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Honors Newsletter U N I V E R S I T Y



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Honors Celebrates 50th Anniversary On March 5, President David Boren hosted a luncheon and panel discussion to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Honors at OU. The panel was made up of President Boren, who earned a Rhodes Scholarship in 1965, and three recent Honors Alumni who have also all gone on to win Rhodes Scholarships for study at Oxford

University: Jason Sanders, Andrea DenHoed, and Mubeen Shakir. Another recent alumna who has also earned the Rhodes, Sarah Swenson, was unable to attend due to her current teaching responsibilities at Oxford. Before the panel discussion, Honors College Dean David Ray Continued on p2


Honors 50th Anniversary Events Calendar Undergraduate Journal Goldwater Winners Announced Faculty Notes Alumni E-Mentoring Expressive Movement Initiative Honors Student Association Honors-Specific Advising Interesting Summer Course Offerings Student-Run E-Newsletter Undergraduate Research Day Engineering Advising Blogging Intellectual History Cancer Research Opportunity Honors College Writing Center

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50th Anniversary, continued from p1 recognized Provost Nancy Mergler and former Associate Dean Carolyn Morgan for their hard work in guiding Honors as it grew from a program into a true college with its own faculty and curriculum. Dean Ray also recognized Dr. Melanie Wright, Director of Honors Curriculum, for her hard work in helping Honors students prepare their application materials for prestigious scholarships such as the Rhodes. The panel discussion, entitled “Education for the 21st Century,” examined the role new communicative technologies will play in the future of higher education, the continuing importance of the Honors College as community building space, and the extent to which public universities are (and should continue to be)

Above, left to right: Provost Nancy Mergler and Dr. Carolyn Morgan (former Associate Dean of the Honors College) funded through public monies.

his studies at Oxford, Jason returned to the United States and Panel Discussants earned a medical degree from HarJason Sanders, who graduated vard Medical School , as well as an from OU in 2000, went on to earn a MBA from Harvard Business Bachelor’s degree in Literature Continued on p3 while at Oxford. After completing

Right, left to right: Panel Discussants Jason Sanders, President David Boren, Andrea DenHoed, and Mubeen Shakir

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March /April 2014

50th Anniversary, continued from p2

Oxford, Mubeen will attend Harvard Medical School.

All were instrumental in realizing the president’s vision and in establishing the template for the Honors College as it now exists.

School. An internal medicine speHonors History cialist, Jason currently serves as the Vice Provost for Planning and Ad- President George Lynn Cross and Since that time, Dr. Robert GrisProfessor Paul Ruggiers founded ministrative Services at the OU wold and Dr. RC Davis-Undiano OU’s Honors program in 1963. In Health Sciences Center. have also served the college as 1994, President Boren began laying Deans and Dr. Randy Lewis served In 2008, Andrea Denhoed earned as Associate two Bachelor’s Dean for one degrees from OU: year. The Honone in Letters and ors College is another in Internow overseen national and Area by Dean David Studies. While at Ray and AssociOxford she ate Dean Rich earned another Hamerla. Bachelor’s, this time in Literature. Today, the HonAfterwards, she ors College is a earned an MA in vibrant commuJournalism from nity which is New York Univerfree and open to sity’s Cultural Reany OU student porting and Critiwho meets its cism Program. Above, left to right: current and former students Akash Patel, Mubeen academic reAndrea currently Shakir, Jeremy Allen, and Anoop Bal at the Honors 50th Anniversary quirements. Adworks for the New Luncheon ditionally, the Yorker Magazine college has 13 the groundwork for the program to dedicated faculty members who as a web producer and writer. be elevated to college status. work with approximately 2,500 acMubeen Shakir, the Honors Coltive Honors students, an honorsProvost (then Professor) Nancy lege’s most recent Rhodes recipispecific curriculum, a writing cenMergler, Dr. Carolyn Morgan ent, is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Medical Anthropol- (former Associate Dean of the col- ter focused solely on honors stuogy at Oxford. Last year, he gradu- lege), and Dr. Melanie Wright were dents, and a highly successful (and largely student-led) reading group all there as the transition began, ated summa cum laude with a program. Bachelor’s of Science degree in Bio- along with the first Dean of the chemistry from OU. Once done at Honors College, Dr. Steve Gillon. Honors Newsletter 3

March /April 2014

Events Calendar 

March 29: Undergraduate Research Day. 830am-12 noon, in Wagner Hall.

March 30: Honors Student Association trip to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and to the Bricktown rock climbing facility. 11am-6pm (meet at the Honors College) Info: 325-9088.

April 1: Tuesday Noon Concert, featuring Professor Valerie Watts on flute. Noon at the Sandy Bell Gallery.

April 1: Jeongwon Ham Piano Concert. 8pm at Sharp Music Hall.

April 4-6 and 10-13: “The Cherry Orchard.” 8pm (3pm on the 6th and 13th) at The Weitzenhoffer Theatre.

April 7: “Rethinking South Africa’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic through Gogo Mtembu’s Case of Tuberculosis,” w/ Abigail Newely. 530pm in Zarrow Hall.

