials commercially sold to Airbus, Boeing, Eurocopter and Lockheed. Raj Singh, Williams Companies Distinguished Chair and Regents Professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering, helped create a sodiumsulfur battery used in the world’s largest battery storage system at the Hitachi Automotive systems factory in Japan and by American Electric Power. He holds 25 U.S. patents and has developed advanced ceramic composites being commercialized by GE for aircraft engines. Other REU program mentors are similarly accomplished, including materials science and engineering faculty members Do Young Kim, Jim Smay and Nirmal Govindaraju, and mechanical and aerospace engineering faculty members Jay Hanan and Khaled Sallam. Craig Watters from the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship and the Spears School of Business was also a mentor. As with most REUs, OSU-Tulsa’s summer fellowship was funded with a $405,208 grant from the National Science Foundation and co-funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Air Force Office of



Scientific Research. Besides OSU, North Carolina State and Case Western, students represented Missouri University of Science and Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Kansas State University, Santa Ana College and Cameron University. Vaidyanathan is anticipating building upon the program’s success with future sessions. “We want to give students a sense of where that research goes once it leaves the university so that they understand the relationship between what they do here in the laboratory and the marketplace,” he says. “By giving them exposure to the commercial side, we are hoping they will become the next generation of entrepreneurs and business people who also have research experience to make their products better.”

Watch a video on OState.TV showcasing the REU visit to NORDAM: bit.ly/OSUTulsaREU

“… cancer patients have stayed very

close to my heart. To be able to give them the same compassionate care my mother provided to my grandmother before her passing is something I strive to accomplish.” — Mary Allen Wells

The state-of-the-art simulation center is in the heart of the new OSU-OKC Allied Health Building.


FALL 2016



Innovative Partnership

New Allied Health building houses state-of-the-art program in Oklahoma City



hen Mary Allen Wells received her acceptance letter to the Oklahoma State UniversityOklahoma City Nurse Science Program, tears filled her eyes. She had witnessed firsthand the toll cancer can take when her grandmother had a fierce, short battle with lung cancer that ultimately took her life. Wells developed a passion for oncology, the study and treatment of tumors, so she began building for her future with OSU-OKC’s new Allied Health building as the foundation. Following her grandmother’s death, Wells and her mother started volunteering for the American Cancer Society. The two have been volunteering for more than a decade, and Wells even got a job at a local cancer institute. To pursue her dream of saving more lives, she is close to completing an associate of applied science degree in nurse science at OSU-OKC. Being so close to earning her degree is a dream come true for her. Wells’ future got even brighter when she received the Deaconess Auxiliary Scholarship, which she calls a huge blessing. “Being a nontraditional student, I was ineligible for financial assistance from the government,” Wells says. “God provided for me through the Deaconess Auxiliary Foundation. Because of this, I am able to afford finishing my degree at OSU-OKC.” Currently, Wells’ learning experience is both high-tech and high-touch in the newly opened 45,000-square-foot Allied Health building on the OSU-OKC campus. OSU-OKC President Natalie Shirley said the university’s thriving health sciences programs led to the new building, which incorporates concepts that are unique and cutting edge in the state and across the nation. Thanks to an innovative partnership between OSU-OKC and Variety Care, the building includes a fully functioning primary care clinic open to the campus and surrounding community. In addition, the heart of the building is a

7,500-square-foot advanced nursing simulation center with the latest training equipment available, thanks to impactful grants from a variety of corporate partners. “Because of the reputation of our health sciences programs, we have seen an increase in demand that we couldn’t meet,” Shirley says. “This year, OSU-OKC’s nursing students had a first-time pass rate of almost 98 percent on the national nursing exam (NCLEX-RN), 10 points higher than the national average and eight points higher than the state average. With the new building, we have a greater capacity to give our allied health students the foundation to be the very best in their chosen fields.” The building houses OSU-OKC’s health programs that include nursing, diagnostic sonography, nutritional sciences, health care administration, and radiologic technology. The proximity of the Variety Care health center provides OSU-OKC students the chance to directly interact with physicians and patients, and the opportunity to learn and work as part of a health care team in a clinical setting. The U.S. Department of Commerce, through its Economic Development Administration, recently awarded OSU-OKC $940,000 in federal funding to educate and train health care professionals. A portion of EDA’s investment purchased technology and supplies for the simulation center, including lifesize human “manikins” that can be programmed to provide a realistic replication of a patient in a clinical situation. The simulation center equipment will also be available to local health care providers to update their employees’ skills and prepare them for emerging new positions. “EDA’s contribution to this prime learning space means OSU-OKC will play an even greater role in addressing the local and national health care professional shortage by producing graduates who are ready to work immediately in the field,” Shirley says. “We are so appreciative of the opportunity EDA has provided us to

serve the Oklahoma City community.” Additional simulators and classroom and training equipment were purchased through grants and donations from the Hearst Foundations, INTEGRIS, the Sarkeys Foundation, Cox, Presbyterian Health Foundation and Pedigo Products. Delta Dental provided funding for the equipment in the Variety Care dental suite.

This experiential learning is paying off. Students like Wells credit the knowledgeable OSU-OKC faculty and staff with furthering their learning experience. “The faculty and staff at OSU-OKC have made sure to help me if I was having trouble understanding a particular concept,” Wells says. “They show their professionalism in their craft of teaching by being readily available at any time to make sure I have a successful learning experience.” As Wells approaches graduation, she is looking forward to working in the field of oncology. Something she calls, “not glamorous, but rewarding,” which makes her think of her mother taking care of her grandmother years earlier as well as the many cancer patients she has worked with personally. “Having worked at a cancer institute, cancer patients have stayed very close to my heart,” Wells says. “To be able to give them the same compassionate care my mother provided to my grandmother before her passing is something I strive to accomplish.”


A Life’s Work by Design OSU Institute of Technology graphic design alumnus enjoys second career as watercolor artist


Eldred Rock Lighthouse

The Story Teller



Quiet Thoughts

The Way We Were


“You have a set mission, a set goal in commercial art, and it bleeds over into fine art. You have to have discipline, setting aside time to work. If you’re a fine artist, and you create something with the idea of selling it — you’re a commercial artist.” — Monte Toon, OSUIT Alumnus ince he was introduced to art at his high school in Coffeyville, Kansas, Monte Toon has wanted it to be a part of his life. “I wanted to be involved in art somehow, but I didn’t think I was good enough to pursue it as a career,” Toon says. “I was inspired by my high school art teacher. She inspired me to continue with art.” After high school, Toon joined the U.S. Navy and then pursued a bachelor’s degree in secondary education before teaching art for three years in a junior high school in Emporia, Kansas. Still, he wanted more. “I really wanted to be an artist. I wanted to do the work,” he says and thought back to a commercial art course he took while in college. “I loved it. It gave me that discipline, gave me that direction I wanted.” He moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1973 and soon after toured OSU Institute of Technology. He enrolled in the Graphic Design program and returned the very next day to start classes. “It was exactly what I wanted,” Toon says, and because he already had a bachelor’s degree, he was able to graduate in a year. He immediately went to work at Tulsa’s KTUL Channel 8 as an assistant

Pacific Coast Breeze

art director and just a year later was promoted to art director and graphic designer — titles he retained for 30 years. He retired in 2004, and now Toon and his wife travel across the United States and Canada. All the while, he has continued to paint with watercolors, something he pursued in his free time while working as a graphic designer. “I continue to paint with watercolor and have shows all over the Midwest,” he says. His latest show is on display at OSUIT. Many of Toon’s work will be on display and for sale in the Conoco Gallery inside the Student Union through December 16. James McCullough, dean of the School of Visual Communications, says it’s important to support alumni, and showcase their work to the community and students. “It helps convey the idea these creatives have talents and skills that are often overlooked because they graduated from a technical school. It also promotes their talents to students,” McCullough says. Toon says he too hopes the opportunity to showcase his work at OSUIT benefits students. “I’m looking forward to coming back and having my work on display at OSUIT. I had a dual career of a commercial artist,


and I started on a path to become a fine artist,” he says, and the two paths are more similar than people think. “You have a set mission, a set goal in commercial art, and it bleeds over into fine art. You have to have discipline, setting aside time to work,” he says. “If you’re a fine artist, and you create something with the idea of selling it — you’re a commercial artist.” McCullough says Toon has hired other graduates of the program and promoted the School of Visual Communications throughout his career. “He’s a very generous man who is interested in telling students about what they can do not only in their careers but in other forms of art as well,” he says. “He’s encouraging to them and a supportive voice to them.” And at 74 years old, Toon has no intention of retiring from his fine art career. “I will never tire of it. As long as I’m alive, as long as I’m capable, I will continue to be creative,” he says. “It’s been a wonderful career, and to have this talent and be able to make a career out of it is something I’m very grateful for.”

That All Men Are Created Equal


National Wrestling Hall of Fame Reopens Local museum showcases city with global recognition


ecognizing the greatest names in wrestling and preserving the history of the sport were the driving forces behind the creation of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma, in 1976. Located on the corner of Hall of Fame Avenue and Duck Street, the building reopened in June 2016 following a $3.8 million renovation that included a complete gutting and rebuilding of the interior. The museum is on Oklahoma State University property, but it operates as a private, nonprofit institution. Since it reopened, visitors have been overwhelmed by the more modern facility that now features interactive exhibits and electronic kiosks. “It is important to the sport and to us to be able to tell the heroes of wrestling’s stories and inspire a newer generation,” says Lee Roy Smith, executive director of the NWHOF and an NCAA champion for OSU in 1980. “With this renovation, we have the technology and ability to bring these legends to life.” The building is home to the six gold medals and the Sullivan Award won by Oklahoma State head wrestling coach John Smith, who is Lee Roy Smith’s younger brother. The hall also features a singlet worn by OSU’s Pat Smith, the first wrestler to win four NCAA titles and Lee Roy and John’s younger brother. Not only can you explore O-State’s legendary wrestling history, you can also see the greatest names in the sport enshrined in the John T. Vaughan Hall of Honors. The walls




Attendees at the first Honors Weekend in 1976 gathered around the life-size green marble statue that has resided in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame since the museum opened. Distinguished Members at the event included OSU alumni Conrad Caldwell, Cliff Keen, Rex Peery, J Robinson, Myron Roderick, Jack VanBebber and Shelby Wilson. of the Distinguished Members Gallery are lined with the iconic granite plaques that have been presented to honorees since the Hall of Fame opened in 1976. Guests can view memorabilia as well as use electronic kiosks to see biographies and photographs of the 180 Hall of Fame members. OSU has 35 Distinguished Members, more than any other college. The Charter Class of 1976 included OSU’s Fendley Collins, Edward Gallagher, Art Griffith, Cliff Keen,

“It is important to the sport and to us to be able to tell the heroes of wrestling’s stories and inspire a newer generation.” — Lee Roy Smith, executive director



Rex Peery, Myron Roderick and Jack VanBebber. Former OSU coaches Gallagher, Griffith, Roderick, Tommy Chesbro and Joe Seay are all Distinguished Members as are current head coach John Smith and associate coach Eric Guerrero. Other Distinguished Members include Pat Smith, OSU Olympic gold medalists Doug Blubaugh, Kendall Cross, Frank Lewis, Kenny Monday, Bobby Pearce, Yojiro Uetake, Shelby Wilson and VanBebber.


lthough OSU alumni Jess Hoke and Dr. Melvin Jones did not step onto the mat for the Cowboys, they are both Distinguished Members for their contributions to the sport. Hoke founded Amateur Wrestling News in 1956. The first national publication devoted to wrestling, AWN had a monumental impact on wrestling’s growth across the country and remains America’s oldest and most respected wrestling publication. Jones earned his doctorate degree at 24 and became the youngest full professor at OSU four years later. When Roderick took the dream of a Hall of Fame to him, Jones organized a corporation and raised $600,000, making good on his promise that the building would be delivered debt-free. Many see Jones as one of the biggest reasons that the Hall of Fame exists.

The life-size green marble statue creates an awe-inspiring entry to the Distinguished Members Gallery. The statue is a copy of the classic Greek artwork The Wrestlers by Cephisodotus, located in the Uffizi gallery in Florence, Italy. The Hall has sections to recognize former wrestlers who have achieved success off the mat (Outstanding American) or who have overcome almost insurmountable obstacles (Medal of Courage). There are also awards to recognize outstanding officials (Meritorious Official) and individuals who have impacted the sport but not as a wrestler or coach (Order of Merit). The Hall of Fame has the largest collection of wrestling artifacts and memorabilia in the world and displays some of it in the Paul K. Scott Museum of History section. The new set-up allows the memorabilia to be changed, exhibiting different items throughout the year. Visitors are encouraged to take pictures throughout the museum, including on medal award platforms from the 1984 Olympics and the 2015 World Championships. Interactive exhibits feature wrestling moves, a glossary of terms, high school facts and information about United States presidents who wrestled.

OSU Head Wrestling Coach John Smith, left, Associate Wrestling Coach Eric Guerrero and Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum Lee Roy Smith, right, view the renovated displays.

The Hall of Fame has the largest collection of wrestling artifacts and memorabilia in the world.



“There have been 13 U.S. presidents who have wrestled, with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln being the most prominent,” says Lee Roy Smith. “Many presidents said they took up wrestling to be able to stand up to bullies.”


ne of the most popular new features is the opportunity to watch NCAA Championship matches from the 1930s to present day. Visitors can choose matches by year, wrestler or school, allowing them to watch some of the most exciting moments in wrestling on a big screen. Many of these videos are not available to the public except at the Hall of Fame. The William S. Hein Library section of the museum has wrestling books from around the world and historical documents. The diversity and accessibility of the sport continues to be highlighted through exhibits featuring women, AfricanAmericans, Asian-Americans, Native Americans and Latino Americans. The United World Wrestling Hall of Fame area features an electronic kiosk with photographs and biographies of inductees as well as memorabilia from international honorees. There is also a visitor lounge with a window mural of a wrestling match from the 1960 Olympics, contested outdoors in the Forum in Rome, Italy.

OSU alumna Krista Graff, National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum state chapter director, plays an interactive video in an exhibit.


“There’s something for everyone,” says Lee Roy Smith. “For the person who doesn’t know a thing about wrestling, we provide interesting facts and information to help educate. For those in the wrestling community who are very knowledgeable, we give an opportunity to dig a little deeper. “When you visit the museum, you will sense not only the hallowed ground for those enshrined in the Hall of Fame, but also the passion of our donors who support this institution.” In addition to Smith, the Hall of Fame employs OSU alumni Jack Carnefix, operations manager; Maghan Cawlfield, office manager; Krista Graff, state chapter director; and Lindsey Hammer, front office coordinator and OSU graduate student. OSU students Sarah Bildstein, who is completing her master’s degree, and undergraduate Emma Wilson, whose great uncle is Olympic gold medalist Shelby Wilson, also work at the museum. The Hall of Fame is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The museum is also open prior to home football games, wrestling matches and basketball games. Visit www.nwhof.org or call 405-377-5243 for more information.

Displays throughout the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum are interchangeable so visitors can see new exhibits



McKnight Center groundbreaking sets stage for excellence with announcement of 2019 New York Philharmonic partnership



COMING 2 019

Oklahoma State University celebrated the groundbreaking of its new performing arts center on October 1 by announcing a residency partnership with the New York Philharmonic. Project leaders and major donors were part of the standingroom-only celebration at the future site of The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts’ main stage. The New York Philharmonic will open The McKnight Center in fall 2019. In addition to multiple performances conducted by future New York Philharmonic Music Director Jaap van Zweden, the residency partnership will include educational opportunities for OSU students with Philharmonic musicians and management, such as masterclasses, audition workshops and lectures. The residency will be featured during the inaugural week of The McKnight Center, which is expected to open in fall 2019. “We dream big,” says Ross McKnight, who with his wife, Billie, announced a $25 million gift in March

to establish a programming endowment to support and name the Center. Work to bring the New York Philharmonic, he says, was underway long before the spring gift announcement. Securing a partnership with the oldest orchestra in the country and among the most prestigious in the world was important to ensure the Center would be transformational, Billie and Ross McKnight say. “This is the caliber of performances

we’re going to support with this Center,” Ross McKnight says. “What we envision and what we are working to establish here will go on for hundreds of years, and not just for the music school, but for the performing arts in Oklahoma.” “And our students will be so excited to work with world-class musicians,” Billie McKnight adds. “They will interact with the very best, and it will influence their education a great deal.” To date, $46 million has been raised for the project. The McKnights have been instrumental in this milestone, working with President Burns Hargis on the vision for the performing arts center. Including the McKnights, 16 households and organizations have given $1 million or more to the project. These Patron-level donors


This is the caliber of performances we’re going to support with this Center. What we envision and what we are working to establish here will go on for hundreds of years, and not just for the music school, but for the performing arts in Oklahoma.” - ROSS McKNIGHT

Oklahoma State’s 2019 residency partnership with the New York Philharmonic will include stage performances, masterclasses, audition workshops, lectures and more.


Joining alumni and friends at the October 1 McKnight Center groundbreaking were representatives from the School of Visual and Performing Arts, OSU President’s Office, New York Philharmonic and Patron donors. From left: Andrew Kimbrough, Howard Potter, Rebecca Brienen, Matthew VanBesien, Burns and Ann Hargis, John Giovando, Kevin Kamau, Carl Thoma, Billie and Ross McKnight, and Bret Danilowicz. were recognized at the halftime performance during the OSU vs. Texas football game that followed the groundbreaking. “It makes a statement and shows that the arts are important to the University,” Hargis says of the level of interest and commitment from others. “This expansive partnership presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our talented music faculty and students to interact with, and be inspired by, members of one of the world’s greatest orchestras. I am confident we are well on our way to establishing a vital hub of creativity and collaboration for the performing arts at OSU.”

Surprises in store Dr. Howard Potter, professor and head of the Department of Music, says The McKnight Center will set the foundation to invite world-class musicians and artists to Stillwater. “This residency program with the New York Philharmonic begins a new era for performing arts at our school and in our state,” he says. New York Philharmonic President Matthew VanBesien says partnerships like the one with OSU aren’t that common among U.S. orchestras, but he expects they will be more prevalent in the future.




The vision for The McKnight Center resonated with Patron donors Julie and Russ Teubner, who are OSU alumni, longtime residents, entrepreneurs and active arts advocates in downtown Stillwater. “As an OSU graduate, resident or whatever hat I’m wearing, I’m thrilled,” Russ Teubner says. “This continues to build the brand of the university in ways unexpected.” Teubner says he appreciates the way President Hargis frequently ties The McKnight Center to OSU’s mission as a land-grant university, which directed Oklahoma State’s teaching focus on practical agriculture, science,

military science and engineering, but “without excluding ... classical studies,” which includes the arts. “We’ve always had a great arts program — it’s almost been underground. But this puts us front and center,” he says. “This will enhance the cultural life in Stillwater. We’re getting pretty darn close to being a great little city with big things going on.” The McKnight Center will feature a main performance hall with 1,100 seats, a recital hall with 220 seats, outdoor plaza and state-of-the-art technology. Beck Design is the architect for the project.

“Our partnership with OSU is not going to be about performing and going away,” he says. “It’s going to be about building relationships. We’re going to work to engage all of the student population. What’s great about music and the arts is that it’s a shared experience with people.” VanBesien says with three years to plan, he’s looking forward to creating something “extraordinary,” adding that the full force of the Philharmonic will be in Stillwater. “I’m sure we’ll have a few surprises up our sleeves.” OSU junior trumpeter Kevin Kamau spoke at the groundbreaking event and called the New York

Philharmonic’s presence “beyond a dream come true.” “The McKnights’ gift is something that is so incredibly special and will really change what we do here,” he says, dressed in his band uniform. “It will change how we bring in students, and how we bring music to the community and make people really unite and be a part of music; because that’s what music is all about — being diverse and unifying to make one product. “This will truly make me proud, and make all of our former, current and future students proud of what we are able to do in this facility and highlight all of our talent,” he says. “So incredible are these opportunities we’ve been given.”

