USAO Honors 130 Spring Grads
CHICKASHA – 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 them,” Feaver said. “To improve the quality of life for your neighbors and beyond your neighbors to the communities and the world.”
Patsy Jo Heidlage of Claremore, president of the USAO Alumni Association, presented the Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award to Bled N’Guessan, who also earned her American citizenship on commencement day.
N’Guessan graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and a minor in liberal arts. She is from the Ivory Coast and will be attending the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy in the fall.
“Aside from Bled’s work as a student and her community engagement, she is, above all, a genuine joy to be around and a student of the highest character,” said Dr. Zachary Simpson, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies at USAO. “Much of this – though not all – is surely owing to Bled’s unique background (she immigrated to the United States from the Ivory Coast), which has given her a depth of experience and wisdom that goes beyond her age.”
While at USAO, she was named to USAO honor society Hypatia, Alpha Lambda Delta, Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society and Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges. She received the Evolving Leader Award, the Commitment to Diversity Award and was the 2010 USAO Homecoming Queen.
N’Guessan also was a member of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, USAO Ambassadors, Student Government Association Supreme Court and was a Freshman Orientation Leader. She was active in Compassion International, sponsored children in Kenya and Nicaragua and organized fundraising for pregnancy centers in Haiti and Mexico. She worked as a math and chemistry tutor and a chemistry lab assistant.
Six graduating seniors were recognized as Spring 2012 Distinguished Graduates for the college’s four academic divisions.
Drama major Jessica Gray from Walters received distinction from the Division of Arts and Humanities. Gennifer Majors, a physics major from Morrilton, Ark. was named the outstanding graduate for the Division of Business and Social Science.
Gabrielle Barros, a elementary education major from Moore, and Meghan Duggins, a deaf education major from Kansas City, Mo., were distinguished by the Division of Education and Speech Language Pathology. Jeffrey Eike, a Blanchard resident with double majors in music and computer science from Ames, and Shaylea Shebester, a biology major from Pauls Valley, were 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. For the 6 p.m. ceremony, T. Alex McCabe, who graduated with a degree in music, sang Agnus Dei by composer Georges Bizet. The later ceremony featured Eike performing the song, “A Touch of Tuba.” Both were accompanied by Rhenada Finch, piano instructor at USAO.
Weber, Dr. Ken Bohannon, associate professor of music, and Dr. Jan Hanson, professor of music, led graduates and guests in singing “The College Hymn.” Dr. Dan Hanson, professor of music, performed the recessional, “A Summer Song,” a composition made popular by the English folk rock duo Chad and Jeremy in 1964.
Copies of the ceremony will be available on DVD in the USAO Media and Community Relations office or by phone at 405-574-1318.
Feaver issued 80 bachelor of science degrees, 46 bachelor of arts degrees and five bachelor of fine arts degrees.
Receiving bachelor of fine arts degrees were:
Anadarko: Lori Jane Spray
Little Axe: Alyssa Marie Pence
Noble: Sarah Marie Yandle
Oklahoma City: Bridgette Catherine Bullock
Wayne: Chelsea Anne LaGace
Receiving bachelor of science degrees were:
