News RSS Feed Remodeled auditorium named for beloved professor Cail OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) honored a living legend Friday by renaming one of its historic lecture halls as Cail Auditorium.

James Cail taught psychology at Oklahoma Christian for 31 years, entertaining and enriching students with his wit and wisdom in Davisson American Heritage Auditorium.

Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the completion of a $500,000 renovation of the 45-year-old auditorium through OC’s Thrive campaign. The university surprised Cail at the event by announcing that the hall will now carry his name.

“I hereby repent of every cynical thing I ever said about naming stuff after people,” Cail said to a chorus of laughter from the friends, family and supporters in attendance. “Life can be defined as a series of surprises and I have to say this is one. (OC) has done a lot for me and is doing a lot for me now. I’m grateful for what it did for me by way of my discipline, letting me practice something I love. And lovely, lovely, lovely friends – just the greatest bunch of people that you could ever imagine.”

Cail has been a fixture at Oklahoma Christian since 1956, when he enrolled as a student at what was then known as Central Christian College in Bartlesville. He won two junior college debate titles, had a regular presence on the theater stage, and performed in the school’s popular original show, Songs America Sings.

He graduated in 1958, the same year the school relocated to Oklahoma City, then came back to lead Oklahoma Christian’s Admissions Office from 1963 to 1969. After earning his doctorate in psychology from Baylor University, he returned again in 1972, this time as a faculty member.

Over the course of his career, Cail earned many honors for his teaching and family seminars, including OC’s Gaylord Chair of Distinguished Teaching in 1980. The university honored him as a professor emeritus shortly after his retirement in 2003 and as a distinguished alumnus in 2012.

Cail and his wife Judy met at Oklahoma Christian and have been married for almost 50 years. All three of their children also graduated from OC; Trey Cail and Mindy Lemons are both medical doctors while Liz McElroy followed in her father’s footsteps to teach psychology before becoming student leadership coordinator at Oklahoma Christian.

“Great universities are great because of their heroes, and we stand in the presence of one of our heroes,” President John deSteiguer said. “Hundreds upon hundreds of OC students learned at his feet, and we’re thrilled to know that generations more will learn in his seats. It’s a real honor to be at this place right now where we can say, ‘Dr. Cail – We thank you and we love you.”

Including Cail Auditorium, five initiatives have been fully funded since Oklahoma Christian launched the Thrive campaign in June. A $1 million commitment by Benton and Paula Baugh of Houston, Texas, is providing the startup capital for OC's College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Funding also is complete for: Das Millicanhaus, OC’s living-learning facility in Vienna, Austria; high-definition projection systems in Hardeman Auditorium and Judd Theatre; and a strategic planning fund.

In addition, OC has announced an anonymous $2 million gift to help fund multiple projects, including the launch of the Ethos spiritual life initiative, as well as a separate $1 million gift from U Dining to go toward renovation of the university’s dining hall.

More information about helping those projects become fully funded and donating toward other Thrive initiatives is available at

Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Reportand The Princeton Review, Oklahoma Christian offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.




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Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:00:00 CDT 95f69d9e-9d50-4a0b-b83e-643937b537f2
OC lands on U.S. News ‘Best Regional University’ and A+ lists OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) ranks among the top 40 regional universities in the western United States, according to U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2015” guidebook.

Oklahoma Christian rose to No. 40 in this year’s 15-state western rankings and is the No. 2 Oklahoma school in the “Best Regional Universities” category.

In addition to having the most National Merit Finalists per capita of all Church of Christ universities, Oklahoma Christian earned recognition on the U.S. News & World Report list of “A+ Schools for B Students,” which identifies great colleges where scholars with high school GPAs in the B range can be accepted and thrive.

This is the 16th straight year U.S. News & World Report has honored Oklahoma Christian. 

“We are thrilled to be honored again as one of the best universities in the west,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “I’m also proud of this recognition of our A+ approach to B students. It speaks to the heart and quality of our professors, who work alongside our students to bring out their best and help them discover their gifts.”

The U.S. News & World Report Best College rankings assess seven broad categories: undergraduate academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rates. The full rankings are available online at

Last month, The Princeton Review again recognized Oklahoma Christian on its “Best in the West” list. In addition, The Princeton Review and PC Gamer recently ranked OC’s game design program as the No. 14 undergraduate program in the nation

OC’s academic reputation is further seen in placement rates at or near 100 percent for accounting, communication design, history, interior design, language and literature, nursing, and political science graduates seeking jobs or acceptance into graduate school and law school.

OC biology graduates have a 95 percent medical and graduate school acceptance rate, and 100 percent of OC Honors Program graduates have been accepted to graduate school the past four years. OC’s chapter of the National History Honor Society has earned national top chapter honors for 17 straight years.

Oklahoma Christian is one of just two members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities with three undergraduate engineering programs accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

OC also boasts the second-highest state education certification exam pass rate in Oklahoma, and is on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Oklahoma Christian offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.

The last decade has featured OC’s 10 highest enrollments ever, including a new school record this fall.


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Mon, 08 Sep 2014 23:01:00 CDT 34fc4b69-dcc1-4347-af8b-8bb0cfd2ad42
OC awards degrees at Spring Commencement OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) will present 198 undergraduate degrees and 39 graduate degrees at its spring commencement ceremonies on April 25-26.

The undergraduate ceremony starts at 10 a.m. Friday in OC’s Payne Athletic Center. The graduate ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in OC’s Hardeman Auditorium.

The undergraduate degree candidates, including 21 graduates from OC’s Honors Program, come from 28 states and 11 countries. They majored in a combined 38 academic disciplines at Oklahoma Christian. 

The master’s degree candidates come from six states and seven countries, and represent 13 graduate areas of study.