April 10: The Honors Student Association presents Dr. Julia Ehrhardt on Italian Food in America. Time tba, DLB Hall, room 180.

April 14-16: New Media Collective Art Show at the Lightwell Gallery.

April 17: Honors Student Association elections will be held in DLB Hall room 180. Time tba.

April 18: “Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change and the Problem of Disorientation,” w/ Kyle Powys White. 330pm at Sarkeys Energy Center, room A235.

April 19: Honors Student Association presents Honors College Dance. Time tba, in the Student Union.

April 23-26: University Theatre presents “Shakers.” 8pm at the Old Science Hall.

April 25-27 and April 30-May 3: Contemporary Dance Oklahoma. 8pm (3pm on the 27th) at the Rupel J. Jones Theatre.

April 27: Hornsemble. 6pm at Sharp Concert Hall.

May 1: UPB presents Sound Lounge, a band showcase. 700pm-900pm at Beaird Lounge in the Union.

May 3: Iakovos Kolanian Classical Guitar Recital. 800pm at Pitman Recital Hall.

For a complete listing of events, go to Honors Newsletter 4

March January /April 2014 2014

The Honors Undergraduate Journal Readies 2014 Edition At the end of every spring semester, the Honors College celebrates excellence in undergraduate scholarship by publishing eight to twelve of the very best research essays we can get our hands on. Travis Totten is this year’s chief editor for The Honors Undergraduate Research Journal (THURJ), and I spoke with him in order to learn more about what goes into this annual publication. Q: How are you and what have you been up to lately? A: Things are going great! Right now, I am trying to go through all the submissions myself to make sure the proper ones don't get left out because of a

glitch in the scoring system. We have our final selection meeting on Saturday so things are really picking up! Q: What do you like best about working on THURJ? A: I really enjoy the editorial process, it's probably the thing I’ve enjoyed the most in working with THURJ this year, but I also enjoy connecting with the other board members. I am blessed to have an amazing assistant editor in Paige Abernathy, who is always prepared in ways that I don't always think of. Q: How many submissions did you receive this year?

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A: Including creative submissions, we had about 120. In my opinion, that's too low, but because of severe weather during the last weeks of the fall semester, we were not able to chalk or distribute as many flyers around campus as we wanted to. Q: How are papers selected for publication in THURJ? I know the editorial board is comprised solely of undergraduates, but what goes into the process? A: The papers are selected through a very extensive process. First, each paper is distributed to the student 'experts,’ Continued on p6

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THURJ, continued from p5 the editors in charge of the initial grading of the submissions from an expert perspective. Submitted essays are also sent to non-experts who evaluate them in terms of writing quality. The grading system is based on a rubric the entire editorial staff developed collaboratively.

A: I encourage anyone who is interested in writing, editing, or just learning to get involved with THURJ in any way they can. Submitting a paper is free, easy, and worth it. Being We went over the papers and de- able to tell people that you are a pubtermined how to grade them in a lished researcher is meeting in order to achieve cona big thing, as well sistency of evaluation so everyone as the hundred dolwas on the same page. The top ranking papers (including border- lar prize for being line scores that we re-reviewed to published. I also ensee if they should be considered in courage students to the final selection) were taken back apply for positions to the entire committee, where all on the board. I nevthe editors met, re-read all of the er thought I would have been a candipapers and had a long discussion date for selection to over how to rank them. the board before I Q: What else would you like to tell applied, but now us about your work on THURJ? I've been on the board three times, A: I love doing this. It gives me and this year I even great pleasure doing something that I love, and working with words got to serve as chief in any way pleases me greatly. I've editor! learned a lot about respect, my peers, using time efficiently, and now I have acquired amazing experience working with awesome individuals who have excelled here at For more inforOU. mation regarding Q: One of the best things about this whole process is that, in addition to recognizing strong undergraduate research, it also gives Honors students the chance to beinvolved in a formal peer-review process. How can other students get involved with THURJ?

THURJ, please contact chjef editor Travis Totten at

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The editorial board of the 2014 edition of The Honors Undergraduate Research Journal is pleased to announce the following nine authors whose research papers will be published this year:  Morgan Brokob: “Speaking Out Through Fiction: Taslima Nasrin, Literature, and Activism in Bangladesh”  Arthur Dixon: “Two Faces of an Elite Reformation: Lay Reading and Thomas Cranmer's Preface to the Great Bible of 1540”  Audrey Hopkins: “The Pedagogy of Alcoholism: Using Paulo Freire's Model of Oppression to Examine Cyclical Alcoholism”  Daniel Meschter: “The Empty Well: Yemen's Groundwater Crisis”  Chase Miller: “Architecture and Social Problems: Citizen Architecture and Lessons from Pruitt-Igoe”  Sarah Otts: “I'm Pink, Therefore I'm a Man: Gender Norms and the My Little Pony Fandom”  Brandon Ranallo: “Navigating Multiple Oppressions in Modern America: The Unique Struggles of Black Gay Men in American Postsecondary Education”  Laura Wilcox: “The Grimm Face of Disney: From Sordid to Sales”  John Michael Zubialde: “A Drug Fueled Insurgency” THURJ received more than 100 submissions this year. The Honors College faculty and the THURJ selection committee wish to congratulate all of the selected winners.

