News RSS Feed History students represent OC at national conference Five students from OC’s Phi Alpha Theta chapter recently presented at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention this month. The convention took place Jan. 3-6 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The convention is comprised of a series of historical research paper presentations made by students. OC students Justin McLeckie, Cody Milner, Turner Smith, Brandon Kiefer and Laine Weatherford presented their papers at the convention.

Phi Alpha Theta is an academic honor society includes more than 500,000 members from almost 1,000 chapters nationwide. The society’s mission is to encourage the study of history in both students and professors. PAT pushes for historical research and the exchange of ideas between fellow historians.

The national convention was an opportunity for students to listen to historians from all over the nation. Students submitted their papers in November. The papers were then approved and submitted by the faculty advisor of the chapters.

OC sophomore and honor society member Justin McLeckie reflected on his experience.

“It was fun to experience the history of New Orleans,” McLeckie said. “I enjoy being in Phi Alpha Theta because it gives me the opportunity to do history-related activities with people of common interest.”

OC’s Phi Alpha Theta chapter is known nationwide for their community involvement. The students are involved in various history-related activities in the metro area including hosting the district’s History Day and OC’s “History Speaks” events. Students also tutor and host test reviews on campus for general education history classes. OC’s chapter has won the “Best Chapter Award” in their division for 22 consecutive years. This is credited to the conventions they attend, history-related work they do in the community and their award-winning Journal of Historical Studies.

OC’s Phi Alpha Theta faculty advisor of 35 years, John Maple, is proud of the students’ presentations and gave the students full credit for the continued success of the chapter.

“The society gives students a way to broaden their education and experiences in a way they can’t by sitting in a classroom,” said Maple.

A group of seven students from Oklahoma Christian will present research papers in March at the Oklahoma regional meeting hosted by UCO.

The students who presented in January had a wide variety of topics. Brandon Kiefer's paper was on “Southern Sympathies: The Motivation for British Mediation in the American Civil War,” while Justin McLeckie presented on “The Thorny Rose and the Shrub.” Laine Weatherford presented on “Women’s War Front: Rhetorical Structures in Britain’s Grassroots Propaganda Movement,” while Turner Smith addressed “Life, Liberty, and Slavery: How John Locke Enabled the Slave-Trade in Colonial Carolina.” Cody Milner's paper was on “The Great Divorce? David Lloyd George’s Interbellum Ideological Shift from Champion of Liberalism to Supporter of Fascism.” His paper was accepted for publication in the National Alethia Honors Journal. 

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Wed, 31 Jan 2018 12:15:00 CST e5de4fc5-af45-454e-8646-eb04d62a2042
OC grads named runners-up for CCCU Young Alumni Award Oklahoma Christian University's student-led VisuALS project continues to receive national recognition. Engineering alumni Preston Kemp and Tyler Sriver were named runners-up for the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities' Young Alumni Award. The two helped lead the team that developed an affordable eye-tracking program to allow ALS patients to speak again. The program uses eye-tracking technology and text-to-speech functionality; the first recipient, Carl (who has since passed away), was featured in national news reports including "The Today Show."

The CCCU is a higher education association of more than 180 Christian institutions around the world. Its Young Alumni Award is presented to individuals who have graduated within the last 10 years and have achieved uncommon leadership or success in a way that reflects the values of Christian higher education. This year's winner was Angie Thomas, author of the New York Times No.1 best-selling book "The Hate U Give." Another runner-up was Delana Small, who was recognized for her work as a U.S. Army chaplain. 

"We continue to be proud of the recognition and life-changing work that OC students have done through the VisuALS program," OC President John deSteiguer said. "They are an example for our students today of how Christian scholars and servants can make the world a better place."

Visit the OC website to learn more about the VisuALS student team and how they won the 2017 Love's Entrepreneur's Cup statewide competition. To learn more about the VisuALS program and business today, visit

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Sat, 27 Jan 2018 13:45:00 CST b01f07a9-3ac5-46c9-b1af-e43fa366246e
OC’s “Afterburners” prepare for international competition Oklahoma Christian University’s “Afterburners” is a team of engineering students that competes against universities from around the world. From March 9-11, the team will travel to Lakeland, Florida, to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineering Aero Design East competition. The competition allows students to participate in a real-life scenario that challenges their knowledge and interpersonal communication skills.

OC’s Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Bradley Buxton, is proud of this year’s team and how they work together.

“This is a truly international competition, and our team’s goal is to be among the best every year,” Buxton said. “The OC engineering students know that teamwork and communication are just as important as design.”

The first SAE Aero Design East competition was in 1986 in Kansas City, Kansas. The competition has grown immensely, with almost 600 students from 75 teams participating from around the world. Universities from the United States, India, Egypt, China, Canada, Poland and Brazil will be represented in the competition.

Essentially a heavy-lift contest, the goal is for each team to maximize the amount of weight on their planes, accounting for passengers and luggage. Students will attempt to fly their planes successfully, and they are required to give an oral presentation on their designs.

“Afterburners,” led by senior Sawyer Pehkonen, is comprised of eight students who are working diligently to prepare for the competition. The other members of the team are Fredrick Akuamoah, Luke Bruton, Braydan Castrop, Evan Lockhart, James Olsson, Caleb Salmon and Jake Sanderson. One of the team’s goals for this year is to fly their airplane with 40 tennis balls on board; each ball represents a passenger. This year’s design is about twice the size of the aircraft OC’s team competed with last year. That team earned fifth and beat out 29 teams from around the world. 

This year's fuselage designer, Fredrick Akuamoah, explained the difficulty the team faces.
"In aero design, once the plane takes off, it’s at the mercy of the weather, so minimizing the design and manufacturing flaws as much as possible is critical to succeeding," he said. "Most teams give up after failure, but this team is not one of those. I love the effort every one of us brings to help the team succeed."

A mistake in team communication resulted in a broken aircraft in a flawed early test run this year, but the team learned a valuable lesson from the mishap and is moving forward. Although there were a few bumps in the road at first, the test flights of the plane are becoming increasingly more successful.

“Failure is preparation for success,” Buxton said. “The failures we experience will only better prepare us for the competition.”

Another goal on the team’s agenda is to place in the top five like last year’s team. This competition provides beneficial future career opportunities for students and prepares them for situations they will likely encounter after college. OC’s tradition of success in this competition is good for the engineering department and especially the student participants.

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Mon, 22 Jan 2018 11:45:00 CST d590bcca-f801-4eca-acf9-ce9ddbfa5c59
OC history students among the best in the nation for 22 years running History students at Oklahoma Christian University routinely rank among the best in the nation. That standard of excellence continues today as OC’s history honor society was recognized late last year as a Best Chapter in the nation for the 22nd year in a row.

OC’s chapter is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, an honor society for college history students and professors in the United States. The society hosts regional and national conferences in which more than 350,000 students from 860 chapters compete. The OC chapter, known as Tau Sigma, competed against other universities that had won five or more Best Chapter awards, and against schools that have up to 3,000 students. The latter category has more schools competing against each other than any other Phi Alpha Theta division.

Tau Sigma also placed second in the nation in the print category in the Gerald D. Nash History Journal Award competition. This was OC’s 25th volume of the Oklahoma Christian University Journal of Historical Studies. It won honorable mention in the online category, too.

The group’s academic sponsor, Distinguished Professor of History John Maple, humbly praised the students.

“As always, the students deserve the credit for placing so well in national competitions,” said Maple, who also serves chair of the department of history and political science.

