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Class of 2018 Highlights

We're excited to highlight a group of students from this year's graduating class! We've asked each of them to share some words of wisdom, favorite memories, and future plans.

The 2018 commencement ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 5. You can find out more details on the day's events here.

For those who are unable to attend in person, we'll also be live streaming on our website here

Enjoy these Class of 2018 Highlights!


Brandon Doyle - Acting
Class of 2018: Brandon Doyle

Hometown

Stillwell, OK

Describe your senior year in three words.

Invigorating. Uplifting. Illuminating.

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Try something new in a different country by studying abroad!

What will you miss most about OCU?

The small town feel that our campus creates. 

There was never a moment when walking from my dorm room to class when I wasn't smiling or laughing because I always ran into a friend along the way. 

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

Christine Albright-Tufts simply because she gave me the kind of tough love that was patient enough to teach me new things, but also the kind to push me farther than I ever could have imagined. Our professors always teach us to run at the edge of the cliff and she was the one that truly inspired me to jump off and soar to new heights.

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

My favorite memory will be one that has happened throughout my entire OKCU career: experiencing all that art that fills OKCU by walking down a hallway and hearing an orchestra going on in a recital hall, a Shakespearean play being performed next door, and tap dancing down the hall. 

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to move to either Chicago or Los Angeles in late October to put my studies to good use and further my acting career. 

Brandon Doyle and family at commencement
Chandler M. Hardy - Economics with a Minor in Mass Communications/Broadcast Journalism
Class of 2018: Chandler Hardy


Some of my best relationships in college came from getting to know the people around me.

Hometown

Oklahoma City, OK

Describe your senior year in three words.

Challenging, Rewarding, and Maturing 

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Be involved! I was very involved during my time at OCU and the more I pushed myself to be a part of different organizations, the more I grew and figured out who I wanted to become. 

What will you miss most about OCU?

The faculty and staff! Some of my best relationships in college came from getting to know the people around me. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to know my professors in a small class setting! 

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

Professor Willner. He believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. He was such a big impact on my college career, I don’t know where I would be without his guidance and support. Although his classes are tough, they are worth the work!

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

Winning Outstanding Senior. When they read my recommendation letter, I thought I didn’t win because there is no way that’s me!

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to continue job searching and possibly take the LSAT or apply for graduate school. 

Colton James Kastrup - Music Theatre
Class of 2018: Colton Kastrup


Hometown

Willard, Missouri

Describe your senior year in three words.

Humbling, Rewarding, Enriching

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

You're not going to be perfect, so don't try to be. Take every moment as a learning experience; after all, that's what college is for. Get involved in things outside of your major and don't be afraid to challenge yourself in these things. 

You'd be surprised how much you can take away from things outside of the classroom. 

Stop caring what everyone thinks, the moment you do that is the moment you can really get some self-loving accomplished. Take your time, and ENJOY. EVERY. MOMENT! Show up, do the work, you'll be glad you did! 

What will you miss most about OCU?

  • Sonja
  • Caf fried okra
  • Caf boneless buffalo wings
  • Caf curly fries
  • How spoiled we are in terms of 1081924890347 Steinway pianos
  • My Kappa Sigma brothers
  • Brenda Holleman
  • (Most) of my professors 

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

(I'm gonna say 2 because I just can't choose.)

  1. Mohamed Daadaoui was my governance professor for a summer after my junior year. Professor Daadaoui went above in beyond in and out of his classroom to make sure his students were truly understanding the topics being discussed.  
He provided an extremely safe space for his students to have open discussion and arguments, and he would make it a point to show appreciation for whatever view was being presented. 

Though this class was just one of my required gen-eds, I will never forget what I took from it and will never forget this teacher. 

2. Brenda Holleman was my voice teacher for four years. She was my go-to person when I needed a shoulder to cry on or needed some advice. Not only did she teach me so much about my voice and my craft, but she has been one of the greatest friends. She has challenged me in so many different ways and I am eternally grateful for her love and support.

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

I could give you a list of 50 different memorable moments that all could take the place of "most memorable moment from senior year", but I do have 1 that I think trumps them all. My senior recital! 

