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Job Descriptions Approved by OSU Board
The Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents approved three job descriptions during its meeting Friday at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, and is inviting nominations and applications for the positions. Two of the positions, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Dean of the William S. Spears School of Business, will be on the Stillwater campus, and the third position, Senior Associate Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Center for Health Sciences and College of Osteopathic Medicine, will be in Tulsa. The Vice President for Enrollment Management will be responsible for developing and implementing integrated strategies to achieve diverse student enrollment goals of OSU and the OSU System. The position reports to the OSU president and CEO of the OSU system for strategic and system issues and to the Provost and Senior Vice President for normal operating issues. Departments that will report to this position include Undergraduate Admissions, Scholarships and Financial Aid, the Office of the Registrar, and KOSU. The Registrar also will report to the Provost and Senior Vice President on matters relating to the integrity of the academic record. The Dean of the William S. Spears School of Business will report to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. The school is composed of eight units with an enrollment of more than 4,000 undergraduates, 600 master’s students, and 100 doctoral students, and has 98 tenured or tenure-track faculty. The Senior Associate Dean/Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Center for Health Sciences and College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa is responsible for all academic and clinical programs, for strategic planning and periodic evaluation reports for the academic and clinical units, and develops policies and procedures. This position will be responsible for the areas of student affairs, preclinical and clinical undergraduate medical education, graduate medical education, continuing medical education, and clinical services.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:20:24 -0500
OSU Board Approves Personnel Actions
The Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents approved several personnel actions during its July 29 meeting at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa. Dr. Jay M. Gregg, chair of the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Missouri-Rolla, was named the V. Brown Monnett Chair, professor and head of the School of Geology. He received his B.S. in geology and biology from Bowling Green State University, his M.S. in geology from Oklahoma State University, and his Ph.D. in geology from Michigan State University. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1988, he was a Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor at the University College of Dublin from 1995-96; served as principal scientist in the division of civilian waste management at Westinghouse Hanford Company from 1987-88; was a senior research geologist at St. Joe Minerals Corporation Geological Research Laboratory in Missouri from 1982-86; and was an associate production geologist for Sun Exploration and Production Co. in Texas from 1976-78. Gregg is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, a member of the Society for Sedimentary Geology, International Association of Sedimentologists, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Irish Association for Economic Geology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Sigma Xi, and The Fulbright Association. He is the author or co-author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, guidebooks, proceedings papers and abstracts. Dr. Patricia A. Bell, professor and interim head of sociology, was named head of the Department of Sociology. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Oklahoma State University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin in sociology. She joined the OSU faculty in 1982, and also served as head of the Department of Sociology from 1994-2000. Her areas of research and teaching expertise are the sociology of law, social research design and analysis, and social demography. Bell took part in a Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program in 2001, and holds memberships in Phi Beta Delta, the International Sociological Association, and Southwestern Social Science Association. She is an associate editor for “The National Journal of Sociology Review” and is an approved market study analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farmers Home Administration. She is the author or co-author of numerous refereed publications, and has given numerous presentations throughout the U.S. and foreign nations. Dr. Ronald L. Moomaw, the Associates Professor of Business Administration and professor of economics and legal studies, was named head of the Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business. He received his B.A. in economics with highest distinction from the University of Virginia, and his Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University. He was an assistant and associate professor of economics at OSU from 1972-83; was a visiting