VanBesien says he is eager for the opportunities the partnership will afford the New York Philharmonic as well. “While we often hear how residency partnerships benefit faculty, students and the regional community, I can say from experience that the musicians and management of the New York Philharmonic also benefit immensely

from the creative energy stemming from academic and professional collaboration,” he says. “We very much look forward to performing at what promises to be a spectacular new performing arts center and to engaging with the university and the community in Stillwater.” In its 175th season, the New York

Philharmonic has an impressive history, and VanBesien says with that tradition is a responsibility to share the arts with people all over the world. “It’s a unique and special opportunity to play an important role and help seed a legacy here for Stillwater, the people of Oklahoma and the region,” he says.

Opera meets football

George Bizet’s opera Carmen. Band formations included the McKnights’ names, NYNY and a sequence conveying OSU’s appreciation for the New York Philharmonic. “I was truly proud of our performance and ecstatic at the commitment our band members made to making this ambitious show a reality,” says OSU Band Director Doug Henderson. “It was very

special, and something we’ve never done before. It truly showcased the incredible talent we have throughout our music department.” Senior music education major and opera singer Grant Harper was both excited and nervous to take the 50-yard line to perform “Toredor.” The Fort Smith, Arkansas, native says he immediately agreed to sing when he

The OSU vs. Texas halftime show honored gifts from the McKnights and Patron donors and celebrated the residency partnership with the Philharmonic with a special presentation by the OSU Marching Band. The group of about 300 students played selections from French composer

The knowledge that will be brought from professional groups such as the New York Philharmonic is invaluable to music students.” - GRANT HARPER

Senior music education major Grant Harper performs “Toredor” from the opera Carmen.



learned it would be to thank donors. “The knowledge that will be brought from professional groups such as the New York Philharmonic is invaluable to music students,” he says. “I was absolutely honored to play such a visible role. It was by far the biggest crowd I had performed for and by far the biggest reason.” The platform also allowed him to increase the community’s awareness of

OSU’s music programs and the quality of students’ work. He’s hopeful more people will be open to attending student performances such as opera, choir, and various ensembles and orchestras. He says because of The McKnight Center, students will get even more opportunities to attract bigger audiences. In the meantime, the halftime show was just a glimpse at the diverse and deep talent at OSU.

“To be invited to sing on the field is such a rare occurrence. I was humbled and greatly appreciative of the opportunity to spread my art,” he says. “I’ve been stopped multiple times in the community and been asked if I was the guy who sang in the stadium. I’ve never had this opportunity to be the popular guy thanks to my voice, so it’s really still an amazing honor to have done it.” O

Sixteen households and organizations have given $1 million or more to the project. These Patron donors are leading the way for transformational change for the performing arts at OSU.

Billie and Ross

Vickie and Joe

Ludmila and Frank

Nickie and Doug

Ann and Burns

Julie and Russ


Cheryl and John








Marilynn and Carl

Lerri and Rick

Cathey and Don

Lee M. and Harriet M.

Monica and Joe

Carol and Frank





Sherman E. Smith


Anne and Mike GREENWOOD

Work to fund The McKnight Center is still not complete. Another $15 million in private support is needed to fulfill the Center’s transformational vision. Still more is required for the facility itself with naming opportunities throughout. By helping advance this project, you join others who are committed to the performing arts at OSU and the generations this incredible facility and its programming will serve.




Artistically Engineered Engineered || Backstage Backstage || Downtown Artistically Downtown Stillwater Stillwater||405.533.2950 405.533.2950 www.BackstageStillwater.com www.BackstageStillwater.com

Dear Cowboy Family: PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY

Ann Hargis & Scruff

Meet Stillwater’s luckiest (and most loved) dog, Scruff! Life wasn’t always so good for this little fella. His whole story isn’t very clear, but what we do know is heartbreaking. In summer 2013, Scruff was a stray. We don’t know how long he was left to fend for himself, but it was long enough to be teased, taunted and abused — by both children and adults. He was shot with BB’s, paintballs and bullets. Three OSU students saw this abuse and rescued Scruff from this horrific situation. They turned to social media to pay for medical costs and to find a loving home. It worked! These students were able to raise enough money to have Scruff treated by Dr. Lara Sypniewski at Oklahoma State University’s Boren Veterinary Medical Hospital. As he was being treated, these students continued to look for a home for this sweet boy. We actually received a phone call from Dr. Sypniewski to let us know Scruff would be a great fit for Pete’s Pet Posse, the pet therapy program that was just about to begin at OSU. We were eager to be part of the pilot program but were not sure about including a dog in our busy schedule. We contacted the students and asked to meet this dog they called Scruff. We met him and loved him. For a while, he continued to be shared between students, the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, and by us when our schedules

would allow. It was a slow process, but when we had him in the car with us going to Oklahoma City for Christmas, I turned to Burns and said, “I guess he is ours!” Scruff is now a member of Pete’s Pet Posse and spends his days giving back to OSU — the very place that saved him. He greets students, faculty and staff in a variety of situations. He visits classrooms, the library, residence halls and the Student Union — and anywhere else he is asked to go. He takes daily rides in my golf cart, Clementine, and loves to check out all the new activity on campus. He could play fetch for hours (and often does)! He is also great at keeping the grounds around the Willham House squirrel free. Part of the beauty of Pete’s Pet Posse is that I can take him with me most days, and he is very much a part of our public lives. Therefore, we are together more often than we ever dreamed. After a busy day, Scruff enjoys listening to Burns play the piano, as they both unwind. Most of the time, Scruff gets his own special concert. Sometimes he takes his time curling up in our laps. Once he has shared all of his love, he’ll disappear as he puts himself to bed to get ready for the next day. We honestly could not love this funny little guy more if we tried. His spirit could have been broken long ago, but this little dog has learned to turn tragedy to triumph. After all, that’s the Cowboy Way.

Ann Hargis OSU First Cowgirl

Watch a video about Pete’s Pet Posse on OSTATE.TV at http://bit.ly/PetPosse.



OSU Pete’s Pet Posse Therapy Dogs Help Heal the Campus


Zipper, a therapy dog in Pete’s Pet Posse, comforts mourners at the Candlelight Vigil for the 2015 Homecoming tragedy.


n October 24, 2015, a crisp, fall morning awakened excitement for “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration” at Oklahoma State University. Flags, bands, floats, families, children and a sea of orange filled downtown Stillwater for the annual parade. In a terrible instant … celebration turned to tragedy as a car careened into the crowd leaving four dead, more than 40 injured and countless others in shock. The sound of sirens, ambulances and helicopters filled the air as the communities of OSU and the city of Stillwater rushed to save lives and mourn their losses. On that day, OSU’s Pete’s Pet Posse was called into service with dog/owner/handler teams fanning out across the campus to offer support and solace to an aching community. “We’re on campus all the time, so it was a natural extension of who we are and why we are here,” says OSU First Cowgirl Ann Hargis, co-founder of Pete’s Pet Posse. Her dog Scruff is a registered pet therapy dog. Registered therapy dogs are trained to provide affection and comfort to individuals at hospitals, nursing homes, school campuses and other facilities. “The enormity of the tragedy touched everyone you talked to that week, and OSU University Counseling engaged all of our human and canine counselors to meet the needs of the campus and the community,” says Trevor Richardson, OSU Counseling Services director. Lorinda Schrammel and her Pete’s Pet Posse dog, Evie, were asked to be at the OSU police station the day after the crash. “The university police were active at the crime scene and the football game all day and night,” Schrammel says. “I remember some of them looked glazed over. When the dogs came into the room, the mood shifted. Some of the officers saw the dogs and immediately came straight to us. I think dogs



A new class of therapy dogs graduated at the 2016 Barkalaureate.


About Pete’s Pet Posse Oklahoma State University’s Pete’s Pet Posse is the nation’s most comprehensive university pet therapy program. Named after OSU’s iconic mascot Pistol Pete, the posse was established in fall 2013 as part of OSU’s wellness initiative called America’s Healthiest Campus.® Pete’s Pet Posse is a cooperative effort of the OSU President’s Office, OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital, University Counseling, Human Resources and the Employee Assistance Program. The pet therapy group includes more than 40 dog owner/handler teams. In 2015, the program grew to span three campuses including OSU-Stillwater, OSU-Tulsa and the OSU Center for Health Sciences. Future expansion plans are in the works

to include additional OSU campuses. The goal of Pete’s Pet Posse as a proactive pet therapy program is to bring smiles and comfort to students, faculty, staff and guests every day. The teams are active in joyful gatherings greeting students and staff, and in moments of crisis, emotional stress and grief, and during new student and parent orientation. Specialized teams also work in nutrition/eating disorder counseling and communication sciences and disorders. The dogs complete extensive training, which includes registration with Alliance of Therapy Dogs and Canine Good Citizen certification. Dogs serve in specific OSU campus departments and participate in special appearances


have a sixth sense about what we need as humans.” Hargis and her therapy dog Scruff went to the heart of a grieving campus where an entire department was feeling the acute loss of the youngest parade victim — two-year-old Nash Lucas. Nash was one of hundreds of children innocently watching the parade when he was killed. His mother worked at the OSU parking and transportation services offices on campus. Her supervisor, Steve Spradling, director of parking and transportation services, welcomed the visit from the pet therapy program.




across campus. The OSU College of Veterinary Medicine oversees the wellness care of the animals and ensures the animals are maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Most of the dogs are rescue animals and belong to volunteer families of employees and others affiliated with OSU. The university does not own the dogs. They live with their humans full-time and make the campus a little brighter shade of orange each time their furry feet hit campus. Pete’s Pet Posse was created to positively enhance physical and emotional health, and contribute to the success of being America’s Healthiest Campus®.


“You are not prepared for anything like the loss of a two-year-old child,” Spradling says. “Fortunately, Ann contacted us about coming over and bringing her pet therapy dog, Scruff.” The parking and transportation services office is like a family, and the parade tragedy provoked suffering in all stages of grief from denial and beyond. “With a tender look in his eye, smiling face Scruff would go around to everyone in the room and calm them down,” Hargis says. “I’ve learned they have an innate sense of what is needed at the moment.” Spradling agrees.

“I think the dogs can sense when somebody needs attention, and they go to them to just be there for them,” he says. “It was just calming during our office therapy sessions with university counseling about the events of the parade and the loss of Nash.” Pete’s Pet Posse teams partnered with university counseling specialists to visit offices across campus, and particularly at the Student Union where they went to work addressing the needs of the student body. Sarah Riley, a freshman from Grove, Oklahoma, and a friend went in search of the dogs.

“I think it was the Wednesday after the crash — we needed to destress, and we decided to go pet the dogs,” Riley says. “That’s where I met Charlie.” Like so many students, staff and faculty, Riley didn’t know what to do with her emotions. “I was just going to keep it bottled up, but then I got to talk with Charlie and the counselors,” she says. “The counselors were good, but they weren’t like Charlie!”

Riley knows it is Charlie’s love that unlocked her feelings in those terrible days. “Charlie emphasizes love and just lays down beside you and doesn’t worry about what you are feeling — that’s home,” she says. Richardson believes the secret to the Posse’s success is that unconditional positive regard you get from a dog. “It happened over and over again those weeks last fall,” he says. “Counselors

would be available to those in emotional need, but it was the dogs who made a unique impact by opening up emotions, making grievers more receptive to counseling. I could talk until I was blue in the face, and I could never achieve the same results the Pete’s Posse crew elicited in some of those people. “Dogs look up at you, they are not judging, they are not thinking you are weak or less of a human being if you are crying or if you are upset. They are just there for you.”


Pete’s Pet Posse therapy dogs were available at memorial services, counseling sessions and around campus to help comfort those injured in the parade and mourners in the community.


Pet Therapy Parade Response Sparks Multi-Campus Research Project The outstanding and comprehensive response of Pete’s Pet Posse to the 2015 OSU Homecoming parade tragedy has inspired a collaborative research team from three OSU campuses to combine resources to examine the impact of the dogs and their owner/handlers on the OSU campus community. The collaborative research team is working to quantify the impact of the Pete’s Pet Posse dogs’ presence on students and faculty in the classroom and on OSU staff in the workplace. The research team is made up of Dr. Lara Sypniewski, Henthorne Clinical Professor of Small Animal Medicine at the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences; Matt Bowler, OSU-Tulsa associate professor of management; Alex Scrimpshire, OSU department of management graduate research assistant; and Vivian Stevens, clinical psychologist and associate dean for enrollment management at the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa. “We take for granted the job these

dogs do when they are serving as pet therapists because they typically have a smile on their face and a wagging tail and don’t look like they are working,” Sypniewski says. “Our primary goal in this study is to measure and calculate the difference these pet therapy visits have on the humans they encounter, both physically and emotionally. Our multidisciplinary team of work management specialists, veterinarians and a psychologist are uniquely qualified to use data analytics to assess these human/ canine interactions.” The investigational study is also exploring the effects of the Pete’s Pet Posse interactions on the participating dogs in Stillwater and Tulsa. Researchers are collecting data they hope will ultimately guide pet therapy owner/ handlers in making positive choices regarding visit frequency and downtime needs. Institutional Review Board study parameters and initial data analysis are expected in 2017.

A year later, Pete’s Pet Posse teams still serve those recovering from the events of the tragic parade. “Before the tragedy, I certainly knew and respected the work of Pete’s Pet Posse, but I didn’t recognize how great they could be until witnessing the responses,” Richardson says. Riley still visits with Charlie when she can. The campus and community are healing, but the anniversary of the parade, the trial of the woman charged with crashing her car into the crowd and other similar crimes across the globe keep emotions on edge for some. Pete’s Pet Posse is present on campus every day — typically in happy gatherings with students or in those normal campus stress times such as orientation and finals week. But for those most deeply touched by the tragedy, special visits continue. The office mates of Bonnie Stone, killed alongside her husband Professor Emeritus Marvin Stone, keep a bulletin board with photos of all of the Pete’s Pet Posse dogs who visit. They will never forget, but the pet therapy dogs are helping to replace their grief with sweet memories. PHOTOS / GARY LAWSON

Lorinda Schrammel and Evie, a therapy dog from the inaugural class of Pete’s Pet Posse, greeted emergency first responders and helped throughout the campus wherever needed. Kendria Cost, left, and Charlie visited in the Student Union.






OSU First Cowgirl Ann Hargis takes Pete’s Pet Posse therapy dog, Scruff, for a checkup with Dr. Lara Sypniewski at the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.

Gaylene Hargrove brought Pete’s Pet Posse therapy dog, Sandy, to the Student Union plaza. Scruff, right, rides around the campus in Clementine with OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis.






hallenge the imagination. Inspire the mind. Spark creativity. Those were three things the OSU Alumni Association wanted to accomplish with this year’s Homecoming theme ‘A Cowboy Dream.’ As you’ll see in the following pages, we feel we accomplished all three, and perhaps even more. Cowboys returned for Homecoming in record numbers to reflect on the dreams of their past and celebrate new ones to come. The celebration was both bittersweet and inspiring as many attendees honored the events of 2015 and renewed their love for one of OSU’s greatest traditions. Homecoming is truly a celebration of our entire Cowboy family – young and old. Alumni returned from

as far away as New Zealand, and while there were many babies attending their first Homecoming, we also welcomed home 102-year-old William Nesbitt from the Class of 1937. This year marked the first time the Cowboy Stampede rodeo began our events, and the 103rd annual Harvest Carnival also did not disappoint. On behalf of the OSU Alumni Association and our sponsor Phillips 66, we hope this year’s celebration has reinvigorated your Cowboy dream, and that the review on the following pages will be a reminder of the dreams we can accomplish together just by coming home.


The OSU Alumni Association coordinates events for “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration,” including the Sea of Orange Parade.


James Breece, agribusiness junior in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, attempts to make the eight-second ride in the Thursday night performance of the 2016 Cowboy Stampede. PHOTO / TODD JOHNSON

Three-year-old Shawn Ferrell practices his roping technique at the Cowboy Stampede.





Franklin Harms watches as a soda can flies in the air at the Zeta Tau Alpha/ Sigma Chi Harvest Carnival game.


With the proximity to Halloween, this year’s Harvest Carnival featured many visitors dressed as princesses, super heroes and, of course, cowboys.



The Wildlife Society’s Harvest Carnival booth took home first place in the student organization category.

Students from the African American Business Student Association serve up their award-winning recipe at the Chili Cook-Off.

Taylor Langdon, biochemistry and molecular biology sophomore in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, rounds a barrel for a second-place finish in the Friday night performance of the 2016 Cowboy Stampede.


Cowboy defensive tackle Vincent Taylor pursues West Virginia’s quarterback.






OSU Alumni Association Board Chair Phil Kennedy, President Chris Batchelder and Homecoming Executive Director Hammons Hepner join representatives from the first responder organizations serving as Homecoming Grand Marshals during halftime at the football game. Homecoming Queen Jacquelyn Lane, left, and King Ridge Howell celebrate. The 2016 Homecoming Royalty Court gather with Pistol Pete in front of the library fountain. Royalty included, from left, front, Julia Benbrook, Blake Bulard, Jaci Hodges, Elise Amundson and Jacquelyn Lane, and back, Dillon Johnson, Austin Johnson, Ridge Howell, Mason Strom, and Bray Haven. The Cowboy Marching Band and OSU Band Alumni Chapter, center, concluded its halftime routine by spelling out “Happy Homecoming.�


Express Personnel, far left, carries survivors of the 2015 parade incident in the 2016 Sea of Orange Parade.



Payne County Sheriff officers lead four riderless horses in memory of Marvin and Bonnie Stone, Nikita Nakal and Nash Lucas in the Sea of Orange Parade. OSU students, top photo, perform chants at the Hester Street painting party. Members of the Youth Fitness Zone Twisters concentrate on painting the street.






The 2016 Homecoming Executive Team help dye the library fountain orange including, from left, Josie Blosser, Morgan Hearrell, Allie Cook, Catherine Wilson, Ricki Schroeder, Gatlin Squires, Hammons Hepner, Allison Christian, Ali Duval and Hannah Felder. FarmHouse and Phi Mu members, top left, work to finish pomping their house decoration, which won third place. Sigma Chi members, left, fasten pomped screens to their house decoration during All-Night Pomp. Mr. and Miss Hispanic/Latino, Eduardo Carmona Hernandez and Anita DeLoera, top right, wave to the parade crowd.




OSU alumna and Olympian Michele Smith cheers on Cowgirl Softball Head Coach Kenny Gajewski as he attempts to wrestle Olympic gold medalist and Head Wrestling Coach John Smith in the “Mat vs. Bat Showdown.”

Orange lights brighten Theta Pond. Theta Pond is decorated with orange lights for Homecoming 2016.




Kappa Kappa Gamma/Sigma Nu.

Alpha Omicron Pi and Alpha Tau Omega members created a Disney-theme decoration, “Just Imagine.” PHOTO / PHIL SHOCKLEY


OSU cheerleaders wowed the crowd with a high-flying floor routine at Homecoming and Hoops.

Students enjoy food, games and live music at the Homecoming Tailgate.


