Phi Beta Delta honor society inducts President Shrum, Deans Payne and Lusk
Monday, November 20, 2023
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The Epsilon Upsilon Chapter of the Phi Beta Delta international honor society inducted Oklahoma State University President Kayse Shrum as an honorary member in recognition of her achievements in international scholarship and education during a special ceremony on Nov. 17 in the Wes Watkins Center.
Also inducted were Spears School of Business Dean Jim Payne as well as Jayson Lusk, vice president and dean of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
“Phi Beta Delta is the first honor society dedicated to promoting international understanding and to recognizing individuals who have demonstrated scholarly achievement in international education and exchange,” said Tina Newton, PBD president and OSU assistant director of the Office of International Students and Scholars. "Our chapter was chartered on Dec. 20 of 2003. Its mission is to serve as a means of encouraging interdisciplinary international programming and promote the exchange of ideas and information among a network of faculty, staff and students involved in international endeavors.”
A native of Oklahoma, Dr. Shrum earned her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1998. While president of the OSU Center for Health Sciences, Shrum was a strong supporter of collaborative partnerships and worked with then Cherokee Nation principal chief Bill John Baker and his administration to establish the nation's first tribally affiliated medical school — the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation. She also led the development of a global health track for medical students interested in global health topics and international outreach.
Like many, Shrum experienced her first in-depth exposure to a wide variety of different cultures when she attended college. But for her, the most transformative experience, one that changed her view of the world, was when she and her husband, First Cowboy Darren Shrum, adopted their three sons from Ethiopia.
“First, let me say thank you, for this honor. And it is a privilege to serve as the president of Oklahoma State University,” Shrum said. “I know most people are familiar with the fact that OSU is a land-grant university with a mission for teaching, research and Extension with the purpose of making a positive difference in the state, nation and world in which we live. That's the part I love about our land-grant mission.”
As OSU works to position itself as the nation’s preeminent land-grant university, Shrum said international partnerships will play a vital role along with providing access to international scholarships for students to participate in global experiences and research.
Dr. Payne assumed the role of dean of Spears Business in August 2023. With a distinguished track record, he has excelled in research, having served as a Fulbright research scholar and as a Fulbright senior specialist at the Institute of Economics in Zagreb, Croatia. His scholarly contributions are evidenced by a prolific publication history including over 280 peer-reviewed journal articles. Notably, his work has been acknowledged in the prestigious Stanford-Elsevier global rankings of researchers.
Beyond his individual scholarly pursuits, Payne actively contributes to the academic community by serving on the editorial boards of several esteemed academic journals.
“Thanks to an advisor who saw the potential in me and got me involved in economics, I was able to go to graduate school on a fellowship, which provided an experience of getting a better exposure to different cultures and different students,” Payne said.
Growing up in rural Kentucky in a town of 50 people, Payne said an international education allowed him to broaden his horizons as well as build friendships and bonds with people who have played a significant role in his career success.
“I always found it very fascinating to talk to people from different cultures,” Payne said. “One common theme I always found is that we have a lot of strife in the world now internationally and it's always interesting when you start talking to people on an individual level, how we're very similar. Everybody has the same aspirations and goals.”
Dr. Lusk has recently rejoined OSU’s Ferguson College of Agriculture from Purdue University. Formerly, he held positions at OSU as an agricultural economics professor, the Willard Sparks Endowed Chair, and later as a Regents professor. Throughout his tenure at OSU, Lusk actively sought opportunities to mentor international graduate students, conduct short courses and engage in extensive international travel.
“I just want to say thank you to Oklahoma State for providing the opportunity to really expand my cultural horizons,” Lusk said. “I grew up in West Texas in a town of 300 people with 15 people in my graduating class. So, being a faculty member at Oklahoma State really helped broaden my horizons.”
A prominent advocate for agricultural research and innovation throughout his career, Lusk has authored over 270 articles in peer-reviewed journals and written five books.
“What we do in Oklahoma and agriculture really matters globally in terms of food security and feeding people that are very hungry,” Lusk said. "When I look at the future of our college, it's international. … I look forward to engaging with you in the future to help increase our international presence.”