News RSS Feed OC lands on U.S. News ‘Best Regional University’ and A+ lists OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) ranks among the top 40 regional universities in the western United States, according to U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2015” guidebook.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Mon, 08 Sep 2014 23:01:00 CDT 34fc4b69-dcc1-4347-af8b-8bb0cfd2ad42
Evidence points to popularity of crime-scene class at OC’s 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

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Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:00:00 CDT 134471c5-c75f-47c0-91b0-30ae93db0c98
OC awards degrees at Spring Commencement OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) will present 198 undergraduate degrees and 39 graduate degrees at its spring commencement ceremonies on April 25-26.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:00:00 CDT 51c455fc-77cb-4437-9b4b-10860b728de5
Academic departments honor outstanding alumni Oklahoma Christian University’s three academic colleges honored distinguished alumni during Homecoming weekend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Mon, 11 Nov 2013 09:00:00 CST d9f57852-27af-46be-bcad-bcd139785d52
Keynotes, Missy Robertson visit highlight OC Lectureship OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The 63rd Oklahoma Christian University Lectureship features noteworthy keynote speakers, classes on a variety of topics, and a Women’s Day program featuring Missy Robertson from A&E’s Duck Dynasty.

The lectureship runs from Sunday, Oct. 6 through Tuesday, Oct. 8. Admission is free for all sessions except for “She Speaks: A Dinner with Missy Robertson,” which already is sold out.

The lectureship begins on Sunday with the keynote message, “The Church: The Present, the Past, and the Future,” by OC vice president for advancement Kent Allen.

Acappella Ministries founder Keith Lancaster will lead worship on Sunday night, which concludes with a concert by the Christian Music Hall of Fame group, Acappella.

Phil Brookman, David Duncan and Jerry Rushford will deliver keynote lectures on Monday and Tuesday. Brookman is the pulpit minister at Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond, Duncan is the preaching minister at Memorial Church of Christ in Houston, and Rushford directs the Churches of Christ Heritage Center in Malibu, Calif.

Monday’s dinner featuring Robertson caps Women’s Day activities led by Phyllis Allen, Mary Brookman, Darla deSteiguer, Barbara Duncan and Nancy Hartman.

Allen, Brookman and deSteiguer, the wife of OC president John deSteiguer, attend Memorial Road Church of Christ. Duncan is from Memorial Church of Christ in Houston while Hartman is an adjunct faculty member and missionary in residence at Oklahoma Christian.

Classes on church leadership, doctrine, evangelism, textual study, missions, outreach, parenting, preaching, and youth and family also highlight the lectureship schedule.

The lectureship includes the Eastern European Missions Luncheons on Monday, the Friends of OC Luncheon on Tuesday, and a dinner honoring preachers, elders and wives on Tuesday.

This year’s lectureship theme, “The Future of the Church,” is based on Matthew 16:18.

“It’s in the context of the church that the Word of God finds a preeminent place. In the church, saints are edified and ministry skills are developed and exercised,” OC distinguished professor of Bible Stafford North said. “We believe the future of the church is bright, so we have brought men and women from around the country to help us be more effective in building the future of the church.” 

For the full lectureship schedule and more information, go to



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Fri, 04 Oct 2013 13:06:00 CDT f8578656-f08d-4bf8-83d8-917a86ba6571
OC holds undergraduate prices for second straight year Oklahoma Christian University (OC) officials announced today that undergraduate tuition will not increase for the 2013-14 academic year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Mon, 18 Feb 2013 11:15:00 CST 5a45d6c7-7ce3-4876-a993-e293b1d012f6
Mercy opens clinic on OC campus Mercy Clinic has opened a permanent location, called Mercy Clinic at OC, on the Oklahoma Christian University campus.

“We remember what it’s like to live on campus,” said Mercy Clinic at OC Medical Director Dr. Melinda Cail (OC alumna and daughter of Dr. James Cail, beloved retired Oklahoma Christian University psychology professor who taught for more than 30 years at OC). “Students have enough to worry about, so we want to make health care as simple as it can be – and part of that is geography. We want to bring health care within walking distance for these students.”

Kendall Phillips, certified physician assistant, will be the primary provider for the clinic. The clinic will provide a convenient location for students to receive services such as sutures, flu shots, sports physicals, breathing treatments and general primary care for everyday conditions.

“We are thrilled to partner with Mercy to serve our students,” said John deSteiguer, president of Oklahoma Christian University. “Since OC is highly residential with 80 percent of our undergraduates living on campus, it is important that our students have convenient access to high-quality health care. We’re excited to have one of our outstanding alumni physicians, Dr. Melinda Cail, coming home to OC to direct the clinic.”

The clinic will partner closely with nearby Mercy Clinic Edmond Memorial, located at 1919 E. Memorial Rd., where students will be referred for x-rays and additional tests and treatments.

