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OSU announces new chief of police
Following a national search, Oklahoma State University has chosen Leon Jones to serve as the next chief of the OSU Police Department. “I am pleased to announce the selection of Leon Jones as chief of police for the campus,” said Chief Public Safety Officer Michael Robinson. “He has served the department and the campus community for more than 20 years and will make an excellent chief to lead the department and continue its dedication to provide a safe environment for our students, employees and visitors on the Stillwater campus.” Jones is a 22-year veteran of the OSU police force. He served most recently as captain of the police department’s patrol division. He holds an associate, a bachelor and a masters degree in criminal justice and is a 2005 graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy. “The OSU-Stillwater campus already has a stellar reputation for being one of the safest in the region,” said Chief Jones. “I look forward to leading the department and ensuring our officers and department remains dedicated to serving the campus.” Jones' new role is effective immediately. He will lead an OSU PD force of 33 officers and 10 full-time civilian employees. The department was the first law enforcement agency in the state to be accredited by the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police.
Wed, 02 Aug 2017 11:07:45 -0500
Oklahoma State University Pete’s Pet Posse Addresses National University Audience
Universities across the country are learning how the dogs in the Oklahoma State University Pete’s Pet Posse have become a student’s best friend. “Whenever I see a dog, I always get a big grin on my face and all of my stress and worries disappear for that moment and all I think about is how happy I am to be petting the dog,” said Oklahoma State University junior Ashley Walters. Oklahoma State University First Lady and Pete’s Pet Posse owner/handler Ann Hargis was joined by Walters and others to discuss the benefits of Oklahoma State’s program at a National Association of Student Personnel Administration (NASPA) event in San Antonio.: Pete’s Pet Posse is the nation’s most comprehensive university-based pet therapy program and more and more universities across the country and even internationally are interested in replicating the campus pet therapy program. “My therapy dog Scruff, a six-year-old Terrier mix, and I have seen students visibly relax as they pet the dogs and start to talk about the stresses of being a student and university life in general,” said Hargis “It’s amazing to watch students positively change and blossom after spending time with the Pete’s Pet Posse dogs. Our dogs have the incredible sense to know who needs their help in a crowd of eager students, staff and faculty.” Walters continues, “I was very homesick in my freshman year and missed my pets greatly. Being with the Pete’s Pet Posse dogs reminds me of home and gives me the unconditional love I was missing.” Pete’s Pet Posse serves students, staff, faculty and guests on campus. The Posse was established as a self-funded wellness program in 2013 on the main OSU Stillwater campus. The program was a collaborative effort including the President’s Office, OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital, University Counseling, Human Resources and the Employee Assistance Program. The Posse has expanded to nearly 50 teams on three campuses including OSU-Tulsa and the OSU Center for Health Sciences campus in Tulsa. Discussions are also underway to bring new dog/handler teams to OSU-OKC in central Oklahoma. “It never fails, when one of the Pete’s Pet Posse dogs enters the room the whole mood changes,” noted Elizabeth Carver-Cyr, Assistant Director of Family Graduate Student Housing. “Smiles leap on nearly every face and students scramble to get down on the floor with the dogs. The dogs seem to love the attention and immediately roll over for tummy rubs. I’ve witnessed many healing moments against the stresses of student life.” Dog handler teams are formed from faculty and staff’s personally owned dogs. They are primarily stationed every day across the Oklahoma State University campuses the Posse serves. Many of the dogs go to work with their owner/handlers on campus and specifically serve those offices. But the entire posse goes to work across the campus for such weekly visits as Muttday Monday, Yappy Hour, and Waggin Wednesday at the Edmon Low Library. Other visits are regularly conducted at the ReBoot Center, Residence Halls and other events across campus to offer support and smiles to those they meet. Pete’s Pet Posse teams are also invited to New Student Orientations where both new students and their parents interact with the dogs during the stressful transition from home to college. Many