2016 Homecoming Awards Football Frenzy Greek Life 1st – Kappa Kappa Gamma/Sigma Nu 2nd – Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho 3rd – Pi Beta Phi/Phi Gamma Delta Female MVP – Danielle Cushing Male MVP – Zac Smith

Open Bracket

Sign Competition

Residential Life

Residential Life 1st - Stout Hall Phillips 66 Fan Favorite - Stout Hall

Greek Life 1st - Alpha Xi Delta/Phi Kappa Tau 2nd - Phi Mu/FarmHouse 3rd - Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho Phillips 66 Fan Favorite - Zeta Tau Alpha/ Sigma Chi

Harvest Carnival Student Organizations 1st - The Wildlife Society 2nd - Dairy Science Club 3rd - Horseman’s Association Phillips 66 Fan Favorite - Her Campus Oklahoma State

Residential Life 1st - Bennett Hall 2nd - Drummond/Iba 3rd - Parker, Patchin/Jones, Wentz Phillips 66 Fan Favorite - University Commons


Chili Cook-Off Student Organizations

1st - Swine Club 2nd - Theta Tau 3rd - Sigma Phi Lambda/Alpha Sigma Phi Phillips 66 Fan Favorite - CowboyThon


1st - Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho 2nd - Phi Mu/FarmHouse 3rd - Alpha Chi Omega/Lambda Chi Alpha Phillips 66 Fan Favorite - Phi Mu/ FarmHouse

1st – The Independents 2nd – Omega Phi Alpha/Sigma Tau Gamma 3rd – Papa Jowe Female MVP – Staci Gravette Male MVP – Dayshon Matheson

Student Organizations


Greek Life

1st - African American Business Student Association 2nd - Collegiate 4-H 3rd - Block & Bridle Phillips 66 Fan Favorite - Wildlife Society 1st - Villages 2nd - Parker, Patchin/Jones, Wentz 3rd - Drummond/Iba Phillips 66 Fan Favorite - Stout Hall

Orange Reflection 1st - Stout Hall 2nd - University Commons 3rd - Parker, Patchin/Jones, Wentz Phillips 66 Fan Favorite - Stout Hall

House Decorations Alumni Association Chairman’s Cup Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho 2nd - Kappa Alpha Theta/Sigma Alpha Epsilon 3rd - Delta Delta Delta/Pi Kappa Alpha 4th - Phi Mu/FarmHouse 5th - Alpha Omicron Pi/Alpha Tau Omega Phillips 66 Fan Favorite - Phi Mu/ FarmHouse

Engineering Excellence Award Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho

Safety Award Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho


Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho’s house decoration “Let Your Dreams Take Flight” won first place. PHOTO / MARY MCGOWEN

Sea of Orange Parade


Large Band Competition

1st - Dairy Science Club 2nd - Omega Phi Alpha/Sigma Tau Gamma 3rd - Sigma Phi Lambda/Alpha Sigma Phi

1st - Noble High School

Small Band Competition 1st - Henryetta High School 2nd - Ringwood High School 3rd - Quapaw High School

Community Parade Entry 1st - Century 21 Global Realtors 2nd - Canyons Malamutes 3rd - MPower

Student Organizations 1st - Sigma Phi Lambda/Alpha Sigma Phi 2nd - Omega Phi Alpha/Sigma Tau Gamma 3rd - Dairy Science Club

Residential Life

Student Organizations

Residential Life 1st - Stout Hall 2nd - University Commons 3rd - Parker, Patchin/Jones, Wentz

Greek Life 1st - Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Rho 2nd - Kappa Kappa Gamma/Sigma Nu 3rd - Phi Mu/FarmHouse

“Conquering Challenges to Accomplish Our Dreams” by Alpha Xi Delta/Phi Kappa Tau members took home first place in the Greek Sign Competition.

Jerry Gill Spirit Awards


Gamma Phi Beta/Sigma Phi Epsilon

Most Spirited College Honors College

1st - University Commons 2nd - Bennett Hall 3rd -  Parker, Patchin/Jones, Wentz

Grand Marshal’s Cup Sigma Phi Lambda/Alpha Sigma Phi

Homecoming King & Queen Ridge Howell and Jacquelyn Lane

Stout Hall won the Residential Life Sign Competition.



Kappa Kappa Gamma/Sigma Nu celebrate the Football Frenzy Greek Bracket championship with most valuable players Danielle Cushing and Zac Smith.

Members of The Independents celebrate their Football Frenzy Open Bracket Championship with most valuable players Staci Gravette and Dayshon Matheson. 69


Cowboy Cadets: A Century Of Leadership And Service


OSU Army ROTC turns 100 with an eye to the future BY J I M M I T C H E L L


he U.S. Army Reserve Officers Training Corps at Oklahoma State University has produced over 6,000 officers in the last 100 years with more than 80 alumni attaining the rank of general or admiral. “That’s a background of accomplishment we are certainly proud to embrace as Army ROTC marks its campus centennial. It also inspires ongoing work to make the ROTC experience here better than ever,” says retired Major Michael Dale, who serves as recruiting operations officer for the program at OSU. As a land grant institution, military training was a requirement for male students soon after the college was founded in 1890. The first class of graduates in 1896 had studied military science and tactics all four years of their college life. Back then, students were required to provide their own uniforms, usually hand-me-downs from a family member or friend.



The advent of the ROTC program in 1916 brought several changes, including active-duty military leaders to provide male students with two years of advanced military training. All students received uniforms, and monthly stipends went to those who stayed on after the initial years of training.  Though Army ROTC has experienced many changes over the years, one of the constants has been students who enroll because they are motivated by a family member or friend who served. “My dad actually went through the ROTC program here himself, as well as his dad, so if I was going to ROTC, I was going here,” says Aidan Wright, who enrolled in Army ROTC last year and is now a sophomore majoring in microbiology. “My grandpa is 78 now, and he was here when he was 18. For the program to consistently provide really good officers throughout that time shows it’s solid.”

While some students want to continue a proud tradition, others are simply interested in ROTC for the program’s leadership training and physical challenges. “Any OSU student can enroll in the basic military science program for the first two years and leave without obligation,” Dale says. While ROTC was still in its infancy by the end of World War I, the military commitment on campus was obvious. More than 1,500 students, former students, faculty and staff from Oklahoma A&M College had served their country, and almost half of them, 700, were military officers. Thirty-one soldiers with links to campus gave their lives, including Captain Carter C. Hanner who was killed in a battle drive that cracked the German lines in France. He is buried in an American cemetery near the battlefield site. One of OSU’s early campus dormitories was named in Hanner’s honor.

During World War II, several Army and Navy training units joined the cadets on campus, which led some local residents to believe the college would soon be converted to a military base. More than 6,000 former students served in the military during WW II, with an impressive 4,510 serving as officers. Over 2,400 were decorated for their actions, including future Oklahoma Governor and U.S. Senator Henry Bellmon, an OSU alumnus who earned the Silver Star for Valor during the Battle of Iwo Jima. A total of 232 students and former students gave their lives during the war. High-ranking military alumni included General Patrick J. Hurley, Major General George P. Hays, and Rear Admiral Joseph J. Clark.

In 1949, an air science and tactics program became a separate entity from Army ROTC and eventually evolved into the Air Force ROTC on campus. By 1955, it was large enough to field its own band. Both the Army and Air Force cadet bands were discontinued soon after compulsory training was ended in 1965, and enrollment slipped quickly from a high of about 6,000 cadets. Women had been involved with ROTC in some capacity, usually honorary, until 1973. By 1976, the Army commissioned the first group from ROTC. Women now make up 20 percent of the cadets nationwide. Enrollment in OSU’s Army ROTC had tapered to 68 students a semester by the time Dale became a fulltime recruiter on campus in 2013. As a proud 1992 alumnus of the OSU program, he knew he could make a difference. “We’ve had over 100 cadets in the program for the last two years and more than 90 over the last five semesters, so we’re certainly headed in the right direction,” Dale says, adding he would be glad to see an active ROTC alumni program willing to identify and assist with needs, especially considering ROTC’s budgetary limitations and restrictions. “It’s important that we keep ROTC interesting, and one way to do that is by

Cadet Aidan Wright was joined by her father, retired Lieutenant Colonel Michael Wright, at Fort Benning, Georgia, this summer for her graduation ceremony from airborne school. She is following her father and grandfather, retired Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Wright, to become a third-generation Cowboy.

“My dad actually went through the ROTC program here himself, as well as his dad, so if I was going to ROTC, I wa s going here,” — Aidan Wright


microbiology sophomore

The diverse topography around Stillwater has long provided challenging terrain for cadets to apply the tactics they learn in military science at four local training areas.

offering students opportunities for special challenges, such as the Bataan Memorial Death March, an annual 26-mile march in the White Sands Desert of New Mexico. Cadets interested in going must find time to raise money for such trips in addition to the seven hours a week they usually commit to ROTC activities, so that’s just one of several ways alumni assistance would be appreciated.”



The ROTC Pushup Squad is a highly-visible favorite of the fans at home football games. Regional and local physical challenges are also available. OSU’s Army ROTC participates in the Army Ranger Challenge each fall, when select cadets test their physical skills against others in the region by road marching 10 km (6.2 miles) and completing various obstacles, weapons drills, and tactical exercises. “We choose the best of our cadets, based on the Army Ranger Challenge’s criteria,” says Sergeant First Class Isaac Grunewald, who is in charge of the challenge team on campus. “These cadets train from 5:45 to 7:30 each morning, five days a week, all while going to class.” The Stillwater countryside and area lakes also offer diverse topography with four training areas that serve as another attraction for students to consider ROTC, explains Dale. In addition, various threeor four-year scholarships, National Guard scholarships, and a two-year price break for out-of-state students, worth a total of $24,000 in savings, are among the chief financial incentives. For cadets who contract for military service, monthly stipends run from $300 a month for freshmen to $500 for seniors. From the Vietnam era to the current global war on terrorism, voluntary enrollment has fluctuated, but OSU’s Army ROTC has remained among the leading



schools in the nation for providing new officers, lately at the rate of about 15 per year. Current statistics show OSU and other ROTC universities collectively supply more than 70 percent of America’s second lieutenants for active duty Army, U.S. Army Reserve or the Army National Guard. The OSU cadets are most noticeable on campus at home football games where they bring their pushup board to support the team. Since 1997, they’ve been competing each Thursday before home games for a place on that weekend’s 11-man Pushup Squad, which appears on the sidelines following each touchdown, completing pushups to match the Cowboys’ current score. The most pushups by a cadet was 77 during the 2012 game against Savannah State. Sergeant Grunewald did the final number of pushups that game — 84. The students in the stands usually count in the background while the cadets are doing pushups, and Grunewald is aware of another group of fans that has a special affinity for the cadets. “I know our ROTC alumni and veterans probably enjoy it the most,” Grunewald says. “They’re always commenting on how good the cadets look and what a good job they’re doing.”

Five cadets participate as the Cannon Squad and fire the 75-millimeter cannon, affectionately known as “Packy,” following the national anthem, after each OSU touchdown and kickoff, and again at the end of each winning game. OSU’s ROTC was recently inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame along with others in the state in recognition of its 100 years of service to Oklahoma and the nation. The hall was founded by Major General Douglas O. Dollar, a 1967 OSU graduate and ROTC alumnus. Its current vice president is OSU President Burns Hargis, another ROTC alumnus, who recently had the honor of cutting the ribbon for a Veteran’s Success Center in the North Classroom Building and announcing OSU’s designation as a Purple Heart University, the only one in the state. The Military Order of the Purple Heart awards the designation to universities for outstanding support to military service members, veterans, their dependents and their survivors. More information about ROTC is on display until March 2017 at the Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History in an exhibition featuring the rich history of Army ROTC on the OSU campus.

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.

More Than Just A Drill PHOTO / 1947 OSU YEARBOOK

the war, and we did not get our commission, n the heels of the passage of the National so we all had to go to our branch school Defense Act of 1916, which created the and earn our commission, our second lieuReserve Officers Training Corps, militenant bars, and most of us went through tary training became mandatory for all male Fort Benning — the Benning School for students. General military training was not Boys in June of 1943 and got our commisunfamiliar to Oklahoma Agricultural and sion, and a lot of us saw active duty service Mechanical College students, as it was a in the Second World War.” requirement for the land grant institution from inception. To many OAMC students, When the OSU Library launched the the Reserve Officers Training Corps created oral history project with “O-State Stories,” opportunities to gain leadership skills. To Glover was one of the first to be interviewed. others, ROTC was just something you had Although he graduated in 1947, Glover assoAll male students at OAMC were to do, and for some in this camp, it played ciated more with the class of 1944. That required to enroll in military training an unexpectedly beneficial role. The late F.L. was the year he should have graduated. until 1965. Holton, a 1941 graduate, remembered going Instead, the ROTC officer was sent to battle to OAMC during the Great Depression and in World War II. Glover estimated about 400 ROTC leaders from the struggle that some students often had just to get by. Holton OSU went overseas, and less than half returned. described one of the benefits of ROTC: “A lot of us fought side by side,” said Glover, who was “I thought it was kind of unusual — my class was the first class in ROTC to get long pants for uniforms. We were glad to get the new slacks. They were nice, new uniforms. It was required for all freshmen and sophomores to take two years of military. We would have classes Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday in military. Most people would wear their uniforms to class. Those men that were having a hard time having enough clothes wore their uniforms all four days and no one knew which two classes that they really attended.” Edwin E. Glover (1922–2008), a member of the 1943 ROTC class, recalled being part of the 3,500 students on campus required to wear an ROTC uniform. He was in a very unique class of ROTC on the OAMC campus during the World War II era. “There were about four hundred of us in this particular group that I was in. They closed the ROTC office because of

stationed in France and Belgium as a platoon leader on the front lines. Glover’s combat ended when Germans attacked his platoon crossing a Belgian river, killing some and taking the rest as prisoners. He spent seven months and 11 days as a prisoner of war. Glover returned home to finish his education. He never left Stillwater, taking a job after graduation in OSU’s accounting department and working his way up to chief internal auditor, mentoring hundreds of young accounting students and reporting to five college presidents. “I worked on every floor and in every corner of Whitehurst Hall,” he said. “It was a really wonderful and challenging career.” While there are many more stories of how the OSU ROTC program has shaped the lives of women and men seeking their education at the home of the Cowboys, their recollections can also give us insight into the everyday challenges of students in a range of generations over the years. Listen to more OSU ROTC stories through the online collection of interviews.

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





Cimarron Review Celebrating Golden Jubilee Literary journal publishes eclectic mix of prize-winning selections

Toni Graham

“The word cimarron also means wild, free, spirited or unruly, which I think often defines the aesthetic of the magazine. We celebrate strange characters and places captured in poetry and prose.” — John Andrews




klahoma State University’s literary journal, Cimarron Review, is commemorating 50 years of publication in 2017. Since 1967, the peerreviewed magazine has showcased writers at all stages of their careers with pieces that include poetry, fiction and nonfiction from a wide-ranging aesthetic. An internationally recognized quarterly, Cimarron Review is the most long-lived literary journal west of the Mississippi. Cimarron Review editors and staff are planning for the golden jubilee celebration with a double commemorative issue. The anniversary issue will include poet William Olsen. In February, Cimarron Review will present a fiction and poetry reading along with a panel discussion at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Washington, D.C. The writing group will also be celebrating 50 years of service.

OSU faculty, staff and graduate students work diligently to uphold the journal’s level of excellence. Senior editors are all faculty members. The managing editors and editorial assistants are graduate students in creative writing and visiting assistant professors. English professor Toni Graham is the editor and Lisa Lewis, director of the Creative Writing Program, is the poetry editor. Poet, novelist and critic Alfred Corn serves as a contributing editor. Associate editors Dinah Cox, John Andrews and Clare Paniccia, along with many assistant editors, are coordinating the jubilee project with Graham and Lewis, including new nonfiction editor Sarah Beth Childers. Esquire has called the Cimarron Review “one of America’s literary roots.” The journal is known for the quality of its stories and poems and its innovative cover art from commissioned contributors. Cimarron Review has published notable writers, including 2003 Pulitzer


The Cimarron Review editors were interviewed by online journal The Review Review, which describes the publication as “like the curvy Cimarron River, there’s no predicting the territory this magazine will cross.” “As none of us was at OSU 50 years ago, I’ll just take a guess and say the journal was probably named after the Cimarron River,” Graham says. “The journal used to have a snaky river logo.” Graham says former editor-in-chief Edward Walkiewicz explained at the journal’s 40th anniversary that the genesis focus of the literary quarterly was to “illuminate the contemporary American scene from its vantage point … in the heartland of America.” “The word cimarron also means wild, free, spirited or unruly, which I think often defines the aesthetic of the magazine,” Andrews says. “We celebrate strange characters and places captured in poetry and prose.” Graham expects the Cimarron Review’s next 50 years of publication will continue to be a source of pride for OSU, remaining, as New Pages reviewer John Palen described, “one of those treasures among literary magazines — a publication whose commitment to high standards keeps us honest.”

“Our editors seek the bold and the ruminative, the sensitive and the shocking,” Graham says. “But above all, we seek imagination and truth-telling, the finest stories, poems and essays from working writers across the country and around the world.” To subscribe or donate to Cimarron Review, visit cimarronreview.com.


Prize winner Paul Muldoon (issue 150) and 2012 Pulitzer winner Tracy K. Smith (issue 174). The journal has also published Nobel Prize winner José Saramago, along with John Ashbery, Robert Olen Butler, Mark Doty, Diane Wakoski, Tess Gallagher, Richard Shelton, Richard Lyons, Rick Bass, Pam Houston, William Stafford and Grace Schulman. Recent contributors of note include short story writers Jacob M. Appel, Gary Fincke and Rebecca Aronson. Stories from Cimarron Review have been selected for the coveted O. Henry Prize Stories, for both the 2015 and 2016 editions. Other Cimarron Review stories have been included in collections that won the Grace Paley Award for Short Fiction and the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Under Lewis’ stewardship, poems in Cimarron Review have been selected for the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, as well as for anthologies and prize-winning collections. Nona Caspers’ story “Frontiers” in the Winter 2015 issue has been named a Distinguished Story of 2016 in the Best American Short Stories series. Caspers is also the winner of the 2016 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction from Sarabande Books. 


“Cimarron Review” associate editors Dinah Cox, left, and Clare Paniccia work on the quarterly literary journal in Morrill Hall.


President’s Leadership Council Celebrates 50 Years BY H O L LY B E R G B O W E R

Students learn through programs and service


n 1967 — the Vietnam War was in full swing, miniskirts and flowered shirts blanketed campus, and the Beach Boys and the Beatles blared from stereo speakers. The space race was on, draft cards were burning, and protests were commonplace across the country. Young people of that generation spoke a different language, and Oklahoma State University President Robert Kamm wanted to interpret that language. To do so, he created the President’s Leadership Council. The initial class included 250 members ranging from freshmen to seniors. Students were required to have a B average and the desire to develop leadership characteristics. Current OSU President Burns Hargis was part of that inaugural class. “Outside of the classroom, service and leadership are two of the most important skills a student can develop at Oklahoma State University,” Hargis says. “I’m proud to have been in the first President’s Leadership Council. I know that my time



in PLC instilled in me qualities that helped me find success in my career and allowed me to better serve my community.” In February 2017, PLC will kick off its yearlong golden jubilee celebration culminating in alumni from across the country gathering for the fall semester 2017 50-year reunion. Current instructor Stephen Haseley, coordinator of the Center for Ethical Leadership at OSU, has been with the program 26 years. Under his leadership, the PLC has grown and seen significant change. Haseley had served as a Lutheran missionary amongst the Enga people in Papua New Guinea before coming to Stillwater. Today’s President’s Leadership Council has grown into a program centered on service and ethics and is offered only to a select group of approximately 125 incoming freshmen. “We really want to portray leadership through a unique series of experiences that result in positive social change,” Haseley says. “Students in this program should not just be asking what could be, but what could be better.”

