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The McKnight Center For The Performing Arts Announces Inaugural Chamber Music Festival For April 2018
Weeklong McKnight Center Chamber Music Festival includes variety of private and public concerts (STILLWATER, Oklahoma, Dec. 4, 2017) — Audiences won’t have to wait much longer for the debut of premiere performances from The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University. The McKnight Center Chamber Music Festival will be The McKnight Center’s inaugural concert series, featuring a variety of performances and interactions with the finest chamber musicians in North America. The musicians will be in Stillwater for a weeklong residency April 8 through April 14. The residency includes three regional ticketed intimate soiree performances, masterclasses for OSU students, a music-education concert for area elementary students, and a free Stillwater community concert on April 14 as the grand finale to the Festival.  Sponsorships are available now, and tickets and registration for the Free Community Concert will be available beginning in January at “This inaugural Chamber Music Festival will be absolutely amazing,” said Mark A. Blakeman, Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director for The McKnight Center. “It is the start of our work at The McKnight Center to have a lasting, long-term impact on our community and on the students at Oklahoma State University.” Famed concert pianist and chamber musician Anne-Marie McDermott is the Festival’s artistic director and is responsible for recruiting each of the musicians and programming the music highlighted throughout the week. Many of these highly talented artists have performed on world-renowned stages such as the Dallas Symphony, the Zurich Opera, Santa Fe Opera, the MET, Curtis Institute of Music, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. McDermott’s career spans more than 25 years as a soloist and collaborator. With over 50 concerti in her repertoire, Ms. McDermott has performed with many leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico among many others.  She is also a member of the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center. “We are preparing a week of world-class music with incredible artists, and we will start building a real relationship with the community — listeners in Stillwater, the OSU community and children who will grow up with access to The McKnight Center,” she said. “We are creating organic momentum around the music that will carry through until when The McKnight Center is in full bloom with concerts year-round. I’m really honored to be a part of this inaugural McKnight Center Chamber Music Festival and the momentum that I am sure will continue to grow for decades.” Dr. Howard Potter, head of the Oklahoma State University’s Department of Music, said it is remarkable that the McKnight Center Chamber Music Festival is creating opportunities for OSU music students to learn from the renowned artists during the one-week residency. “The faculty and students are doubly excited to know that in between performances, our students will be able to interact with these great artists on a personal level in the form of masterclasses, rehearsal observations and discussions on the business of music, music education, career development and music entrepreneurship,” Potter said. Blakeman said music education, as a core tenet of The McKnight Center, will play an important role throughout the week of activities. “We believe that well-rounded art and culture experiences enrich our humanity individually and collectively,” he said. For more information about each of the artists participating in the Chamber Music Festival, please visit our website.   McKNIGHT CENTER CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Sponsorships are available now. Tickets and registration for the Free Community Concert will be available at beginning in January.     Sunday, April 8, 2018 Sponsors-Only Welcome Reception with Anne-Marie McDermott   Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 6PM Tulsa Soiree - Location TBD The Soul of Gypsy    Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 10AM Youth Concert – Seretean Center Hosted by Bruce Adolphe    Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 6PM OKC Soiree – Gaillardia Country Club Amadeus    Friday, April 13, 2018 at 6PM Stillwater Soiree – Willard Hall The Viennese Evening    Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 7:30PM Community Concert – Seretean Center Just Great Music!
