Honors News http://www.oc.edu/news RSS Feed OC to present degrees at fall commencement ceremonies http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-to-present-degrees-at-fall-commencement-ceremonies/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) will present 89 undergraduate and 136 graduate degrees at its fall commencement ceremonies this Friday, Dec. 18.

OC’s undergraduate degree candidates come from 15 states and five countries, and majored in 37 disciplines. The master’s degree candidates come from 12 states and five countries and represent 16 graduate areas of study.

Graduation Day will feature two separate ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in OC’s Hardeman Auditorium.

The morning ceremony will include master’s degree candidates from OC’s Graduate School of Engineering and Computer Science and bachelor’s degree candidates from the College of Engineering and Computer Science and College of Liberal Arts.

The afternoon ceremony will include master’s degree candidates from the Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Theology, plus bachelor’s degree candidates from the College of Biblical Studies, College of Business Administration, and College of Natural and Health Sciences.

OC alumnus Jim Utley will deliver the commencement address at both gatherings. Utley is the director of technical services for Niagara Bottling, one of the leading bottled water suppliers in the United States.

Prior to joining Niagara in 2011, Utley served in various roles for five years at Reid Plastics, spent eight years in management at Plastipak Packaging, and served four years as plant manager for Letica Corporation.

Utley graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He also owns a master’s degree in management and administrative services from the University of Texas at Dallas.

He lives in Blanchard, Oklahoma, with his wife Julie (also a 1994 OC graduate) and their three children: Josiah, Lydia, and Chloe.

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

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

-OC-

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Wed, 16 Dec 2015 16:15:00 CST 78ed0854-0e37-44c2-830f-3bce12787929
OC students win Texas Regional Ethics Bowl http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-students-win-texas-regional-ethics-bowl/ SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) won the Texas Regional Ethics Bowl for the second straight year, sweeping three matches to qualify for the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl.

Showing the depth and talent of OC’s students, the team that finished second at the OK Ethics Statewide Student Ethics Challenge won the regional championship. The “Aguilas” team of junior Gabriel Gasiorowski, sophomore Seanhenry Vandyke and freshman Tyler Clark downed the University of Central Oklahoma, Texas State University and Brazosport College on its way to the Texas regional crown.

The “Eagles” squad of senior Jasper Bawcom, senior Mikel Nsengiyumva and freshman Hannah Lane had claimed OC’s fourth consecutive state championship on Oct. 24. In San Antonio, they defeated the University of Oklahoma, but lost to Loyola University New Orleans and the tournament runner-up, the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley.

Twenty teams competed, including Oklahoma-based squads from OU, UCO, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma State University and Cameron University.

“I am proud of our teams. They have worked hard all semester long and it is nice to see their effort lead to success,” said Jeff Simmons, the team sponsor and dean of OC’s College of Business Administration. “I never cease to be amazed at the intelligence and talent these students display. Yet, I most appreciate that they continue to be humble and respectful of each other and our competitors.”

The regional debate topics included discussion of how to dispose of a corpse in an ecologically safe way, the ethical implications for museums buying looted artifacts, and whether or not orphaned Native American children should be put up for adoption outside their tribes.

“Our basic approach to analyzing moral dilemmas always involves applying certain ethical philosophies or ethical theories,” Vandyke said.

This year will mark the 20th Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, scheduled for Feb. 21, 2016, in Reston, Virginia. Oklahoma Christian placed fifth nationally in 2014, then defeated Clemson University and the University of Michigan on its way to an 11th-place finish last year.

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

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

-OC-

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Tue, 17 Nov 2015 13:00:00 CST c9180713-ad50-4d3b-a101-4453bca11ed1
OC Honors student's paper accepted by AERA http://www.oc.edu/news/r/spring-2015-graduate-has-research-accepted-by-the-american-educational-research-association/ Sarah Bell is an OC Honors Program student who is quickly making her mark as a scholar.

Bell studied at a Utah State University summer research program last summer, and the prestigious American Educational Research Association has accepted a paper she wrote based on research she participated in. She is presenting at the conference this year, and the paper will also be published in one of AERA’s journals. 

AERA is a national research society that strives to advance knowledge about education, encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, promote research to improve education and serve the public good. Bell plans to earn a Ph.D. in engineering education after completing her master’s degree.

“Sarah is such an impressive scholar, and I am not surprised that she is one of the first graduates of OC to present at this selective and impressive conference,” said Scott LaMascus, OC’s vice president for academic affairs. “Sarah excelled as an Honors student at OC, and we are proud to see her continue to shine.”

While at OC, Sarah was named the outstanding computer engineering freshman, sophomore, junior and senior student. Success seems to run in Sarah’s family. Her older brother Steven, a 2011 OC alumnus, is pursuing a doctorate at Stanford University’s highly competitive electrical engineering program.

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

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

-OC-

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Thu, 12 Nov 2015 13:45:00 CST bb7116aa-d80c-43b5-acc7-31f617d6656c
OC presents Alumni Achievement Awards http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-presents-alumni-achievement-awards/ Oklahoma Christian University’s five academic colleges and Honors Program recognized outstanding alumni during OC’s annual Homecoming festivities.

The College of Biblical Studies named Allen Dutton as its distinguished alumnus in missions, Grady King as its distinguished alumnus in ministry, and Chris Langley as its distinguished alumnus in youth and family ministry.

The College of Business Administration honored Mike Bosley as outstanding alumnus from OC’s Graduate School of Business, Lyle Kelsey from the Department of Management and Marketing, and Kevin Lawrence from the Department of Accounting and Finance.

OC’s College of Engineering and Computer Science recognized Walter Daugherity from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Jim Utley from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Preston Watterson from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

OC’s College of Liberal Arts honored eight graduates: Gena Alexander (Music), Emily Elliott (Language and Literature), Mark Hamlin (Psychology), Dana Johnson (Sport, Wellness, and Recreation Management), Ted McAllister (History), Robyn Miller (Teacher Education), Justin Shaw (Art and Design), and Anna Wilcox (Communication).

The College of Natural and Health Sciences honored Marc Compton from the Department of Chemistry and Physics, Darise Farris from the Department of Biological Sciences, and Christy Hallock from the School of Nursing.

The Honors Program recognized Adam Hoffhines, who graduated in 2002 with a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry. He recently completed a one-year hematopathology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University and now serves as a pathologist with the Regional Medical Laboratory in Tulsa.

From the College of Biblical Studies, Dutton is a 1992 OC graduate with a master’s degree in ministry. He has served as a medical missionary in Campinas, Brazil, since 1993. King is a 1977 OC graduate who is co-leader of HOPE Network Ministries and senior minister at Mansfield Church of Christ in Texas. Langley graduated in 2010 and serves as the youth leader for Norfolk Church of Christ in Virginia.

From the College of Business Administration, Bosley earned his MBA degree in 2002 after graduating from OC in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He owns Seatbelt Planet, named as one of the top 15 best places to work in Oklahoma, and BozHog Tractor Services.

Kelsey is a 1972 OC graduate who serves as executive director for the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision, the Oklahoma Board of Podiatric Examiners, and the Oklahoma Board of Licensed Perfusionist Examiners. Lawrence, a 2001 OC graduate, is the chief financial officer at BancFirst.