The screening process is stringent and begins with approximately 8,000 applications. The first round of applications is screened based on GPA and student involvement, cutting out about half of the applications. More concentration is given to activities, class size, ACT and SAT scores, community service, employment, leadership positions and honors received in the remaining applications. Ultimately, a committee made up of faculty and staff leaders across campus select the incoming members whom they believe represent active and informed students with 175 invitations sent. A class size of 125 settles in each fall. Students who accept the invitation benefit from a $1,500 scholarship. Many major universities have some type of freshman leadership program. Oklahoma State’s program stands out for two reasons. “Most leadership programs do not include a rigorous academic component, and few are as long-running as our program,” Haseley says. PLC is designed to help incoming students with the transition to living on

their own and leading more independent college lives. The education portion of PLC consists of two semesters of a threehour credit course. All PLC students must complete 40 hours of community service, a creative component, and plan and implement a leadership conference for Oklahoma high school seniors known as “The Conclave.” “PLC gives students a head start in the leadership arena,” Haseley says. “They tend to get involved more quickly, the bar is set a little higher for them, and we find that a significant number of officers in clubs and organizations went through the program.” Last year, former OSU President and state Senator James Halligan joined Haseley in working with the program. Through his political and professional connections, Halligan has been able to bring in a series of interesting guest speakers and outstanding alumni to speak to the class. Many students continue with PLC as a mentor to the younger classes. This pay it forward mentality is not uncommon. Wyatt Shaw, an OSU junior studying agricultural communications, continues to be involved in PLC because he appreciates the opportunities and challenges the program offers him. “I am serving as a PLC facilitator this year because I wanted to invest in the freshman class of OSU,” Shaw says. “They

are going to be the leaders of our campus someday.” The program also plays host to an annual retreat. In 2007, a minor in leadership was established. Students wishing to minor in leadership do not have to be a part of PLC, but they must interview with Haseley before being accepted into the program. Eighteen credit hours are required for the minor, and most of the program centers around ethics and developing social enterprises. “Having been in PLC and minoring in ethical leadership has impacted me in such a positive way,” says OSU junior Emily Sanderlin. “I feel more prepared for my future through these programs because they’ve allowed me to approach real-life situations that challenge the way I think and live my life.” A faculty-led short-term Leadership Study Abroad program is available through the Center for Ethical Leadership and PLC. Each May, around 20-30 students travel to another country, such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, England, Greece, Egypt or Italy. “It’s important for leaders to see what other cultures value and how they organize themselves to maintain their values,” Haseley says. “Students can learn a lot just by observing and interacting with others in these cultures.” Hargis is not the only notable PLC graduate. Hundreds of past PLC students

are succeeding across the country. Realty Executives sales professional and franchise owner Cindy Brown Curd cites her time in the PLC class of 1985 as laying the groundwork for her career. “The activities I was involved in through PLC encouraged me to have the confidence to follow my own path in ethically building businesses and relationships,” Curd says. “It also gave me an appreciation for the differences we have and the importance of relying on different perspectives to solve problems.” Haseley hopes more memories will be shared at the fall reunion. If you would like to attend the reunion or send in memories, visit leadership.okstate.edu or email osuleadership@okstate.edu. Plans are underway to create a President’s Leadership Council endowment to upgrade the scholarship amount for these outstanding students. The university is committed to raising funds in support of leadership programs, including the PLC. The goal is to grow leadership programs for these outstanding students, who are the lifeblood to the university’s leadership initiatives and impact OSU in astounding ways through their involvement on campus. For more information about how to impact the President’s Leadership Council or other leadership initiatives at OSU, visit OSUgiving.com/plc.



The Wine Forum of Oklahoma celebrates the winemaking industry around the world including state vintners.

Setting the Standard

OSU’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center is improving the quality of Oklahoma wines BY M AG G I E N E E R

klahoma was the No. 4 grape-growing region in the country from the late 1800s to the turn of the 20th century. During Oklahoma’s seven land runs, many Europeans immigrated to the state, built houses, and planted gardens and vineyards. However, they were unable to sell the wine they produced when Oklahoma adopted prohibition along with statehood in 1907. Flash forward to 2000. Three wineries existed in Oklahoma. Today, there are more than 60. The resurgence in the state’s grape and wine industry is attributed to the passing of State Question 688 in 2000, allowing wineries to offer samples and sell wine from their tasting rooms.



Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center is credited with strengthening the quality of Oklahoma wines and increasing overall wine sales. For several years, FAPC, a part of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, has undertaken a wine-quality project aimed at sensory and chemical testing of Oklahoma wines. Under the direction of William McGlynn, FAPC horticultural products processing specialist, continuing work and education have helped alleviate some of the state’s vineyard and wine problems.

“We only wish all Oklahoma vineyards and wineries would take advantage of the analytical services and educational opportunities available … to improve Oklahoma grape and wine quality.” — GENE CLIFTON

“Oklahoma wineries were invited to submit samples of their wines for evaluation,” McGlynn says. “Standard quality tests were run on each of the submitted wines at FAPC’s Analytical Services Laboratory. The tests evaluated wine properties such as acid content, sugar content, alcohol content, color and various stability characteristics.” McGlynn says the big advantage is for winery operators to know the chemistry and sensory analysis of their wines and how they compare with other wineries in the state. This research benefits wineries, vineyards and consumers. “The old saying goes, ‘Great wine is made in the vineyard,’ and it’s true,” McGlynn says. “Only high-quality fruit can make a high-quality wine, and the information gleaned from this project will better equip Oklahoma grape growers to produce the highest quality fruit and product possible.” Canadian River Vineyards and Winery, in Lexington, Oklahoma, has participated in the wine-quality project and uses Oklahoma-grown grapes to consistently make award-winning wines. The winery recently won a double gold award at the 2016 Indy International Wine Competition. Nearly 3,000 wines from around the world were entered in the competition held August 3-4, 2016, at the Purdue Memorial Union in West Lafayette, Indiana. Canadian River’s Chocolate Drop Dessert Wine emerged victorious.

Canadian River Vineyards and Winery owner Gene Clifton and his granddaughter, Taryn Clifton, discuss their products at the Wine Forum of Oklahoma.


Canadian River Vineyards and Winery produces “Taryn Blanc,” a wine blend with reisling, muscat canelli and seyval grapes, which is named after the owner’s granddaughter, Taryn Clifton, and sells out every year. “Chocolate Drop wine is made from merlot and is a cherry-chocolate dessert in a glass,” says Gene Clifton, owner of Canadian River Vineyards and Winery. “Our riesling, which is made entirely of Oklahoma-grown grapes, was awarded a bronze medal.” Clifton is proud to see Oklahoma wines compete on an international level. Canadian River wines have won medals in six international wine competitions in 2016. “We only wish all Oklahoma vineyards and wineries would take advantage of the analytical services and educational opportunities available at FAPC, OSU and Redlands Community College (El Reno, Oklahoma) to improve Oklahoma grape and wine quality,” Clifton says. “At Canadian River Vineyards and Winery, we are proud to make award-winning wines from Oklahoma-grown grapes.” This is not the first time Canadian River has been in the spotlight. It was featured at the 2013 and 2015 Wine Forum of Oklahoma. “Oklahoma vineyards and wineries were asked to submit their wines to



Angie Lathrop, FAPC analytical services research specialist, tests wine in the lab.

FAPC for a chance to participate in the forums,” McGlynn says. “Canadian River Vineyards and Winery was selected as a top wine and featured during both years.” Attendees could taste state-produced wines, and Canadian River Vineyards and Winery presented and discussed its products during a Made in Oklahoma session. “Participating in the Wine Forum gave us the opportunity to pour and talk about Oklahoma wines in front of a national audience,” Clifton says. “We also were able to meet and talk to winemakers from other states.” Sponsored by OSU’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration and College of Human Sciences, the fifth biennial Wine Forum of Oklahoma will take place April 7-8, 2017, in the new north wing addition to the College of Human Sciences. “Vintners from around the world will be featured during the Gala Vintner Dinner and Auctions on April 7 and at seminars and a Grand Tasting on April 8,” says Karen Fraser, event coordinator for the Wine Forum of Oklahoma.

FAPC has partnered with the Oklahoma Wine Forum since 2013 and is excited to participate again in 2017, says Andrea Graves, FAPC business planning and marketing specialist. “We always enjoy reaching out to local wine producers and working with them to help better tell their story and educate forum participants about wine produced in the state,” Graves says. “We also hope to introduce several Made in Oklahoma food companies that pair well with Oklahoma wines.” Pending final details, McGlynn plans to teach forum participants some of the technical details of how to make wine, particularly as they relate to the challenges and hurdles faced by local grape growers. “Oklahoma is a difficult place to grow grapes, but the state’s grape growers and winemakers are committed to producing high-quality fruit juices and wines proudly made using Oklahoma-grown grapes,” McGlynn says. For more information about the Wine Forum of Oklahoma, visit www.wineforumofoklahoma.com or email wfok@okstate.edu.

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COWBOYS Students meet alumni engaged in New York City financial markets

on BY A R I E L W E S T


hat started as a “study abroad” class in New York City has grown to be one of the most successful business trips available for Oklahoma State University students. The trip to one of the biggest financial markets in the world is more than just academic. The weeklong adventure gives students interested in finance a chance to meet some heavy hitters in the industry and see Wall Street up close and personal. The icing on the cake? Most of these heavy hitters happen to be OSU alumni. “We take the students to New York City to learn about investment banks and private equity, but we want them to do more than just learn; we want them to have experiences,” says Tom Johansen, clinical associate professor of finance for OSU’s Spears School of Business. “They



get the opportunity to build contacts and meet people who have valuable insight. You can’t put a price tag on this trip.” The course, “An Introduction to Wall Street, Investment Banking and NYC Financial Markets,” nicknamed “Cowboys on Wall Street,” is offered through the Spears School’s Center for Advanced Global Leadership and Engagement. The first trip was in 2007 with finance professor Betty Simkins. Ironically, the course began as the financial crisis started, continuing throughout the recession. The student group visited many of the institutions hit by the crisis, some of which no longer exist such as Lehman Brothers, and the speakers could share firsthand what was happening. “I began the course from the viewpoint of trying to make it the type of

experience that I would like to have if I were one of the college students wanting to learn about Wall Street finance,” Simkins says. “I am thrilled that it has grown into a successful travel course for the OSU students, where they not only learn but also have fun.” Students joined alumni at the Stillwater Bar & Grill in New York City.

During the 2016 summer trip, students started their Monday morning near Times Square at Morgan Stanley and were greeted by OSU alumna and Morgan Stanley Managing Director Arya Sekhar. Later that day, OSU alumnus Jason Donehue, vice president of global commodities, showed them around JP Morgan.

“This trip was truly one of the best experiences of my life,” says Michela Ongaro, finance major and member of the Cowgirl soccer team. “We learned from some of the brightest minds in the finance industry. These are some of the most powerful companies in the world, so learning from them was nerve-wracking,

baseball game and saw the Statue of Liberty, the Museum of Modern Arts and the World Trade Center. The group also went to dinner at the Stillwater Bar & Grill, an OSU hot spot restaurant decorated in all things Pokes. “It wasn’t originally an OSU place. OSU alumni living in the area would come to the Stillwater Bar & Grill for game days, and it brought in so much money that the owner turned the bar into an OSU-themed restaurant,” Johansen says. “We take the students there every year to have socials with the OSU alumni in the area to build their networks and to experience a slice of home in New York. It’s a great way for them to get their foot in the door.” Cowboys on Wall Street may not be an international trip, but the experience is just as enriching. “The students are building contacts, learning from the visit and each other, and just get a great experience,” says David Carter, Spears School professor of finance. “New York City always had this negative stereotype of being a dangerous place, but it’s not the way it’s depicted in the movies. The city is alive and bustling with excitement. You get to meet these people with valuable insight, try new foods, and just experience something outside of the box.” To learn more about the “Cowboys on Wall Street” trip or any of the Spears School’s travel programs, visit cagle.okstate.edu/.

Stops during the Cowboys on Wall Street trip included visiting business trading floors and talking to finance industry experts.

Tuesday, the group visited the Bloomberg headquarters near Central Park, then met up with OSU graduate Chris Beall to tour Highstar Capital. Wednesday, Goldman Sachs topped the list of stops. They also went to UBS and met OSU graduate Robert Hodgen with AMERRA Capital Thursday, then rounded out the business stops with a walking tour of the “History of Wall Street” on Friday. Each stop consisted of touring the businesses’ trading floors, attending presentations and meeting prominent industry giants.

but also exciting. What stuck with me the most is that everyone has an opportunity to work for companies like the ones on Wall Street. You don’t need a degree from an Ivy League school. The opportunities and education we receive from OSU are amazing. You just have to put in the work and be willing to learn.” The trip may have been all Big Apple, but it wasn’t all business. The student group visited Times Square and ate dinner at Lombardi’s Pizza, the first pizzeria in the United States. They could attend a New York Yankees or New York Mets




The sport of kings is alive and well — and open to all — on the Oklahoma State University campus BY K A R O LY N B O L AY


historic game with roots in ancient Persia that made its way to Britain and South America and developed into a fast-paced sport in the United States is still played today by Oklahoma State University students in Stillwater. While the polo club at Oklahoma State doesn’t have quite the history of the original sport, the Colvin Center-sponsored sports team has been active on campus for 16 years.



With real horses, chukkers and mallets, the OSU Polo Club could require years of experience for its participants. But the club happily welcomes any student interested in playing or learning about the sport — no experience necessary. “I came into the OSU polo program with previous polo experience,” says Devan Groves, president of the OSU Polo Club, women’s varsity team captain and junior animal science student. “So I have taught a lot of people the basics of polo.”

Polo experience or no, team members do not need to be excellent equestrians, and the varsity team members are happy to teach inexperienced riders. The collegiate polo game includes split strings, which means for half of the game riders play their own horses, and for the other half, the opposing school’s horses are played. “Most equestrian sports, you have your horse that you ride every week,” says Quinn Llewellyn, finance and management junior and vice president of the club. “But in polo, it is very different. You aren’t used to using the same horse every time.” The OSU team has brought home hardware from nationally sponsored competitions. The OSU Polo Club has won the Women’s Central Intercollegiate Preliminary Champion, part of the United States Polo Association. At a recent charity polo match in Bentonville, Arkansas, the OSU women’s varsity polo team beat Southern Methodist University and placed second in the tournament. The team lost by only

one point in a shootout against a wellseasoned team from St. Louis. Individual players on the team also shine, with recognition such as Central Intercollegiate Preliminary Sportsmanship Award and several Central Intercollegiate Preliminary All-Stars. At the 2014 preliminary tournament, the OSU polo horses won “Best Playing String” and one won “Best Playing Pony.” “We’re a small school compared to Texas A&M and the other teams we play,” Groves says. “Not many people realize Oklahoma State has a polo team, and we aren’t really known for it. But just in the past three years, we’ve won prelims every year, and we’ve qualified for regional polo tournament. Even though we are small, and we don’t have the fancy horses and facilities that other schools have, we’re still competing at the same level.” Team members say the fancy equipment doesn’t matter nearly as much as their drive to win. “Our women’s team has won prelims both years I have been part of the club, and I really enjoy playing but I almost

Men’s Varsity Team Captain Quinn Llewellyn practices polo skills on the club’s pony, Miranda. Joining the OSU Polo Club is “a way to learn a fun sport and be around horses,” he says. “It’s my favorite thing I do in college.” OSU Polo Club members, from left, Devan Groves, Emily Nunan, Gayle Mages, Laura Baker, Quinn Llewellyn, Madison Skipper, Alexandra Wood and Courtney Rodgers practice with the team’s polo ponies. PHOTOS / PHIL SHOCKLEY


“Sitting on the sidelines and screaming about us winning prelims is really fun because we are kind of the underdog team all the time. I really enjoy getting to see our team compete and do well.” — Quinn Llewellyn

OSU Polo Club vice president

enjoy watching our team do well even more,” Llewellyn says. “Sitting on the sidelines and screaming about us winning prelims is really fun because we are kind of the underdog team all the time. I really enjoy getting to see our team compete and do well.” Team members travel around the country to participate in matches. The Central Region, which OSU is a member of, also includes Colorado State University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, University of Texas, Texas State University and Texas Christian University. “My favorite memory of being on the OSU Polo Club was last spring,” says Carley Cockrum, marketing junior and secretary of the club. “We went to CSU for a match. We were there for about three days. We took two carloads of players out there and just played for two days and went hiking and got to explore Fort Collins. It was a lot of fun.” Students in the club take on the financial burden to compete on a collegiate level. “When we go to our tournaments in the spring, the USPA will help us, depending on how many horses we bring,” Groves says. “But as far as hotels,




Gayle Mages, right, and Quinn Llewellyn, compete in a practice drill at the OSU Polo Club arena southwest of Stillwater. Courtney Rodgers, opposite page, rides the OSU polo club horse, Bennett. expenses, meals, the feed for our horses, etc., that all comes out of the members’ pockets. You have to be dedicated, but it is so worth it.” The students practice four evenings a week — on top of being full-time students with homework, studying and even jobs. “We have the option to practice … however, we know that students have schedules. They can come out as often or seldom as they please,” Llewellyn says. Polo also provides OSU students with life skills and the benefits of being part of a team. The OSU Polo Club is a completely student-run club, so the students are responsible for every aspect. From feeding the 21 horses to arranging for veterinary and farrier services to arena maintenance, the students do it all. “I feel like we all work together,” Cockrum says. “If it was just one of us responsible for everything, it would be very hard. But with everyone pitching in and all the club members helping, it makes it easier. We couldn’t play without the

horses. We take their care very seriously.” While the students are responsible for a majority of the club, they do have guidance from their coach, experienced polo player and supporter David Ragland. He started the Oklahoma City Polo Club last year and has been playing 34 years. Ragland supports the OSU Polo Club on top of his responsibilities as the U.S. Polo Association circuit governor of the Great Plains, which includes Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri. “It is just an outstanding group of young people that we have who are involved right now,” Ragland says. “I think it is a real valuable program that the university offers,” he adds. “OSU in general is trying to establish an outstanding wellness program throughout all of its sports and clubs, and polo offers a well-rounded, healthy wellness package in the club itself — in terms of leadership, exercise, exercising the horses, health and maintenance of livestock, plus

maintaining the mental health and physical health of all the members.” All the horses, tack and equipment are either donated or bought by the students themselves. There is always a need to be met. “People don’t think they can help us if they’re not into polo,” Groves says. “They think all we need is polo equipment or polo ponies but we also take care of the land all on our own. We have a tractor and a drag, which are older, donated pieces of equipment. We are constantly running into problems … and fixing them. So those are more ways we could use help.” Those interested in donating to the OSU Polo Club can email okstatepolo@yahoo.com.

Follow the club on Twitter and Instagram at @okstatepolo and on Facebook at Oklahoma State Polo for the latest news.


e c n e l o v e n e B ABUNDANT

A nne and Hen

ry Zarrow



he Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation was established by Anne and Henry Zarrow — a truly philanthropic couple, though they never embraced that term. They simply saw themselves as people who were blessed with the opportunity to help others. Judy Zarrow Kishner has abundant memories of her parents’ benevolence. When Kishner was 10, she and her mother drove past a woman underdressed for the October chill. They stopped to investigate and learned the woman’s car had faulty brakes. She was walking the 70 blocks — seven miles — to visit her daughter in the hospital. Anne Zarrow gave the woman a coat and a ride to the

Zarrow Foundation philanthropy spreads to scholarships and facilities at OSU

hospital. Then she called Henry, who arranged to get the woman’s brakes fixed and paid for a pantry full of groceries. Henry Zarrow helped establish the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, which is on land donated by Zarrow family members. He and fellow Tulsa businessman Dave Hentschel maintained an annual tradition of purchasing and donating cold weather clothing for the Day Center on the birthday they shared, February 12. Like clockwork, Henry would call Hentschel on their birthday to make their annual run to the local Wal-Mart where the two men would fill up Hentschel’s car with undergarments, socks, gloves, hats and scarves.

