TeachLINK Revised
Making the Connections
Issue: 13
Fall 2015 / Spring 2016
The Oklahoma Teacher Connection 
 A Division of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
A Message From the OTC Director:
Greetings TeachLink Readers!
As we move forward, let us take a moment to reflect on our journey through education and where we are today.  Our tireless efforts have indeed yielded good fruit, evidenced by the stories highlighted in this edition of the TeachLink newsletter.  Observing the long term impact of great educators throughout the years and honoring their contributions should give us pause as we consider our own paths to advancing the educational landscape.
The work we do on a daily basis is extremely important.  One rock thrown in a stream can cause many ripples to emerge.  Similarly, our impact on teaching and learning changes lives and improves educational outcomes for thousands of Oklahomans every day.
I am grateful and thankful for you!  I hope that you take a moment to read about some of these ripples in this edition of the TeachLink.  Enjoy!
Dr. Goldie Thompson,
Director of Teacher Education and the
Oklahoma Teacher Connection

Direct from the Editor's Desk

Educators Wear the Lifejacket of Perseverance and Determination
 Greetings Colleagues!
As the storm clouds, the thunder, and the rain continue to rage within the waters of education, educators remain steadfast and strengthen despite being tossed and threaten by the waves of instability.  
Together, we are in the boat, and capsizing is not an option.
The first responders - College presidents, professors, researchers, superintendents, principals, teachers, support staff, and communities are weathering the storms, while meeting and exceeding the learning outcomes of students in common education and in higher education. Despite the high winds and the unpredictable forecasts, we are driven. We are committed to the sole objective: Equal access and educational attainment for all.
Read. Applaud. Hope. The turbulent storms will subside. 
Oklahoma has plenty to be PROUD of - Celebrate!
 Making the Connections,

Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame

Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame Inductees Exemplify Phenomenal Success
Established in 1991 as a nonprofit, the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society was created to support and heighten the awareness of higher education's role and its impact on Oklahoma's history. From this initiative, the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame was born in 1994 to recognize, honor, and celebrate the accomplishments of individuals living and deceased for their paramount service to Oklahoma's higher education system.
Giving honor where honor is due, a snapshot of the 2015 inductees' lifelong works of service is provided.
Belinda P. Biscoe/ University of Oklahoma
B.A., Sociology, Fisk University, 1971
M.A., Sociology, Fisk University, 1973
Ph.D., Psychology, University of Oklahoma, 1982
Belinda Biscoe
For three decades, Belinda Biscoe, a national heroic leader, sought out and continues to champion the cause to take research and knowledge to underserved communities to aid and improve upon the learning outcomes of disadvantaged youth.
The epic administrator began her career with Oklahoma City Public Schools, serving as a senior researcher, administrator, program evaluator, grant writer, and developer of programs for at-risk youth.
Biscoe founded Positive Tomorrows, a school for homeless children and their families. She also co-founded the Eagle Ridge Institute, a nonprofit substance abuse organization in Oklahoma City.
The gravity of her work pulled the attention of Oklahoma University's College of Continuing Education, where she was hired as the Operations and Program Director of the Region VII Comprehensive Center, which advanced the educational attainment of Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Throughout Biscoe's career, she has proved herself to be a superb grantsman, securing more than $120,000,000 in grant funding.
The national and international practitioner, author, and an award winning scholar, currently serves as Oklahoma University's Associate Vice President for University Outreach, Public and Community Services division. Within the University Outreach division, she acts as the director of the South Central comprehensive Center (SC3), principal investigator for the Central Comprehensive Center (C3), and the director of Educational Training, Evaluation, Assessment and Measure (E-TEAM).
David L. and Molly Shi Boren - University of Oklahoma
B.A., American History, Yale University, 1963 (Phi Beta Kappa)
M.S. Politics, Philosophy & Economics, Oxford University, England, 1965 (Rhodes Scholar)
J.D., Law, University of Oklahoma, 1968
B.A., English, East Central University, 1964
M.A., English, Oklahoma University, 1974
J.D., Law, University of Oklahoma, 1974
David and Molly Shi Boren
The powerhouse couple - the Honorable David L. and Molly Shi Boren - Their visionary leadership has set national and international standards for education, research, scholarship, and innovation, refining the face of the humanitarian, as well as reinforcing the economic fabric of society today and for future generations.
The quiet commanders of positive change operate under the public radiator, seeking out and putting in place solutions to drive the best results for the masses.
Molly Shi Boren
The 1964 East Central University (ECU) graduate began her career as an English teacher at Byng High School, and later completed both her master's and Juris Doctorate degrees from Oklahoma University (OU) in 1974.
The Ada lawyer is a woman of firsts, having served as the first woman on the board of trustees of the Oklahoma Bar Association, and the first female to be elected to the Directors of Ada's Chamber of Commerce. In 1975, Boren was appointed to the position of Special District Judge for Pontotoc County.
Upon David Boren becoming the president of the University Oklahoma, Molly Boren took on the mission of building restoration and further beautifying OU's Norman, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City campuses.
The accomplished leader headed up the Dollar Thrifty Corporation and the Baltimore Orioles, and in 2003, she was the recipient of the national underwritten ATHENA award.
David L. Boren
David Lyle Boren - the 13th President of the University of Oklahoma, an American university administrator, a United States Senator, and the 21st Governor of Oklahoma - a Statesman.
Boren is the brand
He is a 1963 Yale University graduate and a 1965 graduate of Oxford University, as well as Rhodes Scholar - the pedigree for excellence, scholarship, and explosive leadership.
During his political life as a senator and as the governor, Boren sieged every challenge with both hands and reconfigured a challenge into opportunities for growth, creativity, and professional development like the Oklahoma Arts Institute, the Scholarship Leadership Endowment Program, and the Oklahoma Physicians Manpower Program.
Boren put in place an empire built to funnel capital financing, as well as supportive professional expertise to fast-forward OU's programs, initiatives, and cutting-edge ventures.
Upon the acceptance of the OU presidency in 1994, Boren constructed the standard, a framework with no boundaries, leading the way in fundraising, garnering $500 million, which exceeded the original proposed target of $200 million.
After his first decade in office, the research institution received $1 billion in donations. To date, OU's contributions have reached $2.4 billion, earning Oklahoma a seat at table of global exchange.
The honorable David and Molly Boren are the recipients of countless awards and honors and an extensive list of recognitions.
Anthony Wayne Confer - Oklahoma State University
B.S., Biological Science, Oklahoma State University, 1971
D.V.M., Oklahoma State University, 1972
M.S. Veterinary Pathology, Ohio State University, 1974
Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Missouri - Columbia, 1978
Anthony W. Confer
A leading world expert, accomplished author and co-author of 214 referenced scientific journal articles, 129 published abstracts, 14 chapter books, 17 continuing education manuscripts, and four veterinary medical educational manuscripts, Anthony W. Confer, is the consummate professional of veterinary medicine.
Confer is a stellar researcher and academician, who has the abilities to globally, enriching the lives of Oklahomans and abroad.
By earning both an undergraduate degree in biology and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree from Oklahoma State University (OSU) in 1971 and 1972 respectively, Confer propelled his research interest to obtain a M.S. in Veterinary Pathology degree from Ohio State University and a Ph.D., in microbiology from the University of Missouri.
OSU's Veterinary School heavily recruited him in 1981, where Confer remained for more than 35 years. He is the principal investigator, securing more than $9 million in research funding, holds two U.S. patents, and has made over 50 conference addresses throughout the U.S., Italy, Germany, Denmark, Scotland, and Canada.
The doctor of veterinary medicine and microbiology is a distinguished trail blazer and a world renowned figure head, who is a celebrated scholar within the fields of veterinary medicine, microbiology, and pathology.
Anthony W. Confer stands out.
Robert C. Dauffenbach - University of Oklahoma
B.A. Economics, Wichita State University, 1968 (Cum Laude)
M.A., Economics, Wichita State University, 1969
Ph.D., Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, 1973
Robert Dauffenbach
A native of Wichita, the multitier degreed economist, Robert C. Dauffenbach earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Wichita State University. In 1973, he was awarded a Ph.D., from the University of Illinois at Urbana.
Dauffenbach began his career in 1973, serving for two years as a research economist at the Center for Advanced computation at the University of Illinois. In 1977, he landed a position at Oklahoma State University (OSU) as an assistant professor and moved up to the rank of professor by 1987.
The financial expert established a national reputation in analysis and projections of scientist and engineering d supply and demand for the National Science Foundation, contributing abundantly to the NSF's Science Indicators reports.
After 13 years at OSU, the much sought after business analyst, author, and co-author of a myriad of economic and business journals took the helm as the Director of the Center for Economic and Management and Research (CEMR) at the University of Oklahoma in 1990.
CEMR runs economy forecasts for Oklahoma and regionally, assisting businesses and government officials. This assignment elevated Dauffenbach to take on more public roles. As a result the of leadership at CEMR, he has acted as an advisor to the State Director of Finance to the Tax Policy Commission, as well as other state advisory posts.
In a 2015 CEMR reported, Dauffenbach's research showed how every $1 in legislative appropriation for higher education yielded an economic impact of $8.55. These compelling statistics and related lifetime earnings data clearly communicated the value of education, and its impact on Oklahoma.
C. Henry Gold - Southeastern Oklahoma State University
B.B.A., Marketing, University of Oklahoma, 1955
M.Ed., Business Education, University of Oklahoma, 1956
Ed.D., Business Education, University of Oklahoma, 1967
C. Henry Gold
 His peers describe C. Henry Gold as a modest, wise man, never seeking fanfare or the limelight. However, Gold's sound wisdom and advice is premier, and his colleagues shine the spotlight on his keen counsel, which is often petitioned by the State Regents, other state and higher institution officials, as well as students.
He grew up and was educated in Lawton Public schools. He entered college and earned his undergraduate, graduate, and terminal degrees from the University of Oklahoma.
His professional journey began when he was hired to teach in the business school at Oklahoma City University in 1956, where he was later sought out and given the opportunity to serve as the Director of Community Relations, Director of Admission, Registrar and Director of Financial Aid, and in 1967, Director of Placement.
A noted icon in administrative management, Southeastern Oklahoma State University hired Gold as a professor of business administration and director of the Southeastern Oklahoma program, which led to his retirement in 1995. However, he remained until 2014, officially closing out his career as the institution's graduate dean, and assistant vice president of academic affairs.
The relational administrator obtained federal grants further strengthening SE's ties between businesses, partnering with the Noble foundation to create 25 state of the art industrial businesses by 2000. Also during his tenure, Gold secured $8.5 million in grant funding for Southeastern.
Gold has been showered with accolades for his contributions made to education, small business, civic and community engagement - a golden investment.
Lawrence K. (Posthumous Award) and Maggie Parks Hayes  - Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education/ University of Oklahoma
Lawrence K. Hayes
B.S., Education, Oklahoma A&M College, 1949
M.S., Education, Texas A&M College, 1958
Ed.D., Oklahoma State University, 1962
Maggie Parks Hayes
B.S., Family Relations & Child Development, Oklahoma A&M College, 1962
M.S., Family Relations & Child Development, Oklahoma State University, 1968
Ed.D. Higher Education, Oklahoma State University, 1976