In the College of Engineering and Computer Science, Daugherity graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1966 and went on to earn a doctorate from Harvard University. He is a senior lecturer in computer science and engineering and electrical and computer engineering at Texas A&M University and is the co-founder, chairman and president of Daugherity Brothers, Inc.

Utley, a 1994 OC graduate, serves as director of technical services for Niagara Bottling. Watterson is a 2003 OC graduate who works as an engineering manager for Northrup Grumman at Tinker Air Force Base.

From the College of Liberal Arts, Alexander is a 2001 graduate who teaches violin at OC and in her private studio in addition to conducting the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras and performing regularly with the Tulsa Symphony, Lawton Philharmonic, and Oklahoma City Philharmonic.

Elliott, a 2009 OC graduate, is the head of content and growth at NextGenVest, a social enterprise tech startup. Hamlin, a 1991 OC graduate, chairs the Department of Psychology at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Johnson is a 1969 OC graduate and member of the U.S. National Trampoline and Tumbling Association Hall of Fame who spent 43 years teaching and coaching for Mid-Del Public Schools. McAllister graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1983. He holds the Edward L. Gaylord Chair of Public Policy and is an associate professor of public policy at Pepperdine University.

Miller is a 1985 graduate who chaired OC’s School of Education before joining the Oklahoma State Department of Education as deputy superintendent under the direction of State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.

Shaw, a 2010 OC graduate, is a faculty member at Oklahoma City Community College as well as a game designer and graphic designer. Wilcox is a 1999 OC graduate who founded and serves as executive artistic director for BackStory Theatre in Broomfield, Colorado.

In the College of Natural and Health Sciences, Compton is a 1986 OC graduate who serves as managing director and market executive for U.S. Trust and Bank of America. Farris, a 1990 graduate, is a cellular immunologist with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Hallock graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 2005 and serves an instructor in OC’s School of Nursing.

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

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

-OC-

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Tue, 10 Nov 2015 10:30:00 CST 92917763-7263-4b1c-a31f-1737d10133c1
OC proud to add seven accomplished scholars and teachers http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-proud-to-add-seven-accomplished-scholars-and-teachers-as-faculty/ Oklahoma Christian University’s newest professors offer students a wealth of academic and professional experience along with a passion for faith and service. From nursing, music and education, to English, computer science and biology, OC’s students will be benefit from excellent scholars and teachers.

According Scott LaMascus, OC’s vice president for academic affairs, these new faculty were selected because of their academic credentials and commitment to OC’s distinctive Christian mission.

“Each of these accomplished faculty stood out among their fellow applicants, and their passion for Christian education strongly impressed the interview committees,” LaMascus said. “We are thrilled to add their talents and servant hearts to what I believe is the best, Christian faculty in the country.”

Six of the seven new professors are OC alumni. They were thrilled by the opportunity to come back home to their alma mater.

“I am living the dream to be back home teaching at OC,” said Elayne Weger Bowman. 

Bowman has almost 40 years of experience teaching math and developing system-wide curriculum in public schools. She also taught as a visiting lecturer in the mathematics department at the University of Oklahoma. In addition, Bowman spent a year as a master teacher-in-residence in OU’s School of Education, where she earned her doctorate. Bowman serves OC as a visiting assistant professor of education.

Likewise, alumna Jennifer Gray comes to OC after spending more than three decades as a professor and administrator at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she built an internationally respected reputation for developing doctoral nursing students in the U.S. and Uganda. She was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 2013. Gray serves OC as a professor of nursing and Associate Dean for the College of Natural and Health Sciences. She earned her doctorate from Texas Woman’s University after starting her undergraduate studies at OC. Gray also brings years of experience leading medical mission trips to Africa.

Similarly, Mike Knedler comes to OC after more than 30 years as a professor and administrator at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. He served as director of bands and then as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. In his time at NWOSU, Knedler helped raise nearly $3 million in grants and donations for university projects. In addition, he has extensive experience with community and professional orchestras. Knedler serves OC as a distinguished visiting professor of honors. He earned his doctorate from the University of Oklahoma.

Alumna Dana McMichael has also returned home to OC as a visiting professor of language and literature. She taught at Abilene Christian University since 2000, and she earned her doctorate from Oklahoma State University. McMichael’s husband, B.J., serves as the family minister at the Stillwater church of Christ. OC’s Department of Language and Literature gave her the distinguished alumni award in 2012.

Sara Alcon is yet another alumna glad to call OC home again. She was an honors student who graduated summa cum laude in 2007. Alcon earned her doctorate in Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis in Cell Biology and Physiology from the University of New Mexico. She also brings to OC years of teaching experience at Albuquerque Christian School and as a UNM teaching assistant. She serves OC as a visiting assistant professor of biology.

Alumnus Travis Montgomery returns to OC from Fort Hays State University, where he was an assistant professor of English. He has more than 25 publications and presentations and received multiple honors during his doctoral studies at the University of Mississippi. OC’s Department of Language and Literature gave him the distinguished alumni award in 2013. He serves OC as an assistant professor of language and literature.

Finally, alumnus Robert Nix returns to OC after teaching computer science at Lipscomb University. Nix earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of Texas at Dallas. He received the Best Paper Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2010, and he was named the Becky J. Tellon Teacher of the Year for Lipscomb’s School of Computing and Informatics in 2014. Nix has also spent more than 10 years performing in gospel quartets. He serves OC as an assistant professor of computer science. 

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Thu, 15 Oct 2015 18:00:00 CDT 6f9a944c-90cf-4875-8712-1c9640807cd0
Oklahoma Christian celebrates enrollment milestones http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oklahoma-christian-celebrates-enrollment-milestones/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) set records for undergraduate, graduate and overall enrollment this fall, surpassing 2,500 total students for the first time in school history.

Oklahoma Christian has 2,587 students enrolled, including a record 2,003 undergraduates. Bolstered by substantial growth in the Graduate School of Engineering and Computer Science, OC has 584 total master’s degree students enrolled, a 16 percent increase from last fall’s record high.

Overall, this is OC’s fourth straight year of record enrollment. The top 11 enrollment totals in OC history have come in the last 11 years.

“It’s exciting to see OC grow. Students come from all over our state, country and world because they crave the supportive home and successful future OC offers,” President John deSteiguer said. “I’m proud of our faculty and staff, who constantly seek innovative ways to teach and serve our students. OC is a place where lessons are learned, lives are changed and the world becomes better.”

This year also saw Oklahoma Christian set a school record and eclipse the national average for retention; 82 percent of last year’s first-time college students returned to OC this fall.

“The great people in our Student Life office are vital to retention because they invest in our students and help them get the most out of their college experience. In academics, our students rave about the invaluable mentoring relationships they have with our faculty scholars,” deSteiguer said. “I’m also pleased this retention record comes after we launched our Ethos spiritual life initiative last year; it shows that OC students are serious about growing in faith and serving others.”

OC has seven National Merit Scholars in this year’s freshman class and 40 overall, a per capita percentage that ranks among the state’s leaders. Thirty-nine percent of OC’s undergraduate students hail from Oklahoma while another 25 percent are from Texas.

Overall, OC’s student body comes from 45 states and 44 countries. More than 80 percent of OC undergraduates live on campus.