“When you grow up and see them doing things like that over and over again, you think, ‘That’s just what we do,’” Kishner says. “When you see a need, you help.” Those random acts of kindness Kishner saw growing up were evidence of the underlying qualities of what later became the Zarrow Family Foundations. The family had increasing opportunities to help others as their businesses grew. In 1937, Henry married Anne and established Sooner Pipe and Iron. The business

Bill Major discusses Zarrow Foundation projects with Judy Zarrow Kishner.



specialized in buying used oil pipelines, cleaning them up and reselling them. The company later became Sooner Pipe and Supply Corporation and has grown into one of the world’s largest oil country tubular goods distributors and logistics service providers for the oil and gas industry. In the 1980s, the broader Zarrow family established three foundations. The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation supports causes in Tulsa as well as throughout Oklahoma and in Israel. Areas of emphasis include Jewish causes and social services benefiting the indigent, the disenfranchised and the homeless. It grew dramatically after the deaths of Anne in 2000 and Henry in 2014, with much of their estate going into the endowment. The Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation was established by Henry’s younger brother, Jack Zarrow, and his sister-in-law, Maxine Zarrow. It provides funding primarily to organizations in the Tulsa area and in Israel. It funds nonprofits focused on children’s issues, the arts and culture, advocacy and support for the mentally ill, Jewish causes, learning differences at all ages, and higher education. The Zarrow Families Foundation was originally Sooner Pipe’s foundation, changing its name when the company was sold. It is smaller than the other two foundations, making grants for Jewish causes and charities’ fundraising events. None of the foundations have specific ties to OSU, but they have found ways to partner with the university on projects that align with their interests. For example, the Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation has given more than $50,000 over the past three years to support a special education scholarship program at OSU-Tulsa. The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation has also increased its support of OSU. In fact, it has donated more than $2 million, with the majority designated for scholarships to students attending OSU-Tulsa, OSU-Stillwater and the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa along with a major gift for the Tandy Medical Academic Building on the Center for Health Sciences campus. In recognition of the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation’s generosity to OSU-CHS, the signature

lecture hall located within the Tandy Medical Academic Building will be named the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation Lecture Hall in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Zarrow. “I was fortunate to know the Zarrows, who were brilliant and incredibly generous,” says Howard Barnett, president of OSU-Tulsa. “They did so much to help others while they were alive, and their foundations let them continue to do good since their passing. As a Tulsan, an Oklahoman and a representative of OSU, I am so grateful to all members of the Zarrow family for everything they have done to make our community a better place.” Kishner is president of the board of the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation and a trustee for the Zarrow Families Foundation. “It would be lovely to be able to pick everybody up off the street and provide a place for them, but you need to work with an organization that has a program,

Building,” Shrum says. “In addition to supporting capital projects at OSU-CHS, it also funds our early admission scholarships to help us recruit talented medical students from rural Oklahoma who are interested in practicing primary care medicine in rural Oklahoma. As a university, we want to thank Judy, her parents, and her board for their commitment to improving the health of Oklahomans.” Bill Major is executive director of the three Zarrow Foundations after previously establishing a relationship with the Zarrow family through his work as CEO of LIFE Senior Services and helping to start the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “If there are ways to improve systems that can increase effective outcomes, we’re looking to invest in them,” Major says. “The Center for Family Resilience at OSU-Tulsa, for example, looks for bestpractice models for self-sufficiency for families. That’s why we are supportive of that effort. We are working on ways to try

“When you grow up and see them doing things like that over and over again, you think,

T ‘ hat’s just what we do.’ When you see a need, you help.” — J U DY Z A R R O W K I S H N E R

like OSU, that is effective and try to grow that program,” Kishner says. “When it comes to health and mental health, Oklahoma has a lot of bad outcomes. How do you do something to transform that? OSU is a very important piece of our medical education in this state, so you support them.” Kayse Shrum, D.O., is president of the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa. She says the rippling impact of the Zarrows can be felt throughout the OSU-CHS campus. “The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation was one of the major supporters of our new, state-of-the-art A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Medical Academic

to increase systems that help people, not just hand out $100 here and there.” Major adds, “Scholarships are a key thing the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation does. Probably between 75 and 85 students per year are receiving scholarships to OSU, the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, Northeastern State, Langston, Tulsa Community College and Rogers State.” The OSU Foundation’s Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations is available to assist organizations interested in partnering with OSU to support philanthropic causes. For more information, contact Stephen Mason at smason@OSUgiving.com or 405-385-0717.


high school seniors and transfer students

Feb. 1 & file your fafsa

apply by


A completed application and FAFSA are all you need.

admissions.okstate.edu/apply PHONE 405-744-5358 MAIL 219 Student Union | Stillwater, OK 74078 WEB admissions.okstate.edu EMAIL admissions@okstate.edu

Tribal Honors

OSU graduate student holds title of Nkosuohene BY T R I S H A G E D O N


John Romo worked in Africa as part of Trent McKnight’s AgriCorps.

hen students continue their education at colleges and universities, many of them are known not only by their name, but also as a former baseball or football player, the drum major for the marching band, president of the student council or a member of the chess club or 4-H. However, one student working on a graduate degree within the Master of International Agriculture Program recently arrived at Oklahoma State University with a rather unique identifier – that of sub-chief to a West African village. John Romo, of Weslaco, Texas, also is known as a Nkosuohene, which is a subchief title that is part of the customary Akan chieftaincy. He received this honorary title in 2015 when he was in Adarkwa, Ghana, working for AgriCorps, a Peace Corps-type

John Romo is a graduate student in the international agriculture program.



Romo took on the role as the organization’s director of recruitment. The month before he left, the village of Adarkwa honored Romo with a traditional ceremony in which he was named Nkosuohene. The Nkosuohene is the leader for progress and development of a community, and a rare honor for a foreigner. “I’d been there about five months when I was approached by the elders of the village who told me they needed to speak with me about something important,” he says. “They told me they appreciated my time there and were grateful for the knowledge I was sharing and wanted me to be a part of their community forever. That’s when they told me they were making me a sub-chief. I was humbled

Through AgriCorps, he worked as an extension agent, agriculture instructor and 4-H adviser. Romo worked alongside 4-H’ers to help empower them and demonstrate they can stay in their local area to farm and make a living. “These students didn’t see farming as a choice of occupation,” he says. “They simply saw it as something they have to do because they have no other choices. Through these projects, we worked together to learn the many ways that agriculture could serve as a profitable business.” His time in Ghana was not only about teaching youth about agriculture. He also worked with them on public speaking and taught them about nutrition and the benefits of vegetables. However, he says the learning was a

“I was part of something that many people can’t imagine ever doing in their lives. I wouldn’t change my time in Ghana for anything.” — John Romo, Master of International Agriculture Program

OSU graduate student John Romo was honored in a tribal ceremony.

organization that connects American agriculture professionals to agricultural educational opportunities in developing countries. Following his graduation from Texas A&M University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science, Romo worked for the Walt Disney Corporation as a conservation education intern at Animal Kingdom. He returned to College Station, Texas, where he worked for the university in the Office of Admissions. In August 2014, he was selected as part of AgriCorps’ inaugural class of fellows to live and work in Ghana for a year. Upon returning to the United States in July 2015,


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and honored with this gesture.” The ceremony itself, which included powder and clay being sprinkled on his body, having a goat slaughtered and the blood spread on his feet, and then being carried through the village on the shoulders of youth in the area, was like nothing Romo had ever experienced, but is something he will remember for the rest of his life. Romo says he thoroughly enjoyed his time in Ghana, especially his work with an entrepreneurial project with 4-H’ers. “I worked with an existing junior high school 4-H Club to create a student nursery,” Romo says. “We grew cocoa, moringa and oil palm seedlings, which were then sold to local farmers. The proceeds were used to reinvest in future projects, as well as purchasing things for the school.”

two-way street as the youth in the village were instrumental in helping him learn Twi, which is the local language. As involved as Romo is in agriculture today, this path is one he started on by chance. He was raised by his mother and stepfather in a Rio Grande Valley border town in South Texas. Like many Hispanic families in the area, Romo’s only knowledge of agriculture came from his grandparents and great-grandparents who served as migrant workers. Agriculture had somewhat of a negative stigma in his mind. As a freshman in high school, he had a gap in his class schedule, so his guidance counselor put him in an agriculture class. “This was mostly due to my own indecisiveness in choosing an elective,” he says. “However, my curiosity in agriculture started in that class and the FFA program, and later developed into a passion. My


Alumnus Trent McKnight, right, encouraged John Romo to attend OSU.

Ghana youth carried John Romo through their village after the ceremony naming him “Nkosuohene.”


John Romo helped mentor students in the 4-H program. agriculture science teacher was an Aggie and encouraged me to attend Texas A&M University. I had decided to pursue a degree in agriculture in hopes to become a high school ag teacher.” It was during his time at Texas A&M that he first became interested in international opportunities. He traveled to Panama while in college and later studied abroad in New Zealand and Australia, discovering the many paths a person can take with a degree in agriculture. With these experiences, Romo chose to continue his education because he wanted to challenge himself and learn from others. “My motivation roots from my experiences working with others, whether that be in an office in Texas, in a classroom in Ghana or on a farm in Panama,” he says. “I really enjoy meeting people and interacting with a completely different culture, and hopefully helping them gain access to information they don’t always have easy access to.” While continuing his work with AgriCorps as director of recruitment, Romo visited more than 25 universities and attended conferences during fall 2015 and spring 2016. He also had an opportunity to travel back to Ghana and visit his village to see the progress being made there. All of these experiences have helped prepare Romo for a successful journey at OSU. Shida Henneberry, Regents professor and Master of International



Agricultural Program director, says Romo people on the other side of the world,” says is the type of student who will do well in McKnight, a 2003 OSU alumnus with a graduate school. bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. “John comes to MIAP having had “AgriCorps allows him to be part of a global significant international experiences and a community while using the skills he learned great desire for helping others and making at the local level in South Texas.” an impact,” Henneberry says. “Graduate Romo said after speaking with several students learn in theory, but having the OSU alumni, he chose to continue his experience is what makes the theory sink education at OSU and actually began in. There is no substitute for actual expetaking online classes in 2015 before becomrience in development work, and this is ing established on campus this fall. the reason we require students to have an “I’m really looking forward to learning in-depth international experience.” and working alongside the professors in She also says students like Romo go the College of Agriculture during my time on to do great work for the world and the here at OSU. I hope to gain much expericommunities they serve. ence and possibly obtain a Ph.D. I’d like to “I’m very proud of our MIAP students, one day work at a university and share my their level of preparation and their passion knowledge with others who are interested for helping the underprivileged through in the field of agriculture and education,” agricultural and educational development,” Romo says. Henneberry says. “Our students make a Now that he is back on American soil significant impact through their internafor a while, Romo says he is thankful for tional experiences while they are students. his many experiences around the world. When our graduates do well in their jobs “Working in a foreign place is a chaland have a great impact, it has a positive lenge, both personally and professionally. impact on OSU.” You’re placed in a totally different culture Trent McKnight, founder of with very different amenities, and it can be AgriCorps, says the organization expands frustrating at times,” he says. “Sometimes I the possibilities for fellows such as Romo just wanted to quit, but a conversation with by giving them a broadened sense of a farmer or an evening of laughing with global agriculture and making them more youth made me realize I was part of somecompetitive for a number of professional thing that many people can’t imagine ever careers in agriculture. doing in their lives. I wouldn’t change my “After learning about AgriCorps, John time in Ghana for anything.” immediately signed up because he wanted to share his experiences with young

Tech for Tomorrow’s Teachers The best of children’s literature is now a swipe away at the library



or many adults, the joy and beauty of children’s literature is a distant memory. For teachers, and soon-tobe-teachers, quality children’s literature is an important educational and professional resource. Future teachers at Oklahoma State University can now hold 113 awardwinning children’s books in the palms of their hands thanks to a recent library purchase, which brings together technology and traditional library services. The Mary L. Williams Education and Teaching Library, a branch of the OSU Libraries, has purchased four Kindle Fires. The devices are loaded with prize-winning children books, including winners of 77 Newberry and 32 Caldecott medals, and 18 others from recent book awards. The project was made possible with funds from the Dean and Carol Stringer Endowment. The gift provides annual funds for library projects, which are approved at the discretion of the dean of libraries. Sheila Johnson, dean of libraries, was eager to announce this latest acquisition from the Stringer Endowment. “Carol told me when she signed the agreement, ‘Books. Remember books. Books are important,’” Johnson says. If you want students to love books, their teachers need to love books.



The Mary L. Williams Education and Teaching Library serves faculty, researchers and students working in instruction and literacy. The ETL also serves as a statewide resource, providing educational materials and information to Oklahoma teachers and administrators. Students of OSU’s College of Education are some of the ETL’s primary users. These future educators will be working in K-12, playing a vital role in literacy education. It’s important they have access to literature for that age group. These books are used to enhance language skills and develop critical thinking. “When her grandchildren were little, Carol always had a shelf in her library that they could reach that she kept stocked with books,” Johnson recalls. “I thought this project was a nice combination of new technology with Carol’s interest in reading and children.” Electronic books are a regular acquisition of today’s libraries. Unfortunately, when librarians attempted to purchase

these award-winning children’s books in e-format, they discovered that our existing e-book vendors didn’t offer a broad selection of literature for a younger audience. Using the Kindles actually solved two issues. First, almost all the Newberry and Caldecott winning books were available for purchase on the devices. Secondly, and just as important, full-color displays on devices like the Kindle Fire provide users with the full experience of children’s literature. The artwork in these books is a key component of the storytelling. The OSU Libraries have numerous projects that use technology to find new ways to deliver services and resources to our students. Gifts like the Dean and Carol Stringer Endowment help the library continue to innovate. Endowed gifts are invested and earn interest in perpetuity. A percentage of the interest funds projects designated by the donor. The remainder is reinvested, allowing the initial gift to grow in impact over time. Ten, 20, even 100 years from now, the Dean and Carol Stringer Endowment will be making projects possible that we can’t even imagine today. If you are interested in supporting the library, contact Jill Johnson at 405-385-0733 or jjohnson@osugiving.com.

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Ben Goh College of Human Sciences Assistant Dean School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration Director




a g n Writi new

College of Human Sciences expanding programs to north wing addition


he College of Human Sciences’ new wing is already paying massive dividends for Oklahoma State University. It played a major part in attracting two industry stars to help guide the acclaimed School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration even before the facility opened in August. Ben Goh delayed his retirement in July 2014 to become assistant dean and director of HRAD after more than 20 years in academic administration, most recently at Texas Tech. “This is the first time I’ve been handed a brand-new building and been told, ‘Do what you do,’” Goh says. “I have friends who have been in academia forever, and they don’t get a chance like that. If you add this facility to our faculty, staff and support from industry and incredible donors, I’m probably the luckiest director of hospitality in the country.” In the summer of 2015, Goh used the plans for the state-of-the-art facility to recruit Chef Tiffany Poe to become the

new executive chef, clinical instructor and director of culinary operations at her alma mater. Poe is known most recently for her work with “The Pioneer Woman,” Ree Drummond, a best-selling author, awardwinning blogger and star of a show on Food Network. Poe was Drummond’s food stylist and culinary lead consultant. “Chef Poe was one of our distinguished chefs at an event the fall when I began my journey here in Oklahoma,” Goh says. “I read her bio and said, ‘She’s something else.’ Then I saw her interaction with the students, which was so positive. There’s a way she gets them to do things, and while they’re working, they are learning incredible lessons. Having been a teacher for 30 years myself, I can tell when someone has a great connection with students. So I thought, ‘That’s what we need in the kitchen.’” Poe, a 2006 OSU graduate in career and technical education, was already extraordinarily busy. Along with her work with Drummond, she was running a number of different entrepreneurial

Living in Pioneer Town Tiffany and Steven Poe homeschool their four children. They met Ree Drummond through a community home-education group in Tulsa. Drummond encouraged the Poes to buy the beautiful old Pawhuska mansion that used to belong to the Drummond family and is now the Poes’ bed and breakfast, The Grandview Inn. “I’m an accidental food stylist and innkeeper,” Poe says. “I never really set out to do either, but then again, sometimes the best things in life aren’t planned.” After moving to Pawhuska in 2012 and opening the B&B, Poe worked with Drummond on 150 episodes of her Food Network show and collaborated on three cookbooks that became New York Times bestsellers. “It was a magical four years of projects, fascinating people and lots of ‘bloody meat and béarnaise,’ a food the two of us share with passion,” Poe says. “I feel so blessed for the amazing experience and even more grateful to share this next chapter of my life with the awesome folks at OSU.”

endeavors. Her food media consulting business served such clients as the Food Network, Ladies Home Journal, Bush’s Baked Beans, Trisha Yearwood, Land O’Lakes, ConocoPhillips, OSU and the Oklahoma Department of Education. In addition, she also became chef and owner of The Grandview Inn Bed and Breakfast in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, with her husband, Steven. As if that wasn’t enough, she launched a food truck concept called Plum Delicious, serving “MediterrAsian” cuisine and catering in the Tulsa area. An educator at heart, Poe maintained her 10-year presence in the education scene of Oklahoma by serving as an adjunct professor for Tulsa Community College, teaching in a local women’s prison and working with Women in Recovery at the Kaiser Foundation. She did all this while completing her master’s degree in gastronomic tourism through an online program at South Cross University and Le Cordon Bleu in Adelaide, Australia. “I had been preparing for the next chapter of my educational journey

“The Pioneer Woman” featured a segment where Drummond brought a raspberry cheesecake to the Poe family to send Tiffany off with best wishes to her new job in Stillwater. She still calls Pawhuska home. With the opening of Drummond’s new Pioneer Woman Mercantile, Poe hopes her bed and breakfast will continue to be a place for hospitality happenings and fun gatherings. “We’ve hosted people from all over the world and every state in the U.S.,” Poe says. “I can’t wait to see what’s next. I love sharing my passion for serving others and having a real-life operation in place to bring stories and inspiration to the classroom. “I always encourage my students to ‘write their life recipe,’ so this keeps it real for me and helps me stay focused on why I teach and how important it is to make your passion your work and therefore ‘never work a day in your life.’”

White chocolate raspberry cheesecake TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 45 minutes PREP: 20 minutes INACTIVE: 2 hours 15 minutes COOK: 10 minutes


for a while and was ready for a new challenge,” Poe says. “I missed teaching, so Dr. Goh had an easy hook. I have to admit though, I did enjoy playing hard to get!” Making the pitch Goh was so determined to recruit Poe that he called her from his travel stops in Tokyo; Taipei, Taiwan; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, during a busy summer. “Everyone asked, ‘What’s your backup plan if she doesn’t come?’” Goh jokingly says. “I don’t have one. I told our Regents Professor Dr. Hailin Qu to get ready, if she doesn’t come, we will be doing Chinese buffet!” Poe finally said yes, based on three things. First, she was excited to help her alma mater capitalize on the incredible resources the new building wing adds. “When does someone call you and ask you to come open a $30 million facility?” Poe asks. “It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and will serve as a bedrock for the program for decades to come.” Second, she really wanted to work with Goh. “When I met Dr. Goh, I was like, ‘This is a guy I would follow into a burning

building if he thought it was a good idea,’” Poe says. “He’s a beautiful hybrid of a CEO and an academician and a really, really inspiring mentor. That’s hard to find in our industry. For that matter, it’s rare in the hospitality and education world, period.” The third reason Poe said yes was the opportunity to share her passion and connect with future hospitality professionals at OSU. “This was the perfect place for me to be able to share everything I’ve built upon for the past 15 years,” Poe says. “What better place than my alma mater to inspire the next generation? We get to connect with the next innovators in our field, and our program attracts students with the highest capacity for excellence that I’ve ever seen.” Giving back Poe is helping OSU students as a teacher and professional and supporting them financially. She has established

YIELD: 12 servings

the Bruce Mattel Honorary Scholarship, which goes to HRAD majors planning to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, after their graduation from OSU. The CIA markets itself as the world’s premier culinary college, and is where Poe earned an associate degree in culinary arts, served as student body president and graduated with honors in 2002. “Bruce Mattel was my mentor at CIA and our Distinguished Chef last spring, so I decided to honor him,” Poe says. “He has been a voice that encouraged and believed in me throughout my career and is such a positive person that I wanted others to be inspired in the same way. When he was here as our guest, I felt like everything had come full circle. We now have five OSU HRAD alumni going to Hyde Park next year, so it’s been a great catalysis for culinary success and partnership.” For information about how you can join Chef Poe in supporting the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration in the College of Human Sciences, contact Stephanie Vogel at 405-385-5615 or svogel@OSUgiving.com.