OC’s chapter engages in a number of activities for which it was recognized as a best chapter. Students attend the Oklahoma regional conference every year, volunteer at OC's History Speaks events, host representatives from law schools, help run Oklahoma History Day for area high schools and organize visits to area museums. Maple also took five students to New Orleans to present at the Phi Alpha Theta National Conference Jan. 3-7. In addition, political science students at OC have won Outstanding Delegation at the Southwest Model Arab League competition for six years in a row. They defeated a number of larger universities such as Texas A&M University and Baylor University.

Tau Sigma’s journal would not have been possible without a donation from the offices of Risa Forrester, vice president of enrollment and marketing, and Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. 

The Best Chapter honor also comes with a $250 stipend. By winning so many times, OC’s history students have earned more than $5,500 to help fund library purchases at OC.

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Fri, 12 Jan 2018 17:30:00 CST fcf359ff-3184-4617-9d41-5498a815827d
OC alumni, students help fellow alum at OCA Jan. 13 Oklahoma Christian University alumni and students are starting the new semester by giving back to a fellow alumni family. Extended OC family and the public are invited to a benefit concert at Oklahoma Christian Academy's auditorium in Edmond, Oklahoma, Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The concert honors the memory of alumna Amy Carnagey and raises funds for the Carnagey Endowment Fund for her daughters, who are OCA students.

The concert will be full of family-friendly entertainment. Alumnus and local television personality and performer Lucas Ross, will emcee the event. Other musical performances will include alumnus Matt Stansberry of the band Matt Stansberry and The Romance, alumnus Erick Alexander and current OC students Jesse Garner and J.D. Martin. 

Amy met her husband, Luke, at OC, and the couple had two girls, Autumn and Cailyn. Amy was diagnosed with cancer in January 2014, and she battled the disease until she passed away in May 2015. The OC and OCA communities rallied around the family then and through today.

Sada Knowles, secondary and middle school principal at OCA and an OC alumna, reflected on how Amy maintained a joyful attitude and wore a smile on her face throughout her fight with cancer.

“She was really kind, friendly and dedicated to the Lord and her family,” Knowles said. “Her struggle with cancer was so difficult to watch. One thing I admire most about her and her family is that they made it a goal from the beginning to try to bring glory to God in that situation, no matter what happened, proclaiming the message that He overcomes, no matter what happened to her life here.”

The president of Oklahoma Christian Academy, Brandon Tatum, knew the Carnageys because their oldest daughter attended elementary school at OCA. He understood how important the school was to the Carnagey family. 

“Amy really wanted her daughters to get a Christian education,” Tatum said. “She thought it was really important to her family and the girls. Following her passing, OCA set up an endowment fund to make sure that the Carnageys always have the opportunity for a Christian education. We hope the fund will also be able to help future children at OCA who may be affected by cancer.”

Garner, one of the performers for the benefit concert, attended OCA. He expressed how much it meant for him to perform Saturday.

“I know that the Carnageys are some of the nicest, most fun and energetic people you will ever meet,” Garner said. “I think this is a very important thing to do. An act of kindness can go a long way.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased for $20 online. OCA is located at 1101 E. 9th St. in Edmond.

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Fri, 12 Jan 2018 07:45:00 CST ef41bbce-7ad0-497d-b6d8-67602b0a19de
OC's student PR firm recognized among Oklahoma City’s top professionals OC's student public relations firm simply wanted to encourage others to talk about mental health. As an unexpected surprise, their work was honored alongside Oklahoma City’s top PR professionals.

Oklahoma City’s Public Relations Society of America chapter honored OC’s Eagle PR for exemplary work. The student agency was recognized for its 30-day mental health social media project at the 2017 Upper Case Awards on Nov. 2. The Upper Case Awards recognize the top Oklahoma City professionals in public relations, communications and marketing.

Eagle PR competed in the Bateman Case Study Competition this past spring, PRSA’s national competition for public relations students. Students were asked to partner with the national nonprofit Campaign to Change Direction to raise awareness for the five signs of mental suffering and the need to regularly address mental health. The students also encouraged others to take the pledge to learn the five signs.

Larry Jurney, chair of the department of communication at OC, praised the students for their recognition.

“This is another impressive recognition for Eagle PR,” Jurney said. “Our teaching philosophy is to take what we learn in the classroom and put it into practical application. We are proud of these students.”

Eagle PR increased both awareness of the five signs on campus by 35 percent and the impression that mental health is discussed on campus by 19 percent. With the theme, “Not OK is OK,” students partnered with Mayor Mick Cornett, Sunbeam Family Services CEO Jim Priest and various mental health organizations to share the five signs.

Student Agency Director Aubree Hughes, Digital Media Director Christian Franklin and Associate Professor of Communication Josh Watson represented Eagle PR at the awards ceremony. They were awarded honorable mention, which was third place.

“The students deserve all the credit for this honor,” Watson said. “I am proud to be a part of a communication department that challenges students to work hard and perform at a high level.”

Eagle PR gives students the opportunity to gain professional experience prior to entering the workforce. Hughes said this type of recognition is reassurance that the work the students are producing is impressive and their education is valuable. As students compete with professional PR firms, they gain real-world experience, learn how to successfully implement a campaign and earn a chance to connect with industry leaders.

“I graduate in December and feel equipped for my career because of the real-world experience Eagle PR has given me,” Hughes said. “OC's PR majors are very lucky to have this opportunity to create high-level work.”

About Eagle PR:

Eagle PR provides services to several clients in the Oklahoma City area, including research, media relations, event planning, graphic design, videography, social media and strategy consultation. Eagle PR plans to expand its services within the next year. While Eagle PR has only been functioning for three years, they have been successful in building their skill sets through campaigns and client relationships. For more information visit

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Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:30:00 CST f0dc8a28-3e8a-406b-8430-a1c88f640854
Leading Christian economist to speak at OC’s ethics event Oct. 24 Income inequality is a topic that sparks vigorous debates in the United States. Those debates often touch on concepts like greed, capitalism, poverty and faith. Oklahoma Christian University welcomes a collegial discussion of income inequality when it hosts leading Christian economics professor Anne Bradley Oct. 24.

Bradley, the vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics just outside of Washington, D.C., will speak at OC’s 2017 Millican Ethics Symposium. Her lecture, “Does Capitalism Fairly Distribute Income: An Economic and Christian Perspective,” is free and begins at 7 p.m. in Judd Theatre.

“Some have called income inequality the defining issue of our time, and we want to embrace this complex topic with intellectual and faith-inspired consideration,” said Jeff Simmons, dean of OC’s College of Business Administration.

At the IFWE, Bradley oversees research toward a systematic theology of economic freedom. She edited and contributed to the organization’s two books, which are “Counting the Cost: Is Capitalism Worth It?” and “For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty.” In addition, she has taught at Georgetown University, George Mason University, Charles University, Grove City College, the Fund for American Studies and the Foundation for Economic Education. She earned her doctorate in economics from George Mason University, where she served as a James M. Buchanan Scholar.

Bradley has also researched the political economy and industrial organization of al-Qaeda. Those studies led to her working for the Central Intelligence Agency as an economic analyst.

“Dr. Bradley is an incredibly accomplished economics scholar whose faith has inspired her study of income inequality,” said Elaine Kelley, associate dean in OC’s College of Business Administration. “We are looking forward to a vigorous discussion of Christian responses to income inequality. We are thrilled to have some of her academic caliber as the keynote speaker for our ethics symposium.”

Prior to Bradley’s talk, OC will host a student-led debate on four questions about income inequality. The debate begins at 4 p.m. in the Adams Recital Hall. Bradley will moderate the debate with Brian Simmons, OC’s professor of communication and associate dean of the college of liberal arts.