Mark Brewer, senior vice president and chief information officer for Seagate Technology, LLC, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address on Friday. William “Chip” Kooi, a professor of theology at Oklahoma Christian, will keynote Saturday’s graduate ceremony.

Brewer leads all of Seagate Technology’s information technology operations worldwide and is a member of the company’s Executive Council. 

His area consists of 1,600 IT professionals located in 20 different countries. His responsibilities include all business systems, factory information systems, electronic security, business continuity and collaboration services, as well as other traditional IT support services for Seagate’s 50,000 employees.

Brewer holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University. He serves as vice chairman of OC’s Board of Trustees and also is on the boards of the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank and the Missions Resource Network. He is a member of the Strategic Advisory Council for OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

Kooi graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1981, then earned his master’s degree in New Testament from Abilene Christian University in 1990, and his doctorate in religion from Baylor University in 1999.

Kooi worked in education, pulpit ministry and inner-city ministry before returning to teach at Oklahoma Christian in 2001. An accomplished theological scholar, he has written for The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell MovementLeaven, and The Christian Chronicle.

Oklahoma Christian, recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity and theological studies.

The last nine years have featured the nine largest enrollments in OC history, including a record 2,424 students this year.


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Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:00:00 CDT 51c455fc-77cb-4437-9b4b-10860b728de5
OC students chosen for Teach For America OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Two Oklahoma Christian University (OC) seniors have earned selection to the competitive Teach For America program.

Katelyn Jackson is a psychology major from Jonesboro, Ark., and Hannah Ketring is an English/writing major from Nashville, Tenn. They are part of OC’s Honors Program and will both graduate this spring.

Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits professionals and recent college graduates to teach for at least two years in low-income public schools.

“Students at any age level need people in their lives to support them and tell them that they’re competent and capable so they don’t get trapped in these patterns of failure,” Ketring said. “I’m looking forward to being that voice in their lives and saying that you can be more than what other people have told you that you are. You can rise above that.”

Both Jackson and Ketring needed government assistance when they were growing up as their parents dealt with the economic challenges of pursuing school later in life. They hope their experiences help them connect with their students.

“I grew up on food stamps and welfare. That gives me an idea of what my potential students are going through,” Jackson said. “I’m excited to let them know that their situations do not determine how well they’re going to do in their lives. I want to offer opportunities and help every child know that education is their right.”

Jackson will teach secondary science at a yet-to-be-determined school in Oklahoma. Ketring will teach English for elementary school students back home in Tennessee.

They will continue a new OC tradition. Oklahoma Christian graduates Henson Adams and Wil Norton joined the program when Teach For America expanded into Oklahoma City in 2011.

Adams taught mathematics at Douglass High School while Norton taught English at Douglass Mid-High. They are now in law school at the University of Texas and Georgetown University, respectively.

Through Teach For America, approximately 11,000 corps members currently teach in 48 urban and rural regions across the country. More than 300 of those corps members now teach in Oklahoma. For more information, visit


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Fri, 22 Nov 2013 15:27:00 CST 22f76c73-c98e-4558-bb9c-3732b5e8a8db
Academic departments honor outstanding alumni Oklahoma Christian University’s three academic colleges honored distinguished alumni during Homecoming weekend.

OC’s College of Arts and Sciences, led by Dean David Lowry, recognized Dr. Randel Estep (’86) – Chemistry and Physics; Jason Leger (’00) – Art and Design; Matthew Loeber (’02) – Nursing; David Jones (’94) – Communication; Dr. Travis Montgomery (’02) – Language and Literature; Leah Ries (’83) – Music; Dr. Neil Roberts (’99) – Biological Sciences; Jay Tabor (’86) – History and Political Science; and Dr. Nick Wisdom (’05) – Psychology and Family Studies.

The College of Biblical Studies, represented by Dean Alan Martin, honored Taylor Cave (’89) – Missions; Bob Herndon (’79) – Preaching/Ministry; Ryan Russell (’06) – Youth Ministry; and Ben Glover (’86) – Alumnus of the Year.

The College of Professional Studies, with Phil Lewis as dean, honored Kevin Arledge (’92) – Mathematical, Computer, and Information Sciences; Ted Norton (’84) – Business Administration; Anthony Rose (’07) – Teacher Education; Bahvahnie Smith (’00) – Mechanical Engineering; and Jim Theisen (’97) – Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dr. Estep serves as the Medical Director of Occupational Medicine at the McBride Clinic. He also is a medical consultant for the OG&E Corporation and is Oklahoma’s Delegate to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine House of Delegates.

Leger has been involved in the recording industry, news media, banking, and healthcare. He recently accepted a position with GE’s Oil and Gas division, where he is responsible for Global IT Commercial Operations.

Loeber is a charge nurse, a new hire coach, a preceptor for nursing students, and a certified ECMO technician at OU Children’s Hospital.

Jones is the Manager of Broadcast Operations and Technical Services for the Oklahoma City Thunder, overseeing gameday television broadcasts and operations.

Montgomery recently left the University of Mississippi, where he received the Lawrence “Shaky” Yates Award for Teaching Freshman Composition, for a tenure track position at Fort Hays State University in Kansas.

Ries teaches music in the public school system in Mankato, Minn., and serves as Artistic Director of the Mankato Children’s Chorus and director of the junior high and high school choirs.

Roberts has a private practice with the OSSO Healthcare Network as part of The Physicians Group in Oklahoma City and is Director of Endoscopy at Community Hospital in south Oklahoma City.

Tabor is a partner in the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, one of the world’s largest international law firms. He has represented General Electric in many transactions, including its $20 billion joint venture with Comcast for the ownership of NBC Universal and in GE’s recent $3.3 billion acquisition of Lufkin Industries.

