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CASNR awards more than $300,000 in continuing student scholarships at annual scholarships and awards banquet
The Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships to nearly 200 students at the annual CASNR Scholarships and Awards Banquet March 30. The scholarships, made possible by the generosity of CASNR alumni, friends, faculty and staff, made up in part the $1.4 million in total scholarships students will receive during the 2017-2018 academic year from both the college and its academic departments. Others also recognized Thursday included students, faculty and staff for their accomplishments and contributions to CASNR, as well as alumni for their success in the industry. “We are fortunate to have many high caliber students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources,” said Dr. Cynda Clary, CASNR associate dean of academic programs. “It is an honor and a privilege to award scholarships to help fund their CASNR experience. The banquet is also our time to congratulate and recognize our outstanding students, faculty, staff and alumni for their hard work and accomplishments each year.” Dillon Johnson was named the 2017 Louis and Betty Gardner Outstanding Senior. Johnson is an agribusiness and plant and soil sciences major from Afton, Oklahoma. Additionally, Clay Daily was recognized as the 2017 Charles and Magda Browning Outstanding Freshman. Daily is an animal science major from Mayville, Michigan. CASNR also recognized 15 Seniors of Distinction. Of the 15, five were honored with the Dean’s Award of Excellence (indicated by an * in the list below). Their names, hometown and major include: OKLAHOMA Afton Dillon Johnson*, Afton, Oklahoma, agribusiness/plant and soil sciences Duncan Allison Christian, Duncan, Oklahoma, animal science Locust Grove Garrett Reed, Locust Grove, Oklahoma, agribusiness Nash Ricki Schroeder*, Nash, Oklahoma, agricultural leadership Oklahoma City Anna O’Hare, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, natural resource ecology and management Stillwater Laurie Fitch, Stillwater, Oklahoma, agricultural communications Stuart Jesse Belvin, Stuart, Oklahoma, plant and soil sciences COLORADO Colorado Springs Christian Ley*, Colorado Springs, Colorado, biosystems engineering IDAHO Eagle Lauren Clark*, Eagle, Idaho, agribusiness ILLINOIS Danvers Klair Hartzold, Danvers, Illinois, animal science/agribusiness MICHIGAN Midland Chandler Steele, Midland, Michigan, animal science MISSOURI Carthage Will Shaffer, Carthage, Missouri, animal science OREGON Clackamas Jason Wetzler, Clackamas, Oregon, agricultural education TEXAS Canyon Courtney Karr, Canyon, Texas, animal science WASHINGTON Creston JD Rosman*, Creston, Washington, agricultural communications Four CASNR faculty members were recognized for their teaching, advising and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students. Their names, award and academic department include: Angel Riggs, Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching, Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership Don Ruhl, Excellence in Undergraduate Student Advising and Mentoring Award, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Chanjin Chung, Excellence in Graduate Student Advising and Mentoring Award, Department of Agricultural Economics Dan Stein, Award for Excellence in Teaching, Department of Animal Science Finally, two CASNR alumni were recognized for their outstanding achievement and early success in their careers within the agricultural and natural resources industries. Their names, hometowns and current careers include: KANSAS Wichita Shannon Angle, Wichita, Kansas, agricultural economics/accounting ’02, Koch Fertilizer LLC finance director TEXAS Midlothian John Marc Holt, Midlothian, Texas, agribusiness ’03, Target Corporation senior operations manager The Oklahoma State University College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources believes in the value of hands-on education and the importance of having a well-rounded student experience. Our award-winning faculty members are dedicated to developing students and are passionate about adding value to the total educational experience. With 16 majors and 59 study options, plus more than 60 student organizations, the college is committed to expanding minds and inspiring purpose. Learn more at Story by Rachel Metzger
Wed, 10 May 2017 11:37:18 -0500
OSU recognized as Certified Healthy Campus
