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Giving Value to a Day on the Lake
Thousands of visitors flock to Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees yearly. Photo by Tracy Boyer.   Spending a day on the lake is an Oklahoma tradition in the summertime, but how does this recreation add to the value of a watershed?  Max Melstrom, assistant professor of agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University, and Tracy Boyer, OSU associate professor of agricultural economics, are conducting research to determine the value of lake recreation for the Grand River watershed.  The impact on local economies and overall value of lake recreation often is overlooked because of difficulty in data collection, Melstrom said.  “Trips to the lake are not a market commodity in the usual sense, so value of lake recreation is not as obvious as a barrel of oil,” Melstrom said. “Still, once you crunch the numbers, it is clear activities like swimming and boating are worth a lot to people.” Since 1935, the Grand River Dam Authority, which serves as the public power utility for Oklahoma, has facilitated the use of the Grand River watershed in northeastern Oklahoma to produce energy, provide recreation, and conduct other aspects of lake management.   Through a $150,000 grant, GRDA is funding Melstrom and Boyer’s research to measure the local economic impacts of recreation at GRDA’s northeast Oklahoma lakes, including Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees, Lake Hudson, the W.R. Holway Reservoir and Lake Council Grove as well as the Elk River.  A large aspect of the research is the collection of visitor data at the lakes. Oklahoma City University students trained with OSU agricultural economics faculty on data collection before beginning the research project.  “OCU undergraduate students have provided a lot of assistance in this study through their surveying and interviewing efforts,” Melstrom said.  In addition to OCU students conducting surveys of visitors to the watershed, OCU faculty also will conduct the local economic impact analysis of spending by lake users, Melstrom said. These students have done the majority of data collection, Boyer said. OCU will receive $30,000 from the grant for its students’ data collection efforts. Melstrom said gathering the details and data needed for a study of this magnitude is difficult.  “Collecting information about visitors is a logistical challenge for studies like this,” Melstrom said. “Analysis is the easy part, but we spend hours, days and weeks trying to collect data to answer simple research questions.”  Data collection goes beyond learning what visitors spend and goes into aspects of visitor behavior, such as a visitation frequency and the availability of similar lakes near a visitor’s home, Melstrom said.  Susan Brand, an OSU agricultural economics master’s student, has supervised the OCU students collecting the data for this study. Brand said person-to-person conversation has yielded more information than other types of data collection.  “The most challenging part was getting people’s responses,” Brand said. “Half of the population seemed to be willing and eager to help us collect data, while others were more reluctant to want to give up some of their time.”  Boyer said solely measuring the spending on recreation can be misleading.  “The dollar amount spent on each activity can be deceptive when calculating the true value of a place like Grand Lake,” Boyer said.  “For a visitor, the lake is quite literally worth more than just the dollars and cents they paid in gas and food for the trip,” Boyer said. “There are indirect impacts visitor spending can have on the community, including additional income to non-hospitality business owners.” Although studies have been conducted on multiple watersheds across the country, little has been done to determine true non-market value of watersheds in Oklahoma, Melstrom said. “Without considering every aspect of watershed use, a true economic value of a watershed cannot be attained,” he said.  Much of the information collected is in relation to costs and benefits related to large events within the watershed’s communities. The project includes measuring the economic impact of the BASS Masters Classic fishing tournament in the Grand Lake area, Melstrom said. “Direct impact accounts for all costs directly linked to the use of the watershed for recreational purposes, but indirect impact accounts for any additional costs it may bring the community, including business owners who must account for the costs recreation can bring,” Boyer said. Boyer and Melstrom said the goal of the study is to inform people about the value of different water uses.  “We are focused on evaluating the non-market value of a watershed and its related activities,” Melstrom said. “I hope GRDA will use the information from this study to inform decision makers about recreation at the lake.”  By: Author: Oliver Henderson
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
A Cultural Impact
Of the 76 land-grant universities in the United States, hundreds of international students choose Oklahoma State University. What encourages them to study in Stillwater, Okla.? “OSU is a very welcoming environment for international students,” said David Henneberry, associate vice president in the OSU Division of International Studies and Outreach. “The feedback international students get from their peers is that OSU is a good place to be.” The Division of International Studies and Outreach reviewed student surveys and learned the first time OSU students met and interacted with someone from a culture outside of the U.S. was often at OSU, Henneberry said.  “One of the main reasons we try to have international students on campus is because they add diversity and a unique dimension that otherwise would not be here,” Henneberry said.  