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Sweet as Sweis
Joel Sweis prepares dough to cook about 3,000 pitas in one day. Photo by Shelby Rogers. The conveyor belt slowly rolls from the 560-degree oven as the round, flat bread falls onto the next belt to head for packaging. The room, heated from the oven, smells like flour, yeast and warm bread. A large mixer sits in the corner, and 50-pound bags of flour rest in a stack on the floor, ready to be used.  Joel Sweis makes two types of pita bread in his family’s bakery. Prompted by their Mediterranean heritage, Sweis and his five older brothers came to Oklahoma City from Chicago in 1976 to start a family restaurant serving American and Mediterranean food. “When my brothers arrived in Oklahoma from Chicago, they realized there were no gyros, so they went back to Chicago to find a recipe to make them,” Sweis said. “Gyros are a Greek sandwich with pita bread and usually lamb or a combination of beef and lamb.” The pita bakery opened in 1979 and has remained in the family ever since. Sweis said making the flat and pita breads his bakery produces is simple because both products require few ingredients.  “I am not really sure how far back it goes in my family of teaching the younger generation to make bread,” Sweis said. “All I know is that it was passed down through the Bible because people have been baking bread for more than 5,000 years. It is just salt, flour, water and yeast.” In European and Middle Eastern countries, Sweis said bread is a staple for meals and people buy bread for daily use. He said he was surprised no one in Oklahoma was making pita bread, but he realized bread has to have a longer shelf life in the United States because sometimes it may travel for a few days in a truck and then sit in the back of the store for additional days before it is put on the shelves.  Sweis said pita bread gets hard quickly and he wanted to extend the shelf life of the pita bread by slowing the hardening. “I heard good things about Oklahoma State University helping small business owners like myself with their business plan, products and marketing,” Sweis said.  Sweis said he started working with the OSU Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center last May. He knew he had to improve or get out of the business because he wasn’t making any progress, he said.  “I couldn’t just keep chugging along,” Sweis said. “I knew I needed to make a change, and as a small-business owner, you have to do everything. OSU was the best option for help.” He went to FAPC to find an ingredient to allow the bread to be on the shelf for more than a day or two as well as remain soft, he said.  “Joel uses a long-time family recipe, and those recipes usually don’t have mold inhibitors like grocery store products,” said Renee Nelson, milling and baking specialist at FAPC. Nelson said she gave Sweis many options for additives to help with the shelf life. She said he wanted something to keep the bread soft that did not add fat or oil to the recipe.  “I chose calcium propionate for my recipe,” Sweis said. “It is less than 1 percent of the recipe. Each batch of pita bread has 100 pounds of flour and makes 1,000 pitas, so 1 percent isn’t much at all, but it makes all the difference.” Sweis’ new bread recipe will allow the product to last two weeks on the shelf without freezing. Sweis said he learned from Nelson how refrigeration will speed up staleness. To keep the pita bread fresh for more than two weeks, the pitas need to be frozen, he said. “FAPC helped me with more than just the formulation,” Sweis said. “I wasn’t confident about the quality of my bread, but now I am 100 percent sure it is a great product. FAPC helped me be confident with the bread recipe because I knew it would last longer, and then they helped improve marketing.” While Sweis was working with FAPC, he also met with Andrea Graves, business planning and marketing specialist at FAPC. She helps manage projects and finds specialists who are right for each specific job involved with the project.  “I was excited to work with Sweis Pita Bakery,” Graves said. “I never would have guessed that we had pita bread in Oklahoma, and I like to see people succeed, especially small companies.”  FAPC helped develop new, more appealing packaging for Sweis’ products, Graves said. The packaging had more directions for pita bread use and was eye-catching for the consumer. Although the design is complete, FAPC is still looking for a place to print the packages, he said. Now, FAPC is building a website for the bakery. In addition to operating the bakery, the Sweis family provides bread to the international community and has three restaurants in Oklahoma City: Penn Square Mall, Quail Springs Mall and 201 S. Western Road. The University of Oklahoma campus also has a restaurant that serves Sweis pita bread. As the bakery moves forward, Sweis said he hopes to get his bread into grocery stores and onto the OSU campus. Sweis said he has seen the market moving toward Mediterranean food mostly because nutritionists are pushing the healthy value.  Bread, olives and cheese are staples to a Mediterranean table, Sweis said. The bakery can provide bread for this new growing trend, which is why he wants to get his bread into grocery stores. “I would absolutely recommend FAPC to others looking to grow their small business,” Sweis said. “I will always give credit to OSU and FAPC. Their help gave me the confidence to go places and be successful.”       Gyros (pronounced yee’ ros) are made of lamb or a combination of beef and lamb served on pita bread. Photo by Shelby Rogers.   By: Author: Shelby Rogers   
https://news.okstate.edu/articles/sweet-sweis
Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:20:54 -0500
From Economist to … Spy Novelist
Sarah Fogleman speaks at a CASNR panel. Photo by Taylor Roblyer.   By: Author: Taylor Roblyer  Under the pen name of Ally Carter, Sarah Fogleman published the first book in the Gallagher Girls series in 2006. Since then, Fogleman has enjoyed success as a New York Times best-selling author.  Fogleman said she had the inspiration to write the Gallagher Girls series when she was watching television one night and the idea for a boarding school for teenage spies popped into her head. “It was an idea I knew I couldn’t possibly pass up,” Fogleman said.  Even though she writes stories about spies, Fogleman grew up on a farm in Locust Grove, Okla., was a member of FFA, and earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University in 1997. Many people ask her if she wished she had studied creative writing or English instead of agricultural economics, she said, but she replies with “absolutely not.” Fogleman said she knew she wanted to be a writer even when she was studying agricultural economics. However, she knew jobs in agricultural economics would allow for a secure, stable living and would provide a sense of self-satisfaction.  “I knew writing was something that, if I wanted to do it, there was absolutely no reason I couldn’t do it, whether or not I had a degree,” Fogleman said.  Joe Williams, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at OSU, was Fogleman’s academic adviser when she was an undergraduate student. He said Fogleman had tremendous ambition while at OSU.  “She was an unbelievable student,” Williams said. “She was a positive, very capable, very dedicated, very enthusiastic and outstanding student leader.” Fogleman said her education in agricultural economics has helped her handle the business side of her writing career. She has to be a self-starter because no one tells her to get out of bed in the morning and meet her goals except her, she said. She stays motivated and dedicated because her farming background taught her how to work hard and complete a job, she added.  “Something I think about all the time is when I was a kid and we had just baled a bunch of square bales of hay,” Fogleman said. “It was getting ready to rain. I remember my dad going out there and hauling in hay. It was a ton of work in a very, very short amount of time, but I remember him talking about it and saying ‘It had to be done.’ “When I have a big deadline, I think about Dad and hauling in that hay and ‘It had to be done,’” she said. “Not to say farm kids are the only ones who grow up with that kind of example, but that was certainly the example I had growing up — the sense the work doesn’t stop just because you don’t feel like doing it.” Fogleman said CASNR students learn a refined sense of work ethic that prepares them for success in the workplace, whether agriculture is involved or not.  “What I think employers are looking for from agricultural students is not that they grew up on a farm but that they have that sort of agricultural work ethic and mentality,” Fogleman said. “Any degree teaches you how to think, but to show that you have a learning aptitude is what most employers are after.” Williams said it is not an anomaly for students with farming and ranching backgrounds to have the same desire as Fogleman to achieve goals. “Young men and women who were raised in and had the opportunity to work in production agriculture learn first-hand that you’ve got to get busy and work hard to accomplish tasks,” Williams said.  Fogleman said while she does not regret deciding to write full-time, writing can be a strange profession. “I’m not going to lie — it’s very strange,” Fogleman said. “There are parts of it that are incredibly glamorous, like when you go on book tour. Every now and then, you even get to go to Hollywood and have fancy meetings with movie stars. Mostly, though, the job is you sitting home alone in yoga pants that have bleach stains on them and talking to characters who aren’t there.” Despite the oddities of the job, Fogleman said she is extremely happy with making a career of writing books. She said she loves writing for younger teens because they are a fun age group to write for.  “I hear from a lot of young readers who say things like ‘I never used to like reading until I read your books’ or ‘You made me want to be a spy, so I’m taking French this year and I’ve never had the courage to take a foreign language until I read your books,’” Fogleman said. “You get to, in an odd way, touch a lot of people’s lives because even though I’ll never meet a fraction of them, they go to school with my characters and my characters are like friends to them.” Courtney O’Connor, an OSU biochemistry and molecular biology junior and a fan of Fogleman’s books for eight years, said she read “I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You” as an extra-credit assignment when she was in sixth grade. She said reading the first book made her fall in love with the Gallagher Girls series.  “The characters are just so cool,” O’Connor said. “I read them all again this summer, and I still love them as much as I did in sixth grade. “‘I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You’ was one of the reasons I fell in love with reading books,” she added.  Fogleman said she is still writing books from her current location in Tulsa, Okla. She said she feels really lucky to be in a career she loves. “I get paid to do what 12-year-old me always wanted to do,” Fogleman said.   Book Cover  
https://news.okstate.edu/articles/economist-spy-novelist-2
Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:15:49 -0500
From Economist to … Spy Novelist
Book Cover Under the pen name of Ally Carter, Sarah Fogleman published the first book in the Gallagher Girls series in 2006. Since then, Fogleman has enjoyed success as a New York Times best-selling author.  Fogleman said she had the inspiration to write the Gallagher Girls series when she was watching television one night and the idea for a boarding school for teenage spies popped into her head. “It was an idea I knew I couldn’t possibly pass up,” Fogleman said.  Even though she writes stories about spies, Fogleman grew up on a farm in Locust Grove, Okla., was a member of FFA, and earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University in 1997. Many people ask her if she wished she had studied creative writing or English instead of agricultural economics, she said, but she replies with “absolutely not.” Fogleman said she knew she wanted to be a writer even when she was studying agricultural economics. However, she knew jobs in agricultural economics would allow for a secure, stable living and would provide a sense of self-satisfaction.  “I knew writing was something that, if I wanted to do it, there was absolutely no reason I couldn’t do it, whether or not I had a degree,” Fogleman said.  Joe Williams, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at OSU, was Fogleman’s academic adviser when she was an undergraduate student. He said Fogleman had tremendous ambition while at OSU.  “She was an unbelievable student,” Williams said. “She was a positive, very capable, very dedicated, very enthusiastic and outstanding student leader.” Fogleman said her education in agricultural economics has helped her handle the business side of her writing career. She has to be a self-starter because no one tells her to get out of bed in the morning and meet her goals except her, she said. She stays motivated and dedicated because her farming background taught her how to work hard and complete a job, she added.  “Something I think about all the time is when I was a kid and we had just baled a bunch of square bales of hay,” Fogleman said. “It was getting ready to rain. I remember my dad going out there and hauling in hay. It was a ton of work in a very, very short amount of time, but I remember him talking about it and saying ‘It had to be done.’ “When I have a big deadline, I think about Dad and hauling in that hay and ‘It had to be done,’” she said. “Not to say farm kids are the only ones who grow up with that kind of example, but that was certainly the example I had growing up — the sense the work doesn’t stop just because you don’t feel like doing it.” Fogleman said CASNR students learn a refined sense of work ethic that prepares them for success in the workplace, whether agriculture is involved or not.  “What I think employers are looking for from agricultural students is not that they grew up on a farm but that they have that sort of agricultural work ethic and mentality,” Fogleman said. “Any degree teaches you how to think, but to show that you have a learning aptitude is what most employers are after.” Williams said it is not an anomaly for students with farming and ranching backgrounds to have the same desire as Fogleman to achieve goals. “Young men and women who were raised in and had the opportunity to work in production agriculture learn first-hand that you’ve got to get busy and work hard to accomplish tasks,” Williams said.  Fogleman said while she does not regret deciding to write full-time, writing can be a strange profession. “I’m not going to lie — it’s very strange,” Fogleman said. “There are parts of it that are incredibly glamorous, like when you go on book tour. Every now and then, you even get to go to Hollywood and have fancy meetings with movie stars. Mostly, though, the job is you sitting home alone in yoga pants that have bleach stains on them and talking to characters who aren’t there.” Despite the oddities of the job, Fogleman said she is extremely happy with making a career of writing books. She said she loves writing for younger teens because they are a fun age group to write for.  “I hear from a lot of young readers who say things like ‘I never used to like reading until I read your books’ or ‘You made me want to be a spy, so I’m taking French this year and I’ve never had the courage to take a foreign language until I read your books,’” Fogleman said. “You get to, in an odd way, touch a lot of people’s lives because even though I’ll never meet a fraction of them, they go to school with my characters and my characters are like friends to them.” Courtney O’Connor, an OSU biochemistry and molecular biology junior and a fan of Fogleman’s books for eight years, said she read “I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You” as an extra-credit assignment when she was in sixth grade. She said reading the first book made her fall in love with the Gallagher Girls series.  “The characters are just so cool,” O’Connor said. “I read them all again this summer, and I still love them as much as I did in sixth grade. “‘I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You’ was one of the reasons I fell in love with reading books,” she added.  Fogleman said she is still writing books from her current location in Tulsa, Okla. She said she feels really lucky to be in a career she loves. “I get paid to do what 12-year-old me always wanted to do,” Fogleman said.   Sarah Fogleman speaks at a CASNR panel. Photo by Taylor Roblyer.   By: Author: Taylor Roblyer   
https://news.okstate.edu/articles/economist-spy-novelist-1
Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:15:14 -0500
From Economist to … Spy Novelist
Under the pen name of Ally Carter, Sarah Fogleman published the first book in the Gallagher Girls series in 2006. Since then, Fogleman has enjoyed success as a New York Times best-selling author.  Fogleman said she had the inspiration to write the Gallagher Girls series when she was watching television one night and the idea for a boarding school for teenage spies popped into her head. “It was an idea I knew I couldn’t possibly pass up,” Fogleman said.  Even though she writes stories about spies, Fogleman grew up on a farm in Locust Grove, Okla., was a member of FFA, and earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University in 1997. Many people ask her if she wished she had studied creative writing or English instead of agricultural economics, she said, but she replies with “absolutely not.” Fogleman said she knew she wanted to be a writer even when she was studying agricultural economics. However, she knew jobs in agricultural economics would allow for a secure, stable living and would provide a sense of self-satisfaction.  “I knew writing was something that, if I wanted to do it, there was absolutely no reason I couldn’t do it, whether or not I had a degree,” Fogleman said.  Joe Williams, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at OSU, was Fogleman’s academic adviser when she was an undergraduate student. He said Fogleman had tremendous ambition while at OSU.  “She was an unbelievable student,” Williams said. “She was a positive, very capable, very dedicated, very enthusiastic and outstanding student leader.” Fogleman said her education in agricultural economics has helped her handle the business side of her writing career. She has to be a self-starter because no one tells her to get out of bed in the morning and meet her goals except her, she said. She stays motivated and dedicated because her farming background taught her how to work hard and complete a job, she added.  “Something I think about all the time is when I was a kid and we had just baled a bunch of square bales of hay,” Fogleman said. “It was getting ready to rain. I remember my dad going out there and hauling in hay. It was a ton of work in a very, very short amount of time, but I remember him talking about it and saying ‘It had to be done.’ “When I have a big deadline, I think about Dad and hauling in that hay and ‘It had to be done,’” she said. “Not to say farm kids are the only ones who grow up with that kind of example, but that was certainly the example I had growing up — the sense the work doesn’t stop just because you don’t feel like doing it.” Fogleman said CASNR students learn a refined sense of work ethic that prepares them for success in the workplace, whether agriculture is involved or not.  “What I think employers are looking for from agricultural students is not that they grew up on a farm but that they have that sort of agricultural work ethic and mentality,” Fogleman said. “Any degree teaches you how to think, but to show that you have a learning aptitude is what most employers are after.” Williams said it is not an anomaly for students with farming and ranching backgrounds to have the same desire as Fogleman to achieve goals. “Young men and women who were raised in and had the opportunity to work in production agriculture learn first-hand that you’ve got to get busy and work hard to accomplish tasks,” Williams said.  Fogleman said while she does not regret deciding to write full-time, writing can be a strange profession. “I’m not going to lie — it’s very strange,” Fogleman said. “There are parts of it that are incredibly glamorous, like when you go on book tour. Every now and then, you even get to go to Hollywood and have fancy meetings with movie stars. Mostly, though, the job is you sitting home alone in yoga pants that have bleach stains on them and talking to characters who aren’t there.” Despite the oddities of the job, Fogleman said she is extremely happy with making a career of writing books. She said she loves writing for younger teens because they are a fun age group to write for.  “I hear from a lot of young readers who say things like ‘I never used to like reading until I read your books’ or ‘You made me want to be a spy, so I’m taking French this year and I’ve never had the courage to take a foreign language until I read your books,’” Fogleman said. “You get to, in an odd way, touch a lot of people’s lives because even though I’ll never meet a fraction of them, they go to school with my characters and my characters are like friends to them.” Courtney O’Connor, an OSU biochemistry and molecular biology junior and a fan of Fogleman’s books for eight years, said she read “I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You” as an extra-credit assignment when she was in sixth grade. She said reading the first book made her fall in love with the Gallagher Girls series.  “The characters are just so cool,” O’Connor said. “I read them all again this summer, and I still love them as much as I did in sixth grade. “‘I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You’ was one of the reasons I fell in love with reading books,” she added.  Fogleman said she is still writing books from her current location in Tulsa, Okla. She said she feels really lucky to be in a career she loves. “I get paid to do what 12-year-old me always wanted to do,” Fogleman said.   Sarah Fogleman speaks at a CASNR panel. Photo by Taylor Roblyer.   By: Author: Taylor Roblyer   
https://news.okstate.edu/articles/economist-spy-novelist-0
Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:14:03 -0500
From Economist to … Spy Novelist