associate professor at the University of British Columbia from 1983-84, and returned to OSU as head of the Department of Economics from 1987-93. He has served as professor of economics since 1993 and as Associates Professor of Business Administration since 1994. From 2002-03 he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Economic Integration Studies at the University of Bonn. His professional memberships include the American Economic Association, Regional Science Association, Southern Economic Association and Southern Regional Science Association, and he currently serves as co-editor of the “Review of Regional Studies” and as associate editor of “Journal of Regional Science.” Moomaw’s honors include a Merrick Foundation Teaching Award, a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and a Princeton University Fellowship, and he has been named to Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. He is the author or co-author of numerous publications. APPOINTMENTS: Randal K. Taylor, associate professor, biosystems and agricultural engineering; Mark R. Wilkins, assistant professor, biosystems and agricultural engineering; Jeffery L. White, associate professor, chemistry, action grants tenure; Linda R. Sealey, assistant professor, communication sciences and disorders; Xiaolin Li, assistant professor, computer science; Ronald C. Brooks, An Cheng, Brian Price, Laurie Schick and Demetria Shabazz, assistant professors, English; Alexander R. Simms, assistant professor, geology; Brian W. Grehner, assistant professor, history; Amilcar Shabazz, associate professor and director, American studies, history, action grants tenure; Mark F. Lawlor, assistant professor, music; Yin Guo, assistant professor, physics; Dennis R. Brewster, assistant professor, sociology; Timmy R.J. Passmore, Aric J. Warren and Georgette P. Yetter, assistant professors, applied health and educational psychology; Lucy E. Bailey, Kerri S. Kearney, Bernita L. Krumm, Jesse P. Mendez and Maria D. Mendoza, assistant professors, educational studies; Qiuying Wang, assistant professor, teaching and curriculum leadership; Michael Rabens, assistant professor, architecture; Hyung S. Jeong, assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering; Daqing Piao and Sohum A. Sohoni, assistant professors, electrical and computer engineering; James E. Stine Jr., associate professor, electrical and computer engineering; Tieming Liu, assistant professor, industrial engineering; Alex J. Bishop, Matthew W. Brosi, Michael M. Criss, Amy L. Halliburton, and Michael J. Merten, assistant professors, human development and family science; Dianne McFarlene, assistant professor, physiological sciences; Jao M. Huang, assistant professor, library. CHANGES IN TITLE: Ibrahim Cemen, from professor and head to professor, geology; Steven M. Locy, from associate professor to associate professor and head, humanities and social sciences division, library. SABBATICAL: Jerzy Krasinski, professor, electrical and computer engineering, 50 percent sabbatical to collaborate on research opportunities with Light Age, a New Jersey company establishing government-funded projects for medical applications of optics, from Jan. 1, 2006, to Jan. 1, 2007. RETIREMENT: Robert F. Wittwer, forestry, Aug. 31; John D. Vitek, geology, July 31; Howard J. Shipp Jr., multicultural student center, Aug. 10. For OSU-Oklahoma City, appointments were approved for Lori Hoover and Karen Lockwood as instructors, nurse science department. William W. Caldwell, instructor in fire protection, was named department head. For the OSU Center for Health Sciences, a title change was approved for Larry D. Cherry from vice president, academic affairs, senior associate dean and professor, to professor, family medicine.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:20:24 -0500
Historic Building Will House OSU Honors College
The greatest capital improvement undertaking in Oklahoma State University’s history will include the return to service of its flagship building. The OSU/A&M Board of Regents today approved the restoration and renovation of Old Central, the oldest building on OSU’s Stillwater campus, to house the university’s Honors College. A design consultant will now be sought for the $3 million project, one of six endeavors the board set into motion Friday. Used sparingly for special events in recent years, Old Central since the 1970s has primarily served as headquarters for the Oklahoma Museum of Higher Education. Historic information and exhibits will continue to be housed in the building, but its return to academic use effectively bridges the past and future of higher education at the state’s university, according to OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly. “It’s not by coincidence that we undertake the renovation of Old Central, an OSU hallmark, during this unprecedented endeavor to improve the infrastructure throughout the OSU System,” Schmidly said. “Old Central’s renovation to house the Honors College will allow our best and brightest students to flourish in a building that, perhaps more than any other on any of our campuses, stands as a symbol of the university’s traditions and excellence,” Schmidly said. “The heritage already embodied in Old Central will be invigorated by their achievements.” Completed in 1894, Old