Oklahoma City University | University to Honor Distinguished Alumni Skip to content

University to Honor Distinguished Alumni

The Oklahoma City University Alumni Association will honor a family and four individuals during its Distinguished Alumni Dinner at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The event will be held in the University Center near N.W. 26th and Florida Avenue.

The honorees this year are members of the Busey family — Phil, Philip and Heather from the Petree College of Arts and Sciences and Cathy from the Wanda L. Bass School of Music — along with Maxim Sytch from the Meinders School of Business, Brittany Sky from the Wimberly School of Religion, Patrick McGough from the Kramer School of Nursing and Danielle DuFore Garcia from the Ann Lacy School of Dance and Entertainment.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through noon April 19 online at okcu.edu/aw17.

The event is part of the university’s All-Alumni Weekend.


More about the honorees:

Phil Busey

Phil Busey

Phil Busey is a member of both the Cherokee Nation and the Delaware Tribe. Busey played baseball for OCU, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree dual major in political science and history in 1974 and went on to earn his juris doctor from the OCU School of Law in 1977. While in law school he met and married his wife, Cathy, in the Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel on campus.

Following graduation, Busey had a successful legal career as an AV-rated attorney and practiced law nationally for 25 years, specializing in Native American, commercial, corporate, government, public finance, and contracting law. He founded Delaware Resource Group (DRG) in 2002, and the company has since become one of the largest defense contractors based in the region. He continues to serve as CEO of DRG. DRG is recognized as a leading aerospace defense business providing training and logistics support for the United States military and its allied nations worldwide.

In 2010 Busey was named SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year for Oklahoma and DRG was named Boeing’s top supplier of the year. In 2013 Busey was inducted into the Meinder’s Business and Commerce Hall of Fame. He was honored in 2014 by OCU as co-awardee with Cathy with the OCU Servants Leaders Award, in 2015 by the United Methodist Conference, and as co-awardee with Cathy with the Bishop Paul W. Millhouse Award.

Today, the couple are benefactors of many programs at the university. They co-founded El Sistema Oklahoma in partnership with the Wanda Bass School of Music and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in 2013.

Heather Busey

Heather Busey

Heather (Ratcliffe) Busey is an active community and civic volunteer. She worked in the family's textbook business in Weatherford through undergrad at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. In college, she met Philip Busey Jr., and they married in 2004 as they were finishing up undergraduate studies.

In 2005 she took an internship through American University in Washington, D.C., to intern at the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. She returned to Oklahoma City and went to work at Coppermark Bank. In 2010 she pursued a Master of Education in professional counseling at OCU. Upon completion, she went to work as a career counselor at the University of Central Oklahoma. In 2012 she stepped away from everyday work to begin volunteering with various church groups at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and other community organizations. She also participates in several causes and organizations including serving on the board of OCU’s Petree College of Arts and Sciences and volunteering with St. Luke's Congregational Care ministry.

Philip Busey Jr.

Phillip Busey

Philip Busey is responsible for the marketing, public relations and government affairs for DRG.

Busey has a Master of Liberal Arts in leadership and management from OCU and a Bachelor of Arts in communication arts from SWOSU.

The Journal Record honored him in 2008 as an Achiever Under 40. In 2009, he was named to Oklahoma Magazine’s 40 Under 40 and OKC Biz magazine's Forty Under 40. He was also honored in 2009 by the National Center for the American Indian Enterprise Development as a Native American 40 under 40 making a difference nationally in Indian Country. The Business Times of Edmond named him a 20 Under Forty in 2010.

Busey serves on numerous civic boards and organizations including as a trustee to the foundation at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He also serves on the board of directors for the Alumni Association at SWOSU and is currently serving a two-year term as president of the association. In 2013 Busey received the SWOSU Alumni Association Presidential Service Award. At OCU, he serves on the board of the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature. Busey is also a trustee for the Oklahoma Humanities Council. In 2009, he served as chairman of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce. From 2010 to 2013, he served as chairman of the advisory council for the WINS (Washington Internship for Native Students) at the American University in Washington, D.C.

Cathy Busey

Cathy Busey

Cathy Busey studied piano at Oklahoma City University from 1975-1977. She serves on the Wanda Bass School of Music Advisory Board and was honored in 2014 by OCU as co-awardee with her husband of the OCU Servants Leaders Award and in 2015 by the United Methodist Conference as co-awardee of the Bishop Paul W. Millhouse Award.

Busey is the founder and chairwoman of the board of El Sistema Oklahoma, a non-profit after-school classical music program in Oklahoma City. The program serves more than 200 students each year and has become one of the most successful and admired after-school programs within Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Busey is also the co-owner of DRG. She served as part of DRG’s leadership team for more than 10 years and still participates in certain leadership decisions. Although she still holds the position of executive vice president, she has retired from day-to-day operations to focus on El Sistema, family, charity organizations and community programs.

Prior to joining DRG, Cathy had more than 20 years of experience in administration and management including working as director of senior adult programs at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in the late 1990s.

Danielle DuFóre-Garcia

Danielle DuFore

Danielle DuFóre-Garcia earned her Bachelor of Performing Arts degree in dance performance from Oklahoma City University, where she studied dance (ballet, tap, jazz), voice and acting. She performed in numerous musicals and operas such as “Faust,” “Carmen,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “The Most Happy Fella,” “Kiss Me Kate” and “Guys and Dolls” with the Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater.

