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OSU announces fall 2016 graduates
Oklahoma State University awarded degrees to a total of 1,774 students this past fall, including 1,159 Oklahomans, according to the Office of the Registrar.  Graduates are listed by their designated hometowns, along with degree and subject area. Degrees earned with distinction - summa cum laude (with highest honor), magna cum laude (with great honor) or cum laude (with honor) - are noted to the right of the degree earned. To search OSU’s lists of graduates, click on the link below and enter your search term in the top right field. Click the appropriate corresponding search category to locate your results. ***Note: To search by state, please enter the state abbreviation. For example, to search for Oklahoma students, enter OK. A complete list of Oklahoma, out-of-state and international graduates is available at
Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:52:08 -0500
OSU microbiologist elected to national fellowship
Burnap Robert Dr. Robert L. Burnap, a professor of microbiology at Oklahoma State University, has been elected to fellowship status in the American Academy of Microbiology for his outstanding contributions to the field. Fellows are elected through a highly selective, annual, peer review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. Burnap’s work has advanced research in the field of photosynthesis, including how photosynthetic bacteria assemble the system that harnesses energy from light, and how these bacteria concentrate and fix carbon dioxide into cells. Burnap serves as Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and the Vennerburg Chair of Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at OSU. He was elected during a recent meeting of the academy, which serves as an honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, the world's oldest life science organization. Burnap has also served as a visiting program director at the National Science Foundation, where he was recognized for his leadership in creating the Photosynthetic IDEAS Lab in Arlington, Va., providing $8 million in funding for transformative research. PHOTO:
Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:47:51 -0500
OSU CEAT names 2017 W.W. Allen Scholars
Jennifer Litchfield Jennifer Litchfield, Oklahoma City, and Wade Witcher, Brown Arrow, have been selected for the prestigious W.W. Allen Scholars Program at Oklahoma State University. The program is designed for top academic students, who also show significant promise in leadership and career ambition. The W.W. Allen Scholars program was formed to develop some of the nation's top engineering graduates. This elite award includes more than $135,000 in scholarship, enrichment activities, professional development and national and international travel, followed by full tuition and housing for one year to pursue a Master of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Litchfield is a senior at Carl Albert High School in Midwest City and the daughter of Bruce and Linda Litchfield. She plans to major in biosystems engineering and minor in political science at OSU. She serves as team captain for her school’s swim team in addition to holding positions in the National Honor Society and Oklahoma Girls State organizations. She interned for U.S. Senator James Lankford and has volunteered her time with Youth in Action and Key Club. Wade Witcher “My goals are simply to give 100 percent of my effort, so I can maximize my educational experience,” says Litchfield. “In return, I expect that OSU will fully equip me with the tools I need to be successful post-graduation.” Witcher will graduate from Union High School in Tulsa and is the son of Joel and Lisa Witcher. He is planning to study chemical engineering and minor in business management at OSU. He holds distinctions as a contestant in the Chemistry Science Olympiad, and serves as a member of Mu Alpha Theta and on the Union Legacy Committee. Witcher is also a member of the boy’s golf team and volunteers his time at the local vacation Bible school and on international mission trips. “I hope my education at OSU produces more than just a degree,” says Witcher. “I hope to be involved in making an impact on the university in the same way it will make an enormous impact on me. I hope to learn from this program to develop skills that are crucial to being a well-rounded, effective engineer.” Litchfield and Witcher will join the current W.W. Allen Scholars at OSU in fall 2017. “I am pleased to welcome two new outstanding engineering students to our W.W. Allen Scholars Program,” says W. Wayne Allen, scholarship founder. “We hope to give them leadership opportunities while at OSU, plus provide top-level foreign education experiences. Our goal is to prepare them to be as successful personally and professionally as they are academically.” For more information about the W.W. Allen Scholars Program, go to For more information on the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at OSU, visit
Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:43:26 -0500
College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology partners with ODOT