Online registration for the event is available at For more information, call (405) 425-5560 or contact Elaine Kelly at

The Ethics Symposium is named after J.J. Millican, the father of Don Millican. Don serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Kaiser-Francis Oil Company and on the OC board of trustees.

J.J. Millican was a respected Christian businessman, faithful husband and father, as well as a Certified Public Accountant. He also was a national partner with Ernst & Young. Previous symposium speakers have included Enron whistle-blower Sherron Watkins, former WorldCom controller David Myers, nationally known tax expert Susan Hamill and championship football coach Gene Stallings.

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Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:35:00 CDT 22303f62-944a-4fc4-ae0c-a6909bf3c17e
OC to perform beloved “Kindergarten” play Oct. 12-14 Perhaps kindergarten is the foundation for learning how to get along with others. Robert Fulgham explored that notion in his beloved book series, “All I Reall Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” From Oct. 12-14, Oklahoma Christian University invites audiences of all ages to enjoy the heartwarming play based on Fulgham’s beloved book series.

The play is a collection of 20 thought-provoking short stories from Fulghum's books dealing with the positive aspects of society. Scott Hale, the director of the performance, said audiences will enjoy this fun and unique show.

“There are a lot of themes, but they are all elemental things that we teach our children on how to be a good human being,” Hale said. “These are things that we should have learned, or probably did, as a kid, and we are reminding our adult selves of the importance of these things still.”

One of the cast members, sophomore Abigail Kent, talked about the fluidity of the play. Kent, who is from Edmond, Oklahoma, plays many different roles following the different vignettes throughout the play. She enjoys playing several roles in the production because various cast members are in several scenes. Kent’s favorite scene is about hide-and-seek.

“People go away from each other and want to be found, but at the same time, they don’t want to be found. In adult life, people want to be isolated, but they don’t at the same time,” Kent said. “The play has simple ideas with a lot of profound implications.”

Larry Jurney, chair of OC’s department of communication, believes those simple ideas make the play incredibly enjoyable. In fact, the play appeals to wide range of audiences.

“We chose a play students and others would like because it is lighthearted, positive and fun,” Jurney said. “It is an enjoyable show for students of all ages.”

The show runs Oct. 12-14 at 8 p.m. in Judd Theater at OC; tickets are $10. A portion of proceeds from Friday and Saturday benefit OC student clubs. Tickets are free Thursday night for OC students with a student ID. To order tickets, visit or call 405-425-6310.  

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Sat, 14 Oct 2017 15:15:00 CDT a34942b3-a6fb-4d0a-ac59-2f1f5245f0a9
Gaming and Animation Students Help at the Boys and Girls Club OC helped the Memorial Park Boys and Girls Club in Oklahoma City unveil its newest Cox Technology Center last week. Due to OC’s national reputation for Gaming and Animation excellence, Cox Communications invited students to demonstrate virtual reality equipment. The OC students showed the children at the Boys and Girls Club how to use the VIVE virtual reality system and the Microsoft Hololens. OC students also impressed on the children that Gaming and Animation can be studied in college and enjoyed as a career.

A special thanks goes to OC Professor of Gaming and Animation Jeff Price and OC students Lauren Burk, Alex Hallenbeck, Christopher Labarthe, Laura Smethers, Gabrielle Underhill, and Ethan White. Thanks also goes to Cox Communication, which recently sponsored OC’s Cox Digital Art Studio at OC, too.

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Thu, 14 Sep 2017 16:45:00 CDT 8243e061-8d1b-4d33-9d04-5c1c4a412e3f
OC welcomes new faculty for 2017-18 Oklahoma Christian University’s newest professors bring academic accomplishments and professional experience to the classroom this fall. Students will benefit from these professors’ passion for faith and service.

“Faculty play a unique and special role in any university, and the OC faculty are inspiring teachers, scholars, and intellectuals. They are leaders in our community as well as in many congregations nearby,” said Dr. Scott LaMascus, OC’s chief academic officer.

“The 2017-2018 list of new faculty is as impressive as our students -- hailing from across the nation and around the world. They already are establishing their reputations in their academic fields and building impressive portfolios of teaching to make successful graduates,” LaMascus said.

Six of the new professors are alumni who were happy to return home to OC.

New Tenure-Track Faculty 2017-2018

Dr. Alden Bass joins the College of Biblical Studies this fall as Assistant Professor of Bible. Dr. Bass holds a Ph.D from St. Louis University in Early Christianity, a Master of Theological Studies degree from Vanderbilt University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Yale University. Among other teaching appointments, Dr. Bass has taught at St. Louis University and Lipscomb University. He is a member of the North American Patristics Society and the Society of Biblical Literature.

In addition to his active academic and publishing life, Bass brings valuable ministry experience to OC’s Bible programs. He has served as a minister for the North St. Louis Church of Christ and on the Committee for Racial Reconciliation in the greater St. Louis area. Dr. Bass, his wife Candace, and their three children have been active in providing hospitality for students in their community.  

“We are very thankful for the intentionality and enthusiasm Dr. Bass brings to our college in the pursuit of integrating faith and learning. The ways he and his family open their lives to reach others for Christ will be a great addition to the College and the university's mission,” said Dr. Charles Rix, Interim Dean of the College of Biblical Studies.

Eric Colgrove joins the College of Liberal Arts faculty in the Department of Music. He will direct the Symphonic Band and Chamber Orchestra, and he will teach music appreciation, methods, and other music classes. He began his teaching career at La Junta (Colorado) High School. From 2008 to 2017, he was director of bands at Widefield High School in Colorado Springs, additionally serving as Fine Arts department chair for the past six years. His concert and jazz bands consistently received superior ratings, and he also helped develop the Widefield Orchestra. Additionally, he has played trumpet in various jazz and concert ensembles. Mr. Colgrove holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Harding University and a Master of Music degree with an emphasis in Conducting from Colorado State University.

Regarding this appointment, Department of Music Chair Dr. Heath Jones stated: "Mr. Colgrove brings a wealth of music education experience to this position. Our faculty is excited to partner with him to continue enhancing the fine arts program at Oklahoma Christian. His enthusiasm and skill set will position him for success."

Wes McKinzie, an OC graduate (1998), is joining the faculty of the College of Business Administration, following five years as OC’s Director of Communications Marketing. He will be responsible for overseeing and teaching in the BBA: Sports Management program that is being implemented this fall.

Before leaving the professional world of sports to join OC’s marketing group, McKinzie served for many years in professional sports, including: Director of Communications for the Oklahoma Wranglers, Arena Football Team; Manager of Communications in the headquarters of the Arena Football League; and as Account Manager at McAuliffe, Norick, & Associates, where one of his major accounts included Oklahoma City's triple-A baseball team. He also served as Director of Athletic Marketing at OC and assisted with the university’s move to the NCAA Division II level.

Reflecting on Wes joining his faculty, Dean Jeff Simmons stated, “We are blessed to have someone with such talent, experience, industry connections and heart for OC and our students joining the faculty. I am confident he will build a Sports Management program that will glorify God while preparing Christian leaders in the world of sport.”

Dr. Paul House, also an OC graduate (1994), joins the faculty as Associate Professor to lead the launch of the new Nutrition and Exercise Science program. He earned his doctorate from Oklahoma State University in 2009. Dr. House joins OC after experience in the public education system at Deer Creek Schools and most recently 10 years at the University of Central Oklahoma. Paul and his wife Aimee (OC 94, Elementary Education) live in Guthrie with their two children, Cole and Savannah.