She continued her post-graduate studies at the Alvin Ailey Dance Center in New York City (1993 and 1995), where she expanded her knowledge base learning flamenco, Horton, and Dunham technique. DuFóre-GarcÍa has performed professionally in numerous musicals at Lyric Theater, Music Theater of Wichita, and Theater-by-the-Sea in such classics as “Annie,” “West Side Story” and “Damn Yankees.” She performed in the national tour of the musical “Chicago,” and danced in the Papermill Playhouse production of “Dreamgirls.” She has traveled the world choreographing and performing in such places as Taiwan, Beijing and Germany. She served as the assistant choreographer for Hair, at the University of New Mexico, as well as guest tap choreographer for the Performers Ballet and Jazz Company.

She received her master’s degree in special education from George Mason University. She is currently a special education teacher of students with specific learning and emotional disabilities in Prince William County Public Schools, where she infuses her background for the performing arts to enhance and address the learning needs of her students. She is a three-time recipient of the Virginia Governor’s School Award for Outstanding Educator of the Year, and was nominated for the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Educator Award and the Dale City Civic Association Teacher Award.

She has helped students attain professional aspirations in dance companies like Capitol Movement Dance Company, Chicago Tap Theater and the Washington Wizards. She participates in opportunities for community outreach and performance collaboration with such non- profits as the Pointillism Jazz Consort in Ohio, and choreographs for New Dominion Choraliers, the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Prince William Youth Symphony and at high schools. DuFóre-Garcia has taught dance over the last 20 years. She currently teaches ballet, tap and jazz at Dance Etc. School of the Arts, a private school in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Maxim Sytch

Maxim Sytch

Maxim Sytch is an associate professor and a Michael R. and Mary Kay Hallman fellow in the Department of Management and Organizations in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He is also a director of research at the Sanger Leadership Center. Previously, he was a lecturer in the Department of Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Selected as one the 40 Best Business Professors under 40 in the World by Poets & Quants in 2014, Sytch is an expert on leadership and organizational issues within firms. His recent research focuses on how networks of collaboration and conflict within and between firms affect individual and firm outcomes. He examines how managers can effectively manage and leverage connectivity within and across organizational boundaries to enhance performance.

This research has been published in leading journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, California Law Review, California Management Review, Managerial and Decision Economics, Organization Science, Sloan Management Review, and The Wall Street Journal. His work has also been covered by AsiaOne.com, BusinessWeek and Harvard Business Review Online.

In 2010, his study examining dynamics of influence in patent infringement litigation won the Best Paper Award from the Organization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management. In 2012, another study, which examined the relationship between network communities and firms’ invention productivity, was a finalist for the Best Paper Award at the Israel Strategy Conference. In 2016, his paper on social structures interconnecting lawyers and federal judges in litigation was the finalist for the Best Paper on Entrepreneurship Award from the Organization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management.

Sytch is a member of the Academy of Management, the American Sociological Association, and the Strategic Management Society and serves on the editorial boards of Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science and Strategic Management Journal. He won the Outstanding Reviewer Awards from the Academy of Management Journal and Organization Science in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

In 2014, Maxim Sytch won the Ross Executive Education Teaching Impact Award for open enrollment programs. His online specialization on Leading People and Teams (coursera.org), launched in 2015, is the leading online leadership course in the world with over 160,000 students. He also advises and speaks to corporations worldwide.

He holds a Ph.D. from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and BSB and MBA from Oklahoma City University.

Brittany Sky

Brittany Sky

Brittany Sky holds a Bachelor of Arts in Christian education from Oklahoma City University and a Master of Arts in Christian education from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She is currently the senior editor of Children’s Resources.

Before coming to The United Methodist Publishing House, Sky worked as a minister with children and their families in local United Methodist congregations, and taught children’s ministry workshops for the Oklahoma Annual Conference.

Sky is currently the editor of “Deep Blue Large Group/Small Group” and “Deep Blue Rotation Stations,” the writer and editor of “All Hands on Deck,” “Deep Blue Basics,” “Deep Blue Family Devotional” and the “Deep Blue Bible Storybook.”

Patrick G. McGough

Patrick McGough

Patrick McGough joined the leadership ranks of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) in 2008 and currently serves as deputy director.

McGough earned his terminal degree in nursing practice from Oklahoma City University, where he also achieved the highest honors including the Graduate School High Honors Award, the DNP Academic Excellence Award, the Kramer School of Nursing Star Award and admission into both the Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Theta Tau honor societies. He serves as an adjunct professor for senior-level doctoral nursing students in the areas of public health, policy, leadership and organizational development.

In addition to leadership roles with the Oklahoma State Department of Human Services, and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, McGough owned and operated a thriving home health agency. During his 32 years as a registered nurse, he garnered leadership and public health experience serving in the areas of clinical and community health, primary care, acute care, mental health and substance abuse, and hospice care. McGough is an Oklahoma Public Health Leadership Institute Fellow and received a Citation of Commendation from the State of Oklahoma for his advocacy efforts for children and young parents.

Back to all news
Back to Top