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

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

-OC-

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Wed, 23 Sep 2015 09:15:00 CDT 77932a48-6608-48e0-bb82-9ede5363826c
OC honored among Best Regional Universities by U.S. News http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-honored-among-best-regional-universities-by-u-s-news/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges 2016” guidebook ranks Oklahoma Christian University (OC) among the best universities in the western United States.

OC is 42nd in the 15-state western region and second among Oklahoma schools in the “Best Regional Universities” category, which lists institutions that provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs.

Tuesday’s rankings release marked the 17th straight year U.S. News & World Report has honored Oklahoma Christian. Last month, The Princeton Review also recognized Oklahoma Christian on its “Best in the West” list.

“Rankings like these never get old because they validate the hard work and talent of our students, faculty and staff,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “I also never tire of hearing from leaders here in Oklahoma City and beyond, who constantly brag on the big impact OC students and graduates make in their organizations. These measures and more show that an Oklahoma Christian degree continues to carry enormous value.”

The U.S. News Best Colleges 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 www.usnews.com/colleges.

Oklahoma Christian made notable gains from last year in freshman retention, alumni giving and faculty resources, with OC’s student-faculty ratio shrinking to 14/1 even as enrollment grew to a record 2,479 students.

In addition to being among the state’s leaders with 40 National Merit Finalists enrolled, Oklahoma Christian earned recognition on the U.S. News 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.

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 90 percent acceptance rate to medical and graduate schools, and almost 100 percent of OC Honors Program graduates have been accepted to graduate school the past six years.

OC’s chapter of the National History Honor Society has earned national top chapter honors for 20 straight years. Last year, The Princeton Review and PC Gamer ranked OC’s game design program as the No. 14 undergraduate program in the nation.

Oklahoma Christian also 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.

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

-OC-

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Tue, 08 Sep 2015 23:15:00 CDT f0ab5c5e-26f9-4850-8eb0-921e6a59dc75
OC hosts free Museum of the Bible exhibit http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-hosts-free-museum-of-the-bible-exhibit/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) will host a traveling exhibit of Museum of the Bible in September.

Sacra Pagina features centuries-old artifacts that highlight ways people approach and study the Bible. Admission is free to the exhibit, which will be on display in OC’s Garvey Center Art Gallery from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday from Sept. 2 through Sept. 18 (with the exception of Labor Day on Sept. 7).

Some of the exhibit’s highlights include: 13th-century letters from Jerome, the person responsible for the Latin Vulgate (the Bible used by Roman Catholics); Erasmus’s Greek New Testament from 1521, which was used in the construction of the King James Version of the Bible; Martin Luther’s 16th-century translation of the New Testament, which was a driving force behind the Protestant Reformation; the Bodmer Papyri; and a replica of a portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

More information about the exhibit and featured artifacts is available at oc.edu/exhibit.

“The Green family’s impact has been deep and wide in our community and, really, all over the world,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “OC students are blessed with opportunities to visit the Green Collection of biblical texts and artifacts here in Oklahoma City. And now, we’re excited to display a portion of the collection here on the Oklahoma Christian campus for the public to experience and enjoy.”

The Green Collection is a compilation of around 40,000 objects that includes some of the rarest and most significant biblical texts and artifacts ever assembled under one roof. In addition to traveling exhibits like the September showing at Oklahoma Christian, guests will be able to experience the collection year-round when Museum of the Bible opens its 430,000-square-foot museum in Washington, D.C., in 2017.

“Having a portion of the Museum of the Bible’s collection on campus allows students and visitors to have a truly unique experience with biblical related artifacts,” Professor of New Testament and Ministry John Harrison said. “Walking through the exhibit, visitors will see for themselves significant items that tell the large story of how the Bible has been received and passed on for thousands of years. Many visitors will walk away from this exhibit with a new or greater appreciation for the impact the Bible has made on so many people and cultures.”

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, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity and theological studies.

The 2015-16 academic year opens next Monday with a student body expected to be the largest in OC history. The past decade has featured the university’s top 10 enrollments all-time, including a record 2,479 students last year.

-OC-

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Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:00:00 CDT e929b8bc-f6bf-45fb-ac34-f80bad1df466
Oklahoma Christian earns Princeton Review 'Best College' honors http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oklahoma-christian-earns-princeton-review-best-college-honors/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) remains one of the best colleges in Oklahoma and the western United States according to The Princeton Review.

Oklahoma Christian was one of just 125 schools recognized in the 15-state western region, which also includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

The Princeton Review honored just six other in-state schools: the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma City University, Oral Roberts University, and the University of Tulsa. In addition to this distinction of academic excellence, OC ranks as Oklahoma’s most affordable private university on The Princeton Review list.

“I am blessed to see the impact OC students, faculty, staff and alumni make on a daily basis,” President John deSteiguer said. “From the energy sector to seats of government, from hospitals to our public schools, from Tinker Air Force Base to business, creative, science, tech and ministry pursuits of all kinds, OC graduates have a rare mix of smarts and heart that employers and communities covet.”

Schools recognized in The Princeton Review’s “2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region” are determined through institutional data, campus visits, college counselor recommendations, and independent student surveys.

Students praised OC’s “kind, accessible, amazing professors,” diverse student community, an Oklahoma City metro location that provides easy access to big-city entertainment and job opportunities, and the student body’s unifying “faith in God and the belief that his son died on the cross for our sins.”

This honor comes a year after The Princeton Review ranked Oklahoma Christian as the No. 14 undergraduate school in the U.S. and Canada to study video game design. OC also is recognized as a “Best University – Master’s” in U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.”

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

The last decade has featured the 10 largest enrollments in OC history, including a record 2,479 students in 2014-15.

-OC-

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Wed, 19 Aug 2015 16:30:00 CDT a0dfc7a3-4bc0-46ea-b188-ea3d175c5b04
Honors Summer Academy welcomes 120 students http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-honors-summer-academy-hosts-120-students-from-17-states-and-rwanda/ With 120 ambitious high school students from 17 states and Rwanda, Oklahoma Christian University is hosting its largest Honors Summer Academy yet. Sessions run this week and the next for an academically challenging preview of college life.

Learning experiences will include testing basic rockets, solving a cold case, interacting with the FBI, participating in a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt, culturing HeLa cells and learning from healthcare professionals at Mercy Hospital.

“The Honors Summer Academy provides bright students with the opportunity to pursue academically rigorous experiences in the setting of Christian higher education,” said Jim Baird, director of OC’s Honors Program. “Students learn more about our local and global communities, receive college credit and grow closer together with other students and great OC faculty.”

The annual, weeklong college experience encourages the pursuit of excellence by gifted and talented students finishing their freshman through junior years of high school. This is the second year that OC added an additional week in response to the Academy’s strong demand, and five students will attend both weeks.

By the end of the program, students will have developed the confidence to continue their academic pursuit of excellence, link academics to their faith and demonstrate the impact of experiential learning and service to others. Each participant can earn two hours of college credit.

Students stay in OC’s Honors House at Davisson Hall, which offers the opportunity to live in a community dedicated to equipping Christian students for the pursuit of academic excellence.

This is the sixth year that OC has hosted the Honors Summer Academy, and all 120 openings filled quickly.

