For Oklahoma State University Department of Psychology professors Jennifer Byrd-Craven and Jaimie Arona Krems, evolutionary approaches to social science are a serious matter worthy of their time as researchers. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have a little fun with it as well.

The duo co-founded the Oklahoma Center for Evolutionary Analysis, or OCEAN, which hosts an annual conference called the Flyover State Scientists Integrating Evolution, or FOSSIL. OCEAN’s critical mass of social science researchers makes it one of fewer than five such centers in the entire U.S. where students receive training in and exposure to evolutionary approaches to cognition and behavior.

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Dr. Kaladi Babu, a Regents Professor in the Department of Physics, received the Eminent Faculty Award during the University Awards Convocation on Dec. 11 in the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.

Babu’s award recognizes the highest level of scholarly achievement at OSU. His research in theoretical high energy physics and particle physics phenomenology recently earned him the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Department of Energy and has garnered nearly $7 million in research grants.

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First-generation college student Ryan Hollands learned about the power of education at an early age.

"My parents pushed me to educate myself and do what I can," he said. "They know that in this day and age, you have to have a college degree for certain things."

So Hollands decided to get not just one degree, but three: a bachelor’s in economics, a second in political science and a third in Spanish. And while he came from Edmond, Oklahoma, with enough AP credits to graduate with his economics degree in just a year and a half, "I thought it would be a lot more beneficial to me academically to stay."

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The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Dr. Thomas A. Carlson $212,767 for his HIMME: Historical Index of the Medieval Middle East project. 

Carlson, OSU’s Middle East expert in the Department of History, focuses his research on the religious and ethnic diversity of medieval Middle Eastern society. He first became fascinated in the subject through an interest in the history of Christianity.

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The Oklahoma State University College of Arts and Sciences honored faculty and staff with awards and service pins Nov. 19 during the annual Fall Convocation at Wes Watkins Center Exhibition Hall. CAS leaders presented nine awards to faculty and staff, along with 110 service pins for milestone work anniversaries. 

Dean Glen Krutz called the yearly celebration “an important event in the life of the college, because it is all about recognizing outstanding people.”

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After 32 College of Arts and Sciences graduate students competed in the preliminary rounds and 13 advanced to the championship round, four impressed the judges enough to win awards during the college’s Three Minute Thesis Finals on Oct. 30.

Ph.D. students Benjamin Nelson (Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics) and Erin Wood (Department of Psychology) tied for the win, with each receiving a $300 prize. Wood also earned an additional $300 as the People’s Choice Award winner. Sarah Elzay, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Integrative Biology, placed second and received $200. Meagan Bourne, a master’s student in the Department of Political Science, placed third to earn $100.

Wood went on to win another $1,000 for claiming the People's Choice honor at the University Finals on Nov. 19.

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Adley Stump, a 2011 strategic communications graduate, became famous overnight in 2012 after appearing on NBC’s The Voice, which she did on a dare. That launched her country music career, where she won a Grammy Amplifier award and opened for acts such as Blake Shelton, Chris Young, Jake Owen and Tim McGraw. She had another lifechanging moment in 2016, when she became a social media star due to her "Chickens in the Bathtub!" video becoming a viral hit. To date, her videos have totaled over 500 million views across Facebook and Instagram. The Adley Show on Facebook Watch averages over 3 million viewers every week. She joined us to talk about her life experiences and share advice on finding your own path to success.

Ardoth Hassler made contributions to information technology and higher education that have had far-reaching impacts, leading to her induction into the CAS Hall of Fame in September. She credits Oklahoma State University with providing her the tools to succeed

“My OSU education fostered a 45-year career in IT and higher education,” said Hassler, a 1972 mathematics graduate. “The technical foundation that I had in mathematics and computer science at OSU launched me on that path.” 

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