Dr. Wisdom is a licensed Staff Neuropsychologist in the Mental Health Care Line at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston, Texas. He also is an Assistant Professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Baylor College of Medicine and serves as President-Elect of the Houston Neuropsychological Society.

Cave is the Outreach Minister at Del City Church of Christ, where he preaches on Sunday nights. Herndon is a minister at South Brooke Church of Christ in Tulsa and is involved as a docent with the Philbrook Museum of Art.

Russell works with Northwest Church of Christ in Oklahoma City. Glover is the senior minister with Oakcrest Church of Christ in south Oklahoma City.

Arledge is a Solutions Consultant with the Boston-based software company Kronos, Inc. Norton has worked in various roles for MidFirst Bank, including his current job managing the bank’s Commercial Sales and Marketing group.

Rose is an Assistant Principal at Cheyenne Middle School in Edmond, and also serves as the Youth Minister at Wilshire Church of Christ.

Smith is a Senior Engineering Manager at OG&E, overseeing three groups: Maintenance Engineering, Project Engineering, and Inspection.

Theisen is the lead engineer over the F-16 Power and Controls team for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, where he was recently promoted to the title of Electrical Engineer Staff, Senior.

Oklahoma Christian, recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.

For the last three years, the cost of attendance for OC undergraduate students has stayed the same, making Oklahoma Christian the only university in the state and the only reporting member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities that did not raise its total price. More information is available at


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Mon, 11 Nov 2013 09:00:00 CST d9f57852-27af-46be-bcad-bcd139785d52
OC students win psychology awards Four Oklahoma Christian University psychology students won awards at the Great Plains Students’ Psychology Convention in Missouri.

Seniors Natalie Nalley and Suzanna Sawyer won first place for their research study, “The Effects of Strategic Self-Presentation and Social Comparison on Social Disability.”

Sawyer said she and Nalley spent most of the fall 2012 semester researching and preparing their study to submit to the conference. When the conference came in March, the pair presented their study in a group of almost 200 other psychology students and won first place.

Fellow OC psychology students Deni Cowan and DaShae Dunbar received second place in their division for their study, “Music and Cognition: The effects of sad or happy music and duration on recall.”

“All in all, it is a very proud achievement for our psychology department,” Sawyer said.

The first Great Plains Students’ Psychology Convention was held in April 1981 and has since been held annually for students all over the Midwest.

Oklahoma Christian’s Department of Psychology and Family Studies has been training students in the world of psychology since 1999 and has received numerous awards.

OC’s Psychology Club provides an opportunity for department students to promote their field. The National Honor Society in Psychology, Psi Chi, advances the science and promotes excellence in the department.


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Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:27:00 CDT bebd5201-fb09-42d5-b3e3-b825edd84012
OC holds undergraduate prices for second straight year Oklahoma Christian University (OC) officials announced today that undergraduate tuition will not increase for the 2013-14 academic year.

The cost of attendance for OC undergraduate students also stayed the same from 2011-12 to 2012-13.

“Affordability is a big deal to us because affordability is a big deal to students and their families,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “Holding our total price is the right thing to do again because we want students to get a first-rate higher education at the best value possible.”

OC’s undergraduate tuition will remain $18,800 for students taking up to 17 hours per semester. Average room and board costs also will stay the same for a total price of $24,975. Oklahoma Christian also is continuing its policy of not charging student fees.

According to the College Board, the average total price of private universities rose 4 percent last year to $39,518. OC was the only university in Oklahoma and the only reporting member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) that did not raise its total price in 2012-13.

“With more students being priced out of higher education, Oklahoma Christian wants to provide an affordable college home where they can discover their passion and use their talents for good,” deSteiguer said. “As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, colleges need to do their part to keep costs down. Freezing our cost of attendance for two years running is a big part of our commitment to do that.”

Factoring in scholarships and grants, OC’s average net price actually decreased in the latest reporting period for the U.S. Department of Education. More than 90 percent of Oklahoma Christian students receive financial aid, including performance and athletic scholarships, need-based financial grants, and governmental assistance.

OC’s Presidential Academic Success Scholarship rewards academic achievement tied to student performance on ACT and SAT exams. Oklahoma Christian also offers large scholarships for National Merit Scholars. OC has seven National Merit Scholars in its freshman class and 30 National Merit Finalists overall, the most per capita of all Church of Christ universities.

OC’s “no fees” approach allows students and families to better assess costs in comparison to colleges and universities that charge course fees and other significant fees on top of their tuition “sticker price.” Differential tuition will continue for students participating in nursing clinicals or taking private music lessons.

OC students can shape their costs with technology, housing, dining and other choices that best fit their budgets and needs. They also can continue to supplement their meal plans with the optional purchase of “Eagle Bucks” for tax-free dining at Alfredo’s, Chick-Fil-A, Jimmy John’s and the OC Grill.

Graduate prices will range from $400 to $495 per credit hour, with slight increases for master’s students in business and engineering. More information is available at and

OC set school records with 361 graduate students and 2,271 total students enrolled this year. The last eight years have featured OC’s eight highest total enrollments ever.

Oklahoma Christian, recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in business, engineering, ministry, and divinity.

In addition to its Oklahoma City residential campus, OC has study abroad opportunities in Europe, Honduras and the Pacific Rim. This year, Oklahoma Christian opened a Learning Support Center in Kigali, Rwanda, allowing Rwandan students to study in OC’s online MBA program.


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Mon, 18 Feb 2013 11:15:00 CST 5a45d6c7-7ce3-4876-a993-e293b1d012f6
Academic colleges honor alumni at Homecoming Oklahoma Christian University’s three colleges honored distinguished alumni on Friday.

