USAO Graduates 115 Students
More than 1,500 people attended Friday night’s commencement in two ceremonies at the college – the fourth time a two-ceremony schedule has been used to alleviate overcrowding in Te Ata Memorial Auditorium.
Presiding over the ceremony was Dr. John Feaver, president of the college.
“I ask of you to emerge and you go back to the communities you decide … I ask that you lend an effort to improve,” Feaver said. “To improve the quality of the life for your neighbors and beyond your neighbors to the communities and the world.”
Eric Feuerborn, director of Alumni Development, presented the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award to Jorden Wiggins.
Wiggins graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor of art degree in history and a bachelor of science degree in psychology. She is from Oklahoma City and a graduate of Westmoore High School.
While at USAO, she was named to both the USAO Honor Roll and Regents Honor Roll. In addition to the Distinguished Graduate Award, she was named an Outstanding Graduate for the Division of Business and Social Science. She received a Works of Distinction Award for her 75-page Honors Senior Thesis in which she used the philosophical work of Martin Heidegger to examine ethical approaches to eating and building community.
She was named to the Hypatia Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta, Pi Gamma Mu and Psi Chi Honor Societies. She served as president of Pi Gamma Mu and secretary for the Hypatia Honor Societies.
She worked as a tutor in the USAO Writing Lab. Wiggins was a member of USAO’s History Club, Sierra Club, Philosophy Club and the Zombie Survivalist Club. She also served as a justice of the Supreme Court of the USAO Student Government Association.
In 2010, she assisted with a study that Dr. Chris Walker, chairman of the Business and Social Sciences, was conducting with former chairman and faculty member Dr. Tina Winn. Wiggins collected data, entered the data into the statistical software and assisted with the presentation of the findings at the American Psychological Association Research Conference in San Diego, Calif.
Eric Feuerborn, director of Alumni Development, poses with the 2011 Distinguished Graduate, Jorden Wiggins on Friday evening in the Te Ata Memorial Auditorium on USAO’s campus. Wiggins, of Oklahoma City, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor of art degree in history and a bachelor of science degree in psychology.
“In addition to her high GPA, Jorden has a phenomenal work ethic, positive attitude and an insatiable intellectual curiosity,” Walker said.
“Jorden is among the best two or three students I have had the opportunity to teach at USAO. She is incredibly bright, hard-working, goal-oriented and of exceptionally high character,” said Dr. Zachary Simpson, assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies. “As I contemplate Jorden’s future, I find myself overjoyed at the future that lay ahead and, at the same time, with a tinge of sadness, knowing only – as teachers often do – that such a student may not come again for many years.”
Wiggins likes to read, knit, do origami and bicycle. She also loves to travel and plans to do so after graduation.
Last week, five graduating seniors were recognized as Spring 2011 Distinguished Graduates for the college’s four academic divisions.
English major Kyndra Spaulding, of Norman, received distinction from the Division of Arts and Humanities. Wiggins and Chickasha business major Adrian Talley were named the outstanding graduates for the Division of Business and Social Science. Sarah Brewer, a deaf education major from Broken Arrow, was distinguished by the Division of Education and Speech Language Pathology. Christina Wilson, a mathematics major from Mustang, was named the outstanding graduates for the Division of Science and Physical Education.
The evening ceremony began with the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” processional performed by Dr. Stephen Weber, professor of music. Graduating music majors Katie Boyd, Beki Ervin, Jalisa Lyons and Kari Westmoreland performed the song “For Good” from the musical Wicked, accompanied by USAO alumna and adjunct piano instructor Rhenada Finch.
Weber, Dr. Ken Bohannon, associate professor of music, and Dr. Jan Hanson, music professor, led graduates and guests in singing “The College Hymn.” Dr. Dan Hanson, music professor, performed the recessional, “Music of the Night,” a composition by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
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 78 bachelor of science degrees, 29 bachelor of arts degrees and eight bachelor of fine arts degrees.