Under the pen name of Ally Carter, Sarah Fogleman published the first book in the Gallagher Girls series in 2006. Since then, Fogleman has enjoyed success as a New York Times best-selling author.  Fogleman said she had the inspiration to write the Gallagher Girls series when she was watching television one night and the idea for a boarding school for teenage spies popped into her head. “It was an idea I knew I couldn’t possibly pass up,” Fogleman said.  Even though she writes stories about spies, Fogleman grew up on a farm in Locust Grove, Okla., was a member of FFA, and earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University in 1997. Many people ask her if she wished she had studied creative writing or English instead of agricultural economics, she said, but she replies with “absolutely not.” Fogleman said she knew she wanted to be a writer even when she was studying agricultural economics. However, she knew jobs in agricultural economics would allow for a secure, stable living and would provide a sense of self-satisfaction.  “I knew writing was something that, if I wanted to do it, there was absolutely no reason I couldn’t do it, whether or not I had a degree,” Fogleman said.  Joe Williams, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at OSU, was Fogleman’s academic adviser when she was an undergraduate student. He said Fogleman had tremendous ambition while at OSU.  “She was an unbelievable student,” Williams said. “She was a positive, very capable, very dedicated, very enthusiastic and outstanding student leader.” Fogleman said her education in agricultural economics has helped her handle the business side of her writing career. She has to be a self-starter because no one tells her to get out of bed in the morning and meet her goals except her, she said. She stays motivated and dedicated because her farming background taught her how to work hard and complete a job, she added.  “Something I think about all the time is when I was a kid and we had just baled a bunch of square bales of hay,” Fogleman said. “It was getting ready to rain. I remember my dad going out there and hauling in hay. It was a ton of work in a very, very short amount of time, but I remember him talking about it and saying ‘It had to be done.’ “When I have a big deadline, I think about Dad and hauling in that hay and ‘It had to be done,’” she said. “Not to say farm kids are the only ones who grow up with that kind of example, but that was certainly the example I had growing up — the sense the work doesn’t stop just because you don’t feel like doing it.” Fogleman said CASNR students learn a refined sense of work ethic that prepares them for success in the workplace, whether agriculture is involved or not.  “What I think employers are looking for from agricultural students is not that they grew up on a farm but that they have that sort of agricultural work ethic and mentality,” Fogleman said. “Any degree teaches you how to think, but to show that you have a learning aptitude is what most employers are after.” Williams said it is not an anomaly for students with farming and ranching backgrounds to have the same desire as Fogleman to achieve goals. “Young men and women who were raised in and had the opportunity to work in production agriculture learn first-hand that you’ve got to get busy and work hard to accomplish tasks,” Williams said.  Fogleman said while she does not regret deciding to write full-time, writing can be a strange profession. “I’m not going to lie — it’s very strange,” Fogleman said. “There are parts of it that are incredibly glamorous, like when you go on book tour. Every now and then, you even get to go to Hollywood and have fancy meetings with movie stars. Mostly, though, the job is you sitting home alone in yoga pants that have bleach stains on them and talking to characters who aren’t there.” Despite the oddities of the job, Fogleman said she is extremely happy with making a career of writing books. She said she loves writing for younger teens because they are a fun age group to write for.  “I hear from a lot of young readers who say things like ‘I never used to like reading until I read your books’ or ‘You made me want to be a spy, so I’m taking French this year and I’ve never had the courage to take a foreign language until I read your books,’” Fogleman said. “You get to, in an odd way, touch a lot of people’s lives because even though I’ll never meet a fraction of them, they go to school with my characters and my characters are like friends to them.” Courtney O’Connor, an OSU biochemistry and molecular biology junior and a fan of Fogleman’s books for eight years, said she read “I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You” as an extra-credit assignment when she was in sixth grade. She said reading the first book made her fall in love with the Gallagher Girls series.  “The characters are just so cool,” O’Connor said. “I read them all again this summer, and I still love them as much as I did in sixth grade. “‘I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You’ was one of the reasons I fell in love with reading books,” she added.  Fogleman said she is still writing books from her current location in Tulsa, Okla. She said she feels really lucky to be in a career she loves. “I get paid to do what 12-year-old me always wanted to do,” Fogleman said.   Sarah Fogleman speaks at a CASNR panel. Photo by Taylor Roblyer.   By: Author: Taylor Roblyer   
https://news.okstate.edu/articles/economist-spy-novelist
Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:12:41 -0500
And They Call the Thing Rodeo
Cody Hollingsworth has coached the OSU Rodeo Team since 2011. Photo by Lindsay King. Boots. Chaps. Cowboy hats. The Payne County Expo Center rodeo arena was filled with these items as well as the excitement of hundreds of fans in early October when the Oklahoma State University Rodeo Team hosted its second annual Cowboy Stampede. OSU is rich in rodeo history, said Cody Hollingsworth, OSU rodeo program and facilities coordinator, and the team jumped at the chance to begin hosting a college rodeo in 2014. “OSU rodeo has been around since 1946,” Hollingsworth said. “We were one of six schools that started the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.” Prior to the first Cowboy Stampede last year, the last rodeo hosted in Stillwater was in the mid-1980s. Part of the reason there was such a large gap was because once a school stops having a hometown rodeo getting it back is difficult, Hollingsworth said. “So many schools in our region want to host a rodeo, so we had to wait for an opportunity to start one back up in Stillwater,” he said. OSU competes in the Central Plains Region of the NIRA, which is the largest region in the United States with 18 member schools. Eryn Coy, Western Oklahoma State College, competes in barrel racing. Photo by Lindsay King. “We decided to go after this to help continue to build the program,” Hollingsworth said. “It was important to bring rodeo back to Stillwater so the community and the university could see what our program has to offer.” The Cowboy Stampede has the potential to serve as a major recruiting opportunity to bring new students to OSU, Hollingsworth added. “In college rodeo, junior colleges and universities are mixed together,” Hollingsworth said. “This is a great opportunity for us to bring in competing junior college students and to put Oklahoma State on their radar in terms of continuing their education after their initial two years.” Before Hollingsworth began coaching the team in 2012, the program operated as a student organization.  