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Class Notes - Spring 2021

Service & Sacrifice

Five men holding awards

The OCU Theta Delta chapter of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity held a Cross Awards banquet for five alumni for their lifetime of service to the fraternity. The Cross Award is named for the symbol of the fraternity, denoting service and sacrifice. Pictured are Nic Drago (BPA Dance ’03), Mark Kelly (BS Business ’77), Herman Meinders (HDCS ’89), Stan Sewell (BS Business ’68) and Terry Zinn (BA Speech Theatre ’71).


The Muskogee Phoenix featured Lola Hall (BA ’52, BA Competency Based Degree Program ’94) and her career as a pioneer in broadcast journalism.


The Oklahoman featured 80-year-old Terry Baransy (BA Journalism ’62) and his plan to run in his 206th marathon in remembrance of the Oklahoma City bombing.

Four-time PGA major champion Susie Maxwell Berning (BSB Business ’64) was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.


Travel Oklahoma featured Leona Mitchell (BM ’71, HDM ’79) on its Music Trail, an initiative that highlights successful Oklahoman musicians.

Late restaurateur Greg McGill (BA ’72) was featured in the Tulsa World for his contribution to the Oklahoma City area’s restaurant scene.

Harry Van Camp (JD ’74) was appointed as a co-chair of DeWitt’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group.

The Andalusia Star-News in Alabama and the Albany Herald in Georgia featured Rick Rescorla (JD ’75) and his heroics in evacuating people from the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks.

David Greenwell (BSB Accounting ’76), CPA, became the 62nd inductee into the Oklahoma Accounting Hall of Fame.


Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre founding Artistic Director Donald Jordan (BA Speech Theatre ’80) announced his retirement.

Attorney Michael C. Mordy (JD ’80) was sworn in as the Oklahoma Bar Association’s new president.

Judge Thomas E. Prince (JD ’82) was appointed to the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals.

BroadwayWorld Oklahoma announced alumnus Shawn Churchman (BM Music ’86) as its Director of a Performance of the Decade and author of the Original Script of the Decade.


Blonde woman smiling and pointing with giant lollipop behind her
Kristin Chenoweth in Candy Land

Kristin Chenoweth (BM Musical Theatre ’91, MM ’93, HDHL ’13) is hosting a new Food Network show, “Candy Land,” based on the original board game.

The Rev. Patrick McPherson (BA Political Science ’92) is the new pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Muskogee.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted unanimously to hire Tom Bates (BA Criminal Justice ’91, JD ’94) as its executive director.

Doug Coulson (BA English/Philosophy ’94, MLA ’96) has a featured article titled “More than Verbs: An Introduction to Transitivity in Legal Argument” in The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing.

Man in uniform
Major General Robert J. Skinner

The U.S. Air Force posted a short biography on Maj. Gen. Robert J. Skinner (MS Computer Science ’94), director, command, control, communications, and cyber (C4) for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

Former basketball player and assistant coach John Martin (BS History ’95, ME Secondary Education ’97) was appointed Sooner Athletic Conference commissioner.

Man looking up from working on mural
Brent Greenwood

Artist Brent Greenwood (BFA Studio Art ’97) painted a mural in downtown Sulphur. Red Lake Nation News did a feature story about the work.

The Rev. Valerie Steele (BA Music ’97, MLA ‘01) hosted a discussion based on “The Color of Compromise,” a book that analyzes the relationship between racism and churches in America.

The Oklahoma governor appointed Jennifer Grigsby (MBA ’99) to serve as the state’s secretary of economic administration. She will oversee more than 20 state agencies, including the employment security commission, tax commission, state auditor and inspector, and state treasurer’s office.

Dr. Sherrie D. (Polk) All (BA Religion ’99), brain health expert and the owner and director of the Chicago Center for Cognitive Wellness, released a book, “The Neuroscience of Memory: Seven Skills to Optimize Your Brain Power, Improve Memory, and Stay Sharp at Any Age.”

BERNINA of America, a manufacturer of sewing, embroidery, and quilting machines, appointed Christy Burcham (BA Elementary Education ’99) as director of education and training.


OCU General Counsel Casey Ross (BS Business Administration ’00, MBA/JD ’03) was a panelist for a conference titled “Inclusivity of Native American Students and the Significance of McGirt v Oklahoma: A legal triumph for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.”

Former Rockette Amy Klingler (BS Dance Management ’00) returned to her hometown of Kokomo, Indiana, and teaches at Elite Dance studio.

Amanda Seamster Clark (BPA Dance Performance ’01) co-authored a book, “Dance Appreciation.”

Daniel Miller (BSB Economics ’01) was named a principal with Edward Jones’ holding company.

The India Times featured Lakshmi Manchu (BA Theatre ’02) as a Tollywood “path-breaker” in an article on its Entertainment Times blog.