While 63 students are from Oklahoma, almost as many students are from 16 other states and Rwanda.

“This is our largest group of students yet, and we are excited to welcome our first international student,” Associate Director of Honors Cady Jackson said. “Our growth is really an extension of the satisfaction that previous students have had and expressed to others. We are grateful for that.”

A few of the week’s highlights include:

  • A literature class in which students examine story architecture through a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt. Two teams set off for adventure, one searching for a horcrux to destroy, the other for Deathly Hallows to protect. This event comes a few months after an OC honors student interacted with author J.K. Rowling via Twitter, which was referenced by National Public Radio just last month.
  • Testing small rockets in the in the Introduction to Engineering class, which is taught by OC engineering faculty. Students will launch small rocket ships they have designed and built. The students will compete to see who can fly their ships the highest. 
  • An “In Cold Blood” Forensic Science class in which students will work a cold case and wash a dollar bill to test for drug residue.
  • A visit with a member of the F.B.I. that will include touring a surveillance van.
  • A visit to Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City for the Healthcare Professions class.
  • A new class titled Faith of the Founding Fathers.
  • A cellular biology lab in which students will culture cells from Henrietta Lacks.
  • A community service project with the Lighthouse Medical Clinic and Capitol Hill Church of Christ’s Book Buddy literacy program (Academy students will select, read and give away books to elementary through junior high students in the Capitol Hill area of Oklahoma City).
  • A meeting with Edmond-based Holocaust writer Michael Korenblit, whose book highlights his parents’ survival in concentration camps, in the Holocaust Literature class.
  • A field trip to see and handle relics from Greece and Rome as part of the class on the Greek poet Homer.
  • A music class in which students produced original music in one of OC’s Macintosh computer labs using multiple instruments and GarageBand software.

The Honors Program at Oklahoma Christian includes more than 150 students and continues to grow each year.

According to Baird, the average ACT score for honors students is 31, and more than a quarter of those students are National Merit Scholars. Admission is highly selective, but not solely exam-based.

Accomplished alumni have gone on to attain professional degrees in business, law and medicine, and many others have received scholarships to prestigious doctorate and post-doctorate programs across the United States.

Most OC Honors students study abroad in the fall or summer of their sophomore year (Vienna, Austria or Pacific Rim). All Honors students participate in Symposium each Monday; past Honors Symposium speakers have included Civil Rights attorney Fred Gray, astronaut Douglas Wheelock and New Testament scholar N.T. Wright. More information is available at www.oc.edu/honors.

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Mon, 13 Jul 2015 13:30:00 CDT 8d3d54ed-5354-4952-96d4-43985168b2e5
OC well-represented at the 35th Christian Scholars’ Conference http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-well-represented-at-the-35th-christian-scholars-conference/ Oklahoma Christian University had a strong presence at the 35th Christian Scholars’ Conference last week with participants in multiple sessions. The annual event was held at Abilene Christian University this year and featured keynote speakers such as authors and professors Phillip Jenkins and Randall Balmer, poet Christian Wiman and public broadcasting host and author Tavis Smiley.

During the conference, more than 100 professors, graduate students and professionals presented peer-reviewed and generative sessions to advance Christian scholarship, collaboration and engaged dialogue. 

This year’s conference theme was "One World."

Gary Jones, OC’s multicultural and service learning coordinator, served as a panelist for the Civil Rights session titled “Selma: Cinematic Past and Social Present Tense.”

Jeff McCormack, OC's dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences, was a panelist for the “High Impact Practices in the Sciences” session. OC alumnus Henry Shin presented during the session with a paper titled “Cell Culture Techniques to Fight Blindness: Finding Molecular Mechanism(s) of a Mutant Protein Affecting Vision in Humans.”

OC alumnus Stanley Helton presented during the “American Religious History” session. His paper was titled “Can We Divide? Jesse B. Ferguson: Alone, Neglected, but not Forgotten.” Helton also presented again on the topic of “The Gods of Slavery: The Theologizing of Solomon Northrup.”

Chara Watson, adjunct instructor of communication at OC, presented in the “Creative Writing” session. Her paper was titled “An Exploration of Binding False Narratives and Their Effects on Compassion and Spirituality.”

OC Professor of New Testament John Harrison convened the New Testament session titled “A Consideration of Shelly Matthews’ Perfect Martyr: The Stoning of Stephen and the Construction of Christian Identity.” During that session, OC alumnus Trevor Thompson served as a respondent. 

Scott LaMascus, OC’s vice president of academic affairs, served as a reviewer for the first Old Testament session that addressed professor Glenn Pemberton’s new book. Charles Rix, OC’s interim dean of the College of Biblical Studies, was a reviewer for the second session. Rix also presented a paper titled “Trauma and ‘Narrative Wreckage’ in the Story of Hagar.”

OC President John deSteiguer served as a panelist with other Christian college presidents on the session titled “Re-envisioning Christian Higher Education for the Next Century.” Similarly, OC alumnus Andy Benton presented a white paper in the session titled “Charting a Course for the Future of Christian Higher Education: A Three-Year Conversation for Governing Boards.”

Gary Lindsey, professor of history at OC, presented a paper titled “East to West: Christian Missionaries in the Twin Territories.”

Associate Professor of Communication Josh Watson presented in the "Global Business Practices" session. His presentation was titled “A Case Study of CVS Health’s Social Responsibility About-Face.”

OC alumnus Darrly Tippens was a convener for the session titled “Christian Wiman’s ‘My Bright Abyss’: Reflections on One Writer’s Spiritual Journey.”

In addition, Chip Kooi, professor of Bible at OC, presented in the “Bible, Justice and Law II” session. His paper was titled “Gospel as Justice as Gospel: A Christian Grammar of Justice.”

Finally, OC Honors instructor Christopher Shrock presented during the “Faith, Reason and Conflict: American History” session. His paper was titled “Culpability and Conscience: A Philosophical Look at an Early Restoration Theme.” 

The Christian Scholars’ Conference was created in 1981 under the direction of Dr. Thomas H. Olbricht, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Pepperdine University, and has since been hosted by several universities associated with churches of Christ. The conference calls together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines in the liberal arts, sciences, business, law, education and medicine to develop their own academic research and to reflect on the integration of scholarship and faith. 

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Fri, 12 Jun 2015 13:45:00 CDT 608abb9e-980c-470c-ad4a-3751233c4248
Oklahoma Christian students revive debate team http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oklahoma-christian-students-revive-debate-team/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Oklahoma Christian University (OC) debate team has been revived after 23 years.

The team currently consists of 10 students and is led by Brian Simmons, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and the Honors Program.

Simmons was a member of Oklahoma Christian’s debate team during his time as a student. At one point, the team was ranked as high as third in the entire United States.

Sophomore Megan McKinley approached Simmons about reestablishing the team in fall 2014. McKinley now serves as the president of the team.

“We threw the door open and said ‘If anyone is interested, come and join us,’” Simmons said. “There are no auditions and no tryouts; we want to make it accessible to all students.”

The students interested in the program worked with Simmons to organize the team and determine its goals.

“We quickly decided that we wanted to compete in a college tournament, we wanted to try and do some debate related things on campus, and then we also wanted to create some debate workshops to offer to homeschool students or to private schools in the Edmond area that don’t have a debate opportunity,” Simmons said.