students have reported that the visits with the Posse were one of the deciding factors in their choosing OSU. In some cases, like Ashley Walters, Pete’s Pet Posse has been life changing. “As a freshman I was extremely shy and was not integrating into the university the way I had imagined,” Walters continued. “But as I met the dogs on campus, I gained the courage to begin getting more involved in university life. Going and visiting the dogs helped me meet people I otherwise wouldn’t have met and establish friendships I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Now I’m involved in Resident Hall leadership initiatives, athletic intramurals, OSU football game day fan clubs and the Ruff Riders Pete’s Pet Posse student auxiliary organization.” Some Pete’s Pet Posse pet therapy teams are specialized. For example, Chico, a five-year-old Chihuahua/Pug mix, works in the Department of Wellness to help his owner/handler counsel, calm and relax clients who are undergoing nutrition and eating disorder counseling. The dogs have been used to calm crisis situations for individual students or groups, and when major incidents strike the campus such as the deadly OSU homecoming parade crash in 2015 that killed four people and injured dozens and dozens of bystanders. Pete’s Pet Posse quickly went into action helping the university community deal with their collective grief and healing over several months and years. “I am hopeful the work we have put into this program can be used as a model for other universities,” continued First Lady Hargis. “Every day, I see the difference this program is making and we would love for other universities to embrace all that a pet therapy program has to offer.” OSU faculty and staff are given the opportunity to apply for Pete’s Pet Posse with their own dogs each year in August. The extensive three-month application process includes an interview with the potential owner/handler and a disposition and evaluation of the dogs. The Posse advisory board considers this information plus the diversity of the dog’s breed, age, experience and department location on campus to move candidates to the next phase of acceptance – an 8–10 week training program. At the completion of training a Barkalauareate ceremony is held to award each team with their official Pete’s Pet Posse apparel and diploma. "Oklahoma State University is branded as America's Healthiest Campus and Pete's Pet Posse is a major contributor to this well-deserved title,” noted Leon McClinton, Ph.D., OSU Director of Housing and Residential Life. “As society continues to place more demands on faculty, staff, and students, college campuses are becoming more attentive to the holistic wellness needs of its community members. As a co-presenter, it was an honor to be able to share this best practice on a national stage." The National Association of Student Personnel Administration is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. The organizations work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories. */
Thu, 03 Aug 2017 09:26:53 -0500
OSU Theatre’s season tickets now on sale
The OSU Department of Theatre will serve up terror, drama, disarming comedy, Shakespeare, and a musical suitable for the whole family, during its upcoming Main Stage season, so don’t miss a word, song, emotion or visual delight by buying your season tickets now through Oct. 7. New this year, a “flex pass” feature on all season tickets that gives patrons the option to choose to see all four of the Main Stage productions in the Vivia Locke Theatre, or use any unused ticket to bring a friend to any of the remaining Main Stage productions. The flex pass is so flexible that all four season tickets could be used at one time, should family and/or friends wish to join you for a show. The discounted season ticket rate is $40 general admission, $30 for seniors (65+) and $25 for students. The 2017-2018 Main Stage season starts with “The Birds” by Conor McPherson, running Oct. 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 8 at 2:30 p.m. Murderous birds provide the backdrop and the terror for this tense and harrowing drama of three unlikely people forced together for survival – but will anyone get out alive? Acclaimed contemporary Irish playwright Conor McPherson bases his play on the same short story Alfred Hitchcock used for his 1962 horror film of the same name, but the similarities end there. “The Birds” includes some strong language, and parental guidance is advised for children. Department head Andrew Kimbrough directs the production. One of William Shakespeare’s early plays, “The Comedy of Errors,” will run Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. “The Comedy of Errors” utilizes slapstick comedy instead of the verbal humor typically featured in Shakespeare’s later plays. Stolen money, betrayed wives and lovers, charges of insanity and proof of demonic possession – what more could an audience want? In this absurd farce by the acknowledged master of the English language, chaos breaks loose as long-separated identical twins and their identical twin servants attempt to reunite. Sound implausible? You bet! Funny? Absolutely! “The Comedy of Errors” is directed by Professor of Performance Lloyd Caldwell, who has recently headed OSU Theatre’s physical comedies “The 39 Steps” and “Shipwrecked!” For this production, OSU Theatre will be offering a reduced ticket price of $5 for children 12 and under. The spring semester will begin with “How I Learned to Drive” by Paula Vogel. The play will run Feb. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m. In this gripping drama and disarming comedy, Paula Vogel explores the journey a woman takes in reconciling a history of abuse at the hands of her family members, particularly her uncle. “How I Learned to Drive” premiered in 1997 and went on to win numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Twenty years later, the play still delivers as its story of abuse and recovery remains all too common. This play is for mature audiences only and not suitable for children. Raphael Parry, executive and artistic director for Shakespeare Dallas, will be guest directing “How I Learned to Drive.” Parry has been with Shakespeare Dallas since 2002, serving first as producing artistic director before assuming his current role. He co-founded and was the former co-artistic director of Undermain Theatre in Dallas, where he directed and acted in more than 40 productions. Parry has received awards from Dallas Theatre Critics’ Forum, the Leon Rabin Awards and the Dallas Theatre League. The play will be the first produced at OSU with funds from the Mary Lou Lemon Professorship, currently held by Assistant Professor Lee Brasuell. The professorship was established by the late Robert Lemon specifically to support programming in the Department of Theatre that gives voice to subjects and artists recognized as underrepresented in mainstream arts programming. The final production will be the annual musical, “She Loves Me” by Joe Masteroff, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. The musical will run April 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. and April 29 at 2:30 p.m. The authors base their musical on a play from 1937, “Parfumerie,” by Hungarian playwright Miklos Laszlo, which inspired the 1998 Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie, “You’ve Got Mail.” The musical follows Amalia and Georg, two coworkers in a Budapest perfume shop, who can’t stand each other. But they find love in their respective pen pals, completely unaware they are corresponding with each other! The two coworkers quickly learn an uncomfortable truth – there’s no accounting for love. This musical is suitable for the whole family, and OSU Theatre will be offering a reduced rate of $5 for children 12 and under. OSU Theatre welcomes three new faculty members to the department. Maggie Gayle joins the faculty as visiting assistant professor of scenography. Maggie received her B.F.A. in theatre and a minor in art from Emporia State University, and her M.F.A. in scenic design from Brandeis University. Gayle will serve as scenic designer for three of the Main Stage productions and teach classes in scenic design, props design, and props construction. Renee Garcia comes on board as the visiting assistant professor of costume design. Garcia received a B.A. in theatre from Florida State and her M.F.A. in costume design from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Garcia will serve as costume designer for three of the Main Stage performances and teach classes in costume design and construction. Also joining the faculty is Leslie J. Miller as instructor of professional practice in dance. Miller will be a full-time faculty member administering and teaching classes for the brand new minor in dance. She received the B.F.A. in Ballet from University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, and the M.F.A. in dance performance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Season tickets are on sale now through the first production in October. Season tickets can be purchased online or in person at the Theatre Office, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. For more information about the shows and season tickets, visit theatre.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-6094. Because the Department of Theatre receives no state funding for its production season, but relies entirely on box office revenue, grants, and donations, gifts in support of the production season are highly appreciated. Potential donors are encouraged to contact Andrew Kimbrough, the head of the department, to discuss their involvement.
Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:26:05 -0500
Fellowships recognize cutting-edge genetic research
Two graduate students at Oklahoma State University have been awarded the Otto S. Cox Graduate Fellowship for Genetic Research. The competitive fellowship supports students who have shown a proven record of research in a rapidly evolving field of biology investigation. “Recent advances in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics have revolutionized our thinking in medicine, biology, and several other scientific disciplines,” said Dr. Kenneth Sewell, OSU vice president for research. “The Cox Fellowship allows our graduate students to pursue their cutting-edge research at an accelerated pace, giving them a distinct advantage as they enter their chosen fields.” This year’s recipients are Nathalia Graf-Grachet, a doctoral candidate studying microbiology and plant pathology, and Prakash Sah, a doctoral candidate and microbiology researcher. Graf-Grachet, from Brazil, has sequenced the genomes of 11 fungi that infect and kill Bermuda grass, a disease known as spring dead spot. She is searching for genes that are activated when the plant pathogen and the host Bermuda grass are associated. “The end goal is to identify genes that are involved in resistance to this particular disease,” Graf-Grachet said. Sah, from Nepal, is studying the function of proteins in human cells associated with Chlamydia trachomatis, a bacterium that causes a common sexually transmitted disease. Though the infection is easily treated with antibiotics, if left untreated, chronic chlamydia can lead to conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease, which may cause infertility, and in some rare cases has been correlated with cancer. We’re trying to understand how it infects cells at the molecular level,” Sah said. “That’s where my research is, trying to understand the role of some Chlamydia trachomatis proteins in the pathogenesis.” The Cox Fellowship supports students with a $1,000 stipend to help fund their work and additional training. Graf-Grachet will use her fellowship to attend a workshop in bioinformatics, a critical area of genetic research. Sah said his stipend will help with the costs of continuing his research through the summer. Beyond financial support, Graf-Grachet added that the Cox Fellowship means acknowledgment. “It’s not only about money,” she said. “It’s also about recognition for our work, which I think is more valuable than anything.” The fellowship is named for Otto S. Cox who graduated from OSU in 1927 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and livestock operations. He was a rancher around his hometown of Lenapah, Okla., before he passed away in 1991.
Thu, 03 Aug 2017 09:31:03 -0500
Oklahoma State University graduates latest class of Pete’s Pet Posse dogs
A new class of wagging tails and smiling faces joined the Oklahoma State University Pete’s Pet Posse, the nation’s most comprehensive university-based pet therapy program. Pete’s Pet Posse, named after OSU’s iconic mascot Pistol Pete, held its traditional Barkalaureate ceremony to officially welcome Class 5 into the Posse this summer. The ceremony transitions dogs and their owner/handers into the program upon completion of training. All dogs have passed their AKC Canine Good Citizen tests. Additionally, the dogs are all nationally registered with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. The installation of Class 5 brings the total number in Pete’s Pet Posse up to 46 pet therapy dogs across three Oklahoma State University campuses. “Pete’s Pet Posse has grown far beyond our wildest expectations – these dogs have truly changed lives!” noted OSU First Lady and Pete’s Pet Posse owner/handler Ann Hargis. “The program began in 2013 as an extension of our commitment as America’s Healthiest Campus with 8 pet therapy teams intended to simply bring smiles to our campus. As the program has matured, the dogs have been used in crisis and grief situations, some teams have specialized to help in counseling sessions for such problems as nutrition counseling for eating disorders and speech therapy sessions. Most of the Pete’s Pet Posse teams serve in the campus offices where their owner/handler works. Teams are based regularly at the Student Union, Human Resources, OSU Alumni Association, and the College of Arts & Sciences. The dogs also make regular weekly appearances on campus at the library, in residence halls and at special events such as new student orientation and during high campus stress times such as finals testing weeks. All of the dogs are volunteers and live with their owner/handlers in their homes. When they don the Pete’s Pet Posse orange pet therapy vests they officially go to work with the Posse. “Our dogs smiles are infectious bringing so many smiles in return,” continued Hargis. “Crowds flock together around the dogs where ever we go. Sometimes students are lonely for their family dogs at home, staff and students are sometimes having a stressful day and just need the unconditional love a dog has to offer and sometimes they simply can’t pass by a dog whose face is begging to give them attention.” OSU employees may apply for Pete’s Pet Posse Class 6 in August.
Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:16:03 -0500
OSU Facilities Management receives national award for innovation and effectiveness
The Oklahoma State University Department of Facilities Management has earned the Association of Physical Plant Administrators’ 2017 Effective and Innovative Practices Award for the university’s Next Level Project: A Model for Effective Change. OSU was honored during the 2017 APPA Conference in San Francisco this month. The Effective and Innovative Practices Award recognizes new programs or significant restructuring to existing programs that enhance service delivery, lower costs, increase productivity, improve customer service, generate revenue, or otherwise benefit the educational institution. “It is very gratifying for our department to be recognized for this project that is focused on improving customer service, accountability and efficiency in the area of facilities management,” said OSU Chief Facilities Officer Ron Tarbutton. “This project has been vital to the success of the department and the overall function of the campus.” The Next Level Project, which began in 2015, transitioned the facilities management team from being divided into traditional trades shops to a multi-trade zone system, or zone maintenance strategy. The OSU-Stillwater campus is divided into five zones and workers from all areas of facilities management are stationed within each zone which has allowed them to build relationship with their customers, be more familiar with the buildings; increasing ownership in their work and providing more efficient response time. Submissions for the national award are judged using multiple criteria measuring benefits to the institution. In addition to innovation and effectiveness, judges focus on the project’s ability to be adapted and implemented by other universities. A map showing the OSU zones and the zone managers along with more information on the project can be found on the facilities management website http://fm.okstate.edu.
Thu, 03 Aug 2017 09:33:08 -0500
OSU Alumni Association names 2017-18 award recipients, including four Hall of Fame inductees
Oklahoma State University Alumni Association will recognize 11 alumni during the upcoming academic year with either induction into the OSU Hall of Fame or a Distinguished Alumni Award. The OSU Hall of Fame induction ceremony is Feb. 9, 2018 at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the university and recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement in society and professional life. The 2018 inductees are: Sarah Coburn, ’99 music education, of Tulsa, Oklahoma Ike Glass, ’61 management, of Newkirk, Oklahoma Frank Lucas, ’82 agricultural economics, of Cheyenne, Oklahoma Nancy Randolph Davis, ’52 HEECS (posthumous) Nominations for the 2018-19 awards are now open at ORANGECONNECTION.org/awards and are due Feb. 1, 2018. Seven individuals will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award during ceremonies set for Sept. 22 at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. This award recognizes alumni who attain distinctive success in his or her chosen field or profession, perform outstanding service to their community or both. The 2017 honorees are: Jack Corgan, ’67 architecture, of Dallas Claud D. Evans, ’66 agricultural biochemistry, of Okemah, Oklahoma Larry Ferguson, ’75 animal science, and Kay Ferguson of Hot Springs, Arkansas Jennifer Grigsby, ’91 accounting, of Oklahoma City Piyush Patel, ’98 elementary education, of Oklahoma City Wilson Pipestem, ’92 English, of Falls Church, Virginia Registration for the Distinguished Alumni Award Reception is available at ORANGECONNECTION.org/daarsvp.
