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Sonya Bell: Media Manager and Journalist

Connections start here; Graduating in your home state Sonya Bell grew up in Tecumseh, only 40 minutes away from the University of Oklahoma, so from an early age, she felt that OU was the obvious choice for her college career. In high school, when beginning to consider different college choices, Bell’s English teacher, an alumna of the University of Central Oklahoma, encouraged her to tour the UCO campus and see what it had to offer. There were many schools Bell considered but ultimately UCO provided the support and affordability to fit her needs. UCO provided Bell with a scholarship that covered three years, but she had to make sacrifices to support herself through school including working t

Dr. Bob Blackburn, Historian and Author

Dr. Bob Blackburn is known and revered across the state of Oklahoma for his work as a writer, orator and historian. But when the longtime executive director of the Oklahoma History Center first began college, he had his sights set on becoming a judge. In 1969, he enrolled as a freshman at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, to work toward a degree in the legal field. The classes he took at SWOSU, his experience on campus and the professors he met there led him down a new path to his true passion and life’s work. “In my first year at Southwestern, I realized how strong the history department faculty were. My classes were taught by PhDs, not teaching assistants. They had an infectious pass

Cindy Byrd, State Auditor & Inspector

Cindy Byrd has been the first to reach several milestones. She is the first graduate of East Central University to be elected as Oklahoma State Auditor & Inspector, an office she has held since 2010. She is the first woman to be elected to the office. And she is the first and only Oklahoma candidate to garner more than 800,000 votes in a state election. But despite her trailblazing accolades, she attributes much of her success to the support and encouragement of her family, friends and educators. Byrd grew up in rural Coalgate, Oklahoma, with a close-knit community of family and friends. When it was time to attend college, Byrd knew she wanted to stay close to home, so she toured nearby ECU

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