Thrive RSS Feed http://www.oc.edu/news RSS Feed OC hires Simmons, Buxton http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-hires-simmons-buxton/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) announced the addition of a communications expert and an Air Force officer to its faculty this fall.

Brian Simmons will join the OC faculty as a professor of communication while Col. Brad Buxton has been hired as an assistant professor of engineering.

Simmons graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1987 with a degree in mass communication. He went on to earn his master’s degree in communication from Pepperdine University and a doctorate in mass communication from Purdue University, where he also minored in sociology of religion.

“I believe that the college years are the most important in shaping a person’s life,” Simmons said. “That’s why I am honored to be teaching at Oklahoma Christian, a university that I believe in. For me, it is returning to a community that shaped my Christian faith and set me on a blessed path in life. I am excited to see how God will use me in each student’s life.”

Simmons is the author of Falling Away: Why Christians Lose Their Faith and What Can Be Done about It and Wandering in the Wilderness: Changes and Challenges to Emerging Adults’ Christian Faith.

His dissertation was about “Media Effects on Church of Christ Adolescents’ Perceptions of Sexual Morality.” Simmons has been published in Journalism Quarterly, the Journal of Popular Music and Society, Media Ethics: Issues and Cases, and Media Coverage of Terrorism, and Sex, Religion and Media.

Prior to returning to his alma mater, Simmons was a communications professor at the University of Portland, where he also served as an assistant coach with the Speech and Debate Union. He previously taught at Cascade College and Saint Joseph’s College. His daughter Madison will be a freshman at Oklahoma Christian this fall.

“Brian Simmons has proven records of accomplishment in the highest levels of the academy and in ministerial leadership,” OC vice president of academic affairs Scott LaMascus said. “I’m really eager to see how his scholarship and leadership skills play out for OC communications majors, Honors students, and for the broader OC and faith communities.”

Buxton holds a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Air Force Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in management from Troy State University. He received his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

“Col. Buxton has a distinguished career as an engineering leader and mentor of engineers in the Air Force, so I am thrilled he is now turning his talents toward educating Christian engineering students,” LaMascus said. “He also will strengthen the good ties between OC’s three ABET-accredited programs and the Oklahoma City engineering community, including Tinker Air Force Base and General Electric’s new global research center.”

Buxton is a 24-year U.S. Air Force veteran on active duty. His engineering experience covers the product life cycle from basic research in aircraft structures through operational flight testing involving F-15E aircraft and space operations with GPS satellites.

Col. Buxton has served as a Pentagon action officer, group commander, and chief engineer for space superiority. He published his research in computational aeroelasticity and was a member of Sigma Gamma Tau, the Aero Engineering Honor Society.

“I am excited about coming to Oklahoma Christian,” Buxton said. “OC has a well-established engineering program, and I am eager to help it be an excellent place to get credentials. OC also has a Christ-centered worldview and I want to be a part of that. If students aren’t taught to respect Christ, all the education in the world doesn’t matter.”

Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and 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.

-OC-

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Wed, 11 Jun 2014 15:30:00 CDT feee384f-129c-4e1a-8c75-40b4f4f19687
OC awards degrees at Spring Commencement http://www.oc.edu/news/r/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.

-OC-

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Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:00:00 CDT 51c455fc-77cb-4437-9b4b-10860b728de5
OC grad lost in Malaysia Airlines tragedy http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-grad-lost-in-malaysia-airlines-tragedy/ Oklahoma Christian University graduate Philip Wood was on the Malaysia Airlines flight that is presumed to have crashed Saturday.

"The Oklahoma Christian University community was shocked and saddened to learn yesterday that Philip was on this flight," Executive Vice President Bill Goad said. "The thoughts and prayers of his many friends in the OC community are with the family at this time."

Philip graduated with a degree in computer science in 1985. He recently moved from North Texas to Beijing, where he worked as an executive with IBM. Please lift up his family in prayer.

"I just want to say from our family that Phil loved Christ, his family, and everyone," his brother, James Wood, said in a comment on our Facebook page. "Our hearts hurt, but we know so many around the world are hurting just as much by this terrible tragedy. Christ is our hope and strength. Please pray for everyone involved during this difficult time."

Click here to watch a report from KOCO, Oklahoma City's ABC affiliate.

Click here to watch a report from KWTV, Oklahoma City's CBS affiliate.

Click here to watch an interview with Philip's brothers on NBC's Today Show.

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Sun, 09 Mar 2014 0:00:00 CST 0ebc932a-e0a7-4f06-a8e1-64090a4a827a
Academic departments honor outstanding alumni http://www.oc.edu/news/r/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 www.oc.edu/value.