Receiving bachelor of fine arts degrees were:
Chickasha: Ashley Danielle Marie Young
Dibble: Tabitha Kae Deskin
El Reno: Jeannie Marie Boling
Marlow: Holly Ann Titus
Moore: John Christopher Fitzgerald
Norman: Eric Steven Graham, Riley Joseph Million
Tulsa: Elyse Rebecca Holmes
Receiving bachelor of science degrees were:
Ada: Kassandra Mae Holland
Amber: Kealee Nichole Romero
Anadarko: Kay R. Hokeah, Shelly Gay Williams
Binger: Kenneth Curtis Young
Blanchard: Allyson Elizabeth Henson
Broken Arrow: Sarah Michelle Brewer, Sahlih Rasheed Butts
Carnegie: Livier Elena Alonso Armenta
Chickasha: Milam Jacob Dobbins, Jennifer Elizabeth Everson, Jonathan Richard Flatt, Stormi Jo Foster, Danielle Elise Fusco, Jeremy Wayne Ginn, Robyn Lane Griffin, Jake Ryne Jobe, Keosha Michelle Johnson-Richie, Brittany Irwin Lippincott, Brianne Rose MacIntyre, Caleb Thaddeus Martin, Lisa Marie Martin, Ashley Dawn Morgan, Tanisha Marie Myers, Andrea Elizabeth Owens, Patrick G. Phillips, Craig William Rutledge, Lindy Nicole Summerford, Adrian Kathleen Talley
Choctaw: Grant Curtiss Ford
Claremore: Kayla Jo Butler
Del City: Quentin Anthony Pongratz
Duncan: Sarah Lynn Combest
Edmond: Alexandra Elizabeth Cernigliaro
Forgan: Tanner Lonn Carter, Dace Mychal Lemieux
Kingfisher: Kelsey Rhea Bennett
Lindsay: Darleen Rose Benedict, Amber ReNae Frizzell, Daniel Jake Pool, Stuart James Whitehead
Marlow: Mary J. Torres-Scott, Lindsi Dawn Haile
Minco: Kayla Antoinette Locke
Muskogee: Jacob Lee Seabolt
Mustang: Cindy Lou Alexander, Sarah Renee Blalock, Christina Cherise Wilson
Newcastle: Jesse Ray Eaton
Norman: Ted Ezell, Jr., Ashlee Jayde Hoffman, Lawson Tyler Petty
Oklahoma City: Elizabeth Chelsea-Celeste Davis, Lacey Jean Gillis, Jennifer Susan Kappel, Taylor Lynn Smithwick, Sarah P. Whitewater, Jorden Paige Wiggins
Pawhuska: Amber Marie Ibarra
Ryan: Hayley Rebecca Curtis
Shawnee: Tiffany ReNee Hile
Tulsa: Aaron Charles Daniels, Katherine Marie Johnson
Tuttle: Michelle Nicole Mason, Billie M. Wallis
Verden: Bailee Rae Ann Taylor
Wellston: Rebecca Paige Snider
Yukon: Amanda Irene Mertes, Christie Nicole Sandefur
Out of State
Ft. Smith, Ark.: Annitra ReNae Walls
Bowie, Texas: Brady Ryan Taylor
Grand Prairie, Texas: Thomas Bryant Peters II
Bow, Wash.: Cody James Bridgman
Campinas, Brazil: Andre Von Mann Figueiredo
Surrey, British Columbia: Andrew Stephen Reyes
Nairobi, Kenya: Benjamin Erick Onyando
Dakar, Senegal: Aita Gueye
Livingston, West Lothian, UK: Jack Richard Norman
Receiving bachelor of arts degrees were:
Altus: Nina Joy Britten, Nicholas Brandon Sanchez-Barker
Anadarko: Jalisa Dawn Lyons
Blanchard: Katie Lee McCloskey, Joshua Hunt Phillips
Chickasha: Nicholas Dempsey Beene, Katie Danielle Marie Boyd, Denise Michelle Castillo, Nina Marie Lawrence, Eric J. Monsebais, Robert Ryan Newbrough, Danielle Elizabeth Patrick, Robert Austin Story, Jr., Whitney Paige Story
Comanche: Cindy H. Stumblingbear
Del City: Quentin Anthony Pongratz
El Reno: Rebekah Laine Ervin
Harrah: Nicole Lynn Garland
Moore: Brittany Michelle Gotcher
Mustang: Christina Cherise Wilson
Ninnekah: Rhonda Belle Taylor
Norman: Kyndra Rae Spaulding, Kari Dyan Westmoreland
Oklahoma City: Tialyn Marie White, Jorden Paige Wiggins, Jared Scott Williams
Seminole: Katie Suzanne Arnold
Out of State
Austin, Texas: John Gordon McCool
Yuma, Ariz.: Daniel Agustine Fuentes