Similar to your wedding day or sweet 16, a senior recital for a graduating music theatre major is a day you anticipate forever. And I could not have asked for a better time. The weekend was filled with so much love and support from so many of my friends and family. The best part was how much I just loved performing for the audience. 

What's nice about your recital is the audience is only people who love you and want to watch you succeed. 

And that is such an incredibly feeling. It is so low stress. Just you, getting to do what you love for people you love, all while reflecting and presenting what you've taken out of your time here! So special!!

What are your plans after graduation?

As much as I really want to say I'm about to start rehearsals for a Broadway show, that would be a very big lie. I am, however, excited to announce that I will be a server at a local bar for a few months after graduation, saving money for my incredibly exciting life!

I plan to be in New York City by the fall, where I will be living, working, learning, and auditioning. I hope to slowly slide into post-grad realness with some hiking, kayaking, and pontooning. 

Colton Kastrup gathers with fellow graduates
Colton Kastrup (far right) gathers with fellow graduates
Daniela Galindo - Biomedical Science
Class of 2018: Daniela Galindo

Hometown

Shattuck, Oklahoma

Describe your senior year in three words.

Challenging, bittersweet, exciting

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

My advice to next year's freshmen is to take full advantage of your resources, join that organization, ask questions, take deep breaths and have fun. The fun is just beginning! 

What will you miss most about OCU?

I will definitely miss my coaches, friends, and professors. They've all been a part of this emotional and exciting rollercoaster and have given me a great educational experience. 

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

Dr. Stancampiano has stood out to me because of how involved he is with students in and outside of the classroom. He almost holds his students to a higher standard without saying it. His classes are structured to run at a fast pace and can be very challenging, and at the end of it all, there's a feeling of satisfaction and better developed learning skills. 

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

The most memorable moment of the year was returning to the National Tournament with OCU Women's Basketball! 

What are your plans after graduation?

My plans after graduation are to further my education and apply to the PA program on campus. 

Daniela Galindo shaking Provost Kent Buchanan's hand during commencement
Danielle Shipley - Dance Management
Class of 2018: Danielle Shipley

Hometown

Grove City, Ohio 

Describe your senior year in three words.

Rewarding, Fulfilling, Bittersweet. 

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Work hard so you can play hard. 

If you can work hard to get everything on your to-do list done before it has to be done (we can all relate to those panic stricken nights), then you'll never have to say no to a midnight movie, impromptu weekend road trip, or social event. 

What will you miss most about OCU?

I will miss the friendships I've developed here and the tight-knit community that OCU is. 

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

I'm breaking the rules (I'm sorry, but not really)—Tiffany Warford and Professor Suggs. Throughout my time at OCU, I felt that they were some of my biggest advocates academically and really pushed me to break down those walls of being comfortable. 

They taught me how to create my own good luck and how to become my own advocate. 

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

A big one for me was closing my last American Spirit Dance Company show - I was Deputy for the company in the Fall and was able to perform tracks that I had been in for the past four years one last time. It was a full circle moment. 

What are your plans after graduation?

I have decided to stay in Oklahoma! Still figuring out "actual post-grad plans", but I am planning on continuing to dance my education. 

Eric Capelle – Vocal Performance
Class of 2018: Eric Capelle

Hometown

Santa Barbara, California

Describe your senior year in three words.

Stepping into myself

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

The best way to grow as a person is to meet new groups of people and talk with them, so definitely join multiple organizations on campus that are outside of your major.

What will you miss most about OCU?

The energy of the campus has been my favorite feeling, especially when the first warm days come in the Spring and the whole campus goes and lays out on the quad. 

I will miss the supportive atmospheres of the school of music, my fraternity (LXA), and the OCU Cheer Team.

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

Dr. Erik Heine has been one of my favorite professors since I took music theory with him. His work ethic is on another level and his compassion for his students truly astounds me. Not only did he publish a book and write for film music journals during my time here, but he also ran multiple ultra marathons in order to raise funds for a scholarship for the music students of OCU, all while teaching the hardest and most interesting class I ever took at OCU, Forms and Analysis

Not only was this my experience, but I constantly have the opportunity to talk with other students about how 

his work ethic and compassion are sources of inspiration for us all during times of hardship.