Lawrence K. and Maggie Parks Hayes
Lawrence and Maggie Hayes teamed up to carry out their passions together. Her quest was academics. He was driven by athletics. They were a couple, who blended their gifts and talents to bring about life's balance, for which the state benefitted.
Maggie Parks Hayes
A pioneer in her own time, Maggie Hayes began teaching in 1968 at the University of Oklahoma as the assistant professor in the Home Economics department, rising up to become the Director of Human Development and associate Professor of Women's Studies, a post she held until she retired in 1990.
She obtained all of her degrees from Oklahoma State University (OSU). The historical mark within her career was having taught the state's first course in human sexuality. She has been crowned for her extensive research in divorce in the middle years, marriage, and women's lifestyle, which was published and referenced in professional journals and the local media.
As the American family evolved, Parks-Hayes became the field expert on changing gender roles, serving as a guest speaker for workshops.
Larry Hayes
Larry Hayes grew up playing multiple sports throughout high school in Missouri, but the game of golf was his lifelong pleasure.
After a stint in the Army Air Corps, Hayes was recruited and played basketball for the legendary Henry Iba at Oklahoma A&M College and was part of the Aggies' 1946 National Championship team. He was also a team player with the 1949 runner-up team.
In 1946, he met and later married Maggie, A&M's Engineering Queen, and the couple had four sons. Three of the sons played collegiate golf and became golf professionals.
With a physical education degree under his belt, Hayes taught history and coached high school basketball in Arkansas, freshman basketball at Texas A&M and later served as head coach at College Station High School.
OneNet Co-Founder
Larry Hayes' landmark career contribution to higher education was co-designed with Dr. Jerry Hargis the "OneNet" program, a public utility service. In 2016, OneNet celebrated its 20th anniversary of advancing Oklahoma's technological and economic growth in education, research, healthcare, and public service communities.
Thomas McKeon - Tulsa Community College
B.S., Horticulture, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Ca., 1976
M.S. Higher Education Administration, Oklahoma State University, 1983
Ed.D., Higher Education Administration, Oklahoma State University, 1989

Thomas McKeon
Thomas K. McKeon was named president of Tulsa Community College (TCC) in 2004, serving as the third president of the institution's history.
McKeon came on board as a TCC horticulture instructor in 1980, working in a multitude of administrative positions, from Dean of Instruction to holding the top position of executive and chief until his retirement in 2014. McKeon was named President Emeritus by the TCC Board of Regents.
A National Leader in College Access
As president, McKeon zeroed in on creating community-wide access and academic excellence for all students, growing TCC's student population to more than 28,000 and an additional 8,000 in continuing education.
A committed champion to the national Complete College America initiative, TCC conferred the largest number of degrees in the college's 43-year history.
McKeon is nationally recognized for the Tulsa Achieves program, which admitted more than 10,000 students in seven years, without the attached cost of tuition and fees. The Achieves program was followed by the Attend College Early (ACE) program, which was subsequently adopted statewide by Governor Brad Henry for high school students. The program is currently tagged college concurrent enrollment.
Respected and honored for his vision and initiatives, McKeon has been celebrated as a local, state and national leader for degree completion, a measure that is shaping the future of Oklahoma.
Roscoe Rouse Jr. - Oklahoma State University (Posthumous Award)
B.A., Library Science, University of Oklahoma, 1948
M.A., English Literature, University of Oklahoma, 1952
M.A., Information Services, University of Michigan, 1958
Ph.D., A History of the Baylor University Library, 1962

