USAO commencement honors 132

Tashina Ototivo poses with USAO Alumni Association President Nancy Powell after receiving the Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award. Ototvio graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in psychology.

USAO commencement honors 132



More than 1,500 people attended Friday night’s commencement in two ceremonies at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma – the fifth time a two-ceremony schedule has been used to alleviate overcrowding in Te Ata Memorial Auditorium.


Presiding over the ceremony was Dr. John Feaver, president of the university.


Referencing a recent survey of business leaders conducted by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, of which USAO is a member, Feaver asserted the value of the liberal arts degree.


“Over 90 percent of those surveyed agreed that an employee’s particular degree was less important than the ability to think critically, solve complex problem and communicate clearly,” Feaver said. “This type of college confers degrees on individuals we hope will carry with them a great understanding of skill sets these industry leaders believe are necessary qualities.”


Nancy Powell of Midwest City, president of the USAO Alumni Association, presented the Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award to Walters native Tashina Ototivo.


Ototivo graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. She is a 2009 graduate of Walters High School.


She played for the USAO Drovers women’s basketball and softball teams. She was a freshman senator and treasurer for the Student Government Association, was involved in several clubs and organizations on campus, was a three-time orientation leader, served as vice president of the University Musicians and was a Chi Alpha student representative and a part of the Chi Alpha leadership team.


Ototivo also was involved in the Baptist Collegiate Ministries, Drovers Against Cancer and the Droverstock music festival. She volunteered in the Chickasha community at The Resurrection House, Relay for Life, Special Olympics, Festival of Light and the First Baptist Church Food Pantry and College Ministries.


She received numerous athletic honors, including the Bill and Pat Smith Scholar-Athlete Award. Ototivo was named to Alpha Lambda Delta, Hypatia Honor Society, Psi Chi and was a part of both the USAO and Regents Honor Rolls.


She has participated in several mission trips, led worship for the FBC Collegiate Ministry and volunteers as a substitute Sunday School teacher.


Four graduating seniors were recognized by the college’s four academic divisions as Distinguished Graduates for spring 2013.


English major Sara Rowe, from Mustang, received distinction from the Division of Arts and Humanities. April Lawrence, a business major from Del City, was named the outstanding graduate for the Division of Business and Social Science.


Lisa Fruit, a speech language pathology major from Mustang, was distinguished by the Division of Education and Speech Language Pathology. Travis Bates, an Idabel resident and biology major, was named the outstanding graduate for the Division of Science and Physical Education.


The evening ceremony began with the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” processional performed by Dr. Stephen Weber, professor of music.


The USAO Chamber Choir, under the direction of Dr. Jan Hanson, professor of music, performed Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes” at both ceremonies.


Weber, Hanson and Dr. Ken Bohannon, associate professor of music, led graduates and guests in singing “The College Hymn.”


Dr. Dan Hanson, professor of music, performed the recessional, “I Dreamed a Dream,” from the musical Les Miserables.


Copies of the ceremony will be available on DVD in the USAO Media and Community Relations office or by phone at 405-574-1318.


Feaver issued 81 Bachelor of Science degrees, 49 Bachelor of Arts degrees and five Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees.


Receiving Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees were:

Harrah: Taylor Glenne Preston

Lamont: Jordan Anthony Kistler

Norman: Sarah Jane Job

Oklahoma City: Kari Ann Kuzniar

Wilson: Megan N. Check


Receiving Bachelor of Science degrees were:

Alex: Nathan James Bauman, Jentri Shan Foster, Shannon Renée Horner

Anadarko: Kevin Bliss Botone Jr.

Ardmore: Keith Aaron Townley

Blanchard: Kale Michael Barnett, Ethan Vance Foust, Jennifer Lynne Morris, Angie Skye Spears, Lawrence Harvey Spitzer

Cache: Sarah Nalley

Chandler: Megan Nicole Battershell, Stacy Leanne Lamb-Jones

Chickasha: John Arthur Brown, Cameron Tyme Horton, Christopher Thomas Jeffries, Jerry Mosqueda Muñiz, Rikki Leeann Norton, Ashley Nicole Rasovic, Zachary Garrett Robbins, Gregory L. Watts, Angela Sade Williams

