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Integrative biology student Edwards to be Spring 2024 Honorary Graduate Commencement Marshal

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Media Contact: Elizabeth Gosney | CAS Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-7497 |

Integrative biology master's student Owen Edwards has been named Oklahoma State University’s Honorary Graduate Commencement Marshal for spring 2024, the highest honor given to a doctoral or master’s student at each OSU commencement.  

“Owen has made exceptional contributions to Oklahoma State University’s land-grant mission through exemplary research, teaching and outreach endeavors,” said Dr. Bo Zhang, an assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Biology 

“I am fortunate to have him as my graduate student and I feel deeply proud of him. He has consistently demonstrated strong leadership abilities in various contexts. Whether it's leading research projects, mentoring undergraduate students or organizing outreach events, Owen has consistently shown a capacity to inspire and guide others effectively.” 

 Edwards' commitment and work ethic — through his completion of extensive fieldwork that delves into the ecology and climate change impacts on frog populations — underscored his dedication to advancing knowledge in organismal science within Oklahoma and across the region.  

“For me, frogs are personal, and they have taken me on many adventures and have taught me many important processes of the natural world,” Edwards said. “For example, my frog research during my degree at OSU has allowed me to explore six different states, interact with five different wildlife government agencies and to connect with nature at the deepest level.” 

Edwards has had a passion for frogs since he was a kid. He sees them as powerful models for studying environmental change, given the myriad ecological and environmental challenges affecting the world. 

“Frogs are impactful,” Edwards said. “They have touched the hearts and hands of many young kids through outreach events, allowed me to disseminate knowledge on their ecology to the public, and continue to answer novel ecological questions through ongoing research efforts.” 

In addition to research, Edwards’ experiences as an integrative biology student have included the chance to develop his skills in various aspects of biology and animal communication, as well as K-12 service opportunities. 

“One of my more memorable highlights was my involvement in organizing the science club for elementary school students in the local Stillwater community,” Edwards said.  

“Seeing the excitement and curiosity on the faces of the young students as they engaged in hands-on science activities was incredibly rewarding. For me, this experience reinforced the importance of giving back to the community.”  

As Honorary Graduate Commencement Marshal, Edwards will lead graduates in the processional, recessional and awarding of diploma covers along with his fellow marshal honoree. Learn more about OSU’s Graduate College here. 

Story By: Adeola Favour, CAS Graduate Assistant |

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