The special ceremonies were part of OC’s annual Homecoming weekend. The honorees were:

College of Arts and Sciences

Scott Filleman (05) - Music
Amanda Gauthier (11) - Nursing
Jennifer Hill (94) - Psychology and Family Studies
Russell Hill (93) - History and Political Science
Lisa Landrum (89) - Biological Sciences
Dana McMichael (83) - Language and Literature
Brian Simmons (87) - Communication
Roy Stevens (79) - Chemistry and Physics
Megan Wilkes (09) - Art and Design

College of Biblical Studies

Chris Stinnett (87) - Alumnus of the Year
Jeremie Beller (00) - Preaching/Ministry
David Duncan (88) - Missions
Josh Yaeger (04) - Youth Ministry 

College of Professional Studies

Jeff Dimick (83) - Mathematical, Computer, and Information Science
Jeremy Edwards (97) - Business Administration
Ben Knowles (00) - Mechanical Engineering
Tessa Tefertiller (95) - Teacher Education
Mitch Warren (05) - Electrical and Computer Engineering

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Sat, 03 Nov 2012 00:46:00 CDT 3cf2b8be-4c58-4482-8ee0-ce5ba103a9ae
New Faculty Bring Diverse Talents to OC From a gifted world pianist to a two-time Appalachian Trail hiker, Oklahoma Christian University’s new faculty bring diverse experiences and scholarship to the classroom this fall.

“We are incredibly honored to add these highly accomplished individuals to our university,” said Oklahoma Christian President Mike O’Neal. “Each of these faculty are dedicated to scholarship and service in the classroom. They will enhance our students’ abilities to positively affect the communities in which they live and work.”

Charles Rix is an assistant professor of Bible and holds a doctorate in Biblical studies from Drew Theological School. He also holds a master’s degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and has multiple Six Sigma certifications. Rix previously served as an associate dean and professor at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary. In addition, he is a retired financial executive for Exxon and has served as a minister for 17 years. An accomplished pianist, Rix has performed around the world including St. Petersburg, Russia, and has been a finalist in international pianist competitions in Paris and New York City.

Grant Testut is an assistant professor of Bible. He received his doctorate in comparative semitics from the prestigious Hebrew Union College. He has also taught principles of Bible translation in Africa to Tanzanians, Zimbabwians and Malawians. Testut met his wife in Tanzania while on a mission trip. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Allison Cassady is an assistant professor of education and a former public school teacher in Texas. She graduates this year with her Ph.D in curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas. Cassady is also a co-founding member of the Consortium for Research in Teacher Education. One of her areas of study is classroom management decision-making skills.

Dan Sorensen is an assistant professor of business who previously taught at Rochester College in Detroit, Mich. He is a doctoral student in the school of business at Anderson University and holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University. Sorensen has more than 20 years of business industry experience working in financial and information technology positions for companies such as Arthur Anderson and Toyota.

Sada Knowles is an instructor in the department of psychology and family studies. She is a doctoral student in Oklahoma State University’s department of human development and family science. An OC graduate, Knowles is a member of both the National and Oklahoma Councils on Family Relations. She is currently studying how family, neighborhood and school factors relate to adaptation in at-risk youth.

Kenneth Bell is an assistant professor of electrical engineering. For the last last 16 years he has been a systems engineer at BAE Systems, a global defense and security company with approximately 100,000 employees worldwide. Bell holds a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Connecticut, and he has also coached high school students in robotics competitions. In addition, Bell has travelled more than 10,000 miles on foot, including the Appalachian Trail twice and the Pacific Crest Trail once. 

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Tue, 30 Aug 2011 04:08:00 CDT e3bb446b-e773-4a59-9713-106c11550357
OC Named "A Best in The West" College by The Princeton Review Oklahoma Christian University is one of the best colleges in the West according to the nationally known education services company, The Princeton Review.  It is one of 121 institutions The Princeton Review recommends in its “Best in the West” section of its website feature, “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region.”

“We are honored to be ranked among the best universities in the West region,” said Mike O’Neal, president of Oklahoma Christian. “This is a reflection of the hard work of our dedicated faculty, staff and students.”

For this project, The Princeton Review asked students attending the schools to rate their own colleges on several issues—from the accessibility of their professors to quality of the campus food—and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students and their campus life.

“We’re pleased to recommend Oklahoma Christian to users of our site as one of the best schools to earn their degree,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s publisher. “We chose it mainly for its excellent academic programs. From several hundred schools in each region, we winnowed our list based on institutional data we collected directly from the schools, our visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of our staff, plus college counselors and advisors whose recommendations we invite. 

The Princeton Review also takes into account what students at the schools reported about their campus experiences on an 80-question student survey for this project.  Only schools that permit the group to independently survey their students are eligible to be considered for the regional “Best” lists. 

The 121 colleges that The Princeton Review chose for its “Best in the West” list are located in 15 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Collectively, the 629 colleges named “regional best” constitute about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges.

Last year The Princeton Review also named Oklahoma Christian as one of the top 50 undergraduate gaming design programs in the nation. It was the only one in Oklahoma to make the list.

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Wed, 03 Aug 2011 03:08:00 CDT 723df8be-7e88-4126-b6c6-378660a1cf35
Texas family's faith rewarded Beverly Floyd is a schoolteacher. Keith Floyd is a self-employed electrician whose business has suffered due to changing technologies.

They’re in important professions. They’re doing things they love. But they don’t make the kind of money that makes having three college students easy (if there is such a thing).

The Floyds have had three kids make the short trip from Mesquite, Texas (a Dallas suburb) to Oklahoma Christian. All three were at OC together until Lindsey, the oldest, graduated this year with a degree in psychology. Kalee majors in business and Tyler majors in engineering.

“This is the only school they’ve ever wanted to go to,” Keith said. “It’s a great school. It’s worth it to find a way for them to come here. It really is.”

