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Oklahoma ABLE Tech Honored at State Capitol
Brenda Dawes, representing Oklahoma ABLE Tech, accepted the 2016 DRS Access for All Partner of the Year Award on behalf of the agency from DRS Interim Director Noel Tyler during the People with Disabilities Awareness Day attended by nearly 800 people at the state capitol. Oklahoma ABLE Tech, the state’s assistive technology program, was honored with the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services’ 2016 Access for All Partner of the Year Award in a ceremony at the state capitol. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin opened the award ceremonies with a keynote address during People with Disabilities Awareness Day attended by nearly 800 people. DRS Interim Director Noel Tyler presented the award to program manager Brenda Dawes of ABLE Tech, representing Linda Jaco, director of ABLE Tech, and Rob Carr, accessibility coordinator. Tyler cited examples of how DRS and ABLE Tech have repeatedly partnered to aid Oklahomans with disabilities. “DRS is honored to partner with Oklahoma ABLE Tech,” Tyler said. “They produce and deliver results, as well as demonstrating an unwavering commitment to quality. ABLE Tech staff is extremely dedicated to ensuring Access for All, which is critical in creating an environment where people with disabilities have the same opportunities to participate in the workforce as people without disabilities.” The People with Disabilities Awareness Day theme “Engage and Empower” was a call to Oklahomans with disabilities, their families and supporters to share their own disability stories. Their visits with legislators help them understand the impact of services that lead to employment and independence. ABLE Tech is based at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and is led by Linda Jaco. OSU Chief Wellness Officer Todd Misener is thankful to have a program that improves access to assistive technology; devices used to aid individuals with disabilities. He believes this program is key in the university’s goal of becoming America’s Healthiest Campus. “Bridging barriers to an active, productive, healthy, and fulfilling life is a vital component of OSU’s Wellness mission,” Misener said. “I am thrilled to have ABLE Tech as part of OSU’s Department of Wellness and applaud their tireless efforts to enable those with disabilities to live a productive and fulfilling life.  This award is well deserved!” As the employment agency for Oklahomans with disabilities, DRS’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Visual Services staff provided career preparation and employment services for 12,954 jobseekers with disabilities last year. The 2,125 who became employed earned $20,952 in average annual wages and paid $3,144 in average taxes. PHOTO:
Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:16:42 -0500
Oklahoma State University civil engineering students win American Concrete Institute Fellowship awards
Oklahoma State University civil engineering students Bret Robertson and Katelyn Oquin have received prestigious American Concrete Institute (ACI) Fellowship awards. Robertson, a graduate student from Inola, Oklahoma, and Oquin, class of 2016 from Burneyville, Oklahoma, will each receive a $7,000 stipend, an all-expenses paid trip to the next two ACI conventions, assistance in finding an industry mentor and assistance in finding a summer internship. “This is a great honor for Oklahoma State University and our students,” says Tyler Ley, Ph.D. and associate civil engineering professor. “It showcases the high quality of students we have here and it’s great that they’re recognized by such a prestigious group.” Over 1,000 students apply for this award each year, and Oquin and Robertson are the first from OSU to receive it. There have only been two previous universities that have had students win the ACI Fellowship award in the same year. “We have professors who invest in their students not only in the classroom, but in their well-being and success,” says Oquin. “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that I was provided by Dr. Ley, and for his ability to teach with a passion and to inspire his students.” For more information about the ACI Fellowship award, visit PHOTO:
Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:14:40 -0500
OSU/A&M Regents approve personnel actions
The OSU/A&M Board of Regents approved several Oklahoma State University personnel actions during its meeting on Friday in Goodwell, Oklahoma. APPOINTMENTS: John O’Hara, assistant professor, electrical and computer engineering; Juan Borrero, assistant professor, industrial engineering and management; Imraan Faraque, assistant professor, mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Hadi Noori, assistant professor, mechanical and aerospace engineering. CHANGES: Julie Koch, title change from associate professor and interim head to associate professor and head, applied health and education psychology; and Susan Stansberry, title change from associate professor and interim head to associate professor and head, educational studies. RETIREMENTS: Lester Moses, history, June 1, 2017; Michael Smith, history, June 1, 2017; Heidi Hoffer, theatre, June 1, 2017; Charlotte Wright, accounting, June 10, 2017; Margaret White, management, August 31, 2017; John Nazemetz, industrial engineering and management, June 10, 2017; Jerrold Leong, hotel and restaurant administration, July 1, 2017; and Nancy Betts, nutritional sciences, July 1, 2017. Story by Katie Rosebrook
