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Two CEAT Professors Attend Industry-Led Workshop to Learn Process Safety Best Practices 
LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB), one of world’s largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies, along with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), teamed up to teach college professors about process safety best practices so they can in turn better prepare their students for entering the chemical and refining industries.   Oklahoma State University College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology faculty members Dr. Ashlee N. Ford Versypt, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Dr. Qingsheng Wang, Associate Professor of Fire Protection & Safety Engineering Technology, attended the January 9-11 workshop at LyondellBasell’s Houston Engineering Center as part of AIChE’s Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative, a multi-pronged global program that will define how the next generation of chemical engineers are prepared to enter the workforce. These industry-led classes provide professors the tools and information they need to incorporate safety training into their curriculum to ensure students graduate with a working knowledge of chemical process safety. More than 20 engineering professors from colleges and universities across the U.S. and Iraq attended the workshop to learn how process safety is put into industrial practice and the importance of process safety to the design and operation of chemical and refining plants. LyondellBasell safety experts led the workshop and reviewed safety best practices and industry case studies with the faculty members. Additionally, visiting professors toured LyondellBasell manufacturing sites to see how process safety solutions are implemented in real life so that these practices can be shared in the classroom. Last year, LyondellBasell announced a donation of $750,000 to the AIChE Foundation to support the organization’s Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative. Dan Coombs, LyondellBasell’s executive vice president of Global Manufacturing, Projects, Refining and Technology and member of the AIChE Foundation Board of Trustees Corporate Council, reflected on the benefits of the initiative stating, “At LyondellBasell, we work every day to be the best operated company in the industry and that requires an unwavering commitment to safety. The AIChE Foundation’s Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative provides the opportunity for our safety experts to actively engage in better preparing faculty members and developing curriculum that will give the next generation of chemical engineers a foundation of excellence in process safety.”  On behalf of AIChE, Executive Director June Wispelwey expressed her appreciation to LyondellBasell for its generosity and commitment to promoting process safety within the chemical engineering industry. “AIChE and our Center for Chemical Process Safety are grateful for LyondellBasell’s demonstration of commitment and stewardship, as we work together to promote the safety of the chemical enterprise and expand the knowledge base of practitioners around the world.”  Some of the topics covered in the workshop included loss prevention strategy, hazard identification methods and risk assessment, dispersion and consequence modeling, inherently safe design, and evaluating the availability of safeguards. Although chemical companies have extensive safety training programs, experience has shown that presenting process safety concepts as part of the chemical engineering curriculum proves very effective and will benefit companies, students, universities and ultimately society.  "Every graduating chemical engineer will practice process safety no matter whether they enter industry or continue their education. However, process safety education has often been overlooked or treated lightly in the curricula," said Colin Howat, Ph.D., P.E., Emeritus Professor from the University of Kansas and one of the organizers of the faculty workshop. "Chemical engineers cannot learn process safety by trial and error when the error can be catastrophic for personnel, environment, society, companies and laboratories.  Industry and academe have joined together in this initiative to ensure that process safety is incorporated into the curricula throughout the world so every graduating chemical engineer has a working knowledge of process safety." About LyondellBasell LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its 13,000 employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, and improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road. LyondellBasell sells products into approximately 100 countries and is the world's largest licensor of polyolefin and polypropylene technologies. More information about LyondellBasell can be found at About AIChE AIChE is a professional society of more than 53,000 chemical engineers in 110 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at
Fri, 12 Jan 2018 16:01:19 -0600
Free crisis response and CPR training