Alex: Marti Lanae Williams
Altus: Genevieve J. Cagaoan
Ames: Jeffrey Dean Eike
Anadarko: Lana Rae Ataddlety, Darren Hill, Ephraim Daney Paddlety-Kelley
Blanchard: Johnathan Ray Hutchins, Trever Scott Lee
Canada: Emily N. Stevenson
Chickasha: Hope Danielle Aldridge, Cody Blake Bogle, Phillip Michael Check, Sara Frances Cox, Nicole Lynn Duncan, Jennifer R. Griswold, Korie Danielle Hargus, Jacklyn Nicole Henderson, Shelby O’Neal Young
Claremore: Robert Brandon Heidlage
Dibble: Alishia Rose Knight
Duncan: Lauren Whitney Halleran, Whitney LeAnn Null
Edmond: Taylor Anne Fain
Elgin: Emily Dawn Jones
Fletcher: Chance Davis Wilson
Indiahoma: Lauren Sierra Lafferty
Manford: Brianna Lynell Zoch
Moore: Gabrielle Angelica Barros, Tiana Marie Cook, Kyle Jacob Moralez, Taylor Jordan Peterson, Eric Ramos
Mustang: Melanie Ann Clason, Lorna Maria Gonzalez-Colon
Newcastle: Meghan Rashael Scott, Rachel Leigh Watson
Ninnekah: Kourtney Dawn Lively, Joseph Matthew Smirl
Norman: Tanner Levi Collins, Sarah Elizabeth Hill
Oklahoma City: Joshua Andrew Fisher, Allison Lesley Gordon, Joseph Trent Oakman, Maggie Lee Oliver, Dakota Ray Webster, Michael Anthony Williamson Jr., Bradley Joe Robertson
Pauls Valley: Shaylea Dawn Shebester
Pocasset: Nikissiah Rhae Widener
Ryan: Jennifer Michelle Ninman
Shawnee: Taleah Christine Farasyn
Stillwater: Liberty Jordan Payne
Stratford: Garan Mark Qualls
Tahlequah: John Art Knox
Tulsa: Nicole Michelle Thomas
Tuttle: Priscilla Margaret West, Michelle Dee Crooks, Mason Joel Dobbins, Cassandra Mae Garrett, Alexandria Jordan Giese, Mende Susanne Giles, Norma R. Jones, Loren Taylor Nelson
Wagoner: Autumn AnnMarie Fosburg
Yukon: Leslie Marie Bros
Out of State
Morrilton, Ark.: Gennifer Elease Majors
Springdale, Ark.: Lexxa Suzanne Kever
Gridley, Calif.: David Dennis Forsythe
Kansas City, MO.: Meghan Marie Duggins
Arlington, TX: Nolan Joseph Crowdus
Abidjan, Ivory Coast: Bled M. N’Guessan
Nairobi, Kenya: David Ochieng Otieno
Belgrade, Serbia: Dusan Rasovic
Sangre Chiquito, Trinidad: Antonio Stewart Charles
Glasgow, United Kingdom: Christopher Douglas Lee
Handcross, United Kingdom: Charlie Beach
Liverpool, United Kingdom: John James Gardner
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom: Anthony Nesbit
Sterlingshore, United Kingdom: Sam Ryan Shaddick
Receiving bachelor of arts degrees were:
Ames: Jeffrey Dean Eike
Anadarko: Adrian Allen Smith, Jocelyn Clarene Ware
Apache: Autumn Marie Watts
Blanchard: Kristoffer Dean Keepers, Ashten Diane Troutman
Broken Arrow: Timothy Alexander McCabe
Broken Bow: Yazsharay Amber Gail Morales
Chickasha: Danja Rachelle Lessor, Alicia Jasmine Martinez, Kelli Louise Murray, Allyssa Christine Roeske, Lindy Nicole Summerford, Thomas Ray Wise
Comanche: Jefferson Darwood Gray, Braylen Dale Rogers
Elk City: Jamie Brooke Lowrance
Harrah: Nicole Lynn Garland
Healdton: Mackenzie G. Stephenson
Lawton: Kyle Alan Reed
Lindsay: Paige Michelle Holden
Marlow: Amy Lynn Heath, Andrew Joel Morphew
Midwest City: Roderick Wayne Kohl
Moore: Megan Renne Graumann
Mustang: Daniel Robert Gibson
Newalla: Robin Renee Mosher Teeter
Noble: Kyle Eathan Daily
Oklahoma City: Christopher William Bennett, Rhoda Kaye Burnsed, Jessica Anne Ferguson, Alan M. Field, Colby Tye Frazier, Roberta Lynn Lake, Seth Michael Turnage, Romus Cezar
Pauls Valley: Whitney Paige Story
Rush Springs: Ismael Paige Lawrence
Shawnee: William Barr Gilmer
Tuttle: Somer Dawn Ogburn
Walters: Jessica Alexis Gray
Wayne: Katie Marie Pyatt
Yukon: Christopher Michael Kiefer
Out of State
Morrilton, Ark.: Gennifer Elease Majors
Rosedale, NY: Kyle Justin Hunt
Campinas, Brazil: Breno Figueiredo
Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Niall Thomas Coulson Crick.