House has research interests in the physiological mechanisms that govern human performance, including kinetic and kinematic analysis of human movement. Paul has been honored to receive various awards for teaching at both Deer Creek Elementary School and UCO. In 2004 while teaching Elementary Physical Education, Dr. House received both the Deer Creek Elementary “Teacher of the Year" and the Deer Creek District "Teacher of the Year" awards. In the fall of 2012, he received the "Vanderford Teaching in Excellence" award through the College of Education and Professional Studies at UCO.

Dr. Jonathan Hunt, an OC Biochemistry graduate (2004 Honors Fellow), returns home to OC as Assistant Professor in Biology. He received his Ph.D from the University of Oklahoma in 2012. Dr. Hunt is completing his role as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Lab of Jimmy Ballard, Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Hunt has numerous publications and presentations in addition to a book chapter on The Pathogenesis of Infectious Endophthalmitis.

While a student and postdoctoral fellow at OUHSC, Jonathan was recognized by the Graduate Student Association Awards for Outstanding Academic Achievement in 2010-2012. Jonathan and his wife Tamara (OC 2004, Biology) have three children and are members of the Del City Church of Christ.

Savannah Phillips, an OC Nursing graduate (2008), returns to OC as a Nursing faculty member.  Savannah earned her Master of Science degree in Nursing Education from Fort Hays State University in 2017.

As her final project, she conducted a study comparing the rates of drug use among adolescents in states with a mandated drug education program to states without the mandate. Previously, she had served as the Director of Nursing and Nursing Instructor at Flint Hills Technical College. In addition, she served as the Obstetrics Manager at Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center and as a nurse in labor and delivery at the Choctaw National Health Services.

“Savannah’s leadership roles in the hospital settings as well in an academic setting have prepared her well to teach undergraduate students,” said Dr. Jennifer Grey, Associate Dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences and Chair of the School of Nursing.

Phillips will serve as lead faculty for the maternal child course and as a clinical instructor for that course and also for the mental health course. She and her husband, Ross, have two children, Callahan and Vivian and are members of the Memorial Road Church of Christ.  

Visiting Faculty 2017-2018

“We are delighted to have three Visiting faculty returning and three new Visiting faculty members joining us this fall. These wonderful colleagues contribute so much to our higher-learning community,” LaMascus said.

Returning Visiting Faculty are: Hannah Bingham Brunner, an OC alumna who teaches English and composition at OC after graduate studies at Iowa State University; Joanie Gieger, a veteran public school teacher currently teaching in the School of Education and nearing the end of her doctoral studies at University of Oklahoma; and Dr. Mike Knedler, who retired as a Dean of Northwestern Oklahoma State University after a long career in the music faculty. Knedler teaches in the Honors program for the general education of national-leader undergraduates.

New to Visiting ranks this year is alumnus Dr. Mike Fowler, known well to OC as a past Distinguished Professor of Biology at OC, returning home after distinctive roles in statewide health care leadership and retiring in science administration at Lipscomb University.

Two new, full-time faculty in Visiting appointments are in high-growth, high-demand fields.

Dr. Lindsey Long, an OC Biochemistry graduate (2007), returns to Oklahoma from Albuquerque as Visiting Assistant Professor after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of New Mexico focused on teaching and research in the field of Biochemistry. Her husband, Dustin, and two children, Drake and Daniel, have recently relocated to the Edmond area where Dustin is a lineman apprentice with Edmond Electric.

Long earned her doctorate from Colorado State University in 2014, and she has numerous publications along with strong education and training including: Genomics Education Partnership (Washington University at St. Louis) 2017; Summer Institutes on Undergraduate STEM Education (HHMI) 2016, National IRACDA conference (poster presentation) 2015, 2016. Lindsey has numerous awards; Cell and Molecular Biology Research Symposium Poster Presentation Award (Honors) (2014); Cell and Molecular Biology Research Symposium Poster Presentation Award (Honorable Mention) (2013); Oklahoma Collegiate Academy of Science oral presentation awards for 1st Place in Section and 2nd Best in Academy (2007); Excellence in Undergraduate Research (Oklahoma Christian University (2007); and Summer Undergraduate Research in Biology (SURB) at Pepperdine University (2006).

Dr. Sheldon Liang, a software engineer and architect, joins the OC faculty this fall as Visiting Professor of Computer Science. Liang is a past professor of Computer Science for Azusa Pacific University in California, as well as Montana Tech of the University of Montana and Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China. Dr. Liang earned his Ph.D from the Institute of Software Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1997.

In addition to extensive teaching and industry work, Dr. Liang has published in Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) journals, and he authored three technical books: Advanced Software Design Technologies with Ada (2001), Applied Databases to Management Information Systems (1998), Mastering Object-Oriented Programming from C to C++ (1991). His research includes Software Engineering, Internet Software Development, and Big Data.

Dr. Liang discovered OC after working with OC alumnus Michael O’Brian in China. Dr. Liang also received a Master of Theological Studies degree at Christian Witness Theological Seminary in 2006.

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Tue, 22 Aug 2017 16:45:00 CDT b454ed14-68a8-4ae2-9d9c-e130d43a51e4
OC’s accounting program recognized; 7 other programs named a “Best Value” in the U.S. Oklahoma Christian University offers one of the top 10 accounting programs in the country, according to a recent ranking of Christian universities by Christian Universities Online. CUO ranked OC’s program 5th in the country. In addition, Best Value Schools recently ranked seven OC programs among the best values in the country.

CUO is an independent online resource for prospective students and their families researching Christian higher education. The site provides rankings and reviews of the best Christian colleges and universities, information about Christian scholarships and financial aid and other resources.

OC’s Associate Dean of the College of Business and accounting professor Elaine Kelly celebrated the recognition.

“We’re honored to be named among the best five Christian accounting programs in the country,” Kelly said. “With our emphasis on ethics, such as our Millican Ethics Symposium, we are dedicated to helping prepare Christian accountants for success in their careers and lives.”

In its determination for the ranking, CUO cited OC’s award-winning Accounting and Finance Club, which won first place in a statewide competition three times in four years. CUO also cited OC’s partnerships with several companies, such as Grant Thornton, Devon Energy and Ernst & Young, which place students in internship positions where they can put what they learn in into action.

According to CUO, accounting ranks as the 7th most popular major among U.S. college students. A degree in accounting opens up many job opportunities, ranging from government work, to careers in finance or corporate management to entrepreneurial opportunities. The basic tool and language of business, accounting requires a high level of technical skill combined with strong ethics. An area well suited for those who enjoy math and individuals with high moral standards, CUO considers OC among the best options for pursuing a degree in accounting.

To learn more about the ranking, the full list is available from CUO's website.

In addition to the CUO ranking, Best Value Schools ranked seven OC programs as some of the best values in the country. OC’s major in chemistry was ranked 2nd, accounting 6th, computer science 6th, electrical engineering 6th, mechanical engineering 6th, communication 7th, biology 8th and pre-law 22nd.

Best Value Schools defines value in college education using variables such as faculty-to-student ratio, price, school environment through student clubs and organizations and income expectations for a degree.

“These rankings are a reflection of the dedication and scholarship that our faculty and staff demonstrate every day in the fields of science, business, liberal arts and engineering,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott LaMascus said. “We’re especially proud to see how often our dedication to faith in scholarship was cited in these high rankings.” 

OC’s chemistry program was noted for being one of the most affordable for a chemistry degree in the country. Undergraduates can major in chemistry, biochemistry, forensic science or science education, and each program helps students acquire a depth of technical knowledge while developing stable personal lives and an ethical approach to their work.

OC’s computer science and engineering programs were recognized for a 100 percent job-placement rate for engineering graduates. OC’s software engineering emphasis is a unique option that helps distinguish it from similar programs on BVS’ ranking. OC developed the emphasis in response to a plea from Oklahoma City engineers who wanted to see more young professionals with software experience. In other words, the demand for software engineers is there, which increases OC students’ marketability on graduation.