The College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology has established partnerships that connect Oklahoma State University and the public sector. Two of the College’s outreach programs have an extensive partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) to train federal employees throughout the state and surrounding areas with facilities located on or near the Stillwater campus. The Center for Local Government Technology (CLGT) has worked with ODOT for over 20 years, and ODOT is the primary funder for its local technical assistance program (LTAP). The LTAP program at OSU is one of 58 programs throughout the state, and provides technical transportation assistance to all 77 counties in Oklahoma out of its Richmond Hills facility in Stillwater, OK. In addition, the Southern Plains Tribal Technical Assistance (SPTTAP) Center also works closely with ODOT on tribal transportation issues in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas. In fiscal year 2016, a contract with ODOT gave the college a critical role in administering the Highway Construction Materials Technician Certification Board (HCMTCB) program. To comply with federal mandate 23 CFR 637.209, ODOT requires all materials technicians working on federally funded highway construction projects to be registered with the HCMTCB. The program provides training and certification in sampling and testing procedures for asphalt and cement concrete, soils, aggregates and pavement smoothness, as well as specifically designed training for highway construction inspectors. Classroom instruction and written examinations are conducted in the college’s professional development classrooms on north campus, while hands-on training and technician evaluations take place in the new, state-of-the-art Bert Cooper Engineering Lab. The 33,000 square-foot facility, which opened in 2015, has the capacity to test structures and materials in a real-world environment in a consistent range of temperatures. “ODOT and OSU have a long history of working together to improve the transportation infrastructure in Oklahoma, and our relationship with ODOT includes outreach and research initiatives,” says Ed Kirtley, assistant dean of outreach & extension for the college. “We are proud of our partnership with ODOT.” For more information on the Center for Local Government Technology, visit For more information about the HCMTCB program, visit PHOTOS:
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:29:06 -0500
OSU online engineering programs ranked in top five nationally
GradSource has ranked online master’s engineering programs at Oklahoma State University fifth in the nation among public universities. The College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (CEAT) at OSU currently offers three online graduate degree programs in electrical and computer engineering, engineering and technology management, and industrial engineering and management. Enrollment in both the online graduate degree programs and online undergraduate degree courses continues to increase at an average growth rate of 35 percent each year. “CEAT’s rigorous programs, distinguished faculty and state-of-the-art technology result in the perfect combination for top-notch, high-quality online courses,” said Kristi Wheeler, engineering distance education manager. “Flexibility and affordability are an extra, added bonus to the programs and courses offered.” To see the full rankings and specs, go to or go to, click on online master’s degrees, and then on engineering. For more information on CEAT’s online master’s of engineering programs, visit is popular destination for top online graduate schools, programs and a post-college career outlook.
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:45:30 -0500
OSU Pete’s Pet Posse gets moving with dog walking app
 Pete’s Pet Posse, a pet therapy program at Oklahoma State University, is hoping a popular app will help expand and equip users to support it while they exercise. The Walk for a Dog app allows users to make a difference and support their favorite animal cause anytime they go for a walk, run or a bike ride. The more people who exercise for Pete’s Pet Posse, the more funds the organization will receive. “We are hoping the community will consider Pete’s Pet Posse the next time they step out the door for a walk,” said Kendria Cost, executive assistant to OSU’s First Lady. “Since we are a self-funded program, many of the organization’s expenses go to new leashes, collars, t-shirts for the Ruff Rider team and other items to help educate students about the program and the variety of pet visits available.” When going on a walk or run with the Walk for a Dog application, users can walk their own dogs or walk with a virtual pet from Pete’s Pet Posse to raise funds for the organization. You can even exercise without a dog. “More walks equal more dollars for the program,” said Cost. “It is an easy thing to do. Just download the app, select Pete’s Pet Posse and start exercising.” The application can be used anywhere and at any time and is available in the App Store and Google Play. OSU First Lady Ann Hargis logs on every time she walks with her dog, Scruff, who is a part of the Pete’s Pet Posse program. “It is wonderful how people can use it wherever they are,” Hargis said. “I love that something as simple as logging exercise time can be of benefit to the program and it ties in perfectly to our wellness initiatives as America’s Healthiest Campus.” Hargis is also pleased that the app generates a map at the end of her walk so she can track her distance. “It gives you incentive to stretch a little farther, walk a little farther and be outdoors a little more, all for a good cause.” Story by Sage Watson PHOTOS:
