Class of 2023 inducted into OSU Diversity Hall of Fame
Friday, October 27, 2023
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Oklahoma State University’s Division of Institutional Diversity inducted three new members to its Hall of Fame and awarded two Rising Star awards during the annual gala Oct. 26 in the Student Union Ballroom.
These awards recognize alumni and university supporters who have significantly contributed to the welcoming environment at OSU and have distinguished themselves through their field or profession and the betterment of their community.
This year’s inductees were: Sophia Shoate, Paul Caldwell Jr. and Alison Anthony. The Rising Star Award recipients were Doann Nguyen and Dr. Justin Quetone Moss.
Before introducing the 2023 class of inductees and award recipients, Dr. Clyde Wilson, associate vice president for institutional diversity, announced the creation of the Jason F. Kirksey Endowed Scholarship for Institutional Diversity.
Wilson praised Kirksey’s accomplishments with the university.
“As a pillar of the OSU community, you have been instrumental as the vice president for institutional diversity and chief diversity officer. …. Under your guidance, OSU has earned many accolades and celebrated the university's dedication to diversity and inclusion,” Wilson said. “You've taught, mentored and supported countless students, faculty and staff for nearly 30 years, and for your unwavering dedication and commitment, we say thank you.”
Hall of Fame Inductees
Shoate received a bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing from the Spears School of Business in 1989.
The Bartlesville, Oklahoma, native now resides in Atlanta and works for UPS as the president of global enterprise sales. Prior to her current role, she was president of U.S. Sales at UPS where she led a national team, focused on helping businesses grow and drive a positive sales experience. Under Shoate’s leadership, her team generated more than $24 billion in revenue and expanded their portfolio for their over 2 million clients.
Shoate mentors students and young professionals through OSU Spears and LEAD Atlanta programs and by serving as a board member of Cool Girls Inc., Latinas Rise and the Douglassaires Association. She dedicates time to coaching future leaders at UPS and gives back to her hometown and alma mater as a co-founder of the Bartlesville Ladies Track Scholarship, contributor to the Douglassaires Scholarship fund and owner of the Sophia Shoate Endowed Scholarship for Diversity and Inclusion through the OSU Foundation.
“First and foremost, I would say thank you to Dr. Kirksey for this recognition,” Shoate said. “I'm humbled and grateful and full of gratitude for this recognition...
“I want to thank Oklahoma State University for what it put in me to allow me to do the things that I'm doing now and the things that I want to do in future. I consider this recognition as fuel and motivation to go out and do more things and try to do things that are going to have an impact on the world. And I can always look back and point that at Oklahoma State University.”
Caldwell Jr. graduated with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology in 1970. Following graduation, Caldwell began working for Mobil Oil Corporation, where he stayed for the next 31 years.
Caldwell designed facilities for thermal recovery oil projects where he was awarded two patents and eventually earned a master’s degree in business administration.
Caldwell’s contribution to engineering practice, management and leadership qualities earned him the U.S. Black Engineer of the Year Award in 1999. In 2004, Caldwell joined the Board of Directors of Emerald Energy Resources Limited and became the senior strategic advisor of operations. Caldwell works with E&P technical services and individual management consulting through Caldwell Engineering & Construction.
“It goes without saying that I could not have had this career without the support of my family and my mother and father who instilled so much in me as a child,” Caldwell said.
“Tonight, I would like to share a few keys to my success and working through the competitive environment that you work in when you work in a large corporation. … Always stay at the highest level of ethics, integrity, honesty and respect for all that you deal with. Many times, that's very difficult to do, but you have to suck it up and do it. Lastly, in every job, do your best and don't go into a new job looking for the next promotion, You have a job, do your best there and work smart and hard, and the next job will find you if you perform.”
Anthony received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Oklahoma State University’s College of Arts and Sciences.
While a student and employee at OSU, from 1983-93, Anthony developed a universitywide Student Academic Mentor Program with 200 upper-division students, supporting underrepresented and first-generation college freshman and taught the first multicultural diversity section of freshman orientation.
Currently, as president and CEO of Tulsa Area United Way, Anthony unites people and resources to improve lives and strengthen communities. Since 2017, she has led TAUW to raise more than $156 million.
Anthony has served on many boards, including Leadership Oklahoma, Tulsa Community Foundation, Teach for America and the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce. She has received many honors and awards and is a 2023 inductee into the Tulsa Hall of Fame.
“My professional work in DEI really began here at OSU,” Anthony said. "We decided that the freshman orientation program in the university academic services needed to have multicultural awareness in that program. And we knew that the students would understand how their lives and their education would be richer because of the different perspectives around them. ... We learned that you can respect people who are different for you and still love each other.”
Rising Star Awards
Nguyen received her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and management from the OSU CEAT in 2009.
Nguyen began her career at Phillips 66 where she was a seasoned IT professional and currently project lead of a team leading the charge to reinvent the customer experience and innovating the ecosystem on a Salesforce platform. Nguyen served on IT’s Inclusion and Diversity Council in 2021 and she is also responsible for ensuring Phillips 66’s involvement and ongoing support with OSU’s Retention Initiative for Student Excellence program.
Currently a resident of Houston, Nguyen serves as a crisis counselor on the 988 Crisis Text Line outside of her corporate work and has also been appointed by the court as a court approved special advocate voulunteer where she provides recommendations to the Family Court Judges to make sound decisions about a foster child’s future.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to have been nominated for this award much less accepted,” Nguyen said.
“Earlier this week, I told a group of RISE students that I often experienced impostor syndrome, and one of the tools I gave them was that when they feel unsure of themselves, they should borrow confidence from the people who put them in the place. And I borrow confidence from all of you.
“When I was on campus, I borrowed a lot of confidence for the opportunities and connections found through student groups in the Division of Institutional Diversity … I found that sense of belonging that empowered me to make OSU my own and I strive to create that for others to this day.”
Moss serves as department head and professor in the OSU Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture in the Ferguson College of Agriculture. He received his bachelor’s in horticulture in 2000, master’s in horticulture in 2002 and graduated with a Ph.D. in crop sciences in 2005, all from OSU.
He spent three years working in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Wyoming before returning in a faculty role at OSU in 2008. Moss serves as president of the OSU Native American Faculty and Staff Association. He is a member of the OSU American Indian Alumni Association and has also been a partner to the OSU Center for Sovereign Nations.
Moss has established strong ties with the College of the Muscogee Nation and has actively participated in the First Americans Land Grant Consortium conference. He has also served as a scientific expert for several years on USDA review panels for the Tribal College Research, Tribal College Extension and USDA NEXGEN program.
“I would just like to thank you all for this wonderful opportunity,” Moss said. “It's very surprising to me to be here to accept this award ... [OSU Agriculture Associate Dean] Dr. Cynda Clary gave me an opportunity to get my foot in the door to become an advisor to the minorities in ag, natural resources and related scientists or MANNRS, which I still am to this day. Thank you for that opportunity, Dr. Clary, as I've got to work with a lot of students overtime and I think they impacted me probably more than I've impacted them.”