March January /April 2014 2014

Goldwater Scholarship Winners Announced University of Oklahoma honors students Sydney Bader, Laura Figueroa and Yuan Rui have been named 2014 Goldwater Scholars, with Joshua Wadler receiving an honorable mention. The prestigious scholarships are awarded on the basis of potential and intent to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.

by Dr. Melanie Wright

Survey. Since last year, she has asand plays the violin, and serves as sessed the current state of Oklahothe international student outreach ma bumble bee species as part of leader for the InterVarsity Christian her honors thesis, and since 2012 Fellowship. A National Merit Schol- she has participated in the Urban ar, Bader’s honors and awards in- Snail Survey Project, which evaluatclude an Undergraduate Research ed the status of non-native snail Opportunity Program research species in lawns. She continues to grant, the Chris T. Memorial Unassess the impact of controlled dergraduate Research Fellowship, burning on snail populations. Part the Elks National Foundation Schol- of her research on snails was published last year in a scienThe National Scholarship competition is con- tific article for which she ducted by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarwas listed as a co-author. ship and Excellence in Education Program. This summer she will be This year, 1,166 college sophomores and jun- an intern with the Hariors across the country competed for the 283 vard Forest. Her future scholarships. 247 students received Honora- plans include obtaining a ble Mentions. The one- and two-year schol- PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology and conarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, ducting research on conbooks, and room and board up to a maxiservation.

Bader, a junior majoring in biochemistry, is from Richland, Washington. She is working with Susan Schroeder, OU associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, as a research assistant investigating the structure and function of viral RNA. She began research at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory mum of $7,500 per year. (PNNL) her senior year of high school as a Young Women in arship, the President’s Honor Roll Science intern. For the past two summers she worked with Lizabeth and the Dean’s Honors Roll. This Alexander, senior research scientist summer she will study in Ireland at PNNL. There, Bader participated and then plans to volunteer with a in several projects, exploring how youth mentoring organization in the molecular composition of soil her hometown. could effect climate change. Upon Figueroa, originally from Bogota, graduation from OU, she plans to Colombia, is a junior whose family pursue a Ph.D. in virology and lives in Claremore, Okla., maintains structural biology and work toward a 3.96 grade-point average and is disease prevention. pursuing a degree in biology. She Bader holds a 4.0 grade-point aver- has worked extensively with Elizabeth Bergey, associate professor of age and is a member of the OU biology and associate heritage biolHonors College, a member of the ogist with the Oklahoma Biological University Symphony Orchestra Honors Newsletter 7

Among her awards and honors are the OU Scholars award, the M. Blanche Adams and M. Frances Scholarship, The Herbert and Lela Mitchell Berlin Scholarship, The David C. Steed Arts and Sciences Scholarship, The Rita H. Lottinville Prize for Outstanding Achievement, the R. Boyd Gunning Scholarship, the Robert E. and Mary B. Sturgis Scholarship, the Colombian Student Association Scholarship, and several other honors. A member of the Biology Department student advisory committee, Figueroa has also Continued on p8

March January /April 2014 2014

Goldwater, continued from p7 participated in BioBlitz, a group that inventories Oklahoma’s biodiversity, and has been a member of Science Outreach, the Sierra Club, OUr Earth, and the Colombian Student Association. From Norman, Okla., Rui is a junior majoring in chemical engineering with a 4.0 grade-point average. She began research her freshman year with Brian Grady, Conoco-Dupont professor of chemical engineering and Director of the Institute for Applied Surfactant Research, investigating the crystallization of kinetics of an ionized polymer. She is first author on two articles, one that is published and another under review, and she has presented the final results of her work with Grady at the 245th American Chemical Society national meeting and exposition. Currently working with Grady and Jeff Harwell, Asahi Glass Chair in chemical engineering, and in conjunction with Asahi Glass Company in Japan, Rui is researching the electrical and mechanical properties of fluoropolymer and carbon nanotube composite materials. Her research plans for the summer are to continue the carbon nanotube-fluoropolymer project with Grady and Harwell. With a career goal to conduct research in materials engineering and in particular nanotechnology, Rui will first obtain a PhD in chemical or materials engineering. A member of the OU Engineers Club, Rui has also served as an orientation volunteer for new inter-

national students and was a member of Chi Alpha Ministries. A National Merit Scholar, she has also received the Sooner Opportunity Scholarship, and the 2011 Oklahoma Academic All-State Scholarship. This year, she will represent OU at Research Day at the Capitol, a poster competition held at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Ocean. Fully understanding vertical motion within the MJO, which mainly occurs over the Indian Ocean, will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of worldwide weather phenomena. This summer, he will continue his research with David Jorgensen, director of the NSSL Warning Research and Development Division.