Fri, 31 Mar 2017 09:43:06 -0500
Local Technical Assistance Program at CLGT recognized for achievements
The Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers recently recognized Douglas Wright, director of the Center for Local Government Technology (CLGT), and Michael Hinkston, manager of CLGT’s Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), at its annual business and industry day. Both CLGT and LTAP are outreach and extension functions in Oklahoma State University’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. Wright and Hinkston received the Partners for Progress award for partnering with the Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center (EOC). Over the last six years, the LTAP and EOC presented 24 individual courses in 15 subject areas that provided training to over 2,000 individuals. The courses included pavement technology classes, civil engineering design, and first responder training, with titles such as Best Practices for Longitudinal Joint, Designing Pedestrian Facilities for Accessibility, and Wildland Fire Training for Equipment Operators. “Michael and Doug are well-deserving of this award; the programs they’ve provided not only benefit those from this region, but people from all over the state as well,” says EOC Superintendent Terry Underwood. “This is a win-win situation for everyone involved, and we look forward to working with them in the future.” For more information on the EOC, visit: For more information on the LTAP, visit:
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:37:27 -0500
OSU doctoral student to conduct research in Iceland
Christina Anaya, a doctoral student at Oklahoma State University, has been awarded a Fulbright-National Science Foundation Arctic Research grant to study parasites and their hosts in Iceland during the 2017-2018 academic year. The Fulbright program places U.S. students in schools around the world where they act as an ambassador for the United States, work with research advisers in the host country, and learn about its people and culture. “I am thrilled with this opportunity to establish international collaborations that will strengthen my professional career, allow me to apply the skills I’ve developed as a field biologist, and maintain a strong connection to nature and conservation issues,” said Anaya. “This is made possible with the research knowledge I’ve gained in the Department of Integrative Biology and with the help of my adviser and mentor, Dr. Matt Bolek. I am truly excited and honored to represent the department and OSU in an international context.” Anaya is a graduate of Fallbrook High School in Fallbrook, Calif. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s ­degrees from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif. OSU doctoral student Christina Anaya collects samples for her research on parasites and their hosts. She’ll soon travel to Iceland to apply her skills in a very different environment. During the rigorous Fulbright application period, Anaya developed and submitted a proposal to study parasites in Iceland, titled “Freshwater and Marine Snails as Parasite Biodiversity Indicators in Iceland.” “Snails are the perfect organisms to gauge which parasites live in an area because many parasites use snails as a host. Snails are often collected for specific parasites, but no studies have used snails as field study indicators of all the parasites in an area, which is what I intend to do in Iceland,” explained Anaya. She wrote her Fulbright proposal in response to the 2014 Arctic Biodiversity Assessment that urged baseline data be required for parasites in Arctic regions since the effect of climate change on parasite populations could negatively influence ecosystem health and may have consequences for the people in Arctic regions. “Iceland is a unique area of study because its small size and location make it more susceptible to drastic temperature changes, compared to other northern landmasses,” said Anaya. “It is called the ‘land of fire and ice’ due to its unique geothermal activities, which create a variety of warm and cold habitats where parasites can colonize.” Anaya’s research experience and course work at OSU emphasize invertebrate and parasite systems, equipping her with specific skills for this type of field work. She’s studied a diverse group of parasites that use snails as dead-end or intermediate hosts in the Bolek lab at OSU, including trematodes, nematodes, nematomorphs, and acanthocephalans. A portion of her dissertation also examines the distribution of hairworm stages in snail hosts by asking how species have co-evolved. Some of the data she collects in Iceland will be used in her dissertation to provide a comparative component. If you’re interested in following Anaya’s progress, she will have a blog called An American Scientist in Iceland to share more information about her research project as well as thoughts about the people, their lifestyle, and the landscapes she encounters, starting in December 2017. 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. More than 360,000 individuals from the United States and other countries have participated in the program since its inception in 1946. 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 for the promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science.