Roscoe Rouse Jr.
A library functions like coronary arteries, supplying blood to the heart muscle - the institution.
The library is a lifeline
The resources housed in the library are carried in and out by way of the collection of books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, films, documents, microforms, CDs, cassettes, videotapes, DVDs, Blu-ray, Discs, e-books, audiobooks, databases, and other formats that aid in the facilitation of learning.
Roscoe Rouse Jr. was one such volume, a resource for the Oklahoma State University's Edmon Low (ELL) library.
Born in Valdosta, Georgia in 1919 during the great depression, Rouse decided early on that to gain a better footing in life, a college education was essential. He began working to secure a post-secondary education when World War II erupted.
As a navigator for the U.S. Army Air Corps, Rouse flew 33 missions over Germany, was shot down twice, and was honored with the Air Medal and four Oak Leaf Clusters.
After the war ended in 1948, Rouse resumed his coursework and earned a B.A. in library science and a M.A. in English literature in 1952 from the Oklahoma University, a M.A. in Information Services in 1958, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
His contributions to libraries are unparalleled. He aided in the design of Baylor University's library, crafting him a reputation for planning library spaces.
Maintaining an active affiliation with associations that promoted library science, Rouse was member with the International Federation of Library Associations and attended meetings in Manila, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Munich, and Moscow. He was elected to the Council of the American Library Association, which allowed him to serve on its committees that oversaw its constitution and bylaws.
The former president of the Oklahoma Library Association and early editor of the Oklahoma Librarian, the Oklahoma Library Association bestowed upon Rouse the Distinguished Service Award in 1978, A Special Merit Award in 1987, and in 2007, he was named the "Library Legend."
Ingrid Shafer - University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (Posthumous Award)
Matura (Abitur) Burdesrealgymnasium fur Madchen, Innsbruck Astria (with honors, 1958)
Ph.D. Candidate, American Literature, University of Innsbrook, 1960
M.A. German Literature, University of Oklahoma, 1967
M.A. Human Relations, University of Oklahoma, 1975
Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Oklahoma, 1984

Ingrid Shafer
Austrian born, Ingrid Shafer once said, "For me teaching is building bridges: between people between disciplines, between ideologies - all those things that divide humanity."
Shafer was known for not only inspiring her students, but also ignited her colleagues to dive into the endless avenues of humanities. Many described Shafter as exuding a contagious passion for learning that once caught hold, the experience went viral.
Her life's mission was to overcome and remove the boundaries that separated people. She merged cultures by teaching lessons learned from the world's adversities, interweaving ethnicity, religion, and class. She explored and submerged herself and her students into the liberal arts, especially literature, philosophy, and history.
She attended the University of Vienna, and was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Innsbruck, and she later came to the United States. Shafer earned a M.A. in German Literature in 1967, a M.A. in Human Relations in 1975, and finally, a Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1984 - all from the University of Oklahoma (OU).
She started out teaching German at OU and then joined the faculty of the Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts in 1968. She was instrumental in help construct the foundation for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) by advocating an interdisciplinary approach.
A prolific writer, she authored and published six books and 98 articles and had four books in progress at the time of her death.   In addition, she was a special editions editor of the Journal of popular Film and Television and the Journal of Popular Literature, as well as a member of the editorial board of insight, and the primary: A Multicultural Interdisciplinary Journal, published by USAO.
Shafter served as chair on numerous panels at national and international conferences, and twice honored with the USAO Regents Research Award.
Alan R. Velie - University of Oklahoma
B.A., English, Harvard University, 1959
M.A., English, Stanford University, 1966
Ph.D., English, Stanford University, 1969

Alan R. Velie
Initially trained in Shakespeare, Alan R. Velie, the Ivy League English graduate of Harvard University and Stanford University brought to the surface the hidden literary treasures of Native Americans.
Velie earned a B.A. in 1959 and a M.A. and Ph.D. in 1966 and 1969 respectfully from Stanford in English, and later joined the University of Oklahoma in 1967 as an instructor. In 1981, he became a professor, and between 1978 and 1982, Velie served as Chair of the English department.
He was nationally recognized as a forerunner for Native American literature. The author of Four American Indian Literary Masters and the co-editor of the Encyclopedia of American Indian Literature, and also co-edited the publication with Jennifer McClinton in 2007. His unwavering commitment spurred to serve as the editor of The Native American Renaissance: Volume I.
Over his 50 year OU career, he published 11 books, 31 journal articles, and 13 chapters.
His exploratory findings of Native American writers started a movement, resulting in an overwhelming outpour of speaking engagements throughout the nation and globally.  
 Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame

 2015 Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame Inductees Express Appreciation for a Prestigious Honor
The Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame (OEHF) Board of Directors honored four 2015 inductees: Janet L. Cunningham, Alva; Kara Gae Wilson-Neal, Tulsa; William R. White, Edmond; and John M. Woods, Weatherford at its 13th Annual OEHF Banquet and Ceremony.
The acclaimed honorees were evaluated in the areas of professional experience, recognitions and awards, professional model, research educational service, community service and leadership. Each distinguished educators' portrait will hang among the other Oklahoma Educator Hall of Famers, within the Oklahoma State Department of Education. OEHF is a nonprofit organization that was established in 1984, for the purpose of recognizing and honoring educators, who exemplify a commitment to quality public-supported education.
Janet Cunningham
Dr. Janet L. Cunningham has served as the president of Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU) since 2006. During her tenure, the institution's first-time freshmen enrollments increased by 84 percent and seven new endowed chairs have been added. Cunningham also served 27 years as a NWOSU faculty member, and dedicated three decades in educational service. She began her career as a certified public accountant and was appointed in 2010 to the State of Oklahoma Team for Complete College America.
"NWOSU is about to start up a new school year, and I think back to the same time period 42 years ago when I was starting as a brand new freshman there. For those of us who work in higher education, we are honor bound to help every student to be as successful as possible. That is the only way our state will progress, having citizens with college education. I am passionate about education, especially about higher education. I often tell people that I have the best job in the world. I cannot think of a profession that I would rather be a part of, or an institution that I would rather work with. What a wonderful honor it is to be recognized for doing something that I love," Cunningham said.
Kara Gae Wilson-Neal
Dr. Kara Gae Wilson-Neal recently retired as the University of Tulsa's curriculum director for the school of urban studies. The noted educator has been recognized for her many "firsts" throughout her 32 year career, constructing a historical milestone as Oklahoma's last elected County Superintendent in Tulsa from 1987-1993, pioneered by the legendary 1990 House Bill 1017 reform. Neal's other esteemed firsts included Oklahoma's first female superintendent at both Oklahoma City's Metro Technology from 1993-1999 and Tulsa Technology Centers from 2008-2012.
During the ceremony, the former Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction, Sandy Garrett, introduced her longtime friend and fellow colleague as an education visionary.
"Being the first woman district superintendent has always had its pluses and minuses," Neal said. She admitted jokingly that she was often referred to as "that woman".
"There were 600 school districts at the time, and there were only about 13 female superintendents in those districts. We know that good leadership is not gender based. This award to me is not based on my political party or my gender. Most of the time it was kind, sometimes it was humorous, and most of the time it was said with exasperation."
Dr. William R. White changed the face of K-12 learning in Deer Creek and Ponca City during 1984 - 2004, where he served as superintendent partly by heading up and developing the trimester
William R. White
scheduling and boldly integrating major technology. Before closing out his 38 year career, retiring in 2011, White served for nine years at Southern Nazarene University and three years as Interim Executive Director for the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA).   
White's daughter, Dr. Kerri White, Coordinator for the South Central Comprehensive Center at Oklahoma University said, "I am so proud of the contributions my father has made to Oklahoma public education over his long career!  His servant leadership is inspiring and humbling, and his innovations have impacted the lives of kids statewide.  I hope that my attempt to follow in his footsteps as an educator, although along a different pathway, will be as fruitful and meaningful to Oklahoma children.  Our family is incredibly grateful to the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame selection committee for recognizing and acknowledging Dad's contributions to the State."
Dr. John M. Woods was half a century before his time, promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). A teacher leader, Woods, began working as the math department chair at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1988, impacting the STEM educator over 50 years.
John M. Woods
In the 1990's, he helped push forward Oklahoma Council of Teachers of Mathematics to develop new state standards, serving on and subsequent revision committees for the Priority Academic Student Skills.
The humble Woods thanked his family, friends, and colleagues all individually, as well as collectively, saying there have been so many, who have made such a big difference in his life, starting from high school up until now.
"I started in education 66 years, and I recall waiting for the bus on the first day of first grade. Harry taught me to count to 10 on the bus stop. I didn't have Pre-K or kindergarten, so I learned to count on the first day of school. I had no hope of becoming a mathematician. From that day to today, I have been in education ever since, some of it as a student, a teacher, a professor, and directing different programs. I don't want to quit. I could have retired many years ago, but I can't," Woods said.  

 Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame
African American Educators Hall of Fame Inductees Dedicate 393 Years of Combined Service
The Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame, Inc., (OAAEHF) a nonprofit organization, was established in 2010 by Dr. Donnie L. Nero Sr., for the purpose paying homage to Oklahoma's African American educators living and posthumously, who have exemplified a commitment, while demonstrating exceptional abilities in realizing ideals, service, or leadership in the teaching and guidance of their students.
Donnie Nero
 Nero was the 15th president of Connors State College, and the first African American to serve as the executive chief of a predominately white institution from 2000 - 2011. He began his educational career as a math teacher with Sapulpa Public Schools. Throughout his career, Nero has served as an instructional leader, a coordinator in multiple capacities, and within a repertoire of administrative positions, committing 40 years of service.    
In 2015, OAAEHF hosted its fifth annual banquet and ceremony, recognizing 10 celebrated inductees. Together, the women and men honored devoted 393 years of combined service over the life of their careers. Throughout their journey, many faced insurmountable odds to secure their own educational attainment, as well as making sure their students took advantage the academic opportunities presented.
Nancy Ola Randolph Davis (Posthumous Award)
Known as the virtuous educator, Nancy Ola Randolph Davis, the great-granddaughter of slaves, had parents, who stressed the importance of education, strong morals, Christian values, and an intense work ethic.
Davis possessed, modeled, accomplished, and the influenced characteristics she was taught by her parents.
Nancy Ola Randolph Davis
The 1944 Sapulpa Booker T. Washington high school graduate entered Langston University and obtained a B.A. degree in Home Economics in 1948. Despite state and federal laws, which prohibited African American students' entrance into white learning institutions, Davis persistently pushed forward and enrolled in Oklahoma A & M College, now Oklahoma State University (OSU). In 1952, she earned a M.A., degree and later completed her post-graduate studies at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma.
Her first teaching assignment was at the segregated Dunjee High School in Spencer, Ok, and after Oklahoma City Public schools integrated, Dunjee was closed. She was reassigned to Star Spencer High School, closing out her teaching career after devoting 43 years.
Davis and her life-long friend and college roommate, Clara Luper, served as co-advisors to the Oklahoma City NAACP Youth Council. She co-founded the Amigas club, served as a member of the OKC Urban League, and worked within a number of civic, professional, and community organizations.
In 1991, Governor David Walters appointed Davis to be the first lay member of the Oklahoma Nursing Board. In 1999, Davis was awarded the OSU Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus Award, and in 2001 three scholarships were established, honoring her contributions, followed by a residential facility named in her honor.
Manyles B. Gaines, Jr.
Manyles Gaines, the collaborative leader, was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended and graduated from Tulsa Booker T. Washington high school in 1956. In 1969, Gaines earned a bachelor's of science degree in elementary education from Langston University and a master's of degree in education from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah in 1969.
Manyles B. Gaines, Jr.
He began his teaching career in elementary education as a traveling music teacher in the Tulsa area among elementary students. Later he transitioned into becoming an instructional leader, closing out his administrative career with Tulsa Public Schools in 1994.
Throughout his career, Gaines remain proactively involved with a myriad of educational civic and community organizations, garnering honors and awards that tracked his 29 years of service.
Dr. Ernest L. Holloway, Sr. (Posthumous Award)
Ernest L. Holloway graduated from Boley high school in 1948. After he earned a bachelor's degree in vocational agriculture education from Langston University in 1952, Holloway returned to Boley , where he served as a teacher and a principal.
Ernest Holloway
Ernest Holloway
He completed his master's degree in science from Oklahoma State University (OSU) in 1955, and his doctorate in higher education administration from the Oklahoma University (OU) in 1970.
Holloway served as Langston University's 14th president, but his progression was not immediate. He moved up ranks, working as assistant registrar, registrar, dean of students, professor of education, vice-president of administration, and interim president.
A proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Holloway has been inducted into the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 1996.
In 2002, President Bush appointed Holloway to the Board of Advisors on Historical Black Colleges and Universities. Holloway is the recipient of an illustrious and overflowing list of local, state and national awards, honors, and accolades.
Holloway loved dear Langston. At the close of each day, others would find him strolling the campus, visiting and encouraging his 'chillen', a legendary role model with the goal of serving others.
Marilyn Ballard Jackson
A native from the black township of Clearview, Marilyn Bernice Ballard attended and graduated high school from the neighboring town of Weleetka in 1969.
Marilyn Ballard Jackson
Determined to teach, Ballard graduated from East Central State College, now (ECU), with a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1973, entering Okmulgee Public Schools to teach first, second, and third grades respectively. Later she relocated to Sapulpa to teach sixth grade reading, serving as a public school teacher leader for 26 years, retiring in 2007.
She was recognized by the National Reader's Digest American heroes in Education and credited for her works in creating the Multicultural Curriculum for Banneker kindergarten and Early Childhood Development Center.
An avid member of Okmulgee Classroom Teachers Association, Jackson served in many leadership roles within the organization, as well as other agencies, dedicating 33 years in the teaching profession.
James R. (J.R.) Johnson (Posthumous Award)
An influential mentor, James R. Johnson, was born in Idabel, Oklahoma. When his family relocated to California, he was the only child, who remained behind to live with the Cecil G. Holt family.
Johnson attended Wewoka schools and graduated in 1949 from Langston University with a bachelor's degree in vocational agriculture. He was the only child among his 12 siblings, who earned a college degree.
He launched his teaching career in Haskell's Booker T. Washington High School in 1950, where he was the sponsor for the Negro Farmers of American organization, preparing his students to become fierce competitive speakers in the 1959 national meeting. As a result of his work, Johnson and his students were featured in the 2011 History of the Oklahoma FFA publication. Johnson retired after dedicating 35 years of service as a teacher, coach, and principal.
Johnson was one of five retired African American vocational agricultural teachers to establish the Retired Educators of Agricultural Programs (REAP). A proud alumnus of Langston University, he served as the institution's Alumni Association President in the 1960s.
Family, friends, former students, and colleagues remember James Johnson as a man of character, administering to the needs of others as a mentor and a teacher.
Clara Mae Shepard Luper (Posthumous Award)
The mother of Oklahoma's civil rights movement, Clara Mae Shepard Luper, is known as the instiller of pride to African Americans.
A 1944 history graduate of Langston University and a 1951 master's history studies graduate of Oklahoma University, Luper began her 47 year teaching career at the segregated Dunjee high school, closing out her career in 1991 at John Marshall High School.
Clara Mae Shepard Luper
Arrested 26 times for her role in the civil rights movement, Luper was just as passionate about ensuring her students' academic success as she was about the equal rights of all people.
The celebrated author and multiple hall fame inductee, Luper has been showered with numerous awards. Luper was a 50 year advisor with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Oklahoma City University bestowed upon her an Honorary Doctoral degree, and the institution awards a Clara Luper scholarship, honoring her legacy.
Dr. Gloria Joan Pollard
Dr. Gloria Joan Pollard was one of 10 children, who grew in up Green Pastures, which is located on the eastside of Oklahoma City, graduating as Dunjee high school's salutatorian in 1961, and later returning to roots to teach English in the very school that prepared her to teach.
Pollard received her undergraduate degree in an English from Central State University, now University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) and her master's degree in English from UCO in 1966 and 1972 respectively. In 1993, Pollard was awarded her Ph.D., in Higher Education Administration from the University of Oklahoma (OU).  
Gloria Pollard
Her career encompassed working as a English and French teacher at Star Spencer high school, as a Writing Center English tutor at OU, and as the director of communications and educational program and assistant director of ASCEND at San Francisco State University Foundation in California.
Pollard was instrumental in establishing Millwood Public Schools Arts Academy in Oklahoma City, and the Oklahoma Association of Minorities in Career and Technology presented her with the Golden Torch award in 2005 for endless commitment to education.
The passionate mentor has served as the facilitator of an impressive line-up of professional development workshops and trainings.
The editor and writer for many publications is the author of Unknown Trailblazer: Nancy O. Randolph Davis, published in the Chronicle of Oklahoma (winter 2012-2013).  
Dr. Jimmy V. Scales
A legend in his own time, Dr. Jimmy V. Scales' father stressed upon him the importance of education.
A 1961 Idabel Booker T. Washington high school graduate attended Wiley College in Texas for one year, matriculating to East Central University (ECU) in Ada, where he was one of the first African American football players to suit with the icon coach, Elvan George.
Jimmy Scales
Scales earned a bachelor's in history in 1966 history and master's in 1969 in education from ECU. Later, in 1992, Scales earned his Ph.D., from the University of Tulsa.
In 2004, Scales was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for his leadership by placing Millwood Public Schools as an exemplary school by improving the school's graduation rates by 98 percent, while expanding college admission by 85 percent.
In 1984, Governor George Nigh appointed Scales to the Oklahoma State School Board of Education, making him the first African American to serve on the state's highest policy making board.
Scales has served as a teacher, an instructional leader, a superintendent in Texas and Tennessee, retiring after 45 years in education.
He is an inductee into ECU's Educators Hall of Fame and Idabel Athletics Hall of Fame.
Dr. Virginia L. Schoats
A 1949 graduate of Attucks High School in Ponca City, Virginia Schoats received a B.A. in English and minored in French in 1955 from Langston University (LU). She earned a master's degree in education, counseling and guidance from Northeastern State University in 1978 and a doctorate of education in educational psychology and counseling in 1978.
Virginia L. Schoats
She was born in Bonham, Texas and returned to the lone-star state to begin her teaching career in Paris, Texas. She then went to Arkansas to teach for one year before returning to the sooner state for brief stints in Taft and Haskell, Oklahoma. Schoats accepted a position in 1968 teaching English and French, which later moved her to serve as the assistant principal at Alice Roberson junior high in Muskogee.
She became the first counselor in the psychology department at LU, and in 1987, Schoats became Associate Vice-President of Academic Affairs at LU's Tulsa, retiring after 49 years in public and higher education.
In 1992, Governor David Walters appointed her to serve as the chairman of the State's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday commission. She also served as chairman of the Muskogee counseling and guidance for secondary schools. She also served as LU's alumni association national president, as well as within a host of other leadership positions.
Virginia L. Schoats facilitated life lessons.
Dr. Valree Fletcher Wynn
Valree Wynn was born in Rockwell, Texas but her family migrated to Oklahoma, where she graduated from Lawton's Douglass high school. She entered and completed her bachelor's degree in English at Langston University in 1943.
Varlee Fletcher Wynn
She furthered her studies at the Oklahoma State University (OSU) to become the first African American to graduate from institution with a master's degree in English in 1951. To complete her advanced degrees, she earned a doctorate from OSU in philosophy in 1976.
Her career stretched 33 years, starting out teaching English for 21 years in Lawton public schools and transitioning into higher education, landing a position at Cameron University, where she remained until her retirement in 1985.
Her accomplishments are paramount. Governor George Nigh appointed her to the Board of Regents for Oklahoma Colleges in 1986, and she was also elected president for the board and served for one term. Wynn also served on David Boren's Foundation for Excellence, Lawton Public Schools Foundation, and the Hospice of Lawton Board.
She has countless awards, honors, and has been celebrated as an outstanding educator.
Valree Fletcher Wynn is a source of excellence.