International students have the same admission process as other OSU students. However, international students are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language, Henneberry said, and obtain a certain TOEFL score to be admitted into OSU. Agriculture plays a major role in adding to the population’s diversity at OSU, and in respect to international students, it is no different. “Agriculture is unique and special in regard to international students,” Henneberry said, “because here in the United States we have figured out a lot of the problems associated with producing agricultural crops. When you look at how you increase production of wheat, corn, soybeans or livestock, we’ve faced most of the problems and found solutions.” International students come from countries where such advancements have not been made. OSU gives them the opportunity to learn techniques to help them improve productivity in their home countries, Henneberry said. “The students come here to get trained scientifically and take what they learned back to their countries,” Henneberry said. “Thus, they are better equipped to address their local problems.”  Most of the international students in agricultural majors are at the graduate level, Henneberry said. This year, the agricultural economics department has 22 undergraduate Chinese students who are part of a joint program with China Agricultural University, said Mike Woods, agricultural economics department head and professor. “They are greatly enhancing and adding to our diversity,” Woods said. “We are enjoying them.”  Ruoye Yang, an agricultural economics doctoral student from Beijing, China, earned her master’s at OSU after completing her undergraduate studies at China Agricultural University. “At OSU, you know more about agriculture and have professors who have strong academic ability,” Yang said. “That is why I chose this program.” Another reason international students choose OSU is the smooth transition into a new culture.  “In international travel, if you control the first 48 hours and make sure that experience is good, it makes the entire school year better,” Henneberry said. To control this window of time and create a positive arrival experience to the university, a group from the OSU Office of International Students and Scholars meets incoming students at the airport, provides bus transportation to Stillwater, and takes them directly to their housing, Henneberry said. “During arrival week, which is when everyone is coming to OSU, they have a table set up in the airport in Oklahoma City,” Henneberry said. “There is a big OSU banner, and the international students all know to look for that.” International students enjoy getting to mingle and learn new things about American culture, Henneberry said.  One way the agricultural economics department encourages mingling is by hosting an international dinner, Yang said. Graduate students bring international dishes special to their countries, and faculty members participate with American dishes. She said the dinner is a great way for students to socialize and learn about different cultures.  “International students love to meet Americans and have American friends, so it is pretty easy to talk to them, start a dialogue, and make a friendship,” Henneberry said. “That’s one thing that helps us also to have all of our students become comfortable with other cultures.”  When OSU’s American students are exposed to other cultures and are comfortable with these experiences, they become better professionals in the industry and in business, Henneberry said. Not only are international students creating an impact on campus, but also OSU is making an impact on them. Yang said her OSU experience has affected her career path. “I want to be an agricultural economics faculty member,” Yang said. “I hope I can make a contribution to international trade between China and the U.S. for agricultural products.”   By: Author: Caitlyn Garner
Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:13:09 -0600
The First Lady of OSU Concert to feature composer Igor Karaca
The works of composer Igor Karaca, who has written a diverse range of music from symphonies and motion picture soundtracks to jazz and pop-rock pieces, will be featured at the First Lady of OSU Concert on Sunday, Oct. 8, at 2:30 p.m. in the Seretean Center for the Performing Arts. The concert will start with Dr. Karaca’s own compositions, as performed by other faculty and the OSU Chamber Choir. It will conclude with Karaca on the jazz piano with support from the OSU Jazz Orchestra.  The concert is held in honor of Karaca, who is the recipient of this year’s First Lady of OSU Distinguished Music Faculty Award, presented by the Friends of Music, the OSU Music Department, and the First Lady of OSU, Ann Hargis.  He is currently teaching courses on music composition, counterpoint, music technology, and music theory at OSU.  Karaca, who came from Bosnia to the United States in 1999 to study music composition, received his doctorate at Ohio State University in 2005. His music employs a wide variety of techniques, ranging from subtly random, avant-jazz inspired textures, to more traditional, neoclassical style. His usual goal is to make his work accessible to a relatively large audience.  Karaca has written three symphonies, a suite for concert band, concertante works for clarinet and piano, thirty electronic and electro-acoustic compositions, over 70 chamber compositions, including the award winning “Wind Trio, Between Walls,” for violin, clarinet and piano, and “Handful of Dust,” for bass, clarinet and piano. He has composed dramatic scores for three motion pictures: “A House Over the Rainbow,” “Sarajevo War Diary,” and “Tell Me Your Name Again,” and three theater plays “Twelfth Night,” “Fate of a Cockroach,” and “Requiem for Bird Parker.” Karaca’s recent performances include premiers in the USA, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, and the Netherlands, with additional performances in Germany, Ireland, France, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was also a member of the Sarajevo Jazz Quartet, the jazz quintet called Happy End, and Bosnian pop-rock band Punkt, for which he played the piano, Hammond organ and electronic keyboards.  Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for students and senior citizens and may be purchased online at or at the Music Department Office, 132 Seretean Center, phone (405) 744-8998. Tickets will also go on sale at the box office in the Seretean Center one hour before the performance.