The OSU Rodeo Team is now a program within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The program is at an unprecedented height with support from the university, Hollingsworth said. “Everything has changed in terms of the support we are now getting,” he said. “It has helped us improve our facility and allows us to use funds we generate to help students as far as practice, scholarships and travel assistance goes.”  Improving the OSU program by having the funds to offer small scholarships and travel assistance allows the team to attract more talented students, he said.     “Our goal is to make the Cowboy Stampede an annual rodeo,” Hollingsworth said. “We want to make it something the university and the community can look forward to every year.”  Having a rodeo in Stillwater is an advantage to the OSU students competing, said Lexi Bagnell, OSU Rodeo Team president and a design, housing and merchandising major.  “They get to compete in front of friends and family, and it’s a weekend they don’t have to travel,” Hollingsworth said. Though the weekend was an exciting time for the rodeo team, it also required a lot of time and hard work from members, Bagnell said. Ballie Wiseman, Western Oklahoma State College, competes in goat tying for a ninth-place finish. Photo by Lindsay King. “As soon as everyone got back for the school year, we started planning the rodeo,” she said. “What a lot of people don’t realize is the team members are the ones who do everything behind the scenes. We have to focus on a lot of moving parts other than how we are going to compete.” The team focused on marketing the event throughout Stillwater, Bagnell said. “This year, we received more sponsorship from the community,” she said. “We did interviews with a local TV and radio station, which was fun and brought out a good crowd. We promoted the event on our website and our Facebook account, and OSU let us put signs up on campus. “We didn’t change a lot from last year,” Bagnell said. “Having the first one under our belt helped with the whole planning process.”  “Having a rodeo in Stillwater makes the weekend a little more comfortable for everyone on the team,” she said. “We’re able to go out and practice on the ground at the expo center. It’s just like having a home court advantage.” The rodeo team’s hard work paid off and the three-day event operated smoothly without any malfunctions, said Brittany Perron, OSU rodeo team member and animal science major. Jake Williams, Fort Hays State University, competes in saddle bronc riding. Photo by Lindsay King.  “We had a lot of help from the rodeo team, the OSU Horsemen’s Association and several other campus organizations,” Perron said. Volunteers and support from the university and community played a big role in the success of the stampede, she said. “CASNR helped out a lot,” Perron said. “We also had some local food trucks come out each night to feed everybody.” Even though no OSU team members made the championship round on Saturday night, the weekend was still a success, Perron said. “Nobody on our team made the short go,” she said. “We were all pretty close. There were about five of us who were just two or three places out of the standings. “Everybody worked hard to make this a successful rodeo,” Perron said. “We’re all proud of how everything turned out and can’t wait for next year.”   Adam Young, Dodge City Community College, competes in saddle bronc riding. Photo by Lindsay King.   By: Author: Kaitlyn Ryan   
https://news.okstate.edu/articles/and-they-call-thing-rodeo-0
Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:08:19 -0500
And They Call the Thing Rodeo
Cody Hollingsworth has coached the OSU Rodeo Team since 2011. Photo by Lindsay King. Boots. Chaps. Cowboy hats. The Payne County Expo Center rodeo arena was filled with these items as well as the excitement of hundreds of fans in early October when the Oklahoma State University Rodeo Team hosted its second annual Cowboy Stampede. OSU is rich in rodeo history, said Cody Hollingsworth, OSU rodeo program and facilities coordinator, and the team jumped at the chance to begin hosting a college rodeo in 2014. “OSU rodeo has been around since 1946,” Hollingsworth said. “We were one of six schools that started the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.” Prior to the first Cowboy Stampede last year, the last rodeo hosted in Stillwater was in the mid-1980s. Part of the reason there was such a large gap was because once a school stops having a hometown rodeo getting it back is difficult, Hollingsworth said. “So many schools in our region want to host a rodeo, so we had to wait for an opportunity to start one back up in Stillwater,” he said. OSU competes in the Central Plains Region of the NIRA, which is the largest region in the United States with 18 member schools. Eryn Coy, Western Oklahoma State College, competes in barrel racing. Photo by Lindsay King. Jake Williams, Fort Hays State University, competes in saddle bronc riding. Photo by Lindsay King. “We decided to go after this to help continue to build the program,” Hollingsworth said. “It was important to bring rodeo back to Stillwater so the community and the university could see what our program has to offer.” The Cowboy Stampede has the potential to serve as a major recruiting opportunity to bring new students to OSU, Hollingsworth added. “In college rodeo, junior colleges and universities are mixed together,” Hollingsworth said. “This is a great opportunity for us to bring in competing junior college students and to put Oklahoma State on their radar in terms of continuing their education after their initial two years.” Before Hollingsworth began coaching the team in 2012, the program operated as a student organization.  The OSU Rodeo Team is now a program within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The program is at an unprecedented height with support from the university, Hollingsworth said. “Everything has changed in terms of the support we are now getting,” he said. “It has helped us improve our facility and allows us to use funds we generate to help students as far as practice, scholarships and travel assistance goes.”  Improving the OSU program by having the funds to offer small scholarships and travel assistance allows the team to attract more talented students, he said.     “Our goal is to make the Cowboy Stampede an annual rodeo,” Hollingsworth said. “We want to make it something the university and the community can look forward to every year.”  Having a rodeo in Stillwater is an advantage to the OSU students competing, said Lexi Bagnell, OSU Rodeo Team president and a design, housing and merchandising major.  “They get to compete in front of friends and family, and it’s a weekend they don’t have to travel,” Hollingsworth said. Though the weekend was an exciting time for the rodeo team, it also required a lot of time and hard work from members, Bagnell said. “As soon as everyone got back for the school year, we started planning the rodeo,” she said. “What a lot of people don’t realize is the team members are the ones who do everything behind the scenes. We have to focus on a lot of moving parts other than how we are going to compete.” The team focused on marketing the event throughout Stillwater, Bagnell said. “This year, we received more sponsorship from the community,” she said. “We did interviews with a local TV and radio station, which was fun and brought out a good crowd. We promoted the event on our website and our Facebook account, and OSU let us put signs up on campus. “We didn’t change a lot from last year,” Bagnell said. “Having the first one under our belt helped with the whole planning process.”  “Having a rodeo in Stillwater makes the weekend a little more comfortable for everyone on the team,” she said. “We’re able to go out and practice on the ground at the expo center. It’s just like having a home court advantage.” The rodeo team’s hard work paid off and the three-day event operated smoothly without any malfunctions, said Brittany Perron, OSU rodeo team member and animal science major.  “We had a lot of help from the rodeo team, the OSU Horsemen’s Association and several other campus organizations,” Perron said. Volunteers and support from the university and community played a big role in the success of the stampede, she said. “CASNR helped out a lot,” Perron said. “We also had some local food trucks come out each night to feed everybody.” Even though no OSU team members made the championship round on Saturday night, the weekend was still a success, Perron said. “Nobody on our team made the short go,” she said. “We were all pretty close. There were about five of us who were just two or three places out of the standings. “Everybody worked hard to make this a successful rodeo,” Perron said. “We’re all proud of how everything turned out and can’t wait for next year.”   Ballie Wiseman, Western Oklahoma State College, competes in goat tying for a ninth-place finish. Photo by Lindsay King. Adam Young, Dodge City Community College, competes in saddle bronc riding. Photo by Lindsay King.   By: Author: Kaitlyn Ryan   
https://news.okstate.edu/articles/and-they-call-thing-rodeo
Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:07:24 -0500
Regent in Agriculture
Rick (left) and Pam Davis enjoy participating in OSU Homecoming activities and supporting the Cowboys. Photo by Ashely Judge. From harvesting fields in Logan County to donning the robes of an Oklahoma A&M Regent, Rick Davis has spent a large portion of his life involved in agriculture and Oklahoma State University. Appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin to the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents in 2011, the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources alumnus said his responsibilities go far beyond his involvement with the university. Davis and his two brothers, Kenny and Steve, manage Davis Farms of Guthrie, a family-owned-and-operated business.  “My parents raised my brothers and me on our farming operation, and from my earliest memories, it was always a team effort,” Davis said. “We were taught at an early age that we all had strengths and things we offered to the operation that made us both unique and valuable to the family business.” Davis has a long history of involvement with agriculture, including serving as the 1979-80 Oklahoma FFA Secretary and the 1980-81 Oklahoma FFA President. “FFA was for me, as it is for many young people, a key part of my early life,” Davis said. “The years of serving as a state FFA officer were blessings. It allowed me to meet so many different people across our state and to develop lifelong friendships that have meant so much.” A 1983 graduate of OSU, Davis received his Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics.  He said he credits a big portion of his professional success to the education he received at OSU and the activities in which he was involved.   “I always felt like my time in the college of agriculture was time spent with like-minded people who were like a community of friends,” Davis said. “As students, we were encouraged to be active outside the classroom, which was a very beneficial lesson to learn and one that has benefited me and other students who have gone through CASNR throughout the years.” While pursuing his degree, Davis met his wife, Pam, who earned her OSU degree in elementary education. Their son, Ben, graduated from OSU with a degree in agribusiness. Their daughter, Emily, played basketball at Oklahoma City University and has a degree in education. Davis was a member of FarmHouse Fraternity at OSU. He said some of his favorite memories were made with his FarmHouse “brothers.” “My fondest memory was my initiation into FarmHouse,” Davis said. “The members were like a band of brothers. That group of individuals has played a huge part in my life.” The entire Davis family has shown huge support for the university, Pam Davis said. Kenny and Steve Davis also graduated from OSU in agricultural economics before they pursued law degrees. Kenny Davis said despite their busy lives, they still manage to make the family farm run as successfully as possible. “While there are, of course, many challenges along the way,” Davis said, “the benefit of having such a close-knit group of ‘partners’ far outweighs any negatives that come with such a structure.  “It’s hard for me to visualize my life without the blessings that have come as a result of raising my family side by side with my brothers’ families on the farm,” he added.  As a regent, Davis said he enjoys overseeing the university he and his family love most. He said his job consists of working with leaders from OSU and its affiliate schools to create budgets, work on risk management, and plan for the future, while making the college experience valuable for every student. “I have the opportunity to work as a team with the other members of the board to provide the best quality education possible at the most affordable prices possible to the students at our institutions,” Davis said. “On a personal level, I must say it was a joy and very rewarding to have served as chairman of the board this past year. It was a unique opportunity I was thankful to experience.” Davis has shown leadership and dedication to the quality of education students receive at all A&M institutions, said Lou Watkins, Board of Regents member. “One thing I have noticed working with Rick is you can see the agricultural training he received through FFA,” Watkins said. “He presides over meetings in such a professional manner, and his parliamentary procedure is flawless. He is really an outstanding leader.” Davis said when he is not farming, he spends five hours a week working toward his Regent responsibilities. While serving as the chairman of the board last year, Davis said he dedicated at least 20 hours a week to his duties on the board. “Our single largest responsibility on the board is to staff OSU and its affiliate schools with the best administration and work force possible,” Davis said. “We are the policy makers, but we also try and stay out of the way of our institutions making their own decisions.” Even with all the Davis family does for OSU, nothing is more important to any of them than their family values, agricultural roots and faith, Davis said. This was instilled in him and his brothers at a young age, he added. Growing up on the family farm taught the Davis men responsibility and the value of hard work, Kenny Davis said. They have tried to instill these same core principles in their children because they believe them to be vital to success, he said. “The environment we grew up in was one in which we not only lived together but also worked together,” Kenny Davis said. “Personally, I have tried to continue that trend in my own family by getting my kids involved on the farm and also being active with them in their extracurricular activities such as sports and FFA.”  Davis attributes many of the values and traits he holds in the highest regard to his upbringing on the farm. He said his parents and their faith have been big contributors to his family’s way of life. “I do believe it is a result of my upbringing and the things in life that my parents tried to stress to my brothers and me that were important,” Davis said. “We were taught from an early age to try to live our lives in a manner that would please our heavenly Father.”  