Emma Jean Smith Stover's business education at OCW prepared her for a variety of occupations -- secretary, bookkeeper, receptionist, writer, artist, actor, singer -- but her favorite occupation is teaching.
Emma Jean graduated from OCW in 1950. She started her teaching career as a substitute teacher in Oklahoma City. She taught in Alex, Oklahoma, Allison and Wellington, Texas and Pritchett, Colorado before teaching for 23 years at Western Oaks Junior High in Putnam City. Emma Jean officially retired in 1986, but she continued to teach as a substitute and tutor.
At Northwest Baptist Church, she taught Sunday school from two-year-olds to adults, taught a special class for children and taught Conversational English to internationals. In addition to teaching, she is an award-winning artist and actress. She has participated in numerous drama productions and has made television commercials.
Several of her oil paintings have received awards. She is a published and award winning author. Emma Jean writes short stories, articles, poetry and non-fiction works. Her book of poetry, To God Be the Glory, received the Gaskin Church History Award for Meritorious Achievement.
She is a singer, active in several church and community groups. She is an advocate for USAO, often recommending the institution to her students. She served three years as a district representative of the USAO Alumni Association and helped to organize a local alumni chapter in Oklahoma City.
Emma Jean has two children, Janie and John. John graduated from USAO with a degree in drama. John’s wife, Vickie Samara, also graduated from USAO. Her pastor’s six-year-old daughter described her as “that little lady in our church. She’s kind of old -- because she has white hair. She’s always smiling and she’s fast! I mean, she’s really fast!"