A sophomore meteorology major with a 4.0 grade-point average, Wadler is from Brooklyn, NY. After obtaining a PhD in meteorology, he plans to conduct research on tropical cloud microphysics and teach at the university level. While still in high school, Wadler was an intern with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Cooperative Remote Sensing and Technology Center (NOAACREST).There, he analyzed the relationship between the average precipitation rate of a storm with nine different atmospheric variables that are derived from radar or satellite images. His project won awards from the New York City Science and Engineering Fair, the American Meteorological Society and NOAA. Since 2012 he began an internship with the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) Warning Research and Development Division analyzing airborne radar data from the dynamics of the MaddenJulian Oscillation research project. His work includes trying to understand vertical motion within the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). The MJO has been shown to influence worldwide climate, including hurricane activity in the Atlantic

A University of Oklahoma Award of Excellence recipient, Wadler has also received the WeatherBug Freshman Scholarship from the American Meteorological Society/ Earth Networks, the OU School of Meteorology Scholarship, an AP

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Scholar with Distinction award, and the Thomas Shortman Training Service Fund Undergraduate Scholarship from the Employees International Union Local 32BJ. He has also been listed on the President’s and Dean’s Honor Rolls every semester. A Resident Adviser for OU Housing and Food, he is also active in the School of Meteorology where he is chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Revision Committee, a co-sophomore representative of the Student Affairs Committee and the co-director of the Undergraduate Town Hall Committee. Since August 2012 he has been a forecasting shift leader at the Oklahoma Weather Lab and is a member of the OU chapter of the American Meteorological Society. Wadler wishes to thank his parents, Jack and Lisa Wadler, for their continued support and encouragement.

March January /April 2014 2014



Dr. Marie Dallam will bring a guest speaker to the Honors College on April 21-22. Dr. Benjamin Zeller (Lake Forest College) is the author of "Prophets and Protons: New Religious Movements and Science in Late Twentieth-Century America" (NYU Press, 2010). Zeller's current research focuses on Heaven's Gate, a religious group that committed mass suicide in 1997. Zeller will be on campus to speak with students of Dr. Dallam's classes about making sense of the Heaven's Gate tragedy.

Dr. Marie Dallam’s book, Religion, Food and Eating in North America, was published in March by Columbia University Press. She is the book’s co-editor, as well as the author of its introduction.

of the Music and Sound Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association.

Last November Dr. Minks also presented new research at the Society for Ethnomusicology conference Dr. Dallam also had a chapter pub- entitled “From Indigenous Folklore lished in the Bloomsbury Compan- to Intangible Heritage: InterAmerican Cultural Policy, Henrietta ion to New Religious Movements (Bloomsbury Press, January 2014). Yurchenco, and P’urhépecha Music of Music.” The chapter is entitled "Race and Ethnicity in the Study of NRMs." Dr. Andreana Prichard will be presenting a paper called "Christianity, Ethnicity, and Nationalist Development in Tanzania, 1864-1964" at Dr. Julia Ehrhardt will lead a group the Association for the Study of of OU students to Ireland this sumEthnicity and Nationalism Confermer. The course will focus on food ence on Nationalism and Belonging in Ireland and is part of the College at the London School of Economics, of Arts and Sciences summer proMarch 31-April 4. gram in Ireland. Dr. Melanie Wright will lead a group of students to Oxford this summer, where several courses ranging from literature to anthropology will be offered.

Grants and Awards

Faculty Notes

Dr. Robert Lifset’s new book, American Energy Policy in the 1970s, is set to be published this year by the OU Press. Dr. Amanda Minks recently published her book Voices of Play: Miskitu Children’s Speech and Song on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua with the University of Arizona Press.

Dr. Andreana Prichard received a Junior Faculty Fellowship from OU to spend the summer completing her book manuscript, Spirit of the Nation: Women, Missions, and the Development of Nationalism in In 2013 Dr. Minks also published a Tanzania, 1860-1970. chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Children’s Musical Cultures, and became the Convener

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Congratulations to Dr. Amanda Minks! Dr. Minks earned tenure this semester and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in the Honors College.

March January /April 2014 2014

Honors Alumni e-Mentoring Are you looking for advice about professional, educational, or personal opportunities? Successful Honors College graduates are offering their time and advice through the new e-mentoring correspondence program! Our e-mentors are experienced with: 

Medical Schools and Careers in Medicine

Working and Living Abroad

Government Affairs, Politics, and Public Policy

Graduate Schools

Law Schools and Law Careers

Energy: Oil and Gas

Business Schools and Professional Development

Computer Science and Engineering Programs

Just go to and log on to the program. Browse through the list of e-mentors and select the mentor(s) you would like to contact. Then, write to and the Honors College will put you in communication with the e-mentor(s) of your choice. Honors Newsletter 10

March January /April 2014 2014

Student Uses Dance to Improve the Lives of Area Children Emily Scheele is a Mathematics/Pre -Med Honors student at OU and is also the founder of the Expressive Movement Initiative (EMI). According to its Facebook page, EMI volunteers from the University of Oklahoma “bring the art of creative movement to children with developmental disabilities at the JD McCarty Center.� Q: What is the Expressive Movement Initiative? A: The Expressive Movement Initiative allows volunteers from the University of Oklahoma to bring the art of creative movement to children with developmental disabilities at the JD McCarty Center. Our goals are threefold:

man and the surrounding community.

tinued my training at the Academy of Colorado Ballet until I began teaching at a couple of local studiQ: What is your background and how did you come up with the idea os in high school. During this time, I was also a volunteer math tutor for for EMI? kids with special needs. When I A: My background is pertinent to came to the University of Oklahothe origins of this program: I began ma, I decided to combine these dancing when I was three, and con- interests and first conceived of the idea for this program in the spring of 2013, at the end of my freshman year. I became certified in After-School Programs Administration through the American Camp Association over the summer, and achieved an emphasis on Special Needs by shadowing a ballet teacher at the Colorado Conservatory of Dance with a similar program.