Pam Davis said her husband tries to carry these values into what he accomplishes for OSU as a Regent. She said he focuses on making the OSU experience exceptional for every single student who sets foot on campus. “Rick is committed to God first and foremost,” Pam Davis said. “He’s committed to his family and very humble. His humility comes from knowing we do nothing on our own and we have a creator to thank for everything.” Watkins said she also sees Rick’s agricultural roots and values in the work he does for the board on a daily basis. She said even though he is fair to all the colleges within the A&M system, she can tell he has a strong love for production agriculture and farming. “His passion and love is agriculture and that comes through,” Watkins said. “As we are becoming more and more aware, we need commitment like Rick’s in both the United States and throughout  the world.” Even with everything Davis has achieved as a state FFA officer, an agribusinessman and now a Regent, his love and passion are based in the grass roots and upbringing he holds close.  Because of these morals, Rick and Pam Davis love OSU and its family atmosphere so much, he said. “We are a part of the OSU family, and the people we have met here have changed our lives,” Pam Davis said. “The family feeling of this campus and the friends we have made here keep us rooted to this institution and everything it stands for.” By: Author: Ashley Judge 
https://news.okstate.edu/articles/regent-agriculture
Fri, 06 Oct 2017 14:48:18 -0500
Reflecting Excellence
Garey Fox conducts research on flow and sediment transport in streams. Photo by Todd Johnson. rom a first-generation college student from a small Texas town to a nationally recognized water researcher and professor, Oklahoma State University biosystems and agricultural engineering professor Garey Fox serves the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in many roles.  In addition to prestigious awards and accreditations, Fox has an unyielding passion to see students succeed, said Steve Damron, CASNR assistant dean.  “His work with undergraduate students is the best example of his dedication,” Damron said. “He works continually with undergraduate research scholars, and that takes a lot of effort, but he feels strongly that effort is worthwhile.”  As one of only 35 graduates from Godley High School in 1994, Fox said he was the first of his family to leave the farm and go to college.   Garey Fox and his former doctoral student Erin Porter conduct a jet erosion test. Photo by Todd Johnson. “I really had no idea what I wanted to do in school,” Fox said, “but I knew I was really good at math and science. I got some large FFA scholarships through Texas FFA that required me to go to a public school in Texas and major in something agriculture-related.” At that time, Texas A&M University had an agricultural engineering program. Fox chose the engineering path, and he said he found his passion for research during his undergraduate years. “I got connected with a faculty member while I was there who asked me if I wanted to do research with him, and I was like, ‘Wow, they’ll pay you to do that?’” Fox said he enjoyed doing research as an undergraduate student and decided to earn his master’s degree on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency graduate fellowship, which he said is a prestigious national fellowship for master’s and doctoral students in environmentally related fields of study.   After graduating from TAMU with a master’s degree in agricultural engineering in 2000, Fox continued his studies as a doctoral student in civil engineering at Colorado State University.  Fox said he decided he wanted to go into academia while he was obtaining his doctoral degree. “It turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “My passion is being in the classroom, field or laboratory, interacting with students, watching them grow, and seeing their accomplishments. It’s a real pleasure.”  Fox joined the OSU BAE department in 2006 and continued his research and teaching. The National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, EPA and USDA have supported his research of stream and aquifer interaction through competitive grant funds.  “His work with accreditation in his department is absolutely stellar,” Damron said. “He’s recognized nationally as an expert on assessment as it’s done in engineering, and I think that’s quite remarkable.” While he may be a research expert, teaching and interacting with students are where Fox truly shines, said Whitney Lisenbee, a BAE master’s student. “Everyone knows if Dr. Fox is teaching it’s going to be a good class,” she said. “He’s been my professor, research mentor, Cowboy Waterworks club adviser, senior design adviser and overall role model for nearly six years. “Although he wears many hats, he is still available for ‘life talks’ with his students and wants us to succeed,” she added. Fox said he wants to ensure when his students graduate they are prepared for what they are going to do outside of OSU.  “I challenge them every single day,” he said. “When I was in school, I had a lot of professors who didn’t challenge me much. I don’t remember them, but I do remember the ones who cared about students and challenged them.” When Fox came to Stillwater, he wanted to make OSU “the” water place, he said. One of the ways he has worked toward this goal is by creating and implementing the annual Student Water Conference, which is designed specifically for students to present their research and receive feedback.  “Last year,” Fox said, “we had students from Hawaii, Washington, Connecticut, Iowa and across the U.S. who came to present their research. It’s become a nationally known conference.”  Damron said Fox’s creation of the Student Water Conference is not only innovative but also ambitious.  “When you consider all of Dr. Fox’s contributions outside the classroom and add that he’s an outstanding classroom teacher, you have a true contributor, not only to the discipline and its students but also to the college and the university,” Damron said. “Garey Fox is a force to be reckoned with in higher education,” he added. Fox recently received the national USDA Excellence in Teaching award, which is given to two recipients among all land-grant institutions each year.  “This national teaching award is a tremendous honor,” Fox said, “not only for me personally, but also for BAE and DASNR, as well. “I am thankful for the opportunity to go to work each day and do something I love,” he added. “This recognition should be shared with my family, who serve as my foundation and support, and my previous and current graduate and undergraduate students who make teaching and research so enjoyable.”  Last year, Shida Heneberry, director of the OSU Master of International Agriculture program, received the same award. This marks the first time in history any university has won this award in two consecutive years. However, Fox said he tried never to focus on the end goal.  “The awards are great,” he said. “They are very nice recognitions, but they’re not something absolutely necessary for my career. My point has always been ‘Do you enjoy it every day?’ “I love my job,” he said. “I can only see myself in academia, where I can interact with students and contribute to their education.”   Gary (right) accepts the USDA Excellence in Teaching award from Jay T. Akridge of Purdue University. Photo Courtesy of APLU.  
