The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s four academic divisions handed out their Outstanding Graduate Awards for the spring 2019 term during the institution’s recent commencement ceremony.

Kaylee Souders, Chickasha, and Sarah Hinds, Yukon, were the recipients for the division of arts and humanities. Lauren and Carlie Triplitt, Blanchard, jointly received the award for the division of science and physical education. Lindsey Brown, Tulsa, and Carlie Triplitt were the recipients for the division of social sciences and business. Katarina Boyles, Norman, received the award for the division of education and speech-language pathology.

Souders graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a teacher certification. She will begin teaching in the Upward Bound program at Redlands Community College this summer and start her public-school career at Mustang Middle School this fall.

“Kaylee is one of the most intellectually gifted and most dedicated students I have ever known,” said Dr. Shelley Rees, professor of English. “She’s a brilliant reader, thinker and writer who will also be an exemplary teacher.”

Hinds graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in vocal music education. She frequently tutored other music majors in theory, led classes and rehearsals, and conducted performances of both the USAO Concert Choir and Concert Band.

“Sarah has demonstrated extraordinary achievements in academics, leadership and service,” said Dr. Jan Hanson, professor of music. “In my 31 years at USAO, she is my only advisee to achieve a perfect 4.0 GPA. I know she will continue to make a difference as a teacher and dedicated lifelong learner.”

Lauren Triplitt graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in biology, following a particularly rigorous curriculum in preparation for medical school. She served as a group and session leader during USAO’s Women in Technology and Science workshops among many other activities.

“Lauren is the epitome of what we at USAO strive to teach our students—scholarship, service and lifelong learning,” said Dr. Jeanette Loutsch, associate professor of biology. “She is a young woman who has excelled not only in the classroom but in the Chickasha community.”

Carlie Triplitt graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts in history. She will be pursuing graduate study in mathematics at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln this fall.

“My favorite thing about Carlie is her pleasant and inquisitive demeanor for study,” said Dr. Quan Tran, associate professor of mathematics. “She always has a smile and I easily see her as a lifelong student.”

“On top of all of Carlie’s academic attributes, she is also a good person,” said Dr. James Finck, associate professor of history. “I have noticed the positive way she helps and interacts with other students.”

Brown graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology. She is currently applying to Ph.D. programs.

“During her time at USAO, Lindsey excelled in her classes and exemplified everything about the liberal arts that we rave about here,” said Dr. Chris Garneau, associate professor of sociology. “Her curiosity and enthusiasm for learning really made her stand out. She was never afraid to get out of her academic comfort zone, and I have no doubt she will excel in her pursuit of a graduate degree.”

Boyles graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in speech-language pathology.

“Katarina has that rare combination of academic success, leadership ability and service to others that we encourage and applaud here at USAO,” said Dr. Karen Karner, director of the John Morris Speech and Language Clinic and assistant professor of speech-language pathology. “I will be watching her in the future as I believe she will be a leader in this state and in her chosen field.”

During the fall and spring commencement ceremonies, the faculty of each of USAO’s four divisions picks one or two students who exemplify both the educational objectives of that particular field of study as well as the mission of the university as a whole. These criteria include a cumulative GPA over 3.5, interpersonal skills, involvement in campus and community activities, motivation and character.