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

I was invited by President Henry to have dinner with, and perform for, him and his friends who had recently been to Israel. After a delicious dinner and surprisingly deep dinner conversations about the political situations in the country of Israel and the interfaith work that is being done there, I had the opportunity to perform some works for them. 

This was all a rather normal night until the president asked if I knew any songs from Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat, to which I responded "yes, but I haven't sung any of them since high school." He promptly sat down at the piano, pulled out a score, and we began performing for everyone without any preparation. 

That situation of humility and spontaneity is what I believe has cemented this experience in my mind.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, 

I am planning on taking two years off from academia to focus on learning Hebrew and growing as an individual, 

before applying to become a Cantor in the Reform Jewish faith which would be a five-year ordination and masters program.

Graduates cheering after commencement ceremony
Holly Randall - Political Science, Spanish
Class of 2018: Holly Randall


Hometown

Edmond, OK

Describe your senior year in three words.

Challenging, Rewarding, Memorable

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Get to know the people in your major. 

You’ll have all your classes with them over the next four years and they’ll become your best friends. Also, enjoy having Chick-Fil-A on campus; we haven’t always had such a luxury.

What will you miss most about OCU?

I’ll miss being surrounded by a community that shares so much. We’re all in the same phase of life and can join together in our struggles and our successes.

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

There’s so many professors I want to mention here, but I’ll never forget my semester in Professor Schiler’s class. She taught me more about reading and analyzing tough texts and how to write about them than any other teacher or professor I’ve had. 

The skills she taught me laid the groundwork for success in all my classes in college.

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

My last volleyball games and closing that chapter of my life. 

The athletic department is what brought me to this university, so I’m forever thankful for the impact they had on my time at OCU.

What are your plans after graduation?

I’ll be going to law school at the Oklahoma City University School of Law!

Julia Larson - American Dance Pedagogy
Class of 2018: Julia Larson

Hometown

 St. Paul, Minnesota

Describe your senior year in three words.

 Check. Your. Technique.

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Don't be afraid to change what you want. 

You might come into OCU thinking you know EXACTLY who you are and EXACTLY what you want, but those things might change, and then change again. And that's okay!! 

Immerse yourself in your classes, your friends, and the OCU community, and you'll discover that support system you will find here is incredible!

What will you miss most about OCU?

The people, hands down. The faculty, staff, and students at OCU have truly helped me become the best version of myself, and I will miss not seeing these people every day!

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

One of the most influential professors I have had the pleasure of studying under is Kay Sandel

Her relentless dedication to teaching is admirable, and her wisdom is unmatched. 

Not only is she an incredible ballet teacher, but her passion for her students and the art of teaching is always present and has been a constant inspiration to me. Thank you, Kay!

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

There are truly too many to count, but one of my most memorable moments of this year (and my OCU career) was serving as the Chapter President of Gamma Phi Beta. 

The women in this organization have lifted me up and taught me how to be a better leader and a better woman, 

and I will be forever grateful for the wonderful experiences I've had as a Gamma Phi!

What are your plans after graduation?

I will move back to St. Paul after I graduate for the summer and teach dance as well as work for local non-profit theatres in the Twin Cities area; from there, we'll see where life takes me!

Kari Goolsby - Accounting
Class of 2018: Kari Goolsby


Hometown

Moore, OK

Describe your senior year in three words.

(an) Eventful challenging experience

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Join student organizations.

It's never too early to network or apply for internships. 

What will you miss most about OCU?

The reliable support from faculty, staff and fellow classmates.

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

My tax professor Dr. Jurney, diverse ways she was able to engage with the class to ensure we understood the material while providing times of laughter and career advice that will never be forgotten. Also, she was able to pie Professor Murray during the Student Accounting Society fundraising challenge.

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

Attending the THRIVE: Women in Leadership Conference, the speakers were inspirational and ensured “women have the power, so we must seize it.”

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be begin the OCU Meinders School of Business MSA program to complete my 150 hours to be CPA eligible and interning at BKD this summer.