-OC-

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Mon, 11 Nov 2013 9:00:00 CST d9f57852-27af-46be-bcad-bcd139785d52
OC elects Compton to Board of Trustees http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-elects-compton-to-board-of-trustees/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University has elected Silicon Valley executive Marc Compton to its Board of Trustees.

Compton, who graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1986 with an engineering physics degree, is a managing director and market executive for U.S. Trust and Bank of America in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco East Bay.

His professional background with Bank of America spans nearly a decade and includes several leadership roles, including regional executive for the Premier Banking and Investments group, director for Merrill Lynch, and director for Banc of America Investments, Inc.

The OC Board of Trustees, led by chairman Don Millican, now has 39 active members and 14 life trustees.

“Marc is an ideal OC graduate and he will be an ideal OC trustee,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “He built on his engineering physics degree to become a respected leader in business and finance. He is a man of God who is dedicated to his church, family and community. He’s a great addition to the board.”

Prior to joining Bank of America, Compton worked for Morgan Stanley as a director and financial advisor for 10 years. He started in the investment business with SunAmerica Securities in 1992.

In addition to the investment industry, Compton worked for Martin Marietta, LTV Aerospace and Recognition Equipment. He served as a management consultant, information technology project manager, software consultant, software developer and speechwriter.

After graduating from Oklahoma Christian, Compton earned his MBA degree in finance and marketing from Southern Methodist University.

Compton serves on the national board for the Positive Coaching Alliance in Mountain View, Calif., and on the board for Silicon Valley’s Association for Corporate Growth in San Jose.

He and his wife Jody, a 1987 Oklahoma Christian graduate, have three children: Cassidy, Riley and Carley. They live in Tualatin, Oregon, and attend the Southwest Church of Christ in Tigard, Oregon, where Marc serves as a deacon overseeing Adult Education.

-OC-

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Mon, 28 Oct 2013 10:08:00 CDT 1d5bff93-fb18-4fc2-b9a4-4c6e328a4e8d
OC creates actuarial science program http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-creates-actuarial-science-program/ OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – In response to student and employer interest, Oklahoma Christian University (OC) has launched an actuarial science program.

Associate Professor of Business Finance Jody Jones said the actuarial science industry is ranked as one of the best professions in the United States.
 
“Working as an actuary is consistently placed among the top four jobs in the Jobs Rated Almanac,” Jones said. “The profession offers high pay, high job security and low stress. With a number of recent OC math and finance graduates entering the field, we thought this was a great time to start a more specific program.”
 
Jones and Jennifer Bryan, associate professor of mathematics, developed the program in consultation with OC alumna Cindy Smethers, vice president and product actuarial director at American Fidelity Assurance in Oklahoma City.
 
“A few years ago, Cindy reached out to us looking for high-achieving interns,” Bryan said. “That experience has been great because her company has hired OC student interns every semester, which led to other companies recruiting our students. Those students have done excellent work and usually have a job waiting for them before they graduate. Our new program should allow for even more students to have that experience.”
 
According to Scott LaMascus, OC’s vice president for academic affairs, the new program combines advanced academic study with the development of practical skills that are in demand in the industry.
 
“This actuarial concentration allows students who have an aptitude for higher-level mathematics to pursue a career in an area that will only continue to grow as Baby Boomers retire,” LaMascus said. “Our professors have really responded to the requests of some of our most ambitious students by creating a demanding program that meets the needs of this growing field.”
 
Students interested in OC’s actuarial science program can major in either mathematics or finance, then choose the actuarial science concentration. Previously, Jones or Bryan created different plans for individual students.

Jones also feels OC’s focus on faith will make the university’s actuarial students attractive to employers.
 
“I often hear employers compliment OC on producing students who have a firm grasp on ethical behavior and a dedicated work ethic,” Jones said. “We look forward to impressing those values on our actuarial students as well.”

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, engineering, ministry, and divinity.
 
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 www.oc.edu/value.

-OC-

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Mon, 19 Aug 2013 14:55:00 CDT 15b07bd7-66bc-4eb1-a78d-9800f2185482
Graduate schools to award degrees at summer ceremony http://www.oc.edu/news/r/graduate-schools-to-award-degrees-at-summer-ceremony/ OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Oklahoma Christian University’s Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Engineering will honor 57 degree candidates on Aug. 17.

OC’s annual summer commencement ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Hardeman Auditorium.

The Graduate School of Business will grant 43 master of business administration degrees to candidates from eight different countries.