Law professor Kara I. Smith (JD ’02) was elected to serve a three-year term as a member at large of the Oklahoma Bar Association.

Kristen Repyneck Dennis (BS Dance Management ’04) was named a partner of Goldblum & Pollins, an employment-based immigration law firm in Pennsylvania where she provides strategic counseling for institutions of higher education, foreign scholars, and foreign students.

Man drumming
Jay Wadley

Jay Wadley (BM Composition ’05) composed the score for Charlie Kaufman’s Netflix original, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.”

Woman in blue suit with two other people
Anita Reynolds Howard

Anita Reynolds Howard (JD ’05) was sworn in as Macon-Bibb (Georgia) district attorney, making her the first female and African American to hold that office.

Selena Rosanbalm (BM Musical Theater ’06) recently released a self-titled album and was featured on The Digital Fix.

Tamya Cox-Touré (JD ’06) was named executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma.

Woman smiling
Angela Polk

BroadwayWorld honored Kismet Arts Studio, under the leadership of executive artistic director Angela Polk (BM Music Theatre ’06, MM Music Theatre ’08), as the Best Youth Theatre Camp/After School Program of the Decade in Oklahoma.

Maria Kristianto (BA prior learning & university studies ’07) opened a restaurant called Resto Kecombrang in Sentul City, Indonesia.

Dr. Kelly Williams (BS Psychology ’08) has been appointed director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority after serving in the role on an interim basis since August.

Gaten Wood (JD ’08) was appointed to Kansas’ 30th Judicial District.

Emily Grace Smith (BFA Acting ‘09) produced “Perhaps the World Ends Here,” a digital production of a new Native American play written and directed by Daniel Leeman Smith (BFA Acting ’10, MA Nonprofit Leadership ’13).


Tiffany Strother (JD ’11) was appointed to Texas’ Council on Sex Offender Treatment.

Brooke Nagy LeMaster (BPA Dance ’11) is an instructor and new owner of Mary Lee’s School of Dance in Rockford, Illinois.

Lauren Campbell (JD ’11) joined the Elder Law firm.

Oklahoma City’s Plaza District hired David Scott (BSB Marketing ’11) as its new executive director.

Shamari Reid (BA Spanish ’12) published a story for Green Schools National Network headlined “There’s More to Our Lives: Reflecting on the Materials We Select to ‘Culturally Relevantize’ Our Curricula.”

Dr. Brooke DeArman (MA Music ’12) was awarded the Association of International Educators Region IV’s “Most Innovative International Initiative Award” by the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers.

Bailey Perkins (BA Political Science ’12) was elected to the Potts Family Foundation board of directors.

Matthew McCready (JD ’13) started as an assistant district attorney in Grayson County, Texas.

Four images of creative Chris Cox at work
Chris Cox

OCU Social Media Manager Chris Cox (BBA ’14, MBA ’17) received the Paseo Arts Association’s new Quaranteam Award for his marketing and entertainment firm The House OKC. Cox also won a NextGen Under 30 Award for demonstrating talent, drive, and service to the Oklahoma City community through his nonprofit, The House Helps, which raised more than $100,000 last year.

Jason Schilder (BM Vocal Performance ’14) was featured in a Cook Children’s story about cancer patients-turned-nurses and Schilder’s inspiring battle against cancer.

Dr. Patrick McGough (DNP-C ’15) was appointed to the Oklahoma Health Information Technology Advisory Board.

Benjamin R. Hilfiger (MS Energy Legal Studies ’15) was elected to serve on the Oklahoma Bar Board of Governors.

Matt Redmond (BFA Acting ’16) joined the New York Theatre Barn board of directors.

Cody Sivertsen (BA History, Education ’16) was recognized by the Oklahoma City Council for being named Teacher of the Month for January by Putnam City Public Schools and Rotary Club of Oklahoma City.

Liz Anne Larsen (BFA Design and Production ’17) served as the assistant stage manager for the Lookingglass Theatre Company’s production of “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” in Chicago.

Nursing professor Staci Swim (Ph.D. Nursing ’17) was featured in Oklahoma’s Nursing Times for founding the Front Line Nurse organization.

Kat Metcalfe (BM Music Theater ’18) was featured in Lyric Theatre’s production of ”Moonlight Cabaret.”

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt appointed Amanda Rodriguez (MBA ’18) to the state’s new CFO position.

James Beattie (BS ’18) was named head coach of the Northwest Mississippi Community College women’s soccer team.

John Veal Jr. (MS Accounting ’18) was named Oklahoma district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration.


Elizabeth V. Salomone (JD ’20) joined Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson as an associate.

Stephanie Krichena (BM Percussion Performance ’20) and Oliver Nguyen (BM Piano, Violin Performance ’20) have joined the OCU Performing Arts Academy as instructors.

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