Lindsey and Kalee became familiar with Oklahoma Christian when the student performing groups New Reign and Summer Singers came to their summer camp. Lindsey visited campus after that … and instantly felt connected.

“I loved it here,” Lindsey said. “The faculty and students were outgoing and friendly, even to people they didn’t know. It was a pleasant atmosphere. Everyone was happy and nice.”

The warm feelings continued after Lindsey became a student. A lot of people she knew from Texas also chose OC. 

Kalee followed her older sister to Oklahoma Christian. The Floyds weren’t sure they could afford for her to attend. But the leap of faith paid off when Kalee made New Reign.

“I was really surprised when I made New Reign, and when I found out how much the scholarship was, I nearly cried. It was such a relief to know that more of my tuition would be covered,” Kalee said. “I truly feel like I am in the group for a reason, because I prayed so much that God would help me find a way to pay for my college. I thank God that He has blessed me to be able to do this, and that I can spread the word about Him in the process.”

OC’s focus on God, in the classroom and beyond, appealed to the Floyds. Keith attended Oklahoma Christian in the early 80s while Beverly went to a state school and never felt the connection to her professors that their children do. 

“Our kids went to a big high school where you see and hear everything. I wanted them to be in a Christian atmosphere so they wouldn’t have to deal with all the stuff they dealt with in high school,” Beverly said. “I love the size of the campus, and I love that the instructors go to the churches they attend. It’s a different world.”

And a world of opportunity. Lindsey also sang with New Reign, and earned other scholarships for her musical ability (she also sang with the Chorale and Chamber Singers) and her ACT score. Tyler was seventh in his high school class, and had many scholarships available to him as he began pursuing his engineering degree at Oklahoma Christian.

It’s all added up to make quality Christian education affordable for a family that wanted their kids to pursue their dreams.

“We are really grateful for OC,” Keith said. “We feel blessed.”

By Wes McKinzie

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Mon, 01 Aug 2011 14:14:00 CDT 865f4c71-d41e-4d24-aa4e-3f32d9d7cfae
OC represented in academic conferences and publications While summer is a break for students, many professors engage in academic research and publishing. Associate professor of family studies Scott Harper will represent Oklahoma Christian in Singapore this summer at the international Asia Research Institute July 27.

Harper was one of only five scholars from the United States selected to present on issues pertaining to fathers in Asian cultures. He will be joined by professors from Stanford University, Penn State University, the University of Florida, the University of California as well as scholars from top universities across Asia and Australia. Harper will discuss his research about the effect of transnational migratory labor on families in the Philippines.

“I want to thank the ARI for covering all but a small portion of the costs for this trip,” Harper said. “Also, a special thanks goes to the OC college of arts and sciences for their assistance in making this trip possible.”

ARI was established as a university-level institute in 2001 as one of the strategic initiatives of the National University of Singapore. Its mission is to provide a world-class focus and resource for research on the Asian region.

In addition, Allison Garrett was cited as an expert source in Research Magazine, which serves the investment advisor industry. Garrett, vice president for academic affairs and an adjunct business lecturer, was quoted in the article “Think Locally: Global Investors Face Diverse Rules.” The article was published this month in a special issue titled The Research Magazine Guide to International Investing 2010. The article can be downloaded online here.

Sponsored by Nasdaq OMX, the supplement focuses on trends in global investing, with views from portfolio managers and other experts on the debt crisis in Greece, bright spots in Eastern Europe and related trends.

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Thu, 10 Jun 2010 10:06:00 CDT fe25247f-7aad-448d-86e8-0359c2780cf9
OC communication and psychology students receive awards Oklahoma Christian University students in the communication and psychology departments were recognized for excellence in their fields in the spring semester.

Dustin Kaps received three first place awards in the student competition co-hosted by the Oklahoma Broadcast Educators Association and the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters. Kaps’ awards were in the promotional, commercial and music video categories. Clinton Corley received a second place award in the sports programming category. OBEA’s annual student competition draws nearly 300 entries from public and private colleges across Oklahoma.

In addition, Carlos Abello and Dustin were selected to attend the selective Los Angeles Film Studies program this summer. This program is designed to integrate a Christian worldview with an introductory exploration of the work and workings of mainstream Hollywood entertainment. It is located in one of the primary film and television production centers in L.A. and utilizes state of the art camera and editing equipment.

“These dedicated students are very deserving of these impressive honors,” said Larry Jurney, chair of the communication department. “Dustin’s recognition is particularly impressive because it is the first time a single OC student has won three first place awards in that statewide competition.”

In addition, 10 Oklahoma Christian students attended the 30th Annual Great Plains Student Psychology Convention this spring. The students presented the results of six empirical studies, and they won four awards competing against the University of Nebraska, Kansas State and the University of Central Missouri, among other universities from Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. 

Jennifer Rosenbalm won first place in her section with her study titled “The effects of gender and attire on perceived levels of expertness and recall.”

Tim Wills won second place for his research titled “The effects of winning and losing feedback on cognitive performance.”

Jillian Holley and Anastasia Marquez won second place for their paper titled “If you’re happy and you know it: The effects of mood and gum on the recall of words.”

Susan Hardin and Lacy Rosenbalm won third place for their project titled “Presenter effects on test-taking and stress levels.” 

According to Ryan Newell, chair of the department of psychology and family studies, the Great Plains Convention, with a total of 180 presenters, is one of the largest undergraduate research conferences.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of these excellent psychology and family studies majors,” Newell said.

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Fri, 21 May 2010 03:05:00 CDT 16ca2652-cd06-4ce5-90ab-024656a60731
OC offers new forensic science major Oklahoma Christian University will begin offering a bachelor of science major in forensic science this fall.

