Warden Maps Out Equation for Success After College
As a mathematician, Dr. Nancy Warden, a professor of mathematics with more than 29 years in the USAO classroom, used math and little humor to share “variables one might observe in an equation for success as a college graduate.” Warden addressed 62 graduates and their families during the fall 2009 Commencement ceremony Dec. 4 at the University of Science and Arts.
New graduates welcomed an audience of more than 750 for the commencement, which was televised locally.
"Some of you may be wondering, 'why is the math lady speaking at my commencement? Will she talk about anything besides numbers, geometry or probability and statistics?' To use a quote from one of my favorite TV shows, NUMB3RS, 'we all use math every day,' so yes I will."
"I do not think that I can give you the never-fail equation for success as a college graduate. But I can share some of the variables that would appear in the equation for success," Warden explained.
"Dream big. Where do you see yourself in five years, 10 years, even 30 years? You can always change the dream, but only if you had one in the beginning. When I finally decided to become a teacher, I dreamed of teaching mathematics at the university level. There were some roadblocks and detours in my direct path to USAO, but 29 years later I’m still living my dream. You can also share a big dream."
"Value the input of others. Not every piece of advice you receive will be useful to you, but the networks you construct are priceless. One of my favorite times on campus is lunch in the USAO cafeteria, where I can exchange ideas with faculty, staff and students. And I do have some advice to share.
"Choose to be a survivor. I am a survivor. In fact I am a 21-year cancer survivor of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. During those treatments, I dreamed of being completely healthy again. I also was fortunate to have the support of my family. I always say that prayers and the right medicine were the reason I am here today.
"Take a 'time-out.' This past year I have discovered the best time-out -- spending time with my daughter Jeanna and my 15 month-old grandson, Cade Michael. In addition, attending athletic events, music concerts and drama presentations are 'a few of my favorite things.'
"Show gratitude -- or give of yourself unselfishly. Continue what you started at USAO. Many of you graduating tonight chose to participate as a volunteer for Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, ACS Relay for Life and other service learning experiences. As I’ve witnessed your participation, you have many times shared that you felt like you received much more in return than you gave. So continue to give to others. I have never regretted giving of my time and self."
Before USAO, Warden was a teacher and chairman of the Secondary Mathematics Department at Chickasha High School for two years, a math teacher at Minco High School and a teaching assistant at the University of Oklahoma. She received a bachelor's degree from East Central University, a master's degree from the University of Oklahoma and her doctorate from the University of Oklahoma.
Presiding over the ceremony was Dr. John Feaver, president of the college. “With your degree and the abilities that the degree represents, I urge you to improve the quality of life of the people in your community. I urge you to improve the lives of those in the many communities you will encounter in your journey.”
Dr. Sanders Huguenin, vice president of academic affairs, presented the graduating class members, who have demonstrated what he called, “the hallmarks of educated people: a capacity to think clearly and creatively, the ability to express their thoughts effectively, the character necessary to live as active and responsible citizens and the intellectual curiosity to continue their own education beyond the university.”
Alumni President Judy Ford of Shawnee presented the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award to Zachary McGrew, an English major from Lawton.
Lawton native Zachary McGrew receives the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award from alumni President Judy Ford. McGrew is a Regents’ Baccalaureate Scholar and a member several honor societies. He graduated summa cum laude with a 3.97 GPA.
McGrew is a Regents’ Baccalaureate Scholar and a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society and USAO's honor society -- Hypatia. He is a founding member of the Secular Student Alliance and a member of the Feminist Collective. He graduated summa cum laude with a 3.97 GPA.
Four other seniors received outstanding graduate awards by the USAO Faculty Association for academic divisions. The Division of Arts and Humanities awarded Alison Crouch of Shawnee as their outstanding grad. Norman native Elizabeth Harris was named the outstanding graduate for the Division of Business and Social Science. Staci Goode of Lawton was distinguished by the Division of Education and Speech Pathology and Kelsey Rowland of Chickasha was named the outstanding graduate for the Division of Science and Physical Education.
The evening ceremony began with the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” processional, performed by Dr. Stephen Weber, associate professor of music. Music majors Matt Pitts and Scott Pitts from Comanche performed “The Parting Glass,” a traditional Irish song.
Weber and Dr. Jan Hanson, professor of music, led graduates and guests in singing “The College Hymn.” Weber performed the recessional, “Promenade” by Modeste Moussorgsky.
Copies of the ceremony will be available on DVD for $15 plus tax in the USAO Media and Community Relations office or by phone at (405) 574-1318.
Feaver issued 36 bachelor of science degrees, 21 bachelor of arts degrees and five bachelor of fine arts degrees.
Receiving bachelor of science degrees were:
Altus: Nicholas J. Cavin
Apache: Misty Wanna Rainwater
Blanchard: Katie LeeAnn Goldsmith, Cassandra Shantel Rivers
Cashion: Weston Daniel Denny
Cement: Jason William Reed
Chickasha: Jessica Lee Cunningham, Stephanie Dawn Grillo, Darbie Dawn King, Kristin Leigh Killion, Misty Dawn Moore, Monica Renee Rempe, Jacqulyn Anne Roland-Norton, Kelsey Dale Rowland, Boyd Lynn Salsbury, Destiny Paige Wilson
Choctaw: Richard Douglas Duke
Duncan: Amy Lynn Mott
Lawton: Staci Nicole Goode
Lexington: Marissa Denaye Amaon Hoofard
Ninnekah: Michael Ryan Hurst
Norman: Elizabeth Renea Harris
Oklahoma City: Jasmine Lynn Calvin, Heather Louise Dunavant, Leah Louise Shirley
Pocasset: Tavia Jo Collins
Purcell: Joe Weston Burnell, Kelsey L. Smith
Rush Springs: Stacie Alison Fuentes
Tulsa: Kristi Michelle Stout
Tuttle: Emily Michelle Baker
Union City: Christy Lynn Carel
Out of State:
Amarillo, Texas: Alexander James Schenck
Grand Prairie, Texas: Ehiozogie Joseph Osunde
Johnson, Kansas: Tori Jo Garrison
Out of Country:
Brazil: Wesley Sacramento Costa
Receiving bachelor of arts degrees were:
Anadarko: Darla Louise Daugherty, Michael A. DeForest
Ardmore: Clint Garrison Nall
Chickasha: Richard Allen Carman, Robert Joseph Dodd, Sherrie Lanette Evans, Amanda G. Gay, Natalie Camille Goldberg, Tyrel Scott Greenhalgh, Seth Earl Savage, Jamie Lynn Shepherd, Lisa Marie Snow, Jeffery Michael Walker
Duncan: Charles Wayne Bardsher
Lawton: Zachary Michael McGrew
Lindsay: Krysti Ann Douglas
Norman: Haley S. Moss
Oklahoma City: Jasmine Lynn Calvin, Blake Edward Shockley
Tulsa: Zane'a Lynnette Handley McLoughlin
Tuttle: Thomas Andrew Gibson
Receiving bachelor of fine arts degrees were:
Chickasha: Aubrey Lance Tucker
Duncan: Colin Tyler Gray
Elmore City: Hillary Dawn Shipley
Shawnee: Alison Michele Crouch
Out of State:
Greenwood, Deleware: Jamie Lee Lindenmeier