On Feb. 6 and 7, the team participated in its first collegiate debate tournament since its reinstatement. Sophomore Cody Milner tied for fifth place against 21 competitors from Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Four students from the team – McKinley, Jenna Khazoyan, Kevin McGuire and Sean Van Dyke – demonstrated a debate during Honors Symposium on Feb. 2.

The team recently began holding a monthly debate over a religious topic that students can attend for Ethos credit. The debates take place in room 108 in the Garvey Center.

According to Simmons, the debate process is beneficial to students learning at a Christian liberal arts institution like Oklahoma Christian.

“I think there is always a benefit for Christian college students to develop the skills to defend what they believe in and being able to critique what others believe,” Simmons said. “If ever there is a context that demands there be a debate team, it’s this one.”

For more information, email brian.simmons@oc.edu.

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, set a school record this year with 2,479 students enrolled. Overall, the last decade has featured OC’s 10 highest enrollments ever.

The university 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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Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:00:00 CDT a9ca91cd-59b3-4472-8643-31f359ff9f98
Mabee Foundation issues $1M challenge grant for dining facilities http://www.oc.edu/news/r/mabee-foundation-issues-1m-challenge-grant-for-dining-projects/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Mabee Foundation has issued a $1 million challenge grant toward two student-centric projects at Oklahoma Christian University (OC).

A new campus café and new coffee shop are two of the big-ticket menu items in OC’s Thrive campaign. If donors give $4,647,209 toward those projects by January 22, 2016, the Mabee Foundation will kick in the final $1 million to help bring those two new student spaces to life.

“Many of Oklahoma Christian’s most important academic and student-centric facilities have been generously funded by the Mabee Foundation, including our library, chemistry labs, and communications studios,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “Mabee’s significant impact on the OC campus continues with this meaningful investment in our student dining facilities.”

To date, donors have given almost $3.3 million toward the campus café, good for 77 percent of the Thrive funding needed. Included in that total is $1 million from food service provider U Dining and $275,000 allocated by OC’s student body, which chose which Thrive project that six-figure anonymous gift would support.

The coffee shop will cost $551,000. With another $850,000 projected for maintenance endowment, the cost of the two projects totals about $5.6 million.

Working with Glover Smith Bode and CMS Willowbrook, Oklahoma Christian has identified the northwest corner of the Gaylord University Center as the location for the new campus café. The 15,872-square-foot facility will feature modern food stations and diverse seating options for students in a scenic, open space that looks out on Lawson Commons, the McGraw Pavilion and the Freede Centennial Tower.

The project will allow Oklahoma Christian to preserve its existing banquet hall, which hosts special events for the university and the surrounding community throughout the year.

The new coffee shop will be located in the second floor atrium of the Mabee Learning Center and Beam Library. It will feature a relaxing gathering area combined with collaborative study rooms.

“We are thrilled and honored that the Mabee Foundation has blessed OC with this $1 million challenge grant,” said Kent Allen, vice president for advancement. “Over the years, the Mabee Foundation has been an important partner in furthering OC’s desire to provide quality facilities for our students, faculty and staff.”

Eight 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, provided the startup capital for OC’s reorganized College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Funding also is complete for: Das Millicanhaus, OC’s living-learning facility in Vienna, Austria; the renovation of Cail Auditorium in OC’s Davisson American Heritage Building; high-definition projection systems in Hardeman Auditorium and Judd Theatre; an overhaul of fitness equipment throughout the campus; renovation of select apartment suites; the 2014-15 general scholarship fund; and a strategic planning fund.

In addition, an anonymous $2 million gift is helping fund multiple Thrive projects, including the launch of OC’s Ethos spiritual life initiative. More information about donating toward Thrive initiatives is available at oc.edu/thrive.

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 set a school record this year with 2,479 students enrolled. Overall, the last decade has featured OC’s 10 highest enrollments ever.

The university 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, 25 Feb 2015 10:30:00 CST e571a083-3d22-4a70-add6-0de6d9cf5369
OC announces dual degree program with Japan university http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-announces-dual-degree-program-with-japan-university/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Officials from Oklahoma Christian University (OC) and Japan’s Ibaraki Christian University will announce a new dual degree program at a special ceremony Monday. 

OC and IC are in the 40th year of mutual exchange of students and faculty, making the partnership one of the longest lasting programs between any two universities in Japan and the United States. Nearly 1,000 students have participated in the universities’ short-term and long-term programs over the past four decades.

The new dual degree program, to be officially announced at OC’s 11 a.m. Chapel service (click here to watch the livestream of the ceremony), creates the opportunity for students from Japan to complete undergraduate degrees from both Oklahoma Christian and Ibaraki Christian. Students will attend classes at IC for two years and complete their final two years on the OC campus.

IC officials at Monday’s announcement will include President Hiroshi Shoji, Chancellor Jim Batten (a 1971 OC graduate), Dean of International Programs Toshikatsu Yamanaka, and Director of Administration Takako Tetsuka.

The Ibaraki delegation’s visit also will include a free performance by a Japanese Taiko Drum group and OC music students at 7 p.m. Monday in OC’s Adams Recital Hall.

On Tuesday morning, the delegation will visit the Oklahoma State Capitol and the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.

“Oklahoma Christian is committed to giving our students the finest global education. This means developing strategic global relationships that give OC students unique learning experiences, like this partnership and the more than 20 study abroad and off-campus learning options we offer,” OC director of international programs John Osborne said. “OC and IC have had a wonderful history of cooperation, understanding and care. People on both sides of the ocean transformed difficulties into opportunities, and misunderstandings into patience and acceptance.”

Birthed by former OC administrator Howard Horton and former OC president James O. Baird, the partnership began in 1975 when OC’s first exchange students went to Japan to study Japanese language and culture. The first exchange professor from Oklahoma Christian, Joe McCormack, went to Ibaraki Christian in 1979 and worked on the IC campus for a year.

Over the course of the exchange program, many OC graduates have moved to Japan to serve in various capacities. More than 100 OC graduates have been employed in the Ibaraki prefecture. The Mito Board of Education started depending on Oklahoma Christian to fill English teaching positions in the public school system.

“We are indebted to the founders of the program for their vision and for their hard work to make it a reality,” Osborne said. “May this 21st century be one of greater understanding and cooperation, and may peace and understanding be fostered between all peoples and nations of the world.”

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, set a school record this year with 2,479 students enrolled. Overall, the last decade has featured OC’s 10 highest enrollments ever.

The university 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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Fri, 13 Feb 2015 08:30:00 CST c2f28eba-5100-4be5-bdea-db3f32da90aa
OC hosts bestselling author Donald Miller http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-hosts-bestselling-author-donald-miller/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Bestselling author Donald Miller will speak at Oklahoma Christian University (OC) on Thursday, Jan. 22.

Miller’s lecture, presented by OC’s Ethos program, will begin at 7 p.m. in Hardeman Auditorium. Admission is free, but pre-registration is required at oc.edu/miller.

Miller is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and Blue Like Jazz, which later became a feature film.

Through his Storyline conferences, online courses, and related resources, Miller helps people clarify their ambitions and identify goals so they can have the direction they need to live a great story.

