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Class Notes Spring 2022

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Joseph Bud Sahmaunt (BA History ’60) received the Jim Thorpe Sports Excellence Award from the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission during the Dream Keepers Award ceremony.

Don Polk (BM ’61), owner of the Norman Music Center, announced the closure of his family-owned music shop of 56 years.

The Cherokee Phoenix ran a story about Barbara McAlister (BM Music ’64) and her 10 years as vocal performance instructor for the Cherokee Nation.

Gerald L. Gamble (JD ’68, HD Commercial Science ’97) received the Walter Powell Award from the Bachelors Club of Oklahoma City, which is given to an individual who has shown loyal support and exemplifies the ideals of the club.

In her religion guest column in The Oklahoman, Jane Jayroe Gamble (BM ’69, HDHL ’11) discussed guest performances by Eryn LeCroy (BM Vocal Performance ’14) and Isaiah Bailey (BM Vocal Performance ’14) in the “Esther Women” luncheon series, and shared a story about Kristin Chenoweth’s (BM Musical Theatre ’91, MM ’93, HDHL ’13) career.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger (JD ’69, HD Laws ’92) was inducted into the Oklahoma Historical Society’s Historians Hall of Fame.


Col. Jeanette Sterner (BA ’72) was reappointed to the Sabine River Authority board of directors in Texas.

Weldon Stout (JD ’74) joined the board of directors for Desert Mountain Energy Corp., a company based in Vancouver focused on exploration, development and production of helium, hydrogen and noble gases.

Jeanne Hoffman Smith (BA ’74, HDHL ’98) received the Regents’ Alumni Award from the University of Oklahoma.


Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott (JD ’80) announced his intention to retire this year.

The Rev. Chuck Horton (BA Religion ’80) recently began as senior pastor at Weatherford First United Methodist Church.

Donald Jordan (BA Speech Theatre ’80) retired as artistic director of OKC Repertory Theatre.

David Skilling (JD ’84), a volunteer with the Kossuth Regional Health Center and Clinic in Iowa, was named one of the Senior Health Insurance Information Program’s Advance Award Volunteers of the Year.

John Dorman (JD ’84) joined the Spencer Fane law firm.

The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas named Kit Addleman (JD ’86), a partner at Haynes and Boone LLP, as one of its 2021 Women of Distinction honorees. The award is given to those whose “leadership, accomplishments, and community contributions inspire young females to make the world — from the classroom to the boardroom — a better place.”

Medical technology company Perimeter Medical Imaging AI Inc. appointed Jay R. Widdig (MBA ’86) as CFO.

The Rev. Scott Keneda (BA Philosophy/Religion ’88) of First United Methodist Church of Edmond was featured in a story in The Oklahoman headlined “How two Methodist ministers became leaders of metro-area churches during the COVID pandemic.”

Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad in Malaysia appointed Choy Khai Choon (MBA ’88) as its non-independent non-executive director.

Denise Hannah (BS Criminal Justice ’89) was selected as the William Woods University (Missouri) women’s basketball coach.


Gina Roy (BSB Accounting ’90) was awarded Member of the Year for the Exchange Club. The club presents college scholarships to graduating high school seniors and supports a group called Parent Promise. Roy is past president and treasurer.

Jill Campbell (MBA ’90), executive vice president and chief people & operations officer for Cox Enterprises, was named one of Atlanta’s 500 Most Powerful Leaders in 2022 by the Atlanta Business Journal.

Kristin Chenoweth (BM Musical Theatre ’91, MM ’93, HDHL ’13) and Madeline Powell (BM Music Theater ’21) performed together in “Kristin Chenoweth in Concert: For the Girls” with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra in Texas. Chenoweth also was named the seventh Oklahoma Cultural Ambassador during the 44th Governor’s Arts Awards Nov. 9.

Rob Ramage (JD ’92) is the new general manager of the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

Former OCU President Martha Burger (MBA ’92, HDHL ’12) received a 2021 OSU Agriculture Champion award.

Anne Beard (MBA ’94) joined GeoSpatial Innovations as director of vegetation management solutions.

Buzz Williams (BS Physical Education ’94), head coach of the Texas A&M men’s basketball team, was inducted into the Navarro College Hall of Fame.

Andy Halko (MS Accounting ’94) was appointed CFO of AirX Climate Solutions.

Brian Marcum (BPA Dance ’94) took the reigns as producing director of Music Theatre Wichita.

Cynthia L. Andrews (JD ’94), a lawyer in the Crowe & Dunlevy firm, was recognized by the Best Lawyers publication in the Employee Benefits Law category.

Karrie Rodriquez (BS competency based degree program ’94, MBA ’04) was promoted to assistant vice president and deputy head of business integration for the FedNow Service program at the Boston Federal Reserve.

KOLD-TV in Tucson, Arizona, did a story about Nona Lee (JD ’95), executive vice president and chief legal officer for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and her diversity and inclusion efforts on behalf of the team.

Greg Wheeler (MBA ’95) became Oklahoma City market president for Bank of Oklahoma.

Ed McQueen (JD ’96), corporate lawyer for the Bell Nunnally firm, was named to the Best Lawyers in America list.

Matador Resources Co. named G. Gregg Krug (BS ’96) as executive vice president for marketing and midstream strategy.

Saif Malik (MBA Finance ’96) was named vice president of finance for Comcast’s western New England region.