Graduates earned their MBA degrees in general business or in one of nine specializations – accounting, e-commerce, finance, health services management, human resource management, international business, leadership and organizational development, marketing, and project management.

Fourteen candidates from five different countries will receive master of science in engineering (MSE) degrees from OC’s Graduate School of Engineering. The graduates specialized in electrical/computer engineering or in engineering management.

This class includes the 100th graduate in the history of the MSE program, which began in 2009.

Phil Lewis, dean of Oklahoma Christian’s College of Professional Studies, will be the commencement speaker.

Lewis’ business leadership experience includes work in retail clothing sales, management, and banking. His consulting experience includes conducting numerous workshops and seminars for business, industry, education, religious groups, and government in the areas of ethics, leadership, organizational communication, and strategic visioning.

He wrote the books From Boardroom to Whiteboard: A New Generation of Leadership, published by Tate Publishing, and Transformational Leadership: A New Model for Total Church Involvement, published by Broadman and Holman, in addition to four children’s books.

He also has written more than 100 articles and papers for various publications and professional organizations. He is active in the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, is a past national officer in ACBSP, and recently concluded a term as president for ACBSP Region 6. He also is a member of the Southwest Business Deans Association and the Christian Business Faculty Association.

Oklahoma Christian recently announced it will launch a master of accountancy degree program this spring in response to market demand and record graduate enrollment. OC had an all-time high 361 graduate students last year.

Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, Oklahoma Christian will now offer five graduate degrees: a Master of Accountancy; Master of Business Administration; Master of Arts in Ministry; Master of Divinity; and Master of Science in Engineering.

-OC-

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Mon, 12 Aug 2013 14:32:00 CDT c6285aee-f562-4ab4-aa0d-4e4d4d46012c
OC holds undergraduate prices for second straight year http://www.oc.edu/news/r/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 www.oc.edu/cost and www.oc.edu/value.

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.

-OC-

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Mon, 18 Feb 2013 11:15:00 CST 5a45d6c7-7ce3-4876-a993-e293b1d012f6
Academic colleges honor alumni at Homecoming http://www.oc.edu/news/r/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 0:46:00 CDT 3cf2b8be-4c58-4482-8ee0-ce5ba103a9ae
OC has strong showing at top programming competition http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-has-strong-showing-at-top-programming-competition/ Oklahoma Christian University once again had a strong showing in one of the top competitions for computer science programming last week.

OC was one of just six universities with two teams in the top 25 at the South Central Regional Association of Computing Machinery Computer Programming Contest. The other five were Baylor University, Louisiana State University, the University of Mississippi, the University of Texas-Austin, and the University of Texas-Dallas.

“Our students had a remarkable showing,” said Don Leftwich, chair of the department of mathematical computer and information sciences. “These results show, once again, how well our students measure up when compared with very good students from other universities.”

OC’s teams finished 12th and 21st in the “open” division, which includes universities with graduate programs. Oklahoma Christian placed third and fourth among teams from Oklahoma, and second and fifth among teams without a graduate student.

“In some ways, it’s not a surprise that OC teams did well in this competition,” Leftwich said. “During the past 10 to 15 years, OC teams have consistently placed in the top 25 and occasionally top 10 or top five. Because of our history in this event, competitors and faculty sponsors from other universities expect to see OC teams at the top of the standings.”

OC’s 12th place team consisted of Sarah Bell, Tanya Thompson and Robert Rugamba. The 21st place team consisted of Corbin Murrow of Oklahoma City, Kyler Johnson and Silas Morris.

The contest included 59 teams overall and was held at three locations. OC’s three teams competed at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas.

-OC-

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Fri, 26 Oct 2012 15:49:00 CDT 22f66565-bf78-47e3-a112-05af36676bdf
Longtime friend Bobby Roberson passes away http://www.oc.edu/news/r/longtime-friend-bobby-roberson-passes-away/ The Oklahoma Christian University community mourns the passing of a dear friend, Bobby Roberson.

Bobby passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at the age of 81. His funeral service will take place this Friday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. in OC’s Scott Chapel.

Bobby and his wife of 21 years, OC Life Trustee Millie Prince Roberson, are longtime supporters of Oklahoma Christian. Bobby would fondly recall attending the 1958 ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Pat Boone after the school moved from Bartlesville to Oklahoma City.

“We give to Oklahoma Christian because we have so many great friends there," Bobby once said.

Bobby participated on various OC boards and supported Oklahoma Christian in many ways, including a perpetual endowment that will provide scholarships for OC students for generations to come.