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:21:44 -0500
The Broader Impact of Scientific Research
Chemistry professor Charles Weinert. PHOTO/GARY LAWSON A few years after arrive at Oklahoma State University in 2004, associate professor of chemistry Charles Weinert began using his own money to develop a summer research program to recruit American Indian students to STEM careers. “American Indian students are underrepresented in the sciences,” Weinert says. “With nearly 40 tribes in Oklahoma, the opportunity to reach this group of students is higher here than in most places.” Weinert visited 10 Oklahoma high schools in the spring of 2008 to recruit students for the summer program’s first run. After his visit to Frontier Public Schools in Red Rock, Oklahoma, student Julia “Hope” Conneywerdy emailed Weinert to express her interest in the program. “She was a little timid when she first came here, but very excited,” Weinert says. “I think she was surprised we let her do most of the work on her own, even letting her use a million-dollar NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy. It did a lot for her confidence in the lab.” In the summer of 2008, Weinert was working with a high school student in his lab for the first time and applying for an NSF career grant, which helps junior faculty develop their careers. He was able to use Conneywerdy’s achievements to demonstrate a successful track record for this proposed program, which strengthened his request. Weinert adapts the program to each student’s goals and interests. One summer, he even had a third-grader participate, which involved lab demonstrations rather than actual research projects. However, when the students do take on research projects, they help with components of Weinert’s current research, often completing a stein in the overall puzzle of his investigations of the element germanium. Conneywerdy and others have helped with integral parts of his research and have been named as contributors on published academic papers. After Weinert’s NSF career grant expired in 2015, he received a $390,000 three-year renewable NSF research grant. With this grant, he specifically requested funding for the summer research program because he had shown how it fulfilled the grant’s “broader impact on society” requirements. Weinert and Conneywerdy, now an OSU graduate student, reunite on campus more than seven years after they first worked together. PHOTO/GARY LAWSON The NSF funding allowed Weinert to cover such participant costs as housing, transportation and even a stipend. Because this latest grant is renewable, he hopes to continue funding for years to come. “As long as we continue to be successful and show that people are interested, I’m hoping someday this might turn into an even bigger program,” Weinert says. “In fact, we already have someone verbally committed to coming next summer.” Researching Silicon Alternatives Most smartphone or computer chip technologies are made with silicon-based materials. Weinert and his team are busy synthesizing oligomers of germanium, which could lead to more effective chip technology. “Germanium lies below silicon on the table of elements,” Weinert says. “By studying the structure of germanium and understanding its properties, we hope to synthesize oligogermanes [shorter, finite versions of longer germanium molecular chains] that can surpass the semi-conductivity of related silicon-based materials.” Weinert’s research with germanium is widely known in the field of synthetic chemistry. As part of a three-day European lecture tour last summer, he was invited to speak at the University of Freiburg in Germany, where Clemens Winkler discovered germa-nium in 1886. On the fast track When Conneywerdy was a sophomore at Frontier Public Schools, she had seen pictures of microscopes in science textbooks, but had never used one. “I always knew I wanted to go into the medical field,” Conneywerdy says. “The summer program was the first time I was in a lab setting, and I finally got to use a microscope. I was hooked!” After high school, Conneywerdy went to North-western Oklahoma State University on a golf scholar-ship and majored in biochemistry. When she was getting ready to graduate in December 2014, she considered getting her master’s degree while she waited to start physician’s assistant school. Wanting to return to OSU, she found a fast-track master’s program that was similar to a pre-medical option with OSU’s Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Conneywerdy began classes before she was offi-cially accepted and recently completed in her first full semester as an OSU graduate student. She is set to grad-uate with her master’s in May 2016. “I have to give a big thanks to Dr. Weinert and his summer program,” Conneywerdy says. “It really sparked my interest in science, and I’m so glad to be back at OSU.”  Story by Jamie Hadwin
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:46:04 -0500
Shining the Light on Research
