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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Leo Reges graduated from Oklahoma State University in May with a computer science degree and minors in math and German. The SMART scholarship he received led to a job at Tinker Air Force Base right after graduation. 

“It stands for ‘Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation’ and it is a program in which students apply for a scholarship through the Department of Defense,” he said. “What it entails is they give you a stipend so that you can live. They also pay for your school.” 

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Dr. Christopher Lehman’s draw to history began as a child. At 13, he took on his first research project after receiving a Christmas gift of a fake newspaper that listed all sorts of events that took place around the time he was born. 

“There was a section for the government at the time, and under the president was Richard Nixon,” he said, “But in the space for vice president, the area was blank. I thought it was a typo. The first research project that I took on for myself was to find out if it was really a typo, and it turns out, it wasn’t. I was born in the gap between when Nixon’s first vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned and his replacement, Gerald Ford, was sworn in.”

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Michael Larson’s interest in geography began when he was an engineering major enrolled in a general education summer class.

“World Regional Geography really opened up the world for me,” Larson said. “It was the first textbook I ever read cover to cover. It was fascinating, and it showed me a different direction that I could go. I had taken drafting courses for engineering. I found that drafting work also fit well with a geography degree. And that was pretty much it.”

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Bonnie Cain-Wood will enjoy a productive afternoon March 6 during the OSU Communications Networking Event at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. And her reasons for going—her role as a communications professional and her appreciation for the value of internships—goes back to what she described as “a life-changing afternoon washing dirt.”

The Oklahoma City native is the OSU Library’s manager of communication services. She is a 1999 environmental science and 2006 master’s in mass communication alumna who planned to be a research scientist until that fateful day during her undergraduate experience. Thanks to a Wentz Research Scholarship, she was participating in a project on bioremediation of semi-arid soils.

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Linda Young knew she was good at math, but it wasn’t until she joined Oklahoma State University’s Department of Statistics that she found her passion. By the time she completed her 1981 doctorate in statistics at OSU, she had built the foundation for a career in research at the intersection of statistics and the sciences.

For more than 25 years, Young served on the faculty of land-grant universities: OSU, the University of Nebraska and the University of Florida.

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Gary Busey was only one credit away from graduation when his music drove him from Oklahoma State University to California, yet he never forgot the impact that OSU left on him. Busey accepted a football scholarship from Kansas State College of Pittsburg, now known as Pittsburg State University, but transferred to OSU after a knee injury. In Stillwater, he studied theatre under Vivia Locke, who set him on a new path. Locke was the legendary head of the Department of Theatre, and the 600-seat Vivia Locke Theatre inside the Seretean Center for the Performing Arts still bears her name more than three decades after she died.

“My teacher, Vivia Nail Locke, was instrumental in giving me the platform to stand on to do the motion picture business with power,” he said.

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Jason Wallace was in kindergarten when he won his first art contest. Since then, his artistic journey has led him through a variety of majors, media and careers, leading to his current position as a graphic designer at the College of Arts and Sciences.

“We moved around a lot when I was a child, so I don’t feel like I’m from any one place,” Wallace said. “Art and photography stayed with me through every move. When I was a child, my mother sent me and my brothers to keep my father, a high school teacher, company in the high school darkroom. At seven years old, I watched a photo come to life on a blank page. That’s magic, and it stuck with me forever.”

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Frank Wicks came to Oklahoma State University in 1971 to work toward his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. Instead, the Ponca City native discovered a passion for chemistry, which led to more than 30 years with a global leader in research chemicals. Over his career, he fulfilled six positions with "president" in the title for Sigma-Aldrich Corporation.

Wicks (1975 microbiology, '78 biochemistry Ph.D.) and Linda Young ('81 statistics Ph.D.) were both inducted into the College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame during the 2018 ceremony on Sept. 21 in the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade & Development.

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