1) to help our students develop physically, socially, and creatively,

Q: How did you get involved with the JD McCarty Center? A: I approached the JD McCarty Center with my proposal and began working with the Director of Physical Therapy and Volunteer Coordinator at the same time that I was applying to make the program an official student organization at OU.

2) to change the perspectives of our volunteer teachers regarding the capabilities of children with ranges of developmental disabilities, and 3) to eliminate the social stigma associated with retardation and disabilities in Nor-

Continued on p12 Honors Newsletter 11

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Dance, continued from p11 As soon as the groundwork had been laid, I began advertising for volunteer teachers and received such an overwhelmingly positive response that I had to make this a competitive process. Since we have a one-to-one student-teacher ratio with the kids, we can take no more volunteers than we have students signed up for the class.

involved, and if so, how?

All volunteers go through an extensive application and interview process at the beginning of each semester. After its trial run in the fall of 2013, the program was taken on by the JD McCarty Center as an outpatient service that costs $50 for eight weeks and culminates in a final recital for family and friends. We are anticipating our first recital this April.

Q: Emily, what do you get out of this work?

A: Other students can definitely get involved. Applications go out at the beginning of each semester and an interview process follows. They can get more information by sending an email to

A: I find this work extremely rewarding. It has been beautiful to see the progress made in the students and the impact it has had on volunteer teachers. I can picture no better use of time.

Q: Can other students get

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Learn more about the Expressive Movement Initiative from their Facebook page: expressivemovementinitiative More information can also be found in a recent article in the Norman Transcript: http://www. x1387854798/J-D-McCartyCenter-dance-group-helpskids-express-themselves

March January /April 2014 2014

The Expressive Movement Initiative The mission of the Expressive Movement Initiative (EMI) is to is to introduce children with developmental disabilities to the art of dance as an expressive outlet. Volunteers from the University of Oklahoma meet each week to teach a modified ballet class to patients between the ages of three and nineteen at the JD McCarty Center in Norman. Originally, the goal of this project was to provide a small group of inpatients with a physically therapeutic activity that could double as a means of improvement for social and communication skills. Within the first few months of the program, outreach has expanded to include both inpatients and outpatients with congenital or acquired disorders. This project is innately creative in that it inspires creativity in the minds of young children; it incites volunteers to both choreograph with, and advocate for, a better understanding of special needs; and it is the only program of its kind that cultivates a partnership between undergraduates and children with disabilities through the medium of creative movement. Emily Scheele

(OU student and former ballet teacher) and Holly Schmidt (faculty member of the OU Dance Department) conceived of the program in January 2013. The JD McCarty Center expressed interest in hosting the program under the condition that Holly Schmidt, a certified instructor of creative movement, would supervise classes. When Ms. Schmidt decided to leave the university in May 2013, Ms. Scheele became certified as a creative movement supervisor. Over the summer, Ms. Scheele took a 15-hour course and received ACA Certification as a Programs Administrator with a special emphasis on Dance/ Movement Therapy. Her training provided her with the skills necessary to safely and appropriately modify movement for those with disabilities. To acquire experience, Ms. Scheele shadowed a movement therapist with the Colorado Conservatory of Dance for eight weeks. After being presented with the newly acquired accreditations, the CEO of the JD McCarty Center accepted the program as a temporary inpatient extracurricular in the fall of 2013.

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March January /April 2014 2014

Honors Student Association News and Events *On March 30th, join the Honors Student Association for an exciting trip to Oklahoma City, from approximately 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.! We will leave from the Honors College and drive as a group to Bricktown to eat lunch at Hideaway Pizza (students will have to buy their own lunch). You can then choose to attend either the Oklahoma City Museum of Art where there will be an Ansel Adams exhibit or go rock climbing at the Rocktown Climbing Gym. All fees for both of these are covered. This is a great way to see part of the Oklahoma City community and both parts of the trip will be a lot of fun! Sign up on this form. We will be driving as a group so we are asking you to please volunteer as a driver and take some other students with you. Please indicate on the form if you can drive and how many extra seats you have. Since we are driving, everyone must fill out and sign a WAIVER (see Lisa Tucker for this). The original signed copy must be sent to the attention of Lisa Tucker in the main office of the Honors College, Room 160 David L. Boren Hall. The waiver must be received by 12:00 noon Friday, March 28 if you wish to participate. *On April 10, the H.S.A will host Dr. Julia Ehrhardt, who will make a presentation concerning Italian Food in America. DLB Hall, room 180, time tba.

*Honors Student Association Elections for 2014-2015 academic year will be held on April 17. DLB Hall, room 180, time tba.

