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John Aaron NASA Engineer

The man widely credited with saving the Apollo 12 mission was never supposed to work for NASA. His career plan was to have his feet firmly planted on Oklahoma soil as a farmer and rancher. Even when he started working at NASA, his plan was to work there until he could earn enough money to buy land and cattle. John Aaron came to Southwestern Oklahoma State University from Vinson High School, a graduating class of nine students. He, along with his seven siblings, were first- generation college students. “My parents expected that we all would go to college and the family was committed to finding a way to make it happen,” Aaron said. “Had that not been the environment I was raised in, I likely w

Reba McEntire, Recording Artist and Entertainer

You don’t even have to say her last name. Reba’s impressive entertainment career spans 40 years in music, television, books and film. She is one of the most successful female recording artists in history, selling more than 56 million albums worldwide and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. She has won more than 50 national entertainment awards including: 15 American Music Awards; 13 Academy of Country Music Awards; 2 GRAMMY Awards; and is one of only four entertainers in history to receive the National Artistic Achievement Award from the U.S. Congress. Even at a young age, when it was evident that McEntire was destined for the limelight, her mother

Joe Anna Hibler, SWOSU President and RUSO Regent

For most students, going off to college means leaving your parents and your hometown to embark on your first steps toward independence. For Joe Anna Hibler, attending Southwestern Oklahoma State University meant that she would be attending college at the same time as two of her other family members. The other two students were her parents. While Hibler was getting her bachelor’s degree, her parents were pursuing their masters’ degrees in education. Both were teachers in Leedey. They would attend night classes during the school year and full time during the summer. “Since our hometown was an hour from the university, one summer we shared a house in Weatherford and all attended classes,” Hible

Wren Baker, University of North Texas Vice President and Director of Athletics

A career with the promise of a good salary is what motivated Wren Baker to attend college. Following his passion is what has made him one of the brightest young athletics administrators in the country and a trailblazer in several collegiate programs. Baker came to Southeastern in 1996 as a computer science major in the honors program. During his junior year he was asked to sit in on a prospective student interview. The student’s answer to why she chose her area of study resonated with Baker. “She told the faculty member that she would love to be a teacher. You could hear the passion in her voice,” Baker described. “But since she knew it wouldn’t make much money, she chose to focus on finance

Glenn Coffee, Secretary of State and State Senator

Growing up, Glenn Coffee had no doubt what he wanted to be. His love of Oklahoma, law and leadership led him to a life as a public servant. But he credits his college education at Northeastern State University for preparing him for his path. “I met Northeastern State University President Roger Webb when I attended a state student council conference during my senior year of high school,” Coffee explained. “I was impressed with his words about the importance of education and his interest in Oklahoma students. Because of that encounter, I was offered a presidential leadership class scholarship for NSU.” Coffee said he looked at several larger schools in Oklahoma and out of state but decided on

Tom McDaniel, Civic Leader

Tom McDaniel is one of Oklahoma City’s most recognized civic leaders, who serves on numerous boards and commissions. He is president of the American Fidelity Foundation and chair of the MAPS 3 Citizen Advisory Board that has overseen the construction timeline and $777 million budget of nine capital improvements projects in Oklahoma City. He is also one of the humblest men you will ever meet. His resume is filled with titles of leadership and accomplishments—yet he attributes some of his life changing events to the opportunity to go the Northwestern. McDaniel grew up in small towns in Oklahoma and graduated from Coalgate High School. Even though his family strongly wanted him to get a college

Board chairman: Oklahoma's regional universities meet students where they are

Each year nearly 40,000 students enroll in our system's six universities: Northeastern State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, East Central University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Northwestern Oklahoma State University and the University of Central Oklahoma. By 2020, 72 percent of the jobs in Oklahoma are expected to require college education. Increasing investment in education is the way forward to provide for the educational and economic needs for Oklahoma's future generations. We continue to face this challenging climate with grit, tenacity, and above all, flexibility. Like my fellow regents, I'm pleased that our campuses have or are in the process of placing

OSRHE Task Force Report

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recently concluded their task force review to consider ways to improve degree completion and increase productivity within higher education. A RUSO representative served on every subcommittee and reported their committee's work at the January RUSO regents' meeting at NSU. Academic Program Innovations and Online Education Subcommittee President Don Betz, University of Central Oklahoma Reviewed best practices in academic program delivery and online education and developed recommendations for the State Regents to consider related to encouraging innovative academic program delivery models, including increased collaboration among state system colleg

Paddack provides overview of Oka' Institute activities

A 2017 law would make it possible for the city of Ada and the Oka’ Institute to collaborate on a project designed to boost the water supply in the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, the institute’s executive director told the Ada City Council on Tuesday. House Bill 1485 allows the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality to issue permits for limited-scale pilot projects for aquifer storage and recovery, executive director Susan Paddack said. She said the law would put the city in a position to continue working with the Oka’ Institute on efforts to recharge the aquifer. “With that legislation, do you know what that means for Ada?” she said. “That means that Ada is number one in the state. They are

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