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:59:54 -0500
Safety is key when using a home fire extinguisher
Knowing how to properly operate a home fire extinguisher can minimize damage in the event of a fire. (Photo by sezer66/ Homeowners are pretty savvy when it comes to keeping their home safe. They lock their doors and windows and store harmful chemicals out of reach. They also change the batteries in their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms on a regular basis. Safety is always on the mind of a homeowner. That is why it is important to have an essential safety tool in your home – a fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers are a critical component of saving property and lives, said Gina Peek, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension housing and consumer specialist. “In the event of a small fire in your home, a fire extinguisher can make the difference of saving your home or the home sustaining a lot of damage,” Peek said. “Call 911. Then, following the call, use your fire extinguisher. If you can’t put out the fire immediately, evacuate the home.” Most hardware and discount stores sell fire extinguishers. They are categorized using an A, B, C or D letter rating system. A good choice for the home is a multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher which combines one or more classes of extinguishers. Class A is for ordinary combustibles such as paper and wood; Class B is used for grease, gasoline, oil and oil-based paints; Class C is used for electrical fires; and Class D is for flammable metals. Fire extinguishers are useful only if they can be found and used properly while the fire is still small. Store the extinguisher in a highly visible area. It will not do a homeowner any good if the extinguisher is up on a high shelf or tucked behind items in a cabinet. “The majority of home fires begin in the kitchen. It’s a good ideas to keep an extinguisher close and handy,” she said. In the event of a fire, the first priority is to get everyone out of the house. When using a fire extinguisher on a small fire, remember the acronym PASS. This stands for pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle and sweep back and forth. “When you purchase your fire extinguisher, take the time to examine it and learn how to operate it at that time,” Peek said. “You don’t want to lose valuable time trying to read the directions when you have a small fire in your home.” In the event of a small fire, keep in mind the fire can continue to smolder even if you think it is out. Call the fire department to inspect your house after you have put out a fire. Be sure to check your extinguisher every month to make sure the pressure gauge shows a full charge. Nonrechargeable units are good for about 12 years. Rechargeable ones should be serviced after six years. “Keep in mind fires can spread quickly, so always give yourself an escape route,” she said. “If you have any doubt in your ability to get the fire under control, leave your house immediately and call the fire department.”
Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:24:53 -0500
Masterpiece Moments: Artist at the table to celebrate community commitment to the arts
Masterpiece Moments: Artist at the Table will combine artists’ talents and the community’s commitment to the arts in a fun-filled night on Saturday, May 6, at 6 pm. The premier event, held in the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center, will include wine, heavy hors d'oeuvres, a silent and live auction, and entertainment, with proceeds supporting the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art’s exhibitions and educational programming. Famous artwork and artists – Warhol, van Gogh, and Degas, for example – will be the inspiration behind a gallery of tablescape creations. These interpretive works of art will be constructed by friends and advocates of the OSU Museum of Art. “Masterpiece Moments will be an evening to honor and promote what the OSU Museum of Art is all about: education and community outreach,” said Shawn Howell, Masterpiece Moments co-chair and OSU Museum of Art Advocate. “The evening will be a vivid, colorful walk into the magical world of many different artists, with a sample of their style displayed by our talented tablescape designers.” Since opening its doors in 2013, the museum has had more than 16,000 visitors. It houses OSU’s permanent collection of art, and hosts a variety of exhibitions, educational programs, and community events each year. “As an Advocate, I am passionate about the role of the museum in our community,” said Brenda Spaulding, Masterpiece Moments co-chair and OSU Museum of Art Advocate. “Because it is becoming increasingly more difficult to provide art within our public schools, I think these types of educational programming and resources can help bridge that gap.” Howell and Spaulding belong to a group of OSU Museum of Art Advocates who support the museum and its outreach to the community through their advocacy, volunteer work, and various contributions. The Art Advocates play a vital role in expanding the museum’s reach in the community, helping provide transformational art experiences to as many people as possible. Tickets for the event can be purchased online at More information is also available at About the OSU Museum of Art For more information about the OSU Museum of Art, visit or call 405-744-2780.   All exhibitions are free and open to the public. The museum is located at 720 S. Husband Street in downtown Stillwater. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm.
