Abigail Ferrell was in her Edmond North High School government class when a life-changing text message arrived. It linked to a video of OSU President Burns and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis congratulating her. She had to watch it 10 times until she comprehended the message: She was named a fellow of the Oklahoma State Scholars Society, the university’s premier scholar-development program for the best in-state students. Ferrell is one of four recipients in its inaugural year.

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The skate park might not be the first place you think of when you hear terms like physics and STEM learning. Thanks to a CAS community engagement project, the Stillwater Skate Park on Main Street became a place of informal science learning and elevated skate athletes into flying physicists. Dr. Nicole Colston, assistant research faculty in the School of Teaching, Learning and Educational Sciences, and Dr. Bobbi Kay Lewis, assistant dean of outreach and communications for the College of Arts and Sciences, hosted Push Forward, a one-day event and skate contest for Stillwater youth aged 13-25 at Strickland Park.

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School wasn’t always a welcoming, homelike place for Logan Evans. The recent OSU graduate was born deaf, and grew up learning oralism, a process which involves lip reading. Oralism was difficult for Evans, and he didn’t have an interpreter until ninth grade. His grades suffered before he started learning American Sign Language.

“I fell in love with ASL. There were deaf people in my high school, and they taught me about their culture, and that helped me pick it up quickly.”

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Farida Jalalzai had chaired the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Department of Political Science for two years when she came to Oklahoma State University for a non-administrative position in August 2015. Thanks to a recent promotion, she is now head of OSU’s Department of Political Science.

Jalalzai served as interim department head from July 2017 to July 2018, when she accepted the promotion. She is excited to utilize her experience at both universities to oversee what she calls a “moment of reflection” for the Department.

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Many people oversimplify the concept of geography, thinking of it as memorizing maps. Speak with Alyson Greiner, head of the Department of Geography, and she will explain how much more interesting it is than that.

For example, as a cultural historical geographer, she specializes in the similarities and differences between America and Australia. She is fascinated by the ways Oklahoma’s landscape changed as a part of the New Deal projects during the Great Depression, including eradicating malaria. She even explains the northward migration of the sweet-tea line – the prevalence of that drink has historically been one way to differentiate the South from its neighboring regions, but that boundary is moving, or at least blurring, of late.

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As a young undergraduate student, Dr. Ramesh Kaipa had a very different plan for his life. “I had intended on becoming a medical doctor,” Kaipa said, “but I’m glad that I chose this profession.”

According to Kaipa, one of the great challenges in speech/language pathology and audiology is that it is largely seen as a female-oriented profession. His graduating class, he explains, was nearly 90-percent female.

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An Oklahoma State University music professor is offering a non-credit piano class for Stillwater-area adults. Aimed at beginners and those who wish to brush up on their skills, Introduction to Piano will meet from 5:30-6:20 p.m. inside OSU’s Seretean Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between Aug. 20 and Dec. 7.

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While sitting in her high-school philosophy class in Germany, Luise Schoenknecht couldn’t help but be intrigued despite the language barrier. A few years later, when she had to choose a major at Oklahoma State University, she felt naturally drawn to philosophy. But she couldn’t help but wonder what she would do with that degree. Over three semesters, Schoenknecht changed her major from architecture to philosophy, to psychology, to philosophy again, and then to graphic design, before landing back on philosophy for good.

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Laura Belmonte calls herself an “odd duck” because of how much she loved the often-thankless role of department head. It inspired her to pursue the next logical career step: becoming the College of Arts and Sciences’ associate dean for instruction and personnel.

Among the many responsibilities of this position are ensuring quality instruction, handling student and faculty complaints, and overseeing faculty hiring and promotion.

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