Central was the first permanent building erected on the Stillwater campus. Initially called the College Building, it has been a multipurpose facility almost since its dedication, providing accommodations for classes, cultural programs, the student newspaper and the college’s first print shop. Classes were last convened in the building in 1921. Saved from demolition in 1928 and 1955, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Much of the interior has been refurbished to appear as it did at the turn of the century. The initial phases of the pending restoration will involve repair of the foundation and roof and strengthening each floor’s loading capacity. Also, the building will be brought into compliance with ADA accessibility standards. “Old Central will be a wonderful home for the Honors College as we educate scholars and leaders for the 21st Century,” said Dr. Robert Spurrier, Honors College director. “We anticipate that the design will include classrooms for honors courses and seminars, computer facilities, small group study areas and room for larger gatherings along with our office space.” The nationally-recognized Honors College serves nearly 900 of the university’s top students from all six undergraduate colleges on the Stillwater campus. Spurrier said they are afforded the opportunity to study with the university’s finest faculty throughout their undergraduate careers as they prepare to undertake the research that leads to their senior honors theses. Special honors seminars and team-taught interdisciplinary honors courses along with honors courses in a wide variety of academic disciplines provide both breadth and depth to these students’ honors experience. And special honors academic counseling is provided through the Honors College from the freshman year through graduation. “Approval of this project by our Board of Regents is one more indication of the level of support we receive at OSU as we challenge and support these outstanding students through the Honors College,” Spurrier said. OSU will fund the renovation of Old Central through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s capital lease program.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:20:24 -0500
OSU Set to Begin Unprecedented Building Period
TULSA – The Oklahoma State University System will soon be in the midst of an unprecedented capital improvement period, with nearly $309.8 million worth of construction projects, either planned or already underway. Speaking at a regular meeting of the OSU/A&M Board of Regents at OSU-Tulsa on Friday, OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly said that OSU is entering a building period unmatched in its history, with current or planned construction projects worth more than $253.8 million for academics and student needs and $56 million in improvements for athletics. “For the next three to five years, OSU will build a record number of outstanding facilities that will help us achieve our goal of becoming a top 75 comprehensive research institution,” Schmidly said. “From academics to research to athletics, OSU will be a much different and much improved university for our students, faculty and staff.” Schmidly told regents that the OSU System will receive $108.1 million from the 2005 Higher Education Bond issue and has identified an additional $52.7 million to supplement the bond issue and pay for additional improvements and new facilities on its campuses. OSU also has an additional $149 million in current construction projects and other planned improvements that are being paid for with funds from other state, private and federal sources. “Higher education is vital to the people of Oklahoma and our state’s future success,” Schmidly said. “These projects are smart investments, and we are committed to getting the most out of the dollars that will be given to us. We also have been fortunate in finding additional resources to put together a comprehensive plan to improve educational and research facilities at all of our campuses.” At OSU-Tulsa, for example, $12.9 million in bond issue money is helping to pay for a $41.49-million Advanced Technology Research Center (ATRC), with site work scheduled to start in late August. Additional funds are coming from the city of Tulsa’s Vision 2025 bonds. The center will focus on the development of next generation composites and materials for industries such as aerospace, biotechnology, telecommunications and manufacturing. Scheduled for completion in the Summer, 2007, the ATRC will create new jobs and attract new industries to the Tulsa region. The center will produce an annual payroll of about $4 million and attract an additional $5-6 million of federal and private research funds, annually. Following Schmidly’s remarks, regents gave OSU the go-ahead to begin the process of selecting design firms and taking other preliminary steps for $90.8 million in bond issue projects and $23 million in other projects that will be funded by state, federal and private sources. These include: A $70.3-million interdisciplinary Science and Technology Center that will dramatically improve OSU’s research capabilities by providing state-of-the-art laboratories and other research space. The funding also will renovate and update existing laboratories that are vacated by scientists who move into the