9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Refrigerate while you make the filling.

INGREDIENTS: 1 pint raspberries Juice of 1/2 lemon 1/2 cup granulated sugar One 10-ounce package shortbread cookies, such as Lorna Doone 4 tablespoons butter, softened One 12-ounce package white chocolate chips Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup powdered sugar DIRECTIONS: Set aside 8 to 12 raspberries for garnish. Put the remaining raspberries in a saucepan with the lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Strain out the seeds and set aside to cool. In a food processor, add the cookies, butter, 1/3 cup of the white chocolate chips and the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and pulse until finely chopped. Press into the bottom and sides of a

Set aside about 1 tablespoon of white chocolate chips for garnish. In a double boiler or a microwave, melt the remaining white chocolate chips. Set aside to cool a bit. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and vanilla until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Slowly add the melted chocolate and beat to incorporate. Pour in the raspberry puree and beat to incorporate. Spread the raspberry mixture into the crust and decorate with the reserved raspberries. Chop up the reserved chocolate chips and scatter over the top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Recipe by Ree Drummond in “The Pioneer Woman” Episode “Four Shades of Chocolate”)

Chef Tiffany Poe, right, is known for her work with television celebrity and author Ree Drummond.

To watch a video on how to prepare this dessert, visit




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Testing DNA in a Flash OSU researcher earns patent on revolutionary device





elution-independent collection device. That is a long name for a small device with huge potential for application across a broad range of industries such as agriculture, medicine and law enforcement. Designed to quickly, easily capture and store samples of any kind of fluid from blood to tree sap, the EICD is in line to replace the more complicated and time consuming to operate DNA and RNA extraction kits currently in use. The innovative EICD is the brainchild of Francisco Ochoa-Corona, a biosecurity and microbial forensics expert with the Oklahoma State University Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology and the National Institute for Microbial Forensics and Food and Agricultural Biosecurity. “In microbial forensics there was, at that moment, and still is, a need for a device that allows sampling of microbes from fluids and keeping them safe for a period of time and allowing us to do further testing from that device,” he says. “Because when you are collecting a sample for forensics purposes, the samples have to last at least while the trial or investigation is going on.”

The elution-independent collection device can easily capture and store fluid samples.

BY L E I L A N A M c K I N D R A

EICDs use contact and lateral flow to capture fluid samples. Then tiny pieces of a soluble element built into the device are cut out to dissolve directly into polymerase chain reaction mixtures, circumventing the intermediate step of elution, or extracting the targeted substance being analyzed. Skipping elution streamlines the PCR molecular DNA testing. Further, EICD samples can be captured in 5 minutes or less compared with the 10 minutes to half hour necessary for commercially available DNA and RNA kits now on the market. There is a limit of one sample per EICD and each sample can be stored for up to 12 months. “In the case of EICDs, you do everything at room temperature,” OchoaCorona says. “You store our device at room temperature as well. The whole process may take 5 minutes. It’s cost-effective as well in terms of the cost of device and the time of the operator.” Ochoa-Corona and OSU earned a patent for the EICD in 2016 and the device is on the cusp of being made commercially available after the agricultural uses of this patent were licensed to Switzerland-based Bioreba, which specializes in diagnostic testing supplies.

“At the very end, there is a satisfaction to see things progressing and you get a lot of experience and you use this as an example for class. So, it’s quite good.” Even though the device has not yet made it to the commercial market, the researcher is already exploring ways to make his invention even more effective. “Once you have the device, what is coming next is how you can improve it. Immediately after, we are now working on how to improve it,” he says. “The other thing that comes after is how can we beat this. We created this and now we need to beat it. How can we crack this and come up with something new?” Ochoa-Corona is continuing his studies as a researcher with NIMFFAB, the only institute in the nation dedicated to microbial forensics in agriculture. Microbial forensics seeks answers to questions such as how a disease infected a crop, how an animal disease got into a state or how a food-borne pathogen ended up in a food product that was then distributed. NIMFFAB is housed under OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Francisco Ochoa-Corona and OSU earned a patent for the elution-independent collection device.

“Any human fluid can be collected and tested that way and used for diagnosis of diseases.”

— Francisco Ochoa-Corona

The majority of Oklahomans most likely will not have direct contact with EICDs. However, there is a decent chance they will experience the device’s impact just the same given it can be used effectively in a variety of settings such as collecting saliva for a culture in a hospital or gathering samples of blood at a crime scene. “Any human fluid can be collected and tested that way and used for diagnosis of diseases. This is one application I can envision in the future,” Ochoa-Corona says. “The other thing is the forensics, which is what we envisioned in the very beginning. Every time there is an investigation, you benefit from [EICDs] because there is a system working to clarify justice. This is a tool for them.”

There is another crucial application, as well, and it relates to our food supply. “In agriculture, we all benefit from food and this is a device that is going to contribute to the diagnosis of diseases of crops so growers can collect a sample, ship it away to a plant diagnostic clinic and have feedback about, ‘Oh, yeah, you have such-andsuch’ and you can spray X.” Years in the making, the EICD represents Ochoa-Corona’s first patent. “I learned a lot about how the university processes things, how the lawyers address and tackle presenting a new idea and the mistakes you make assuming people understand what you’re saying and then need to go back and clarify,” he says.



Kim Devoll brings Isabella to visit Dr. Ryan Baumwart, left, and Dr. Andrew Hanzlicek, right, at the OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital.

Grateful Clients

Animal owners donate to Veterinary Medical Hospital in appreciation of services


klahoma State University’s Veterinary Medical Hospital offers a host of services from wellness exams for walk-in patients to specialty care cases referred by veterinarians in the field. Clients come from near and far, many from out of state in search of care for their beloved pets, performance athletes or valued livestock. The hospital is home to 23 board certified veterinary specialists in anesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, diagnostic imaging, ophthalmology, small and large animal internal medicine, small animal surgery, acupuncture, canine rehabilitation, theriogenology/reproduction, food animal medicine and surgery, equine surgery, and equine sports medicine and rehabilitation. In addition to a highly trained veterinary specialist, each patient may be assigned a resident, an intern and a fourth-year veterinary student, along with registered veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants. Animals have an entire team caring for them. Elizabeth Paszkiewicz of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been bringing her animals to OSU for more than two decades.



“A while back, 20 years ago or so, I needed to find some help for my horse Simon. He had a fungus so terrible that the vet at our barn didn’t know how to deal with it,” Paszkiewicz says. “His skin was falling off and leaving bare, oozing patches all over him. I sent the large animal clinic some pictures and subsequently brought Simon to Stillwater. The medication they prescribed was easy, and it worked.” More recently, Paszkiewicz has been bringing her pug, Baby, to OSU’s hospital. “When I look for a second opinion, the expertise-based reputation is everything,” she says. “I feel lucky that a place like OSU’s hospital is within an easy driving distance.” Baby has been referred to OSU several times. She had gall bladder surgery, an eyelid tumor, a benign mammary mass removed and a fractured elbow. “I’ve been with the same vet clinic in Tulsa since I got my first dog in 1986,” Paszkiewicz says. “They are doing everything right, but it does not mean that I do not need a second opinion now and then. Nice thing about my vets here is that they are not defensive about it, and they are always interested in the hospital’s opinion.”

Dr. Margi Gilmour, veterinary ophthalmologist, has been treating Baby since March 2010 when she first came in for an eyelid tumor. “I’ve seen her every six months or so ever since,” Gilmour says. “We are watching to be sure her corneas stay healthy.” A recent visit to Gilmour led Paszkiewicz to give $5,000 to upgrade the ophthalmology suite. “I was thinking about making a donation to the hospital, but it always looked like something involving a lot of effort just to figure out the steps,” Paszkiewicz says. “I spotted a flier in Dr. Gilmour’s office, talked to her and followed the easy instructions. I just jumped on the opportunity. I think that a lot of people are like me – busy with their lives with not much time to spare but ready to contribute to a worthy cause when given the opportunity.” Kim Devoll of Enid, Oklahoma, has also supported the hospital. She has four Cavaliers and one English setter. One of her Cavaliers, Isabella, is a regular patient. They were referred by their veterinarian to see a board certified veterinary cardiologist at the hospital. OSU’s Dr. Ryan Baumwart is the only one in Oklahoma. Since then, Isabella has also seen Dr.

OSU alumnus Peter Erdoes and his wife Kimberly are grateful clients of the OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital. PHOTO / KASI KENNEDY

Andrew Hanzlicek, a small animal internal medicine specialist at the hospital. “Isabella has superficial necrolytic dermatitis, also known as hepatocutaneous syndrome,” Hanzlicek explains. “It’s a rare disease. We see less than 10 cases a year, and primary care veterinarians will likely go years without seeing a case.” “At one point, we were driving from Enid to Stillwater every week and spending six to seven hours here. Now we come twice a month,” Devoll says. “I’m sorry my dog has this disease, but I’m glad for the students going through now that they get to experience it. Out of the 80-some students in the class of 2016, I think we saw 25 percent during the course of Isabella’s treatment. “Everyone is very professional and caring. From the minute you walk through the door with the girls out front, to the techs and students. The veterinarians are very knowledgeable in their field. They are not just going to work – it’s ‘I’m going to work to do what I love.’ “We have used their facilities, used their equipment. Our animals are our children now. We were happy to support the purchase of a new ultrasound machine for the hospital. If new equipment helps them diagnose a disease earlier, they can treat it earlier. We are all for helping them get newer, faster equipment. That is why we donate.” Peter Erdoes of Edmond, Oklahoma, is another grateful client. He has brought his dogs to OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital on several occasions. “I look for honesty and integrity in a veterinary referral hospital,” Erdoes says. “They have the best interest of my dog. As it is with every patient, a fourth-year

“These people truly care about our animals and also take pride in their profession.” — Peter Erdoes

veterinary student is assigned to your case to see to your dog’s care. They take them outside for fresh air and were kind enough to call to tell me how my dog was doing. These people truly care about our animals and also take pride in their profession. “I read about the enormous amount of debt that some students are saddled with when they graduate, and I hope my donations will make it a little easier. It goes toward equipment, and that helps them in their journey to do what they love.” Over the years, Erdoes has donated money toward equipment upgrades in the small animal clinic at the hospital, including covering the cost of several climatecontrolled oxygen cages, many IV fluid pumps and cardiac telemetry equipment in the Kirkpatrick Foundation Small Animal Critical Care Unit. The CCU was completely renovated in 2009 with a lead

gift from the Kirkpatrick Foundation and donations from 76 grateful clients. “This hospital was built in the late 1970s, and many areas need upgrades or renovations,” says Dr. Mark Neer, hospital director. “We really appreciate grateful clients like Elizabeth, Kim and Peter who help us make it feasible to continuously provide the best care possible for their four-legged family members.” If you would like to share your passion for animal well-being, contact Heidi Griswold, OSU Foundation, at 405-385-5656 or hgriswold@osugiving.com.


Funding the Hospital The primary mission of the Oklahoma State University Veterinary Medical Hospital is training tomorrow’s veterinarians and helping to identify zoonotic and emerging infectious diseases. For the 2017 fiscal year, the hospital budget is $6,996,790. State appropriations are $1,396,790, accounting for 20 percent of the budget. The remainder of the budget is composed of a projected $5,600,000 in self-generated revenues. More than 80 percent of the hospital budget must be funded through self-generated revenues from the treatment of patients presented to the hospital. During the 2016 fiscal year, the hospital treated 15,006 cases: 10,562 small animal, 2,017 food animal, 1,863 equine and 564 exotic animals.

Elizabeth Paszkiewicz brings her pug, Baby, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital in Stillwater.


REFIGURING MATHEMATICS EDUCATION Programs focused on keeping math students’ grades above water BY B RYA N T R U D E


hen walking into the office of William “Bus” Jaco, you wouldn’t think you were entering the workplace of one of the country’s leading living mathematicians. A small, cozy space, there’s room for his desk, a small table with chairs piled high with books, a few other chairs, and a tall bookshelf that dominates the back wall. Alongside family photos, the bookshelf for the head of the OSU Department of Mathematics is piled high with books one would expect to find in the office of the man who helped establish one of the cornerstones of 3-manifold theory, the JSJ decomposition theorem. One small pile of books on that shelf, however, stands out, laying horizontal while every other tome sits vertical and shelved — a handful of volumes of Euclid’s Elements, a foundational text of algebraic and geometric instruction for more than 2,000 years. The prominence of Elements among Jaco’s collection belies his attitude when it comes to his department’s research and focus on how math is taught at the most basic of levels. It’s a path that he, along with associate professor Chris Francisco, has taken to heart.




The journey has established Oklahoma State as an emerging leader in math instruction that is garnering attention from institutions around the world. “When I started as department head, one of the first things we did was a plan to enhance student learning and success in mathematics,” Jaco says. “The provost then wanted a catchy name, so we just modified the name to ‘Success in Undergraduate Mathematics’ or SUMS.” It was out of the SUMS program that the department’s advancements in mathematical instruction were born, beginning

with their most visible achievement, the Mathematics Learning Success Center. Redefining support for math education One of SUMS’ crowning achievements under Jaco, in his view, is the rebuilding and revitalization of the Mathematics Learning Success Center. Occupying 8,000 square feet on the fifth floor of the Edmond Low Library, the MLSC was established in 1985 to serve as a general tutoring center for undergraduate students. When Jaco took over the department, he

Scribbling formulas on the dry-erase walls of the Math Learning Success Center’s study rooms gives students plenty of space to calculate and think.

“I think we really have enhanced student learning and success at OSU in mathematics, and I think we have set a standard and a model for other universities.”

led a relocation and remodeling effort that saw the center reopen in April 2013. Today, students visit the MLSC an estimated 2,100 times each week for tutoring and assistance services in lowerlevel math courses, according to Francisco, — William “Bus” Jaco who serves as the department’s associate head for lower-division instruction. More — at least 60 percent — of students state“One of the nice things about having than 75 percent of the students enrolled wide are required to take college algebra, a director who is a math education in lower-division math courses utilize the relatively few of them are in a degree researcher is that it allows us to study center over the course of a semester. program that requires calculus, for which students,” Francisco says. “For example, “That’s the most impressive thing, college algebra is considered an introducshe did a research study where she showed three-quarters [of the students] go,” that even after controlling for other factors tion course. Francisco says. “It’s hard to get threeThe Math Pathways program at OSU … students who use the MLSC on a regular quarters of people to do anything.” was formed to address this problem of basis significantly improve their grade.”

William “Bus” Jaco, left, and Chris Francisco see the MLSC as one of many innovations the OSU math department is making in mathematics education.

“It is unbelievably well-used,” Jaco adds. “This is a tremendous facility.” Recently, the department received a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to host a series of workshops for directors of mathematics resource centers from the United States and beyond, highlighting the MLSC and the system in place at OSU. Working with the center’s director, Melissa Mills, Jaco and Francisco hope to spread the MLSC’s model nationwide by utilizing the program to study influences and techniques that help math students succeed, aided by Mills’ background in math education research.

Blazing a new path

60 percent of students failing in a required math course that does not This concern with the improvement of benefit their degree program, by providstudent grades has defined the direction of ing math courses for students that better the entire program under Jaco, spawning conform to their program requirements. two new ideas that promise to help OSU “Instead of just college algebra, you redefine the educational experience of have college algebra, a modeling course, low-level math students. you have statistics, and you have a quan“College algebra is not for all,” says titative reasoning course,” Jaco says. Jaco, citing it as the mantra of the depart“Instead of a student having to take college ment’s “Math Pathways” initiative. “If you algebra to get a math requirement out of look across the whole state system, the the way, they now have four choices at default course is college algebra. You generOSU, and we’re now assisting in impleally have, on average, 50 to 60 percent of menting that across the whole state of college students failing college algebra.” Oklahoma.” When looking into these high failure rates, Jaco found that while a majority


Students filling the MLSC benefit directly from innovative programs designed to improve graduation rates without wasting precious time.

Individual instruction and tutoring is a hallmark of OSU mathematics education. Redefining remediation Jaco hopes that the Pathways program will help students succeed in getting any kind of degree. According to Jaco, only 40 percent of university students statewide succeed in earning a four-year degree within eight years, and only 14 percent of students earn a twoyear degree within four. The department’s second initiative is working to address this problem.



“Students are not prepared,” Jaco says. “What we’ve been doing is putting students in remedial classes; however, remediation does not work.” In the traditional model, freshmen entering college with below-average math scores can be required to take a remedial course for zero credit, consisting of high school-level math instruction, which must be passed before a student can go on to take college-level instruction. The problem with this system, according to Jaco, is that at every step in remediation, half of the students drop out before they have even taken a course eligible for college credit. To combat this issue, Jaco, Francisco and the rest of the faculty at the Department of Mathematics have introduced a concept called “Co-requisite Instruction.” “With Co-requisite Instruction, what that means is that we’re going to put [remedial students] in a college-level course, and get them college-level credit,” Jaco says. Rather than enroll underprepared students in remedial “zero-level” coursework, Co-requisite Instruction enrolls students in the same low-level courses as every other student, according to Francisco. The difference, however, is that Co-requisite students participate in additional sessions specially tailored for them.

Rather than coming to a course three days a week, Co-requisite students would attend class five days a week to participate in activities to provide extra practice and instruction with undergraduate learning assistants, according to Francisco. “We have been very sensitive to the idea that we do not want to dumb things down at all,” Francisco says. “We want to give students the right course to prepare them for the career that they will be in, that will have the same rigor as their other courses and better prepare them.” Francisco’s findings indicate that even with underprepared students, as long as students came to class and did the homework in the five-day section, they could succeed in college-level instruction at the same rate as students who placed well in testing. “It got people through much faster, and it got people through who might not have gotten through before,” Francisco says. The Co-requisite Instruction model is beginning to gain traction across the country, Jaco says. Francisco often speaks at other universities and colleges about the concept, while officials from universities from across the country have been coming to Stillwater to learn about all of OSU’s math instruction programs firsthand. “It’s been a busy road, but it is a good road, we have been traveling,” says Jaco.


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Seniors sent off in style

The OSU Alumni Association’s Kay and Pottawatomie County Chapters hosted Senior Sendoff parties for the incoming OSU freshmen from the area. In Pottawatomie County, 24 students and their families enjoyed an ice cream social provided by First National Bank as students introduced themselves, shared their majors and their campus housing choices. “Our chapter enjoys welcoming the new freshmen into the OSU family and sending them off to Stillwater knowing that they have many others supporting them back home in Pottawatomie County,” says Sara Furr, Pottawatomie County Chapter president. The Kay County Chapter celebrated a Senior Sendoff party at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers on July 28, 2016. Ten incoming OSU freshmen and their families attended. The chapter awarded a $2,000 scholarship to Davis Dickerson from Ponca City.

says Amber Hinkle, OSU Alumni Association coordinator of engagement for Tulsa. About 1,000 OSU runners were at this year’s race. Cowboys represented 60 percent and Sooners 40 percent of the total participants.