Students at Oklahoma State University have the opportunity to receive free professional instruction on how to respond to an unconscious, semi-conscious or unresponsive individual and how to prevent injuries or death related to drug and alcohol overdose. Pamela Stokes, a registered nurse and nurse manager for OSU University Health Services, can focus the discussion topic to the needs of student groups that request the training and adjust the presentation time from 10 minutes to an hour. “I try to expel the myths of dealing with intoxication such as drinking coffee, eating bread and taking a cold shower,” Stokes said. “Scientifically, these false methods do not work.”  While instructing students how to respond to intoxication, Stokes reinforces the Good Samaritan principle and leads a question and answer session to conclude the meeting. In addition to her lecture, students can sign up for a free American Heart Association’s Adult Heartsaver CPR class, which is offered at a later date. Chief Wellness Officer Dr. Todd Misener and Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Lee Bird worked together to award Stokes the funding for this program from The Merrick Foundation’s Moving the Needle fund. Its purpose is to support health promotion efforts on campus. “Pam is an outstanding administrator for OSU University Health Services,” Bird said. “She was involved in a brainstorming session to address student incapacitation due to abuse of drugs or alcohol use. Empowering and educating students about how to help in a crisis is greatly needed.” Since the beginning of the 2017 spring semester, 523 individuals have participated in this program and 31 have been certified in CPR while 40 are enrolled in the next class. She has trained Greek life house moms, national panhellenic sorority chapters, residential life, sports teams and more. To schedule or learn more about this program, contact Stokes at pstokes@okstate.eduor or call OSU University Health Services at 405-744-7665. Story by Michaela Gleason
Fri, 12 Jan 2018 09:06:34 -0600
Critically-acclaimed author and civil rights advocate to speak at OSU 
Critically-acclaimed author and human and civil rights advocate Carol Anderson will speak at Oklahoma State University’s Student Union Theater on Thursday, February 8, at 7 p.m.  Her 2016 book “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of America’s Racial Divide,” was a New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award Winner.  The talk is free and open to the public.   The book rose from her Washington Post op-ed, “White Rage,” which was the most widely shared for the paper in 2014.  Currently a professor of African American Studies at Emory University, Anderson has published two previous books, while her research has attracted funding from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, National Humanities Center, Harvard University, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.   “Carol Anderson is an unforgettable speaker and award-winning author who articulates the causes and effects of America’s racial divide with brilliance and power,” said Laura Belmonte, head of the Department of History at OSU.  “This will be an unforgettable and timely event that anyone who cares about diversity and inclusion in the United States will not want to miss.”  Anderson has served on working groups dealing with race at Stanford’s Center for Applied Science and Behavioral Studies, the Aspen Institute, and the United Nations. In addition, based on the strength and accessibility of her research, the leadership at Amnesty International, USA, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Ford Foundation, and others have used her book “Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955” to frame and examine their human rights work in the United States.   This has also led to sought-after commentary in Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, and that places contemporary issues dealing with race, human rights, and politics in a historical perspective.   Anderson was a member of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the Harry S. Truman Library Institute and the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative.   She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Miami University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science (international relations) and history. She earned her doctorate in history from The Ohio State University.  Her talk is made possible by a collaboration between the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, Health, and Aviation, the Spears School of Business, and the Office of Institutional Diversity at OSU.
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 10:15:18 -0600
Grants awarded to researchers in humanities, arts and design 
Oklahoma State University faculty in the humanities, arts and design have been awarded research grants in a new funding program from the Office of the Vice President for Research. Grants of up to $10,000 were awarded to 15 tenured and tenure-track faculty to fund a research project in their areas of study.  "Researchers in the humanities-, arts- and design-based disciplines are essential to the vibrancy and success of great research universities like OSU,” said Vice President for Research Dr. Kenneth Sewell. “Their research informs and enriches how we understand and experience the world. These grants will allow the recipients to extend the reach of their work even further." To be considered, faculty submitted research proposals describing the importance and impact of their projects and how they will advance their scholarship or creative artistry.  The 2018 recipients:    College of Arts and Sciences Stacy Takacs - American Studies Holly Karibo - History Lawrence Pasternack - Philosophy Phil Choo - Art, Graphic Design and Art History Liz Roth - Art, Graphic Design and Art History Louise Siddons - Art, Graphic Design and Art History Andy Mattern - Art, Graphic Design and Art History Allen Scott - Music Meredith Blecha-Wells - Music Virginia Broffitt Kunzer – Music    College of Human Sciences Alana Pulay - Design, Housing, and MerchandisingBel Tilanka Chandrasekera - Design, Housing, & Merchandising    Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Qing Luo - Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Bo Zhang - Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Cheryl Mihalko - Horticulture and Landscape Architecture    CUTLINE: Qing Luo, assistant professor of landscape architecture, is one of 15 Oklahoma State University faculty members awarded a Humanities, Arts and Design Grant presented by the OSU Office of the Vice President for Research. The grants are intended to advance the recipient’s scholarship or creative artistry.