Likewise, Millie has supported Oklahoma Christian for decades. Many young engineers have taken their first steps into thermodynamics and systems design within the halls of the Prince Engineering Center, one of OC’s finest academic venues. The PEC, made possible through Millie's generosity, is named in honor of Millie and her late husband, Darryll Prince.

Both Bobby and Millie lost their first spouses early in life, but found a common love for business and a passion for service.

In 2005, Oklahoma Christian presented Bobby with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his leadership in business and in the community.

His homegrown company, originally known as Southwest Typewriter Company, began in his one-car garage in 1956 with a $50 loan from his mother. His business grew into a multimillion-dollar conglomerate, ImageNet America, and is now run by his children and grandchildren.

A U.S. Marine and a veteran of the Korean War, Bobby was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ and served as a teacher, deacon and elder.

He is survived by Millie, two children, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

“Bobby was a great man. He loved his family, he loved his God, and he loved making a difference for others. He will be missed greatly,” OC president John deSteiguer said.

The Roberson family requests that memorials be made to Oklahoma Christian. Online condolences may be shared at www.havenbrookfuneralhome.com.

-OC-

 

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Wed, 26 Sep 2012 16:33:00 CDT ebba85ee-24a3-40ac-bbd7-9781f9d579b0
Retired NASA scientist to speak at OC http://www.oc.edu/news/r/retired-nasa-scientist-to-speak-at-oc/ Don Cooper, Retired NASA Scientist

Thursday, March 29, 5:00 pm – PEC229
"Saturn V Guidance Equations"

Before reaching earth orbit, the onboard computer issues commands to steer the mighty Saturn rocket. 
How does the computer know what commands to send? What information does the onboard computer 
have? How does the computer adapt to changing weight, thrust, gravity, and what if one of the engines 
fails?
Thursday, March 29, 6:00 pm – PEC229
"Have Rocket – Will Travel"
Demonstration using scale Saturn V Rocket of how we went to the Moon and back
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Wed, 28 Mar 2012 15:55:00 CDT 381cf369-e3a7-41d1-8ca2-30fe49f6323b
OC Honors Students Selected by Prestigious Programs http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-honors-students-selected-by-prestigious-programs/ Two OC honors students were accepted into prestigious programs recently. Riley Hansen, from St. David, Ariz., will study in the highly selective Scholars’ Semester at England’s Oxford University in the spring.

Debra Diepenbrock will participate in a prominent summer academy in computer science and engineering at the University of Washington. The academy is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Oracle and Google, among other donors. Diepenbrock, from Moundridge, Ks., is hearing impaired and majoring in mechanical engineering.

Hansen, a second-year student majoring in international business, is fluent in Thai language and culture and excels in the university fellows program as an honors student.

"Riley has added so much to our programs, classes and our campus," said honors director Scott LaMascus. "The greatest joy of his selection to study at Oxford is that Riley has such an open, global perspective as a Christian who will, I know, make an increasingly large impact everywhere he goes. He's just a great young man."

The Scholars Semester in Oxford is offered by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. The competitive program is for Christian students who seek to read, learn and live in the "City of Dreaming Spires." The Scholars' Semester allows students to live in Wycliffe Hall as a visiting student of Oxford University. Students engage in intensive scholarship with the Oxford tutorial system.

The UW Summer Academy for Advancing Deaf & Hard of Hearing in Computing selects the best candidates from universities across the nation to come together with faculty for credit-bearing courses with guest speakers and field trips to Microsoft, Cray, Adobe and IBM corporate centers. Students and faculty also meet with deaf or hard-of-hearing employees in computer science and engineering.

"The Honors program is so proud to have Diepenbrock in our living/learning community, where she is making a real impact on the Honors Class of 2015," said LaMascus. "She is a student who has shown the capacity to excel, and whose aspirations to serve others encompasses her dreams of making an impact in pediatric oncology or biomedical engineering. This ethic of service grows from her deep faith in Christ."

Diepenbrock’s mother, Julie Sheerer Diepenbrock, is a 1986 OC graduate.

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Fri, 02 Mar 2012 10:55:00 CST 006d5faf-fdb1-41c9-8a68-7c0cd6443652
OC Professor Brings Clean Water to Philippine Villages http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-professor-brings-clean-water-to-philippine-villages/ While many professors enjoy time off in the summer for fun and recreation, OC’s Al Mikell used two weeks to help change the future of some rural villages in the Philippines. According to Mikell, his trip was a simple example of how highly trained, spiritually motivated faculty used OC’s excellent science facilities to make a difference in the world.