OC’s mechanical engineering program was noted for its student resources (like a state-of-the-art thermal-fluids lab) at less than half the price of its competitors. Likewise, OC’s communication program was lauded for costs that were less than two-thirds of the schools on the best communication degrees ranking. In addition, OC offers nearly twice as many communication majors as its competitors.

OC’s biology program received attention for offering some of the most unique degree offerings of any of the top colleges on the list. With undergraduate degrees in biochemistry, biology, cellular and molecular biology, medical laboratory sciences and science education (with an emphasis in biology), OC allows students to tailor their educational experiences to their professional interests. Furthermore, 90 percent of OC students involved in research at the undergraduate level were accepted to medical or graduate school.

Finally, OC’s pre-law program offers an interdisciplinary curriculum in which students are introduced to multiple subjects that also happen to be the most popular majors for law school applicants. This potentially provides a double– or even triple–threat advantage during the application process.

The full lists are available from Best Values Schools

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Wed, 02 Aug 2017 02:30:00 CDT 05f04c0b-9000-4d55-b1fe-9e822b685454
OC places fifth at international aircraft design contest A team of engineering students from Oklahoma Christian University beat out 29 other student teams from around the world this spring.

The OC team placed fifth in the Society of Automotive Engineering Aero Design West competition in Dallas, defeating schools as large as the University of Michigan and the University of Texas.

Students had to design and fly a radio-controlled airplane that carried 27 tennis balls with a half-pound steel plate in each ball, which represented passengers and luggage. OC’s team also submitted a written report and an oral presentation in the SAE competition.

OC’s Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Brad Buxton advised the team.

“I could not be more proud of our OC engineering students,” Buxton said. “We really enjoyed representing OC with a strong top-five finish.”

Student teams from colleges in the U.S., Canada, Egypt, India, Mexico, China and Poland competed in multiple classes. OC’s team competed in the five-country Regular Class and placed second in the oral presentation, fifth in the written report and sixth for flight performance.

All teams were limited to one kilowatt of power and a runway of 200 feet, which provided difficult design challenges. Students routinely adjusted to obstacles such as loose antenna wires and tough crosswinds to achieve successful flights.

Marina Pendleton led the OC team, and Joshua Hartman served as the technical lead. Other team members included Mitch Barron, Ben Griffith, Layne Hammer, Ian McElfresh, Wesley Shepherd and Jordan VanBuskirk. The team was sponsored by Niagra Bottling through OC alumnus Jim Utley and the OC Student Government Association.

OC’s Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott LaMascus praised the students and Buxton.  

“We are incredibly proud of these students’ worthy accomplishment,” LaMascus said. “We are thankful for Professor Buxton’s guidance and support for these impressive students.”

Buxton added that a chief engineer from Lockheed Martin attended the competition. He asked for the OC students’ resumes and announced the company will hire 500 new college graduate engineers this year.

SAE International is a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. This year, SAE offered 12 student competitions with real-life engineering challenges. OC student teams have participated in a number of those competitions in the past, such as the Baja SAE challenge to build and test an operating Baja buggy.

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Mon, 01 May 2017 17:30:00 CDT 14c948ac-654f-492d-80e5-8d8aa012411b
Engineering student named OC’s first Goldwater Scholar OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – A mechanical engineering major’s wind energy research gave Oklahoma Christian University its first Barry Goldwater Scholar.

A student in OC’s Honors Program, Parker LaMascus, was one of just two students selected from Oklahoma and among just 240 sophomores and juniors honored nationwide. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

“We are incredibly impressed and proud of Parker’s academic accomplishments,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “His pursuit of excellence is a natural fit with his Christ-like spirit, and he serves as an inspiration to students and staff alike.”

Goldwater Scholars have gone on to win other prestigious awards like the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship, Rhodes Scholarship, Churchill Scholarship, and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.

“Parker is such a wonderful student and researcher,” said Jim Baird, director of OC’s Honors Program. “In his application, he emphasized his ongoing wind energy research that is so relevant to Oklahoma and the nation. Parker is a great symbol of the flexibility and specialization that ambitious students have at a small, Christian university.”

The one-year scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, books and housing up to $7,500. Scholars are chosen among students from 2,000 colleges and universities, and most recipients plan to obtain a Ph.D.

Byron Newberry, dean of OC’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, believes LaMascus has a bright future as a researcher.

“Parker has been one of our strongest students from his first day,” Newberry said. “He made a name for himself doing research here and abroad, and he is extremely involved in and out of the department. I could not think of a more deserving individual.”

Congress created the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation in 1986. It serves as a memorial to the work of Goldwater, who served for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate. Since its first award in 1989, the Foundation has granted 7,921 scholarships worth $63 million.

A previous OC student, Nicholas Conley, was named among 300 honorable mentions for the scholarship in 2012.

Oklahoma Christian is ranked as one of the best universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. A recent study rated Oklahoma Christian as one of the best higher education values in Oklahoma, citing the university’s low net price combined with OC graduates’ high starting salaries.

OC offers undergraduate programs in more than 80 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.


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Wed, 12 Apr 2017 10:30:00 CDT e250d398-9f71-456b-9eab-d2221005feed
Enns discusses science, faith at OC lecture OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Biblical scholar Pete Enns will speak on the relationship between science and religion at Oklahoma Christian University (OC) on April 11.

Enns’ presentation, “Science, Faith, and What’s At Stake,” is part of the university’s McGaw Lecture Series. The event begins at 7 p.m. in OC’s Hardeman Auditorium. Admission is free.

Enns, who has a doctorate from Harvard University, is the Abram S. Clemens professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University. He has taught undergraduate, seminary and doctoral courses at numerous other schools, including Princeton Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, and Temple University.

He speaks and writes regularly about the intersection of the ancient setting of Bible and contemporary Christian faith. His popular blog, The Bible for Normal People, can be found at

He has written, edited and contributed to nearly 20 books, including The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It; Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament; and The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins, which won the 2012 ForeWord Review Book of the Year Award in Religion.

Oklahoma Christian University’s McGaw Lectures are made possible by an endowment fund created by the late Mary and Foster McGaw through the National Education Program.

Past McGaw speakers include Christian authors Miroslav Volf, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, N. T. Wright and Ravi Zacharias, plus civil rights pioneers Claudette Colvin, Fred Gray, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Diane Nash, Terrence Roberts, Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

Oklahoma Christian is ranked as one of the best universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. A recent study rated Oklahoma Christian as one of the best higher education values in Oklahoma, citing the university’s low net price combined with OC graduates’ high starting salaries.

OC offers undergraduate programs in more than 80 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.


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Thu, 06 Apr 2017 09:30:00 CDT 5a23769d-230c-486e-9479-885aefaafd87
Thompson, Reagan take final bows OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Oklahoma Christian University (OC) Department of Music is closing the curtain on the school year.

The Chamber Orchestra begins a series of musical events on April 9, followed by an OC Chorale concert on April 11 and a concert by OC’s Symphonic Band and Jazz Band on April 13.

Department chair and professor of music Dr. Kathy Thompson will conduct the Chamber Orchestra in what is not only its final concert for the school year, but also Thompson’s final concert as director.

Since announcing her retirement, Thompson said directing her final concert has provoked a unique, emotional experience compared to past performances.

“Rehearsals and performances this year have definitely been more emotional for me,” Thompson said. “I have had such a wonderful career here and I have enjoyed working with OC students in various ways for the past 30 years.”

