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Foundation chair says Pickens' gift prompted board to act
The chairman of the Puterbaugh Foundation’s board of trustees says Boone Pickens’ latest gift was one of the factors behind his foundation’s move to fund a new professorship in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University.   “The board saw Boone Pickens’ gift to OSU as reason for excitement and confidence in the university’s future and proposed to fund the professorship,” said Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Steven Taylor, an OSU alumnus, and the only OSU graduate on the foundation board.   “I think there’s a message there,” added Taylor, “that Boone Pickens’ gifts can serve as a catalyst.”   Taylor announced the establishment of an endowment for the Puterbaugh Professorship in Legal Studies and Ethics in Business for the Spears School of Business on Wednesday, Feb. 15, while serving as the first lecturer in the Puterbaugh lectureship series that was established by the same foundation last year. “This professorship is exactly what J.G. Puterbaugh would have wanted to see his money used for since he was a strong advocate of education and businesses that give back to their community,” said Taylor, who emphasized government service and ethics in business and government to the students and others who heard his lecture, Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the ConocoPhillips Alumni Center.   Justice Taylor was appointed to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma in 2004. In his 21 years as a trial judge, he has presided over more than 500 jury trials, including the Terry Nichols Oklahoma City bombing case. After earning his B.A. in political science from OSU in 1971, Taylor attended the University of Oklahoma College of Law and received his juris doctor degree in 1974. Taylor says he is honored to serve as chair of the Puterbaugh Foundation and recommended that students readily accept invitations to serve on the boards of foundations and trusts. Taylor explained that Puterbaugh, the namesake for the foundation, was a successful McAlester businessman, dedicated to educational and civic activity. Puterbaugh established one of the first business-funded local charities in southeast Oklahoma. The Puterbaugh Foundation also funds a professorship at the OSU Edmon Low Library.
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
OSU Prepares to Celebrate Research
Stillwater—OSU prepares to celebrate research with a series of activities focused on science and the arts the week of February 20-24, 2006. The event, officially proclaimed by Governor Henry as OSU Research Week, is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer at OSU. The public is welcome to attend and all events are free (unless otherwise stated). A detailed schedule is available at Monday, February 20 Dr. John Mowen, Regents Professor in OSU’s Department of Marketing, kicks off the week by delving into the complicated relationship between science and society and an anti-science movement that Mowen believes could render researchers irrelevant. Mowen proposes that researchers take a proactive role in communicating their findings to the public through a new “Center” created to communicate with passion and clarity the importance of science, research and technology for all humanity. Professor Eve Levin, University of Kansas, an internationally-renowned scholar of medieval and early modern Russia and Eastern Europe, will explore the clash of cultures that occurred when new Western medicine was imported into Russia. Western-style medicine practiced exclusively by men mostly for men took hold in the early eighteenth century creating hostility to folk healing or ‘witchcraft’ and spiritual healing or ‘superstition.’ Levin’s talk is part of the Tornado Alley Russian History Lecture series funded by the Fae Rawdon Norris Endowment’s Fund for the Humanities. Tuesday, February 21 Dr. Rafael Fierro, Brent Perteet and James McClintock, OSU’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will demonstrate three robotic games—Marco Polo, Hide and Seek, and Search and Rescue—designed for Native American children between the ages of six and ten. The project uses robotics games to encourage underrepresented cultural groups to consider engineering as a career. Research shows that undergraduate enrollment in engineering has dropped steadily since the 1950s, a trend that could dramatically reduce scientific innovation and expansion in this country. Wednesday, February 22 Dr. Roland Fryer, Harvard economist, a rising star in the academic world looks at the condition of Black America and the racial achievement gap in education. Fryer is considered one of the country’s best young economists today, but his personal passion to better understand the underlying causes of the achievement gap comes from having survived a challenging and tumultuous childhood. The lecture and reception that follow are part of the OSU Research Symposium, February 