Mercy Clinic at OC is located at 2801 E. Memorial Rd., Suite 140. Appointments can be made by calling (405) 425-6100. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In December, Mercy gave $10,000 toward the $100,000 Rebecca Stafford Endowed Scholarship for Nursing. Graduates of OC’s nursing program, fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, frequently exceed the state and national averages on the National Council Licensure Examination. They earned a 92 percent pass rate in 2012.

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, nearly 300 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,700 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit

Mercy Clinic is a physician-governed group of medical providers across the four states Mercy serves. In Oklahoma, Mercy Clinic has nearly 300 providers and 64 clinics statewide. With access to Mercy’s facilities, electronic health records, telemedicine and each other, Mercy Clinic providers can give their patients the best care available, regardless of the patient’s location. Patients of Mercy Clinic providers can connect to their own health records and health teams anywhere they connect to the Internet. For more information, visit

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Wed, 23 Jan 2013 13:44:00 CST 74f90a1a-d7b3-4d30-b5ad-eceadb2efc5b
Thompson wins Turkey Trot Mark Thompson, an instructional designer for Oklahoma Christian University’s North Institute, won the Edmond Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. 

Thompson ran the 5K race in 15:43, crossing the finish line 15 seconds ahead of the runnerup.

Oklahoma Christian helped sponsor the Turkey Trot, which donated 100 percent of its proceeds to Turning Point. The non-profit ministry assists in the housing needs of Edmond citizens.

Before joining the North Institute, Thompson served on OC’s faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Physics for six years. He was head coach of OC’s cross country program for three seasons, leading the Eagles to the 2011 national championship in his final year at the helm.

The former University of Arkansas athlete is an avid runner and fitness enthusiast. In 2009, he ran his first sub-four mile at age 30.

Thompson’s wife, Darci, is the director of wellness at Oklahoma Christian. She leads the university’s TeamOC efforts, including OC’s annual participation in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

OC’s fitness initiatives include the annual Holiday Hustle, a 5K race that will be held this Saturday, and the Eagle Trail, a 5K path for running, walking and biking that will open soon on the OC campus.



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Mon, 26 Nov 2012 15:12:00 CST fe5a8604-fedd-4fec-b378-2298b84af7c6
Academic colleges honor alumni at Homecoming Oklahoma Christian University’s three colleges honored distinguished alumni on Friday.

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

College of Arts and Sciences

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

College of Biblical Studies

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

College of Professional Studies

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

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Sat, 03 Nov 2012 00:46:00 CDT 3cf2b8be-4c58-4482-8ee0-ce5ba103a9ae
OC Named "A Best in The West" College by The Princeton Review Oklahoma Christian University is one of the best colleges in the West according to the nationally known education services company, The Princeton Review.  It is one of 121 institutions The Princeton Review recommends in its “Best in the West” section of its website feature, “2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wed, 03 Aug 2011 03:08:00 CDT 723df8be-7e88-4126-b6c6-378660a1cf35
OC Faculty and Students Contribute To Scholarship in Literature and Science Congratulations to Cami Agan, chair of the department of language and literature, on the publication of her chapter in “Teaching British Women Playwrights of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century.”  The book seeks to help professors in undergraduate and graduate programs present a fuller picture of the contributions of works that have been unavailable for many years. The book will be on display at the Modern Language Association convention in Los Angeles in January. It is available for purchase online at the MLA store.

Agan has also contributed a chapter in a book on British author J.R.R. Tolkien that will be published in the future.

In addition, two OC students who gave oral presentations at the Oklahoma Academy of Science Technical Meeting on Nov. 5 were first place winners in their sections. The winners were Thea Murray, a senior biology major, and Xuan Wang, a senior chemistry major.  Four other OC students also gave presentations at the meeting. 

Murray’s presentation in the social sciences section was titled “The Development of an Instrument to Assess Patient’s Attitudes Regarding Health Information Exchange.” Wang’s presentation in the biomedical sciences section was titled “The Effects of a Series of Ketone Compounds on Hepatic Carboxylesterase Activity in Mice.”

“We are very proud of their achievements this year,” said Bill Luttrell, chair of the department of chemistry and physics. “They are deserving of recognition.”

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Wed, 17 Nov 2010 05:11:00 CST 44c50621-1ff9-4045-a0f7-23609865f827
Two generations get OC diplomas on same day When graduation rolls around each year, OC families come together to celebrate their students’ accomplishments.

Occasionally, more than one child will graduate together. Even more rare is what happened to the Brotherton family in 2010.

Sisters Amanda and Jenny were joined by their mother, Elesa, as all three graduated with honors on the same day. 

The Brothertons’ OC story began in Alaska, where they lived until all three began their freshman year. Since Amanda and Jenny were ready to start college, the family began visiting Christian schools.