Mikell, an associate professor of biology, has helped improve a bio-filter that can be used to create clean drinking water. OC professors Ryan Newberry, chair of the department of mechanical engineering and the graduate school of engineering, and Bill Ryan, professor of engineering sciences, have been an integral part of the research process behind the filter, which was first tested in labs on the OC campus.

“We want to produce filters that are safe, inexpensive and easy to maintain,” Mikell said.

While in the Philippines, Mikell worked with OC alumnus Bill Westerberg, a missionary in the city of Talisay in the Cebu province. Mikell’s home church in Luther, Okla., supports Westerberg.

“I was so blessed to have had this opportunity,” Mikell said. “The filter is what these people need. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the people there, and I can still see their faces every day.”

Mikell also worked in the Philippines with OC alumnus and Philipino native Sal Cariaga. According to Sal, Mikell’s bio-filter saves money and lives.

“Waterborne illness is one of the leading causes of child-death and loss of productivity among adults,” Cariaga said. “Al’s water filter is organic and does not use chemicals. It is low-maintenance and very low cost.” 

Mikell worked with Sal’s staff to set up and test a generic filter using local materials. He then taught them how to duplicate his system, which will hopefully expand across the country. His trip and instruments were funded by a grant from Partners for Christian Education, a nonprofit in Oklahoma City affiliated with members of the church of Christ that helps establish Christian schools.

“I really feel that due to the prayers of so many loving brothers and sisters, we were able to get our working prototype in place,” Mikell said. “This allowed me to work out the details for a new and improved model.”

Sal also mentioned that Mikell did not hesitate to help or get dirty. One night Mikell attended a Bible study and someone became ill. Mikell helped carry the patient to the hospital and then returned to the village of Arapal to test a bio-filter he had installed earlier.

Mikell wanted to identify with the people he was helping. Therefore, he chose to stay in a grass hut without electricity or plumbing, just as many of the people in that village do every day. Mikell helped conduct Bible studies and preached in house churches and schools. He also visited a number of goat raisers in Cebu that work with the nonprofit organization Give-A-Goat.

Sal’s son, OC alumnus Peter Cariaga, founded the Oklahoma City-based Give-A-Goat, which provides a solution to poverty by giving free goats and training to impoverished families in the Philippines. Sal helps distribute the goats, and he also helps run the Arapal Children’s Home, which now uses one of Mikell’s bio-filters.

“We no longer have to purchase purified water at the goat farm or children’s home,” Sal said. “We believe that Al’s system can reduce water-borne death and disease all over the country.”

When asked about his trip, Mikell said he received more than he gave.

“I love and really miss the great people in the Philippines, who are like my family now. They live unhurried lives and appreciate the good things that God gives them. I miss their smiling faces. I have never been treated as well as they treated me.”

According to OC president Mike O’Neal, Mikell represents the best of the OC community.

“I am so grateful to work with great people like Al, who took part of his summer to help the people of the Philippines,” said Mike O’Neal. “I commend him for his servant heart.”

The trip was even more touching for Mikell because his father was stationed in the Philippines during World War II. The GI Bill allowed Mikell’s dad to attend college, which paved the way for Mikell to attend himself, ultimately becoming a biology professor.

“This trip made my dad very happy, because it was great to see God bring us full circle to the Philippines and to give back to these great people,” Mikell said. “It is so rewarding to see God’s simple plan working so dramatically with in the Church of Christ. What a glory to be a small part of this great work.”

Micro-Biology Professor Slideshow: Dr.’s trip from Cebu, Visayas, Philippines to Cebu City was created by TripAdvisor. See another Cebu City slideshow. Create a free slideshow with music from your travel photos.
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Thu, 22 Sep 2011 3:09:00 CDT c70e7936-c09e-40e0-aa60-971c9a0b40a0
New Faculty Bring Diverse Talents to OC http://www.oc.edu/news/r/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 4:08:00 CDT e3bb446b-e773-4a59-9713-106c11550357
OKC Bank Executive To Address OC Graduates http://www.oc.edu/news/r/okc-bank-executive-to-address-oc-graduates/ Oklahoma City banking executive Patrick Rooney will deliver the commencement address at the summer graduation ceremony for Oklahoma Christian University. Graduation will take place Saturday, Aug. 20 at 10:30 a.m. in Hardeman Auditorium on campus.

Rooney is chairman and controlling shareholder of First National Bank of Oklahoma. He is also extensively involved in the community, serving as president of the Last Frontier Council Boy Scouts of America and chairman of the Oklahoma Student Loan Authority. Rooney also serves as a director for Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and the Oklahoma Medical Center Foundation.

