USAO graduates 74 in Fall Commencement

Alumni Association President Ron Carr presents Chelsea Butler, of Chickasha, with the Distinguished Graduate Award at Friday night’s Fall Commencement ceremony at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Butler was also acknowledged as the Outstanding Graduate for the Division of Social Sciences and Business, along with Carla Wasson, also of Chickasha.

USAO graduates 74 in Fall Commencement


President John Feaver highlighted the distinctive public liberal arts mission of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma for the 74 graduates, faculty, family and friends at the Fall commencement.

Feaver told the graduates if a student doesn’t “want to learn to write, think critically and reason scientifically, this is not the college for you.

“Here, no matter what your major field might be, your chosen realm in which you’re going to do your in depth study, we are going to require you to think and behave in light of the many questions that must be answered by those who belong to a democratic society,” Feaver added.

Ron Carr, of Irving, Texas, president of the USAO Alumni Association, presented the Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award to Chickasha native Chelsea Butler. She was named also as one of two outstanding graduates from the division of social sciences and business.

Butler graduated summa cum laude with bachelor of art degree in sociology. She is a 2003 graduate of Ninnekah High School.

“Chelsea’s accomplishments during her undergraduate career embody the liberal arts mission of USAO,” said Dr. Christopher Garneau, assistant professor of sociology at USAO. “She is an exemplary student and her absence in the classroom will be noticed after she graduates.”

While at USAO, Butler worked as a student assistant in the Registrar’s Office. She also worked as a program manager and habilitation training specialist/health care coordinator for Special Young Adults. As a habilitation training specialist, she assisted individuals with developmental disabilities with all tasks required for daily living.

Butler was named to both the USAO and Regents’ Honor Rolls and was inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, the Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society and the Hypatia Honor Society. Butler volunteers for the Special Olympics.

“I intend to apply for a graduate position at the University of Oklahoma in the Sociology Department and pursue a master’s in sociology and, in the future, a possible PhD,” Butler said. “I also plan to continue volunteering in the community for Chickasha Head Start. My dream is to one day open a safe haven for homeless families.”

Five graduating seniors were recognized as the Fall 2014 Distinguished Graduates.

Fine arts graduate Aubrey Van Tassell, of Tulsa, received the distinction of outstanding graduate from the division of arts and humanities.

Carla Wasson, an economics graduate from Chickasha, and Butler were named the outstanding graduates from the division of social sciences and business.

The division of education and speech pathology bestowed their distinction on Alicia Lee, an early childhood education graduate from Ninnekah.

Jacob Hollenback, a biology graduate from Ardmore, received the award from 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 and chairman of the arts and humanities division.

The USAO Chamber Choir provided special music with its a cappella performance of “Joy Be With You All,” a Scottish folk song, under the direction of Dr. Jan Hanson, professor of music.

Kendra Hollenbeck, a graduating music education major from Ardmore, joined Hanson, and Dr. Dan Hanson, professor of music, in leading graduates and guests in singing “The College Hymn.”

Dr. Dan Hanson performed the recessional, a solo keyboard arrangement of “For Good” from the music Wicked.

For persons who missed the ceremony, it can be viewed online at Copies of the ceremony also are available on DVD in the USAO Communications and Marketing office at or by phone at 405-574-1318.

Feaver issued 35 bachelor of science degrees, 27 bachelor of arts degrees and four bachelor of fine arts degrees. Eight students who walked earned their degrees at the end of the summer term.

These students received bachelor of science degrees:

Alex: Steven Roy Brooksher

Altus: Tracinda Lee Friedt

Anadarko: Leslie Renee Bailey, Sheila Kaye Perez

Apache: Jason Brent McNamar

Ardmore: Jacob James Hollenbeck

Blanchard: Brittany Leah Abshire, Jennifer Rae Ingle, Ashley LeeAnn Robertson

Bradley: Christina LeAnn Anderson

Broken Arrow: Victoria Leigh Burgess

Chickasha: Melony Reneē Boevers, Destre Nicole Crawford, Adam Todd

Duncan: Rashelle De'lynn Carr

Enid: Brenna Madalen Nicole Robinson

Lexington: Madison Elizabeth English

Lindsay: Katherine Nicole Davis

Moore: Emily Lauren Baker

Mustang: Terra Janae Parvin

Newcastle: Morgan Bree Scott, Taylor Alexus Smith

Ninnekah: Fealishea Leeanne Craddock, Angela Kaye Frye, Shaylah Karynn Goodson, Annesha Michelle Kirk, Alicia Lynn Lee, William Joseph Lee, Dakotah Dane Stringfellow

Norman: Christine Maria Hamilton, Katelyn Nicole Howard

Oklahoma City: Bryan Alan Byars

Pocasset: Tabitha Diane Cabaniss

Purcell: Madison Elizabeth English

Shawnee: Bryan Mychal Jarvis

Tulsa: Jacob James Hollenbeck       

Tuttle: Melanie Dawn Kaci Hiatt


Serbia: Dejana Velickovic

United Kingdom: Phillip Geoffrey Pryor, Perry Renee Sansford

These students received bachelor of arts degrees 

Anadarko: Allison Dawn Ledford

Ardmore: Kendra Brooke Hollenbeck, Steven Christopher Ryan

Blanchard: Amanda Faith Burnside

Cement: Amber Nichole Chaney

Chickasha: Brian Ray Glass, Barbara Ann Kennedy, Alicia Jasmine Martinez, Tara Gayle Still, Carla Jean Scott-Wasson

Davis: Britton Makenzie Brewer

Duncan: Christopher Scott Jordan

El Reno: Chad Chandler Slane

Lexington: Tara Shelaine Nardi

Moore: Brian Randle Coburn, Amanda Jean Robinson

Mustang: Addison Paige Lee

Ninnekah: Chelsea Nicole Butler

Noble: Misty Dawn Hamilton

Norman: Matholomus Israel Culp, Jacob M. Sargent, Lauren Rene Shook

Oklahoma City: Amanda Diane Davidson

Pocasset: Craig Wayne Patton

Tonkawa: Megan Nicole Pearcy

Washington: Isaac Zion Treadaway

Yukon: Alexis Paige Hoebing

Out of State

Wichita, Kansas: Jason Whitney Snodgrass

Lubbock, Texas: Krista Leigh Ford


United Kingdom: Nathaniel George Scott

Receiving bachelor of fine arts degrees were:

Altus: Lloyd Edward Conley

Ardmore:  Vaunda Elizabeth Knapp

Pocasset: Michelle Faye Holden

Tulsa: Aubrey Joy Van Tassell

Yukon: Joshua Alexander Cook