James Fowler is a professor of medical genetics and political science at the University of California, San Diego. Fowler's work lies at the intersection of the natural and social sciences. His research on social networks with Nicholas Christakis has been featured in Time's Year in Medicine (twice), and in Harvard Business Review's Breakthrough Business Ideas. Togetherthey have written a book on social networks for a general audience called Connected. Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award, it has been translated into twenty languages, named an Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review and featured in Wired, Oprah's Reading Guide, Business Week's Best Books of the Year, GOOD's 15 Books You Must Read and a cover story in New York Times Magazine. On March 14, Fowler will serve as the keynote speaker for the sixth-annual Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts symposium. The evening presentation is schedule at 7:30 p.m. in Te Ata Memorial Auditorium on the campus of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

A panel of respected researchers and authors in social networks will join Dr. Fowler for a panel discussion at 2 p.m. on the same day.  They include Dr. Andrew Ledbetter of Texas Christian University, Dr. Tamara Mix of Oklahoma State University and Dr. Shelley Riggs of the University of North Texas. The panel, which includes keynote speaker Dr. James Fowler, is part of the Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts Symposium on March 14 in Te Ata Memorial Auditorium. Read more.

Gifts from Unique Alums Support Liberal Arts Symposium at USAO


Two unique women in the history of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, one living and the other long gone, continue to leave a lasting legacy to interdisciplinary learning as the university hosts the fourth annual Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts Symposium April 8.

The symposium is made possible by the late Gladys Anderson Emerson, a noted biochemist who isolated Vitamin E in her career after graduating from OCW in 1925, and Nance Foules Wier, a 1945 graduate who established the Jack Wier Jr. and Nance Foules Wier Faculty Enhancement Endowment at USAO. Wier, who lives in Houston, established her endowment in 2005; Emerson died in 1984.

A 1945 Oklahoma College for Women alumna, Nance Wier maintains that “teachers, not buildings,” promote effective learning. In 2005, she established the Jack Wier, Jr. and Nance Foules Wier Faculty Enhancement Endowment that provides funds to encourage faculty research and learning opportunities, such as the symposium.

In addition to the Faculty Enhancement Endowment, a Nance Foules Wier Scholarship is available through the USAO Alumni Association for female students attending USAO who are in need of financial assistance.

Nutrition expert Gladys Anderson Emerson is most famous for isolating Vitamin E, but may be better known at USAO as a global ambassador for the liberal arts. Unknown Object

Emerson earned two degrees from the Oklahoma College for Women — one a bachelor of arts in history and English, and the other a bachelor of science in physics and chemistry. She earned a master’s degree in history and economics at Stanford University and a doctorial degree from the University of California.

During a professional career that spanned some 50 years, Emerson lectured and conducted research at some of the most prominent facilities in the United States. Her articles — more than 100 of them — appeared in leading research journals throughout the world.

Following her death in 1984, USAO received a bequest from the estate of Emerson, which has been used for interdisciplinary learning opportunities, research and the symposium named in her honor.

USAO’s Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts Symposium series is sponsored annually by the USAO Foundation and was inspired by endowment funds created by Oklahoma College for Women alumni Gladys Anderson Emerson and Nance Foules Wier.


Gladys Anderson Emerson (top) and Nance Foules Wier (bottom) continue to leave a lasting legacy to interdisciplinary learning at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.