new center. The center will be paid for with $66.3 million in bond proceeds and the rest from other sources. The planned location is west of the Physical Sciences building near Monroe Street. A $20-million Multi-Modal Transportation facility that will serve as a transportation hub for the OSU campus and regional users. The facility, on the northeast corner of Hall of Fame and Monroe Streets, will be paid for with $15 million in Federal Transit Administration funds and $5 million in user and parking fees. A $7-million classroom building that will be built in partnership with Northern Oklahoma College (NOC) on the north side of the OSU campus. NOC has pledged $3 million of its bond issue money for the building, and OSU will use $1 million from the bond issue and $3 million from other sources for the project. A $3.5-million Public Safety Training Facility at OSU-Oklahoma City that will consist of new training areas to enhance and expand existing academic programs in police, fire, emergency medical services and emergency management. Funding will come from the bond issue and other sources. A $3-million project to renovate Old Central for the OSU Honors College. Funding will be provided by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Capital Lease Program. A $4-million project to renovate and improve the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa. Funding will come from the bond issue. A $6-million Rural Health Science and Technology Center at OSU-Okmulgee, with total funding from bond proceeds. The center will contain laboratories, classrooms and offices for applied research, technology transfer, technical education and clinical residency. Still in the planning stages are $70 million in additional OSU-System bond issue projects, including the renovation of Murray Hall at OSU-Stillwater. The $16-million Murray Hall project will convert the former residence hall into modern classrooms, computer laboratories, offices, and auditoriums. According to OSU Provost and Senior Vice President Marlene Strathe, a majority of Murray Hall will be assigned to departments within the OSU College of Arts & Sciences; however, faculty from other colleges may use facilities in the building and will teach in general university classrooms. She said a planning committee is determining the optimum space utilization for the building. Also in the planning stage is a $12.4-million upgrade of the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory that will be funded by a special legislative appropriation. Construction already underway at OSU includes $61 million in new student housing and the $56-million Phase Two modernization of Boone Pickens Stadium.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:20:24 -0500
OSU moves forward in search for VP for athletics
TULSA -- Oklahoma State University announced plans for moving forward with its national search for a new director of athletics at today’s Board of Regents meeting. The search will begin on August 1 and will be completed as soon as possible. In an important step, the OSU Board approved a change in the athletic director title that better reflects the executive responsibilities of the position and the seamless interaction expected with the executive leadership of the University. The new title is Vice President for Athletic Programs and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. To help conduct the search, the University announced a 15-member search advisory committee of OSU faculty, administrators, students, and supporters, which will be chaired by John Clerico of Tulsa. The consulting firm of Eastman & Beaudine, Inc. has been retained to assist with the search. “We are accelerating the process to conduct a national search and are very pleased with the level of interest we have received,” said OSU System CEO and President David Schmidly. “We are moving forward and we are excited about the future of OSU athletics." Vice President for Athletic Programs and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Search Advisory Committee Chariman -- John Clerico, businessman Bobby Stillwell, businessman Ross McKnight, businessman Kay Norris, OSU Heritage Hall volunteer Joe Hall, OSU A&M regent Jay Helm, OSU A&M regent Al Goodbary, OSU System chief of staff John Fernandes, president, OSU Center for Health Sciences Cornell Thomas, OSU VP for Institutional Diversity Gerald Lage, OSU Faculty Athletic Representative Marilyn Middlebrook , OSU associate athletic director of academic services John Smith, OSU head wrestling coach Ashland Watson, OSU student athlete Gary Clark, OSU Foundation Don Murray, OSU Faculty Council
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:20:24 -0500
Teaching Technique Makes OSU English Language Program a National Leader