22-24. Thursday, February 23 Pulitzer-Prize Winning author Jared Diamond will look at past societies and discuss the more recent belief that their collapses were due in part to types of environmental problems, much like those experienced today. Easter Island, the Anasazi, the Lowland Maya, Angkor Wat, Great Zimbabwe are all victims. Other societies though did not collapse, and self-inflicted, environmental damage inevitably interacts with climate change and relations with friendly and hostile neighbors. What makes certain societies especially vulnerable? Why didn’t their leaders perceive and solve their environmental problems? What can we learn from their fates, and what can we do differently today to avoid collapse. A book signing follows the presentation which begins at 7 p.m. in the Click Alumni Hall, OSU Alumni Center. Friday, February 24 The OSU Center for Health Sciences research symposium showcases the translational research taking place at OSU-CHS. Over 40 presentations will highlight work performed by the Center for Integrative Neuroscience and the Center for Biomedical Sensors and Integrative Diagnostics. Dr. Rosemarie Booze will give the keynote address on “Neurobiology of HIV Dementia and Substance Abuse” followed by a panel discussion of her work with particular emphasis on women’s health and substance abuse. Many more activities are scheduled throughout the week. Refer to the schedule for times and room numbers and visit the website for speaker information and descriptions of all activities scheduled during the week. Research Week Contact: Darla Duncan, Office of the VP for Research and Technology Transfer, 405-744-6370; Press Contact: Jana Smith, Research Communications, 405-744-5827.
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
Changes at State Department subject of OSU Global Briefing
The new agenda for the U.S. State Department, a strategic overhaul that includes the repositioning of hundreds of American diplomats around the world, will be the topic of a lecture Thursday at Oklahoma State University by one of the department’s senior human resources officials. Ambassador John M. O’Keefe, deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Human Resources, will present, “Transformational Diplomacy,” Feb. 16 at 3:30 p.m. at OSU’s Wes Watkins Center. O’Keefe, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, headlines the first event of the OSU School of International Studies’ Global Briefing Series this year. The lecture and reception following are free and open to the public. Transformational Diplomacy refers to plans announced Jan. 18 by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice for the realignment of the State Department to lay diplomatic foundations required to secure freedom for all people around the globe. According to a report released by the department coinciding with Rice’s announcement, America has no formal diplomatic presence in almost 200 cities worldwide with more than one million people. The shift of department resources and personnel from the final vestiges of its Cold War posture to critical emerging areas in Africa, South Asia, East Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere begins immediately this year with 100 current positions being moved primarily from Europe and Washington, D.C. Rice’s ambitious vision calls for the adoption of a regional focus to address transnational challenges; localization, or moving diplomats into the field where they can help shape outcomes rather than report on them; additional skills training for diplomacy staffs to carry out multiple, complex tasks; and refinement of the collaborative process by which diplomats work with other federal agencies.   O’Keefe headed the Office of Career Development and Assignments before assuming his current position in 2004. He served as U.S. ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from 2000-2003, and previous posts include Moscow, Belgrade and the Philippines. As deputy executive director of the Bureau of European Affairs, O’Keefe was deeply involved in the consolidation of U.S. presence in countries of the former Soviet Union and the Balkans. As a management counselor in Belgrade from 1989-1992, he played a key role in the protection and ultimate evacuation of staff from the embassy in Belgrade, the consulate general in Zagreb and offices in Ljubljana, Podgorica, Sarajevo and Skopje.   O’Keefe, who speaks Russian and Serbo-Croatian, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Loyola College in Baltimore. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University.   The mission of OSU’s School of International Studies is to provide a university-wide focus to expand international opportunities in instruction, research and outreach for individuals and organizations seeking a greater understanding and involvement in international affairs. The school is part of the International Education and Outreach unit, which helps carry out the university’s mission of providing educational programs and services beyond traditional campus boundaries.   The school coordinates academic programs and opportunities with colleges and departments throughout the OSU system. Its components include the International Bureaus, English Language Institute, Study Abroad, a Peace Corps recruiting office, Fulbright Resource Center and a Graduate Program offering a master’s degree and a certificate in international studies and the master’s International Peace Corps degree. More than 145 OSU faculty members participate in School activities. For information, visit