According to Dr. Bill Luttrell, chair of the chemistry and physics department, OC is uniquely positioned to offer the forensic science major which is rapidly growing in popularity. The university is located near the state’s new forensic science facility in Edmond and has existing faculty with the necessary experience and expertise in the core courses. On-campus laboratories have been recently renovated and additional lab renovations will be completed this fall.

“The interest level among students has been rising since we began offering summer forensic science workshops several years ago,” Luttrell said. “This degree will prepare our students for entry-level positions in the forensic science profession or graduate school.

“Most of the courses are science based and will come from our existing curriculum, primarily in biochemistry,” he said. “As a result of some recent changes in the faculty, we found that we had all the additional requirements for a forensic science major already on staff – one instructor in fire science and arson investigation, one in law and one in toxicology. We will use our existing chemistry core curriculum, three current forensic science courses – introduction to forensic science, forensic analysis and practicum in forensic science – along with two new courses – forensic science and the law and forensic toxicology – to complete the major. OC has the capacity within the sciences and math to offer all the courses in biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics required for accreditation by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Our graduates will meet the requirements for graduate programs at Oklahoma State University and the University of Central Oklahoma.”

The faculty consists of Luttrell, a toxicologist who has written and edited a toxicology textbook and regularly publishes toxicology technical papers; Dr. Howard Vogel who has experience in arson investigation; Dr. Len Feuerhelm, a physicist with a law degree who once worked for the CIA; and Dr. Amanda Nichols, an inorganic chemist with interests in forensic science.

OC has an excellent relationship with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Forensic Science Center just north of the campus and has three students currently interning there, Luttrell said. And with the new forensic science building at UCO, Edmond is rapidly becoming a center for forensic science. 

“We’re excited about this new major because it will ultimately bring more students to Oklahoma Christian, to our science courses and to the upper level biology and psychology courses,” he said. “OC has capacity for 20 to 30 more students in freshman chemistry and organic chemistry. We currently have more than 200 students majoring in the sciences and a good number of those have expressed interest in the forensic science major.”

Oklahoma Christian, named a “Best Western College” by The Princeton Review, and “America’s Best University—Masters” by U.S.News & World Report, is a private, four-year comprehensive university. OC offers degree programs in more than 60 fields of study in three colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Biblical Studies and the College of Professional Studies. The university also offers two graduate degree programs in Biblical studies, a master’s of science in engineering as well as one- and two-year master’s of business administration programs. In addition to its Oklahoma City campus, OC has study abroad opportunities in Vienna, Austria, Honduras, and throughout the western Pacific. For more information about Oklahoma Christian, visit

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Mon, 26 Apr 2010 11:04:00 CDT 61a22372-c3f3-4d08-8685-f1c8b38a52ba
Family studies department to present at international conference Dr. Scott Harper, assistant professor of family studies at Oklahoma Christian University, sends this excellent news:

Kyung Lee and I have been accepted to present in November at the international conference in San Francisco that is hosted by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). The top scholars and graduate students from around the country (and world) meet annually. It is among the most prestigious conferences and events in the field of family studies. The title of the presentation is “Filipino Fathers and Transnational migration: What about the children”.  In this study I focused on Filipino fathers who leave home for long periods of time due to work. I studied how they can still be involved in the lives of their children and have a positive role beyond that of financial contribution. We received some of the highest marks possible for the proposal. From one of the 3 independent scholarly reviewers we received a perfect score, and we were 1 point shy of a perfect score from another reviewer.
Kyung “Rosa” Lee is an international student from Korea and will be graduating next May with a degree in Family Studies and Child Development.

Congratulations to Dr. Harper, Kyung Lee, and the entire Department of Family Studies.

To learn more about the Department of Psychology and Family Studies at OC, click here.

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Mon, 18 May 2009 12:05:00 CDT 4b80ceae-b43e-4ed5-bc2f-c1d262b490b9
Psychology students win awards at spring conference From Dr. Ryan Newell, Professor of Psychology, sends this good news:

Competing against Oklahoma universities, we took 1st, 2nd and 5th place in the undergraduate paper competition last Friday at the 27th annual Oklahoma Psychological Society Spring Research Conference.  These were presentations of original, empirical research.  Our students are to be commended – they worked very hard throughout the year on these projects and continue to represent OC well at our state conference.

Undergraduate Paper Awards
1st place:  Katie Van Sickle,  Predicting Male Body Esteem with Personality Traits and Women’s Presence in the Room.
2nd place: Whitney Frisk,  Modern Music and its Effects on Immediate and Delayed Recall
5th place:  Masashi Kawamura,  Credit Card Influences on the Purchase Decision Making Process

Congratulations to our students and their professors, Dr. Ryan Newell,  Dr. Holly Osburn, and Dr. Scott Harper.

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Fri, 24 Apr 2009 10:04:00 CDT 597a1625-2960-4f5c-ab5b-7327326fb735
Potter grants wishes with internship by Becca Smith for The Talon

As an intern for the Make-A-Wish foundation this past summer, senior Megan Potter helped make 41 wishes come true for children across Oklahoma. In the 2008 fiscal year, the Oklahoma chapter of Make-A-Wish granted about 113 wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

The Oklahoma chapter founded in 1987 has two offices, one in Tulsa and one in Oklahoma City. The chapter has granted more than 1,600 wishes to eligible Oklahoma children.

Corporate sponsors, foundations, service clubs, fundraisers and individual contributions make up the majority of funding for granting children’s wishes. Make-A-Wish does not receive any government funding.  Approximately 82 percent of every wish dollar donated to the Oklahoma chapter is directly applied to the funding of granting a wish.

Each eligible child has the opportunity to make a wish from four categories. A child can wish to go anywhere, like Disneyland. A child can also ask to meet anyone, have something or be something.

“The very first boy that had a wish granted was named Chris Greicius and he wanted to be a police officer,” Potter said. “Little did he know he would be the inspiration to the largest wish granting organization in the world.”

