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PETREE DISH P e t r e e C o l l e g e o f A r t s & Sc i e n c e s • o k l a h o m a c i t y u n i v e r s i t y

c r e at i v e m i n d s at wo r k

From the Dean’s Desk Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences Newsletter. You will receive the Petree Dish twice a year to update you on current initiatives and events highlighting the accomplishments of Petree College faculty, staff, students and alumni. We hope you will participate in future issues by letting us know what is happening in your life and career and how you have benefited from your liberal arts education at Oklahoma City University. The success story of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences is the story of your successes as you contribute as engaged citizens and responsible leaders in your fields around this nation and across the globe. In the 2012-2013 academic year, the Petree College began implementation of our new Strategic Plan. In this planning process, we discerned our mission, vision, and core values of the college with a focus on preparing students for lives of social and ecological responsibility, and we have developed three key strategic initiatives in the areas of 1) Program and Student Excellence, 2) Faculty Excellence, and 3) Learning Spaces Excellence. We have seen progress in all three initiatives over the past year. In relation to Program and Student Excellence we have launched two new programs: a Master of Science degree in Exercise and Sport Science and a joint degree program with the School of Law to offer a JD/M.A. in Applied Sociology: Non-Profit Leadership degree. We also received the welcome news in October 2012 that our teacher education program received

national accreditation with a citation for strength in the area of service learning. Student accomplishments in 2012-13 include students receiving Fulbright Scholarships (our third in two years), DaVinci Scholarships (our fourth in four years), and Two Gilman Scholarships for international studies. Our students consistently are granted admission into the finest graduate schools across the country, often with prestigious fellowships and scholarships, and we far exceed the national average for acceptance to medical school with an acceptance rate of 86% over the past five years. Exemplifying Faculty Excellence in 2012-2013, we held our first ever OCUCreates event at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, showcasing publications and creative projects by our faculty. The number of books and other scholarly output by Petree College Faculty has never been greater. Our faculty also received external validation for their excellence this year with

Robin Meyers

Professor of Rhetoric

Abigail Keegan

Professor of English

see inside Arts and Sciences........... 2 humanities....................... 4 s o c i a l s c i e n c e s .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 e d u c at i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 m a t h & s c i e n c e.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

recognition coming from state, regional, and national honors you will read about in this newsletter. The college is also exploring creative ways to promote even more scholarly achievement and teaching excellence in the future. Learning Spaces have been enhanced this year with new flooring in two lecture rooms and in the large meeting hall, room 151, of the Walker Center for Arts and Sciences and new paint for the entire building. We are also beginning a campaign to raise funds for new chemistry labs in the Dawson/Loeffler Science building, and we received a wonderful estate gift of over $450,000 to begin this fundraising project. Stay tuned this year for ways that you can help us transform these labs and contribute to even greater improvements to our science facilities in the years to come. The Petree College of Arts and Sciences Strategic Plan is in full implementation mode, and I invite you to read through the pages of this first edition of the Petree Dish to see even more examples of Petree College on the rise.

Mark Y. A. Davies Dean, Petree College of Arts & Sciences

arts & sciences

arts & sciences Student Named DaVinci Scholar Education and history/ political science major Katie Alsup was named a 2013 DaVinci/Martin Scholar. She will receive $1,000 for her first year of teaching in Oklahoma (secondary social studies at Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School). She graduated in May 2013 as part of the OCU Honors Program. Alsup is interested in using active learning strategies with secondary students. She has already developed plans to include centers and community-based projects in her future teaching. Last fall she worked with col-

leagues in history and art education to teach during the intercession at Taft Middle School. For her DaVinci Scholar consideration, she wrote a five-page proposal for a curriculum project that demonstrated creativity, service learning and community connections for middle school students, titled “Location, Location, Location: Mesopotamia’s Contribution to Geography, Agriculture and Society.” The DaVinci Institute is an organization of leaders in higher education who are committed to nurturing the arts, sciences,

humanities and education in Oklahoma. Its scholars program began in 2003. Scholars are chosen based on their willingness to advance their teaching careers in Oklahoma. According to the organization’s criteria, the recipients practice interdisciplinary instructional methods in the classroom, recognize and support the value of multiple intelligences and individual learning styles, and foster creativity and critical thought in students.