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
ConocoPhillips' gift of up to $2 million creates OSU sensor facility, boosts Ponca City
PONCA CITY, OK -- Oklahoma State University and the City of Ponca City announced today a far-reaching gift of a research building and up to $2 million from ConocoPhillips that will create a national sensor testing center and provide a significant economic boost to North-Central Oklahoma. With this leadership gift of funding and facilities, Oklahoma State University will establish the University Multispectral Laboratory (UML) in a 70,000 square-foot building located at the ConocoPhillips complex in Ponca City.  The laboratory will provide services to federal, state, local and commercial organizations. “We’re delighted to contribute to this important OSU testing facility, which will also provide significant economic benefits to the community,” said George Paczkowski, ConocoPhillips vice president of Downstream Technology. “This laboratory will not only benefit OSU and support our nation’s defense and security efforts, but will also have a significant economic development impact on Ponca City and North-Central Oklahoma.”  Oklahoma State University System CEO and President David J. Schmidly said, “ConocoPhillips continues to raise the bar with this gift that will strengthen OSU’s position as a leader in the critical area of sensor and sensor-related technology research.  This is a tremendous boost to our efforts as a research institution, as well as the regional and statewide economy.  ConocoPhillips is OSU’s largest corporate donor and we appreciate all they have done for our university.” “Ponca City is elated about this latest partnership with our city, ConocoPhillips and Oklahoma State University,” said Ponca City Mayor Dick Stone.  “This is an incredible opportunity that will have a significant impact not only on our community but our entire region.” When fully operational, UML will employ 80 scientists, engineers and support personnel with an annual payroll of approximately $13.8 million. According to the Ponca City Development Authority, the projected economic impact on the surrounding area will be $120 million over ten years. “This is an extraordinary gift that will elevate our work and opportunities,” said Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma State University’s Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer.  “The UML will fulfill a national need for a single sensor testing and evaluation facility by enabling the rapid transfer of innovative technologies from the laboratory to the end user.  And, it opens the door to secure future federal funding.” OSU’s leading-edge researchers already collaborate with government, industry and other universities to develop innovative sensor and sensor-related technologies for commercialization.  Developments at OSU include bacterial sensors, biomedical sensors, environmental sensors, optical sensors and sensors for homeland security and defense applications.  The new OSU University Multispectral Laboratory will create additional interdisciplinary opportunities for faculty and students working on sensor and sensor-related research projects. The UML will be managed by AMTI, a government contractor based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with offices in Ponca City since 2003, and a leading supplier of professional and technical services.  AMTI has unique capabilities and an outstanding track record in the areas of defense, homeland security and intelligence analysis.  “AMTI offers the technical, tactical and management expertise needed to organize and operate the UML,” said McKeever.  “AMTI personnel have managed many programs related to sensor and detector system development and we look forward to what we can accomplish together.” Tim Reynolds, AMTI Director of Government Affairs said, “We want to commend ConocoPhillips for this tremendous leadership gift and for its confidence in our company and Oklahoma State University, and for its long-standing commitment to Ponca City.” Norm Carley, President, CEO and Founder of AMTI said, “We are proud the technology developed by UML will benefit the war-fighter and our national security as a whole.  OSU maintains a talented staff, which we are pleased to augment with our corporate personnel and expertise.  This partnership will positively impact the Oklahoma economy and the safety of the nation.  Needless to say, AMTI is very excited about this opportunity.”
