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OSU Mortar Board chooses top freshmen men and women
Recognized as one of Oklahoma State University’s prestigious honors, the Mortar Board Honor Society has selected this year’s top 20 freshmen men and top 20 freshmen women. The 40 students are selected during their sophomore year based on criteria including scholarship, community service, campus involvement and outstanding leadership throughout their first year at OSU. All honorees recently attended a dinner at the Willham House with OSU President Burns Hargis. More than 150 students applied for the designation this time. Of the 40 students selected, 20 went on to be interviewed and chosen for OSU’s top 10 freshmen men and top 10 freshmen women. Courtney Mapes, Mortar Board Honor Society’s coordinator for this year’s contest, worked with other members of the local Achafoa chapter during the selection process. “We try to choose students who have divided their time well at OSU, while still thriving academically,” said Mapes, a senior animal science major and former top 10 freshman at OSU. The top 10 men and top 10 women will be recognized during OSU’s home football game on Nov. 18 against Kansas State University. A reception will be held for the students and their families.   Top 20 Freshmen Women: Italics indicate the individual is also a top 10 winner Adrienne Blakey; Plant and Soil Science – Stillwater, Okla. Kristen Ball; Secondary Social Studies Education and Environmental Sociology; Edmond, Okla. Alexis Barry; Chemical Engineering, Pre-Med; Oklahoma City, Okla. Carly Bender; Actuarial and Financial Mathematics and Statistics; Tulsa, Okla. Madeline Betts; Management and Marketing; Calumet, Okla. Mckenzie Carvalho; Agribusiness and Agricultural Communications; Maxwell, Cali. Jordan Cowger; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Animal Science; Kansas City, Miss. Olivia Davis; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pre-Med; Fort Smith, Ark. Kayla Dunn; Multimedia Journalism; Stillwater, Okla. Kaitlyn Kirksey; Human Development and Family Science; Stillwater, Okla. Lindsey Marsh; Mechanical Engineering; Hobart, Okla. Hadley Reuter; MIS and Statistics; Stillwater, Okla. Savannah Robisch; Chemical Engineering; Fulshear, Texas Ashlyn Ruley; English Literature; Tulsa, Oklah. Caroline Sanders; Biological Science, Pre-Med; Oklahoma City, Okla Samantha Shafer; Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, Plant Biology; Muskogee, Okla. Rachel Terry; Biological Science, Pre-Med; Edmond, Okla. Alexis Vance; Chemical Engineering; Overland Park, Kan. Allison Wilton; Agribusiness, Pre-Law; Fort Sumner, New Mexico Abigail Wright; Physiology, Pre-Health; Cushing, Okla.   Top 20 Freshmen Men: Italics indicate the individual is also a top 10 winner Levi Baker; Agribusiness, Pre-Law; Dibble, Okla. Coleman Bourke; Business; Tulsa, Okla. Jacob Burch-Konda; Animal Science, Pre-Vet; Kingsburg, Cali. Cordell Collins; Business Management; Piedmont, Okla. Brent Cunningham; Accounting; Bartlesville, Okla. Cole DeWitt; Nutritional Sciences/Human Nutrition Pre-Med Option; Cherokee, Okla. Caleb Eyster; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Ponca City, Okla. Cody Gingrich; Animal Science, Pre-Vet; Shawnee, Okla. Luke Hale; Agribusiness, Pre-Law; Throckmorton, Texas James Hood; Electrical Engineering; Edmond, Okla. Chapman Howard; Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics; Tulsa, Okla. Ridge Hughbanks; Agribusiness, Pre-Law; Alva, Okla. Cameron Jump; Electrical Engineering; Edmond, Okla. Braden Kellogg; Civil Engineering; Talala, Okla. Thomas New; Civil Engineering; Edmond, Okla. Hunter Perdue; Marketing; Yukon, Okla. Jacob Sestak; Agriculture Economics and Accounting; Prague, Okla. Hunter Starr; Agribusiness; Forgan, Okla. Jacob C. Swanson; Entrepreneurship and Emerg Ent, Marketing; Cache, Okla. Grant Wilber; Animal Science, Pre-Vet Option; Cherokee, Okla. Story by Shayla Terrel
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
“Oklahoma 100 Year Life” project receives award
