USAO Names Four Faculty Endowed Chairs, Professorships

USAO names four faculty endowed chairs, professorships
USAO names four faculty endowed chairs, professorships

The University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma has appointed four distinguished faculty members to endowed positions. The appointments include:  

  • Dr. Brenda Brown, Jessie Dearing Kinley Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies 
  • Dr. J.C. Casey, Dorothy G. Wilcox Endowed Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies 
  • Jacquelyn Knapp, Dorothy Cusick Endowed Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies 
  • Dr. Jeannette Loutsch, Giles Family Endowed Professorship in Biology  

“The exceptional experience these faculty members bring to their roles is invaluable and their dedication is an extraordinary gift to our institution,” said President Hale. “I know without a doubt that these professors will continue to go above and beyond for our USAO students.” 

Brown is the dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies & Humanities and professor of English. She has been a faculty member at USAO since 1992. 

“Thirty-two years ago, this spring, I read an advertisement for an assistant professor of English that would change my life,” said Brown. “Since the day I first walked onto campus for my interview, I felt I was meant to be here. The faculty, the staff, and the students define a large part of who I am.” 

Jessie Dearing Kinley came to Chickasha in 1931 to attend the Oklahoma College for Women, planning to become a teacher. However, after meeting John and Marjorie Nichols, she earned a math degree and became a clerk-stenographer for Little Nick Oil Company after graduation in 1935. When [John] Nichols died unexpectedly in 1942, [Marjorie] Nichols and Kinley kept the company going. The two women not only operated existing wells but drilled their own. They drilled the first directional hole in the Cement Field and were known and respected for “playing the long shot.” Jessie described herself as a “gal in love with a job.” She retired from drilling activities in 1972. 

Casey is professor of communication in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies & Humanities. Since 1992, she has taught journalism, public speaking, communication research, ethics and legal issues, and broadcasting courses. As the advisor of the student newspaper, "The Trend,” she works with students both inside and outside the classroom. 

“I'm honored beyond words. Being here has fulfilled a dream I didn't know I had. I worked as a journalist and media specialist previously,” said Casey. "However, when I saw the job opening here at USAO, I easily envisioned my name in the application. I didn't know jobs like this existed.” 

Dorothy G. Wilcox moved to Chickasha in 1898 from Kensington, Kan. She was the daughter of Henry F. Gorman and Cora E. Livermore Gorman and the niece of Dr. Walter Livermore who were pioneer doctors of the Chickasha area. She attended OCW in Chickasha during her early years.  

Knapp is professor of art and coordinator of the art department in the School of Visual & Performing Arts. She has served as a faculty member at USAO since 1988, joining full-time in 1998.  

“I am very grateful for this recognition,” said Knapp. “It is a privilege to be on the faculty as this has been the most amazing, exhilarating and challenging experience of my life. I would not be here though without my colleagues and mentors. My colleagues in the art department are some of the most intelligent and talented artists I have ever met. We work together as a team, always putting the students first.” 

Dorothy A Cusick attended OCW from 1943-44 and later earned her nursing degree from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. 

Loutsch is associate professor of biology in the School of Science & Physical Education and has been a member of the faculty at USAO since 2007. She organizes the annual Women in Technology and Science workshop for fifth and sixth grade girls, and is also the advisor for Drovers Against Cancer.  

"It has always been my goal to make this biology program the best that it could possibly be,” said Loutsch. “I have a strong passion to get students, especially young woman excited about science, and to push forward the mission of USAO.” 

The Giles family has a long legacy of service and commitment to family, education and public service in Oklahoma. Ray Giles dedicated his life to public service and to the state of Oklahoma. During a four-year stint in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, Giles was awarded three Battle Stars, the Purple Heart and the Air Medal for his service in Europe. In 1945, he returned to Caddo County to become a wheat farmer. Giles became active in local politics, serving on the State Board of Agriculture and ultimately as an Oklahoma state senator, a position he held from 1976 to 1992. Like her husband, Mary Martin Giles was dedicated to civic causes, particularly education. She attended OCW in the early 1940s and taught in the Carnegie schools for five years. Nita Giles, following her parents’ example, was dedicated to serving others. She opened her own law practice in Oklahoma City in July 1982, specializing in long-term care and other health care law until her retirement in October 2011. 

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.