Student Profile: Connor Cheek

Connor Cheek Distinguished Graduate

Student Profile: Connor Cheek


USAO student (now graduate) Connor Cheek is considered by many faculty and staff at the university as the “blueprint” for a liberal arts student. The math and physics student received the Distinguished Graduate Award during the spring commencement ceremony in April.

“I chose USAO for my undergraduate education because of the interdisciplinary core curriculum,” Cheek said. “The world is too complex and nuanced to be viewed through a singular lens. USAO promised me a quality education that would leave me knowledgeable in my field, but also well-rounded as an individual in society.

“USAO is a worthy investment. I can find solutions to higher order differential equations and solve Schrodinger’s equation for quantum particles, but also hold intellectual conversations on the artistic backlash that lead to Post-modernism, discuss the degradation of virtue that withered the Roman Republic or speculate on the outcome of a certain stock in the market.”

Cheek graduated Summa Cum Laude with Bachelor of Science degrees in both physics and mathematics. He has accepted an offer to pursue his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Houston in the fall.

“In his time at USAO, Connor proved himself to be a superior student with an exemplary academic and extracurricular record,” said Dr. J.C. Sanders, chair of the division of science and physical education and associate professor of physics. “Through his coursework, original research and community service, he truly has distinguished himself in every way.”

In addition to his talent in math and physics, Cheek is also skilled athletically. He was a member of the USAO Cross Country team and part of the Sooner Athletic Conference All-Academic Cross Country team in 2015.

Cheek received the Regents Baccalaureate Scholarship, was president of the Hypatia Honor Society and received the Senior Leadership Award and the Gladys Anderson Emerson Award for Undergraduate Research. He spent a semester at Swansea University in the United Kingdom as a Brad Henry Scholar.

He was also heavily involved in the community, creating the DroverLocal program which gives USAO students discounts at local businesses. He created the Graduate School Assistance Scholarship for students pursuing graduate school. Cheek was a part of a team of USAO students who were finalists in the i2E Love’s Entrepreneur’s Cup Small Business Competition.

Cheek’s undergraduate research work has included Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematics (PIC Math) and USAO Research Endorsement. He has presented research at several academic conferences while a student at USAO.