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to live to be 100 and maybe get some tips that could help you get there? It’s all available online at the Oklahoma State University Library, thanks to the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program (OOHRP), which was recently recognized for its “Oklahoma 100 Year Life” oral history project by the national Oral History Association. The organization has honored OOHRP for the project’s noteworthy scholarly and social value with its Elizabeth B. Mason Major Project Award. The project’s research purpose is to gain insight on the life of citizens who have lived for 100 years or more and increase awareness of their longevity. “I wanted to know about life at 100, but I also wanted to know about their childhood because that tells us a lot about living in Oklahoma at the time,” said Dr. Tanya Finchum, library professor, who led the oral history project with Dr. Alex Bishop, associate professor of human development and family sciences in the College of Human Sciences at OSU. Over the course of three years, the team interviewed 111 Oklahoma centenarians. Interview transcripts, recordings and photos are now freely available online at Students and faculty are using both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze the data collected. The information gathered from the “Oklahoma 100 Year Life” project also inspired a theatrical production, “The Centenarian Play,” written by Julie Pearson-Little Thunder of the OOHRP. The play was used in Bishop’s classroom to help students better understand the aging process and develop empathy for older people. Following the success of the in-class exercise, the research team received a grant to present the play publicly with professional actors. At the performances, pre- and post-surveys were collected to measure how the experience impacted audience members’ perceptions of aging. The “Oklahoma 100 Year Life” oral history project and the efforts that build on it advance OSU’s land-grant mission by improving the lives of Oklahomans and people all over the world through integrated teaching, research and outreach. Formally established in 2007, the OOHRP at the OSU Library has collected and preserved firsthand accounts from individuals who have played a part in Oklahoma’s history. The Program explores the lives and contributions of Oklahomans from all walks of life. To learn more about the OOHRP call 405-744-7685, email, or visit By Chrishayla Smith
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
OSU honored as national role model for diversity and inclusiveness
Dr. Jovette Drew (left), assistant vice president for Institutional Diversity accepts the award on behalf of OSU. Oklahoma State University has been recognized for serving as a national role model in promoting diversity and inclusiveness throughout its system.  The Washington, D.C. based nonprofit agency Minority Access, Inc., honored OSU at its 18th Annual National Role Models Conference, held earlier this month in the nation’s capital. Dr. Jovette Dew, assistant vice president for Institutional Diversity at OSU, attended the conference and accepted the award on behalf of the university.  This latest honor comes just months after OSU was recognized as one of 11 Diversity Champion colleges and universities in the nation, a designation is given by INSIGHT into Diversity magazine to denote an unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout campus communities, across academic programs, and at the highest administrative levels.  More than 70 diversity-related student organizations at OSU empower students to promote their heritage and become leaders. The university also supports K-12 programs that facilitate students’ ability to successfully transition to college. A capital campaign within the Division of Institutional Diversity at OSU has raised $3.7 million over the past three years, which includes 25 new endowed, privately-funded scholarships, and anticipates an additional 10 in the near future, all focused on promoting a culture of inclusion.  Earlier this year, Dr. Jason Kirksey, vice president for the Division of Institutional Diversity and chief diversity officer at OSU, was recognized with the NADOHE 2017 Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr. Distinguished Service Award. The award honors an individual who is distinguished in higher education, through a robust record of consistent service, for inclusive excellence; exercising innovative and courageous leadership; serving as a visionary in the field; and exemplifying the philosophy, principles, and practices of National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, while contributing substantially to diversity and inclusive excellence in higher education.
