While most of his connections are in the major studios in Nashville, Joe Settlemires' real expertise is in Jazz and Western Swing music. His new CD – released in spring 2006 – is entitled “Canadian Sunset and Other Jazz Standards.” It’s available at the USAO Bookstore and metro bookstores.
At USAO, Settlemires and his wife, Donna, together direct the USAO Showband, which travels Oklahoma and Texas with a unique blend of pop, jazz and country, crafted with his unique Western Swing sound.
During four decades in the music business, Settlemires has performed with numerous celebrities including Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Della Reese, Bob Hope, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. He has been inducted into three Halls of Fame for his contributions to Western Swing. Recently he was the Headliner at the International Musicians Union in Las Vegas. In conjunction with the current trends of the “new country” sound in Nashville, he headlined the “Country-Fusion” Music Festival at southwest Oklahoma in 2003.
Settlemires is a leader in the American Federation of Musicians-Local for Southwest Oklahoma and West Texas, and has served in leadership roles for the Southern Conference of the AFM, covering 18 states.
Jerry Hargis has been a Regents Professor of Communication at USAO since 2002. He has worked in broadcasting, theatre and continuing and distance education. While at the Oklahoma Center for Continuing Education in the 60s, he created WEEKEND UNIVERSITY, named one of the top ten adult education programs in the nation.
In 1967 he became Director of Adult Education for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D. C., and, for a time, served on the Staff of Vice President Humphrey. In 1969 he moved to the Continuing Education Center at Virginia Tech University as Associate Director for Programs.
He returned to Oklahoma in 1972 as Director of the Division of Televised Instruction and Community Service for the State Regents, fathering the Televised Instruction System and coordinating Title I of the Higher Education Act enriching adult education programs. In 1981, as Assistant Vice Provost for Continuing Education at the University of Oklahoma, he assisted in reorganizing continuing education and doubled the program size prior to his retirement in 1991.
Hargis has served many national councils and was a founding member of the National University Telecommunications Networks organization. From 1991 to 2001 Hargis directed all Educational Programs at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. He received many national awards and international recognition for his work in continuing and distance education.
He was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2010.
In my former life, I was an accountant for one of those firms that you see sponsoring major golf tournaments. I hung in there for three years, ultimately leaving to pursue a career in teaching. As a student in the MA in Composition program at the University of Akron, I got paid to teach introductory writing to first year college students. That was 10 years ago, and I've loved every challenge and success since. I am committed to a life and a career as a teacher of college writing.
During my PhD studies at the University of New Hampshire, I had the great joy to work with professors who were great teachers and great scholars. I focus my own teaching and research on making the classroom as pedagogically engaging and challenging as possible.
At USAO, I teach courses in composition, rhetoric, creative nonfiction, literature, and race. I also direct the university's Writing Center. I advise the USAO Lit Club, The Accent (undergraduate arts & literature journal), and sit on several university committees.
"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe." Neil Gaiman
Dr. Simpson received his BA from The Colorado College in biology, and his MA and PhD from Claremont Graduate University in philosophy of religion and theology. He also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University with the “Evolution and Theology of Cooperation” project, for which he served as an editor on two books. Dr. Simpson has published articles in philosophy and theology, and his edited work includes The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science as well as Adventures in the Spirit: New Essays in Philosophical Theology (by Philip Clayton). His first book, Life as Art: Aesthetics and the Creation of Self from Nietzsche to Foucault (Lexington Books) was released in 2012.
Dr. Simpson's research focuses on contemporary philosophy and theology, world wisdom traditions, and the intersections between science, philosophy, and religion. He teaches courses on the history of philosophy, world religions, issues in contemporary philosophy and religion, and interdisciplinary issues.
A native New Mexican, Dr. Simpson enjoys mountain climbing, backpacking, travelling, cooking and spending time with his wife, Kenzie.
Marcia Vliet has been a member of the faculty at USAO since 1993. She is an instructor in Interdisciplinary Studies and English Education (alternative certification) and teaches Rhetoric and Public Speaking.
She has served as an adjunct instructor in the Division of Arts and Humanities at USAO as well as director, costumer, vocal coach and property master for the drama department. Other theatrical and fine arts experience includes set design, lighting, sound design and building, dialect coach, acting coach, stage movement coach, actor, singer, speech coach, musical director, assistant minister of music, choir director, pageant and dinner theater director, vocalist and voice over artist. She also is a founding member of the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company in Norman.
Before coming to USAO, Vliet was a visiting professor at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, an associate professor at New Mexico State University and a graduate teaching assistant (GTA) at the University of Oklahoma.
Stephen Weber is currently Professor of Music at USAO, where he also serves as Chair of the Division of Arts and Humanities, and is the Mary Jo Ragan Endowed Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies.