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:17:20 -0600
OSU students nominate mentoring champs
Two coordinators in the Division of Institutional Diversity at Oklahoma State University have been nominated by students to be among 70 mentoring champions who will be honored during Oklahoma Mentor Day, on Friday, Jan. 19, in Norman. Dene Roseburr-Olotu and Julie Swaringim-Griffin are staffers in the Division of Institutional Diversity at OSU who have roles working directly with students to assist in leadership and retention. As coordinator of the Inclusion Leadership program, Roseburr-Olotu encourages college sophomores as well as high school juniors and seniors to be leaders. After a monthly visit from the high school students, she rides the bus back to Oklahoma City with them and takes the time to answer not only college admission questions but “life” questions as well. The same goes for the college sophomores. She spends hours visiting with them about becoming their best self. From their academic performance to professionalism and adulthood, Roseburr-Olotu is there to listen to their concerns. These are her “kids.” Swaringim-Griffin, coordinator of the Retention Initiative for Student Excellence Program (RISE) in the Division of Institutional Diversity, has an open door policy for the college freshmen she assists. She meets with them individually at least once each month and each week as necessary. Her office is surrounded by thank you notes, not only because she is teaching the skill of writing thank you notes to new college freshmen, she is also receiving them from students herself in appreciation for all that she does for them. After some time with the students, Swaringim-Griffin noticed a recurring story — some were going hungry. She decided to bring food to the office for those who had already spent their money on their meal plans only to find themselves short of food by the end of the semester. The food pantry she set up is used by students with no questions asked. Swaringim-Griffin’s act is not in her job description, but out of the kindness of her heart. Others from OSU who were nominated by students for their mentoring work include Kate Sanders, Samuel Lewallen, Taz Ellett, and Stacy Allen. The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence launched the David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative in 2006 to promote the growth and development of quality youth mentoring programs statewide. The initiative grew out of the Borens’ own commitment to mentoring and the proven impact it can play on a student’s success in and out of the classroom. For more information about Oklahoma Mentor Day, go online to
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:00:20 -0600
OSU employee doubles his weight-loss goal using a free wellness resource 
An Oklahoma State University employee has achieved double his weight-loss goal by taking advantage of a free online program known as Naturally Slim. Lance Millis, director of student services for the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, successfully used the Naturally Slim program to lose weight after learning about it from an OSU Human Resources email.   “I haven’t changed much of anything in terms of what I eat,” Millis said. “It’s more when I eat and how much. I love chocolate cake. If I want a piece of chocolate cake, I will eat it. I know how to prevent it from becoming a bad habit.”   The online behavior modification program provides tips and resources to encourage weight loss and health improvement. The program does not include dieting or counting calories. It focuses on helping develop the eating characteristics of people who are naturally slim.  Through video lessons and training activities, participants are able to learn the effects certain foods and drinks can have on their bodies, which can lead to making healthier decisions. The program starts with weekly video lessons lasting 30 minutes to an hour. During the five months Millis participated in Naturally Slim, the videos decreased to twice a week or once a month.  “It barely takes any time, and you get something out of it,” Millis said. “Also, you value the lessons so much that the time it takes doesn’t make a difference.”   In addition to the videos, Naturally Slim begins the program with a few activities to help people get used to and understand the program. One of Millis’ biggest takeaways from the program involved an eating exercise with a small bag of dry-roasted peanuts, which was provided in Naturally Slim’s welcome kit.   In order to demonstrate the benefits of slow eating habits, Millis was instructed to eat the peanuts slowly while enjoying the flavor. After consuming the protein and enjoying the taste, he realized he was full.   “Your body takes a little longer to recognize when you’re full,” Millis said. “If you like something, eat it slowly. You’ll end up eating a more appropriate amount.”   To hold users accountable, Naturally Slim provides a mobile app for participants to track their progress by updating measurements, setting goals and counting steps. The app also allows users to connect their activity trackers, like Fitbits. Millis set a weight-loss goal of 20 pounds. At the end of the program, he had lost 40 pounds.   “I was unreasonable about how much I could lose,” Millis said. “I’m a huge proponent of this program. It was amazing”  Naturally Slim is offered at no cost to employees on the OSU Blue Cross Blue Shield health plan. Click here for additional information.   Story by Michaela Gleason