As one of the first programs in the nation to develop part of its master's curriculum around a new teaching method called a “simulation,” Oklahoma State University’s Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) program is considered a national leader in teaching English to second language learners. Combining real world situations with the traditional classroom experience, simulations encourage students to practice their natural language skills by participating in situations that mimic real-life situations, such as a court room proceeding or town meeting. According to Dr. Gene Halleck, associate professor in OSU's TESL program, simulations are ideal for language instruction because they offer the student a minimal amount of emotional risk. She says students are less nervous playing roles because they aren’t afraid to be embarrassed if they make a mistake. A group of OSU graduate students recently got some first-hand experience with the technique when they traveled with Halleck to Tianjin, China and Takasaki, Japan. While there, they conducted simulation sessions with Chinese and Japanese university students who are second-year English majors. Discussions about panda preservation, the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs during the Olympics and the ethics of whale hunting were featured during simulation sessions. Emily Blackshear, a first year graduate student from Paragould, Arkansas, was one of the OSU students who went to China. Blackshear says the teaching method is very effective because students take the role playing so seriously. “They are very committed to the technique, so they really got into their roles,” she said. “Some of them had a hard time getting out of the roles, and sometimes the discussions got a little heated.” However, Blackshear says the passion for the role playing is a good thing because students feel more of a connection to a language if they are investing their emotions. “I would say that 90 percent of our students in both countries were happy with their experience and would like simulations incorporated into their classroom experience,” she said. “The best simulations are based on an issue the student has a direct interest in,” says Halleck. “Many English classes that are taught in other countries are teacher-centered, rather than student-centered.  By introducing simulations we are attempting to 'de-classroom' the instruction."  Halleck says OSU has been leading the way in simulation research since the mid-90s when it was one of the first programs in the nation to design the curriculum of its international composition courses around simulations. A seminar in simulation and gaming is also offered through the graduate program which is rare for any department much less English ones, Halleck said. Dr. Carol Moder, head of OSU's English department, says the program is strong because of its progressive minded faculty and graduate students. In fact, the program is so well regarded that only two of the six students who went to China were from Oklahoma. Similar to Blackshear, OSU-Tulsa student Jessica Hampton also traveled from out of state to attend OSU's TESL program. Hampton, a first-year graduate student from Connecticut, says she chose OSU for its strong TESL program. "Working with faculty who are on the cutting edge of a hot new research field was one of the many reasons I chose OSU," said Hampton. "Along with the research, our program is proactive in taking its students overseas to teach in foreign classrooms. Having hands on experience especially in classrooms overseas makes me even more marketable as an OSU graduate." Halleck says the program’s future is bright because English remains the dominant language of commerce in the world. “English will continue to be important because it is used all over the world for business between persons who do not share a first language,” she says. “For example, a person who sells fish in Finland uses English to communicate with his customers in Germany or France, just as a businessman in Asia uses English to communicate with other businessmen in the region who do not share his first language. Our graduates who teach English to the world will continue to find great opportunities.”
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:20:24 -0500
Grad student participates in NASA summer program
An Oklahoma State University physics student working on the university’s development of a radiation sensor for astronauts was part of an international group of researchers chosen to examine deep space travel-related health issues for NASA this summer. Second-year Ph.D. student Gabriel Sawakuchi was among 15 participants in the 2005 NASA Summer Student program held at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. Bringing together physicists and biological scientists and centered on topics such as the effects of deep-space radiation on humans and the dangers of developing cancer during long voyages, the programs’ purpose is to steer researchers into the emerging field of space radiobiology. “We need to better understand the effects of ionizing radiation found in long-distance and long-term space flights, and how to best shield against it,” said Dr. Marcelo E. Vazquez, medical scientist at Brookhaven Lab and co-director of the NASA Summer Student program. “There is a strong need for scientists dedicated exclusively to this field who will ask the best questions and seek good answers.” The program is sponsored by NASA and coordinated by Brookhaven Lab, Loma Linda University Medical Center and a consortium of universities, research organizations and governmental agencies called the Universities Space Research Association. Students participate in both classroom activities and scientific experiments, working side-by-side with top space scientists. Experimental creativity and interdisciplinary approaches are emphasized.  “One branch of science cannot provide adequate answers to the complex questions raised by space radiation,” Vazquez said. “So we actively seek the most talented investigators and emerging scientists from a range of disciplines who will learn a range of techniques and approaches that will enable them to make an impact in this growing field.”  Sawakuchi is a member of the team of researchers exploring new applications for the radiation sensor pioneered by OSU’s physics department. Under the tutelage of Dr. Eduardo Yukihara, who along with Dr. Stephen McKeever oversees activities within OSU’s dosimeter laboratory at the Oklahoma Research and Technology Park, Sawakuchi is helping develop the sensor as a platform for a radiation detecting device for astronauts. “My Ph.D. project is related to the development of a device that can detect the complex radiation field found in space,” Sawakuchi said. “In the NASA summer school, the main topic was to understand the effects of radiation on cells and how it is related to mechanisms that may cause damage to DNA.” “Although the main subject of the NASA program was biology, it was a complement to what we’re doing at OSU, and I believe our work on space research here was the main reason I was chosen,” he said. The NASA Summer Student program, now in its second year, is held at Brookhaven Lab’s NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) and Medical Department. Studies at the NSRL focus on how the radiation can damage the central nervous system and other bodily systems – as well as how the intense rays may promote the development of cancer. NSRL researchers are also looking at ways to protect against these dangers through shielding and other strategies to minimize the risk to space travelers.   Operational since 2003, the NSRL is one of the few places in the world where the harsh cosmic and solar radiation found in space can be simulated. The lab employs beams of heavy ions extracted from Brookhaven’s booster accelerator, considered the best in the United States for studying the effects of radiation on living organisms. Scientists from more than 20 research institutions from throughout the nation and abroad work year-round at the facility to learn about the possible risks to space explorers exposed to deep-space radiation.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:20:24 -0500
Childcare program draws positive reviews and expansion hopes
Early childhood education experts at Oklahoma State University are hoping to expand a training program that received positive reviews when they presented it to almost 200 childcare licensing professionals across the state this summer.  “Many of the participants recommended that we offer the training to every professional child caregiver in Oklahoma and we eventually hope to offer something similar to parents,” says Dr. Barbara Sorrels, assistant professor of early childhood education at OSU-Tulsa. Sorrels and her colleague Faye Ann Presnal, both with the College of Human Environmental Sciences at OSU, developed and recently presented the training module to childcare licensing experts from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS). “The program encourages child care providers to make the best use of materials and equipment that most of them already have on hand at their facilities,” says Sorrels. “We’re really talking about helping caregivers organize and use what they have to provide children with an optimal learning experience.” The program called “Creating Effective Learning Environments,” is based on research by Dr. Deborah Norris at OSU, which shows that focusing on five different ‘interest centers’ in a child care facility can help create a better environment for learning. The five centers include art, blocks, dramatic play, library and manipulatives (hands-on toys and games). “Quality care is directly related to the quality of training that care givers receive and that’s why we’re hoping to find avenues of funding so we can make this available on a voluntary basis to child caregivers throughout Oklahoma,” says Sorrels. State-of-the-art facilities and materials don’t necessarily indicate a quality environment and instead it is often the level of interactions between caregivers and children that determines real quality, according to Sorrels. “Appearances can be deceiving. That’s why we’d like to develop a parent version of the program, so that parents can understand what quality environments not only look like but how they can best support their child’s development.”The “Creating Effective Learning Environments,” is a training module developed to support a quality enhancement initiative known as “Reaching for the Stars.” The initiative awards child care facilities that meet and exceed state and national standards. For more information about the “Creating Effective Learning Environments” training module, contact Dr. Barbara Sorrels at 918-594-8169 or<
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:19:56 -0500
Equine West Nile Vaccines Effective; Humans Still Waiting