Pictured in photo are (left to right) Tabi Deal, Mary Talley, Jason Vlastaras, Jamie Payne, Rachel Shreffler, Todd Misener Oklahoma State University has been recognized as a Certified Healthy Campus for its outstanding efforts in health and wellness programming in 2016. It also earned recognition as a Certified Healthy Business. Altogether, OSU was honored in three of seven categories during a recent annual luncheon hosted by the Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program. Five campus dining facilities, including the Natural and Zest in North Dining, Country Barbeque and Which Wich in Kerr Drummond, and Bread and Beyond in the Student Union, were also recognized as Certified Healthy Restaurants. “Certified Healthy Restaurant criteria is about creating a healthy environment for our customers and our staff,” University Dining Services Dietitian Patty Anson said. “Throughout our operation, we place an emphasis on fresh foods and wellness to help our customers pursue a healthier lifestyle.” This is the sixth-year OSU has been recognized as a Certified Healthy Campus. Because it is 100 percent tobacco free, the university was recognized for the highest level of certification as a healthy campus and healthy business. Four of the five campus restaurants that were recognized also received the highest level of certification. The three levels include basic, merit and excellence. “This is just more proof that what we are doing here at OSU matters and it is making an impact,” said Mary Talley, assistant director for the Department of Wellness. “If we make an impact here, we can be sure that our students will go out into the world and spread it far beyond our campus.” Certified Healthy Oklahoma Program is a free, statewide certification effort that began in 2003. The program showcases organizations that are committed to improving the health of Oklahomans by implementing programs to improve their health.  Representatives from the OSU Department of Wellness, University Dining Services and Human Resources attended the annual luncheon in Norman. About 2,000 applicants were recognized as healthy businesses, campuses, communities, congregations, schools, early childhood programs, and restaurants this year. By: Cassidy Williams PHOTO:
Fri, 31 Mar 2017 13:29:10 -0500
Student Union Marketing continues winning tradition
Three department members recognized at international conference The Student Union marketing department was recently recognized for its hard work with five awards at the annual Association of College Unions International (ACUI) conference, March 19-22. The department won the awards in the annual Steal This Idea competition, which recognizes exceptional work in college union and student activity marketing materials. Entries are judged on strength of concept, design, editorial content and effectiveness. This year’s awards recognize the team spirit within the Student Union marketing department, as three staff members received recognition for their work. The 2016-2017 Allied Arts brochure, designed by Shane Lansdown, won first place in the brochures category. The brochure highlights the Allied Arts performance season. Coleton Gambill’s “Why Do You Vote?” video received third place in the video category. The video, released a day before the presidential election, highlighted reasons people in the Stillwater community vote. The video also encouraged everyone to visit the polls and cast their vote. Kailey Bookout came home with three awards for her work. The 2016 Mortar Board, an annual calendar and planner for OSU students, received third place in the calendar/schedule category. Bookout’s GameDay is Coming poster, reminiscent of the popular TV show “Game of Thrones,” received second place in the miscellaneous category. Bookout also received honorable mention for her Hispanic Awareness Week poster. “It is truly gratifying getting the opportunity to work as a graphic designer in the Student Union,” said Bookout. “It not only challenges me to be better, but also allows me to grow in ways I couldn’t anywhere else. I feel honored and humbled to be nationally-recognized for the work I’ve had the pleasure to do.” Founded in 1914, ACUI is a nonprofit educational organization that brings together college union and student activity professionals from more than 550 schools in 34 countries. Its members work on urban and rural campuses, in two-year and four-year institutions, and at large and small schools. For more information about ACUI, visit
Fri, 31 Mar 2017 13:25:02 -0500
OSU’s CEAT climbs U.S. News rankings
New 2018 statistics from U.S. News show Oklahoma State University’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (CEAT) up again in the rankings, sustaining a three-year increase that has moved it ahead more than 30 spots. CEAT is currently ranked 104 among peer institutions and 67 among public institutions, a significant upsurge from the college’s ranking of 140 in 2016 and 112 in 2017.   CEAT administrators credit the continuous rise in the rankings to ample opportunities in both the student experience and research, in addition to new faculty hires and a focus on innovation. “I am very pleased to see that OSU is being recognized for our outstanding programs and the ongoing improvements that are being made within the college,” says Randy Seitsinger, associate dean of academic affairs for CEAT. “I am especially proud of our success in expanding the size and capability of our faculty, upgrading our facilities to provide state-of-the-art labs, offices and classrooms, and the outstanding students that continue to graduate from CEAT with the education and abilities necessary to transform society.” The creation of a new living learning program (LLP) in Parker Hall, and a new undergraduate lab building are two ways the college is focused on expanding and improving.  