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
Opportunities abound in Egyptian exchange
STILLWATER, Okla. – Camels, the pyramids and ancient history lure visitors to Egypt every year. Thousands of tourists from around the globe trek to the capital, Cairo, and then move up and down the Nile River in search of the past. For an Oklahoma State University journalism professor, these items provided just a backdrop for a teaching experience that personally rivaled the ancient wonders of the region. Shaun Schafer, a visiting assistant professor, recently returned from a month of teaching business reporting at two universities in Cairo. “It was both overwhelmingly different and surprisingly familiar,” Schafer said. “For all the daily challenges in culture, language and even traffic, there was the familiarity of students. “The energy level of the campuses in Egypt made it seem like home, just with a very different accent.” Schafer, who teaches reporting and business reporting at OSU in Stillwater, taught classes at Cairo University, the nation’s largest public university, and at Misr International University, a small, private institution. Cairo University, founded in 1908 and the oldest university in Egypt, boasts total enrollment of 200,000. MIU, which was founded seven years ago, claims an enrollment of 3,000. “You knew from the first moment you saw the campus that these were two very different kinds of schools,” Schafer said. “Classes at Cairo U were measured in the hundreds. At MIU, they were measured in the dozens. The schools give you a very different sense of scale.” In each university, Schafer said he found a group of eager students with a surprisingly high familiarity with the United States. “Most of what my students knew about living in the U.S. came from American movies, which are everywhere,” he said. “I saw more American-made films in a month of watching television there than I would in six months at home.” The trip carried with it some language and cultural challenges. Schafer confessed that he spoke little Arabic beyond a few phrases of greetings. Fortunately, his students at both universities were working in English-language systems. “If I had taught in Arabic, it would have been a very brief class,” he said. Most of the cultural differences were easy to handle, Schafer said. Getting used to the Muslim holy day of Friday and the Friday-Saturday weekend wasn’t a problem, he said. Day-to-day life proved more problematic. “The traffic is insane. People sometimes stop on green lights, go on reds and every left turn seems to involve a U-turn,” Schafer said. “I could live there a decade and still not feel confident driving.” Even hired veteran drivers face the same challenge, he said. “It’s easier to find a cold beer on Friday than it is to find a car without a scratch, ding or dent from a past trip,” Schafer said. “A bus nicked one of the cars I was riding in. The road system works, but it takes a lot out of you.” Eating in Egypt presented few problems. Getting “fuul” for the first time, a fava bean-based dish, or a “Fayrouz,” an Egyptian soda, made dining more entertaining, Schafer said. Other than some questionable beef kofta, a grilled meat, one afternoon in Cairo, gastronomical nightmares were rare, he said. “I became addicted to their fresh-squeezed orange juice,” he said. “Breakfast will never be the same.” Classes seemed very similar to home, Schafer said. While the students appeared eager, teaching differed from the American experience, Schafer said. “Most classes are hour-and-a-half lectures twice a week,” Schafer said. “And most of them start about 20 minutes late, so student kind of saunter in at their leisure. I know my OSU students would have loved that.” For longer classes, there is also the habit of taking a break in the middle. Students would often use the time for a quick cigarette break in the hallways, Schafer said. “Classrooms are among the few places where smoking is forbidden,” he said. “I knew if a student didn’t come back after break I could probably find him – and it usually would be a guy – out smoking in the stairwell.” Overall, the experience made a positive impression on Schafer. One of the schools, MIU, expressed an interest in developing a formal exchange with OSU, which would allow students to transfer between the two institutions for classes. Both MIU and the Center for International Private Enterprise, the group that brought Schafer to Egypt, have talked about continuing the program this year. “I hope to go back and teach some more,” Schafer said. “More than anything else, I hope MIU develops a formal relationship with OSU. We have ties to three dozen universities around the globe, but none in Egypt. MIU would be a great place to start.”