OSRHE/ Academic Affairs 
               Grants Guru, Linda Mason, Cashing in on Retirement
For someone who says she owns nothing, yet she possesses valuable skills used to help funnel billions in grant dollars to higher education institutions statewide, Linda Mason's decision to vacate her post at the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) will definitely have a deficient impact on grantsmanship.
Dr. Linda Mason who has served as a surrogate grant facilitator for 12 years is relinquishing her current position as OSRHE's Coordinator for Grant Writing and External Funding Assistance and is trading it in for
Dr. Linda Mason
Mason has played an integral, diversifying role in Oklahoma's colleges and universities abilities to learn, apply, and receive billions in funding to support and advance existing projects, as well as creating new and innovative, cutting edge educational opportunities and initiatives - all free of charge to the state.
To the current and prospective grant seekers, Mason says her wisest bit of advice is simple:
"There is money available to support everything, and the givers want to give it to you," the grants guru said.
Since 2004, excluding years 2005 and 2007 of unreported data, OSRHE reported an estimated $7 billion in discretionary grant dollars have been awarded, encompassing federal, state, and corporate competitive funds. 
She explained that grantsmanship is an evolving process, involving a vast array of details and a multitude of aspects from finding, applying, and administering grants to remaining in compliance with local, state, and federal guidelines and regulations.  
"What amazes me most is that for the past nine years, higher education institutions have had a flat or a reduced budget, and yet Oklahoma still produces excellence! When I came to the agency, there were $240 million in grants; however now, there are $680 million in grant dollars. Grantsmanship in Oklahoma is not required. It is only required for a tiny, small portion of our faculty members. Maybe less than 10 percent are required to write grants. That's people making things happen," Mason said.
Much like the emerging disproportionate, ballooning number of faculty, who choose to go after the much needed monetary resources to propel the Sooner state forward, there are also mirroring similarities between faculties' vitae and Mason's vitae. Both disclose the unsolicited desire to seek out alternative opportunities to achieve success.
Her track record reads like a financial portfolio. Mason's itemized assets of education, professional training, and noted publications were paired and then reinvested with her professional experience, spiking her career climb upward over the course of 48 years.  
Mason's professional journey, a long -term investment, began as an elementary teacher in Little Rock, Arkansas. She stated that most of the jobs along her career path were either offered to her or were self-created. She also admitted the loss of a few positions were actually beneficial in the long run.
Teaching Styles
As an elementary and as a post-secondary educator, Mason said she learned that there are two types of teachers - the gatekeeper/protector and the creator of successful learning environments. She opted to create her own stimulated learning environment to help her students to achieve despite the challenges.
"The gatekeeper/ protector are those educators, who take the field of knowledge and create barriers intentionally to see, who can climb over them," she said.
Mason's style of teaching is the complete opposite. Instead she prefers to meet students where they were and bring them up to where they need to be, stating relevance is a different teaching style, a style she practiced.
"The one thing I learned in obtaining all of my degrees, and as I taught elementary and older students is that you can teach by creating a learning environment in which students can move forward and achieve. The parts that make up a creative, positive learning environment include relevance, technique, options, and choices," Mason said.
Mason said she has had many debates over those two styles of teaching.
Self-Starter Season
Further along in her career, she entered higher education, labeling this season as a period of growth, stockpiling dividends, while crarving out her own path to create and facilitate continuing education programs statewide. According to Mason, these self-directed avenues were new, varied, and creative. At the City of Faith Medical and Research Center, Mason explained she was part of one of earliest forms of long distance learning - phone conferencing.
"While at the City of Faith Medical and Research Center in Tulsa, I worked constructing conferences and grand rounds, featuring the pioneering heart surgeon Dr. Michael E. DeBakey. I also created a video project, showcasing the renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James E. Winslow, Jr. I was able to put together professional development for the medical faculty, using slides on a two by two carrousel, and the learning exchange took place over a speaker phone," she added.
She also spent time serving in leadership positions at Oral Roberts University, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma University, and the University of Central Oklahoma before returning to teacher education as the Dean of Education and the Continuing Education at St. Gregory's University on the eve of 21st century, the new millennium.
Mystical Career Path
The common trend linking her retiring post to her prior positions is what Mason calls her privilege to serve creatively.  
"I have always been generously, and perhaps mystically, provided with the opportunity to serve creatively. I have had many positions, where I was able to create the position, the program, or the project! What challenges! What fun! What validation of capabilities and provision of information about resources," she said.
Grantsmanship is a visionary process Mason said. She explained the educators' dream of a project to meet and satisfy a learning objective. The faculty member(s) researches and strategizes the components to logistically put a plan in motion, and apply for a grant to bring the dream project to fruition.
"In the 11 years I have been with OSRHE, I have seen a culture of collaboration built among those who seek grants," Mason said.
As she exits her OSRHE post, Mason contends that pride, ethics, and collaboration are the major features that project the highlights within her career prospectus.
"I will remain in the field, because there is so much need out there," she said.
The reinvestment of dividends within grantsmanship has shown itself to be cost effective. The steward of grant dollars, Dr. Linda Mason, is proof of that.  
"My stewardship is to use the gifts in my environment and life wisely and for the best purposes for all," she added.

OSRHE/ Langston University 
Obtaining a College Degree Connects, Engages, and Empowers Dreamers to Achieve
Dr. Kermit McMurry' s high ranking position and towering presence mobilized Langston University's (LU) largest freshmen class in the institution's history to adhere to LU's 118th Convocation theme "Connect , Engage and Empower."
McMurry, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education's (OSRHE) Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, impressed upon the 692 first-time college co-eds and returning students that they were preparing themselves to reach their destiny.
"To both new and continuing students, you are at the right place at the right time. A place where you will realize your own personal dreams and your own career aspirations," he said.
Langston University President, Dr. Kent Smith, Dr. Melvin Todd, and OSRHE Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Kermit McMurry

McMurry admitted that when he was a college student, he had almost given up on his own dream before his father convinced him otherwise.
"My father told me, son, the reason sometimes we don't recognize opportunities is, more often than not, it comes disguised as hard work," he said.
After McMurry had recited an unprecedented listing of modern world technological advancements and medical accomplishments, he stated mankind is still unable to get along with one another.
"We as a society still appear to be imprisoned in our own souls," McMurry said.
However to offset, redirect and move toward their purpose, the student administrator told the future degree completers, they must remain laser focused, zeroing in and maximizing on what he called the four valuable learning experiences.
"In order for the formal learning experiences to be of more value to you, students, first, you must search for the well hidden treasures within your personal achievements. Secondly, you must have the ability to think and find lasting truth. Thirdly, you must seek out the ability to find and enjoy peace of mind. And fourth and finally, take on a cause larger than oneself. One that will have a lasting impact long after you have left this side of creation," McMurry said.
OSRHE's Vice Chancellor stated that students were like jewels that needed to be mined and refined on a college campus.
"College students are the heartbeat that keeps society nourished, full of hope and opportunity about the future that lies in front of us," he said.
Langston University President, Dr. Kent Smith, told the freshmen class that they were not at LU for a season, but instead they were at the institution for a reason.
"Make no mistake about it. It is about helping you get through your first, second, third, and fourth years of college. For most of you, the only way for you to have a more prosperous life that you would not have otherwise is by obtaining a college degree, and Langston University has provided you that opportunity," Smith said.