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
OSU Theatre Presents “The Birds”
Tickets are on sale for the OSU Department of Theatre’s Main Stage production of “The Birds,” from a short story that inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller as well as playwright Conor McPherson’s version, which will be featured Oct. 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 8 at 2:30 p.m. in the Viva Locke Theatre at the Seretean Center for the Performing Arts. Season tickets are still available along with single ticket purchases, the program is not recommended for children because of its strong language and adult themes. OSU’s first production of the year is similar to the movie as murderous birds attack and induce a societal collapse while strangers struggle for survival from the relentless terror. However, the similarities end there. The play is told from the perspective of Diane, who finds herself as one of the few survivors after a deadly apocalypse. Diane and Nat might be able to forge a plan for survival until strangers show up with their own secrets and mysterious agendas. The characters try to survive not only the birds but also each other as resources dwindle and life grows increasingly precarious. Head of the Department of Theatre Andrew Kimbrough doubles as the director for “The Birds.” “We chose this play for the season for the challenge it presents all of us,” Kimbrough said. “If we’re successful, everyone will feel terrified, but they’ll also be engrossed in the human story portrayed on stage. The cast has a difficult challenge, but they are up to it. They have been doing great in rehearsals.” Jacque Wieden plays Diane and describes the play as “a story of survival and life.” She reflects on her audition and work to find the essence of her character. “It was unlike anything I had ever auditioned for,” Wieden said. “Her personality seemed hard to capture. I kept thinking, If I get this role, I am going to spend all my free time figuring her out.” Wieden is a junior in the Department of Theatre and has played in previous productions, such as “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “Shipwrecked!” She plans to graduate in fall 2018. Emma White makes her Viva Locke Theatre debut as the antagonist, Julia, who battles Diane for survival. White is a freshman majoring in theatre. “The Birds” is her first college production, and she agrees the characters provide challenging roles. “I have never played a character in such a dire situation as Julia,” White said. “Obviously, I haven’t been in a situation like this before, either. I think it will be difficult, but I’m excited to grow as an actor and a person in the process. I’m always looking for a challenge.” Hayden Yoder, a sophomore majoring in theatre, felt challenged about his character, named Nat, who has to keep Diane and Julia from harming themselves and each other while fighting to secure their survival. “I am extremely happy with the character I get to portray because Nat is unlike any other character I’ve ever attempted,” Yoder said. “I believe Nat should be portrayed as a survivor. He's a man who is thinking of survival every second of every day no matter the situation.” Although Yoder played the role of a survivor before, in the Department of Theatre’s presentation of “Shipwrecked!,” he assures Nat is not like any other role he’s had. “What I need to do to prepare for this role is shed my previous characters. Nat is completely different than all the other characters I've portrayed and I have to discover who Nat really is.” Senior Chloe Mullin is responsible for the costume design — a first for her — after studying design and construction for four years. “The play offers lots of possibilities for the designer,” Mullin said. “First, it’s set a little in the future, when nobody really knows what styles will look like. Second, the characters become survivalists and have to dress like it. Designing something like this is not easy to pull off, but I’ve enjoyed the challenge immensely.” Junior Harley Roche executes the sound design. “So much of this story is told by what we hear,” Roche said. “It’s been a great exercise in exploring possibilities. We’ve got some surprises in store. If we’re lucky, we’ll get folks thinking birds are in the auditorium.” Rounding out the design team are faculty members Lee Brasuell, scenic design; Leslie Currell, lighting design; and Maggie Gayle, props. Join the Theatre for this intense thriller. Season tickets are still available, so don’t miss your last chance to purchase a full season pass—four tickets—at the following prices: general admission season tickets are $40; senior (65 and older) season tickets are $30, and student season tickets are $25. Patrons interested in attending a single show can purchase general admission tickets for $12 each; single tickets are $10 for seniors (65 and older), and student single tickets are $7. For more information about “The Birds” or the 2017-2018 season productions, please visit or call (405) 744-6094.