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
OSU Students, Faculty, Staff and Sovereign Nation Leaders Gather for Indigenous Peoples’ Day
In celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, 200 Oklahoma State University students, faculty, staff, sovereign nation leaders and friends stood shoulder-to-shoulder to set a record for the largest tribal jurisdiction map. In spring 2017, OSU Student Government Association passed a resolution that Oct. 9, 2017, would be the university's first Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Native American Student Association with support from Arts and Sciences Student Council, American Indian Studies, the Center for Sovereign Nations, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student Affairs and the Student Government Association joined together to illustrate the importance of honoring the tribal nations of Oklahoma and their citizens. Participants wore t-shirts in colors associated with each tribal jurisdiction on the map. Many described this experience as personal as they lifted up sections of the map that represented their families and tribal communities. Participants expressed eagerness to share in this educational and heartfelt celebration next year. The Center for Sovereign Nations is located on Oklahoma State University’s (OSU) campus in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Created as a result of President Hargis’ vision for focused service to sovereign tribal nations in Oklahoma, the Center for Sovereign Nations was launched in August 2015 through the joint investment of The Chickasaw Nation and OSU. In August 2016, the center celebrated the addition of the Choctaw Nation as a center partner. There is an ongoing invitation to other tribal nations to join as center partners. The center has a three-fold mission:  it educates about tribal sovereignty; it promotes student success and graduation; and it develops partnerships between OSU and the tribal nations in Oklahoma. Find more information about the Center for Sovereign Nations at PHOTOS:
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
Vietnam era veterans invited to OSU appreciation dinner
Vietnam era veterans are being invited to serve as guests of honor at the annual Veterans Appreciation Dinner set for Thursday, Nov. 9, at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom at OSU. The deadline for reservations is Nov. 1, but attendance will be capped at 200. “Again this year, we’re glad to have this opportunity to honor Vietnam era veterans who are faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of OSU and Northern Oklahoma College,” said Rick Hansen, coordinator of Veteran Student Academic Services at OSU. “We were pleased to honor 25 Vietnam era veterans last year and we hope to recognize at least as many again this year who have not previously been honored. They served during a very tumultuous time and our formal ‘welcome home’ is long overdue.” The Vietnam era veterans will be honored throughout the dinner with an escort from OSU veteran students. Each will also be recognized by name as well as their branch of service, dates of service and final military rank, while receiving a presidential proclamation and lapel pin commemorating their service to our country. The dinner is one of several activities planned on the OSU campus during the week leading up to Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11. Banquet reservations are free for veterans and $20.00 each for guests.  Reservations can be made at and tickets can be purchased/picked up at the Veteran Success Center in the North Classroom Building or 040 Student Union.  For questions contact Rick Hansen at (405) 744-1390 or email
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
Prize money and more awaits app competition winners
The Oklahoma State University App Center is accepting submissions for the 6th annual From Research to App Competition. The contest, to come up with winning ideas for mobile apps, is open to current OSU students, faculty and staff who can win a share of the $15,000 in prize money. From Research to App reflects the importance of research at OSU and calls for ideas that will use scientific and scholarly knowledge to solve a problem for a user via a mobile app. The competition is co-sponsored by the Division of the Vice President for Research and the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business. During phase one of the contest, underway now through Nov. 3, entrants are asked to submit their  mobile app ideas. The top 10 ideas are pitched to judges in five-minute presentations. The winner receives $2,000 and the runner-up $1,000, while each of the remaining finalists is awarded $500. The top two ideas move on to phase two, where several competing teams of developers will choose one of the ideas as a basis for creating a functioning app. Following demonstrations, judges will select two winners, who are awarded $3,000 each, and two runner-ups, who win $1,000. The App Center will also assist with development and commercialization of the two winning apps. For more information and to submit app ideas before the Nov. 3 deadline, visit Phase two registration for development teams and judging dates will be announced in spring of 2018. The App Center, sponsored by AAA, is an on-campus resource for mobile app development. The center helps individuals build apps and provides grant funding for development. Information is available at
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
Taking Flight