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
Looking back: Will Rogers in Stillwater
Will Rogers’ visit to the OSU (Oklahoma A&M) campus 75 years ago this month drew plenty of attention and good reviews from the local press. One A&M student, whose letter home was featured in a college magazine following Rogers’ February 5, 1931 visit, put it like this:  “Rogers’ wisecracks are spread from coast to coast—and when I say ‘wisecracks’ I mean ‘wisecracks.’ He ridicules everyone from ‘king’ to ‘field mouse,’ and gets away with it—Well! Just to prove his power—the receipts for the performance totaled $2,507.52—bring on another individual who could extract two hundred and fifty thousand pennies from these seemingly penniless students.” Rogers came to Stillwater to raise money for families who’d been hit hard by drought during the Great Depression. According to published accounts in The Daily O’Collegian and The Stillwater Gazette, his stop here was one of many he made during a lengthy fundraising tour at the time and his popularity was obvious.       As the Gazette reporter put it: “… for two hours, Oklahoma’s favorite son rambled through a happy monologue that had the nearly 2,000 persons alternately rocking with laughter, nudging each other understandingly, or sitting alert, faces wreathed in smiles, ready to burst out again in gales of mirth or hand-clapping, or both.”       What made Rogers so special? The Gazette reporter confirmed the A&M student’s comment on “kings to field mice” by writing: “Will’s ready wit harpooned a sacred cow or two, polished off Governor Murray and pricked any bubble of self-importance that might be in the process of blowing by the thirteenth Oklahoma legislature. He handed a few warm ones to those present and the homefolks yelled for more….”       Rogers, who was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars at the time, had a tenth grade education, and his Stillwater visit allowed him to “serve up” plenty to his degree-bound audience.       “You know when a class graduates here, the smart ones go out and coach somewhere, and the dumb ones, they go to the legislature.       “All your speakers bring a message to the youth of Oklahoma. I’m not going to hand you any of that hooey. They generally say the future of the state depends on you. You know, we’ve got too many of you now. You are a pretty hard looking group. I don’t see anybody I’d like to take back to Hollywood.”       The day after his appearance in Stillwater, Rogers would write in his nationally syndicated daily newspaper column: “Played this morning at the best agricultural school in America, Oklahoma A and M. Their cattle win all the shows, and their boys win all the judging contests. It’s not a raccoon coat college.”
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
OSU Journalism Student Receives National Recognition for Reporting
An Oklahoma State University journalism student recently garnered national recognition for his investigative reporting from the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, which is often described as the collegiate Pulitzer Prizes.      John Estus, a news-editorial senior from Tulsa, was awarded third place in the in-depth writing competition. Estus’ eight-week investigation, published in The Daily O’Collegian in December, found that about $110,000 in federal funds intended to help poor Stillwater residents buy homes instead was given to middle-class buyers who did not qualify. A subsequent state audit of the housing program confirmed Estus’ findings. Estus and the OSU School of Journalism & Broadcasting will each receive $1,000 from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.      Eighty-eight students from 51 journalism schools nationwide competed in the in-depth writing competition.          Estus produced his story as part of the public affairs reporting course taught by associate professor Joey Senat last fall.      “This is well-deserved national recognition for John and our program,” Senat said. “John wasn’t afraid to report on a complicated subject, and he did so with the same expertise and diligence expected of professional reporters.”      Shortly after the article was published, Web sites for Investigative Reporters and Editors and for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism posted it as an example of excellent investigative reporting.      Only students from accredited journalism schools are eligible for the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, which is in its 46th year. The national program is “designed to encourage excellence in journalism and journalism education.” The entries are judged by panels of media professionals.
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
OSU Remembers Coretta Scott King
The Oklahoma State University family is saddened to hear of the passing of Coretta Scott King. The university issued the following statement from OSU System CEO and President David Schmidly: “I am so thankful to have had the honor to meet Mrs. King during her visit to Oklahoma State University last year. It was rewarding for the OSU community to listen to Mrs. King’s inspirational message on overcoming struggle and her tireless fight for racial equality. “For nearly 40 years after his death, Mrs. King gracefully and passionately carried the torch for her husband, Martin Luther King Jr., the icon of the civil rights movement in the United States. Mrs. King was a woman of conviction who displayed courage throughout her life. Like the rest of the nation, I am forever changed by her inspiration. “We join with all Americans and with people all around the world in mourning her death, as well as celebrating her life and her message of equality. It is a message that will help drive our efforts at OSU to be a more diverse university.”