Using his expertise to relate stories to brand messaging, Miller has worked with businesses such as Chick-fil-A, Ford/Lincoln, Pantene, Prime Lending, and many others.

“OC is passionate about helping students find meaning in their lives, and our Ethos program plays a vital part in that,” Ethos director Summer Lashley said. “Donald Miller’s lecture will be a launching point for people committed to making a fresh start in 2015. It’s a chance to listen to a fellow seeker tell the story of how he found meaning in his life and how you can, too.”

Oklahoma Christian launched its Ethos initiative last fall to give students multiple ways to grow in faith, serve others and worship God. Students can build their “life resumes” through participating in Chapel services, mission trips, service projects, Bible studies, and other opportunities like Miller’s lecture.

Ethos is rooted in Mark 12:30-31, where Jesus identified the greatest commands: to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

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, set a school record this year with 2,479 students enrolled. Overall, the last decade has featured OC’s 10 highest enrollments ever.

The university 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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Thu, 08 Jan 2015 10:00:00 CST 18843233-b80b-4cfb-ac60-6d367e829b05
Oklahoma Christian holds graduation ceremonies http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oklahoma-christian-holds-graduation-ceremonies/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) will present 80 undergraduate and 103 graduate degrees at its winter commencement ceremonies Dec. 12-13. 

OC’s undergraduate degree candidates represent 13 states and seven countries, and majored in 35 disciplines. The master’s degree candidates come from five states and 10 countries and represent 12 graduate areas of study. 

Dr. Alan Martin, dean of OC’s College of Biblical Studies, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address while entrepreneur and inventor Jay Martin will keynote the graduate commencement ceremony. 

A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Alan Martin began his OC career in 2006 as an associate professor of family ministry. 

He became dean in 2010 and helped shepherd two endowed chairs of more than $1 million in the College of Biblical Studies. Under his leadership, the college launched the Center for Global Missions and the Intergenerational Faith Center, hosted the World Mission Workshop, and added a master’s degree in theological studies through OC’s Graduate School of Theology.

Oklahoma Christian also welcomed distinguished Christian speakers like N. T. Wright, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and (coming in March 2015) Ravi Zacharias through the McGaw Lecture Series.

Jay Martin is one of the only clinical prosthetists that has been invited by DARPA and NASA to help develop the world’s most revolutionary prosthetics, orthotics, and exoskeletal robotics.

For NASA, he played a lead role in developing the man/machine interface connectivity for an advanced “Ironman” exoskeletal robotic suit for military special operations and first responders. NASA also invited him to be the sole inventor and developer on an initiative to transition his man/machine interface technologies into the space program.

He has launched several successful companies based on his inventions, including the largest prosthetics research and development company in the nation.

OC’s undergraduate commencement ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on Friday while the graduate ceremony will start at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Both events will be held in OC’s Hardeman Auditorium.

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, set a school record this fall with 2,479 students enrolled. Overall, the last decade has featured OC’s 10 highest enrollments ever.

The university 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, 10 Dec 2014 14:30:00 CST 7f870b05-5530-4456-9d23-0df7ac00fef9
Oklahoma Christian wins regional ethics championship http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oklahoma-christian-wins-regional-ethics-championship/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Oklahoma Christian University (OC) ethics teams won first and third place at the Texas Regional Ethics Bowl in San Antonio.

The championship marked the first regional title for Oklahoma Christian, which won its third straight state championship in October. OC will now advance to the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl in Orange County, California. Last year, Oklahoma Christian took fifth place out of 32 teams across the country.

Oklahoma Christian bested teams from 15 other schools at this year’s regional tournament, including state rivals Oklahoma and Oklahoma State as well as Cameron, Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma Baptist and Oklahoma City. The Texas schools competing were Brazosport, Incarnate Word, Schreiner, St. Mary’s, St. Thomas, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas Lutheran, Texas-Pan American and Texas State.

Both of OC’s teams went undefeated in the competition. A one-point differential between the second- and third-place teams kept OC from sweeping the top two spots.

“I am extremely proud of OC’s teams,” said sponsor Jeff Simmons, interim dean of OC’s College of Business Administration. “To win the state tournament, which included excellent students from around Oklahoma is very good. But then, to have both of our teams place at regionals and qualify for the national tournament is just outstanding.”

OC’s championship team included Jasper Bawcom, a senior majoring in teaching English as a foreign language; Gabriel Gasiorowski, a sophomore mechanical engineering major; and Megan McKinley, a freshman political science major. Members of OC’s third-place team were Chas Carter, a senior English/pre-law major; Sean vanDyke, a freshman computer engineering major; and Brandon Yeates, a freshman political science major.

“It is a blessing to be able to work with these inspiring students, who are able to thoroughly consider appropriate responses to complex ethical dilemmas and be able to present a cohesive argument grounded sound moral philosophy,” Simmons said. “When one considers that these students represent our future, one can rest assured that our world is in good hands.”

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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Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:30:00 CST aa8385be-5031-4a85-8d12-2405b6f9dcfa
OC honors alumni for outstanding achievements http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-honors-alumni-for-outstanding-achievements/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University’s five academic colleges and Honors Program recognized outstanding alumni during Homecoming Weekend.

The awards from the College of Biblical Studies, presented by Dean Alan Martin, honored Mark Brazle (’75) – Missions; Toby Levering (’99) – Youth Ministry; Shon Smith (’91) – Preaching/Ministry; and Mitch Wilburn (’05) – Alumnus of the Year.

The College of Business Administration, led by Interim Dean Jeff Simmons, recognized Jimmy Arter (’98) – Management; Matt Cole (’99) – Accounting & Finance; and Cindy Smethers (’89) – Master of Business Administration.

Dr. Byron Newberry, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, presented awards to Laura Hazen (’05) – Engineering; Joshua Hensal (’03) – Mathematical, Computer and Information Sciences; and Jeff Turner (’00) – Mechanical Engineering.

The College of Liberal Arts, with Dean David Lowry, honored Gary L. Bruce (’74) – Music; Aaron Collins (’99) – Education; Susan Heath (’71) – Sports, Wellness and Recreation Management; Lani Gunderson (’09) – Art and Design; Heather Roberts (’03) – Language & Literature; Jill Brown (’87) – History and Political Science; Steve Lackmeyer (’89) – Communication; and Holly Towers (’02) – Psychology and Family Studies.

The College of Natural and Health Sciences, led by Dean Jeff McCormack, presented awards to Reagan Hightower (’11) – Nursing; Dr. Nancy Nesser (’84) – Chemistry; and Dr. Brute Wolf (’86) – Biology.

Honors Program director Dr. Jim Baird presented distinguished alumni awards to Preston Ackerman (’00) – Information Systems, and Sada Knowles (’02) – Family Studies and Vocational Ministry.

Wilburn is the preaching minister at the Park Plaza Church of Christ in Tulsa, a congregation of 2,000 people that supports 54 missionaries around the world.

Brazle served as a missionary in Belgium for 16 years before spending 20 years in ministry at the Church of Christ in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Brazle currently works at the Missions Resource Network as co-director of missionary care.

Levering was the family minister at Northside Church of Christ in Wichita, Kansas, for 23 years and recently became the congregation’s pulpit minister. He also co-hosts the Know Your Bible television program.