This Golden Eagle is one of several birds at the Grey Snow Eagle House used for educational outreach. Outreach education presentations are available for schools, meetings or other events for teaching wildlife conservation. Photo by Ashton Lierle. Experience is key when it comes to flying. When a bird learns to fly, it experiences many failed attempts before being successful.  These flying experiences are facilitated in Perkins, Okla., at the Grey Snow Eagle House, which is owned and operated by the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma.  “In 2006, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma opened the Grey Snow Eagle House to provide a home and rehabilitation center for injured birds,” said Megan Judkins, aviary assistant manager at the Grey Snow Eagle House.  Since the development of the facility, the Iowa Tribe has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department to provide rehabilitation services, homes to non-releasable birds, education and research, Judkins said. The Eagle House now serves as a home to approximately 45 bald and golden eagles. According to the Iowa Tribe, most of the eagles are brought to the facility because they are injured and unable to survive in the wild. The eagles at the facility come from across Oklahoma as well as from Arkansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Colorado, Oregon and Wisconsin.  “Most of the eagles at our facility have either been hit by a car, gunshot or electrocuted,” Judkins said.  According to the Iowa Tribe, they would rather see the birds live in the wild, but when they are not able to be released, the Eagle House strives to provide them with the highest standard of living. An intensive care unit at the facility allows injured birds to be cared for as well as possible, Judkins said.  “The ICU provides a quiet and peaceful place for the birds while they are healing,” Judkins said. “It also provides a place for our staff to carefully monitor the injured birds.” When an eagle is almost ready to be returned to the wild, the staff moves it to the rehabilitation flight cage to assess its flight strength and patterns, Judkins said. The eagle is returned to the wild when it can hunt effectively, she added.  While the Grey Snow Eagle House is changing the lives of injured eagles, it also offers opportunities to Oklahoma State University students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.  The facility has six volunteers and 10 employees. Judkins said several student volunteers and employees are studying or have studied in CASNR. Judkins said the students involved at the Eagle House come from all different majors within OSU and CASNR.  “Working at a facility like this can be beneficial to students from all different majors,” Judkins said. “Vet students, leadership majors, students wanting to go into law enforcement, you name it, and there is something for everyone to learn here.” Mallory Nailon, an animal science senior from Baytown, Texas, started volunteering in 2012 after hearing about the Grey Snow Eagle House at an OSU event to showcase volunteer opportunities.  “Being an animal science major, I thought volunteering at the Eagle House would be a great experience and résumé builder,” Nailon said.  Sue Fairbanks, assistant professor in the OSU Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, said hands-on experience is incredibly important. “For students to be competitive for jobs after they graduate, they need experience,” Fairbanks said. “The Grey Snow Eagle House is a great place for students to gain that experience.” Keaton Garland, a wildlife ecology and management senior from Glenpool, Okla., said she learned about the Grey Snow Eagle House when Judkins spoke in one of her classes. “Last summer, I stayed in Stillwater and was needing something to do that could help me gain experience with animals, so I started volunteering,” Garland said. “In August, I was asked to start working at the facility as an employee.” For most of the students who work at the Grey Snow Eagle House, gaining experience is the most important thing for them, Judkins said. They can learn a variety of things at the facility they may not ever experience in a classroom, she added. “The volunteers start by shadowing an employee to learn the ins and outs of daily operations,” Judkins said. “The volunteers eventually start doing tasks on their own when the employees feel they have the experience necessary to work alone.” Some of the tasks employees and volunteers complete on a daily basis are cleaning the birdcages, preparing food for the birds, feeding the birds, and observing rehabilitation practices.  The networking the students gain by working at the Grey Snow House is just as beneficial to them as the hands-on experience, Fairbanks said.  “By networking with people in this field of work, students can decide exactly what career field they want to pursue,” Fairbanks said. “The people the students meet could also lead to a potential job or internship opportunity.” Nailon said working at the eagle house is preparing her to begin her doctor of veterinary medicine degree. She said she plans to become a small-animal veterinarian and also work in wildlife rehabilitation. “I would love the opportunity to be able to help animals that have been affected by oil spills or other things that have caused them to need rehabilitation,” Nailon said. “Working at the Grey Snow Eagle house has reinforced my career goals and driven me to want to help animals even more.” Garland said she had no idea what she wanted to do as a career until she started working at the Grey Snow Eagle House. “I know now I definitely want to pursue a career in animal rehabilitation,” Garland said. “After I graduate, I am going to continue working at the Grey Snow Eagle House as a full-time employee.” For the students working at the Grey Snow Eagle House, every hour of experience they get is going to be beneficial for them, Judkins said. This facility is not only beneficial for the eagles but also for the volunteers and staff. The Grey Snow Eagle House can be credited for students being able to reach new heights.    To learn more about the Grey Snow Eagle House and volunteer opportunities, visit   Mallory Nailon cleans one of the eight bird cages at the Grey Snow Eagle House. Cleaning the cages every day provides a sanitary and healthy environment for the birds. Photo by Ashton Lierle. By: Author: Ashton Lierle