Mon, 04 Dec 2017 16:36:02 -0600
OSU/A&M Regents approve personnel actions 
Numerous Oklahoma State University personnel actions were approved during the OSU/A&M Board of Regents meeting Friday in Langston.  NEW APPOINTMENTS:  From the Center for Health Sciences – Sara Coffey, clinical assistant professor, Behavioral Sciences; Chelsey Griffin, clinical assistant professor, Family Medicine; Tara Hasenpflug, clinical assistant professor, Family Medicine; Randolph Hubach, assistant professor and associate director, Rural Health.  CHANGES: Tamara Mix, associate professor and appointment to the Laurence L. & Georgia I. Dresser Professorship, Sociology.  RETIREMENT: Glenn Brown, biosystems and agricultural engineering, Jan. 18, 2018; Daniel Storm, biosystems and agricultural engineering, Jan. 8, 2018; James Trapp, division of agricultural sciences and natural resources, Jan. 10, 2018; Richard Beier, division of engineering technology, June 1, 2018; William Kolarik, industrial engineering and management, Jan. 2, 2018; Kenneth Clinkenbeard, graduate college, Feb. 9, 2018.
Fri, 01 Dec 2017 11:41:55 -0600
OSU Space Cowboys test weather instrument at extreme altitudes 
Sending weather sensors to altitudes of more than 60,000 feet is no easy task, but a team of Oklahoma State University engineering students and faculty is doing just that at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.  The “Space Cowboys” have developed an instrument called the High Altitude Meteorological System (HAMS) as part of NASA’s Student Opportunities in Airborne Research (SOAR) program. The instrument, which records atmospheric conditions at different altitudes, is loaded aboard a NASA WB-57F high-altitude research aircraft to reach extreme heights, where temperatures can drop to 76 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit).  The engineering students have spent this week at the space center working on their system and watching tests onboard the aircraft.  “This supports OSU’s program for developing drones and sensors that support severe weather measurements to enhance forecasting, known as CLOUDMAP,” said Dr. Jamey Jacob, director of the Unmanned Systems Research Institute at OSU and a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor.  The student team has worked more than five months to design, build and test HAMS to meet NASA’s strict guidelines to prepare and install the system on the research aircraft. NASA hopes to use OSU’s data to better understand the extreme conditions encountered by the WB-57, which is only operated by the space agency.  The Space Cowboys team at NASA this week includes electrical and computer engineering student and team lead Aavron Estep from Stillwater, Okla., and mechanical and aerospace engineering students A.J. Burba from Stillwater, Okla., Kish Patel from Tulsa, Okla., and Michael Raymer from Broken Bow, Okla., along with Jacob, the faculty adviser.  Watch video of test flights and the Space Cowboys at work at Johnson Space Center at PHOTOS:
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 08:31:57 -0600
OSU doctoral student pioneers parasitology research in Iceland
Christina Anaya, a doctoral candidate from Fallbrook, Calif. and Fulbright scholar at Oklahoma State University, has taken her parasitology research to Iceland. Due to climate change, new species of parasites may be introduced to the island nation, something Anaya said makes it the perfect place for this research. Her work focuses on using snails as biodiversity indicators because many parasites use snails as an intermediate host, which will allow her to collect data for her dissertation on hairworms, a species of parasite found in snails. Anaya is part of the integrative biology department in the College of Arts and Sciences. “Not only is Iceland diverse enough to be named the ‘land of fire and ice,’ but it is unfortunately undergoing severe climatic changes,” Anaya said. “Its glaciers are melting, which can cool some streams, and as mobile animals such as birds move north, they bring along their parasites that may colonize. Therefore, it is important to know what parasites are here now so we can track changes in the future.” Although Fulbright Program scholarships normally support researchers for nine months, Anaya hopes to extend her stay with additional funding from her Women for OSU Scholarship. “Winter days have only four to six hours of light, so during the winter, my research is focused on the coastal communities with marine snails because they are not frozen,” Anaya said. “However, the most beneficial time for me to do my research is during the summer when many migrants arrive from the southern regions carrying parasites and potentially bringing new ones in.” Anaya is collecting baseline data to increase the knowledge of biodiversity of parasites in Iceland, located in the North Atlantic, and will likely discover new species and new host associations of parasites, Bolek said. “Once this project is finished, Christina will have created a great method for other people to use to survey the parasite-to-host interaction in a relatively quick way. Very few people have used the technique of actually looking into the snails’ tissue for new parasites,” said Dr. Matt Bolek, associate professor of