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:01:37 -0500
Handy named OSU Student Employee of the Year
Areanna Handy receives a scholarship check after being selected as the 2017 Student Employee of the Year at OSU. Dr. Pam Ehlers with OSU Career Services (left) presents the check to Handy who is joined by Trisha Lyonsi with the International Students and Scholars office at OSU, where Handy works. Areanna Handy, from Broken Arrow, has been selected as the 2017 Student Employee of the Year at Oklahoma State University. Handy, a senior majoring in merchandizing and marketing at OSU, was honored at a recent awards ceremony on campus during National Student Employment Week.  The award recognizes an OSU student who best embodies the contributions and achievements of students who work while attending college. It includes a $1,000 scholarship from the Division of Student Affairs at OSU. Handy was selected from a group of 76 undergraduate and graduate nominees for outstanding contributions to her employer, the OSU Office of International Students and Scholars. She will compete for additional honors at the regional level, where she could also advance to national competition. Handy and four other finalists received prize baskets with donations from local and campus employers. The additional finalists included Andrew Day a senior in marketing and entrepreneurship from Owasso; Nino Ilidan, senior in computer engineering, Lawton; Jonathan Lehman, senior in plant and soil sciences, Cache, and Ricki Schroeder, senior in agribusiness and agricultural leadership, Nash. Semifinalists included Amber Cain, junior in finance, Stillwater; Daniella Cain, junior in mathematics, Broken Arrow; Erick Davis, junior in electrical engineering technology, McLoud; John Langham, senior in sports media, Leander, Texas; and Liza Van der Laan, senior in plant and soil science with an emphasis on plant biotechnology, Frederick. The students were nominated by their employers for the annual award, which is open to degree-seeking, part-time or full-time students at OSU, who are employed in student-level positions on or off campus. Nominees may be undergraduate students or graduate students who are performing student employee jobs. The contest is sponsored by OSU Career Services in partnership with the National Student Employment Association's (NSEA) National Student Employee of the Year contest. PHOTO:
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:45:34 -0500
Top graduate student presenters compete in 3MC challenge
Siddharth Suresh, a master’s degree student in Telecommunications Management in the Spears School of Business, won first place in the President’s Fellows Grand Three Minute Challenge competition April 13. Siddharth Suresh, a master’s student in telecommunications management, won first place and $2,000 for his presentation, “Forget Your Password?” at the Oklahoma State University President’s Fellows Grand Three Minute Challenge (3MC) April 13 in the Student Union Theater. The 3MC places the top five finishers in OSU’s Three Minute Thesis® and Three Minute Presentation against one another. The 3MC is sponsored by the OSU President’s Fellows, a unique society made up of passionate and loyal OSU alumni and supporters. This group supports the larger priorities of the university through the leadership of President Burns Hargis and provides resources that allow projects and initiatives related to the ongoing transformation of the OSU campuses. Other winners included, Grant Lapke, master’s student in International Agriculture, who won second place and $1,500 for his presentation, “The J-1 Visa: Impacting International Agriculture.” Jennifer Rudd, doctoral student in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, won third place and $1,000 for her presentation, “Battling Superinfections: A Body at War.” The audience selected Varsha Akkaloori, a master’s student in Business Analytics, as their People’s Choice winner and recipient of $2,000. “I have past experience in giving presentations on technical topics in India, but this was a unique experience in many ways. I feel extremely proud of myself for getting a chance to compete in the 3MC,” Akkaloori said. The President’s Fellows Grand 3MC College Participation Traveling Trophy recognizes the college with the highest percentage of their students participating in the OSU 3MT® and 3MP competitions. This year the Traveling Trophy was awarded to the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. Graduate College Dean Dr. Sheryl Tucker introduced the panel of judges, which included a mixture of President’s Fellows and community members. They included, Mike Hessong, chief financial officer of Bioworld Merchandising, OSU Foundation Board of Governors and President’s Fellow; Ann Hessong, President’s Fellow; Quinton Sanders, equity and diversity specialist at CareerTech; Gary Shutt, director of OSU Communications; Lyndall Stout, TV host at OSU SunUP; and Julie Toben, chief financial officer at the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma. The goal of the Graduate College is for every graduate student to acquire the skill of explaining what they do as practitioners of their graduate education and its relevance to furthering the public good by participating in a 3MT® or 3MP competition during their graduate studies at OSU concluding with the Presidential Fellows’ Three Minute Competition. The 3MC was the final three minute competition of the 2016-2017 school year.