Fans cheer for Cowboys at College World Series

America’s Brightest Orange® dominates the Bedlam Run The OSU Alumni Association’s Tulsa Chapter partnered in the 7th Annual Bedlam Run on July 30, 2016. Pistol Pete began the sold-out race with a shotgun start unlike any other race in Tulsa. “Pete always does a great job of getting the racers pumped up and ready to go,” says Lindsay Cunningham, OSU Alumni Association Tulsa Chapter president. Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa sponsored the event. All proceeds will fund scholarships for Tulsa area students attending OSU. “It’s amazing to see everyone out supporting their school, but OSU always outnumbers the Sooners here,”



Oklahoma State Cowboy baseball went to the College World Series for the first time since 1999. The College World Series berth marks the 20th in OSU baseball history, which ranks as the sixth most on the NCAA’s all-time list. Hundreds of the Cowboy faithful headed to Omaha to cheer on the team and attend alumni events. “The alumni events hosted the majority of the OSU fans that came to the World Series,” says Shane Smith, OSU Alumni Association director of engagement. “It was cool to see that we could fill up an event with fans so far from home.” The College World Series alumni events began at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in downtown Omaha with snacks and refreshments. More than 60 fans came to kick off the tournament. The OSU fan headquarters served as the tailgate location before and after games with food, beverages, a DJ and televisions broadcasting the games. The fan headquarters

were a fun home base during the tournament. Around 40 people attended each tailgate. Pizza with the Pokes brought more than 100 OSU alumni and friends together on OSU’s day off from the College World Series. Joe Abshere attended several alumni events while taking in the College World Series. “My family and I had a great time. Our favorite Alumni Association event was Pizza with Pete,” says Abshere. “My kids loved getting to hang out with Pistol Pete, and my wife and I enjoyed the camaraderie of interacting with other Pokes fans.”

Campus Alumni Chapter visits Iron Monk Brewery

Upcoming Chapter Events Join an OSU alumni chapter near you to celebrate OSU and connect with Cowboys. For the most current events listing, visit orangeconnectionorg/chapters or scan the QR code. December 1 Official OSU Class Ring Fall Ceremony Stillwater, Oklahoma December 2 OSU @ OU Bedlam Events Norman, Oklahoma December 3 Cowboy Basketball at Maryland SEVA Chapter, College Park, Maryland December 3 Bedlam Football at University of Oklahoma Norman, Oklahoma December 9 Battle at the BOK Night Oilers Hockey Pregame Party Tulsa, Oklahoma — Tulsa Chapter December 10 Cowboy Basketball at University of Tulsa Tulsa, Oklahoma — Tulsa Chapter

The OSU Alumni Association Faculty & Staff Chapter enjoyed a tour of Iron Monk Brewery in Stillwater on September 15, 2016. Participants were treated to an informative tour of the brewing process, introduced to the raw ingredients used in beer making and learned the history of the brewery. Samples were available in the Tap Room, and attendees had the opportunity to purchase the Stillwater-made beer. “The event gave OSU faculty and staff an overview of how Iron Monk got started, how they have grown with the success of their brew, the actual brewing process, and the connection to OSU and Stillwater,” says Becky Schlais, chapter vice president. “It was amazing to see the process and what all has to go into you enjoying your favorite beer.” Events like this fuel networking among the faculty and staff at OSU. The 47 people attending the event rounded out the evening at the Purdy Q food truck outside. “I had the opportunity to meet OSU alumni that I did not know before the event,” says Mike Woods, chapter president. “We will continue to offer social events like this so we can build those Cowboy ties that are so important to many of us.”

January 17

Traveling Cowboys: Panama Enchantment Cruise

February 7

Traveling Cowboys: Wolves of Yellowstone

February 10

OSU Alumni Hall of Fame

February 8

Traveling Cowboys: Galapagos Islands Trip

February 17

Brighter Orange Gala North Texas Chapter

February 18

Brighter Orange Gala Houston Chapter

February 24 Vintage O-State OKC Metro Chapter February 25 Vintage O-State Tulsa Chapter March 3

Frisco College Baseball Classic Frisco. Texas



Josh Tucker “No matter where we are, we all meet The North Texas Chapter of the OSU up for Bedlam,” Tucker says. Alumni Association is one of the largest During college, Tucker took a semester and most active chapters. The chapter presoff to join the Oklahoma National Guard. ident is Josh Tucker. He has served in the He returned to OSU where he earned chapter for three years, but this is his first his bachelor’s degree in business adminyear as president. istration with a focus in economics. In He became involved with the North Stillwater, Tucker enjoyed attending footTexas Chapter in the fall of 2013 when ball games, tailgating and going to Eskimo he met a stranger on an airplane. Tucker Joe’s on Thursday nights with his friends was on his way to the Bedlam football and roommates. game when a snowstorm hit, causing him After working a few years in Tulsa, to have to fly to Oklahoma, rather than Tucker moved to Dallas. He started workdrive. On the flight, he found himself next ing at a bank and now serves as the head to the North Texas Alumni Chapter Vice of the appraisal department at InterBank President Jennifer Spears. The two began in Dallas. talking, and Tucker was convinced to North Texas Brighter Orange is join the North Texas Alumni Association Tucker’s favorite chapter event. The gala Chapter as the sports committee chair. He Josh Tucker has converted his wife, Kari, raises funds to support students in the planned watch parties and sporting events into a Cowboy fan. Dallas area who are attending OSU. for the chapter during his first year. The “The people that you get to meet at Brighter Orange are some next year, Tucker was elected vice president, and by the next year, of the huge success stories that you hear about from Oklahoma he was president. State,” Tucker says. “It’s a really good event to be able to go to.” Tucker came to OSU after attending Union High School in Tucker’s goal is to make networking among OSU alumni Tulsa. Many of his friends planned to go to OSU. After a tour, he decided OSU was the friendliest campus that he had encountered. much stronger. He thinks that professional networking is a great motivator toward being involved with an alumni chapter. There To this day, he still meets up with those high school friends for are many companies that are looking for good talent and have Bedlam each year. to rely on their human resource systems, when they could be searching among OSU alumni and friends to find a qualified candidate. “Networking and taking advantage of this group of alumni is a good reason to get involved,” Tucker says. Tucker’s interests include following the latest in military aircrafts. He dreams of earning a pilot’s license. In June, Tucker — JOSH TUCKER married his wife, Kari, and the two bought a house together. Although Kari did not attend OSU, he has taken her to games and converted her into a die-hard Cowboy fan.

“The people that you get to meet … are some of the huge success stories that you hear about from Oklahoma State.”

NORTH TEXAS CHAPTER BY THE NUMBERS 17,216 alumni and friends 2,262 members 3,644 current students from Texas 270 miles from Stillwater



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’50s Nancy Peevey, ’51 elementary education, is a retired elementary school teacher who has lived in Ontario, California, for the last 50 years. She has seven grandchildren who are all married. Peevey has 14 greatgrandchildren and another boy on the way. There will be eight boys and seven girls. Bob and Kay Anthony, ’58 childcare program management, have three grandchildren attending OSU. Caleb Anthony is a senior studying environmental science; Grace Anthony is a junior studying allied health; and Hannah Anthony is a sophomore studying industrial engineering. All three have been on the dean’s or president’s honor rolls. Granddaughter Lily Anthony is a senior at Norman High School who plans to attend OSU in 2017.

’60s Karen Nickel, ’63 theater, retired as director of professional standards and certification at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Douglas Dollar, ’67 advertising, was inducted into the 2016 inaugural class of the U.S. Army ROTC National Hall of Fame on June 1. Dollar and OSU President Burns Hargis are among only five Oklahomans in the inaugural class. Dollar also earned a master’s degree in mass communications and doctorate of education in higher education administration at OSU. Gilbert Sanders, ’67 history, has been named a fellow of the American Psychological Association. Sanders is also the recipient of the American Psychological Foundation’s highest award, the Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement in the practice of psychology.



Richard Cook, ’68 business administration, retired as a corporate risk manager from Student Transportation of America. His degree helped him manage 3,000 employees and 2,500 buses full of kids for many years.

’70s Gary Voise, ’70 marketing and business, retired from 3M and now owns VP Products, which is a digital photo management company. Bryce Weigland, ’71 architecture, was awarded the Texas Society of Architects’ Medal for Lifetime Achievement in 2015. The medal is awarded in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished leadership and dedication to architecture and the community. It is the Texas Society of Architects’ highest award. Mike and Julie Isch, ’74 architecture and ’89 family relations & child development, both teach high school in the Dallas area. The family’s oldest daughter, Nancy, ’11, English, married Brian Watkins, ’11, history. Their youngest daughter, Mary, studied art and graduated from OSU in December 2015, making a family of four OSU alumni.

Lizbeth Armstrong, ’84 elementary education, lives with her husband, K. Maurice “Moe” Armstrong, ’84 finance, in Blanchard, Oklahoma, where Liz is in her 33rd year of teaching and Moe is a vice president at First National Bank. In May 2016, their son Alden Armstong became a third-generation OSU graduate. Jim Rutledge, ’89 agricultural education, has retired after 45 years as a 4-H Youth professional in a number of states, including most of the last 10 years as the executive director of the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation. Brian Scott, ’89 economics, married Judy Baer on June 11, 2016, in Tampa, Florida. A number of OSU alumni attended the wedding, which was officiated by Jim Arnove,’89, marketing. Brian and Judy have an 8-year-old foster son, George, whom they hope to adopt by the end of the year. Judy, a South Carolina Gamecock, is a master claims representative for Nationwide Insurance, while Brian owns a small business consulting firm. The wedding was punctuated by an OSU baseball victory in the NCAA Super Regionals over Judy’s beloved Gamecocks.


’80s Steven Horst, ’82 electronics technology, has taken a new job with Philips Electronics and moved to Denver, Colorado. Judy Parrott, ’83 French, has a daughter, Olivia, who enrolled at OSU this fall. Olivia is a third generation OSU Cowboy and “military brat” who has lived all over the U.S. and abroad. Olivia is excited to be a par t of the Honors College, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Cowboy family.

Brad Cromwell, ’94 management, and his wife Jennifer have adopted a child, Asher, 3, with the support of an orange crowd in the courtroom on the day of the adoption. They have seven kids together — Brecken, 19; Caleb, 16; Isaiah, 11; Noah, 8; Reuben, 7; Jovie, 6 and Asher. Steven Cherrington, ’95 aerospace engineering, recently completed his tour as the College of Arts & Sciences department head of aerospace studies and commander of AFROTC Detachment 670 at OSU. After graduation, he was a cryogenics

engineer at Edwards Air Force Base in California and worked with NASA Dryden and Lockheed Skunk Works. He spent 15 years in Air Force Special Operations Command flying the MH53K/M PAVE LOW before becoming commander at OSU. His wife Lauryn Cherrington, ’92, elementary education, was a member of Gamma Phi Beta and an OSU cheerleader. Their son, Brayden, plans to attend OSU to study electrical engineering and daughters, Ashtyn and Avery, hope to follow in their mother’s footsteps with cheerleading. Tony Buratti, ’98, ’00, master’s degree mechanical engineering, and his wife Kristie Buratti, ’00, mecha n i c a l engineering, celebrate the birth of their daughter Brooklyn Avery Buratti, born in Potomac, Maryland, on July 6, 2016. Tony is vice president of corporate development at QTC, a Lockheed Martin company. Kristie is a capture manager at Lockheed Martin. Teal Anderson, ’98 marketing, graduated from Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies with a master’s degree in organizational leadership in 2016. She completed her degree with a 4.0 GPA.

’00s Cody Blosch, ’05 political science and economics and ’07 master’s degree in business administration, and Kristy Bartlett Blosch, ’05 public relations and Spanish, and ’07 master’s degree in business administration, welcomed their first child, Noah Raymond, on July 27, 2015. Amy Smith, ’09 psychology, is engaged to Nate Crosby, ’05, industrial engineering and management. Nate proposed while on a trip to Europe in September.

’10s Heath Foster, ’10 business administration, is the senior regional retail manager for Landmark Banks of Oklahoma and Texas. He was recognized by the 2016 NextGen Under 30 program in the financial category. Brennan Leighton, ’11 plant and soil science, married Amy Fields on April 23, 2016. They live in Fort Cobb, Oklahoma. Whitney Manning, ’11 marketing, changed jobs and got married last year. Patrick Lee, ’12, environmental sciences, was named a CPA Practice Advisor’s 40 Under 40 Accounting Professionals Leading the Profession. This program recognizes young leaders who are helping to positively shape the accounting and tax profession. Ilse Carrizales, ’13 doctorate in psychology, married Joe Salazar on September 9, 2016, at Schlitterbahn Beach Resor t i n Sou th Padre Island, Texas. Both attended OSU and their bridal party and wedding guests included many OSU alumni. Rebecca David, ’14, athletic training, completed a master’s degree in kinesiology at the University of Central M i s sou r i i n M ay 2016. She works at the University of Central Missouri as an assistant athletic trainer with women’s soccer and the men’s and women’s track and field teams. Katie Parish, ’15 sports media, married Nick Woodruff, ’12 broadcast journalism, ’15 master’s degree in mass communications, on June 4, 2016. They live in Berkeley, California, where Katie is in graduate school and Nick is in law school at the University of California, Berkeley.



OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis, right, joined 1966 OSU graduates Gary and Jerri Sparks, left, as well as others at the new Wesley Foundation groundbreaking, including Regent Joe Hall, whose company serves as the general contractor.

A Feeling of Welcome Does Wonders OSU alumnus leads architectural efforts for new Wesley Foundation To be welcomed is to find a sense of foundation, easement and openness. A genuine welcome is a profound experience. For more than 60 years, the Wesley Foundation at Oklahoma State University has welcomed countless students and their families, from all backgrounds and faiths. “I think the most important impact we have is that we’re going to share who we are, and you’re going to share who you are, and we’re both going to be changed through this experience,” says the Reverend Michael Bartley, Wesley Foundation executive director. On October 8, 2016, the Wesley held a groundbreaking for a new facility on the corner of University Avenue and Washington Street. The need for a new facility was crucial as the original building posed immense challenges for staff, students and the community in the face of an ever-evolving campus and modern needs. Something had to be done. And why not involve people who called the Wesley “home” at one point or another? Enter Gary Sparks, OSU and Wesley alumnus, as well as principal architect for the new facility. He is co-founder of Sparks Reed Architecture and Interiors. “I’ve always felt indebted to the Wesley because they helped me continue my education,” Sparks says. “I have a strong desire to make this really special. I want people to see what’s going on and want to be a part of it.”

In the early ’60s, Sparks was entering his junior year studying architecture at OSU. Unfortunately, even after working a summer construction job, he didn’t have enough money for housing. He thought he’d continue as long as he could, but he was worried he eventually might have to drop out. Through a friend, he heard about the Wesley as a potential housing option. He spoke with the ministry staff and ended up staying in the facility’s basement for the rest of the year. In return, he served as a custodian of sorts for the building. “I jumped at this opportunity and lived in a small room in the basement with a student from China,” Sparks says. After graduating and spending time in the army, Sparks returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his wife, Jerri, and they became members of the First United Methodist Church there. Sparks also served as principal architect for the renovations of OSU’s Gallagher-Iba Arena and Boone Pickens Stadium. “The projects I’ve worked on for OSU have been very personal to me, especially GallagherIba Arena and Boone Pickens Stadium — both were very special,” he says. “I feel the same way about the Wesley Foundation. Anytime I can be involved in designing a facility that enhances people’s lives spiritually, mentally or physically, I get excited.” To learn more about the Wesley’s Imagine Campaign, a two-phase plan for a new facility including a third-floor shared-living community, visit wesleyosu.com/imagine.

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Troylene Corley, ’43 home economics and community service, died on August 6, 2016, in Baltimore. She grew up in Oklahoma City, where she graduated from Capitol Hill High School in 1936. She was too poor to afford college, so she worked as a soda clerk for three years and in 1939 she was awarded a state senator’s college scholarship. In 1943, she became the first woman in her family to graduate from college. She took a job as a refinery technician and married Brad Thayer in 1944. The two lived in Tulsa for 50 years, raising four children. Troylene was proud of her years spent at home raising her family. She was active in Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church and enjoyed art and crafts and animal rescue causes. Earl McAnelly, ’56 marketing, died on July 28, 2016, at age 84. He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on December 27, 1931, to Earl and Wanita McAnelly. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Lucy; daughter, Linda Overfield (husband, Stephen, and son, Ryne); daughter, Susan Hawkins (husband, John, son, Sean, and daughter, Alyssa); and son, Michael McAnelly (daughter, Brittany, and son, Riley). He served in the Army for three years. Following his military service, he returned to Oklahoma A&M to finish his degree. He married Lucille Willis on April 3, 1954. Following his graduation, Earl began his career with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, later AT&T, where he worked until his retirement in 1990. James M. Schiltz, ’61 agriculture, died June 8, 2016, in Bryan, Texas, after a two-year battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Following graduation from OSU, he and his wife, Frances Ronck, ’61 home economics, farmed and ranched near Ponca City, Oklahoma, until retirement in 1999. In addition to his wife, Frances, James is survived by his children, Barbara Burditt, ’84, biochemistry; David Schiltz, ’91, agriculture; Ann Burt, ’90, agricultural communications; and Karen Lepley, ’92, agricultural communications; three sons-in-law and 13 grandchildren.

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Book Corner Kevin Z. Sweeney, ’01

The University of Oklahoma Press published Prelude to the Dust Bowl: Drought in the NineteenthCentury Southern Plains by Oklahoma State University alumnus Kevin Z. Sweeney in August 2016. The book takes a look at the historical significance of drought in the 1800s and how it affected the government’s response to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Sweeney, professor of geography and history at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas, grew up on a farm in south-central Oklahoma. He earned a doctoral degree in history in 2001 at OSU. In this eye-opening work, Sweeney reveals that the Dust Bowl was only one cycle in a series of droughts on the U.S. Southern Plains. Reinterpreting the nation’s history through paleoclimatological data and firsthand accounts of four dry periods in the 1800s, Prelude to the Dust Bowl demonstrates the dramatic and little-known role drought played in settlement, migration and war on the plains. The book provides new insights into pivotal moments in the settlement of the Southern Plains and stands as a timely reminder that drought, as a part of a natural climatic cycle, will continue to figure in the unfolding history of this region. Prelude to the Dust Bowl: Drought in the NineteenthCentury Southern Plains is available at www.amazon.com.


FALL 2016


Dawkins, Gerald, ’50, ’62, Midwest City, Oklahoma

Stratton, Louie, ’55, Cookson, Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association has received notice that the following graduates died between August 1, 2016, and October 31, 2016. 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.

