CHICKASHA – Student-athletes at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma understand that the student-first aspect of their role as a student-athlete, which is why each commencement ceremony sees Drover athletes graduate on to bigger and better things.
In all, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma conferred 116 degrees in Friday’s two graduation ceremonies. Seventeen of those graduates have ties with Drover athletics.
In the ceremonies, USAO Board of Regents Chairwoman Hilary Kitz told graduates how her liberal arts education expanded her career opportunities and led to the successful life she has created for herself.
USAO athletes graduate with a variety of majors, including business, history, physical education, sociology and biology.
Throughout their years at USAO, student-athletes spend numerous hours studying and competing in the classroom in addition to their rigorous careers on the fields and courts.
The baseball program saw the most graduates this spring, including six current or former players and a four-year student assistant.
“I’m proud of them for working hard in the classroom and understanding the importance of finishing their degrees,” Baseball Coach Mike Ross said.
Baseball graduates include Daniel Edwards, Warren Stehn, Blake Taylor, Derek Wilkerson, Rory Barron and Tylor Lee. Seth Park, who has spent the last four years as the Drovers’ student assistant, also crossed the stage on Friday.
Women’s basketball saw four graduates: Brittany Elkins, Hannah Henry, Patricia Inacio and Paige Pulliam, who was one of the Division of Science & Physical Education’s Outstanding Graduate Award recipient.
From softball, three Drovers — Skyler Nichols, Sara Reeves, Chelsea Zuchnik — graduated. Men’s soccer saw Nicolas Alberto and Phillip Pryor while women’s soccer player Fran Monfron was also among graduates.