Wed, 26 Jul 2017 08:57:18 -0500
FCCLA national award recognizes Dr. Paula Tripp
When Dr. Paula Tripp joined the College of Human Sciences to develop the family and consumer sciences education program at Oklahoma State University, she had a national reputation as a leader in the field. During its national leadership conference, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America recognized her efforts to build a degree option at OSU and increase the number of professionals in FACS Ed. The FCCLA Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding contributions and continuing service by individuals whose primary responsibilities are directly related to the career and technical student organization that functions as an integral part of the FACS Ed curriculum and operates within the school system. Oklahoma state FCCLA Adviser Denise Morris said Tripp’s efforts to recruit and educate FACS Ed students strengthen the profession.As a clinical professor in human development and family science, Tripp coordinates the degree option’s curriculum, teaching and student internships. She also works closely with high school FCCLA organizations in the state to recruit students to the FACS Ed program at OSU. “Paula ensures that students in the FACS Ed major have the opportunity to hear about FCCLA in her classes and encourages them to evaluate student presentations during competitions,” Morris said. “She makes sure all FACS Ed student teachers are placed in schools that have a strong FCCLA chapter.” Since coming to OSU a few years ago, student enrollment in FACS Ed has more than doubled and there have already been 14 graduates. One-hundred percent of those graduates are employed and were able to choose the position they wanted from a number of job opportunities. Several of those students attended the FACS Ed Summer Academy for high school seniors Tripp has organized for the past four years. She includes FCCLA advisers as camp counselors during the academy. Perkins-Tryon High School FCS teacher and FCCLA adviser Gaye Lynn Chaney, who has served as a counselor for the FCS Ed Academy, said Tripp’s efforts have inspired students to pursue careers in FACS Ed and FCCLA. “I have witnessed the excitement and enthusiasm students have as they realized the impact they can have through a career in FACS Ed,” Chaney said of the high school students. Chaney also praises the OSU student teachers she mentors in her classroom. “The college students are the most prepared and knowledgeable students with whom I have worked,” Chaney said. “Their education is the reflection of the very prestigious FACS Ed program Dr. Tripp coordinates at OSU.” Because of her passion, Tripp is ‘filling the pipeline’ with a new generation of students inspired to pursue careers in FACS Ed and FCCLA.
Wed, 02 Aug 2017 16:25:00 -0500
OSU Alumni Center receives first Energy Leadership Award
The ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center is the first facility to receive Oklahoma State University’s Energy Leadership Award, it was announced Friday. The Alumni Center has been participating in OSU’s Energy Management Program for more than ten years. Over the past four years, extra measures have been taken to curtail energy use, including the installation of new heating and air conditioning software and energy-saving light fixtures. In early 2017, the Alumni Center began a pilot program with the Energy Management Program to develop a culture of energy conservation among Alumni Association staff and student workers, who occupy the building. Simple actions like turning off computers and monitors, closing window shades, and unplugging unused chargers and appliances has only added to the energy savings. “The staff of the OSU Alumni Association are extremely proud to be a leader on campus in energy conservation and management,” said Chris Batchelder, OSU Alumni Association president. “It is very important for us to be good stewards of our membership dollars and donations, and it is equally important for us to reduce our impact on our environment.” Over the past fiscal year, the Alumni Center avoided more than $116,906 in energy expenses or 47.4% of its previous base year energy costs. These savings were accumulated during the same time the Alumni Center experienced a record number of visitors with more than 1,000 events held in since July 2016. “Over the past four years, the Alumni Association has made an enhanced effort to control their energy costs and environmental impact,” said Craig Spender, director of energy services. “This journey began with a focus on building HVAC scheduling and progressed to energy-conscious maintenance and system upgrades. Participation in the ELA was a natural next step. Their success in earning this award demonstrates their commitment to energy stewardship and being leaders at Oklahoma State University. This award is a direct result of the actions of all employees of the Alumni Association.” “I am very proud of our team and especially Alumni Center Facilities Coordinator Matt Morgan for being diligent in our efforts to participate in the Energy Management Program,” Batchelder said. “We look forward to seeing this model adopted across the OSU campuses to solidify our position as energy conservation leaders among other institutions of higher education.” For more information about the OSU Alumni Center, visit osualumnicenter.com. For more information about the OSU Energy Management Program, visit energy.okstate.edu.
Thu, 03 Aug 2017 12:45:47 -0500
Oklahoma State University releases spring 2017 honor rolls
A total of 5,878 students were named to the 2017 spring semester honor rolls at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, including 2,329 students named to the President's Honor Roll for earning an “A” grade in all their courses. Full-time undergraduate students who completed 12 or more hours with a grade point average of 4.00 were placed on the President’s Honor Roll, and students with a grade point average of 3.50 or higher with no grade below a “C” were placed on the Dean’s Honor Roll. A searchable in-state and out-of-state honor roll list is available here. The honor roll list of students from Oklahoma is available here.
Tue, 25 Jul 2017 08:43:53 -0500