Intergenerational Computer Center hosts workshops The Intergenerational Computer Center (ICC) recently hosted and taught several workshops of the Girls Who Code series for the Girl Scouts

Student Notes Mass communications juniors Madi Alexander and Farris Willingham were hired for the Journal Record Legislative Report for the 2013 legislative session. The Napa Valley Register ran a brief about biomedical science junior Heather O’Connor finishing second in the Waldorf College Open (wrestling) in Forest City, Iowa. Cell and molecular biology senior Neilee M. Wood won a first place Letzeiser Medal.


of Western Oklahoma. ICC also serves seniors, adults, adults with disabilities, the Oklahoma City Public Schools, and Positive Tomorrows, the only

charter school in Oklahoma for the homeless population, as well as the general population with various classes and services.

Students Earn Prestigious Scholarships for study in japan Two Oklahoma City University students were awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad in Kyoto, Japan, for the spring semester. Mark Zachery and Bryne Harris were each awarded $5,000 scholarships. Zachery and Harris attended Ritsumeikan University through OCU’s reciprocal exchange program and studied on the Intensive Japanese Language track. Zachery is a biomedical science major and Harris is an English major. Both are American Indian Scholars at OCU. The Gilman Scholarship is funded through the Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is overseen by the Institute for International Education in Houston, Texas. Its goal is to promote study abroad to all students, particularly for those interested in studying outside of Western Europe and those interested in studying critical languages as defined by the State Department.


Accomplishments The Oklahoman ran a feature story about Café do Brasil restaurant owner and chef Ana Davis. Luke Dick (BA ’03, History/ Philosophy) released his new folk/rock album, “Abraço.” Jonah Johnson (BS ’12, Psychology) was named Mentor of the Year by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence’s Mentoring Initiative. Johnson visits the Boys & Girls Club nearly every day and has recruited other mentors. Johnson participated in Parks in Focus last fall, a photography and camping experience. Doug Knutson (MED ’12, Applied Behavioral Studies) was admitted to the Oklahoma State University Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology, which is APA-accredited. Rick Rieder (MM ’82, Vocal Pedagogy) was named vice president for administration of the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Mo. Letzeiser Medals: First Place Emily Noel Sanders (BS ’13, Cell and Molecular Biology) and Second Place Melody Anne Metivier (BS ’13, German, Secondary Education, and Elementary Education) Outstanding Senior Woman and Man: Robin Ladd (BA ’13, Political Science/Philosophy) and Chester Hendershot, Jr. (BS ’13, Cell and Molecular Biology and Spanish)

Faculty Accomplishments Political science professor Dr. Mohamed Daadaoui’s article “A Moroccan Monarchical Exception” was published in Foreign Policy magazine. Daadaoui was also interviewed for a story in The National about the death of Abdelsalam Yassine, a religious leader in Morocco. English and moving image arts professor Dr. Marc DiPaolo wrote a story about superheroes for the Winter 2013 issue of Oklahoma Humanities. Mass communications professor Dr. Kenna Griffin made the list of the Top 100 Twitter Accounts Job Seekers MUST Follow: 2013 (compiled by A book edited by English professor Dr. Salwa Khoddam, titled “C.S. Lewis and the Inklings: Discovering Hidden Truth,” was recently released by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. The book is a collection of papers that were presented at the 2010 conference of the C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society. The Lawton Constitution published a story about one of biology professor Dr. Lois Kruschwitz’s international student classes that attended a longhorn sale at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Philosophy professor Dr. Nathan Ross presented a peer-reviewed paper at the American Philosophical Association in New Orleans in February. The title of the paper is “On Truth Content and False Consciousness in Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory.” For the past four years Ross has had a paper accepted at the conference, which is the main peer review conference in philosophy in the nation. English professors Dr. Brooke Hessler and Dr. Tracy Floreani received a Major/Challenge grant of nearly $5,000 from the Oklahoma Humanities Council for their project “Remembering Ralph: Oral Histories Regarding Oklahoma’s Literary Legend, Ralph Ellison.” Dr. Tracy Floreani, English professor, was honored with the Distinguished Honors Faculty of the Year Award and the Mentoring of Undergraduate Research Award. The Excellence in Teaching Award for Full-Time Faculty was awarded to Dr. Stephen Prilliman, associate professor of chemistry and Dr. Monica Gallamore, adjunct professor of history. Distinguished Achievement in the Scholarship of Discovery was awarded to Dr. James Buss, associate professor of history. Distinguished Achievement in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning was awarded to Dr. Regina Clemens Fox, assistant professor of English. Faculty Emeriti: Dr. Leo Werneke, Dr. Terry Conley and Dr. Dennis Jowaisas Mark Zachery