“Oklahoma Christian was a unanimous choice for us,” Jenny said. “When we started meeting people from OC, we just knew this was where we would fit in.”

Elesa’s husband, David, is a public school psychologist and a minister. He found a position in an Oklahoma City-area school, allowing the family to move across the street from the OC campus. That paved the way for Elesa to enroll as well.

“I had always planned to finish college, but once we had children and began homeschooling them, I just never did,” Elesa said. “When the girls started at OC, I had more free time. So, David and I decided this was the perfect time to finish in a Christian environment.”

All three students excelled while at OC.

Jenny graduated summa cum laude and was hired by Chapparal Energy as an accountant before she graduated. She was chosen as the top graduating student by the School of Business Administration’s faculty. After graduation, she started in OC’s MBA program.

“The professors at OC encouraged me to learn, excel and continually push myself,” Jenny said.

“It was like OC gave me the tools to build a starting point for my career. All I had to do was choose my material and start building.”

Elesa and Amanda were both pre-pharmacy majors who graduated magna cum laude.

Elesa is now taking pharmacy classes at the University of Oklahoma, while Amanda will enroll next year.

“Amanda and I knew OC was the right choice for a career in a science field,” Elesa said. “The college has such a high acceptance rate for medical programs that I knew we would be well prepared.”

Being in the same program allowed the two to spend more time together.

“We took many of the same classes, so we were able to do homework and study for exams together,” Amanda said. “We have always been close, but going to school together has added a new dimension to my relationships with my mom and sister. Plus, it was really fun for Jenny and me to do Spring Sing and serve as officers in the same club.”

Sending three students to college on one income required budgeting, but Elesa said they didn’t mind.

“We knew that attending OC would be more expensive than a public college, but it was definitely worth it,” she said. “We were surrounded by Christian faculty and staff, and the Bible was not something people were embarrassed by. OC teaches the sciences in an academically demanding way, but we also learn how science complements the Bible. I was very pleased with OC as a parent and a student.”

The Brothertons celebrated a fourth graduation last spring as well. Elesa and David’s youngest child, Matthew, graduated from high school.

True to recent family tradition, Matthew is a freshman at OC this fall. While he won’t have the chance to graduate together with his sisters and mother, he knows they will be there to cheer him on when graduation rolls around.

By Josh Watson

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Sun, 01 Aug 2010 13:12:00 CDT f2da28b3-f23c-446f-8aa6-42140dece522
OC offers new forensic science major Oklahoma Christian University will begin offering a bachelor of science major in forensic science this fall.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mon, 26 Apr 2010 11:04:00 CDT 61a22372-c3f3-4d08-8685-f1c8b38a52ba
OC coach and professor excelling in European races DUBLIN, Ireland (July 15, 2009) – Oklahoma Christian University head cross-country coach Mark Thompson is competing in a series of races across Europe during the month of July.

On Wednesday, Thompson won the mile run at the famous Morton Mile in Dublin, Ireland, with a personal-best time of 4:01.20. Thompson was one of three Americans in the field and he edged Canada’s Geoff Martinson (4:01.65) for top honors.

“I felt tremendous, and it was definitely a sub-four (minute) day for me if the race had called for it. The Irish were so excited and appreciative of the effort, and I felt like royalty the rest of the evening. It was the biggest win of my career, and it felt relatively easy. I’ve got another sub-four shot in 10 days, so I plan to leave everything on the track then. In running your identity is your time, and I’d like to carry 3:59 with me the rest of my life,” Thompson said.

Earlier on the trip, Thompson clocked a personal-best time 7:59.01 in the 3,000 meters at the Leon Buyle in Belgium, a time which ranks in the top-40 3,000-meter performances in the United States. Thompson also set a personal best in the 1,500 meters where he ran 3:42.57 in Belgium.

OC assistant cross-country and track and field coach Sam Dech is also competing with Thompson in Europe. Dech set a personal mark with a 1:50.39 in the 800 meters at a high-performance series race in Indianapolis, Ind., earlier this month.

Thompson – who serves as an assistant track and field coach – helped two Oklahoma Christian athletes win NAIA national championships on the track this season. Senior Josh Wayland won the indoor 1,000 meters and sophomore Silas Kisorio was the national champ in the outdoor 800 meters.

The 29-year-old Thompson was a nine-time state champion runner in track and cross country at Edmond Memorial High School in the mid 1990s before running on two national-championship teams at the University of Arkansas. He was named OC’s head cross-country coach in December 2008.

Click here for an article on Thompson’s win at the Morton Mile.
Click here for a video of Thompson’s 1,500-meter personal record. 

Check back for continuing updates on Thompson’s success in Europe.