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:22:44 -0500
SNL’s Kenan Thompson and Michael Che to speak at OSU
Saturday Night Live cast members Kenan Thompson and Michael Che will offer some comedy and answer questions from the audience at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Wednesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. The event, sponsored by Speakers Board, is free to OSU students, faculty and staff with valid OSU IDs. General admission tickets will be sold for $10 at the door. Thompson got his start in comedy young, joining the cast of Nickelodeon’s all-kid sketch comedy series “All That.” In 1996, he and co-star Kel Mitchell debuted their spin-off series “Kenan and Kel.” Thompson joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2003, making him one of the longest-tenured stars of the comedy sketch show. Che currently serves as a staff writer on SNL and as a co-anchor of the show’s “Weekend Update” segment. Prior to his time on SNL, Che worked as correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” on Comedy Central. His first hour-long comedy special, “Michael Che Matters,” was recently released on Netflix. Both comedians will perform a stand-up set before a short question and answer session. Speakers Board Director Ryan Neal expects the comedy of Che and Thompson will offer students a well-deserved break. “We wanted to take a different route this year,” Neal said. “In the past, we’ve always had someone give a prepared speech, but sometimes students just need a break from hectic schedules. We hope Kenan and Michael will provide students an hour of laughter and help them decompress before the stress of finals week.” General admission tickets will be available for purchase at the south ticket office of Gallagher-Iba Arena for $10 beginning at 3 p.m. on April 19. OSU students, faculty and staff get in free with an OSU ID. Doors open at 6 p.m. The stand-up routines will be appropriate for a college-aged audience. For more information, follow Speakers Board on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For questions about the event, contact Ryan Neal at Story by Catherine Wilson
Mon, 17 Apr 2017 15:59:34 -0500
Graduate students, faculty honored for contributions to OSU graduate education
Recipients of the annual Phoenix Awards, the highest honor presented to graduate students and faculty, were (from left) Cheryl Kutcher, Master’s Student Phoenix Award, Dr. Gail Wilson, Outstanding Faculty Phoenix Award, and Chrissie Segars, Ph.D. Phoenix Award. Oklahoma State University graduate students, staff and faculty were recognized with awards presented by the Graduate College and the Graduate and Professional Student Government Association (GPSGA) April 14 during the college’s annual spring awards ceremony. Graduate Research Excellence awards recognize outstanding accomplishments reflected in master’s theses or doctoral dissertations. Recipients received a letter of commendation from OSU President Burns Hargis and a commemorative plaque from Associate Vice President for Research Dr. Ron Van Den Bussche. Winners: Dr. Adam Cobb, Natural Resource Ecology and Management Gabriella Bragoli, International Agriculture Jason Higgins, English Muthu Subramanian Mohan, Materials Science and Engineering Dr. Caitlin Barnes, Environmental Science Dr. Jin Im, Hospitality Administration Kristine Chua, Psychology Four master’s and doctoral students were named Honorary Commencement Marshals for academic performance and discipline-appropriate scholarly contributions that capture the essence of OSU’s land-grant mission. Recipients received $1,000 awards and are recognized at commencement where they wear special gown adornments. The students were recognized with certificates from Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate College Dr. Sheryl Tucker, who will lead the graduates in the processionals/recessionals and awarding of the diploma covers. Commencement marshals for 2017: Aaron Moses, M.A., Art History Raghav Nargotra, M.S., Management Information Systems Meron Wondimagegnhu, Ph.D., Nutritional Sciences Lynne Beaty, Ph.D., Zoology The Summer Dissertation Fellowships support summer research for outstanding OSU post-candidacy, doctoral students from any disciplinary or interdisciplinary program. The summer fellowships include a $6,000 stipend and a tuition waiver for up to three credit hours. This year’s Summer Dissertation Fellowship winners were recognized with certificates from Tucker: Juliana Artier, Microbiology Joel Billings, Fire and Emergency Management Nabin Poudel, Veterinary Biomedical Sciences Mahmoud Tabari, English Aluth Premaratne, Chemistry Christopher Goodchild, Integrative Biology Michelle Miller, Leisure Studies Liang Xue, Geology Ashley Helle, Clinical Psychology Pushpinder Litt, Food Science Arezoo Zare, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Darci Klein, Educational Psychology The Graduate College Ambassadors are a group of honored volunteer graduate students, who are passionate about OSU, excited about their graduate education experience, and eager to share their insights with future graduate students. Ambassadors are selected from a pool of students nominated by their graduate program and disciplinary college. The program is directed by Jacquie Pickering, coordinator of student professional development. The 2017 Ambassadors recognized were: College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Kelsy Robinson, Animal Science Brooke Seibert (Lead Ambassador), Agricultural Communications Jose Uscanga, Agricultural Education Kendra Wills, Animal Science College of Arts & Sciences Kendall Scarlett, Integrative Biology Danielle Perryman, Integrative Biology         