*On April 19 H.S.A will host the Honors College Dance at the Student Union, time tba.

The H.S.A. is on Facebook:

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March January /April 2014 2014

Honors-Specific Advising At the departmental level OU does a good job of advising students, helping them map out their course schedules so they can graduate on time with no surprises. Many Honors students take advantage of the OU Scholars during their first year as well. But what about the honors curriculum? For advising help designed to help insure that they make progress toward earning the cum laude designation, all honors students should meet with Dr. Carolyn Morgan and Kelsey Lunsford.

tise to his new job.

Q: What do Honors students need We recently spoke with spoke with to know? Kelsey to learn more about Honors A: Honors students need to know -specific advising that there is a supportive staff in Q: When it comes to advising, what the front office for when they have questions about requirements, redo you do? search opportunities, graduating A: I work very closely with Carolyn with honors, etc. It is much better to clarify things sooner rather than later. Don’t be scared to ask! Q: Why is it important to graduate with honors?

A: Aside from earning the cum laude designation and having that indicated on your diploma, Together, Kelsey which is the oband Dr. Morgan vious ultimate work to make goal, being a sure that every part of the HonHonors student Dr. Carolyn Morgan and Kelsey Lunsford are here to help Honors stu- ors College enrichunderstands what es students’ edudents work through their course requirements in order to earn the courses must be cation. The readtaken in order to cum laude designation ing groups, Honors graduate with Morgan to better the communica- Student Association, small classes, honors. Starting in the fall of 2014, tion between students and the and close-knit student body lend Jeff Cooper will also be involved in Honors College to increase aware- themselves to an intimate, intellecthis important process. Jeff curness of the opportunities and retually thirsty community that is rently serves as an advisor in the sources that are available to them sometimes lacking in the main OU Scholars Program, and will and to get the most out of their campus. bring eight years of advising exper- Honors experience. Continued on p16 Honors Newsletter 15

March January /April 2014 2014

Advising, continued from p15

MEET JEFF COOPER Beginning this April, Jeff Cooper will be working closely with Kelsey Lunsford and Dr. Carolyn Morgan to help Honors students meet their honorsspecific requirements and work toward the goal of earning the cum laude designation.

Q: Are there any important deadlines students need to know about as they plan out their college careers? A: We send out most of our important information about academic and extra-curricular opportunities through email, so pay attention to your Honors emails and write down important dates! Q: How do students set up appointments to meet with Dr. Morgan? A: Students can set up appointments with Carolyn through If students have a quick question, just come by our office. We are available to help 8-5 Monday through Friday. You can also always ask questions through our homepage (which actually are answered by me) or email me directly at, and the phone is always quickest: 3255291. Q: What else would you like to add?

Jeff has eight years’ experience advising students and has worked in the OU Scholars Office for the past six years and we’re excited to him on board. ~Welcome, Jeff!

A: As a former honors student, I wish I had taken more advantage of the academic and social opportunities I had in the Honors College. I didn’t know that such a supportive and focused community was available to me, which would have made navigating college life so much easier. I am so happy to be able to help students find their place within the cream of the crop of this university.

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HONORS-SPECIFIC ADVISING In order to graduate with honors (cum laude) students must complete all honors requirements. For help in planning out your course schedules, please contact us:

325-5291 Or simply come into the Honors main office (David L. Boren Hall, Room 160) and ask for Kelsey.

March January /April 2014 2014

Summer Courses Offered in Norman, Oxford, Ireland Several interesting course options exist for students wishing to work with Honors faculty this summer.


Norman Dr. Steve Gillon will offer two different courses: HON 2973: “American Politics and Society Since 1945” and HON 3993: ”Rethinking the 1960s.” Dr. Gillon is the former Dean of the Honors College and the current Resident Historian for the History Channel.

The Honors at Oxford Program, led by Dr. Melanie Wright, will feature the following HON 3970 courses in June, prior to leaving for the UK:

“British Fiction at Oxford,” taught by Dr. Melanie Wright

“Appearance/Reality,” taught by Dr. Alan Velie

Dr. Robert Lifset will teach HON 3993: “Petroleum Cinema” during May intersession.

“Censorship of British Literature,” taught by Dr. Brian Johnson

Dr. Amanda Minks will offer HON 3993: ”Music and Culture in Everyday Life.”

Honors at Oxford will then take up again at Oxford University in July, and will offer the following HON 3993 courses:

Ireland In July, Dr. Julia Ehrhardt will offer CAS 3900: “Food & Culture in Ireland,” as a part of the College of Arts and Sciences Study Abroad Program.

“Oxford and Archeology”

“Environments of Fiction”

“Bio/Soc in Atomic Age”

“Shakespeare at Oxford”

“Banned Books in Great Britain”

Summer 2013 Honors at Oxford Program participants Honors Newsletter 17

March January /April 2014 2014

The Don Quijote E-Newsletter Formally introduced in the fall of 2012, the OU Honors College’s “Don Quijote E-Newsletter” (DQ) publishes the fruits of an informal and extracurricular course of study followed by willing students.

they like, disagree with, or have questions about.”