https://news.okstate.edu/articles/reflecting-excellence-1
Fri, 06 Oct 2017 14:44:28 -0500
Reflecting Excellence
Garey Fox conducts research on flow and sediment transport in streams. Photo by Todd Johnson.   rom a first-generation college student from a small Texas town to a nationally recognized water researcher and professor, Oklahoma State University biosystems and agricultural engineering professor Garey Fox serves the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in many roles.  In addition to prestigious awards and accreditations, Fox has an unyielding passion to see students succeed, said Steve Damron, CASNR assistant dean.  “His work with undergraduate students is the best example of his dedication,” Damron said. “He works continually with undergraduate research scholars, and that takes a lot of effort, but he feels strongly that effort is worthwhile.”  As one of only 35 graduates from Godley High School in 1994, Fox said he was the first of his family to leave the farm and go to college.   Garey Fox and his former doctoral student Erin Porter conduct a jet erosion test. Photo by Todd Johnson. “I really had no idea what I wanted to do in school,” Fox said, “but I knew I was really good at math and science. I got some large FFA scholarships through Texas FFA that required me to go to a public school in Texas and major in something agriculture-related.” At that time, Texas A&M University had an agricultural engineering program. Fox chose the engineering path, and he said he found his passion for research during his undergraduate years. “I got connected with a faculty member while I was there who asked me if I wanted to do research with him, and I was like, ‘Wow, they’ll pay you to do that?’” Fox said he enjoyed doing research as an undergraduate student and decided to earn his master’s degree on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency graduate fellowship, which he said is a prestigious national fellowship for master’s and doctoral students in environmentally related fields of study.   After graduating from TAMU with a master’s degree in agricultural engineering in 2000, Fox continued his studies as a doctoral student in civil engineering at Colorado State University.  Fox said he decided he wanted to go into academia while he was obtaining his doctoral degree. “It turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “My passion is being in the classroom, field or laboratory, interacting with students, watching them grow, and seeing their accomplishments. It’s a real pleasure.”  Fox joined the OSU BAE department in 2006 and continued his research and teaching. The National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, EPA and USDA have supported his research of stream and aquifer interaction through competitive grant funds.  “His work with accreditation in his department is absolutely stellar,” Damron said. “He’s recognized nationally as an expert on assessment as it’s done in engineering, and I think that’s quite remarkable.” While he may be a research expert, teaching and interacting with students are where Fox truly shines, said Whitney Lisenbee, a BAE master’s student. “Everyone knows if Dr. Fox is teaching it’s going to be a good class,” she said. “He’s been my professor, research mentor, Cowboy Waterworks club adviser, senior design adviser and overall role model for nearly six years. “Although he wears many hats, he is still available for ‘life talks’ with his students and wants us to succeed,” she added. Fox said he wants to ensure when his students graduate they are prepared for what they are going to do outside of OSU.  “I challenge them every single day,” he said. “When I was in school, I had a lot of professors who didn’t challenge me much. I don’t remember them, but I do remember the ones who cared about students and challenged them.” When Fox came to Stillwater, he wanted to make OSU “the” water place, he said. One of the ways he has worked toward this goal is by creating and implementing the annual Student Water Conference, which is designed specifically for students to present their research and receive feedback.  “Last year,” Fox said, “we had students from Hawaii, Washington, Connecticut, Iowa and across the U.S. who came to present their research. It’s become a nationally known conference.”  Damron said Fox’s creation of the Student Water Conference is not only innovative but also ambitious.  “When you consider all of Dr. Fox’s contributions outside the classroom and add that he’s an outstanding classroom teacher, you have a true contributor, not only to the discipline and its students but also to the college and the university,” Damron said. “Garey Fox is a force to be reckoned with in higher education,” he added. Fox recently received the national USDA Excellence in Teaching award, which is given to two recipients among all land-grant institutions each year.  “This national teaching award is a tremendous honor,” Fox said, “not only for me personally, but also for BAE and DASNR, as well. “I am thankful for the opportunity to go to work each day and do something I love,” he added. “This recognition should be shared with my family, who serve as my foundation and support, and my previous and current graduate and undergraduate students who make teaching and research so enjoyable.”  Last year, Shida Heneberry, director of the OSU Master of International Agriculture program, received the same award. This marks the first time in history any university has won this award in two consecutive years. However, Fox said he tried never to focus on the end goal.  “The awards are great,” he said. “They are very nice recognitions, but they’re not something absolutely necessary for my career. My point has always been ‘Do you enjoy it every day?’ “I love my job,” he said. “I can only see myself in academia, where I can interact with students and contribute to their education.”   Gary (right) accepts the USDA Excellence in Teaching award from Jay T. Akridge of Purdue University. Photo Courtesy of APLU. By: Author: Tory Dwyer
https://news.okstate.edu/articles/reflecting-excellence-0
Fri, 06 Oct 2017 14:47:01 -0500

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