A native of Canada, Weber did his undergraduate study at Concordia University-Chicago, where he received the Bachelor of Music Education degree. He completed a Master of Arts in Music in 1985 at New Jersey State College. His Ph.D. in Fine Arts is an interdisciplinary degree from Texas Tech University, where his emphases were Piano Pedagogy and Composition. This degree also required extensive coursework in art, theatre arts, aesthetics, and fine arts administration.
Weber taught at Texas Tech University from 1990 to 1995 and has been at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma since 1995. At USAO he has taught Studio Piano, Class Piano, Accompanying, Music Fundamentals, Music Technology, Freshman Seminar, Senior Seminar, World Thought and Culture III, Aesthetics, and Body/Mind Integration and Performance Anxiety. Weber also served as Coordinator of the USAO Music Department from 2002 to 2011.
Though trained primarily as a pianist, Weber has had considerable success as a composer. He was a winner in the 1994 National Conference on Piano Pedagogy Composition contest. He recorded his Eight Etudes for Piano for a 1995 compact disc on the Opus One label (#169). His Eclecticset for Percussion Quartet is also available on the same label (#173). His works have been performed at the International Clarinet Conference, the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy, the New Music Festival at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, the Atlantic Regional conference of the National Flute Association, regional meetings of the College Music Society and the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and other venues such as Santa Fe, Dallas and New York.
Weber has over numerous published compositions for a variety of media to his credit. Publishers of his music include Concordia Publishing House, Alfred Music Publishers, Permus Music, Voice of the Rockies Music Publishers and Zalo Publications. His works have been reviewed or advertised in Flute Talk, Clavier, Percussive Notes, Piano and Keyboard and The American Organist. He has had articles published in Piano Pedagogy Forum and CrossTimbers, and has served as a reviewer for The American Music Teacher. He has been a past recipient of an Oklahoma Arts Council grant for work on notation of Kiowa tribal hymns. Weber was a recipient of Standard Awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers annually from 1994 to 2007. In 1997 Weber received the Board of Regents Award for Superior Teaching at USAO. In 1998 and 2003 he received the Board of Regents Award for Scholarly Activity. Weber was selected as the 2003 recipient of the "Oklahoma Musician of the Year" award by the Oklahoma Federation of Music Clubs.
Weber has performed extensively as solo pianist, collaborative pianist, and organist. He has performed on the East Coast, the Midwest, the South, and in Switzerland. He plans to perform in Hungary and Poland in the spring of 2014.
Weber has presented research at the International Conference on Fine and Performing Arts in Athens (2010), a branch of the Athens Institute for Education and Research, at the 2011 conference of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, and for university Festival of Arts and Ideas events. He has also done numerous workshops and clinics for local civic and community organizations.
Weber is married to Lesa, and has two children, Angela, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and Nathan, a med student at Oklahoma State University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa.
Jacquelyn Knapp has served as a faculty member at USAO since 1988. She participated in the Oklahoma Arts Institute for three years and the Chautauqua Institute in New York for one year.
In addition to her work in the classroom, Knapp organizes on campus art shows including the Montmartre Chalk Art Contest and Innovations High School Art Competition. She also co-coordinates an annual tour of New York City and plans and coordinates other art-centered trips including a trip in 2010 to Italy and trips to in-state museums and other art destinations.
Knapp has been a part of art shows throughout Oklahoma, Texas and New York. Her works Synthesis and Discovered Evolution are part of the permanent collection in Griffis Sculpture Park, Ashford Hollow, New York.
She has more than 20 commissioned works in Chickasha; Lindsay; Verden; Elgin, Illinois, and Crested Butte, Colorado.
Knapp received an award of excellence from the Oklahoma Art Guild National Juried Art Show in 2003, a regent’s scholarship for the Oklahoma Arts Institute in 2002 and 1996, a competitive academic scholarship from Texas A&M University four times, in addition to multiple awards for her artwork. She also is the vice president of the Western Division of the Oklahoma Art Education Association.
Dr. Brenda Brown has been a faculty member at USAO since 1992. Her areas of speciality include Modern and Postmodern American Literature and Composition & Rhetoric. Her research in these disciplines has been published in a variety of journals, and she regularly presents at the College English Association (CEA) and the South Central Modern Language Association (SCMLA). Brown has been elected to a variety of positions, including president of the USAO Faculty Association and president of the Women’s Caucus of SCMLA. She has received the USAO Regents Award for Superior Research, and she has been the recipient of numerous Gladys Emerson Emerson Research Awards.
Brown was co-coordinator and primary author of USAO's successful Higher Learning Commission Report and has been trained as a peer reviewer for this organization. She also serves as USAO's Study Abroad Coordinator regularly leading students, alumni, and community members on educational, short term study abroad programs.
A member of Kappa Delta Phi and Sigma Tau Delta during her undergraduate years, Brown sponsored the initiation of the latter at USAO in 2007 and continues to oversee it.