He is a trustee for MAPS for Kids, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Inasmuch Foundation. Rooney is also past chairman of The Education and Employment Ministry. He has degrees in English and economics from Trinity University.

Commencement will include degree candidates from OC’s Fast Track MBA program, along with the Master of Science in Engineering program. For further information regarding the graduation activities, visit this webpage or call 405-425-5200.

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Mon, 15 Aug 2011 4:08:00 CDT 1918480e-785b-482a-944c-cfad97247c4c
OC Named "A Best in The West" College by The Princeton Review http://www.oc.edu/news/r/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 3:08:00 CDT 723df8be-7e88-4126-b6c6-378660a1cf35
Texas family's faith rewarded http://www.oc.edu/news/r/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
Hinds' family part of OC's northwest pipeline http://www.oc.edu/news/r/hinds-family-part-of-oc-s-northwest-pipeline/ If every first-time college parent could sit at the feet of Paul and Julie Hinds of Portland, Oregon, they’d get a calming perspective in the midst of the frantic season of applications, scholarships amounts, interest rates, deadlines, campus visits and separation anxiety.

With six daughters, they’ve been there, done that … and have drawers full of OC t-shirts to prove it. Youngest daughter Emily graduated with an OC nursing degree this year, which marked the 20th anniversary of sending their first daughter to college.

The Hinds are just one family in OC’s Pacific Northwest pipeline. Among the hundreds of students who have come inland to Oklahoma City, four families by the last name of Hinds (including three brothers – Paul, Tom and James) have combined to send 10 children to OC. Fourth brother, John, actually started the trend when he came to OC himself in 1995.

Granted, the Hinds have written many checks for tuition, room and board to Oklahoma Christian, but Paul sees it as an investment that has eternal dividends.

“OC has a unique sense of family and personal engagement between faculty and students to help guide one’s sense of mission in life. The OC culture is attractive to us, and our kids have benefitted greatly,” Paul said from his office at Hinds Instruments, a company that manufactures a broad range of instrumentation for evaluating polarization and light. (The company has hired several OC engineering graduates).

Paul said their girls were able to cover, on average, about 35 percent of their college education with summer jobs, scholarships and savings. Paul and Julie, through a mix of college loans and their own funds, helped with the rest.

“We told each daughter, ‘You do everything you possibly can, mom and dad will do the same, and the Lord will work it all out.’ And He did,” Paul said.

Still, in swapping notes with other parents who have sent children to state schools or other private schools, Paul said he doesn’t feel they’ve paid a premium at OC. He said that is especially true when considering the quality of education received by his daughters, a brother, nieces and nephews, and OC grads hired by their second-generation business.

Paul offers tips for going through the process of choosing college and weighing the investment of a Christian education. He encourages parents to pray unceasingly … and to pick up a new book by OC alumnus Brian Simmons, “Wandering in the Wilderness.” It discusses the faith journeys of young people from the time they leave high school through their 20s.

“Reading through the book helped me appreciate in a new way this stage of life and how OC’s administration, faculty and environment help support our young people during this critical period in their lives,” Paul said.

The Hinds family takes a long view of legacy – not just from one generation to the next, but for the children of their children’s children. It is a legacy of faith: how to faithfully live, how to defend the faith and how to advance the Kingdom.

Paul and his wife, Julie, took a holistic approach to discipling their children, with Christian higher education being a major tenet of their plan.

It will be their grandchildren’s turn before too long. With eight grandkids so far, Paul and Julie want to help send them (and their grandchildren’s grandchildren) to college, hopefully to OC.

“It is not about us and what we can do. It’s about helping the next generation and seeing them use their talents in their careers, homes, communities and the church,” Paul said. “The Lord has blessed us, and whether he chooses to bless us or refine us, may he find us faithful.”

By Dawn Shelton

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Mon, 01 Aug 2011 14:03:00 CDT 9b925099-6bfe-4f2b-b9b7-afd9a495992e
OC School of Engineering Accomplishments http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc_school_of_engineering_accomplishments/ The OC school of engineering wrapped up a busy and successful academic year. A number of students placed at competitions, while students and faculty presented papers and served on influential committees and conferences. Below is a summary of major accomplishments.

Mechanical Engineering Student Accomplishments
In 2010, OC’s student team placed first in the oral presentation event at the Aero Design Competition, which helps develop the fundamental understanding of flight in a real-life engineering challenge. This year, OC’s team placed fourth overall in the entire competition.

