CAS News

CAS honors alumni at Hall of Fame Ceremony

The Oklahoma State University College of Arts and Sciences honored 25 of its most successful alumni Sept. 21 during the 2018 Hall of Fame Ceremony at the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade & Development. Frank Wicks and Linda Young were both inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Theodore Wagener was recognized as a Rising Star. There were also 22 Distinguished Alumni recipients.

“This is an exciting event, when we get the chance to celebrate the success of some of our most accomplished alumni with faculty, family and friends,” said Jeanette Mendez, interim dean of CAS. “We have the opportunity to learn about the rich and fulfilling careers and lives that have stemmed from their degrees here at OSU.”

Induction into the CAS Hall of Fame is the highest honor the college bestows upon its alumni. It recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and made significant contributions through distinguished service. 

The Rising Star award celebrates alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years and reached major milestones in their careers, shown exemplary service to the community, and/or proven commitments to volunteerism. 

jeanette at podiumDistinguished Alumni recipients bring distinction to OSU through extraordinary achievements in their fields and have demonstrated records of distinguished service. 

Wicks joins the CAS Hall of Fame as a Department of Chemistry honoree. He is a 1978 biochemistry Ph.D. graduate, as well as a 1975 microbiology alumnus. He worked more than 30 years at Sigma-Aldrich, a life science company with more than 10,000 employees in over 40 countries. It became the premier provider of research chemicals with over 200,000 chemicals used by universities, pharmaceutical and industrial companies. He was hired as a research and development chemist and rose to become a member of the organization’s leadership, capped with a position as Executive Vice President and President of Applied Markets.

“I’m just overwhelmed and honored to be chosen for this award,” Wicks said. “My education at OSU gave me abilities to have a career that exceeded all my dreams and expectations. I was able to work for a company that had been in business for 80 years. There’s probably not a major scientific discovery in the last 80 years that hasn’t used at least one Sigma-Aldrich chemical.”

Young was nominated by the Department of Statistics, where she earned a 1981 Ph.D. She served more than 25 years on the faculty of land-grant universities: OSU, the University of Nebraska and the University of Florida. In 2013, she became Mathematical Statistician and Director of Research and Development for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. In this position, she works to improve the methodology underpinning NASS’s collection and dissemination of data on every facet of U.S. agriculture and to lead NASS researchers in formulating, solving and implementing statistical research that furthers this aim.

“I never expected anything like this honor in my whole life,” Young said. “As I thought about it, I realized how deeply appreciative I am to the Department of Statistics, the College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University, and the Stillwater community. It was here that these people helped me build the foundation educationally, professionally and personally that I have relied on throughout my career.”

Wagener earned two degrees from the Department of Psychology: a 2005 master’s and a 2010 Ph.D. He is Director of Tobacco Regulatory Science Research at the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and holds adjunct appointments in OSU’s Department of Psychology and the OUHSC Graduate College. He is committed to mentoring and training the next generation of psychologists and tobacco researchers, which is why he oversees the OTRC Training Program.

The Distinguished Alumni and their respective departments are: 

 Ann Ackerman


 John Alberts


 Carol Alexander

 Languages & Literatures

 David Allen


 Vicki Baker

 Integrative Biology

 Paul Bohannon

 Political Science

 Joe Carroll

 Computer Science

 Tom Cason

 Plant Biology, Ecology and Evolution

 Alvin Cobb

 Military Science

 Jeanie Cooper


 John David

 School of Media and Strategic Communication

 Chris Fore


 Michael Grim

 Communication Sciences and Disorders

 Deborah Huff


 Will Joyce


 Colte Julian

 Greenwood School of Music

 Mike Kuykendall

 Pickens School of Geology

 Sherry Marshall


 Mark Miller


 Gilbert Sanders

 Aerospace Studies

 Sonya Terpening

 Art, Graphic Design and Art History

 Mario White


The master of ceremonies was Jocelyn Lockwood, a 2005 journalism and broadcasting graduate. She has been a reporter for NBC in Dallas/Fort Worth, an evening anchor and executive producer in Sherman/Denison, Texas, and anchor of Good Morning New Orleans. She recently settled in a small artist enclave in Utah at the base of Bears Ears National Monument, where she is organizing an annual arts festival.

“I must say, I truly believe Oklahoma State University produces some of the best, honest, humble and just downright good people,” Lockwood said. “It’s been an absolute honor to be here. I’m proud to be a graduate of a college with such successful alumni.”

The event was streamed on OState.TV, and can be watched at this link. Photos from the event are posted here.

For more information about the 2018 honorees and past recipients, as well as to nominate deserving individuals, visit