Bruce Benjamin. PHOTO CREDIT/THE OSU CENTER FOR HEALTH SCIENCES Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences has focused on becoming the premier biomedical research institution in northeastern Oklahoma because research is the lifeblood of a university environment, lending vitality and richness that is absent without academic exploration. “Research is at the core of learning. This search for knowledge is learning in its purest sense,” says Bruce Benjamin, OSU-CHS vice provost for graduate programs, associate dean for biomedical sciences and associate professor of physiology. “Such exploration stimulates the mind and is necessary for finding answers to important questions.” Faculty with the Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa who have been featured in the Research Spotlight video series James Hess To showcase that research as part of the university’s land-grant mission, Research Spotlight, an ongoing video series, highlights the diverse spectrum of faculty research at OSU-CHS. Each video focuses on an individual researcher’s work. Videos are posted to the OSU Center for Health Sciences’ website along with accompanying stories and are featured on OState.TV. “A strong research program enables faculty to be engaged in and aware of the latest knowledge in their respective fields and generates enthusiasm that benefits students and faculty,” Benjamin says. “This series offers a glimpse into all of the important work going on at OSU-CHS and the potential this research has to improve lives and help us live healthier, safer lives.” Faculty with the Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa who have been featured in the Research Spotlight video series Rashml Kaul Each researcher is faced with a challenge: Take a complex project and break it down for viewers into a short, easily understood presentation. Most begin with a quest to find an answer to a specific question: How can we better predict cardiovascular disease? How can snake antivenom be improved? What do the lives of dinosaurs millions of years ago tell us about animals today? Each of those questions, representing a line of research at OSU-CHS, has been highlighted in Research Spotlight. Charles Sanny, chair of the OSU-CHS Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology and biochemistry professor, found out first-hand how expansive the outreach series has been. Faculty with the Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa who have been featured in the Research Spotlight video series Gerwald Koehler His research into the effectiveness of snake antivenom that could lead to improved treatment options for those bitten by a poisonous snake was featured in the series. In a state with seven types of venomous snakes, including the diamondback rattlesnake, cottonmouths and copperheads, Sanny’s work hit a nerve. Stories about his research were widely disseminated throughout Oklahoma through various media outlets. “Anyone visiting the OSU-CHS website is able to get understandable and informative introductions to our research by the actual scientists themselves,” Sanny says. “The Research Spotlight series is a great way to showcase the many exciting research efforts that are going on here at OSU-CHS.” Rashmi Kaul, whose research has garnered more than $150,000 in support from a local cancer charity, has been featured in Research Spotlight for her efforts to determine the link between hepatitis C and liver cancer. “Research is a creative endeavor that brings innovative ideas to solve a problem. And for that purpose, universities serve as temples of education for our future generation but also incubators of innovation,” she says. “Globally, it is becoming increasingly important that research is the best system for educating the next generation of innovators and scientists.” Faculty with the Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa who have been featured in the Research Spotlight video series Charles Sanny  Kaul believes the series informs the public about valuable, innovative research underway at the university and raises awareness about diseases that may prompt valuable feedback from community members with these conditions. “The Research Spotlight series can identify community members with a personal interest for further research in a particular disease or condition,” she says. “They can become community champions, create awareness and facilitate funding support for the research.” Research topics cover medicine, biomedical sciences, forensic sciences, paleontology, health care administration and athletic training. Examples of the series include: Faculty with the Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa who have been featured in the Research Spotlight video series Kathleen Curtis •  James Hess, chair and director of the OSU School of Health Care Administration, discussing research on new business models to help insurance companies operate successfully within a changing health care economy. •  Associate professor of microbiology Gerwald Koehler, shared his research on the trillions of microorganisms living in the human digestive tract and how they affect the central nervous system. •  Associate professor of physiology Kathleen Curtis, discussed how estrogen influences the brain and affects physiology and behavior, building on her years of research on human hormones. OSU-CHS continues to encourage research through collaboration with the community and engagement with faculty and students. “Research shapes our understanding of the world. It adds to the accumulation of knowledge and provides a source for new ideas and innovation across a range of multi-disciplinary areas,” Benjamin says. “Solutions to problems and cures for disease have all come about as a result of research. Sharing our work could lead to important breakthroughs that will potentially impact the lives of millions.” The Research Spotlight series is developed and produced by OSU Marketing and Communications Services in Tulsa. To learn about research projects underway at OSU-CHS, visit the Research Spotlight website at Story by Kim Archer
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:13:47 -0500