parasitology, who serves as Anaya’s research adviser. A part of the project allows Anaya to visit natural history museums and look at research collections of Iceland’s animals and parasites. Some of the parasite samples have been collected by accident and have remained unidentified. Visiting with and learning about Icelandic culture is one of the best aspects of the trip, Anaya said. “I could not imagine going to a foreign country and not experiencing the culture,” Anaya said. “I make opportunities for this and volunteer for anything. I’m really good at making the most of it and experiencing as much as I can.” Anaya said she is thankful for the mentoring, guidance and support she has received from colleagues, the OSU Writing Center and several professors, including former Fulbright program adviser Dr. Steve Hallgren. “OSU has been the most integral part of my success,” Anaya said. “Students have so many opportunities and resources available to them at OSU, and I am convinced that without them, I would not be here.” Anaya said being able to mentor students and share scientific knowledge is one of the most rewarding parts of her work. It is particularly important to her to mentor underrepresented minorities and women in science. Anaya credits a former freshman scholar, Abigail Wright, as one of the students who helped her complete her lab studies. Wright, a physiology major at OSU, received a Top 20 Freshman award after serving as a freshman research scholar with Anaya’s guidance. “I am most interested in sharing my work with young students who are considering careers in science or need inspiration to go and accomplish their dreams,” Anaya said. To read about Anaya’s research and activities in Iceland, visit Story by Aubrie Bowlan PHOTOS:
Thu, 30 Nov 2017 16:11:07 -0600
OSU voices opposition to proposed tax on graduate students
Oklahoma State University issued the following statement today from President Burns Hargis and Sheryl Tucker, Vice Provost and Dean of the OSU Graduate College:  “As you may know, the recently passed U.S. House tax reform bill included the provision to tax graduate student tuition waivers. Oklahoma State University has joined with the voices of graduate and higher education advocacy groups and institutions across the country to oppose this potential tax on graduate students serving in teaching and research positions.   “As a land-grant university, graduate teaching and research assistants (GTAs and GRAs) are essential to our mission in teaching, research and service. OSU is committed to ensuring that GTA and GRA positions continue as part of the graduate educational experience.  “Furthermore, OSU supports the rights of our community to have its voices heard. While there are many organized efforts occurring across the country, the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS) and the OSU Graduate and Professional Student Government Association (GPSGA) are supporting “Call Congress Day” (
Mon, 27 Nov 2017 16:30:07 -0600
OSU makes Military Times top 100 in first year to enter survey
Military Times has included Oklahoma State University among the top 100 in its ‘best colleges’ rankings for 2018, which is based on its annual comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student services and rates of academic achievement. Now in its eighth year, the editorially independent survey evaluates the many factors that help make colleges and universities a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. More than 600 colleges took part in this year’s detailed survey. "Of the hundreds of schools that applied, just about a third (218) received the ‘Military Times Best: Colleges’ designation this year. Only the best made the cut," said George Altman, the Military Times editor in charge of the rankings. “We are very proud to be ranked by Military Times in its top 100 colleges, especially since this is the first time we entered this annual survey. Considering our office was established two short years ago, it’s quite an achievement for OSU,” said Rick Hansen, coordinator of Veteran Student Academic Services at OSU. “It is now our responsibility to continue to grow initiatives to support our veteran and military-affiliated students on campus as they prepare to transition to civilian careers and see what a great educational choice we offer.” Military Times’ annual Best Colleges survey asks colleges and universities to meticulously document a tremendous array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties; and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus. Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, as well as three Education Department sources: the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database. The rankings are published in a Military Times magazine sent to subscribers in November, as well as online at,,, and The primary task of the Veteran Student Academic Services office at OSU is to coordinate with campus, community, state and federal organizations to provide services to more than 850 veterans and military-affiliated students in Stillwater. The office is also in charge of the Veterans Success Center on campus, which offers veteran students a place to study, interact and seek academic assistance in transitioning to college life.