According to Sarah, the main purpose of DQ is to “maintain intellectual interests in the Honors College and to promote conversaStudents engage with any of sever- tion amongst Honors students al wildly different materials, includ- concerning intellectual topics.” ing chapters from Feynman’s phys- Sarah goes on to note that, ics lectures, Shakespeare plays, through participating, “I personalsections of Edith Hamilton’s Greek ly have benefited from practicing Way or Roman Way or Mozart’s my writing, from learning about compositions. Afterwards, they stuff outside my ordinary field of write essays on these materials, study like physics (which I would which are then uploaded to the e- have a hard time convincing mynewsletter. self to study on my own), and from making more connections With Dean David Ray’s help, Hon- between material I'm learning in ors students Sarah Smith and Wil- classes and things I study or think liam Lonn have been working on about on my own--this last part is DQ since its inception. Together, especially important to me bethey have written many of the es- cause I think making those consays appearing in DQ and have nections helps me to retain inforhelped copy edit submissions remation better all around.” ceived from other Honors students. William adds that DQ provides an outlet “for writing about interSince its beginning, DQ has recent- esting, engaging material outside ly expanded to include essays on of class” and believes that stugreat books and poetry. DQ pubdents should “get involved belishes these essays with the hope cause it's a really good way to disof stimulating intellectual discuscover or get reacquainted with sion amongst OU Honors students great art and knowledge.” and to provide curricular structure for students interested in thinking Interested students are urged to and engaging in classic works out- get involved by emailing DQ at side their classes., or by looking around on DQ, which can Sarah and William “encourage all be found at www.oudonquijote. our readers to comment on essays Honors Newsletter 18

“I hope students will get involved so we can have a wider variety of opinions and writing styles expressed in DQ, and so we can broaden the intellectual conversation to more students. I think anyone who's interested in broadening themselves intellectually can benefit from contributing to (or reading) DQ--it's a good impetus to study material on your own, to really get into that material, and to practice your writing skills in the process. Additionally, I've found it nice to have a selection of published essays I've written outside of class that I can use as writing samples in any sort of application.” ~ Sarah Smith, DQ co-editor

March January /April 2014 2014

Undergraduate Research Day Celebrates Honors Students and Their Scholarship Undergraduate Research Day (URD) will be held on Saturday, March 29, 2014 from 8:30 a.m.-12 noon, in Wagner Hall on the Norman OU campus. 

Undergraduate Research Day is an annual event for undergraduate students to present their papers and creative works. Topics include the natural sciences, performance art, life sciences, business, engineering, social sciences, critical studies in ancient or modern literature, and the humanities. Prose and poetry submissions and other forms of creative activity are also encouraged.

Participants may give either a poster presentation or a 10-15 minute talk.

Poster presentations will be located outside the conference rooms and students will be expected to stay with their posters and answer questions from passersby.

Presenters will be part of a panel of 4-6 students and talk about their research to an audience. These presentations may include powerpoint, video, or performances.

Cash prizes are awarded to the best presentations in various categories.

All undergraduate students at OU are eligible and students do not need to be members of the Honors College to participate.

Students who have received Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program grants are required to present before they graduate.

Interested in applying for next year’s URD? The application is available online at http://

Information about Undergraduate Research Day and maps to the locations are here:

Honors Newsletter 19

March January /April 2014 2014

Honors Engineering Advising Are you a member of the Honors College? Are you an Engineering Major? The Honors Engineering Liaison, Javen Weston, is available to give you advice on various topics:   

How to fit Honors Electives into an Engineering curriculum. How to complete the Honors Research (3980) requirement How to contract for Honors Credit

Advising is available for Engineering Honors College Students

Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30am-12:00pm In Carson, room 411 Fridays 9:30am-12:00pm In Boren Hall, room 125

Alternatively, e-mail Javen to set up an appointment:

Honors Newsletter 20

March January /April 2014 2014

Honors Professor Blogs on Intellectual History Dr. Ben Alpers is an Honors faculty member who also writes for and helps edit the U.S. Intellectual History Blog (

ing considered scholarship in its own right. Last year, a journal in religious studies published an article that was a response to a blog Q: Upon which topics does the blog post. primarily focus? This was rather controversial, not A: As the name suggests, the core so much because it took the post of the blog is U.S. intellectual histo- seriously, but because some feel ry. All of our eight bloggers – who that blog posts are work-inprogress and shouldn’t be treated are a mix of faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars – as more than that. But I truly believe that this is the wave of the are intellectual historians of the United States. We try to relate is- future. We need to ask ourselves sues within our subdiscipline to the both how to evaluate blogging as broader world around us. Though scholarship and how to encourage we do our fair share of simply blog- the production of better scholarship on blogs. ging about ideas in the American past, many of our posts are motivated by current events in academia, American culture, or the wider world. Q: What do you see as the relationship between online scholarship and more traditional forms? A: That’s a complicated and important question! Blog posts come both before and after more traditional genres of scholarship. That is, blogs can be places to test the first version of ideas that later manifest themselves in conference papers, journal articles, and books and be a place where we can discuss conference papers, journal articles, and books that have appeared. My current book project, for example, started as a blog post on the film American Graffiti. But blogging is more and more be-

rything else on the internet, if you don’t want everyone in the world to know you’ve said something, you probably shouldn’t put it in a blog post. And short, even instantaneous, production process means that there’s a lot less immediate quality control than there is with refereed journal articles and books…though comment sections perform a kind of back-end peer review, which has the added virtue of being open source and of performing a usual invisible aspect of academia for a broader audience.