College of Education Roman Peterson, Educational Leadership Studies Theresa Riles, Educational Leadership Studies College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology Prashanth Gari, Electrical Engineering Sam Koteeswaran, Chemical Engineering Kiran Muniraju, Electrical Engineering College of Human Sciences Li Ding, Hospitality Administration Babajide Ojo, Human Sciences Graduate College Tahmidur Tushar, Interdisciplinary Science Spears School of Business Raghav Nargotra, Management Information Systems Center for Veterinary Health Sciences Jennifer Rudd, Veterinary Biomedical Science The Graduate College and GPSGA recognized the Outstanding Graduate Coordinator for their service to faculty who lead and manage graduate programs with $500 cash awards. The recipient was Dr. Mohammad Abdel Salam in the Geology Program. The Phoenix Awards are the highest recognition bestowed by GPSGA and recognize exemplary achievement in leadership and scholarship, community and university service, and professional involvement, especially as it relates to the OSU graduate student body. The student award winner receives a $350 and the faculty awardee receives $500 monetary awards from the GPSGA and the Graduate College. The student and faculty Phoenix winners were given plaques by Solmaz Bastani, GPSGA vice president and Luci Wilson, GPSGA social chair: Ph.D. Phoenix Award Winner: Chrissie Segars, Crop Science M.S. Phoenix Award Winner: Cheryl Kutcher, Creative Writing Outstanding Faculty Award: Dr. Gail Wilson, Natural Resource Ecology and Management GPSGA also recognized Chris Goodchild, Integrative Biology, as the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant with a $350 award and certificate.
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:19:34 -0500
OSU student awarded Fulbright for research in Germany
Sydney Stewart Sydney Stewart, an undergraduate student at Oklahoma State University, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to conduct research in Germany during the 2017-2018 academic year. The Fulbright program places U.S. students in countries around the world where they act as an ambassador for the United States, work with research advisers, and learn about the people and culture. Stewart, a graduate of Life School Red Oak Secondary School in Red Oak, Texas, is scheduled to graduate from OSU in May with a bachelor’s degree in animal science (pre-veterinary option) and a minor in microbiology. She will join a team of researchers from the Institute of Animal Sciences, in Bonn, Germany, to evaluate pig health and biosecurity measures on commercial swine farms in the rural northwestern part of the country. “We will use bacterial samples taken from the animals, as well as animal health and performance data, to determine if pigs are more susceptible to particular pathogens (infection or disease-causing agents) at specific points in the pork production chain, and whether certain biosecurity measures are more effective than others at preventing the spread of pathogens among pig herds,” said Stewart. She was attracted to Germany because livestock producers there have already gained a reputation for quickly adapting to strict regulations for antibiotic use in food animals, without sacrificing animal welfare and animal production performance. “Germany is now the world's third-largest producer of pigs and pork products, and is one of Europe's top livestock producing members,” said Stewart. “By studying modern antibiotic-free disease control and prevention systems on commercial German farms, and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each system, we may be able to develop viable, cost-effective, practical models for implementation on U.S. farms.” Stewart, whose family is heavily involved in the U.S. agriculture industry, said she never imagined she’d have the opportunity take part in cutting-edge, internationally-significant research abroad while representing her country and the ag industry. “To actually have that chance now is an incredible honor and a privilege, and I'm very grateful for my mentors in the Departments of Animal Science and Foreign Languages who encouraged me and supported me throughout the application process,” said Stewart.  “I am inspired by Fulbright's mission to promote a 'cultural exchange' between people all over the world, and I strongly believe that my experiences in a diverse, innovative country like Germany will further my development as both a scientist and an effective advocate for agriculture.” In addition to the Fulbright award, Stewart is a recipient of a General Honors Award and will graduate with the Departmental Honors Award and an OSU Honors College Degree. She is a three-year participant in the Animal Science Undergraduate Research Program, recipient of the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station Undergraduate Research Scholars Grant, and two-time recipient of the Lew Wentz Undergraduate Research Grant.   Stewart’s hobbies include cooking, photography, soccer, and horseback (trail) riding. She was a member of the 2015 OSU Intercollegiate Meats Judging Team and OSU German Club. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the country’s largest student exchange program, offering opportunities to students and young professionals for graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. Funded by an annual congressional appropriation to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the program was initiated by Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946 for the promotion of international goodwill through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science.
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:21:37 -0500