Tue, 28 Nov 2017 10:32:44 -0600
Employer registration underway for OSU spring career fairs
Employer registration is underway for Oklahoma State University’s spring career fairs and OSU Career Services is inviting early registration for the best discount. The employer’s cost usually varies at each fair, but most include an early registration discount. The spring career fairs offer employers real value through networking opportunities with potential interns and full-time hires. They attract thousands of students from a variety of disciplines and majors.   Fairs hosted by OSU Career Services also provide employers with curbside assistance for display items, free parking, shuttles, hot lunches, snacks and access to interview suites for next-day interviews.   “The hospitality to employers is first class and unmatched by any other university,” a recruiter from Chesapeake Energy said. “We value the enthusiasm and flexibility of their staff during hectic recruiting seasons and always look forward to visiting their campus.”  OSU Career Services facilitates quality career development and outreach services to enhance life-long learning and economic development. It strives to empower all OSU community members with the passion and abilities to achieve their ideal future. For a full list of upcoming spring career fairs and registration information, visit
Mon, 27 Nov 2017 08:23:37 -0600
OSU students invited to feast and volunteer at Thanksgiving lunch
All are invited to join in the 33rd annual Stillwater Community Thanksgiving Lunch celebration at the First United Methodist Church’s Family Life Center located at 400 W. 7th Ave. on Thursday, November 23.  Lunch will be served free of charge from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., and food options will include turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie and much more. OSU students staying in Stillwater over the Thanksgiving break are encouraged to dine with the community and volunteer their time.  Christina Morrill, real estate agent at United Country Real Estate and Auction, has served on the organizing committee for the event for three years, since the retirement of Pat Dorr, who ran the event for 30 years. Morrill knew the celebration wouldn’t go on unless others volunteered. She and her husband Mike, along with Tony and Melissa Holt and Paul Priegal, answered the call to continue the lunch. Last year, they partnered with the First United Methodist Church of Stillwater and church administrator Wayne Wilczek.  “We called Pat and told him that we wanted to help,” Morrill said. “We didn’t want the celebration to go away, and we think it’s very important to the community.”  Morrill’s favorite part about the event is seeing everyone come together. She said widows, widowers and older couples often show up to celebrate in their Sunday best.  “It’s not just for people in need,” Morrill said. “We have a lot of international students attend who’ve never experienced this kind of event, and they’re probably some of the most grateful.”  Last year, Morrill said they served more than 1,000 people, and they made over 200 to-go orders for people who could not leave home and those staying in the hospital. Students help serve food, as well as sit and visit with the older residents to keep them company.  “We never turn a volunteer away,” Morrill said. “We really try to include as many people who want to be involved as possible. Even if the sign-up sheet is full, students can come and the coordinator will find them a job.”  To volunteer, go to, and sign up or visit Stillwater Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Facebook for more information.  By Shayla Terrel
Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:36:00 -0600
OSU grad student wins Three Minute Thesis® after several attempts
Allison Campolo knows it pays to persevere. After competing in the preliminary rounds of the Oklahoma State University Graduate College Three Minute Thesis® four times, she recently made it to the finals and won, defeating 11 other competitors.   A doctoral student in veterinary biomedical sciences, Campolo said entering the 3MT® multiple times really improved her ability to connect with an audience in three minutes as well as her basic presentation skills.   “From my first time to do this until now I see a difference in myself but it’s taken years of practice,” she said, adding that avoiding scientific language is a key to simplifying science for a lay audience. “My research is in pulmonary hyperglycemia, but most people don’t know what that means, so I say ‘diabetes,’ which everyone can identify with.”   Her winning presentation was titled, “Is diabetes taking your breath away.”    