OC’s student team placed second in the 2011 American Society of Mechanical Engineering Design Competition, which requires each team to design, construct and operate a prototype that meets requirements of a problem statement.

Student Lara Killingsworth presented a research paper at the 2011 ASME Regional Conference.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Student Accomplishments
Students Nate West and Asa Blackerby placed second in the undergraduate student team design contest at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Region 5 Annual Conference in Baton, Rouge, La. Student Ivan Yeoh presented at the conference, while Steven Bell placed second in a computer engineering competition there.

Faculty Accomplishments
Professor Byron Newberry had four papers published in the American Society for Engineering Education National Conference & Exposition. Newberry had two papers published in 2011 and one in 2010. He also had a paper published in the proceedings of the 2009 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition.

In 2011, Dr. Richard Miller and Newberry completed the final year of a $100,000 National Science Foundation grant on enhancing the mathematics education and retention of engineering freshmen. In addition, Dr. Wayne Whaley and Dr. David Cassel served on the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam National Committee for the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Whaley also served for the 16th year at the Oklahoma Odyssey of the Mind student competition. In addition, Dr. Bill Ryan completed his seventh year as director of the OKBest Student Robotics Competition.

In addition, professor Steve Maher presented at the International Symposium for Testing and Failure Conference in Dallas, which is the premier event for the microelectronics failure analysis community.

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Thu, 26 May 2011 10:05:00 CDT b7b3a389-c6b5-4be7-9d32-b527d0334229
OC students dig water wells in Rwanda http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc_students_dig_water_wells_in_rwanda/ imageTen students from Oklahoma Christian University have the chance to change a country, and possibly the world. This week the 10 students, whose nonprofit group is called Rwandans4Water, flew to Rwanda to drill water wells in 15 communities. Oklahomans from four different organizations have helped the students prepare for this ground-breaking mission.

“The top water development charities in the world are watching this project because it is a new approach to clean water development,” said Ryan Groves, who has been a consultant to R4W. He is an Oklahoma Christian student and executive director of Wishing Well, a group that has funded 65 wells across the globe since 2006. “It has the potential to dramatically increase access to clean water in Africa and other developing countries.”

One unique aspect of the project is the involvement by the students, who are Rwandan Presidential Scholars studying at Oklahoma Christian. They were selected among the top students in the country to study in a field such as engineering, then to go back and develop the country. Though these students are only juniors, the government believes in the drilling project so much that it covered transportation costs for the summer.

“This Rwandan project encourages ownership by citizens and the government where the drilling will occur,” Groves said. “It’s not the old approach involving an expatriate going over, setting things up and then leaving.”

Another unique aspect of the Rwandan project is the dramatically lower costs realized through improvements in drilling techniques. Oklahoma City-based Water4Foundation developed these techniques.

“Previous methods cost $15,000 for just one well,” Groves said. “These new hand-drilling techniques cut the costs to $700 each. This is the future of drilling wells in developing countries.”

The students have been training with Water4Foundation for the last few months, while also organizing a drilling schedule with Rwandan officials in the 15 cities and holding fundraisers in Oklahoma City.

“We teamed with Wishing Well and hosted a benefit concert at Bridgeway Church in April,” said R4W coordinator Aloys Zunguzungu. “All proceeds went to fund this project.”

The students credit their faiths and the help they have received from Oklahomans for the project’s initial success.

“We recognize God’s hand behind this initiative and he will be with us until its completion,” said Zunguzungu. “We also want to express our deep appreciation to our amazing partners and Oklahoma Christian students that made this idea a reality.”

According to Oklahoma Christian president Mike O’Neal, this is a great example of students having a global impact.

“This project has the potential to do some incredible short-term and long-term good for the people of Rwanda and other parts of Africa that are lacking clean, accessible water,” said O’Neal. “What is most promising is the long-term potential. These students have created a business plan that will fund the development of future wells in other locations. Each new well will change the lives of hundreds of people by allowing the children to attend school and by allowing adults to engage in productive work instead of having to spend hours transporting water for survival and household needs.”

While the students are in Rwanda now, they are continuing to raise funds for future wells.

“Donations of any kind are appreciated,” Zunguzungu said. “We have a page on our website that makes it very easy to donate.”

For more information about R4W, visit www.rwandans4water.org. Access to cleaner water reduces health diseases. It also reduces the time that children spend gathering water, which allows them to spend more time studying. The Rwandan students believe that improved health and education will result in increased economic productivity, which will help the country continue to develop as a nation.