We’re still in the very infancy of digital scholarship. How it will evolve, and what role blogs play in Q: What are the chief benefits of online scholarship and of academic its evolution, are still very much open questions, which academics blogging? (on and off line), bloggers, and our A: Most basically, by providing an- institutions will all have a say in other outlet for our research and determining. creative work, blogs encourage the Q: What else should we know production and dissemination of about the blog? knowledge, which is kind of the heart of what we do. Among their A: I hope that students and alumni more particular virtues are the visit it. Whether you’re interested breadth of their (potential) reach in literature, movies, television, or and the speed of their production sports…or even the more traditionprocess. While articles and books al subjects of intellectual history take months or even years from (ideas and the people who think the time of their writing to the them), you’ll likely find something time of their appearance in print, of interest on the blog. And if you blog posts are basically instant. do visit, please do not feel shy And with instant publishing comes about commenting. We like to ennearly as instant feedback. Of courage open and vigorous discuscourse, these virtues can also be sions (just please be civil…and vices: blogging is a particularly don’t be troll). blunt form of publishing. Like eveHonors Newsletter 21

March January /April 2014 2014

OU and Columbia University President’s Mentorship Program In Cancer Research Each year, the President’s Mentorship Program provides one OU Honors student with the opportunity to participate in high-level cancer research at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City in the lab of Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Staff Oncologist, and Pulitzer Prize Winning Author of The Emperor of All Maladies. The program will fund the student for eight weeks this summer, beginning June 2 and providing both

travel and living/boarding stipends. This program is open to Honors students who desire a career in biomedical research or medicine, with preferences to those who will continue graduate studies in research.

Applications for the program can be picked up at the Honors main office.

If you would like to know more about the OU-Columbia President’s Mentorship Program in Cancer Research or any program in the Joe C. To be eligible, students must be and Caroled Kerr McClendon Honfull-time Honors students no high- ors College, please call (405) 325er than junior status (that is, in5291 or submit your questions to tending to return to OU and be en- the “Question and Feedback” secrolled in the academic year follow- tion of the Honors College web ing the mentorship summer). site,

Honors Newsletter 22

March January /April 2014 2014

If you are interested in becoming a Writing Assistant, contact Dr. Brian Johnson, Director of the Honors College Writing Center, at 3250711 or

writing is essentially a social act, and that writing should be produced with an audience in Students wishing to be considered mind. "Writing Workshop" is a for the position of Writing Assisspace for students tant need to: to learn more about  Take and earn an “A” in an the craft of writing, “HON 2973: Perspectives on the nature of acathe American Experience” demic discourse, course. and the expansion of audience  Submit two writing samples awareness. The course is also an which exemplify your skill with introduction to good tutoring practhe written word. tices which prepares students to  Submit a letter of recommen- become Writing Assistants within dation from a member of the Honors faculty.  Take and earn an “A” in the “HON 3970.001: Writing Workshop” course.

The Honors College Writing Center

The “Writing Workshop” course introduces Honors students to the field of rhetorical theory and helps them continue developing their own unique writing skills. The course operates on the assumptions that writing skills can be developed though working with one’s peers, that

the Honors College Writing Center. Key questions addressed in the class include:  What is “good writing?”  How can we develop our own rhetorical skills?  How can we help others to become better writers? Throughout the semester students read, write, observe, and discuss in order to better answer these and related quesHonors Newsletter 23

tions. At the end of the semester, students will know more about themselves as writers and will be much more qualified to provide feedback to others who are struggling to write well. Obviously, the course helps prepare students to work in the Honors College Writing Center, but it also serves those who intend to teach or to otherwise guide would-be writers at any level or in any discipline. Whether you think of yourself as a "good” writer, a “bad” writer, or somewhere in between, the Honors College Writing Center wants to help you discover and develop your unique rhetorical talents. We operate on the assumption that all Honors students can become stronger writers by meeting with skilled, trained, and interested Writing Assistants. We won’t merely edit your paper for you. Instead, we’ll work hard to help you become more adept at expressing yourself through the written word and more able to meet the expectations of the Honors College.

March January /April 2014 2014

DEAN David Ray The University of Oklahoma Joe C. and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College 1300 Asp Avenue Norman, Oklahoma 73019-6061

ASSOCIATE DEAN Rich Hamerla EDITOR Brian Johnson

PHONE (405) 325-5292

SPECIAL THANKS TO Dr. Ben Alpers William Lonn Kelsey Lunsford Dr. Carolyn Morgan Emily Scheele Sarah Smith Dr. Melanie Wright

150 copies have been prepared and distributed at no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers.


The University of Oklahoma Honors College 1300 Asp Avenue Norman, OK 73019-6061


The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution.

Honors Newsletter 24

OU Honors College NEWS Mar Apr 2014  
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