Campolo received $1,000 for her 3MT® win. The second and third place finishers were William Hammond, a doctoral student in plant biology, ecology and evolution, and Vikramsingh Gujar, a doctoral student in anatomy and cell biology, who won $750 and $500, respectively. Human performance doctoral candidate Masoud Moghaddam won the People’s Choice Award, and $1,000, which is awarded by a vote of the audience.   During the event, Graduate College Dean Dr. Sheryl Tucker announced that corporate sponsor Halliburton had agreed to continue its support of the OSU competition. Dr. Jim Surjaatmadja, the ESG Technology Fellow with Halliburton, said the company sees value in 3MT® because communication skills are essential for university graduates entering the job market. Those talents make job applicants stand out at Halliburton, he said.   The finals were judged by a cross section of community members and OSU representatives, including individuals unfamiliar with the presentation subjects. The 3MT® winners will face off against the winners of the Three Minute Presentation finals next spring in the President’s Fellows Three Minute Challenge. Competitors in 3MT are graduate students in research-based degrees such as thesis master’s or doctoral degrees. 3MP is open to students who are non-research master’s, education specialist and graduate certificate students.   For more information about the Graduate College three minute competitions, visit   PHOTOS:
Fri, 17 Nov 2017 13:32:46 -0600
OSU Theatre Presents “The Comedy Of Errors”
From left to right: Tyler Burd, Kelton Neals and Peyton Meacham are leading members of the cast in Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors,” an upcoming OSU Theatre production. Plan for your holiday season now as the OSU Department of Theatre presents Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” Nov. 30, through Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m., and December 3, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets on sale now. An OSU Theatre Mainstage Production, Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors,” is a gut-busting farce that is ideal for the entire family to enjoy together. Not one but two sets of identical twins attempt to reunite after a shipwreck separates them. Join the cast in the chaos as misdirection and mistaken identity fill every minute with clever antics. Professor Lloyd Caldwell directs this hilarious production. “Comedy is my specialty,” Caldwell said. “I earned a certificate from clown school. You can go to clown school to be a clown, but I went to study comedy. I have made that one of my areas of research for the last 23 years.” The play is set in 1930s Greece. Caldwell believes it’s a time and place that will be familiar to the audience. “Most people know the 1930s,” Caldwell said. “I chose the Greek Islands because they’re sunny and bright most of the year. Because the play happens all in one day, I was looking for those bright, sunny colors to underline the comedy — as opposed to 1930s Transylvania in the middle of winter.” Assisting Caldwell in this comedy is award-winning Costume Designer Renee Garcia and Scene Designer and Props Master Maggie Gayle. Garcia and Gayle have teamed up to help enhance “The Comedy of Errors” visually. Garcia planned the production’s garments to match the setting and promote laughter. “For this production, most people are in western European costumes, and that should be totally familiar,” Garcia said. “However, I think the most interesting costumes are on the two Dromio twins because they’re in traditional Greek costume. There’s a fun opportunity for texture and color, and I’m going over the top with trims. They’re not supposed to look sophisticated; they’re clowns. I think it’s a lot of fun to work with the clowns because there are no limits.” Gayle is also working without limits, adding stage effects we haven’t seen this year, including multiple levels to the set design and doorways specifically crafted for the comedic effect. “There’s a lot of cool stuff, like our working fountain,” Gayle said. “It was created by our students out of a My Size Barbie doll. We’re making it look like a carved Greek sculpture. There are a lot of stairs and different levels. I have a couple balconies. All the walls have some type of texture, like carved stone. It’s not ancient Greece, so there aren’t columns. But, it does mimic 1930s Greece, which is when we’re setting the play.” Anitpholus of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus are identical twins separated since infancy after a shipwreck. Twenty-five years later, both twins unknowingly arrive in the same city, and the townspeople mistake their identities. Amidst the confusion are the Dromio twins, who are