Each wish costs an average of $7,000 and can take up to a year to be granted, depending on what is requested. The cost of the wish is high because the Make-A-Wish foundation goes beyond just the wish the child puts on paper.

“They never cut corners and they go above what the child asks for and beyond what the child can imagine,” Potter said.  “Everything is done to its absolute best.”

Potter began college with the desire to be a child life specialist

“A child life specialist is a person who works in a hospital and is the mediator between the doctors and the families of a child that is terminally ill,” Potter said.

Oklahoma Christian does not offer a degree of this nature so Potter pursued a liberal arts degree. Potter anticipates graduating in December with a degree in liberal arts focusing on family studies, communication and early childhood education.

This past year, Potter looked for a summer internship as a child life specialist with OU Children’s Hospital. The internship program at OU Children’s Hospital was being re-worked and not available. With a graduation approaching Potter looked for other internships.

Potter’s sister-in-law Amanda Potter told her about the internships available at Make-A-Wish.

“She thought of me instantly because she knew I wanted to work with children with life threatening illnesses,” Potter said. “So I looked into it and found that it was a perfect fit. I was going to get to see if my heart was truly as ready as I thought to work with these types of children and families and be able to make a true difference in their lives while I am at it.”

Potter worked with five other interns this summer at the Oklahoma City office, the most the office has ever had, which allowed for more wishes to be granted in the short summer. Under the event coordinators, the interns helped with events planning and organizing each event.

“We would have events that are specifically for fundraising, volunteer appreciation and events for the actual Make-A-Wish kids and families,” Potter said.

In addition to the internship, which was unpaid, Potter worked as a full-time lifeguard and pool manger of a country club during the summer.

Potter was given the special opportunity to coordinate her own event, a Make-A-Wish Art Party. During this event the children of Make-A-Wish made gifts of art for donors to show their appreciation.

“Everything that I did there, whether it was actually planning my own art party event for the Make-A-Wish kids or making excel sheets for the other employees to make their job easier, I knew that no matter what I was doing, this work and effort was all for a good purpose and that’s what makes it all worth it,” Potter said.

Potter has continued working her internship with Make-A-Wish. The Oklahoma chapter has offered Potter a full time job after graduation in December.

“I am very excited about my future with Make-A-Wish and I know God is going to use me no matter where I am but I am so glad it will be with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma.”

In addition to the interns and the staff, volunteers also help at Make-A-Wish.

“There are about 12 people on staff at the Oklahoma City location, but it is the volunteers that make things happen,” Potter said. “The success of Make-A-Wish depends heavily on the help of volunteers in every aspect of our work.”

Currently there are about 100 active volunteers helping with Oklahoma City’s children’s wishes.

The opportunities to volunteer are endless. Volunteer tasks range from planning events and granting wishes to just dressing up in a costume and visiting a child in the hospital to put a smile on his or her face. Every job and person is important in making a wish successful and memorable.

Another way to help is by participating in local Make-A-Wish fundraisers.

During October people can view the 2008 Concept Home of Gaillardia Country Club. Wednesday was opening night and featured musical entertainment by Oklahoma’s well-known guitarist, Edgar Cruz, and food provided by Red Rock Canyon Grill.

The Concept Home is open through Oct. 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and from 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 at the door or $6 in advance at Mathis Brothers.

In November, some big-name celebrities will be traveling to the state fair arena to partner with Make-A-Wish children in a special event called the Celebrity Slide.

For more information on how to get involved with The Make-A-Wish Foundation or information pertaining to events, dates and donations, visit

“I enjoy working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma because they serve a great purpose in making a difference in children’s lives that are battling with a life threatening illnesses,” Potter said. “They help remind the children and the families that there are people that care and they are not forgotten about.”


To learn more about the Oklahoma Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, click here.

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Fri, 03 Oct 2008 12:10:00 CDT e4138357-f306-47b5-af9d-7e551f29b76f
Arts and Sciences Dean's Award recipients Dr. David Lowry, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, announces the recipients of this year’s Dean’s Award.  The Dean’s Award is given at the end of the school year to recognize outstanding students from each department.  A small reception for faculty, family, and friends was held on Friday, April 11, at 4:00 p.m. to honor these students. 

Art & Design
The Art & Design Department has selected two recipients to receive the 2008 Dean’s Award.  The first recipient is Jacob Berkin.  Jacob is a senior ART BFA major.  He exemplifies strong leadership in the department, and students often seek and trust his fair and open-minded insights.  Jacob is always willing to lend a hand and help in order to get a project done.  He is a person of action who has started a company with some friends.  He maintains a positive outlook is a hard worker. 

The second recipient is Whitney Parker.  Whitney is a senior Graphic Design/Illustration major; she is a talented and gifted artist and designer. Aside from school and her participation in Pi Zeta Phi service club, Whitney has been instrumental in the creation and development of Wishing Well, a non profit organization that uses art and other creative means to raise money for clean water wells in Africa. She has a heart for helping others; she also is a leader in the department, an organizer, and motivator. She is always upbeat, has a positive outlook and is very hard-working.

The Biology Department is pleased to recognize Cassandra Tyler as the Dean’s Award winner.  Excellence is a rare commodity by definition and Cassie Tyler pursues excellence in both her academic and athletic endeavors.  She has been named an NAIA Scholar Athlete and placed on ESPN the Magazine’s Academic All-America College Division soccer team for 2006 and 2007.  Cassie was awarded the Perry Don McBroom Math and Science Scholarship and has been a member of the Alpha Chi honor society.  She has been a member of the Pi Zeta Phi social service club and studied abroad with the Vienna Studies Program in 2006.  In addition to her participation with the OC Soccer team, she has worked as a laboratory assistant in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center where she worked to crystallize trypanosomal RNA.  She will be starting medical school in the Fall of 2008.