Lynn Britton (MBA ’96), president and CEO of Mercy (St. Louis), was included in a Becker’s Hospital Review roundup headlined “Meet the CEOs of the 10 largest nonprofit health systems.”

State Sen. Greg McCortney (BA Religion ’96) was chosen to serve as majority floor leader.

1 Soprano Katrina Thurman (BM Vocal Performance ’97) will make her Metropolitan Opera debut as Meretaten in Phillip Glass’ “Akhnaten” in May.

Jennifer M. King (JD ’97) took the oath of office as Yukon’s new municipal judge.

Keely Tidrow-Daximillion (BA Communications/Public Relations ’97) was named associate director of philanthropy for the La Jolla Playhouse in California.

Kerry Schultz (BA Political Science ’98, BS History ’98), attorney and partner with Fountain, Schultz & Associates in Florida, was appointed to the Florida Commission on Community Service.

Sam John (MBA ’98), president of Innovative Products, is a judge for the 2021 LEAP Awards (Leadership in Engineering Achievement Program).

Amy J. Pierce (JD ’99) was appointed as the first full time district court judge for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s Judicial Branch.


Anna Ables (BA Public Relations ’01) became director of brand strategies and community engagement for the Glenview Park District in Illinois.

Catalina Pazos (MBA Finance ’01) was named a designated member of the Financial Policy and Regulation Board of Ecuador.

Tasha Casey-Loveless (BA Religious Education ’02, MA Nonprofit Leadership ’14), senior director of admissions, was interviewed for a how-to story in The Oklahoman about college application essays.

M. Nicole Warehime (BS Adult/Juvenile Corrections Sociology ’02) was named interim assistant dean of the University of Central Oklahoma’s College of Liberal Arts.

Susan Nigh (BA prior learning & university studies ’02) was appointed as Rogers County associate district judge.

Margaret Creighton (BS Dance Management ’02, MBA ’06) was named CEO of Positive Tomorrows.

Gisela Rodriguez (JD ’04), an attorney in Florida, won an inspirational citizenship case for a man who fled from Cuba as a child in 1980.

Brandon P. Long (JD ’04), member of the OCU School of Law Executive Board, was elected as a member of the McAfee & Taft board of directors.

Lawyer Melissa Jackson’s (JD ’05) experience from investigating a child-protective unit was recounted in a New York Times in-depth story headlined “How ‘Shadow’ Foster Care Is Tearing Families Apart.”

Deadline posted a story about Jay Wadley’s (BM Composition ’05) score for “Swan Song,” released on Apple TV+.

The Springfield Business Journal in Missouri named Lori Rook (JD ’06), owner and managing partner of Ozarks Elder Law LLC, as one of its 2021 Most Influential Women.

Zack Zuhdi (MBA ’07) joined the J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Dallas as an executive director and banker.

John Brasher (JD ’07) took the oath of office as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Oklahoma.

The Phillips Murrah law firm promoted Robert K. Campbell (JD ’07) to director.

Joe Michienzie (Theatre Performance ’08) is a costume stitcher for Disney’s “Hocus Pocus 2.”

Trevor Pemberton (JD ’08) was appointed general counsel for Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Dr. Tommy Jones (BS Biology ’08), a deployment specialist for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, was part of a national panel discussion titled “Indigenous Knowledge & Wisdom Drive Climate Action.”

Abby C. Smith (MM Musical Theater ’08) directed the Axelrod Performing Arts Academy (New Jersey) production of “The SpongeBob Musical.”

Barbara Klepper (MM Vocal Performance ’08, JD ’12) joined the Brown Rudnick firm as a partner in the Tax Practice Group.

The Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas promoted Krystle Godwin (BA Liberal Studies ’08) to communications and marketing director.

Colin Anderson (alumni non-degree, Musical Theater ’08-’12) returned to Oklahoma to perform in the “My Fair Lady” national touring production.


Melissa Simmons (BS Kinesiology & Exercise Studies ’10) was named as the first-ever female recipient of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Medal of Courage.

The Oklahoman ran a profile story on tenor J. Warren Mitchell (MM Conducting ’10).

The Oklahoma Heritage Group, which includes Rocky Chavez (BSB Marketing ’10) as a partner, will soon begin development of a Capitol Hill commercial property with expected completion in late 2023. The building will be located on the northwest intersection of SW 25 and Robinson Avenue.

The city of Lewisville, Texas, hired Marichelle Samples (JD ’10) as its new director of economic development.

Bryan Baucom (MBA ’10) was named executive director of information services care delivery for Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Sasha Hutchings (BPA Dance Performance ’11) is starring as Laurey in the new national tour of “Oklahoma!” She previously was in the Broadway cast. Tour dates through October 2022 include Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

Enid attorney Dustin E. Conner (JD ’11) was named to serve a three-year term on the Oklahoma Bar Association’s board of governors.

Alumni Advisory Board member Ashton Gatewood (BS Cell and Molecular Biology/BA Spanish ’11, BS Nursing ’15) was named OSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Student Doctor of the Year and was named the runner up for National Student Doctor of the Year.


Several alumni participated in the grand opening of the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City, including David Wilson (BA Mass Communications ’90), co-chair of the Festival Plaza committee; Kevin Chissoe (BBA Accounting ’19); Kyle Wallace (BA Mass Communications/Public Relations ’16); Dallas Parker (BBA Information Technology ’14); MacKenzie Wahpepah-Harris (BBA Marketing ’18); and Brent Greenwood (BFA Studio Art ’97).

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