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
Native American twins at OSU to research insect-related diseases
Twins Taylor and Alexis Coles, Oklahoma State University entomology freshmen from Norman, have done everything together from day one. Now, their joint interest in the study of insects will take them on an adventure that could help improve the health of their fellow tribal nation members. Thanks to a grant to the Center for Sovereign Nations at OSU, the pair will join Dr. Wyatt Hoback in a research program that is exploring reasons Native Americans suffer twice the rate of certain insect-related diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, than non-natives.    Taylor and Alexis, who are members of the Choctaw Nation, are two of six Native American students who have received research funding from the grant, which partners the center, the Choctaw Nation and the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at OSU.  Dr. Elizabeth Payne, founder of the center, called Taylor to ask if she’d be interested in applying to the program, to which Taylor replied, “Only if there’s a spot for my sister.” At the time, Alexis, who was serving at a camp for children with cancer, said she remembers jumping at the chance to join her twin in the four-year program.  “I did it because of her,” Alexis said.  The sisters are pursuing a pre-medical degree option, something they feel passionately about after a shared childhood experience.  Alexis was diagnosed with a type of blood cancer in 2009 when she was nine years old. After receiving a bone marrow transplant from Taylor, both girls took an interest in the medical field.  “We knew that we wanted to be doctors, but that was about all we knew,” Taylor said. “We didn’t even know entomology was a path to healthcare, but we’ve learned so much about it now. We can help find cures for diseases in a way we didn’t even consider.”  Hoback, an assistant professor of entomology, said it is uncommon for people to consider an entomology major because they don’t see the value of studying bugs. However, insects kill more than one million humans a year and eat about 20 percent of the world’s food production.  “We designed this program to recruit Native American students to become entomologists with the idea of tying back to their tribes and helping out their nations,” Hoback said.  An important part of the students’ research will focus on learning whether the high rates of insect-related diseases are related to cultural practices or genetics.  Very few Native American students are currently earning degrees in entomology, Hoback said. In fact, OSU is one of only 13 entomology programs left in the nation.  “The lack of trained entomologists exacerbates losses caused by insects,” Hoback said.  With this in mind, Taylor and Alexis said it’s more important now than ever that Native American students pursue this degree and learn how to help their nations.  “We always knew we wanted to help people,” Alexis said. “We look forward to doing the research and hope that we’ll be able to give back to the Native American tribes and communities.”  The Center for Sovereign Nations was created in 2015 as part of OSU President Burns Hargis’ vision for focused service to the 38 federally recognized tribal nations in Oklahoma with a lead investment from the Chickasaw Nation. To learn more about the research program and the center, visit PHOTOS: Story by Aubrie Bowlan
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
Fourth Annual Cowboy Stampede, Oct. 5-7
Cowboys and rodeos are two things that just go together. The cowboys and cowgirls of the Oklahoma State Rodeo Team along with the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources are proud to present the 2017 Cowboy Stampede, Oct. 5-7 at the Payne County Fairgrounds. While the OSU Rodeo Team has been a tradition at Oklahoma State for over 70 years, this will be the fourth year hosting the Cowboy Stampede. In the previous years, this three-day event has brought more than 500 competitors representing 18 different colleges to Stillwater.  For the second year, the Stampede will serve as the official kickoff to “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration” presented by the OSU Alumni Association. The rodeo will feature special guest appearances by OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl, Ann; DASNR vice president Tom Coon and his wife, Rhonda; the 2017 Homecoming Royalty Court; and the 2017 Homecoming Executive Team. “We are excited to maintain the tradition of competitive collegiate rodeo in the community and to provide a family fun event that people of all ages will enjoy,” said Cody Hollingsworth, rodeo program coordinator and head coach.  