Dr. Helen Gaudin

arts & sciences

arts & sciences


Humanities FACULTY, students discuss religion Several faculty members and undergraduate students from the Wimberly School of Religion attended the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies March 8 - 10 in Dallas, Texas, and presented a wide range of theological topics. Oklahoma City University co-sponsored the event, along with several universities. Students participated by giving presentations and attending lectures. “I loved being at the reception where Biblical scholars got to network. Hearing Dr. Adela Collins was fantastic. Seeing her handle questions strongly, yet humbly, was really inspiring,” said Trey Witzel, a junior religion/philosophy major. Feedback on the students’ presentations were favorable. “A most memorable experience … It was honestly unexpected to have doctoral students and other adults comment that they learned a lot from my paper and paintings,” explained Keith Bethell, a senior youth ministry major. “It was great to network, share and grow.” Accompanying the group to Dallas for the

Humanities Awards Virginia Goff Memorial Award for an Outstanding Senior Dakoda Preston Smith Kimberly Fuller Award for Excellence in Creative Writing Dakoda Preston Smith Eleanor Lou Carrithers Rhetoric Award Anna Lorena Bauman Outstanding Senior in Spanish Elena Ojeda Outstanding Senior in Chinese Victoria Diane Korrect Outstanding Senior in French Sarah Elise Szeibel Outstanding Senior in Philosophy Emma Donn Velez Outstanding Academic Achievement Award in Mass Communications Rachel Allison Morse


Excellence Award in Mass Communications Nathan Michael Hatcher Rachel Allison Morse

conference was Dr. John Starkey and junior religion major Molly Kate Been. The professors and students also visited the Perkins Theology Library exhibit on illustrated Bibles. Presentations during the event included: Dr. Sharon Betsworth • Widows and their Orphan Children in the Gospel of Luke Dr. Dann May • Pilgrimage to the Chinese Cities of Qufu, Zoucheng, and Taishan: Sacred Sites Associated with Kungzi, Mengzi and Daoism Dr. Beth Stetson (Meinders School of Business) • The Impact of Religious Affiliation on Tax Progressivity—Evidence from U.S. States Dr. Lisa Wolfe • Does Qohelet Hate Women, A Woman, or Woman Folly? Keith Bethell • Prophetic Literature ‘On the Road to Zion’ Trey Witzel • Amos and ‘The Hunger Games’

‘UNDONE’: MEYERS ADDRESSES LEADING RELIGIOUS SCHOLARS OCU Distinguished Professor of Social Justice Dr. Robin Meyers presented UNDONE: The Gospel as Resistance to Ego, Orthodoxy, and Empire in March in Santa Rosa, Calif. Dr. Meyers, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, gave four one-hour lectures on progressive Christianity, the alleged new Gnostic heresies, the effect of quantum physics on our conceptions of God, and his latest book, “Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus.” Elain Pagels, author of “The Gnostic Gospels” and “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation” also presented at the seminar. An accomplished author, syndicated columnist, and award-winning commentator for National Public Radio, Meyers describes his approach to Christianity as “non-literal, non-dogmatic, and profoundly subversive.” “This is, to date, the highest honor I have received to share my work and thought among the world’s leading religious scholars,” Meyers said. Dr. Meyers is the author of several books, including “The Underground Church” (2012), ”Saving Jesus from the Church” (2009), and “Why the Christian Right is Wrong” (2006). He earned his M.Div. from the Graduate Seminary at Phillips University, a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. In the fall, Meyers will deliver the Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