Cameron University 
Cameron University Hosts K.I.D.S. Camp Builds Minds, STEM Skills
This spring, Cameron University is building up their momentum to host the seventh annual Kids Investigating and Discovering Science (K.I.D.S.) camp for grades K-5, scheduled kick off in the summer 2016.
Over the

Cameron University Professor,

Dr. Michelle Smith

past six years, Cameron professor, Dr. Michelle Smith, has facilitated the camp's summer science methods course, parting knowledge and strategies, which explain and demonstrate science and engineering techniques for students to engage, explore, and exchange.
Pre-service teachers spend the first two weeks preparing for the K.I.D.S. camp, gaining hands-on approaches, which transition seamlessly from student to teacher.
Kindergarteners will learn basic engineering concepts, and 5th graders will enter the "World of Inventor, opening up a new, challenging world, using legos to prompt the mind to build and seek out creative ways to design architectural intuitions and inclinations.
This year's camp theme is entitled Invention Convention will encourage school age kids to enter an imaginary space to combine play with learning.  
If pre-service teachers are interested in enrolling, please contact Dr. Michelle Smith at Cameron University's department of education at michelles@cameron.edu or call 580.581.2203.
Northeastern State University  
The Consistent, Resilient Teacher, Dr. Mary Swanson Retires
In an age when the only aspect of life that remains constant is change, Mary Swanson has certainly made her mark, serving as an educator for 50 years.
Dr. Mary Ruth Francis Swanson is an associate professor of reading/ literacy at Northeastern State University (NSU) on the institution's Broken Arrow campus, a position she has held since 2004. 
Dr. Mary Swanson
She began teaching in the early 1960s, instructing 5th grade in Arvada, Colorado, and over the span of five decades, she has traveled and held teaching positions in Germany and Japan, as well as throughout the U.S. before the professor and her husband, Robert, an attorney, returned and settled in Oklahoma.
"I have lived around the world. I have lived in little cities, big cities, rural and urban areas, and I have taught many grades. I believe I have shared all of my experiences with my students," Swanson said.
After a half century of teaching students and preparing pre-service teachers, Dr. Mary Swanson is retiring.
Swanson began and ended her own professional preparation process at Oklahoma State University (OSU), where she earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education, with minors in math and science; plus, she earned a doctorate of education, educational technology from OSU as well.
In between her undergraduate and terminal degrees, she was awarded two master's degrees. The first is from Purdue University in education, with minors in counseling and English; and the second is from the University of Wisconsin in reading.
Although Swanson has enjoyed a long career, she says the scope of her pedagogy has evolved over time, keeping pace with technology and educational research.
Teacher Success 
Swanson stated there have been numerous changes over the course of her career, but the common thread connecting the pieces together is the teacher. She said the teacher is the commonality that binds the then with the now.
"The presence of the teacher is vitally important. It is the teacher who is willing to reach out to students and do the best job he or she can. I can remember the time before iPads, iPods, math media, and technology. I can remember the chalk board and the chalk dust, the set of encyclopedias, and an array of text books, utilized by both the teacher and the students as tools," she added.
Swanson reminisced saying the procedure was she issued the assignment and the questions, which were written on a chart posted to the wall permanently, and the same process was repeated year after year. School desks would be lined up in straight rows. Lessons were taught directly out of the book, and students wrote their answers down on paper in perfect cursive.
"I was looking for answers almost written verbatim, precisely word for word. We were lucky to have electricity and heat on certain days. We had no technology. Students had to leave this mobile classroom and walk through the snow to go outside to use the restroom, because there were no bathrooms inside the building. All we had was a room," Swanson said.
A few years into her career, Swanson contends the experience that changed her pedagogy happened when she was assigned to serve as a Title I middle school math and reading resource teacher in Ashton, Wisconsin. The director decided she wanted something different, saying what had been done in the past was not effective.  
The teachers and the administrative staff set out to change the learning outcomes of the rural, isolated Native American children in Ashton, Wisconsin. The goal was to implement the language experience. Their motto was - do it, write it, and share it!   Posters bearing the motto were plastered throughout onto the school's walls. Funding was plentiful; therefore, many activities were planned.
"Students, teachers, and many, many parents traveled to Delude, Minnesota to see a skyscraper, ride an elevator and an escalator, and visit a mall to eat in a cafeteria. These children had never been out of the county," Swanson said.
However, Swanson stressed the best excursion was a three day survival trip in the middle of the Wisconsin woods in the dead of winter.
Pedagogy and relationships drive student achievement  
"We skied. We learned survival skills. We measured things in metric and using standard measurements. We mapped things and took part in other math projects. We visited history and art museums. We wrote poetry and published books. Another part of the project was the parental involvement - a crucial component. I had to visit each home at least once a semester, and I tried to bring the parents back into the classroom to share their knowledge.  I went wild rice harvesting with the parents, involving the entire community in the learning process. We hosted guest speakers. We got out of the school and participated in local events. The children loved it," she said.
Swanson stated she gained two positive outcomes from the experience, and she claims these adventures proved beneficial early in her career, and similar excursions continue to have merit today.
"There were two takeaways from the Ashton experience. The first takeaway is the importance of activity based real life curriculum, matching the school and the outside world together. The second take away is the importance of the parental involvement," Swanson added.
According to Swanson, teaching and learning took on different shapes after the language experience project - do it, write it, and share it. In fact, several multidimensional educational configurations surfaced, two being inquiry learning and technology. She admits that a large majority of NSU's pre-teachers have been taught and are prepared to impart these strategies to their students, which Swanson says has been her greatest contribution to education.
"To enhance inquiry based learning, educators must focus on the individual learner, honing in on his choices, his preferences, and his attitudes and look toward self-directed learning. We must provide lots of opportunities for creativity, so students can demonstrate their knowledge in multiple formats from digital to traditional methods, as well as problem solving. We have to accept the kids from where they are and design clever and different approaches to facilitate development for optimal learning. The teacher of course is the key person in the school to meet each student's needs," Swanson said.
Dr. Mary Swanson's golden milestone of service has been interwoven into the fabric of Northeastern State University College of Education's conceptual framework - Teaching Scholars, Educational Leaders, and Developers of Human Potential.
"Mary is a NSU gem. She cares enough not let her students or her fellow colleagues ever give up, and her imprint will be here for years to come!," NSU Eddings Endowed Chair for Urban Education, Outreach and Research, Dr. Allyson Watson said.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University 
SWOSU's Career and Professional Day Supersizes Preparation
There are no shortages, stoppage, or lack of anything by way of preparation and support for Southwestern Oklahoma State University's (SWOSU) teacher candidates.
In fact, SWOSU hosts a fall and a spring education career and resource fairs, packaged with mock trail interviews to purge the nervousness, as well as fine tune and polish up candidates' responses, a refined prep exercise to ensure their teacher candidates are ready for today's students and the communities they will soon serve.
"The career a
Bruce Belanger, SWOSU
nd professional development day here at SWOSU is a great way to bring our graduating education seniors together and connect them with schools that are looking to hire them. Not only that, we provide them with resources such as the Teacher Shortage Employment Incentive Program (TSEIP) and the National Loan Forgiveness program. We want our teacher candidates to take advantage of every opportunity available to them as future educators," Bruce Belanger said.
Belanger, a SWOSU alumnus, is the institution's Coordinator of Field Experiences and Certification for Teacher Education and the facilitator of the career fair. He has served in numerous roles as a former education administrator and as a teacher before assuming his current post. Belanger stressed that nothing supersedes preparation.
SWOSU hosted 25 vendors primarily from the surrounding school districts, who came to recruit the institution's teachers to fill positions within their schools. In addition, three resource vendors were present, as well as area district superintendents and administrators, who served as mock interviewers, providing feedback to help teacher candidates enhance their interview skills.
Taylor Boyd
"We have superintendents and principals who have made room in their busy schedules to help our teacher candidates," Belanger said.
Taylor Boyd, a 2004 SWOSU elementary graduate, returned to the institution to pursue a master's degree in counseling, with the hope of landing employment as a school counselor.
"By participating in the mock interviews, it helped me get over my nervousness. I was able to meet superintendents and principals, and I came to realize that they are just people just like me. Plus, I have made a number of connections through networking, so hopefully, when I graduate in May, I will be able to reconnect, get hired, and work as a counselor," Boyd said.
Character Education 
State Schools of Character Multiply
Oklahoma's State Schools of Character are adding up.
This year, three more schools have joined the ranks of State Schools of Character. Those gaining the prestigious honor include Early Childhood Center in Muskogee, Jefferson Elementary in Pryor, and Discovery school in Tulsa, giving the Sooner state a total of 10 State Schools of Character.
State Schools of Character move into the pool to be considered as National Schools of Character, and both awards are recognized by Character.org, a national non-profit organization based in Washington D.C. that advocates and is the forerunner for character education.
In 2016, Oklahoma was among 16 other states of State Schools of Character given accolades   for their work.
Currently, Oklahoma has five National Schools of Character, which include Pryor High School, Hillsdale Middle School, Sadler Arts Academy, Muskogee's Rougher Alternative Academy, and Muskogee High School.
"The year 2016 has begun as a banner year for education in Oklahoma. OKcharacter.org and the Oklahoma Department of Education work collaboratively to recognize and show Oklahoma's state and national schools of character. A large number of educators remember why they entered the profession, and they are making a real difference in the lives of students," Madison Tomlinson, the Oklahoma State Schools of Character Coordinator said.
The 2016 Honorable Mention School of Character includes Discovery School and Dove Science Academy of Tulsa, as well as Dove Elementary and Dove Science Academy from Oklahoma City.
"The Okcharacter.org team congratulates the staff, students, and families of these fine schools, and we commend each of you making character a priority," Tomlinson said.
To learn more about schools of character, visit http://character.org or contact Madison Tomlinson, Oklahoma' s State Schools of Character coordinator at Madison.Tomlinson@mpsi20.org.