Hungry rodeo spectators can enjoy a variety of food trucks that will be on site each evening, including I Don’t Know, I Don’t Care on Thursday and Purdy-Q on Thursday and Saturday, Café Bella on Friday, Two Roaming Bison and Spot On Mobile Kitchen on Friday and Saturday. Purdy-Q Sweet Treats will be on site all three nights. On Friday beginning at 6 p.m., children can enjoy stick horse races, pin the tail on Bullet, a Homecoming coloring sheets and roping a dummy in a Kids’ Corral. Children also will receive an orange OSU bandanna for joining in on the fun. Rodeo team alumni will have the opportunity to reconnect over dinner at the inaugural Alumni Barbeque and Silent Auction on Saturday. Hollingsworth said, a special thanks goes to Gold Buckle sponsors, Cavender’s Western Wear and Visit Stillwater, for being loyal contributors in making this family fun and community-wide event possible year after year. “This event would not be possible without help from our sponsors,” he said. “We are so lucky to have a community that supports our rodeo like they do.” The Cowboy Stampede is sanctioned by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. The NIRA includes 11 national regions, and OSU participates in the Central Plains Region, which features 18 colleges and universities from Kansas and Oklahoma, totaling more than 500 regional competitors. Each evening’s performance will feature nine events. The students will be competing as individuals and as a team. Championship buckles will be presented to event and all-around winners at Saturday night’s championship performance. Tickets are $10 each, and children five years or younger are free. Discounted tickets at $5 are available with an OSU ID, school ID or OSU Alumni Association membership. Advance tickets are on sale online at and Cavender’s in Stillwater. Tickets also will be sold at the gate while supplies last prior to each performance. Gates will open at 5 p.m. and performances will begin at 7 p.m. nightly. Visit for more information about the Cowboy Stampede and the OSU Rodeo Team. The OSU Rodeo Team is a program within the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. It began in 1946 when six young men started practicing and competing together after they returned from World War II. The OSU Rodeo Team has been a member of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association since 1948 and competes in the Central Plains Region. Today, the OSU Rodeo Team provides an opportunity for students to continue to grow in their sport in addition to gaining a top-notch education. For more information, visit
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
OSU Center for Health Sciences Unveils Oklahoma’s Largest State-of-the-Art Medical Simulation Teaching Center
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences launches a new era of advanced medical education on September 29, 2017, with the grand opening of the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Medical Academic Building, a state-of-the-art teaching technology center featuring the state’s largest hospital-simulation center. The simulation center brings to virtual life high-functioning simulation manikins that can mimic the human body in most every detail to give OSU medical students the closest thing technology can offer to real-life medical emergencies. The Tandy Medical Academic Building is located on the OSU Center for Health Sciences campus in Tulsa.   “This academic building is a one-of-kind in this region and the largest medical simulation program in the state. We have only just begun to explore the teaching potential of this new technology,” noted OSU President Burns Hargis.  “These simulators are giving OSU medical students a giant leap forward in their understanding and hands-on learning of the human body so they will be much better prepared physicians when the patients are real.”  “Our new life-like, computer-programmed simulation manikins can perform even beyond human actors as a medical teaching tool because these very realistic virtual patients can breathe, bleed, cry, sweat and be programmed to imitate most any medical emergency,” said Kayse Shrum, D.O., President, OSU Center for Health Sciences and Dean, OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. “The manikin simulators allow our medical students to safely experience situations they will encounter as physicians when patients’ hearts stop, breathing ceases, emergency births occur and surgeries are required. The Tandy simulation center will give students confidence in their skills and allow them to learn from mistakes without life-ending consequences. Our eventual goal is to be accredited as a national simulation center.”  The simulation center has four units: an emergency room, operating room, intensive care unit and a maternity and child birth center.  In addition to the manikins, computer programs allow students to conduct hands-on robotic and laparoscopic surgeries that visually mirror actual surgical situations. The Patient-Centered Clinical Skills Laboratory, located on the second floor of the Tandy Medical Academic Building, is a scenario-based simulation using a combination of technology and actors to allow medical students to learn patient skills in a controlled environment before working with actual patients.   In addition to the simulation center, the four-story, 84,000 square-foot Tandy Medical Academic Building includes four conference rooms, lecture halls, 18 teaching patient examination rooms and an Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine lab.  The $27-million academic teaching building was built with the help of a generous lead gift from the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation and 150 other donors. “We are sharing this amazing center and its simulation-learning tools with our entire community of healthcare providers in addition to our medical students,” said Dr. Shrum. “As part of our commitment to train primary care doctors and healthcare providers to serve rural and underserved communities of Oklahoma, we are inviting nurses, medical assistants, surgical techs, phlebotomists and other providers from around the state to join us for continuing medical education training, special education programming, conferences and even youth camps to extend the teaching capabilities of this academic building.”