life-long servants to the Antipholus twins. Senior Peyton Meacham plays Dromio of Syracuse, servant to Antipholus of Syracuse. “Back story of both Dromios is that they’re twins,” Meacham said. “Our parents were poor, so we were sold to the Antipholus twins to be their servants forever. After a shipwreck, I stay with Antipholus of Syracuse, and Dromio of Ephesus stays with Antipholus of Ephesus.” Meacham is a well-experienced performer. She’s had roles in several OSU Department of Theatre productions, including “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Spitfire Grill” and “The Importance of Being Ernest.” Despite her plethora of theatre knowledge, Meacham seeks to fine-tune her skills in comedy. “I auditioned to learn how to be a clown,” Meacham said.  “It’s something to keep in my actor’s tool belt. We’ve learned how to fall without hurting ourselves. We’ve learned how to trip up and down stairs and how to get hit with a bat. I have learned how to make foley noises — which are live sound effects — and I get a slide whistle. I auditioned to get as much experience as I could.” Similar to Meacham’s desire to learn more about comedy, Tyler Burd auditioned to obtain an experience he’s desired for months. “Ever since I read ‘The Comedy of Errors’ last semester, I was automatically attracted to the Dromios,” Burd said. “They’re clowns, and I’ve never gotten to play an overly comedic character. The Dromios are the comedic anchors of the play, and that’s what I want to be. I’ve wanted to play this role since I read it six months ago.” Burd is also a senior in the OSU Department of Theatre, and plays Dromio of Ephesus, twin to Dromio of Syracuse. He has performed in the OSU Mainstage Productions “Almost, Maine” and “The Importance of Being Ernest.” Burd has some experience with comedy on the stage, and he enjoys the comical aesthetics generated by the cast in this production of “The Comedy of Errors.” “What I think is funny is that Payton and I are a lot taller than the actors playing the roles of both Antipholi,” Burd said. “They’re both actually really short, and Peyton and I carry around bats for them to hit us with. So whenever they hit us, they usually have to stand on top of something to hit us over the head, or we have to bend down. I think that’s really funny.” Casting isn’t the only hilarious antic Caldwell used to make this production original. He implements traditional vaudeville jokes for the audience’s amusement. When a character gets hit, foley effects are created live on stage though props. “When somebody gets hit, we have a car horn,” said Caldwell.  “It’s a bit of a showing the audience the theatre magic, but it’s all a part of the joke.” It’s all about the jokes for the audiences; the goal is to bring everyone laughter and entertainment. Kelton Neals, another senior in the Department of Theatre, plays the character of Angelo, a goldsmith. Angelo is a tough, masculine and burly character, which are fun traits for Neals to alter for a comedic effect. “When I first read over Angelo’s role, I read him as this big, tough mafia guy,” Neals said. “But, when we did our first read through, I switched his voice into a higher register and moved with a quicker pace. I also made him scared of women in a way. A lot of the women in this show are empowering, and Angelo is a work-oriented guy. He has his goals, and he’s afraid of empowering women. Or maybe he’s just shy.” Neals has performed in multiple plays since his debut at the Department of Theatre. He starred in “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Shipwrecked!”. As a performer, he’s learned to not only have goals for his continued growth, but also for the audience. “I want the audience to be entertained no matter where they look on the stage,” Neals said. I don’t believe there are any blank spots, and that’s what is so great about having Lloyd as a director. When he sees a blank spot, he wants to put a bit there.” This comedy is sure to get the biggest giggle out of even the youngest member in the audience. Shakespeare wrote this play for the masses using different levels of comedy for all. “This show has something for everybody, I think,” Burd said. “It has different styles of comedy. There’s wit in it and physical comedy from the 20th century. And Shakespeare’s comedy, jokes from 400 years ago that are still funny. I think there has got to be something for everybody if this play has lasted this long.” Get your tickets soon, before they sell out, by visiting or purchase your tickets at the theatre box office in 121 Seretean Center for the Performing Arts. For more information about “The Comedy of Errors” or the OSU Department of Theatre, call 405-744-6094.
Mon, 20 Nov 2017 15:14:42 -0600