Lauren Berlingeri - Mass Communications, emphasis in Public Relations & Broadcasting
Class of 2018: Lauren Berlingeri

Hometown

Fairview, Oklahoma 

Describe your senior year in three words.

Hectic, Memorable, Evolving. 

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Everything always gets done, and if it doesn't? You've got people who still love you anyways. 

Find your balance, set your limits, but don't be afraid to be spontaneous. 

You'll remember that late night trip to Hurts (Donuts) with your best friend over the extra hour spent stressing over a paper you WILL finish. 

What will you miss most about OCU?

The Mass Comm Department, hands down. I practically live there – They have become family, seen me at my worst/best, and always encourage me to strive for more. 

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

Dr. Kenna Griffin – She singlehandedly (whether she realized it or not) helped me get involved in the department/Student Publications/on campus when I was questioning if OCU was actually the place for me. I consider her a mentor and one of my biggest role models. 

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

I took a senior level Broadcast news class last semester with minimal knowledge beforehand. That class brought me my best friend, the birth of Snapchat Reporter and the rite of passage of falling asleep in the department (Oh, and adding on Broadcasting to my major). 

What are your plans after graduation?

I'll spend this summer in Atlanta, Georgia as a Media Coordinator Intern for M25 Missions. After August, it's wherever life plans to take me! 

Lauren Berlingeri shaking President Robert Henry's hand during commencement


Matthew Sparks - Dance Performance
Class of 2018: Matthew Sparks

Hometown

Mission, Texas

Describe your senior year in three words.

Illuminating. Defining. Lovely.

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

I’ve learned that college is quite the unique experience. You make the most wonderful, true friendships that will undoubtedly last a lifetime. Your friends become your family, and you trust them with the world. And then once you graduate, you never know when you’ll see them again. And to be honest, all of you may never be in the same place at the same time again. There’s no stranger feeling. So freshmen, 

cherish every moment and live in the moment! 

My favorite college memories were entirely unplanned.

What will you miss most about OCU?

I will miss all of my best friends living just seconds away from my dorm room. 

There’s nothing like swinging by your friend’s room to just say hi and accidentally chatting for three hours. 

Some have already graduated, some will graduate with me, and some will graduate in years to come, but just thinking of all the beautiful friends I made warms my heart.

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

One professor that greatly impacted my college education was Kelli Stevens. As one of my jazz professors, I had the opportunity to work with her for four years in an academic, studio, and rehearsal setting. Not only did she expertly hone my dance technique in jazz class, but she taught me the importance and value in a genuine, expressive performance. 

Thanks to her guidance, I have learned that the artistry I infuse into my dancing is so much more important than having the perfect technical execution. 

She also helped me realize that the only person who will ever stand in my way is myself, 

a lesson every perfectionistic dancer needs to learn. Without her constant support and much-needed life chats, I would be nowhere near the artistic, confident individual that I am today.

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

For the first time in OCU history, Kappa Sigma won sweepstakes in the annual Homecoming competition. I have been a member of this organization for four years and loved every minute, but I always thought winning would be an impossible feat. Our fraternity never has as many resources or members as the sororities, which makes competing on their level difficult. However, 

after hours and hours of preparation and hard work, my brothers and I proved that all you need is heart, soul, and a little iced coffee! 

Winning the Homecoming King crown was the icing on the cake!

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, my only plan is to kick open every door of opportunity; 

I intend to audition for cruise lines, commercial work, musical theatre productions, and anything else under the broad umbrella of the professional dance industry! Whether I find myself doing musicals in New York, dancing as Peter Pan on a Disney cruise line, or performing in LA music videos, as long as I’m healthy and dancing, I know I will be happy.

Matthew Sparks receiving diploma from President Robert Henry during commencement
McKenzie McMullen - Art Education


Class of 2018: McKenzie McMullen

Hometown

 Kent, Ohio

Describe your senior year in three words.

Creating my future

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Meet as many people as you can! The friends you make in college you want forever. 

Get involved and make lots of memories. 

You’ll only be in college once.

What will you miss most about OCU?

I'll miss all my friends being in the same place and just hanging out with everyone.