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
13 OSU undergraduate researchers earn prestigious Niblack scholarship
Pictured are the 2017-18 Niblack Research Scholars. (front row, L to R) Dr. John Niblack, Victoria Pickens, Jeffrey Krall, Taylor Walton, Caroline Graham. (second row, L to R) Kassidy Ford, Emily Gietzen, Rendi Rogers, Savannah Morris, Grace Ogden. (back row, L to R) Erin Heilman, Matthew Hart, Kylie Hagerdon, Heidi Niblack, Sage Becker, OSU V. P. for Research Dr. Kenneth Sewell. Top Oklahoma State University undergraduate students have been selected as Niblack Research Scholars. The 13 recipients earn $8,000 scholarships and the opportunity to conduct supervised research. Dr. John Niblack and his wife, Heidi, have funded the Niblack Research Scholars program at OSU for 14 years. The program allows undergraduates to perform cutting-edge research in various fields. During the award presentation, Niblack commended the students for their scientific interests in a time when “disillusionment with science is growing.” “It takes years of dedication and perseverance to be a scientist, and it’s not easy,” Niblack said. “It’s fun for Heidi and me to come to campus and watch the scholars in action. We love watching another generation of scientists move up to the front line.” Niblack graduated from OSU in 1960 and earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois before becoming vice chairman of Pfizer Inc. As a scientist for the international pharmaceutical giant, he was responsible for Pfizer's Global Research and Development Division, where he directed research into drugs for viral illnesses, cancer and autoimmune disorders. Niblack retired in 2002 and founded the Niblack Research Scholarship program in 2004. The 2017-18 undergraduate Niblack Research Scholars cover a wide variety of research fields and came to OSU from across the United States. The 2017-18 scholars, areas of research and hometowns: Sage Becker, animal science Keota, Iowa Kassidy Ford, microbiology Oklahoma City, Okla. Emily Gietzen, microbiology Pryor, Okla. Caroline Graham, microbiology Midwest City, Okla. Kylie Hagerdon, chemistry Choctaw, Okla. Matthew Hart, microbiology Edmond, Okla. Erin Heilman, geology Third Lake, Ill. Jeffrey Krall, integrative biology Mission Viejo, Calif. Savannah Morris, biochemistry Stillwater, Okla. Grace Ogden, plant and soil sciences Muskogee, Okla. Victoria Pickens, entomology and plant pathology Sand Springs, Okla. Rendi Rogers, microbiology Adair, Okla. Taylor Walton, integrative biology Hot Springs, Ark. More information about the Niblack Research Scholars program is available at Story by Aubrie Bowlan */
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
OSU center offers meditation and stress reduction group
The Psychological Services Center (PSC) at Oklahoma State University is offering a meditation and stress reduction group for individuals who would like assistance handling stress, worry, sadness, and/or distress related to chronic pain. “Mindfulness fosters awareness in the present moment,” said Dr. Stephanie Mullins-Sweatt, associate professor of psychology and director of clinical training at OSU. “The group sessions are a great opportunity to learn from other’s experiences with meditation.” The group sessions are available to faculty, staff, students and community members. Participants have the opportunity to engage in a variety of exercises, including mindful breathing, eating, walking and yoga. The lessons strive to help participants manage stress and enhance well-being in everyday life. Mullins-Sweatt is the clinical supervisor for the group sessions. Three doctoral psychology students, Emma Brett, Hannah Espeleta and Danielle Taylor, will help lead and observe the group sessions. Sessions are at 6 - 8 p.m. each Thursday starting Sept. 28. The sessions will continue for six weeks. Fees for each group session will be assessed based on income level. New clients to the PSC must complete a $10 intake assessment. Interested participants may register for the meditation and stress reduction group and/or intake assessment by phone at (405) 744-5975. For more information, visit
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500
Oklahoma State University receives generous gift from alumni Michael and Anne Greenwood for new music education building
