Student Spotlight: David Ummel

Headshot of David Ummel

Student Spotlight: David Ummel


When making his decision to attend the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, senior David Ummel followed in his parents’ footsteps. Both of his parents are USAO alumni, which only increased his interest in the university.

“USAO features a unique approach to education, which set it apart from the various other universities in the state,” he said.

As Ummel sifted through the variety of majors offered at USAO, his sophomore year he came to the realization that economics most intrigued him academically.

“I enjoy economics because it challenges you to think critically and because it has numerous real-world applications,” he said.

Ummel is the recipient of the Regents’ Baccalaureate Scholarship, which offers the recipient a full waiver of tuition and fees, as well as room and board on campus for four years. This scholarship is only offered to a select few who show dedication and substantial potential in academics in addition to a high ACT score.

Ummel considers the personal impacts that USAO’s interdisciplinary curriculum has imprinted on him as a key to his future success.

“I learned how to carefully rationalize and use my thinking to solve problems and issues. This university has been instrumental in my continued development as a thinker,” he said.

Ummel is one of the many curious minds being molded within the university’s challenging and diverse curriculum. One professor in particular has made a significant impact throughout Ummel’s career at USAO. He considers Dr. Tonnia Anderson, assistant professor of history and American studies, as his main mentor on campus.

“I first had Dr. Anderson as a professor in my creative writing class. She has really shown me how to think creatively, and how to share and communicate my unique experiences with others,” he said.

School is not Ummel’s only obligation, he also holds a part-time job that requires time alongside studying. The difficulty for Ummel is carefully balancing the two sets of duties.

“I find that careful time management is the key to success for anyone going to school full-time and working, involved in athletics, or a participant in campus organizations,” he said.

By finding a perfect balance of work and academics, Ummel has been able to take full advantage of the new experiences he has had that have made him a Drover advocate.

“USAO is extremely affordable and it offers, in my opinion, the best, most holistic education in the state,” he said.

With a projected graduation date in spring 2019, Ummel plans to return to his hometown of Blanchard and possibly becoming a teacher.

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