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

My Capstone Art Exhibition show was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done and 

I’ll never forget the feeling of my opening night watching everyone look at my work.
Melaina Riley – Religion
Class of 2018: Melaina Riley

Hometown

Oklahoma City

Describe your senior year in three words.

Still new stuff.

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Enjoy every minute while you can because before you know it things are changing.

What will you miss most about OCU?

Oh my gosh, everything. What. Probably the professors, I feel like I could stay here for ten years and still not know everything they have to teach me. They’re so smart.

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

 Obviously John Starkey, because you know, John Starkey.

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

I loved getting to preach in chapel; 

it’s such a rush and such an awesome affirmation of my future career.

What are your plans after graduation?

I’m moving to Chicago in August (106 days from the time I write this!) to pursue my Masters of Divinity at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Melaina Riley at podium during commencement
Melaina Riley addresses the Class of 2018 during commencement
Miguel Rios - Mass Communications (Multimedia & Broadcasting)
Class of 2018: Miguel Rios

Hometown

Juarez, Mexico → Oklahoma City

Describe your senior year in three words.

Difficult. Busy. Rewarding.

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

You'll never be in an environment quite like OCU, so take advantage of every opportunity you get. 

Don't be afraid to make mistakes and fall down, as long as you continue getting up. 

Stay informed about things that impact you. 

Get involved and be active in the community, but don't forget to take care of yourself first. Surround yourself with friends who push you in and out of the classroom. Get out of your comfort zone. 

What will you miss most about OCU?

I will miss the Students Publications team, working in the newsroom, the Mass Communications faculty and staff, and all the times they fed us at luncheons. It feels like I'll be leaving my second home.

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

Dr. Kenna Griffin. I was intimidated by her when I took my first Kenna class, but 

She's been my adviser for Student Publications since I was a freshman, and without all her advice and support, I wouldn't be graduating with so many career opportunities. 

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

Getting to travel to Los Angeles for a job interview at NBCUniversal was amazing, but my favorite memory has to be when the Student Publications editors decorated the newsroom for my birthday. One of the editors even made me a cake that looked like the front page of The Campus! It was such a thoughtful gesture that made me feel really appreciated.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be entering the journalism field as a reporter for either broadcast or print outlets in Oklahoma.

Miguel Rios receiving his diploma at commencement
Nicholas Reese – Acting, Minor in Directing
Class of 2018: Nicholas Reese

Hometown

Valley Center, KS

Describe your senior year in three words.

Challenging, rewarding, short

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Soak up all your classwork.  Especially performance majors, it’s great and fun to be cast in shows, but you’re paying money to go to class, and you’re going to learn so much there.  AKA I know 9:30am acting is early, but get out of bed and go.

What will you miss most about OCU?

Walking around and seeing familiar faces everywhere.  

I don’t think it’s possible to walk to a class here without running into someone you know.

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

There are so many! Chris Albright-Tufts stands out in my mind right now because she’s new this year and I’ve loved having classes with her (and I’m mad she’s only getting here my senior year.)

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

I got to direct a play this year and it was one of the most challenging/rewarding moments of my college career.

What are your plans after graduation?

Immediately after graduation I have a contract at a theatre in Rolla, Missouri to perform in Hello, Dolly!Violet, and As You Like It. After that, 

I plan on moving to New York to be a struggling actor.
Paige Wolfe - Dance Performance
Class of 2018: Paige Wolfe

Hometown

Gilbert, AZ

Describe your senior year in three words.

Accomplished, Exciting, Fulfilling  

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Enjoy every minute of the time you have here. It flies by faster than you'll think! 

What will you miss most about OCU?

The thing I will miss most about OCU is the feeling of community and closeness with the people around you. 

Everyone is so supportive and inspiring. 

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

A professor that has stood out to me while at OCU has been Alana Martin, who is part of the Jazz faculty. She has always pushed to become stronger in my abilities and breaking out of my comfort zone. 

I have really enjoyed working with her throughout my years at OCU within classes, and being on the Pep dancers and student director of the Pep dancers this year. I will definitely miss her classes, especially her great strengthening exercises!  