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
Sweet as Sweis
Joel Sweis prepares dough to cook about 3,000 pitas in one day. Photo by Shelby Rogers. The conveyor belt slowly rolls from the 560-degree oven as the round, flat bread falls onto the next belt to head for packaging. The room, heated from the oven, smells like flour, yeast and warm bread. A large mixer sits in the corner, and 50-pound bags of flour rest in a stack on the floor, ready to be used.  Joel Sweis makes two types of pita bread in his family’s bakery. Prompted by their Mediterranean heritage, Sweis and his five older brothers came to Oklahoma City from Chicago in 1976 to start a family restaurant serving American and Mediterranean food. “When my brothers arrived in Oklahoma from Chicago, they realized there were no gyros, so they went back to Chicago to find a recipe to make them,” Sweis said. “Gyros are a Greek sandwich with pita bread and usually lamb or a combination of beef and lamb.” The pita bakery opened in 1979 and has remained in the family ever since. Sweis said making the flat and pita breads his bakery produces is simple because both products require few ingredients.  “I am not really sure how far back it goes in my family of teaching the younger generation to make bread,” Sweis said. “All I know is that it was passed down through the Bible because people have been baking bread for more than 5,000 years. It is just salt, flour, water and yeast.” In European and Middle Eastern countries, Sweis said bread is a staple for meals and people buy bread for daily use. He said he was surprised no one in Oklahoma was making pita bread, but he realized bread has to have a longer shelf life in the United States because sometimes it may travel for a few days in a truck and then sit in the back of the store for additional days before it is put on the shelves.  Sweis said pita bread gets hard quickly and he wanted to extend the shelf life of the pita bread by slowing the hardening. “I heard good things about Oklahoma State University helping small business owners like myself with their business plan, products and marketing,” Sweis said.  Sweis said he started working with the OSU Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center last May. He knew he had to improve or get out of the business because he wasn’t making any progress, he said.  “I couldn’t just keep chugging along,” Sweis said. “I knew I needed to make a change, and as a small-business owner, you have to do everything. OSU was the best option for help.” He went to FAPC to find an ingredient to allow the bread to be on the shelf for more than a day or two as well as remain soft, he said.  “Joel uses a long-time family recipe, and those recipes usually don’t have mold inhibitors like grocery store products,” said Renee Nelson, milling and baking specialist at FAPC. Nelson said she gave Sweis many options for additives to help with the shelf life. She said he wanted something to keep the bread soft that did not add fat or oil to the recipe.  “I chose calcium propionate for my recipe,” Sweis said. “It is less than 1 percent of the recipe. Each batch of pita bread has 100 pounds of flour and makes 1,000 pitas, so 1 percent isn’t much at all, but it makes all the difference.” Sweis’ new bread recipe will allow the product to last two weeks on the shelf without freezing. Sweis said he learned from Nelson how refrigeration will speed up staleness. To keep the pita bread fresh for more than two weeks, the pitas need to be frozen, he said. “FAPC helped me with more than just the formulation,” Sweis said. “I wasn’t confident about the quality of my bread, but now I am 100 percent sure it is a great product. FAPC helped me be confident with the bread recipe because I knew it would last longer, and then they helped improve marketing.” While Sweis was working with FAPC, he also met with Andrea Graves, business planning and marketing specialist at FAPC. She helps manage projects and finds specialists who are right for each specific job involved with the project.  “I was excited to work with Sweis Pita Bakery,” Graves said. “I never would have guessed that we had pita bread in Oklahoma, and I like to see people succeed, especially small companies.”  FAPC helped develop new, more appealing packaging for Sweis’ products, Graves said. The packaging had more directions for pita bread use and was eye-catching for the consumer. Although the design is complete, FAPC is still looking for a place to print the packages, he said. Now, FAPC is building a website for the bakery. In addition to operating the bakery, the Sweis family provides bread to the international community and has three restaurants in Oklahoma City: Penn Square Mall, Quail Springs Mall and 201 S. Western Road. The University of Oklahoma campus also has a restaurant that serves Sweis pita bread. As the bakery moves forward, Sweis said he hopes to get his bread into grocery stores and onto the OSU campus. Sweis said he has seen the market moving toward Mediterranean food mostly because nutritionists are pushing the healthy value.  Bread, olives and cheese are staples to a Mediterranean table, Sweis said. The bakery can provide bread for this new growing trend, which is why he wants to get his bread into grocery stores. “I would absolutely recommend FAPC to others looking to grow their small business,” Sweis said. “I will always give credit to OSU and FAPC. Their help gave me the confidence to go places and be successful.”       Gyros (pronounced yee-ros) are made of lamb or a combination of beef and lamb served on pita bread. Photo by Shelby Rogers.
Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:59:27 -0600
From Economist to … Spy Novelist
Under the pen name of Ally Carter, Sarah Fogleman published the first book in the Gallagher Girls series in 2006. Since then, Fogleman has enjoyed success as a New York Times best-selling author.  Fogleman said she had the inspiration to write the Gallagher Girls series when she was watching television one night and the idea for a boarding school for teenage spies popped into her head. “It was an idea I knew I couldn’t possibly pass up,” Fogleman said.  Even though she writes stories about spies, Fogleman grew up on a farm in Locust Grove, Okla., was a member of FFA, and earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University in 1997. Many people ask her if she wished she had studied creative writing or English instead of agricultural economics, she said, but she replies with “absolutely not.” Fogleman said she knew she wanted to be a writer even when she was studying agricultural economics. However, she knew jobs in agricultural economics would allow for a secure, stable living and would provide a sense of self-satisfaction.  “I knew writing was something that, if I wanted to do it, there was absolutely no reason I couldn’t do it, whether or not I had a degree,” Fogleman said.  Joe Williams, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at OSU, was Fogleman’s academic adviser when she was an undergraduate student. He said Fogleman had tremendous ambition while at OSU.  “She was an unbelievable student,” Williams said. “She was a positive, very capable, very dedicated, very enthusiastic and outstanding student leader.” Fogleman said her education in agricultural economics has helped her handle the business side of her writing career. She has to be a self-starter because no one tells her to get out of bed in the morning and meet her goals except her, she said. She stays motivated and dedicated because her farming background taught her how to work hard and complete a job, she added.  “Something I think about all the time is when I was a kid and we had just baled a bunch of square bales of hay,” Fogleman said. “It was getting ready to rain. I remember my dad going out there and hauling in hay. It was a ton of work in a very, very short amount of time, but I remember him talking about it and saying ‘It had to be done.’ “When I have a big deadline, I think about Dad and hauling in that hay and ‘It had to be done,’” she said. “Not to say farm kids are the only ones who grow up with that kind of example, but that was certainly the example I had growing up — the sense the work doesn’t stop just because you don’t feel like doing it.” Fogleman said CASNR students learn a refined sense of work ethic that prepares them for success in the workplace, whether agriculture is involved or not.  “What I think employers are looking for from agricultural students is not that they grew up on a farm but that they have that sort of agricultural work ethic and mentality,” Fogleman said. “Any degree teaches you how to think, but to show that you have a learning aptitude is what most employers are after.” Williams said it is not an anomaly for students with farming and ranching backgrounds to have the same desire as Fogleman to achieve goals. “Young men and women who were raised in and had the opportunity to work in production agriculture learn first-hand that you’ve got to get busy and work hard to accomplish tasks,” Williams said.  Fogleman said while she does not regret deciding to write full-time, writing can be a strange profession. “I’m not going to lie — it’s very strange,” Fogleman said. “There are parts of it that are incredibly glamorous, like when you go on book tour. Every now and then, you even get to go to Hollywood and have fancy meetings with movie stars. Mostly, though, the job is you sitting home alone in yoga pants that have bleach stains on them and talking to characters who aren’t there.” Despite the oddities of the job, Fogleman said she is extremely happy with making a career of writing books. She said she loves writing for younger teens because they are a fun age group to write for.  “I hear from a lot of young readers who say things like ‘I never used to like reading until I read your books’ or ‘You made me want to be a spy, so I’m taking French this year and I’ve never had the courage to take a foreign language until I read your books,’” Fogleman said. “You get to, in an odd way, touch a lot of people’s lives because even though I’ll never meet a fraction of them, they go to school with my characters and my characters are like friends to them.” Courtney O’Connor, an OSU biochemistry and molecular biology junior and a fan of Fogleman’s books for eight years, said she read “I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You” as an extra-credit assignment when she was in sixth grade. She said reading the first book made her fall in love with the Gallagher Girls series.  “The characters are just so cool,” O’Connor said. “I read them all again this summer, and I still love them as much as I did in sixth grade. “‘I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You’ was one of the reasons I fell in love with reading books,” she added.  Fogleman said she is still writing books from her current location in Tulsa, Okla. She said she feels really lucky to be in a career she loves. “I get paid to do what 12-year-old me always wanted to do,” Fogleman said.   Sarah Fogleman speaks at a CASNR panel. Photo by Taylor Roblyer.   By: Author: Taylor Roblyer
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