Along with several serenades from composers such as Mozart and Luigi Boccherini, the concert will feature 24 OC alumni performing with the current orchestra.

Thompson said she looks forward to showcasing both her current and previous students’ musical talents.

“I love the teamwork that directing a music ensemble demands,” Thompson said. “I love sharing what we have spent much time rehearsing to others. In this particular concert, I’m looking forward to directing an orchestra of students from the last 24 years coming together to do what they enjoy doing.”

The Chamber Orchestra concert is April 9 at 2:30 p.m. in Adams Recital Hall, followed by the Chorale concert on April 11 at 7 p.m. in the Garvey Center, and the Band concert on April 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Hardeman Auditorium.

Along with the musical performances, OC’s theater program will say farewell to longstanding director Phil Reagan with the production of The Servant of Two Masters, scheduled for April 13-15 at 8 p.m. in Judd Theatre.

Combining elements of traditional Italian comedy and postmodern vaudeville, “The Servant of Two Masters” features the main character, Truffaldino, navigating masters, mistresses, lawyers and “twenty-seven plates of meatballs.”

Even though he’s retiring, Reagan said directing this show has been no different than past performances, and he hopes it will give audience members comic relief during a difficult time of the school year.

“College can be stressful, especially at the end of the semester,” Reagan said. “This play will make you laugh and relax for a couple of hours.”

Oklahoma Christian is ranked as one of the best universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. A recent study rated Oklahoma Christian as one of the best higher education values in Oklahoma, citing the university’s low net price combined with OC graduates’ high starting salaries.

OC offers undergraduate programs in more than 80 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.


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Wed, 05 Apr 2017 16:00:00 CDT 408dc90e-c5a1-436b-9317-602bdbe4b075
Hays receives coaching award at Final Four PHOENIX – Longtime Oklahoma Christian men’s coach Dan Hays was honored Sunday night by the National Association of Basketball Coaches with a prestigious “Guardians of the Game” award for service.

Before the award was presented at the Orpheum Theater, a three-minute video was shown featuring photos and highlights from Hays’ career at OC, along with interviews with Hays and OC president John deSteiguer.

“Coach Hays is one of the university’s icons, and he is one of those fellows who spent decades here and made this place better because he made individuals better,” deSteiguer said in the video. “Coach Hays will never be forgotten here at OC.”

The positive influence of Hays, who stepped down in February 2016 after 33 seasons at OC and 38 as a head college coach, has spread far and wide – not just through the players he coached, but also through his work at OC Cage Camps and USA Basketball as well as numerous community service projects, such as free clinics he and his staff conducted for underprivileged children and at juvenile facilities.

Previous winners of the service award include Kansas coach Bill Self, Brigham Young coach Dave Rose, former Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, Wright State coach Scott Nagy, Georgia State coach Ron Hunter and Towson coach Pat Skerry.

Click here for a feature about Hays’ prestigious honor on

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Mon, 03 Apr 2017 09:00:00 CDT 62c0bea8-7303-47f2-a034-ec61370fb2b2
Millican testifies on Capitol Hill Invoking chapter 58 of the Book of Isaiah, Oklahoma Christian University board chair Don Millican spoke to a congressional committee on behalf of the George Kaiser Family Foundation on the importance of funding early childhood programs, particularly those targeted to low-income families.

“It tells me all of my religious practices are worthless if I do not break the yoke of oppression. In my opinion, there is no greater yoke of oppression than that laid upon a child born in generational poverty — a child who did not choose the circumstances of his or her birth,” said Millican, chief financial officer of Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. and board member for Tulsa Educare.

Tulsa represented two of the four positions on the panel before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, which is led by Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma.

Also featured were Steven Dow, executive director of the Community Action Project of Tulsa, which administers the local federal Head Start grant; actress Jennifer Garner, representing Save the Children; and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, professor of child development and education at Columbia University.

Click here to read the full article from the Tulsa World.

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Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:30:00 CDT 9948c6a4-a600-4c41-9936-0dd3e3a3be09
OC grad named president at Seminole State College Oklahoma Christian University (OC) alumna Lana Reynolds will become president of Seminole State College when current president Dr. Jim Utterback retires June 30.

The Seminole State College Board of Regents had previously announced that Reynolds would serve as “Acting President,” but made the appointment permanent at their March board meeting.

Utterback named Reynolds, a 1981 Oklahoma Christian graduate, as executive vice president in January. She will become the sixth active college or university president in OC’s alumni ranks, joining Andy Benton (Pepperdine University), Allison Garrett (Emporia State University), Stan Helton (Alberta Bible College), Bill Pink (Grand Rapids Community College) and Harold Shank (Ohio Valley University).

“The future of Seminole State College is in excellent hands,” Utterback said. “Over the years, I have seen Lana serve this institution with integrity, dedication and hard work. It is undeniable that she has a love for the college and the skills to make the college excel. I believe her passion for SSC, combined with her vast experience and knowledge of our campus and community, will make her an extraordinary leader – one we are extremely fortunate to have.”

Reynolds has served at Seminole State College for more than three decades. She started as an English instructor in 1984. From there, she has worked as public information officer, director of public relations and assistant to the president. She served as associate vice president for business and community relations prior to being named vice president for institutional advancement in 2005. In 2014, that title was changed to executive vice president for institutional advancement.

Reynolds’ responsibilities have included the oversight of public relations, the SSC Educational Foundation, legislative relations, the Business and Industry Training Program, and the President's Leadership Class. She has also taught leadership courses at the college.

Reynolds is a past president of the Seminole Chamber of Commerce and the Seminole Rotary Club. She has served as chair of the Oklahoma State Regents Communicators Council and is a past president of the Oklahoma College Public Relations Association.

A founding board member of the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum, Reynolds has served as president of the museum’s governing board multiple times.

“I have had the privilege of working with Lana on Chamber activities and projects, as well as Seminole Rotary Club projects,” said Melvin Moran, founder of the Children’s Museum. “I am especially grateful for her dedication and work for the benefit of the Children’s Museum. She is a wonderful woman and has helped and elevated our community repeatedly, and in so many ways.”

She is currently chair of the Seminole Tourism Council and serves on the Board of Directors for the area Salvation Army. She is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Mid-Central Oklahoma Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Reynolds is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma – Class XVII and serves on LOK’s statewide Board of Directors. She was recently selected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Academy for State Goals.

In 1991, she was selected as Seminole’s “Citizen of the Year.” In 2008, the OCPRA named her “Communicator of the Year.” She was also named as one of the Journal Record’s “50 Women Making a Difference” in the State of Oklahoma in 2000, 2012 and 2013 – bringing her into the “Circle of Excellence” for her three-time selection.

Click here to read the original Shawnee News-Star article about Reynolds becoming SSC's acting president.

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Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:00:00 CDT 7b07ea03-c170-4adc-9e05-3dc082bc8217
Gaming and Animation program earns prestigious national ranking OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) again landed a high ranking on The Princeton Review’s list of top universities to launch a career in gaming and animation.

At No. 31 on the list, OC is Oklahoma’s highest-ranked institution and ranks above schools like Texas A&M University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to The Princeton Review, schools were chosen based on a 2016 survey of 150 domestic and international universities offering game design degree programs. The survey gathered data on each institution’s game design academic opportunities, lab facilities, starting salaries for graduates and graduate career achievements.

Technological advancements allow OC’s gaming and animation program to stand out at the national level. Recent enhancements in the university’s Advanced Visualization Lab allow students to enhance their abilities with augmented reality, virtual reality, and motion tracking.