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

My most memorable moment this year would have to be Homecoming week with Alpha Phi. Homecoming is always my favorite part of the year. It's so fun getting the whole chapter together and creating the magic. Staying up late, painting, building, and much more is totally worth it, because of the amazing memories I have made with my sisters. 

What are your plans after graduation?

After I graduate I hope to pursue my dreams as a Radio City Rockette!!!

Rachael Bachhofer - Nursing and Child Advocacy
Class of 2018: Rachael Bachhofer

Hometown

Luther, OK

Describe your senior year in three words.

Stressful, Demanding, Rewarding

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

You can't pour from an empty cup. It's so easy to get caught up with how busy you'll be, but make time for the little things that make you happy and practice self-care often.

What will you miss most about OCU?

It's hard to say, because I'll be coming back in the Fall for graduate school! I just loved it here so much I couldn't leave! I do know I'll miss my time with student organizations, especially in Phi Mu. I'm graduating a year early, so I feel like I got gypped a year of undergraduate! 

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

Even though I was never able to take one of her classes, I loved being a part of the Honors program because of Dr. Youmans. I was able to work with her while I was a Honors Peer Mentor and she's absolutely fabulous and made the honors program so fun.

As for nursing faculty, I had so many wonderful professors but Dr. Vanessa Wright and Professor Pam Tucker were definitely some of the ones who left a huge impression on me. They are both part of the reason I decided I wanted to pursue nursing education and I hope I can be half the educator they are some day! 

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

I can't pick just one! This year has been full of "lasts", which is so bittersweet. Each one has been so memorable and special in its own way. If I had to choose, it would most likely be when I found out I got my job as a RN on the same floor I did my preceptorship or when I got accepted to graduate school! It was an incredible feeling to know that my hard work has paid off.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing Education program at OCU this fall and I also plan to begin employment at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, working as a registered nurse on an intermediate care liver transplant floor.

Ryan Nielsen - Marketing
Class of 2018: Ryan Nielsen


Hometown

Edmond, OK

Describe your senior year in three words.

Laying down foundation

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Take risks! Your entire life is before you—there is no need for you to play by the rules yet. Take risks, go after your dreams, learn as much as you can. It’s okay to switch majors, take time off school, or overwork yourself. 

Just make sure to keep chasing your dreams and be a friend to those around you.

What will you miss most about OCU?

I’ll miss being around such a diverse/exciting/smart community of people. Around every corner you’ll find someone to inspire you.

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

Dr. Willner. I can’t describe it! You just have to take one of his classes and then you’ll know for yourself.

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

Getting married!

What are your plans after graduation?

To start building an empire.

Tomorrow Denton - Cell and Molecular Biology
Class of 2018: Tomorrow Denton

Hometown

Oklahoma City, OK

Describe your senior year in three words.

Hectic. Fun. Nostalgic. 

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Be active in the community on campus! You get to meet so many interesting people and make friends in other fields that you might not have otherwise met. 

College is about learning skills necessary for your field of study and future career, but it is also about learning about yourself and discovering who you are as an individual. 

You get unique opportunities to make an impact on the world, so take them!

What will you miss most about OCU?

All of the Caf staff (Ms. Sonya and Ms. Yolanda in particular). 😞

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

Probably Dr. Stancampiano. He was my advisor and I took the most classes from him in the biology department. I really learned how to critically think scientifically. 

I also learned how to study for tests better, and overall just gained a wealth of useful information. Also, by taking his classes I developed a love for being outdoors! Thanks, Stancamp!

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

Probably completing my capstone. 

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to work for a year as an on-boarding specialist/scribe for PhysAssist and apply to medical school to matriculate in the Fall of 2019.

T Shannon Mckenrick - Entertainment Business
Class of 2018: T Shannon Mckenrick

Hometown

Midlothian, TX

Describe your senior year in three words.

Busy, Exciting, Bittersweet

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Get involved! No, seriously, do it! It can be hard to balance classes, work, friends, and being a part of a student organization, but it is so rewarding, fun and it is where you meet tons of people who have the same interests as you. Say “yes” to new things! 

This is your chance to take risks, find new hobbies and develop passions. 

Don’t be afraid of the unknown – it could be the experience of a lifetime.