Social Sciences

Social Sciences Faculty Spotlight: ‘Amateur’ Professor Brings History to Life As a child, Oklahoma City University history professor Larry Cobb loved playing with miniature toy soldiers, lead replicas of Hussars, 15th Century Hungarian cavalry. “The first things I loved about history were bugles, flashing sabers, tales of swash and buckle. For me, it’s just so much fun.” Dr. Cobb considers himself an “amateur” (from the original Latin, amator, meaning lover) of history. “I love exploring what we humans think and do, and then communicating that to other humans, mostly younger.” He is also an amateur of art and music, regularly painting copies of Monet and other impressionists, performing in the Canterbury Choral Society and his church choir, and playing his 1938 Czech Juzek viola. His music amateurism began with viola lessons and singing in early childhood, and he sang “Hit the Moon Soon” with the Atlanta Boys Choir in the White House for President Dwight Ei-

senhower shortly after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik. After singing baritone in Duke University choirs, Cobb sang with the famous Robert Shaw Symphony Chorus in the mid-1970s, performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Carnegie Hall and Bernstein’s Mass in Atlanta, Ga. He sang Bernstein’s Mass in April with the Canterbury Choral Society and OCU’s Wanda L. Bass School of Music at the Civic Center. He incorporates the arts into class presentations—his paintings useful in discussing the dynamics of creativity, his playing the viola helping illustrate transitions in music history, and his choral background giving him credibility with numerous music students in his classes. Another alumnus, Brett Manis (who had 36 hours of classes with Cobb), says “Dr. Cobb had a way of telling stories that tied history to different fields—dance, music, science, and anything else so the students

had some way of connecting. He helped me become a much better student, historian and person. I had to question things I never wanted to question, but he never once disrespected students who had different views. The only thing we had to worry about was March Madness, the NCAA basketball championship tournament. If Duke fell early, he wasn’t happy.” Amateur Professor Historian Artist Musician Larry Cobb has made history come alive for countless students. Besides his classes, he contributes resources—more than $24,000 to the OCU Library Fund for more than 1,300 books and films on history, humanities, and the fine arts. No wonder he won the Sears Foundation Teaching Excellence Award in 1991 as OCU’s Outstanding Faculty. He epitomizes liberal arts education. excerpt from focus magazine spring 2013 By Terry Phelps, OCU Professor of English

students, professors research probation, parole program

Social Sciences Awards

The Oklahoma City University Department of Sociology and Justice Studies’ new Community Based Research Initiative has started a research partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Oklahoma. The research team, comprised of Professors Jody Horn and Julie Cowgill and graduate student Jasmine Medley and undergraduates Monica Carranza and Nicholas Good, will track the progress of individuals completing the Probation and Parole Reentry Program (PPREP). PPREP, part of the national Project Safe Neighborhood Initiative, seeks to reduce recidivism rates for offenders convicted of firearm and drug offenses.

Robert S. Kerr Award in Political Science Robin Arielle Ladd

Outstanding Student in Sociology Monica Rachael Carranza

Outstanding Graduate Student in Sociology and Justice Studies Jasmine Shantel Medley

Outstanding Teacher Award in History Kathryn Jean Alsup Johnathon Shane Daugherty

Outstanding Justice Studies Graduate in Criminology Sheridan Ann Fulkerson Outstanding Justice Studies Graduate in Peace and Conflict Stephanie Michele Carlsen German Garcia

Outstanding Research Award in History Kimberly Susan Pogue Jenkins SACE Outstanding Student for 2013 Rolanda Raylece Robinson


E d u c at i o n

Education Education Department Gains National Accreditation The major nation-wide teacher education accreditation body recently accredited Oklahoma City University’s Education Department. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) cited OCU’s service leadership as its program strength and awarded approval on every aspect of the review criteria. NCATE, founded in 1954, uses a performance-based system to verify that approved programs help foster “competent classroom teachers and other educators who work to improve education.” The review criteria includes candidate knowledge, skills and professional dispositions;