Fairless, Ollie, ’50, ’51, ’53, Edmond, Oklahoma

Wagner, Carolyn Lipe, ’55, Tulsa, Oklahoma

King, Beulah, ’50, Hugo, Oklahoma

Wiggs, Jimmy, ’55, Huntsville, Alabama

Lamle, Roland, ’50, Okeene, Oklahoma

Selmat, Nevaleen, 56, ’61, ’90, Wakita, Oklahoma

Moore Jr., William, ’50, Madill, Oklahoma

Weaver, Kathy, ’56, Highland, Michigan

Sullivan, LM, ’50, ’52, ’68, Edmond, Oklahoma

Braden, Richard, ’57, Stroud, Oklahoma

Wamsley, Stuart, ’50, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Dickson, David, ’57, Muskogee, Oklahoma

Campbell, Clyde, ’51, Helena, Oklahoma

Evans, Vonda, ’57, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Conrad, Sue, ’51, ’70, Oklahoma City

Hamilton, John, ’57, Bryan, Texas

Lemon, Bob, ’51, ’54, Oklahoma City

McKeown, Jerry, ’57, Billings, Oklahoma

Maguire, Joe, ’51, Purcell, Oklahoma

Platt, Charles, ’57, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Sewell, Jan, ’51, Newkirk, Oklahoma

Campbell, Shirley, ’58, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Treadwell, Bob, ’51, ’70, Snyder, Oklahoma

Colwell, Kelly, ’58, Leeton, Missouri

Alcott, James, ’52, ’56, Wayzata, Minnesota

Taylor, Utahna, ’58, Colleyville, Texas

Herod, Robert, ’52, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Whitlock Jr., Boyd, ’58, ’62, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Pipps, Elmo, ’52, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Barton, William, ’59, Oklahoma City

Bain Sr., Ruel, ’53, ’58, Antlers, Oklahoma

Curl, Sam, ’59, ’61, ’63, Granbury, Texas

Cole, Mary, ’53, Lakeview, Ohio

Brintnall, Dean, ’60, Kiowa, Kansas

Walton, John, ’53, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Davis, George, ’60, Oklahoma City

Hewitt, Jack, ’54, Norman, Oklahoma

Hopkins, Chuck, ’60, ’69, ’70, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Howard, Jerry, ’54, Ada, Oklahoma

Seymour, Herman, ’60, Lexington, Oklahoma

Will, Jimmy, ’54, Loganville, Georgia

Love, Rodney, ’61, Comanche, Oklahoma

Carmichael, Bill, ’55, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Harris, Carl, ’62, Oklahoma City

Thurston, Pearl, ’30, Tulsa, Oklahoma Alexander, Ellanore, ’38, ’40, Tulsa, Oklahoma Messall, Sara M., ’41, Bartlesville, Oklahoma Johnson, Mary, ’43, Perry, Oklahoma Thayer, Troylene, ’43, Baltimore, Maryland Sisson, Dorothy, ’45, Norman, Oklahoma Armstrong, Neill, ’47, Trophy Club, Texas Leonard Jr., Carl, ’47, Tulsa, Oklahoma Clark, Billy, ’48, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Harper, Phyllis, ’48, Stillwater, Oklahoma Honeycutt, Bruce, ’48, Guthrie, Oklahoma Wilbanks Jr., Robert, ’48, Edmond, Oklahoma Bailey, Betty, ’49, Tulsa, Oklahoma Coltharp, John, ’49, ’56, Erick, Oklahoma Gambrell, Ornald, ’49, Peyton, Oklahoma Smith, Florine, ’49, ’75, Guthrie, Oklahoma Bergen, Zane, ’50, ’57, ’70, Weatherford, Oklahoma

Miller, Steve, ’62, ’63, ’67, Stillwater, Oklahoma

McDonald, Jeanie, ’69, Stillwater, Oklahoma

James, Ernest, ’83, Lawton, Oklahoma

Rotter, Bill, ’62, Perry, Oklahoma

Haidary, Haidar, ’70, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Mathis, Stacey, ’84, Durant, Oklahoma

Berg, Ernest, ’64, Katy, Texas

King, Reta, ’70, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Morris, Carol, ’85, Miami, Oklahoma

Ebey Jr., Jacob, ’64, Norman, Oklahoma

Lay, Thomas, ’70, Oklahoma City

Boyd, Sandra, ’86, Okemah, Oklahoma

LeMonnier, Sandra, ’64, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Roberson, Bobby, ’70, Harrah, Oklahoma

Ward, Michael, ’87, Davenport, Oklahoma

McCreary, Al, ’64, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Field, Ruth Ann, ’71, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Olenberger, Jerriann, ’88, ’91, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Mueller, Nelson, ’64, ’75, Sulphur, Oklahoma

Gamble, Jo, ’71, Nichols Hills, Oklahoma

Taylor, Susan, ’88, Morrison, Oklahoma

Seidle, Hazel, ’64, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Mornhinweg, Rick, ’71, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Blanchard, Cary, ’91, Oklahoma City

Sherrill Jr., George, ’64, ’66, ’70, Duncan, Oklahoma

Couch, Beverly, ’72, Oklahoma City

Lehman, Deb, ’91, ’94, Copan, Oklahoma

Edwards, Larry, ’65, Sherman, Texas

Downs, Jim, ’73, ’74, Bixby, Oklahoma

Rowlan, Alan, ’91, Oklahoma City

Goodbary, Al, ’65, ’76, Edmond, Oklahoma

Epperson, Paul, ’73, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Moore, Steven, ’92, Enid, Oklahoma

Hawthorne, Kester, ’65, ’67, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Danel, Richard, ’74, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Skidmore, Phyllis, ’93, ’95, Prague, Oklahoma

Trail, Ann, ’65, ’68, Dekalb, Illinois

LeGrand, Cora, ’76, ’78, ’92, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Yardley, Randall, ’93, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Inda, John, ’66, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Morgan, Gregor, ’76, ’88, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Caldwell, Christopher, ’96, Colonial Heights, Virginia

McKown, Judy, ’66, Norman, Oklahoma

Sparks, David, ’76, Porum, Oklahoma

Neal, Thomas, ’96, Laredo, Texas

Mendenhall, Bruce, ’66, Oklahoma City

Walton Jr., Brooks, ’76, Rulsa, Oklahoma

Lazenby, Jennifer, ’97, Glencoe, Oklahoma

Staiger, Jacqueline, ’66, ’82, ’00, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Heinen, Michael, ’77, Tulsa, Oklahoma

McCune, Amber, ’01, Tonkawa, Oklahoma

Treat, Mary, ’66, Perkins, Oklahoma

Cravello, Nadine, ’78, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Benefield, Jeffrey, ’03, Choctaw, Oklahoma

Howard, Paul, ’67, ’70, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Gay, Bryan, ’78, Edmond, Oklahoma

Sonobe, Nathan, ’06, Littleton, Colorado

Woodward, Jay, ’67, Lawton, Oklahoma

Copeland Jr., Thomas, ’79, ’83, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Ward, Kristen, ’12, ’16, Alexandria, Virginia

Thompson, Richard, ’68, ’69, ’74, Kansas City, Missouri

Jones, Mindy, ’79, Fountain Hills, Arizona

Bayhylle, Neill, ’69, Roland, Oklahoma

Sanders, Samuel, ’79, Edmond, Oklahoma

Crosslin, Alvon, ’69, ’71, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Yandell, Donald, ’81, Fairfax, Oklahoma

Book Corner Alton Rivers, ’57

Redemption Creek is the third novel by Alton Rivers. It tells the story of the director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency as he returns to his hometown in Oklahoma to escape the ravages of Washington, D.C. Upon returning, he finds himself trying to save his once quiet hometown from a series of murders and a massive drug operation. Rivers was born and grew up in Oklahoma, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1957 from OSU. He received a commission in the United States Air Force upon graduation. Rivers retired as a lieutenant colonel, accumulating more than 3,000 hours in fighter jets and serving in the Vietnam War. His 21 years of service took him all over the world. On assignment in the United States Embassy in Ventiane, Laos, as one of the first 13 Air Force officers there, he helped prepare the arrival of the F-111 aircraft in Southeast Asia. Later, he worked at the American Embassy in London. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Auburn University and retired from city management before writing his first novel, Love, Ava, published by St. Martin’s Press in 2007. He and his wife, Conni, live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Redemption Creek is sold at Amazon.com and autographed copies are available from Wanderfalken Books by emailing wanderfalkenbooks@gmail. com.


Cedars in Lebanon

Sharing the land grant mission with the world BY DAV I D C. PE T E R S



OSU President Henry G. Bennett, center, and his assistant Albert C. Crilley, center left, toured a Point Four agricultural plot in Latin America.



“Economic development is not only a necessity, but a great and inspiring opportunity. It is an opportunity to sow the seeds of democracy among people who no longer accept poverty, disease and ignorance as inevitable facts of life.”


r. Henry G. Bennett had imagination, vision and perspectives that allowed him to balance the importance of tradition with the necessity for change. His humble background helped him embrace core values of service to others while his academic experiences taught him the importance of flexibility in ever-changing economic and political environments as president of Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College from 1928-1951. Bennett’s ability to adapt was illustrated by his acceptance of air travel when the convenience of flight became more common in the early years of Oklahoma. Flying provided the opportunity for Bennett to meet more people over a larger area in a shorter amount of time. His lifelong mission to serve others was personified when he eagerly agreed to serve his country in an assignment with the United States Department of State in 1950, which would take him around the world and improve the lives of thousands. Humanitarian outreach As World War II was ending, there were some who simply wanted the troops to return home and the United States to return to a policy of isolation from the rest of the world. There were others who felt the nation had important roles to play in rebuilding Europe, the Far East and developing regions of the world for humanitarian purposes and to limit the spread of communism. Bennett was called upon to

— Dr. Henry G. Bennett, OAMC President 1928-1951 help in this transition from wartime activities to assistance efforts providing recovery aid and development. He represented United States’ land grant colleges as part of the U.S. delegation attending the International Food and Agricultural Organization Conference held in Quebec, Canada, on October 16, 1945. Bennett worked closely with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Clinton P. Anderson. This was an effort organized through the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization to restore European agricultural production, serving as a precursor to the European Recovery Program, or the Marshall Plan, named for Secretary of State George Marshall. It would take considerable time to organize massive programs such as the Marshall Plan, and the U.S. Congress did not pass legislation authorizing the Marshall Plan until the summer of 1948. On January 20, 1949, President Harry S. Truman delivered his only inaugural address to the nation. After 16 years of Democrats controlling the executive branch, and with the death of the popular President Franklin Roosevelt, many had not expected Truman to win the presidential election in 1948. Truman’s inaugural address became known as the “Four Points Speech” in which he challenged the nation to support the United Nations, continue support of an economic recovery worldwide, strengthen nations fighting aggression, and share the scientific knowledge and technical skills of America with the developing world.

Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, right, invited OSU President Henry G. Bennett to his palace. The invitation requested Bennett develop an extension system similar to the land grant college missions in the United States.



OSU President Henry G. Bennett’s travels throughout the world included observing demonstrations for children and viewing insect collections.



Army service In March 1949, the U.S. Army invited Bennett to serve in Europe for several months during that summer. After approval from the Board of Regents and a temporary reassignment of his administrative duties, Bennett was released for service overseas. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture visited Stillwater and met with Bennett in May 1949. Bennett was appointed to serve in the U.S. Army’s Civilian Agricultural Department from June through August. He traveled throughout postwar Europe documenting food shortages and providing proposals for improved agricultural production and resource distribution. Bennett’s expertise in administration, agricultural education, extension and research was utilized and shared across the European continent during forums and conferences. He traveled to more than a dozen countries from Ireland, Spain and Austria into the zones occupied by the French, British and American forces, flying 25,000 miles during his three-month trip before returning home to Stillwater. The following year, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie requested Bennett come to Ethiopia as a consultant in education and agriculture. The invitation requested Bennett develop an extension system similar to the land grant system in the United States. On March 31, 1950, Bennett left for Washington, D.C., and traveled on to Addis Ababa to spend six weeks conferring with Ethiopian education and agriculture leaders. Upon his return to Washington in late May 1950, Bennett met with Oklahoma Senator Robert S. Kerr who arranged a meeting with President Truman. Truman and Bennett talked about his trip and shared their philosophies regarding international development assistance. Six months after meeting Truman, Bennett was appointed an Assistant Secretary of State and the Administrator of the Technical Cooperation Administration on November 15, 1950, during a White House conference with Truman. Approved only one month earlier on October 27, 1950, under the umbrella of the Department of State, the TCA was commonly referred to as the Point Four

Program taken from the last section of Truman’s inaugural speech. The Board of Regents granted Bennett an extended leave of absence at the November 17, 1950, meeting. Two other administrators, Oliver Willham and Randall Klemme, were named to fill Bennett’s responsibilities when he was out of town. Bennett started work on November 24, 1950, in Washington. He would return to Stillwater every two to four weeks to deal with situations that required his specific attention, and his family was allowed to stay at the president’s home on campus. Traveling the world Bennett would visit more than 100 development projects in 33 countries during the following 13 months. He sought to work with local populations by providing appropriate technologies to assist with their individual, and frequently unique, circumstances. Bennett garnered significant attention from Congress when he rejected larger appropriations in favor of more manageable allocations free from political influence and control. The budget his first year was $34 million, and projects focused on agricultural production, health needs and living standard improvements. Twelve million dollars were distributed out of his budget to United Nations’ projects already underway. The Point Four Director would discover very quickly that in many parts of the world agricultural practices had remained unchanged for thousands of years. In Egypt, for example, fields were tilled and crops planted using the same techniques that were applied during the time of the pharaohs. Bennett would discover similar challenges in Central and South America. He visited Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama. During other travels, he reached Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Paraguay and Peru. In Asia, Bennett visited Ceylon, India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand. Everywhere he went he found people in need, but also those willing to work together for progress. When Bennett returned to Stillwater

his time was bursting with activity. He arrived home late Wednesday evening on April 4, 1951. The next day he attended a Board of Regents meeting where they were inspecting bids for the new college library. Later in the day, he met with the School of Commerce and spoke at an annual dinner celebration. On Thursday afternoon, he was also involved with the preparations for a performance on campus by Margaret Truman, the president’s 26-year-old daughter. Ms. Truman, a soprano, sang in the college auditorium that evening in front of a capacity crowd as part of a fundraiser to support construction of a children’s wing at the Stillwater Municipal Hospital. On Saturday, he participated in the college’s annual Dairy Days and met with those attending. Several days later, Bennett was back in Washington and shared with President Truman a scrapbook of clippings, reviews and pictures collected from Margaret’s performance in Stillwater. Truman appreciated both this gesture and the fact that his only child had been treated well during her time on the OAMC campus. The scrapbook also cemented the friendship developing between the two presidents. In late April 1951, Bennett began a tour in Africa visiting Liberia, Egypt and Nigeria before heading to Iran. In June and July, he returned to Africa and spent two weeks in Ethiopia finalizing a project in part inspired during his trip the year before as a guest of Haile Selassie. One of the first Point Four Project agreements was signed in Addis Ababa on June 16, 1951, and Bennett’s relationship with Selassie was also growing more meaningful and stronger. Final trip

Organizing conferences and establishing extension service offices were all part of OSU President Henry G. Bennett’s duties in spreading the message of Truman’s Point Four Program.

In December 1951, Bennett traveled to Rome, Italy; Athens, Greece; Cairo, Egypt; Jerusalem, Israel; Amman, Jordan; Beirut, Lebanon; and Baghdad, Iraq. On the next leg of their journey, Henry and his wife Vera, who was accompanying him on this trip, died instantly on a mountain near Tehran, Iran. Their plane crashed during a snowstorm while attempting to land at the local airport on Saturday, December 22, 1951. The four-engine plane from an Egyptian airline exploded



In December 1951, one of the last photographs of OSU President Henry G. Bennett, and his wife Vera, was taken while touring the Middle East. United States President Harry S. Truman, above left, Assistant Secretary of State James Webb, and OSU President Henry G. Bennett reviewed a scrapbook produced after Truman’s daughter, Margaret, sang in Stillwater, Oklahoma.



and burned after hitting the granite hillside. Three other Point Four staff and sixteen additional passengers also died in the accident. Traveling with the Point Four contingent were: Benjamin H. Hardy, public affairs officer; James T. Mitchell, audio-visual specialist; and Albert C. Crilley, Bennett’s special assistant. Years earlier, Hardy had been the principal proponent for the Point Four Program, and it was primarily his work and inspiration in the State Department that had moved the proposal to Truman’s desk. Funeral services began on Friday, December 28, 1951, in Tehran, Iran, at the American Mission Church after the bodies had laid in state at the American Embassy. The following day, memorial ceremonies were held at the state department auditorium in Washington. Flags were flown at half-staff across the nation. The crated caskets left Tehran on a military transport plane on January 5, 1952, and arrived in Washington on the 8th. The Bennetts’ remains were transferred on an Air Force plane to Stillwater, where Strode Funeral Home coordinated the arrangements. Vesper services were held Sunday afternoon January 6, 1952, in the Student Union exhibition room. Seventyfive hundred mourners gathered in Gallagher Hall on Thursday, January 10, 1952, for the 2 p.m. funeral. Classes were dismissed and offices on campus closed at 11 a.m. A proclamation by the Stillwater mayor recommended the closing of all Stillwater businesses at 1 p.m. Two matching caskets covered in carnations rested beneath a large floral arch at one end of the floor in Gallagher Hall. The crowd included boys and girls, students, college staff, citizens, Oklahoma Governor Johnston Murray, U.S. Senator Robert S. Kerr, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan, and Johnson Avery with the U.S. State Department. The nine members of the Board of Regents served as pallbearers. Tributes poured in from across the country and world. President Truman referred to Bennett as “a great teacher of the simple ideas of cooperation and brotherhood.” U.S. Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma shared, “His down-to-earth philosophy, reflected in his Oklahoma

work and transposed to the greater international field, made him one of the great men of our time.” Bennett’s good friend Senator Kerr stated, “He long devoted himself to the service of his fellow man and has now sacrificed his life to that service. No man could do more.” U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson commented, “Dr. Bennett was a simple man, but one with a positive belief in man’s essential goodness, and possessor of a positive hope for man’s future. He dreamed no little dreams, and he had the magic to make those dreams a reality … he was one of those rare human beings whose faith in his fellows inspired them to unselfish action far beyond their normal duties and capabilities.” There were also many sentiments expressed of warm admiration for his life. One of the most meaningful and moving tributes was written by Eric Sevareid of CBS News and broadcast on Christmas Eve 1951, only two days after the plane crash. Sevareid regretted that so few Americans had heard of “Dr. Bennett, for he was something rare among us here, something very earthy and strong and simple, representative somehow of the enduring simplicities, the natural, positive hopes that still prevail on the farms and in the little towns across this country.” Sevareid closed the newscast saying, “His death is a great loss, for he had started something here, something fresh and wonderful, in a government where men and ideas have grown tired and worn. But it seems almost appropriate that he should die at Christmastime, out in the Middle East, in that arid, biblical vale of tears where the idea of brotherhood was first made human. He knew that once there had been cedars in Lebanon; and he knew how to make them grow there again.” While there had been proposals considering the OAMC campus as the location for their final burial, Henry and Vera Bennett were interred at Highland Cemetery in Durant, Oklahoma, on Friday, January 11, 1952. He was 65 years old at the time of their deaths, and she was 62. Henry Bennett, who was known to sleep for only two or three hours a day, would now rest in peace for eternity beside his beloved spouse.

In 1954, Ethiopia Emperor Haile Selassie visited the United States, which included a stop at OAMC in Stillwater on June 18. There were dignitaries and crowds with speeches, dinners and receptions planned for this day of celebration. At 10 p.m. that evening after all official functions concluded, Selassie held a private meeting with members of the Bennett family. This was a rare honor and symbolic of the esteem that Selassie held for Dr. Bennett. The small group had an extended and relaxed visit, and the emperor was even photographed holding one of the Bennett granddaughters on his lap. They shared fond memories of his friend and their father Henry Garland Bennett with the impact of his life and legacy surviving for generations to come.

More than 7,500 mourners gathered at Gallagher Hall in memory of OSU President Henry G. Bennett and his wife, Vera. Pallbearers included members of the A&M Board of Regents and college administrators such as athletic director and basketball coach Mr. Henry P. “Hank” Iba.


Thank you! The President’s Fellows program has surpassed the $1 million cumulative giving milestone since its launch in December 2013. These dollars have been reinvested in our students, faculty and campus, and the impact is evident. President’s Fellows strives to highlight underfunded areas of our university while encouraging philanthropic support of our three pillars: Our Students, Our Faculty and Our Campus. Your annual support of $10,000 annual has already allowed us to make a significant impact in each of these areas in just three years. More than 300 students have received direct financial assistance through programs supported by the Fellows, including 49 who have received Fellows scholarships. Thank you, President’s Fellows, for your commitment to create new opportunities for our students and faculty while making a lasting impact at OSU for years to come.

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STATE Magazine Winter 2016  

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

STATE Magazine Winter 2016  

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

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