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:44:00 -0600
OSU ranks in national top 20 for fashion merchandising
Oklahoma State University ranks among the top 20 colleges and universities in the United States with fashion merchandising programs, appearing at No. 19 on The Art Career Project list of  “The Best Fashion Merchandising Schools in the U.S. in 2018.” OSU’s fashion merchandising programs, which are part of the Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising (DHM) in the College of Human Sciences, focus on the business of fashion. Students are exposed to both global and domestic learning experiences and complete a required internship to gain professional work experience prior to graduation. OSU merchandising graduates are successfully transitioning to careers, according to DHM department head Jane Swinney. “Our merchandising graduates tell us that finding a job with their degree is not difficult. We have students working for a variety of companies, including the Home Shopping Network, QVC, Nordstrom corporate, JCP corporate, Pier One corporate, Dillard’s, both in the stores and at the corporate level, Walmart, and also for small boutiques and specialty stores across the country,” Swinney said. DHM offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fashion merchandising, fashion design and production, a multidisciplinary doctoral degree and minors in sustainable design, fashion design and fashion merchandising. In 2017, the fashion merchandising degree was ranked No. 7 nationally and second in the southwest region by The Art Career Project’s ranking methodology includes an analysis of 167 post-secondary institutions across the country offering programs in fashion merchandising and combines information from student data, published surveys, and other data collected from government agencies including the National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.  To qualify for the rankings, a school program must be certified in good standing with its regional accrediting body. Schools are scored based on multiple metrics including tuition cost, graduation rate, transfer out rate, and other factors. All eligible schools are scored and compared to create the list. About The Art Career Project is a nationally recognized, reliable source of information for art students and professional artists. The online publication provides resources for career exploration, including profiles for hundreds of art careers, art jobs, scholarships, financial aid resources, and professional development – all to help artists find success doing what they love. The Art Career Project sources information from experts in the field, and program rankings are meticulously assembled from data collected from government agencies and national organizations supporting education. With some college and university programs under scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Education for failing to meet gainful employment standards, The Art Career Project is committed to helping students by identifying the top programs that will support their career goals.
Thu, 04 Jan 2018 14:03:22 -0600
Oklahoma State University Named a 2018 “Best College Value” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
Oklahoma State University has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance 300 Best College Values for 2018. Introduced in 1998, the rankings now combine public schools, private universities and private liberal arts colleges into a single, comprehensive list. Kiplinger also ranks the 100 best values in each category. The analysis is based on objective measurements of academic quality and affordability, not subjective criteria. The school earned the #81 spot on the magazine’s list of 100 best values in public colleges and #262 in best value among all colleges. The full rankings are now available online at and will appear in print in the February 2018 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands January 9.  “Our rankings, which weigh affordability alongside academic quality, are a great resource for students and their parents when sorting through college choices,” said Mark Solheim, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “We start with a universe of nearly 1,200 schools and trim the list using measures of academic quality. We then rank the schools based on cost and financial aid data. All 300 schools on our list are worth a look.” At, visitors have access to the "Find the Best College for You” tool and other resources that let readers sort by admission rate, average debt at graduation and other criteria for all schools, plus in-state and out-of-state cost for public colleges. Also online: slide shows of the top ten schools in different categories, archives of past years’ rankings and an FAQ on the ranking methodology. About Kiplinger For nine decades, the Kiplinger organization has led the way in personal finance and business forecasting. Founded in 1920 by W.M. Kiplinger, the company developed one of the nation's first successful newsletters in modern times. The Kiplinger Letter, launched in 1923, remains the longest continuously published newsletter in the United States. In 1947, Kiplinger created the nation's first personal finance magazine. Located in the heart of our nation's capital, the Kiplinger editors remain dedicated to delivering sound, unbiased advice for your family and your business in clear, concise language. Become a fan of Kiplinger on Facebook or and follow Kiplinger on Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr.