Greenwood Music Building Rendering Philanthropists Michael and Anne Greenwood have made a generous gift to name the new home for the university’s music education programs at Oklahoma State University. In honor of the significant gift, the building will be named the Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music. The Greenwoods were recognized for their gift Sunday during a Friends of Music benefit event at the OSU Botanic Garden. The Greenwoods’ gift will allow construction to start immediately on the new facility, which will be connected to The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts on the southwest corner of University Avenue and Hester Street. Both are expected to debut in the fall of 2019.  The Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music will house a variety of music laboratories, classrooms, rehearsal spaces and premier teaching studios equipped with the latest technology for high-level studio production, offering a premier teaching experience. More than 2,100 students participate in music programs at Oklahoma State, including the OSU Marching Band, orchestra and various chorale groups. “The generous gift from two of OSU’s most loyal contributors, Michael and Anne Greenwood, will enable us to realize one of our longstanding goals of building an exceptional facility for our music faculty, staff and students that will be second to none,” said Burns Hargis, OSU President. He said their gift, which puts OSU well on its way to reaching its $15 million fundraising goal for the $28 million music building project, will have a broad impact at Oklahoma State University. The Greenwoods serve on numerous boards and committees at OSU in various volunteer and leadership capacities for colleges across the university. They have supported several programs at OSU with financial contributions, including endowing three scholarships. To recognize and honor their generosity over the years, OSU established the Anne Morris Greenwood Reading Room in the Edmon Low Library and the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center, one of the finest collegiate facilities and home to OSU’s top rated women’s and men’s tennis programs. Anne and Michael are lifetime members of the OSU Alumni Association and were inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame in 2015. “We both recognize and appreciate how influential our time at OSU was to our careers and other successes we’ve enjoyed throughout our lives. We are gratified to be in a position to step forward with lead gifts to support the bold vision of President Hargis to build an exceptional music and performing arts school at Oklahoma State University,” commented Michael Greenwood. “It is rewarding for Anne and me to be a part of bringing positive growth to the Department of Music for the benefit of faculty and students to enjoy for decades to come.” “It’s no surprise, we love OSU and music. We believe music enlightens and enriches the campus experience for all students at OSU. Great universities have wonderful music and performing arts programs, and Michael and I are pleased that this gift will allow OSU’s music educational programs to progress at a more rapid rate in the years to come and showcase the extraordinary talents of the students and faculty,” said Anne Greenwood. In addition to the Greenwoods, Hargis also recognized the Edward and Helen Bartlett Foundation for its commitment to the music building and Jonathan Drummond and other donors who made early commitments to the adjoining McKnight Center for the Performing Arts.  “The Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music and The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts will be catalysts to create a nationally recognized center for music education over the next decade,” Hargis said. “Together, and with additional money we will raise in the coming months, we are building inspiring facilities designed exclusively to meet the specific needs of our music programs and support first-class programming on a world stage in Stillwater, Oklahoma.”  Dr. Howard Potter, head of the Department of Music, called OSU’s music programs hidden gems that are rapidly being discovered. “The Greenwoods and all of the donors behind OSU’s music initiatives are putting us in a position to continue to achieve national accolades and prominence,” Potter said. “Our faculty and students will pursue their intellectual pursuits in the finest facilities and will achieve more than ever before. We are indeed exceptionally grateful to the Greenwoods for their lead gift and for the trust they’ve placed in us to continue building a distinctive music program.”  Potter is preparing for OSU to add degree programs in a variety of areas, including Jazz Performance, and for popular existing programs such as Music Industry Business to rise in acclaim because of the Greenwoods’ gift and the opening of The McKnight Center. He expects an influx of applications from around the world after the buildings open in 2019, demonstrating the distinctive offerings and masterclass opportunities from world-renowned visiting artists, including the internationally celebrated New York Philharmonic.  For more information about Oklahoma State’s music programs, visit To learn more about The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, visit PHOTOS:
Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:15:19 -0500