Cyril: Shannon Lee Gibson, Zachary Garrett Williams

Edmond: Elizabeth Jane Martinez

Enid: Zachary Warren Kenneth Gonzalez

Geronimo: Lindsay Nicole Smith

Gracemont: Laura Elizabeth Sage

Heavener: Whitney Blair Clark

Hobart: Victoria Leigh Russell

Holdenville: Laci Amber Thomas

Idabel: Travis Carl Bates

Konawa: Kellie Nicole Snow

Laverne: Ashley Ranae Brown

Lawton: Brandon J. Cutler, Taylor Lanman McLain

Lexington: Kayla Raylynn Woody

Marlow: Kennith Dean Nash, Kara June Price

Midwest City: Tiffany Alexis Cordova

Mountain View: Montania Mae Lightfoot, Samantha Lynell Lightfoot

Mustang: Graham Bradford Faulkner, Lisa Marie Fruit

Ninnekah: Jessica Tichelle Hartsburg-Graham, Lindsay Renae Johnson

Noble: Robert Francis Summers IV

Norman: Amanda Rochelle Northcutt, William Michael Reilly       

Oklahoma City: Kathryn Anne Daniels, Christina Alyssa Edwards, Shane Riley Hagan, Neyda E.A. Hermosillo, Lisa Renea James, April Rhodona Lawrence, Ana Christina Moreno           

Pryor: Nicole Marie Oldham

Purcell: Kasi Layne Snow

Seminole: Karlie Ann Campbell

Skiatook: David Nathan Slezak

Texhoma: Beatriz Rey

Tuttle: Nathan Leo Samples           

Walters: Tashina Angeline Ototivo

Yukon: Leann Michelle Tapp, Jane Frances Wall


Out of State

Fruitport, Mich.: Kevin Richard Schultz

Albuquerque, N.M.: David Garcia

Portland, Ore.: Chance Logan Hill

Cedar Hill, Texas: Erin Caitlin Coggan

Greenville, Texas: Marissa Medrano, Rocio Medrano-Lopez

League City, Texas: Austin Michael Ardrey

Mansfield, Texas: Kelli Marie Korleski

Waxahachie, Texas: Jordyn Marie Yates

Wichita Falls, Texas: Michelle Christina Evans



Melbourne, Australia: Celeste Hazel Smith

Nassau, Bahamas: Alicia-Marie Felice Musgrove

São Paulo, Brazil: Marcelo Scherer Crivellente

Montreal, Quebec: Simon Mitchell

Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom: Anthony Nesbit

Porto Cabello, Venezuela: Eilyn Y. Flores


Receiving Bachelor of Arts degrees were:

Alex: Heather Whitney Clarkson

Altus: Taylor Leigh Finley

Anadarko: Courtney Diane Mayall

Ardmore: Keith Aaron Townley

Bethel Acres: Amanda Nicole Acklin

Blanchard: Kale Michael Barnett, Amanda Faith Burnside, Dylan Reece Nagode, Stephen Dale Thorne

Chickasha: Curtis W. Awbrey, James Matthew Dead, Cheryl Rene Music-Sweeden, Stephanie Marie Smith, Thomas James Wood

Choctaw: Shauna Marie Chavez

Clinton: Alena Rae Leonard

Enid: Ariel Rebecca Morgan, Seth Dalaine Sturgeon

Hydro: Chisum Braden Lane

Lawton: Callison Marie Vaughan

McLoud: Haley Kathryn Hughes

Mountain View: Montania Mae Lightfoot

Muskogee: Amanda Kathleen Whitchard

Mustang: Sara Ashleigh Rowe

Ninnekah: Kristina Ellen Brown, Tommy Joe Haile, Jana Randalin Mitchell

Norman: Megan Leann Bell, David Thomas Burke, Michael Keith DeFord, Carly Michelle Eikel Ford

Oklahoma City: Amanda Renee Andrews, April Rhodona Lawrence, Gina Ariel Romberg, Darrell Dean Toquinto, Maegan Diana Womble

Pocasset: Chad Austin Wollenberg

Shawnee: Jared Clark Coon

Tulsa: Lindsey Nicole Cathey, Jacquelyn Michell Tideman

Tuttle: Randie Michelle Lee, Paige Kristine Simpson

Union City: Morgan Lindsey Faye Kirkes

Valliant: Veronica Nicole Fennell

Wellston: Jennifer Ashley Hammersberg

Yukon: Jessica Erin Fowler, Stephanie Ellen Thompson


Out of State

Middletown, R.I.: Molly Katherine Tracy



Trinidad: Krystal George