Sydney McDaniel of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, thought she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Yet during high school, she was introduced to the world of speech pathology, which brought back an old memory.

“I had a weird flashback,” she said. “In first grade, I read a book about a little girl who went to a speech pathologist because she was having issues with articulation and stuttering. At the end, she was able to say ‘bell.’ Her speech was improving! So, that memory kind of put the job into some type of perspective for me with my future.”

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Bryce Donaghue is pursuing a double major in environmental biology and wildlife ecology and management with the goal of becoming a wildlife filmmaker. His journey began with a life-changing diagnosis.

“I have something called May-Thurner syndrome,” he said. “It basically makes one of my veins in my left leg compressed, so it blocks off the blood flow. After a while, it gets backed up and leads to a huge amount of pain and a giant blood clot in my leg.”

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Taylor Graham gazed at each piece as she cut it out, taking in the controversy of the “That Damn Art Woman” exhibit currently featured at Gardiner Gallery in the Bartlett Center for the Visual Arts. She meticulously prepared them for a month-long exhibit that took four years to construct. 

Graham, from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is earning her BFA in Studio Art with focuses in watercolor and ceramics and a minor in Art History. In the spring, she heard about an internship that helped with the exhibit and she eagerly applied. The exhibit, “That Damn Art Woman: Adah Robinson, Bruce Goff and the Controversy over the Design of the Boston Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church South” dove deep into history. 

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Early on, Rachel Terry knew she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. Her grandfather’s doctors inspired her to want to “spend the rest of (her) life in the service of others as a physician.” Terry plans on applying to a medical school in Oklahoma after graduation and wants to focus either on women’s health or pediatrics.

“They were so devoted in taking care of my grandpa,” Terry said. “After he passed away, I decided that’s what I want to do with my life.”

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Emily Bouyea and Rosa Gorham are beyond excited to serve as the Freshman Student Council Coordinators this year. Both Bouyea and Gorham were very involved in high school and they continued that involvement by joining the College of Arts and Sciences Freshman Student Council. 

“I was excited to apply for coordinator and see what happened,” Bouyea said. “After getting it, I am really excited to work with both councils. I am just so excited.”

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Allie Williams faces all the usual challenges of life as a college student, plus the challenges that come with spinal muscular atrophy, “a disease that robs people of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe,” according to Cure SMA.

Her wheelchair is empowering but not limitless.

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1 is 2 Many, a White House initiative in response to the increased attention around sexual violence on college campuses, is one of Seraiah Coe’s philanthropic passions.

"I worked on a presentation on what a healthy relationship is and what consent is," Coe said. "I don't see that taught in high schools and that’s a really big issue because a lot of the girls I mentor either were or are in an abusive relationship. There are not really resources taught or mentioned about that in most sex ed."

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Carly Bender calls “rEcess” — a monthly event for children with disabilities so their parents can have a free evening — her biggest hobby and favorite part of the month.

“It’s genuinely so much fun because it gets kind of crazy,” said Bender, an actuarial and financial mathematics senior. “They all run around, scream and just have fun. I know it’s a huge relief for the families. I miss them when I don’t see them because I have grown to love them so much. I get really attached, and they just have genuine joy about everything. They have a love for life that a lot of people don’t.”

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