The newly-renovated Parker Hall will emphasize academic success for incoming freshmen who want to pursue an engineering degree. “The LLP will make a significant impact on next year’s freshman class when nearly one in four of our new freshmen will live in the same building with upperclassmen for guidance,” says Lance Millis, director of CEAT’s student academic services. “Extensive programming and academic opportunities will be the focus for students in this building.” The college’s newest endeavor — an undergraduate lab building — will also enhance the student experience, offering interdisciplinary opportunities in a facility tailored specifically for engineering undergraduates. Set for completion in the fall of 2018, the building will house 14 undergraduate research labs, as well as a lecture hall, student project spaces and sticky spaces. “This facility will make CEAT the only place in the United States where engineers, architects and technologists can come together in an academic setting,” says Seitsinger. “This venue will help students understand how important collaboration is and how vital the other disciplines are to the big picture.” For more information on the new undergraduate lab building, visit
Fri, 31 Mar 2017 16:00:49 -0500
OSU student awarded Fulbright for research in Ethiopia
colton flynn Colton Flynn, a doctoral student at Oklahoma State University, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to conduct research in Ethiopia during the 2017-2018 academic year. The Fulbright program places U.S. students in countries around the world where they act as an ambassador for the United States, work with research advisers, and learn about the people and culture. Flynn, a graduate of Farmington High School in Farmington, Arkansas, is working toward a doctorate in geography at OSU, where his research focuses on the development of remote sensing techniques to predict in-field nutrition levels of grains and grasses for livestock and other agricultural applications. He will be working with the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute. “I’ve always wanted to help others and what better way than by battling hunger and malnutrition in Ethiopia, a country currently struggling with these issues,” said Flynn. “The crop I’m studying is a staple in the Ethiopian diet, and I plan to use remote sensing methods to quickly identify iron, calcium and protein levels in the crop, during its growing periods, so action can be taken to increase these levels.”  Flynn currently serves as a graduate teaching assistant in the geography department at OSU and as a biological science aid at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in El Reno, Oklahoma. He earned his bachelor’s in Earth science, and master’s degree in geography from the University of Arkansas, where he developed and fostered an interest in agriculture and food geography. Flynn taught at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, before starting his work toward a doctorate. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, biking, and running in preparation for collegiate-level triathlons. In addition to the Fulbright award, Flynn is the recipient of the OSU Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, and the Robert and Lucy Fite Scholarship for Outstanding First Year Doctoral Student. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the country’s largest student exchange program, offering opportunities to students and young professionals for graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. Funded by an annual congressional appropriation to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the program was initiated in 1946 by Senator J. William Fulbright for the promotion of international goodwill through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science. PHOTO: Colton Flynn
Wed, 10 May 2017 13:03:44 -0500
OSU announces plans for Core Research Facility