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Fri, 17 Jul 2009 07:07:00 CDT eafee81b-fefd-4a5d-addf-5b224e85dfa4
New Vose Hall Chemistry Labs dedicated Oklahoma Christian University unveiled its new Vose Hall Chemistry Labs at a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.

The completely renovated facility in the department of chemistry and physics is comprised of four labs, one each for organic, general and advanced chemistry, as well as an instrument lab.

The new labs include the most up-to-date safety features and are fully handicapped-accessible. New fume hoods remove noxious smoke, while the labs’ air purge systems can replace the air in the labs in minutes, an especially important feature needed during experiments.

The advanced lab has a research area for faculty and undergraduate student research projects. According to chemistry professor Amanda Nichols, this creates more research capabilities throughout the school year and especially during summers.

“The research area will really help us prepare our students for graduate school,” Nichols said. “Plus, we can give our students an improved learning experience through better scheduling of classes.”

Until now, faculty had to schedule one lab at a time in Vose Hall, resulting in some evening classes. The instrument lab is separated from the organic chemistry lab by a wall of glass, allowing faculty and students to use both labs at the same time.

Construction on the new labs began in the spring. Before the building was renovated and expanded, there was only one laboratory for chemistry in Vose Hall.

“Before this facility was renovated, we had chemistry and biology labs spread between two buildings,” said Bill Luttrell, chair of the department of chemistry and physics. “Now students can do all of their biology labs in one place, and all of their chemistry labs in Vose. It really gives us a lot more options when it comes to scheduling different chemistry courses.”

The opening of the new Vose Hall labs marks the completion of the second phase of the renovation of Oklahoma Christian’s science facilities. The first phase was the renovation of the first floor of the Harold Science Hall. The third phase is the renovation and expansion of the second floor of the same building, set to begin next year. The first phase cost $1.05 million, and the second phase cost $1.85 million.

“I’m really impressed that the university invested so much in research capabilities for our students,” Nichols said. “I did undergraduate research here when I was a student and I know these new labs will inspire more students to choose a career in chemistry.”

C. A. Vose first began his relationship with Oklahoma Christian University, then Central Christian College, when the school made the move from Bartlesville to Oklahoma City in 1958. As president of the First National Bank and Trust Co., Vose helped approve a loan that allowed the school to continue construction at a time when capital was extremely scarce. This allowed the first buildings to be completed on the campus and classes to begin as scheduled.

In 1973, President James O. Baird awarded C. A. Vose with the Distinguished Service Medallion, praising him for his longstanding support of the aims and purposes of quality higher education and for his efforts to strengthen the moral fiber of society.

The facilities were open for viewing following the dedication ceremony. Members of the physics and chemistry faculty greeted guests and guided them through the facilities.

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Fri, 07 Nov 2008 10:11:00 CST 08f9c009-f30e-4a92-ba41-2198ba44dfd0
Annual faculty honors announced At the Oklahoma Christian University spring commencement exercises on Friday, April 25, 2008, the annual honors bestowed upon faculty members were also announced. 

Dr. Ken Adams, Professor of Music, received the Gaylord Teaching Award.

Dr. Scott LaMascus, Professor of Language and Literature, received the University Leadership Award.

Dr. Bill Luttrell, Professor of Chemistry, was selected as the first recipient of the newly inaugurated Rowe Faculty Award for Scholarship.

Dr. Adams, Dr. LaMascus and Dr. Luttrell, we are all proud of your accomplishments in teaching, leadership and scholarship. 

Congratulations to the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Music, Department of Language and Literature, and Department of Chemistry.

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Mon, 28 Apr 2008 01:04:00 CDT f48be7d5-4c4e-4df0-88c7-2bf6e7edc213
Faculty member announces book publication image
Dr. Bill Luttrell, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Oklahoma Christian University, announces the publication of a new book. 

As you may know, my long awaited book, “Toxicology Principles for the Industrial Hygienists” has been published!  It was a project I began before coming to OC; but I was determined to see it to completion!  I enjoyed working with the other editors (2) and authors (about 40) and technical reviewers (about 75) and the staff of the publisher (2).  I have known and worked with the other editors and many of the authors over the past 30 years during my career in industrial hygiene and toxicology.  It has been a nice way to return something to my earlier profession.

Be sure to congratulate Dr. Luttrell when you see him!

To learn more about “Toxicology Principles for the Industrial Hygienists,” click here

To learn more about OC’s Department of Chemistry and Physics, click here.

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Thu, 24 Apr 2008 09:04:00 CDT dd6681b6-b91a-42e4-9f83-8317b2bb159b
Arts and Sciences Dean's Award recipients Dr. David Lowry, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, announces the recipients of this year’s Dean’s Award.  The Dean’s Award is given at the end of the school year to recognize outstanding students from each department.  A small reception for faculty, family, and friends was held on Friday, April 11, at 4:00 p.m. to honor these students. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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