2021 Rising Star
M.S. English '11
James Cooper took the oath of office in April 2019 to begin his first term on the Oklahoma City Council. He taught formerly in Oklahoma City Public Schools as a college prep teacher. Currently, Councilperson Cooper works as an adjunct English professor at University of Central Oklahoma and as an adjunct Film Studies and Philosophy professor at Oklahoma City University, where he serves on OCU’s Arts and Sciences Advisory Board. He also serves on Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority Board of Trustees and lives in OKC’s historic Paseo neighborhood.
He received a B.A. in Film Studies with a minor in Political Science from University of Oklahoma. At Oklahoma State University, he taught as a graduate assistant, where the Department of English recognized him for Teaching Excellence in Composition. He holds an M.A. in English from OSU and graduated from OCU with his Creative Writing MFA.
The Society of Professional Journalists awarded a 2009 column he wrote for OSU’s The Daily O’Collegian on federal hate crimes legislation. He served as Opinion Editor.
His essay on the 2013 tornado that devastated Moore, “An Oklahoma Perspective on Tornado Alley,” appeared in Huffington Post.
Oklahoma Gazette published his 2011 two-part article on the history of OKC’s LGBTQ community, “From Closet to Community.”