Educational Leader, Character Icon, Dr. Floyd Coppedge Dies
At his home-going celebration, Dr. Floyd Levon Coppedge did not want his lifetime of achievements, positions, awards, and honors to be announced, paraded nor printed.
Dr. Floyd Coppedge
Instead, his preferred wishes were to be remembered as a man, who tried to help others.
The relationships he poured his life's energy and resources into were his family, his students, and his staff.
Putting the needs others before meeting his own needs, Coppedge passed away just five weeks after attending his beloved wife, LaNell's funeral. He was 80.
Coppedge's family was his heart. Decades of family images and other artifacts were displayed on multiple tables throughout the Wilshire Church of Christ's corridor after his services, giving onlookers a glimpse into his role as the family patriarch.
Serving as a teacher, principal, professor, chair, dean, and as Oklahoma's Secretary of Education under the Frank Keating's administration, Coppedge never officially retired. Instead, he remained connected and committed to teaching and learning, advocating for the highest level of academic achievement, while he modeled the character that others attempted to emulate.  
He was a twin reared within a family of 15 children in Delaware County. The rural Oklahoman's memorial program read: A gentleman and a scholar, his good looks were exceeded only by his will to help others.
Dr. Floyd L. Coppedge was raised, educated and laid to rest in the small town of Kansas, Oklahoma, with a population of less than 1000; however, this man from humble beginnings made an unprecedented impact on several generations of Oklahomans' education statewide. 
OTC News 
Western District of Oklahoma History Society Preserves
 Oklahoma Law
The rule of law is to enable humanity to live together in harmony.
The Honorable Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange not only made history as the first African-American woman sworn in as a U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma and the first African-American woman elected to the Oklahoma Senate, she has also preserved the Court's role and historical development of the rule of law. 
The Honorable Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange

Co-founders, the Honorable Vicki Miles-LaGrange, Chief United States district Judge and Chairman and J. Edward Barth, Esq., President established the Historical Society of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma recover, preserve, and promote the judicial history of the Western District, along with the Federal Judicial Learning Center and Museum , located at the United States Courthouse, 215 Dean A. McGee Avenue in Oklahoma City opened this fall.  
The passion filled LaGrange stood before a standing room audience and stated, "This has been five years in the making, and I couldn't be happier than to share this grand opening with all of you."
The Historical Society of the United States District Court for the Western District    of Oklahoma and the Federal Judicial Learning Center and Museum's ribbon cutting.
The Historical Society of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma will preserve the history of the Court and will foster the knowledge and understanding of the Court's role and historical development of the rule of law.
  Federal Judicial Learning Center and Museum
The Historical Society collects oral histories, historical materials, develops the Federal Judicial Learning Center, and commissions the writing of the court's history.

"I have interest in this project since I was part of the Historical Society thanks to Judge Miles LaGrange many years ago, allowing the court security officers to join it. This is kind of neat, because we have seen it from the very beginning to the end. I am so very happy for her, because it is her legacy," Julie Reser, Lead Court Security Officer said.
Julie Reser




To learn more about the Historical Society of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma to recover, preserve, and promote the judicial history of the Western District, and the Federal Judicial Learning Center.

To learn more, visit: http://wdokhistory.org
The Oklahoma Teacher Connection TeachLINK


The Oklahoma Teacher Connection, a division of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, will electronically publish the TeachLINK E-newsletter three times a year.


The purpose of the E-Newsletter is to promote, market, and showcase news stories, creative features, curricular highlights, research data, and technological updates, which impact Oklahoma's Colleges of Teacher Education, common education, higher education faculty, students, and communities.


We welcome all comments, opinions, and/or concerns. Please forward your remarks to Deena Thomas at dthomas@osrhe.edu.

In This Issue
A Message From the OTC Director
Direct from the Editor's Desk
Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame
Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame
Oklahoma African American Eductors Hall of Fame
OSRHE/ Academic Affairs
OSRHE/ Langston University
Cameron University
Northeastern State University
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Character Education
OTC News