Estella Atekwana The Oklahoma State University Boone Pickens School of Geology has announced it will break ground on a $3 million, 6,500-square foot Core Research Facility as early as this fall.  Financing for the building is made possible by generous donations from alumni and corporate partnerships.  The facility will serve as a “one-stop-shop” for treatment, storage and analysis of core samples (cylindrical rock samples obtained by drilling), which is a needed service in the region. The building will include a grinding and polishing lab, thin section preparation, an area designated for coloring, porosity and permeability, significant layout and review space, as well as office space and a conference room.  More than a repository, the facility will house active research, which already exceeds $3 million in funding.  It will be located in the northwest section of campus, near the corner of McElroy Road and N. Willis Street.  “The Core Facility will give our faculty and students new research opportunities, which will better prepare students for their careers while also allowing OSU to fulfill its land-grant mission,” said Dr. Estella Atekwana, Regents Professor of Geology and Sun Chair Professor and Head of the Boone Pickens School of Geology.  “We are grateful to the donors for supporting this important addition to the campus.” The facility will allow OSU to host geology professionals from around the world for industry short-courses and core workshops in reservoir characterization and other topics.  It will also support OSU’s public outreach mission, as a land-grant institution.  Additionally, new undergraduate and graduate programming opportunities will emerge, including reservoir rock analysis, which will contribute to petroleum geoscience research.  As a result, OSU students will have a better and more comprehensive understanding of core samples and their extensive uses.  “Rocks are the foundation of the geosciences, and their study can unlock a multitude of diverse understanding and resources for the world,” said Mike Kuykendall, geoscience manager at Felix Energy.  “Applied core research is integral to achieving this potential.”  The $3 million total cost to build, equip, and endow the Core Research Facility, includes $2 million in construction, $500,000 in equipment, and a $500,000 endowment for maintenance and technology support. The Boone Pickens School of Geology has a strong and growing national and international reputation for excellence in research and teaching in the applied geosciences.  The Core Research Facility is expected to grow grant revenue and establish a technological infrastructure to allow the School to be leader in emerging research.  Major contributions for the facility are provided by: Mike and Karen Kuykendall, Lawrence and Patty Walker, John A. Brett III, Kent A. Bowker, Dr. Dale E. Fitz and Mrs. Anne Kuah, Mike and Sue Gaskins, Chesapeake Energy, Inc., and Charles Taufest. PHOTO: Dr. Estella Atekwana
Fri, 31 Mar 2017 09:21:35 -0500
OSU announces fall 2016 graduates
Oklahoma State University awarded degrees to a total of 1,774 students this past fall, including 1,159 Oklahomans, according to the Office of the Registrar.  Graduates are listed by their designated hometowns, along with degree and subject area. Degrees earned with distinction - summa cum laude (with highest honor), magna cum laude (with great honor) or cum laude (with honor) - are noted to the right of the degree earned. To search OSU’s lists of graduates, click on the link below and enter your search term in the top right field. Click the appropriate corresponding search category to locate your results. ***Note: To search by state, please enter the state abbreviation. For example, to search for Oklahoma students, enter OK. A complete list of Oklahoma, out-of-state and international graduates is available at
Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:52:08 -0500
OSU microbiologist elected to national fellowship
Burnap Robert Dr. Robert L. Burnap, a professor of microbiology at Oklahoma State University, has been elected to fellowship status in the American Academy of Microbiology for his outstanding contributions to the field. Fellows are elected through a highly selective, annual, peer review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. Burnap’s work has advanced research in the field of photosynthesis, including how photosynthetic bacteria assemble the system that harnesses energy from light, and how these bacteria concentrate and fix carbon dioxide into cells. Burnap serves as Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and the Vennerburg Chair of Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at OSU. He was elected during a recent meeting of the academy, which serves as an honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, the world's oldest life science organization. Burnap has also served as a visiting program director at the National Science Foundation, where he was recognized for his leadership in creating the Photosynthetic IDEAS Lab in Arlington, Va., providing $8 million in funding for transformative research. PHOTO:
Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:47:51 -0500
OSU CEAT names 2017 W.W. Allen Scholars