Smith was the campus minister at Memorial Road Church of Christ for nine years and also served as the vice president for church relations at Oklahoma Christian. He is now the preaching minister at Naperville Church of Christ in Naperville, Illinois.

Arter serves as vice president of minerals and trust property at MidFirst Bank in Oklahoma City and is a member of the Business Advisory Council for OC’s College of Business Administration.

Cole is a partner of Cole and Reed, an accounting firm located in Oklahoma City. He also serves on the Accounting Advisory Board for OC’s College of Business Administration.

Smethers is vice president and product actuarial director at American Fidelity Assurance in Oklahoma City and serves on the Finance Advisory Board of OC’s College of Business Administration.

Hazen works at Tinker Air Force Base as the engineer director for more than 150 engineers developing and maintaining test software for avionics for the Department of Defense.

Hensal began his career as a software and database developer at Chesapeake Energy, and now serves as operations manager of Lane’s Motor Freight Lines in Woodward, Oklahoma. He and his wife also served as missionaries in Vienna, Austria, for six years.

Turner works for John Deere as a product engineer in the area of transmissions and final drives. He has been awarded four U.S. patents for his ideas on off-highway vehicle drivetrain.

Bruce taught guitar as an adjunct instructor at Oklahoma Christian for 38 years and served as worship leader at Quail Springs Church of Christ. He now operates Bruce Piano Service in Edmond and plays percussion in the Oklahoma Community Orchestra.

Collins began his career as a history teacher and librarian at Cambridge High School in Idaho, and now serves as superintendent of Fulton County Schools in Kentucky.

Heath accepted a position as a physical education teacher at Westminster School in Oklahoma City immediately after her graduation from Oklahoma Christian, and has continued to serve there for 44 years.

Gunderson serves as assistant project manager at Timberlake Construction in Oklahoma City. Previously, she worked with the Design + Build Group and completed projects such as the Ford Center and Midtown Condos.

Roberts works as an attorney and uses her bilingual and legal skills to serve Capitol Hill Church of Christ’s Outreach Ministry.

Lackmeyer has worked for The Oklahoman for 24 years, where he has won numerous awards for his coverage of the Murrah Building bombing and other Oklahoma City events. He is the author of four books about the history of downtown Oklahoma City.

Towers serves as the executive director of Lilyfield, a nonprofit Oklahoma adoption coalition. She also is vice president of the board of “Shine! Honduras.”

Hightower has been an emergency room nurse at Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City and served on a partnership between Mercy and Kigali, Rwanda. She recently accepted an assignment as a travel nurse.

Dr. Nesser has served as the pharmacy director for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority since 2001. The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy recently named Nesser the 2014 Ralph D. Bienfang Outstanding Practitioner.

Wolf practices ophthalmology in Tulsa and has performed more than 10,000 eye surgeries. He is the department chairman at Hillcrest Medical Center and an adjunct professor for the OU College of Medicine.

Ackerman joined the FBI in 2003 and has worked in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Oklahoma City. He is the supervisor of the Oklahoma City Division Cyber Squad and program coordinator for computer intrusions.

Knowles, who worked at OC as an instructor in the Department of Psychology and Family Studies, now serves as middle school and high school principal at Oklahoma Christian Academy.

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.

-OC-

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Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:00:00 CST c8704b11-7828-4a24-b20a-692b00984844
OC welcomes Nicholas Sparks for McBride Lecture http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-welcomes-nicholas-sparks-for-mcbride-lecture/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Best-selling author Nicholas Sparks will be the featured speaker at the McBride Lecture for Faith and Literature at Oklahoma Christian University (OC) Nov. 21.

Sparks will speak in Hardeman Auditorium, then sign his new book, “The Longest Ride.” The lecture is free and open to the public. Entry to the book signing is $50, which includes the cost of the book. Pre-registration for the book signing is available at oc.edu/sparks.

“It is impossible to read ‘Three Weeks with My Brother’ or ‘The Best of Me’ without seeing Christian faith as a key theme in the narratives Sparks makes so famous,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott LaMascus said. “How can Nicholas Sparks’ life and stories inspire students to find their own transformations and callings who will influence U.S. culture? That is the kind of question OC students can take into this year’s McBride Lecture.”

Past McBride speakers include winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the Bellwether Prize for social justice, as well as those who serve on the juries of major prizes, including the Nobel Prize.

Many OC students are looking forward to this year’s visit from Sparks, an author whose 18 books have all been New York Times bestsellers.

OC senior Jessica Williams took on the role of Undergraduate Fellow for the McBride Center for Public Humanities, helping organize the event and lead several initiatives, including discussion groups for students.

“The impetus for bringing in a new speaker each fall is to challenge students in terms of what they believe about their own faith, and how this informs their views of the world around them,” Williams said. “Incorporating the humanities into this focus on faith calls for a wide variety of artists, thinkers and writers who identify as Christian to offer their own perspectives on how their faith informs their respective works.

The mission of the McBride Center is to engage and inspire students, faculty and the community in outstanding programs that explore the interrelatedness of Christian faith and literature.

Other event sponsors include the National Endowment for the Humanities, Best of Books at Kickingbird Square, the Kirkpatrick Foundation, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Inasmuch Foundation, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, and the Conference on Christianity and Literature.

“It’s incredibly important for students to consider the impact of popular fiction on academia, on their religious life and on a more socially-based level of thought,” Williams said. “I believe we’ve been presented with an opportunity to incorporate all of those issues into a productive discourse.”

The McBride Center for Public Humanities and the McBride Lecture for Faith and Literature are named for Bailey and Joyce McBride. Bailey McBride, a member of the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame, spent almost 50 years at Oklahoma Christian as a student, administrator and faculty member before retiring this year.

Oklahoma Christian, ranked as one of the best universities in the western region of the 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.

-OC-

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Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:30:00 CDT a26eadc6-42b1-41e8-8e07-1035cd37ea8c
OC sets record, celebrates decade of enrollment highs http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-sets-record-celebrates-decade-of-enrollment-highs/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University set another enrollment record this fall, with 2,479 students calling OC home.

This marks the third straight year of record enrollment at Oklahoma Christian, fueled by a 13 percent increase since fall 2011. Overall, the last decade has featured OC’s 10 highest enrollments ever.

Oklahoma Christian also set a graduate record this year with 502 master’s students enrolled, up 10 percent over last year’s previous high. Undergraduate enrollment rose to 1,977 students, including 38 National Merit Finalists.

Thirty-seven percent of OC’s undergraduate students are from Oklahoma while another 23 percent are from Texas. Overall, OC’s student body hails from 42 states and 49 countries. More than 80 percent of OC undergraduates live on campus.

“We’re proud to have another record enrollment, with students from all over our state, from all over our country and from all over our world. We’re also excited to have a record number of students living on campus in our close-knit Christian community,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “Our faculty is second to none – they’re learned scholars, compassionate mentors and spiritual examples. And our staff’s dedication to our students and mission also has helped increase our retention and enrollment. OC is a place where lessons are learned, lives are changed, and the world becomes better.”

Oklahoma Christian is ranked as one of the best universities in the western region of the United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review. The university 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--- ]]>
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:15:00 CDT 693b61a0-773f-40e9-acba-d2c5fa771f3c
OC lands on U.S. News ‘Best Regional University’ and A+ lists http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-lands-on-us-news-best-regional-university-and-a-plus-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 www.usnews.com/colleges.