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
OSU to celebrate inaugural Nancy Randolph Davis Day
Oklahoma State University’s Black History Month observance will begin tomorrow with a 2 p.m. celebration honoring one of the university’s foremost civil rights pioneers.Nancy Randolph Davis will be recognized during a 2 p.m. ceremony and reception inaugurating Feb. 1 as “Nancy R. Davis Day” at OSU. The official commemoration and presentation of a university resolution follows the Jan. 18 passage of a Student Government Association bill. The event in the OSU Student Union Atrium is open to the public and sponsored by SGA, the SGA Multicultural Affairs Committee, the African American Student Association and the Multicultural Student Center. Davis was the first African American admitted to Oklahoma A&M College. A 1948 graduate of Langston University, she taught one year in Spencer, Okla., before opting to pursue a master’s degree in home economics. Initially told that “blacks were not ready to go to school with whites,” Davis nevertheless was allowed to enroll in three courses in summer 1949. It was still illegal for black and white students to gather in the same classrooms, and state law imposed fines on university administrators who admitted black students, instructors who taught mixed classes and even the students who attended mixed classes. “In two classes I had to sit in the back of the room, and in the third I had to sit outside in the hallway. I had to look in through a window and listen through the door,” Davis said in a 1997 interview. “I was segregated for about a week and a half. After our first test (I made the second-highest score in the class), my classmates said that the laws were unfair, and they wanted me to sit in the class with them.” “When they invited me to sit with them, they made me feel important instead of different,” she said. Davis worked on her master’s in the summer while continuing to teach high school during the school year. She completed her degree in 1952. She spent 43 years as a high school teacher, including 33 years at Star-Spencer High School in Oklahoma City, educating students on more than home economics. Nurturing their self esteem and serving as a strong advocate when any stood up for their rights, she taught both black and white students how to respect and appreciate each other. Motivated by a belief that education is the key to success, Davis continued after her retirement in 1991 to assist community programs and efforts to improve the lives of young people, insisting that they, too, can make their dreams come true and providing inspiration. “I didn’t care what anyone said,” Davis said. “I didn’t let it discourage me – even if I did have to sit in the back of the classroom. “I knew that if they gave me a chance, I was going to make it.”
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
OSU to Host Mexican Delegation, Explore Partnership
OSU System CEO & President Dr. David Schmidly will host a delegation representing the Universidad de las Americas (UDLA) of Puebla, Mexico at the OSU-Stillwater campus on January 31st through February 2nd.  The ten member delegation will include UDLA President Dr. Pedro Angel Palou, UDLA Vice Chancellor Mtro. Jose Manuel Blanco Aspuru, UDLA Provost Dr. Francisco Guerra, and several Vice Presidents and Deans.  The purpose of the delegation’s visit is to meet with the OSU senior administration to discuss expanding the relationship between Oklahoma State University and UDLA. President Schmidly and UDLA President Dr. Pedro Angel Palou will execute a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a formal commitment to develop programs between the two universities.  The visit will also provide the Mexican delegation with the opportunity to tour the Stillwater campus and observe the student experience at OSU.  OSU Provost and Senior Vice President Marlene Strathe will lead the discussion with the UDLA delegation to discuss how UDLA and OSU can work together in the future.  Delegation members will also meet with their counterparts in OSU’s senior administration to conduct discussions aimed at significantly expanding not only university to university relations, but college-to college relationships and programs.  OSU Vice Presidents and Deans will meet with UDLA counterparts to discuss areas such as institutional development, research and technology, student affairs, business, and engineering.  "We are extremely honored to host our friends and fellow educators from Mexico," said Schmidly. "We welcome this opportunity to explore how our two outstanding universities can partner to strengthen the learning experience at both schools." The Universidad de las Americas, Puebla was founded in Mexico City in 1940.  In 1970 UDLA relocated to new facilities in Cholula, Puebla approximately 75 miles southeast of Mexico City.  UDLA has approximately 8,300 students and offers a number of academic programs through the doctoral level in a variety of disciplines.  UDLA is a university with strong international interests and commitments.  It maintains 154 agreements with universities from 25 countries on five continents.  It is the only private Mexican university that has several scholars who are members of the prestigious National System of Researchers in all areas of study.
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500