What will you miss most about OCU?

The sense of community and the unwavering support and encouragement I receive from fellow classmates. Not many colleges are lucky enough to have a community of students who are so talented, but are still humble, generous and kind.

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

Dr. James Ma is by far the most impactful professor I have had. 

I have never experienced someone so dedicated to student success in and outside the classroom. 

He has a fountain of knowledge and is excited to share it with everyone he encounters. I recommend everyone take his class whether you need Business Finance to graduate or not. You will not regret it!

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

My most memorable, and a little sad, moment from this year was when I realized I had finished my last show with Oklahoma City University. As a freshman, I knew that day would come but I did not realize how quickly it would be here. I have been so blessed to work backstage on these productions and to gain these experiences.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to work in the event planning industry where I will specialize in coordinating special events for nonprofit organizations, so that they can raise more money for their programs.

Tucker Walker - Nursing
Class of 2018: Tucker Walker

Hometown

Helena, MT 

Describe your senior year in three words.

Rigorous. Gratifying. Transcendental.  

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

Remember that there will be times that are trying and times that will be emotional, but there will always be times that make it all worthwhile. Never forget to stay connected to your true self; don’t lose touch with your passion and inner fire as to why you decided to pursue this field. It will be hard, but it will be worth it in the end. 

Stay focused on your studies but remember to have a balance. 

Make new friends, get connected with your school and community. Most importantly, always wear a smile on your face. You are about to enter the best time of your life. Enjoy every moment! 

What will you miss most OCU?

I will miss all the welcoming individuals that make OCU great. 

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

That is a tough question, but Professor Tucker has been with me every step of the way. She teaches with such passion, it is nearly impossible not to feel impacted by her knowledge. Her desire to see all of her students succeed is tangible inside and outside of the classroom. 

However, the time I have had with all of my professors is irreplaceable, and I would like to thank them all. Each one of you have inspired and formulated the young professional that will walk across the stage at graduation, taking my first steps towards an exciting and rewarding career.

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

My most memorable moment from this year would have to be when I found my calling in life. While performing an assessment on an NICU infant, having their tiny hand reach up and wrap around my finger as I listened to their rapid heart sounds with my stethoscope, as I looked into their tiny eyes I felt my soul connect to theirs. It was in this tear-filled moment, 

I realized my purpose in life is to help those that cannot help themselves: the smallest individuals with the biggest odds stacked against them from day one. 

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation I will be staying in Oklahoma where I will get my chance to pursue my calling in life, working in the NICU at Integris Baptist Medical Center. 

Tucker Walker with other graduates on commencement day
Vladimir Kalajdzic - Accounting
Class of 2018: Vladimir Kalajdzic

Hometown

Novi Sad, Serbia

Describe your senior year in three words.

Enlightening, busy, and beautiful 

What advice would you give next year’s freshman class?

My advice to the next years freshman class is to spend next four years LEARNING, not chasing grades or competing with your peers. 

Self-evaluate at the end of every day of college and ask yourself, did you learn something new today? 

What will you miss most OCU?

I am really going to miss playing soccer, and day-to-day interactions with my teammates and roommates. We take it for granted in college because it’s a normal part of our days, but once we finish we realize how much it meant for us just to talk and see some people every day.

What professor stands out from your time here, and why?

I could not pick just one so I will go with professors James Ma and Jonathan Willner. They have been the most influential professors in my college career, they stimulated me to think on my own and outside of the box, and they are even better people than they are professors!

What was your most memorable moment from this year?

The most memorable moment this year was the soccer senior night game! My family got to see me play, and so many of my friends and supporters got to see me come a long way since my freshman year, and it was one of the proudest moments of my life so far.

What are your plans after graduation?

I don’t have plans. I am not making any. I don’t plan on getting a job like most people! I simply want to enjoy the next few years, spend them doing things I love every day with people that mean the most to me. I do not know what that will look like, but for now my only plan is to spend a lot of time with my family, and in a sense give them back for the sacrifice they made 4 years ago by letting me come to another country! 

Vladimir Kalajdzic and President Robert Henry shaking hands during commencement ceremony