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Tue, 11 May 2010 11:05:00 CDT 37228016-e000-4648-85d5-78047dbbd283
Mechanical engineering students in aero design competition http://www.oc.edu/news/r/mechanical_engineering_students_in_aerodesign_competition/

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Fri, 07 May 2010 9:05:00 CDT c66f6fed-ed2c-420f-a467-6f347395aee2
Watch commencement addresses online http://www.oc.edu/news/r/watch_commencement_addresses_online/ President Paul Kagame - 2010 Commencement Address

Dr. Jack White - 2010 Commencement Address

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Mon, 03 May 2010 10:05:00 CDT 4c9e43ea-1cbd-4e8c-ae7b-de2907b86b44
Engineering students recognized at regional contest http://www.oc.edu/news/r/engineering_students_recognized_at_regional_engineering_contest/ Eight engineering students from Oklahoma Christian placed at the annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Region 5 student contest in Dallas April 17-18.

Students Nathan West and Xu Chen placed second in the circuit design competition. Steven Bell placed second in the student paper category. His article was titled “An Overview of Optimal Graph Search Algorithms for Robot Path Planning in Dynamic or Uncertain Environments.”

J.P. Karenzi, Alain Shema, Alex Tulikumwenayo, Yves Mujyambere and Todd Lukkason placed fifth in the robotics team competition. These five students competed against 26 teams from 10 states.

“Our students represented Oklahoma Christian very well,” said David Waldo, professor of electrical and computer engineering. “We are very proud of them.”

The IEEE is the world’s largest professional organization for the advancement of technology. International, national and regional student competitions are held each year.

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Thu, 22 Apr 2010 12:04:00 CDT a495abe8-f83b-4c30-b635-d18838723eac
Drilling wells by hand demonstrated to OC engineering students http://www.oc.edu/news/r/drilling_wells_by_hand_demonstrated_to_oc_engineering_students/ An estimated 1 billion people in undeveloped countries do not have access to clean drinking water. Contaminated drinking water is responsible for more than 5 million deaths per year. In Ethiopia, for example, less than one-fourth of the population has access to clean water and, in the rural areas, only 11 percent can obtain clean water. In some villages, women and children often walk five or more miles several times a day to fill water jugs with filthy, disease-infested water. The cost of drilling wells in those countries has been prohibitive, but a new application of an old drilling method could bring clean water to millions.

The Water4 Foundation recently demonstrated a low-cost hand drilling method and a low-cost durable hand pump to Oklahoma Christian University engineering and MBA students on the OC campus. Oklahoma Christian students who founded and operate Wishing Well, which has completed 65 water projects in several African countries, are partnering with Water4. The foundation is also hoping that engineering students at OC will consider starting a business drilling wells in remote areas of Africa. According to Dick Greenly, a geologist with Pumps of Oklahoma who volunteers for Water4, a profit of $200 per well or more can be made on each well because the drilling instruments, pump and labor are very inexpensive and can even be made from materials already in-country. Most villages, he said, can afford the $600 and will gladly pay it to have a clean, convenient water source. It is also important for the villagers to have some buy-in for the well so they will maintain it.

The hand drilling method can drill a well as deep as 300 feet, through rock if necessary, and costs about $600, compared with $15,000 in Africa for a mechanically drilled well. The hand drilling equipment is also highly portable, capable of being carried by the workers, making wells possible in areas not accessible by vehicles. The method does not require water, often a problem in remote areas with mechanical drilling.

The drilling method, cable tool, was used over 3,000 years ago by the Chinese, according to Greenly. “We researched a number of hand drilling techniques and this was the most efficient and cost effective for what we were trying to accomplish.” Greenly also developed a low-cost hand pump from PVC that can be produced in country and is very durable.
During the past year, the Water4 Foundation has brought clean water to people in 24 countries including Zambia, Mozambique, Ecuador and Ethiopia. World Vision International provided $2.5 million budget for Water4 to continue its ambitious water drilling program. 

“Our goal is to get fresh water to 1 million people by 2020,” Greenly said.  “Currently, we’re completing 12 wells a week, bringing fresh water to approximately 5,000 people weekly. Working with OC students and Wishing Well, we hope to accelerate the program. Since the locals can make money drilling these wells, we are bringing them fresh water, helping the local economy and sharing the love of Christ.”

For more information on The Water4 Foundation, contact Christopher W. Cotner, Executive Director, Water4 Foundation, P.O. Box 8304, Edmond, OK 73083-8304.  Telephone: 405-694-5214 or log onto water4.org.

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Mon, 08 Feb 2010 10:02:00 CST aa9c92fa-b97f-44f4-8b61-30d78d229d7a