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:41:32 -0600
OSU doctoral student wins research fellowship at Argonne National Lab
Wasikul Islam, a graduate student in physics at Oklahoma State University, has been selected for a prized research fellowship at the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in Chicago, one of the largest science and energy laboratories in the U.S.  The laboratory usually hosts only two interns a year in its high energy physics division, and Islam, who is already familiar with the facility, will work there for one year thanks to the research fellowship. “Last summer I worked at Argonne National Lab as a research aide in the HEP Center for Computational Excellence Summer Internship program. I am very happy to get this expanded opportunity to go back to Argonne and work there again for a much longer period of time,” Islam said. “I’m especially grateful to my adviser, Dr. Alexander Khanov, and other professors in our research group at OSU for their guidance and support.” The fellowship, which includes a $20,000 stipend, is provided by the ATLAS research group at ANL to graduate students whose universities participate in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland.  OSU’s Experimental High Energy Physics research group has been a member of the ATLAS collaboration since 2010. The ATLAS experiment involves the search for new discoveries based on the collision of high energy protons.  Islam will be participating in work toward upgrading the pixel tracker, which is the innermost part of the ATLAS detector for the High Luminosity Large Hadron Collider and essential for allowing scientists to better analyze the products of proton collisions and draw insights. The objective of the project is to ensure that the upgraded detector is able to cope with increased collider luminosity and make the rare processes the collider can generate observable in more detail. The upgraded version of the collider is expected to become operational in the year 2025.
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:42:18 -0600
Oklahoma State University recognizes fall graduates; honors Halligans, McCaleb
Oklahoma State University honored more than 1,000 graduates Saturday during two undergraduate commencement ceremonies at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The OSU Graduate College recognized nearly 300 graduates Friday night. In the Saturday morning commencement, former OSU President James Halligan and his wife Ann were presented the Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award, which is the highest humanitarian award given by Oklahoma State. In the afternoon, OSU alumnus and Native American advocate Neal McCaleb received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree.  Halligan was commencement speaker in the first ceremony and reminded graduates from the College of Human Sciences, College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, and the Spears School of Business that they have a simple obligation to be kind. “Do a random act of kindness every day. You’ll feel better because you do better,” he said. Halligan also told students they were prepared “to make a dent in this world” and to remember that “the important things in life are not things. They are experiences, friendships, people.”  Halligan served as OSU’s 16th President for eight years, retiring in 2002. Six years later, he won election to the Oklahoma Senate, where he was an advocate for education and served on several influential committees during two terms in office. He retired from the legislature in 2016.    McCaleb spoke to graduates from the College of Education, Health and Aviation, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and College of Arts and Sciences during the afternoon ceremony. He told graduates he earned his degree in civil engineering in 1957 but was unable to attend his commencement, so he welcomed the chance to return 60 years later.  “The tools of technology have changed dramatically in the last 60 years, but the principles of science that the technologies are based on have not changed,” McCaleb said. “Life is very much like that. The principles that you hold close, the truths that are the foundation that will govern your behavior will not change. Your tactics may, but the principles will not and your behavior must be consistent with those principles. And that’s called integrity.”  McCaleb has dedicated much of his life to public service, from his time in the Oklahoma Legislature to his appointment as assistant secretary of the interior and head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. McCaleb was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2014.  During Saturday’s afternoon ceremony, James R. Cavender, founder of Cavender’s, a family-owned and operated retail western wear company based in Texas, walked the stage with other graduates. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Husbandry in 1953 but missed commencement to report to active duty in the Air Force. PHOTOS:
Sat, 16 Dec 2017 15:52:34 -0600