“We have really great facilities for students to come and work,” Art and Design chair Jeff Price said. “We have all the latest technology that a lot of schools aren’t even doing yet. Our students learn programs to enhance their artwork and creativity, which allows them to incorporate artistry, technology and creativity.”

Oklahoma Christian was also recognized among the top 10 universities in the southwest for animation by Animation Career Review.

Price said OC’s gaming and animation program offers a unique perspective to provide students the skills they need to develop successful careers.

“We focus on the whole artist,” Price said. “It isn’t just a tech program. We look at innovation, traditional media and traditional technique, and weave them together. Our students come out with a broad understanding of what it truly takes to make art.”

Since its began seven years ago, OC’s gaming and animation program has grown from 15 to 85 students. Recent graduates are active in successful careers ranging from movie production and architectural visualization to design education.

Oklahoma Christian is ranked as one of the best universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. A recent study rated Oklahoma Christian as one of the best higher education values in Oklahoma, citing the university’s low net price combined with OC graduates’ high starting salaries.

OC offers undergraduate programs in more than 80 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.



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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:15:00 CDT fc4d148e-e57a-4b8e-bec9-e4e691edd9f7
OC to honor Greens at Associates Gala OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University will honor the Green family of Hobby Lobby fame at the 14th-annual OC Associates Gala April 6.

The family will receive the university’s “Lee Allan Smith Spirit of Oklahoma Award,” named for an OC friend, civic leader and tireless proponent of Oklahoma City and the state of Oklahoma.

David and Barbara Green, the patriarch and matriarch of the Green family, took out a $600 loan in 1970 to begin making picture frames out of their home. That small business grew into Hobby Lobby, the world’s largest privately owned arts-and-crafts retailer.

Hobby Lobby has 32,000 employees working in 750 stores across 47 states. In addition to its 9.2 million-square-foot corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City, the company has offices in Hong Kong and China.

“David and Barbara Green can be examples to us all,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “David’s mom told him, ‘Just look for what you can do for the Lord,’ and he has made that his mission by humbling serving his employees and by spending millions to share the Gospel all over the world. Despite being wildly successful, David and Barbara want God calling the shots. And that’s true for the Green family as a whole.”

The Greens’ children have carried on the family’s dedication to spiritual entrepreneurship and ministry. In 1981, Mart Green founded Mardel Christian and Educational Supply, a chain of Christian education stores. He also produced the films End of the Spear and Beyond the Gates of Splendor.

Steve Green, author of Faith in America and The Bible in America, became president of Hobby Lobby in 2004. He also serves as chairman of the board for Museum of the Bible, home to one of the world’s largest collections of rare biblical artifacts. The 430,000-square-foot Museum of the Bible will open later this year in Washington, three blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

Darsee Green Lett is vice president of art and creative at Hobby Lobby. Her husband, Stan Lett, is Hobby Lobby’s executive vice president.

Oklahoma Christian’s previous Lee Allan Smith honorees include: Oklahoma City mayors Mick Cornett, Kirk Humphreys and Ron Norick; former Oklahoma governors and first ladies George and Donna Nigh, Frank and Cathy Keating, and Brad and Kim Henry; Oklahoma City weathermen Gary England, Damon Lane and Mike Morgan; University of Oklahoma basketball coaches (and OC alumni) Sherri Coale and Jan Ross; and former Oklahoma City Thunder star Serge Ibaka.

The Associates Gala is a thank-you dinner for annual donors of $1,000 or more to OC’s unrestricted scholarship fund, which helps make a first-class Christian education more affordable for students from Oklahoma and beyond.

OC Associates receive two complimentary tickets to the event and may buy extra tickets for $100 each. Tickets must be purchased in advance; they are available by calling (405) 425-5094 or via email at More information is available at

Oklahoma Christian is ranked as one of the best universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. A recent study rated Oklahoma Christian as one of the best higher education values in Oklahoma, citing the university’s low net price combined with OC graduates’ high starting salaries.

OC offers undergraduate programs in more than 80 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.


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Tue, 14 Mar 2017 14:30:00 CDT c39063eb-a39a-41f8-902f-58e4a19b20b7
Lowry leaves dean post after successful 12-year tenure OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) dean David Lowry will return to his “first love” as a communication professor this fall.

Lowry has served as dean since 2005, first for OC’s College of Arts and Sciences, then for the College of Liberal Arts after the university expanded to five academic divisions in 2014.

Professor of Music John Fletcher will serve as interim dean during the search for the college’s new leader.

“I’m thankful for the colleagues and students that have blessed my life during my 12 years serving as dean. It’s been an honor,” Lowry said. “My passion for teaching has driven my professional life for four decades, and I look forward to working more with students and tackling the new challenges ahead as a professor.”

Lowry first taught at Oklahoma Christian from 1980 to 1985, helping launch the popular radio station KOCC-FM in addition to his classroom work. He went on to serve as an award-winning professor at Pepperdine University for 20 years before returning to OC.

Highlights of his tenure as dean include the upcoming launch of a new criminal justice major and the development of OC’s gaming and animation program into one of the best in the nation.

“Liberal Arts is the heart of an exceptional undergraduate experience. Dr. Lowry’s leadership has been a season of growth at OC and an era of high achievement by the faculty and students of the college’s many disciplines,” said Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. “Even as Dr. Lowry moves into this new role, I will continue to seek his counsel because he is a highly-experienced academic leader who is known for his commitment to learning assessment and academic success.”

An expert in accreditation practices, Lowry co-chaired the university’s Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee, which successfully earned OC its reaffirmation of accreditation.

“I appreciate Dr. Lowry’s assistance in the university’s visit by the Higher Learning Commission,” said Lee Anne Paris, associate dean for academic affairs and director of institutional effectiveness. “His years of experience serving as an HLC reviewer made him an invaluable resource as Oklahoma Christian prepared for our comprehensive evaluation visit last year.”

OC’s College of Liberal Arts houses the departments of Art and Design, Communication, Education, History and Political Science, Language and Literature, Music, Physical Education, and Psychology and Family Studies.

Along with the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Liberal Arts hosts the majority of OC’s general education curriculum offered to make graduates stronger lifelong learners, deeper critical thinkers and more effective communicators.

LaMascus said Fletcher will begin working with Lowry immediately to create a smooth and seamless transition. Fletcher, a 1982 Oklahoma Christian graduate, joined the faculty at his alma mater in 1987.

“John Fletcher is a beloved teacher and OC legend in his own right,” LaMascus said. “He has served in many roles – professor, band conductor, Department of Music chair, and Faculty Association president – just to name a few. He also twice authored the department’s accreditation self-studies with the National Association of Schools of Music. OC will be in great hands during this transition.”

Dr. Jeff McCormack, dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences, will chair the search committee for the new Liberal Arts dean. The university will begin accepting applications soon.

“We anticipate having an internal candidate search only,” LaMascus said. “We have many wonderful leaders in the Liberal Arts, so I’m confident this college is ready to raise up one of its own who is respected as a scholar, cherished as an excellent teacher, and proven as a leader, too.”


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Fri, 10 Mar 2017 12:45:00 CST f0e6dd69-6391-453b-a56c-de0413b4e8f3
Mayor Cornett, OC students highlight the importance of mental health Mayor Cornett will join students’ Not OK is OK campaign to emphasize the five signs of emotional suffering 

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, 73 percent of college students have experienced one mental health crisis while on campus. Given that reality, and in light of the work he has done to highlight physical health, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett will speak to college students about the importance of mental health on March 8.

A group of students at Oklahoma Christian University wants to make mental health as important as physical health. They reached out to Mayor Cornett because of his credibility and dedication to improving Oklahoma City’s health. He will speak at OC’s daily chapel on behalf of the students’ Not OK is OK campaign, which addresses the five signs of emotional suffering: personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care and hopelessness.