Chemistry & Physics
Amelia Enix is receiving the Dean’s Award from the Chemistry and Physics Department.  Amelia is originally from the state of Florida, but more recently is from St. Louis, where she attended high school.  She will be graduating in December and hopes to attend graduate school to study physical chemistry beginning in the Fall of 2009.  She has particular interest in Vanderbilt University in Nashville and Oxford University in England.  Amelia is also interested in exploring pharmacy and will be working as a pharmacy technician after graduating from OC and before graduate school.  She has served as a Teaching Assistant in General Chemistry and has co-authored a toxicology informational article with Dr. Luttrell that will be published in the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety.

The Dean’s Award for Communication goes to Dacia Dodson.  As a broadcast journalism major, Dacia served as a reporter and the assignment editor for the campus news station, Eagle Angle.  Outside the classroom, she participated in a number of activities including the service club Pi Zeta Phi and Relay for Life.  Dacia serves as The National Broadcast Society’s Vice President of Fundraising for the OC chapter.  In the summer of 2007, she was given the opportunity to intern at The Oklahoman in the Multi-Media Department and currently is employed as a full-time online editor.  Dacia is graduating Magna Cum Laude at the end of April and plans to continue her education, earning a masters degree in business or communication.

History & Political Science
The Dean’s Award for History and Political Science goes to Elaine Ekpo.  Elaine is one of the Honors students and a History/Pre-law major, who will graduate in December, 2008.  She spent the 2007 fall term at Wycliffe Hall at Oxford University as part of the CCCU Scholars’ Semester in Oxford.  During that very rigorous term, she researched and wrote a number of papers, earning excellent marks in the process.  A member of Phi Alpha Theta, she presented a paper at the Phi Alpha Theta Oklahoma Regional Conference last year and presented one of her Oxford papers at the same conference on Saturday, March 8.  She is planning on attending law school in her home state of California.

Language & Literature
Paul Mitchell is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for the Language and Literature Department and is a most deserving student.  He has been published twice this year, has been accepted to and attended the national Sigma Tau Delta Conference three years in a row.  Paul served as Writing Center Director this year, and has been a Writing Center tutor for 3 years.  He was an assistant editor for the Language and Literature Department’s publication, Soundings, for three years and for “Skinny Voice” for two years.  Paul has directed and acted in many theater productions while maintaining a high GPA.  We are proud to call him a graduate of the Language & Literature Department.

Adam Bruce is the recipient of the Music Award.  Adam has served as the Oklahoma Christian University Symphonic Band President from 2006-2008, as the Symphonic Band Chaplain during 2005-2006, and he was named the Outstanding Band Member from 2005-2007.  Adam is also a member of the OC Jazz Ensemble, the Sweat Band, and the Percussion Ensemble.  During 2006-07, he was Kappa Sigma Tau’s Rush Director, and he has also been selected as a Whose Who Among American College Students recipient.  Adam’s numerous other activities include serving as the Spring Sing Band Director in 2006, playing in the Oklahoma Community Orchestra, performing in the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps and performing with OMEA Collegiate Honor Band in 2006 and 2008.  He is also a Gateway World Percussion Adjunct Instructor and a Marching and Concert Band instructor/arranger for Edmond Memorial High School.  He received the Joni Rice Memorial Percussion Award in 2006 and is a member of the Pi Lambda Theta Honor Society for Education Majors.  His honors in 2005 include being named as the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps Outstanding Percussionist, performing with the College Band Directors National Association Intercollegiate Small College Honor Band at Lincoln Center in NYC, being named the Redbud Jazz Festival Outstanding Soloist, and being selected as Oklahoma Christian University’s Outstanding Freshman Music Major in 2004-2005.  He is scheduled to graduate in December 2008.

Christy Hallock is a Senior Nursing major at Oklahoma Christian University and is the receiver of the Dean’s Award from Nursing.  This is Christy’s second degree at Oklahoma Christian.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Biology in 2005.  While earning her first degree at Oklahoma Christian, Christy was involved in the social service club of Gamma Rho, where she served as Rush director in 2004 and as Vice President in 2005.  After the 2005 fall semester, Christy made the decision to continue with Oklahoma Christian in their efforts to build their own Nursing Program, and she was accepted into Oklahoma Christian’s first nursing class in the summer of 2006.  She was voted Class President by her peers and serves her class and the faculty as a connection between the two.  She, along with other officers, have been raising money and planning for Oklahoma Christian’s Inaugural Pinning Ceremony for the past year and a half.  She is currently employed by OU Medical Center at The Children’s Hospital on the Surgical Unit as a Nurse Partner.  After graduation, Christy plans on working for The Children’s Hospital on the Surgical Unit.  Christy states that her decision to come back to Oklahoma Christian for Nursing School has definitely been guided and blessed by God. 

Psychology and Family Studies
Mikiko Imura’s home is in Sapporo, which is located in the northern island of Japan.  She first came to Oklahoma four years ago to study business at UCO, but she transferred to OC in the spring of 2006.  When Mikiko took Psychology to fulfill her general education requirement, she soon realized how interested she was in the subject.  She is a member of Psi Chi, the Psychology Club.  Mikiko reports none of her family members have had the experience of studying abroad; none of them even know what Psychology is, so it is a great wonder to her that she is at OC, majoring in psychology. Even though her family members don’t know about psychology, they are very supportive of Mikiko achieving an education, and she really appreciates their support.  After Mikiko graduates this summer, she plans to work for one year and then go to a graduate school to study environmental psychology.

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Tue, 15 Apr 2008 12:04:00 CDT 225ed5d9-61ae-4dc4-b8f8-dd8ae516d5cd