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Focus on Arts & Sciences - 2024

Second Annual Wide Open Experimental Film Festival Hosted by OCU Film Department

The OCU Film Department hosted the second annual Wide Open Experimental Film Festival in April. The festival showcased experimental films highlighting alternative forms, structures and styles of film. More than 200 film submissions were received from individuals representing 50 countries with 45 films selected for screening. The festival was presented by the OCU Film Department in partnership with the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

First Doctoral Students Graduate with Doctorate of Psychology

The Petree College of Arts and Sciences had the tremendous honor of celebrating the first doctoral students to graduate from the Doctor of Psychology in the Clinical Psychology program at May’s graduate commencement ceremony.

Four women in caps and gowns
The OCU PsyD program started in spring 2018 with (from left) Drs. Abigail Lamp, McKenzie Sprowls, Cassandra Burpo and Camryn Lopez serving as a portion of the first cohort of students. 

2023 National Teacher of the Year Rebecka Peterson Speaks to Students

In April, OCU education students had the opportunity to hear from Oklahoma Teacher of the Year and 2023 National Teacher of the Year Rebecka Peterson. Peterson is a math teacher at Union High School in Tulsa and provided students with valuable insights and motivation as they prepare to head into classrooms in the future.

Thirteen people smiling at camera

Matthew Desmond Speaks at the Martha Jean Lemon Distinguished Speaker Series

OCU hosted Matthew Desmond, a Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author, for the Martha Jean Lemon Distinguished Speaker Series in September. Dr. Desmond hosted more than 200 OCU students for an informal question and answer session and gave a public presentation on his latest book, “Poverty, by America.”

Desmond is the author of the New York Times bestseller and 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winner “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” and the recently released book “Poverty, by America.” His lecture shed light on the urgent challenges faced by marginalized communities and proposed solutions to address the growing crisis.

During his presentation, Desmond delved into some of the root causes and discussed innovative strategies with his mission to encourage the populace to become “poverty abolitionists.” The event was attended by representatives from numerous local nonprofit organizations that work with Oklahoma City’s homeless population. A resource fair highlighting the work of those organizations was held immediately following the event to assist attendees with getting more involved in the community.

Man speaking at podium and group of people smiling

Norick Art Center Hosts Photography Show 

Last fall, the Norick Art Center hosted Poetic Justice: Voices on the Inside. Voices on the Inside emerged from the work done by Poetic Justice, an Oklahoma-based nonprofit whose mission is to offer restorative writing and creative arts programs to individuals who are incarcerated in women’s prisons and jails. Photographer Lisa Loftus journeyed inside three women’s prisons to collaborate with more than 30 individuals to produce extraordinary self-portraits. Curators Loftus and Ellen Stackable coupled larger-than-life photos with fine art pieces that are representative of the individuals who made them. The exhibit offered a unique view of incarceration by amplifying the voices and talent of Poetic Justice participants.

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