Jennifer Litchfield Jennifer Litchfield, Oklahoma City, and Wade Witcher, Brown Arrow, have been selected for the prestigious W.W. Allen Scholars Program at Oklahoma State University. The program is designed for top academic students, who also show significant promise in leadership and career ambition. The W.W. Allen Scholars program was formed to develop some of the nation's top engineering graduates. This elite award includes more than $135,000 in scholarship, enrichment activities, professional development and national and international travel, followed by full tuition and housing for one year to pursue a Master of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Litchfield is a senior at Carl Albert High School in Midwest City and the daughter of Bruce and Linda Litchfield. She plans to major in biosystems engineering and minor in political science at OSU. She serves as team captain for her school’s swim team in addition to holding positions in the National Honor Society and Oklahoma Girls State organizations. She interned for U.S. Senator James Lankford and has volunteered her time with Youth in Action and Key Club. Wade Witcher “My goals are simply to give 100 percent of my effort, so I can maximize my educational experience,” says Litchfield. “In return, I expect that OSU will fully equip me with the tools I need to be successful post-graduation.” Witcher will graduate from Union High School in Tulsa and is the son of Joel and Lisa Witcher. He is planning to study chemical engineering and minor in business management at OSU. He holds distinctions as a contestant in the Chemistry Science Olympiad, and serves as a member of Mu Alpha Theta and on the Union Legacy Committee. Witcher is also a member of the boy’s golf team and volunteers his time at the local vacation Bible school and on international mission trips. “I hope my education at OSU produces more than just a degree,” says Witcher. “I hope to be involved in making an impact on the university in the same way it will make an enormous impact on me. I hope to learn from this program to develop skills that are crucial to being a well-rounded, effective engineer.” Litchfield and Witcher will join the current W.W. Allen Scholars at OSU in fall 2017. “I am pleased to welcome two new outstanding engineering students to our W.W. Allen Scholars Program,” says W. Wayne Allen, scholarship founder. “We hope to give them leadership opportunities while at OSU, plus provide top-level foreign education experiences. Our goal is to prepare them to be as successful personally and professionally as they are academically.” For more information about the W.W. Allen Scholars Program, go to For more information on the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at OSU, visit
Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:43:26 -0500
College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology partners with ODOT
The College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology has established partnerships that connect Oklahoma State University and the public sector. Two of the College’s outreach programs have an extensive partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) to train federal employees throughout the state and surrounding areas with facilities located on or near the Stillwater campus. The Center for Local Government Technology (CLGT) has worked with ODOT for over 20 years, and ODOT is the primary funder for its local technical assistance program (LTAP). The LTAP program at OSU is one of 58 programs throughout the state, and provides technical transportation assistance to all 77 counties in Oklahoma out of its Richmond Hills facility in Stillwater, OK. In addition, the Southern Plains Tribal Technical Assistance (SPTTAP) Center also works closely with ODOT on tribal transportation issues in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas. In fiscal year 2016, a contract with ODOT gave the college a critical role in administering the Highway Construction Materials Technician Certification Board (HCMTCB) program. To comply with federal mandate 23 CFR 637.209, ODOT requires all materials technicians working on federally funded highway construction projects to be registered with the HCMTCB. The program provides training and certification in sampling and testing procedures for asphalt and cement concrete, soils, aggregates and pavement smoothness, as well as specifically designed training for highway construction inspectors. Classroom instruction and written examinations are conducted in the college’s professional development classrooms on north campus, while hands-on training and technician evaluations take place in the new, state-of-the-art Bert Cooper Engineering Lab. The 33,000 square-foot facility, which opened in 2015, has the capacity to test structures and materials in a real-world environment in a consistent range of temperatures. “ODOT and OSU have a long history of working together to improve the transportation infrastructure in Oklahoma, and our relationship with ODOT includes outreach and research initiatives,” says Ed Kirtley, assistant dean of outreach & extension for the college. “We are proud of our partnership with ODOT.” For more information on the Center for Local Government Technology, visit For more information about the HCMTCB program, visit PHOTOS:
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:29:06 -0500