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.

-OC-

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Mon, 08 Sep 2014 23:01:00 CDT 34fc4b69-dcc1-4347-af8b-8bb0cfd2ad42
$2 million gift helps fund OC 'spiritual life reboot' http://www.oc.edu/news/r/2-million-gift-helps-fund-oc-spiritual-life-reboot/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Thanks in part to a $2 million gift, Oklahoma Christian University (OC) students have a new way to build their “life resume” this fall.

Ethos, OC’s new spiritual life program, provides multiple ways for students to grow in faith, serve others and worship God. OC students can fulfill their Spiritual Life requirements through daily Chapel services, mission trips, service projects, Bible studies and other options.

About a quarter of the anonymous $2 million gift is funding the launch of the Ethos initiative. In total, 11 givers have donated almost $600,000 toward Ethos since OC’s Thrive fundraising campaign launched in June.

“Ethos is valuable for OC students because it will help them build a resume of the whole person they’re becoming – not just academically, but in their service, leadership, community and spiritual dimensions, too,” Director of Ethos Summer Lashley said. “This is about more than helping students get jobs after graduation. It’s about students living a full life so they can become who God wants them to be.”

Ethos is rooted in Mark 12:30-31, where Jesus identified the greatest commands: to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The program encourages OC students to pursue their interests and use their talents in five dimensions: Community, Discipleship, Discovery, Servanthood and Worship.

Most of OC’s student body is already involved in service and ministry opportunities, many of which now count toward students’ Spiritual Life requirements through Ethos’ Servanthood component. The Worship component includes daily Chapel, an important OC tradition since the university began in 1950.

“Spiritual Life is at the core of the OC experience. OC students are known for actively living out their faith and reaching out to help others in community,” President John deSteiguer said. “But Ethos can be a game changer in the way it helps our students practice spiritual disciplines and become intentional about their spiritual lives.”

OC’s ultimate goal for full implementation of Ethos is $1 million. Meeting that goal will start a fund to help students, faculty and staff members go on mission campaigns, provide leadership training and development for students, fund technical support and updates for the Ethos mobile application, and furnish on-campus venues for Bible studies and other gatherings. Information about donating toward Ethos can be found at oc.edu/thrive.

“Ethos represents a meaningful and relevant paradigm shift for our OC family,” Director of Advancement Operations Will Blanchard said. “We will be intentional in cultivating a campus where the Spirit lives and breathes, where students and employees serve alongside one another to meet the needs of our community, and where groups of Eagles regularly and personally worship and grow together.”

More information about this unique spiritual life initiative is available at oc.edu/ethos.

University friends have donated three separate seven-figure gifts to Oklahoma Christian this month. A $1 million donation by Benton and Paula Baugh of Houston, Texas, provided the startup capital for OC’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. Food service provider U Dining gave $1 million toward the renovation of OC’s dining hall.

Oklahoma Christian opened its 65th academic year Monday with what is expected to be another record-setting student body when enrollment is certified in September. The last nine years have featured OC’s nine highest total enrollments ever, including a record 2,424 students in 2013-14.

Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, OC 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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Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:00:00 CDT bd9b2b8c-e855-4548-8da5-9c1818193127
OC earns Princeton Review honors again http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-earns-princeton-review-honors-again/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Princeton Review honored Oklahoma Christian University (OC) as one of the best colleges in the western United States, placing OC among the top 25 percent of all four-year colleges nationwide.

The Princeton Review recognized 124 colleges in the western region, composed of 15 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Six other Oklahoma universities joined Oklahoma Christian on the “best colleges” list: the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma City University, Oral Roberts University, and the University of Tulsa.

“We’re pleased to recommend these colleges as the best schools to earn their undergrad degrees,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president and publisher. “We chose these as our ‘regional best’ colleges mainly for their excellent academic programs.”

The schools in The Princeton Review’s “2015 Best Colleges: Region by Region” website section are determined through institutional data, campus visits, college counselor recommendations, and independent student surveys.

OC students surveyed by The Princeton Review praised the student body’s unifying faith in God, a campus atmosphere where “everyone is willing to get along,” and a diverse community that includes a strong percentage of international students and “Third Culture Kids,” students who grew up overseas and identify with more than one culture.

The Princeton Review’s full list is available at www.princetonreview.com/best-regional-colleges.aspx.

Earlier this year, The Princeton Review honored OC as the No. 14 undergraduate school in the U.S. and Canada to study video game design. Oklahoma Christian joined the University of Southern California and the University of Utah as the only schools in the western United States in the top 15.

Oklahoma Christian also is recognized as a “Best University – Master’s” in U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.”

“OC’s students, faculty and staff are second to none. That’s seen in honors like this and in the remarkable impact our graduates make in the United States and around the world,” OC president John deSteiguer said.

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

The last nine years have featured OC’s nine highest total enrollments ever, including a record 2,424 students in 2013-14. Another record enrollment is expected for the 2014-15 academic year, which begins next Monday.

-OC-

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Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:00:00 CDT c6b6fbf8-9c03-42ee-abb4-b1bca84f3e4d
Evidence points to popularity of crime-scene class at OC’s Honors Academy http://www.oc.edu/news/r/evidence-points-to-popularity-of-crime-scene-class-at-ocs-honors-academy/ By Matt Patterson, Courtesy of The Oklahoman

The chemistry lab inside Vose Hall at Oklahoma Christian University appears to have morphed into a crime scene.

There are two bodies on the tile floor of the lab, the apparent victims of gunshot wounds. As the victims lie there, investigators process the scene, looking for clues. Yellow crime-scene tape blocks the entryway.

The simulated crime scene is part of the school’s summer Honors Academy for high school juniors. During two weeks of camp, students who have achieved academic success at their high schools can get a taste of what college is like.

About 150 students from 24 states took part in the academy, filling their time by building robots, designing video games and solving crimes in the forensic science class in Vose Hall.

“At this level, it’s not exactly how it is done, but it gives them the experience and it shows them that it’s not always like it is on TV either,” associate chemistry professor Howard Vogel said of his “In Cold Blood” class. “This gives them a chance to see how hard it can be to process a crime scene.”

Erica Mathis came to the academy from Mountain Home, Ark. She enjoyed her “In Cold Blood” class experience, which included testing dollar bills for cocaine residue. For the record, about 98 percent of the bills tested by the class had traces of the drug.

This is the first year the class has been offered.

“I feel kind of special to be one of the first students,” Mathis said. “Early in the week, we learned about illegal drugs and which ones get the highest penalties. I enjoy the detective aspect of it. You learn how to be careful collecting evidence and to focus on small details.”

Vogel said the students enjoyed the lab work the most.

“This has been a popular course,” he said. “I’ve taught it as a freshman college course, but that would be an entire semester. The fact that the subject of forensic science has been popular on TV shows like ‘CSI’ or ‘Breaking Bad’ has added a lot of mystique to forensics.”

For more information on next year’s Honors Academy, go to www.oc.edu/academics/honors/honors-summer-academy.

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Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:00:00 CDT 134471c5-c75f-47c0-91b0-30ae93db0c98
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