Celebrating Women's History Month: three remarkable alumnae making a difference at their alma mater

Autumn Dalman,’12; April Lawrence,’13; and Nicole McMonagle,’12
Autumn Dalman,’12; April Lawrence,’13; and Nicole McMonagle,’12

In 1987, Congress passed the proclamation that officially established March as “Women’s History Month,” honoring the contributions and achievements of women throughout history. As we reflect on our beginnings as the Oklahoma College for Women, the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma proudly shines a spotlight on three alumnae who are making significant contributions while working at their alma mater.

April Lawrence, ’13; Nicole McMonagle, ’12; and Autumn Dalman, ’12; share a commitment to higher education and have all had great accomplishments since graduating from USAO.

Lawrence was a standout student at USAO, earning honors and actively participating in student life. She worked in the student services office and was a member of the Hypatia Honor Society, USAO’s only campuswide honor society. She completed degrees in both business administration and economics. After graduating, she became the director of admissions and enrollment at USAO. Thanks to her leadership and teamwork, Lawrence was integral in the enrollment of one of the largest freshman classes USAO has seen in recent years.

“At USAO I learned how to effectively work in a team setting, but also be able to self-motivate on my own individual work,” said Lawrence. “One of the things my experience taught me is that there is nothing wrong with asking those hard questions and seeking advice from others.”

Like Lawrence, McMonagle majored in business administration, however that’s not what she initially came to USAO to study.

“I came to USAO with hopes of being an education major, but those plans quickly changed after my first semester. I realized that teaching young people was not for me. I was undecided and focused on finishing my IDS courses,” said McMonagle.

“By the end of my sophomore year, I declared business as my degree choice. I wanted to manage people, but also manage with a purpose.”

McMonagle worked as a student in the Nash Library with her mentor Kelly Brown. She was hired full time in 2013 and was named director of the library in 2020. Since graduating McMonagle has earned her Master of Library and Information Studies with a certification in Archival Studies from the University of Oklahoma. As Director of Nash Library, McMonagle has managed with a purpose of preserving the university’s history through her archival project. Showcased during the 2023 Homecoming, the project brought together students and alumni from all over to identify friends, family and even themselves from years past in photos with no identification.  

Legacy alumna Dalman knew she would be a graduate of USAO, same as her mother. Dalman followed her interest for Native culture and history, majoring in American Indian Studies. After earning her Master of Human Relations from OU, she returned home to campus as the grant program director for NASNTI. In her role, Dalman has been integral in securing over $4 million in federal funding for the university. However, that success is not what she feels is her most meaningful accomplishment.

“My most meaningful professional accomplishment has been completing my degrees,” said Dalman. “My undergraduate education provided me the tools I needed to further my education, career, and ability to help students at USAO.”

For countless graduates, Chickasha wasn't just a town – it was a second home, a community that embraced them as family. While many universities advertise a familial atmosphere, our alumni consistently echo a different sentiment: with intimate class sizes and faculty who go above and beyond, the USAO campus isn't just a place of learning, it's a genuine home. We are so glad to have our alumnae return home, to continue giving back to the legacy of USAO.

About the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma

As Oklahoma’s liberal arts college, the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma provides a distinctive education in the liberal arts and sciences, supporting both its interdisciplinary core curriculum and major fields of study with superior teaching. USAO fosters diversity of thought and practice to help students realize meaningful, purposeful and productive lives as global citizens in a rapidly-changing world.