And They Call the Thing Rodeo
Cody Hollingsworth has coached the OSU Rodeo Team since 2011. Photo by Lindsay King. Boots. Chaps. Cowboy hats. The Payne County Expo Center rodeo arena was filled with these items as well as the excitement of hundreds of fans in early October when the Oklahoma State University Rodeo Team hosted its second annual Cowboy Stampede. OSU is rich in rodeo history, said Cody Hollingsworth, OSU rodeo program and facilities coordinator, and the team jumped at the chance to begin hosting a college rodeo in 2014. “OSU rodeo has been around since 1946,” Hollingsworth said. “We were one of six schools that started the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.” Prior to the first Cowboy Stampede last year, the last rodeo hosted in Stillwater was in the mid-1980s. Part of the reason there was such a large gap was because once a school stops having a hometown rodeo getting it back is difficult, Hollingsworth said. “So many schools in our region want to host a rodeo, so we had to wait for an opportunity to start one back up in Stillwater,” he said. OSU competes in the Central Plains Region of the NIRA, which is the largest region in the United States with 18 member schools. Eryn Coy, Western Oklahoma State College, competes in barrel racing. Photo by Lindsay King. Jake Williams, Fort Hays State University, competes in saddle bronc riding. Photo by Lindsay King. “We decided to go after this to help continue to build the program,” Hollingsworth said. “It was important to bring rodeo back to Stillwater so the community and the university could see what our program has to offer.” The Cowboy Stampede has the potential to serve as a major recruiting opportunity to bring new students to OSU, Hollingsworth added. “In college rodeo, junior colleges and universities are mixed together,” Hollingsworth said. “This is a great opportunity for us to bring in competing junior college students and to put Oklahoma State on their radar in terms of continuing their education after their initial two years.” Before Hollingsworth began coaching the team in 2012, the program operated as a student organization.  The OSU Rodeo Team is now a program within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The program is at an unprecedented height with support from the university, Hollingsworth said. “Everything has changed in terms of the support we are now getting,” he said. “It has helped us improve our facility and allows us to use funds we generate to help students as far as practice, scholarships and travel assistance goes.”  Improving the OSU program by having the funds to offer small scholarships and travel assistance allows the team to attract more talented students, he said.     “Our goal is to make the Cowboy Stampede an annual rodeo,” Hollingsworth said. “We want to make it something the university and the community can look forward to every year.”  Having a rodeo in Stillwater is an advantage to the OSU students competing, said Lexi Bagnell, OSU Rodeo Team president and a design, housing and merchandising major.  “They get to compete in front of friends and family, and it’s a weekend they don’t have to travel,” Hollingsworth said. Though the weekend was an exciting time for the rodeo team, it also required a lot of time and hard work from members, Bagnell said. “As soon as everyone got back for the school year, we started planning the rodeo,” she said. “What a lot of people don’t realize is the team members are the ones who do everything behind the scenes. We have to focus on a lot of moving parts other than how we are going to compete.” The team focused on marketing the event throughout Stillwater, Bagnell said. “This year, we received more sponsorship from the community,” she said. “We did interviews with a local TV and radio station, which was fun and brought out a good crowd. We promoted the event on our website and our Facebook account, and OSU let us put signs up on campus. “We didn’t change a lot from last year,” Bagnell said. “Having the first one under our belt helped with the whole planning process.”  “Having a rodeo in Stillwater makes the weekend a little more comfortable for everyone on the team,” she said. “We’re able to go out and practice on the ground at the expo center. It’s just like having a home court advantage.” The rodeo team’s hard work paid off and the three-day event operated smoothly without any malfunctions, said Brittany Perron, OSU rodeo team member and animal science major.  “We had a lot of help from the rodeo team, the OSU Horsemen’s Association and several other campus organizations,” Perron said. Volunteers and support from the university and community played a big role in the success of the stampede, she said. “CASNR helped out a lot,” Perron said. “We also had some local food trucks come out each night to feed everybody.” Even though no OSU team members made the championship round on Saturday night, the weekend was still a success, Perron said. “Nobody on our team made the short go,” she said. “We were all pretty close. There were about five of us who were just two or three places out of the standings. “Everybody worked hard to make this a successful rodeo,” Perron said. “We’re all proud of how everything turned out and can’t wait for next year.”   Ballie Wiseman, Western Oklahoma State College, competes in goat tying for a ninth-place finish. Photo by Lindsay King. Adam Young, Dodge City Community College, competes in saddle bronc riding. Photo by Lindsay King.   By: Author: Kaitlyn Ryan
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500