USAO presents Distinguished Graduate Award for spring 2020

Hannah Freeman’s dedication and curiosity embody university’s liberal arts mission
Hannah Freeman’s dedication and curiosity embody university’s liberal arts mission

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma presented Hannah Freeman the USAO Alumni Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award during their recent spring 2020 virtual commencement ceremony.

Originally from Wagoner, Freeman graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and minors in sociology and liberal arts. She will be entering graduate school in counseling psychology this fall at Oklahoma State University.

“This year’s recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award is a perfect example of how USAO’s interdisciplinary program enriches its students’ lives far beyond the usual college experience,” said Chris Collins, president of the USAO Alumni Association. “In her classes, as well as her interactions both on and off campus, Hannah proved her strong initiative and constant rigor, while also being sensitive and appropriately empathetic to the needs of those around her.”

As a student, Freeman worked as a peer academic leader in USAO’s Student Success Center for several years as well as taking part in the university’s mentored research program and gaining real-world counseling experience through a practicum with staff counselor Pam Foster, LPC & LADC. She also presented at several state and national conferences, published original work in USAO’s “Drover Review.”

Freeman’s advisor, Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Misty Steele, called her “intrinsically curious at her core” and that she “tapped into that curiosity in every single course, assignment and exam.”  Steele noted that watching her engagement with both her studies and her community “truly is an inspiration.”

A recipient of USAO’s prestigious Presidential Leadership Scholarship, Freeman is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta national freshmen honor society, the Psi Chi national psychology honor society, and USAO’s own Hypatia Honor Society. The president of the psychology club for the last two years and an active member of many other student organizations, her achievements were previously recognized with USAO’s Junior Leadership Award in 2018 and the Drover Award in 2019.

Since 1981, the USAO Alumni Association has honored a very select group of graduates with the prestigious Distinguished Graduate Award. A committee of alumni and faculty determine the award recipients at the end of each fall and spring semester.

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