Education Awards Excellence in Student Teaching Award for Early Childhood Education Hailey Elaine Blanton Excellence in Student Teaching Award for Elementary Education Megan L. Burns Excellence in Student Teaching Award for Secondary Education Kathryn Jean Alsup Teacher as Servant Leader Award Heather Ann Habekott Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society for Graduating Seniors Kathryn Jean Alsup Hailey Elaine Blanton Megan L. Burns Molly Elaine Davis Heather Ann Habekott Lauren Rene Shaffer Ashley Lauren Stanchina Outstanding Student in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Anna Lea Twitchell Outstanding Graduating Senior in Exercise and Sport Science Joey Renee Miller


assessment system and unit evaluation; field experiences and clinical practice; diversity; faculty qualifications, performance and development; and unit governance and resources. The OCU Education Department also earned accreditation from the state, successfully meeting all state requirements in addition to national standards. The department offers certification programs in early childhood, elementary, secondary and PK-12 education. For more information, visit

Multicultural Grant Funds Conference at ocu Professors Elizabeth Willner and Lisa Lawter developed the Connecting Across Cultures conference to recruit, empower and inspire teacher candidates across the state. The conference was held Feb. 8 in the University Center Great Hall. The conference was funded by a one-year grant to recruit pre-service teachers to teach in urban school districts, and was awarded by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. During the conference, Donna Gollnick spoke on the importance of multicultural education in the curriculum and the most recent research related to race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, language and religious issues in the classroom. Gollnick provided specific strategies to increase the effectiveness of working with diverse students. A special invitation was extended to OCU students from underserved populations to learn about teaching in urban schools. In addition, a cadre of five teacher candidates was invited from each Oklahoma teacher preparation program to work in urban settings. Gollnick has made many contributions to the field of multicultural education including co-authoring “Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society.” She is past president of the National Association of Multicultural Education and has been working with education professionals across the U.S. on national accreditation standards. She is currently a consultant for the National Association for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), having served as the Senior Vice President of NCATE, managing the accreditation system for 25 years.

Mass Communications PROGRAM RECEIVES FUNDING The Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation gave a $50,000 grant to the Mass Communications department last year which enabled us to produce the Press Watch 2012 TV series. This series examined ethical political journalism in the recent presidential election.

Ma t h & S c i e n c e

Math & Science Exercise Studies Grads Get Doctoral Program Advantage The Exercise and Sport Science Department at Oklahoma City University has established an agreement with Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, for guaranteed acceptance of OCU graduates into its Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Under the agreement, students who graduate from OCU with at least a 3.5 GPA in the exercise science major and meet other minimum requirements will earn a seat in the program. The agreement gives students a unique opportunity in a highly competitive process. For more information about the Exercise and Sport Science program at OCU, visit

Dr. Prilliman (Chemistry Chair) with students from Oklahoma School of Science and Math

New Spectrometers Bring Learning Opportunities The Chemistry department recently purchased six new visible spectrometers, with help from an alumni donation. Students in General Chemistry use spectrometers to study the color and absorbance of solutions. This semester, students will study arsenic levels in apple juice and drinking water by using the new equipment. “Having these spectrometers create many new possibilities for experiments,” said Stephen Prilliman, associate professor and chair of the

Yellowstone Classes Part of ‘Maymester’ Two classes during the “Maymester” condensed course semester included a week-long trip to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming for lab science credit. The classes titled “Selected Topics in Biology” and “Field Studies in Biology” took place May 13 through June 3. Both classes focused on the geology of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, fire ecology, conservation and wildlife management. Students lodged at a working research station on the National Historic Register while learning field techniques for studying birds, mammals and other vertebrates.

Chemistry Department. “Chemistry is more exciting for students anytime you can connect to their life outside the lab, and even more so when something has color.” The digital spectrometers are also closer to what students would use in a research lab or in industry, says Prilliman. The purchase is part of a long-term plan to switch from analog to digital equipment in the Chemistry Department.

Math & Science Awards Seven students were awarded competitive fellowships to perform undergraduate research in biology or biomedical science this summer at various institutions: Brandon Burkett Cameron Calloway Rileigh DarbyMcClure Sophia Hackney Christina Hansen Anna Stovall Lillie Pennington

Goldwater Award Emily Sanders Special Achievement Award in Biology Kristen Rachael Clark Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society Award Kyle David Randolph Shana Raquel Usiukiewicz


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FACULTY, students discuss religion See story on page 4

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