As Fitness Magazine’s 2010 Champion of Health and Fitness and Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Champion of Oklahoma Health, Mayor Cornett has made great strides to make Oklahoma City healthier. In his recent State of the City address, he challenged Oklahomans to take mental health more seriously.

"Mental illness is not being adequately addressed," said Mayor Cornett. “And that is a nightmare."

The OC group is working with the national Campaign to Change Direction to change the culture of mental health in communities across the nation. The Change Direction initiative is a collection of concerned citizens, nonprofit organizations and private sector leaders who have come together to make mental health as important as physical health.

“We are thankful that Mayor Cornett will speak on this important topic and encourage students to know the five signs,” said OC student Kaitlin Allen, director of the Eagle PR team leading the campaign on campus. “We want to help people be more aware of emotional suffering in their own lives or the lives of others. We also want to connect people with resources for help.”

The students are encouraging members of the community to take the pledge to learn the five signs. Through a core message that it is OK to not be OK, OC students are partnering with various on-campus organizations, including the Eagles Health Initiative club and U!Shine, an organization dedicated to building resilient minds on college campuses to improve mental health. Activities include pledge drives, presentations on the five signs to diverse groups in the community, events to celebrate encouragement and positivity and high profile guest speakers advocating to change the culture of mental health. For more information, visit and

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Tue, 07 Mar 2017 07:45:00 CST b89781e1-6e54-46b6-b032-27f816d462fa
Belles of the Ball: Iota wins first Spring Sing crown The women of Iota Kappa Phi are Spring Sing champions.

Performing a “Beauty and the Beast” routine, Iota followed up last year’s strong second-place finish by claiming its first-ever Spring Sing crown Saturday night.

The men of Kappa Sigma Tau, champions in 2015, placed second to extend their run of top three finishes to four straight years.

Phi Omega Nu earned its highest finish ever in third while Theta Theta Theta placed in the top four for the first time since 2003.

In a Spring Sing first, a silent auction raised $7,082.55 for Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village. Many OC students serve as mentors at Stanley Hupfeld, and children from the school visit campus each year during Earn Your Wings to fly kites and spend the day with OC students.

1st - Iota Kappa Phi - “Beauty and the Beast”
2nd - Kappa Sigma Tau - “Jokers and Riddlers” from Batman
3rd - Phi Omega Nu - “Mulan”
th - Theta Theta Theta - “A Bug’s Life”

Faculty/Staff Favorite - Iota Kappa Phi
Student Favorite - Kappa Signma Tau
Audience Favorite - Theta Theta Theta
Most OriginalPhi Omega Nu
Best BannerGamma Rho
Best ChoreographyIota Kappa Phi
Best CostumeIota Kappa Phi
Best LyricsPhi Omega Nu
Best VideoPsi Epsilon
Best VocalsPhi Omega Nu
Unity AwardPi Zeta Phi

For more about OC Spring Sing, click here to read a preview of this year’s show and click here to see past videos and results.

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Sat, 04 Mar 2017 22:00:00 CST 8b485f62-a4c8-4e29-bdab-05b8d0eef419
Oklahoma Christian hosts STEM event OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Oklahoma Christian University (OC) College of Engineering and Computer Science will host its first STEMinar lecture for the Oklahoma City metro community on March 23.

The keynote speaker is computer science pioneer Mary Sue Moore, the principal business architect for Asurion in Nashville, Tennessee. Her experience includes work as a process definition consultant, project manager, systems engineer, software engineer and developer.

Moore is passionate about encouraging women in computer science, and mentors women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

“Central to most every success is an individual bold and determined,” said Byron Newberry, dean of OC’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Such individuals can inspire all of us to see the possible, not just the simple or typical. I pray Mrs. Moore will serve as such an inspiration to our students – women and men alike.”

Newberry said Moore has deep understanding of life as a female in a career field dominated by males.

“I anticipate Mrs. Moore will offer unique perspectives on the opportunities and challenges facing diversity in STEM,” Newberry said. “Secondhand knowledge takes a backseat to firsthand experience.”

Moore also will address how technology, software and big data affect society. Newberry said students need to be aware of the power technology holds.

“How data is used and how software interfaces with people impacts each and every one of us,” Newberry said. “The severity of that impact is growing at an alarming rate. I want talented, diverse, faith-filled men and women shaping that future.”

The free lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m. on March 23 in Hardeman Auditorium. More information is available at

Oklahoma Christian is ranked as one of the best universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. A recent study rated Oklahoma Christian as one of the best higher education values in Oklahoma, citing the university’s low net price combined with OC graduates’ high starting salaries.

OC offers undergraduate programs in more than 80 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.


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Thu, 02 Mar 2017 10:45:00 CST 091507b8-e8cf-4fc5-b406-42913db0beb2
Spring Sing rewinds the clock OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The 49th-annual Spring Sing production is traveling back in time with performances from Oklahoma Christian University (OC) social service clubs March 2-4.

Spring Sing is a longstanding university tradition, bringing together clubs, the freshman class, and hosts and hostess performers on a stage of friendly musical competition. The theme for the 2017 production is “Rewind the Clock.”

Executive director David Paul Kritz, a senior from Coffeyville, Kansas, contemplated various concepts before deciding on a 90s theme. He said his goal is to allow both current OC students and audience members of all ages to reflect on fond memories from the 90s.

“My biggest hope is that this show will throw everyone back to a time they enjoyed, whether that was early childhood or early retirement,” Kritz said. “The 90s were years that created things we can all look forward to experiencing once more – this time under the lights of the Spring Sing stage.”

Each year, Spring Sing is put together by a student-led executive committee and individual club directors who choreograph each performance, design costumes and write lyrics. A team of hosts and hostesses perform throughout the show between club performances.

Andrea Ochoa, a senior from Houston, will debut as a hostess for Spring Sing 2017.

“I love performing in any setting,” Ochoa said. “I have performed in lots of music department productions at OC, and this was one on my list. I love singing pop music for fun, so I’m really excited to perform it on stage.”

Joining Ochoa as fellow hosts and hostesses are Kendall Allen from Oklahoma City, Faith Fugar from Cypress, Texas, Peter Miller from Decatur, Illinois, Josiah Tie from Malaysia, and Lane Wheeler from Wichita, Kansas.

The show features Alpha Gamma Omega as the Warner Brothers Animaniacs, Delta Gamma Sigma as Space Jam Looney Tunes, the freshman class as the wizards and witches of Harry Potter, Gamma Rho as Cruella De Vil and her 101 Dalmatians, Iota Kappa Phi as Beauty and the Beast, Kappa Sigma Tau as Batman villains Joker and Riddler, Phi Omega Nu as Mulan, Pi Zeta Phi as the Powerpuff Girls, Psi Epsilon as the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, and Theta Theta Theta as Flick and Princess Atta of A Bug’s Life.

OC’s 2017 Spring Sing production also includes a new philanthropic element. During performance week, students and audience members have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction benefitting Stanley Hupfeld Academy.

Spring Sing features three open performances – Friday, March 3 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 4 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. – plus a show for OC’s faculty, staff, and families on Thursday, March 2 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available online for $15.50/$17.50 each.

Oklahoma Christian is ranked as one of the best universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. A recent study rated Oklahoma Christian as one of the best higher education values in Oklahoma, citing the university’s low net price combined with OC graduates’ high starting salaries.

OC offers undergraduate programs in more than 80 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.


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Wed, 01 Mar 2017 08:00:00 CST a380418c-f8a7-4ec3-a95c-93b4f0bfc64a