The Oklahoma State University veterinarian who diagnosed the first cases of the West Nile virus in Oklahoma this year says its occurrence in horses in the state appears to be in decline, due primarily to the proliferation of vaccinations. An inoculation for humans, however, remains under development.             The confirmation Thursday, July 7 of two horses in Comanche and Washita counties testing positive for the virus was the result of evaluations conducted on June 23 and June 28 by Dr. Jeremiah T. Saliki, a virologist at the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, a unit of the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. Saliki and his staff analyzed blood samples submitted to the lab by two veterinarians who suspected the virus upon observing animals that demonstrated its clinical symptoms, such as staggering on the hind legs, uncontrollable muscle twitching and other central nervous system disorders.            According to Saliki, since the West Nile virus was first observed in Oklahoma in 2002, veterinarians have seen progressively smaller numbers of infected horses, and those that demonstrate its clinical symptoms often suffer less severely. He attributes both to widespread vaccinations that currently boast a rate of protection effectiveness approaching 94 percent. According to Saliki, no specific, equine treatment exists for the West Nile virus, but approximately 80 percent of horses that demonstrate its clinical symptoms and receive care return to normal, for the most part. Owners are strongly encouraged to get their horses vaccinated.  A few facts about the West Nile virus according to Dr. Saliki:Receptors possessed by humans, horses and many bird species allow them to be infected by the virus and determine their levels of susceptibility. The only way to contract the virus is to be bitten by a mosquito. The virus is spread almost entirely by mosquitoes that have bitten an infected bird. Transmission by a mosquito that has bitten an infected horse or human is unlikely because humans and horses are dead-end hosts. The virus cannot be contracted by interaction with infected humans or horses since they are dead-end hosts. To avoid infection, avoid mosquito bites. Tips include:Do not allow water to stand and stagnate around the house, e.g., in old tires. And aerate pools and ponds. If possible, avoid going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Apply insect repellant and wear long pants and long sleeves.For more information, reporters may contact Dr. Jeremiah Saliki at OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences at 405-744-6623.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:19:56 -0500
OSU Ranks High for American Indian Degrees
Oklahoma State University ranks first in the nation for numbers of degrees awarded to American Indians in agricultural sciences and biomedical sciences, according to Black Issues in Higher Education. The magazine recently published its annual report titled “100 Top Degree Producers – Undergraduate Degrees 2005.” The report ranks colleges for graduation rates of African American, Latino, Asian American and American Indian students. OSU was also recognized as the No. 2 producer for all American Indian bachelor degrees combined. Next to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OSU ranked second in the nation. The OSU-Stillwater campus also ranked in the top ten in seven other majors for minority degree producers, including psychology, engineering, education, business, literature and social sciences. OSU has a prestigious record for awarding degrees to American Indian students. OSU is first in the nation in the number of doctorates in the combined fields of psychology, engineering and science. It ranks second in the number of doctorates in psychology awarded to American Indians. A $750,000 grant announced this year supports a program that encourages American Indian students to pursue graduate degrees in psychology. As one of the few programs like it in the nation, the American Indians Into Psychology program at OSU has been continuously funded since 1997, with almost $2.1 million in funding. Dr. Pete Coser, American Indian coordinator at the OSU Multicultural Student Center, said OSU has made a concerted effort to recruit American Indian students for several years. “Our American Indian enrollment has been steady,” Coser said. “We do everything we can to inform our native communities that OSU is a good and supportive place to be.” Dr. Howard Shipp, director of the Multicultural Student Center, said OSU is making great strides in minority recruitment and retention. “We offer more than 10 different programs and departments that assist minorities to achieve their ultimate potential and eventually graduate,” Shipp said. “Seventeen percent of the OSU student body consists of minority undergraduates, with 1,662 American Indian students.” Offices that serve and help minority students at OSU include the Native American Faculty & Staff Association, the OSU American Indian Alumni Association, the Native Americans in Biological Sciences Project, the American Indians Into Psychology Project, the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology, the Native American Student Association and the American Indian Society of Engineering Students. “While the current rankings are great news, we intend to continue building additional networks and organizations to help our American Indian and other minority students excel in their studies at OSU,” Shipp said.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:19:56 -0500