In 1990, Oklahoma became the first state to pass a term-limits law. Now, the University of Oklahoma’s Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center is home to a collection of 14 interviews featuring the first group of Oklahoma state senators impacted by term limits. Due to the law, they left office in 2004.
“With the departure of these members, we stood to lose a tremendous amount of institutional memory,” said Cindy Simon Rosenthal, director and curator of the Carl Albert Center. “This collection of interviews allows us to capture some of that memory for future study.” Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee called the collection “an important narrative of the history and politics of the Oklahoma Senate from those who actually lived it. This collection forms an essential knowledge base for historians — now and in the future.”The oral history project was the result of the combined efforts of the Oklahoma Senate’s Communication Division, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority and the Carl Albert Center.
The Senate Oral History Collection includes 14 DVD interviews capturing the memories and impressions of Sens. Jim Dunlap, R-Bartlesville; Mike Fair, R-Oklahoma City; Charles Ford, R-Tulsa; Sam Helton, D-Lawton; Maxine Horner, D-Tulsa; Rick Littlefield, D-Grove; Jim Maddox, D-Lawton; Angela Monson, D-Oklahoma City; Bruce Price, D-Hinton; Ben Robinson, D-Muskogee; Herb Rozell, D-Tahlequah; Mark Snyder, R-Edmond; Dick Wilkerson, D-Atwood; and Penny Williams, D-Tulsa.
The collection includes interviews from two members who rose to national prominence during their tenure: Monson became the first black woman and first Oklahoman to serve as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and Dunlap became the first Oklahoman to serve as president of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
T.K. Bhattacharya of Cameron University is the first professor to be awarded the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Teaching specifically for teaching at a regional university of community college. The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has scheduled its 23rd annual Academic Awards Banquet for May 16 in Norman.
The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence presents Medals for Excellence annually to outstanding
Each honoree will receive a $5,000 cash prize and a glass “Roots and Wings” sculpture.
A former business executive, Dr. Bhattacharya decided at age 40 to quit his career as a marketing manager to begin teaching. Through his pioneering courses in Portfolio Management I and II, students manage real money bond and stock portfolios funded by a $1 million line of credit from BancFirst. Profits from the bond portfolio have been used to fund the stock portfolio and other Cameron projects such as endowed lectureships. The classes culminate in a formal presentation to senior executives of the bank, stockholders and university officials.
Baroness Emma Nicholson, a member of the British House of Lords and the European Parliament, will join University of Oklahoma students in at an invitation-only luncheon and meeting and dining with OU students, deans and faculty on Wednesday. Her visit highlighs the symposium “Voices of the New Europe” being presented by the OU School of International and Area Studies.
Today’s lecutres at the Oklahoma Memorial Union featuring other European visitors will cover women in Kosovo, growing multiculturalism in Europe, and food safety. The final lecture, scheduled 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Union, is called “Anti-Americanism is Stronger that Obamania in Europe” and will be presented by University of Michigan scholar Adrei Markovits. Call teh School of International and Area Studies at 325-1584 for more information.
High school students from across the state will showcase their poetry skills by competing in the final round of the Poetry Out Loud competition at Oklahoma City University, 2501 N Blackwelder.
The competition will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium at Meinders School of Business.
Organized by Oklahoma Humanities Council, the competition is a way to encourage high school students to learn poetry through memorization and performance. It also helps students build confidence and improve their public speaking skills.
The winner will advance to the national competition in Washington, D.C.
High school students can experience campus life at Mid-America Christian University during Focus Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 27 and April 17 at the campus, 3500 SW 119.
Students will attend a chapel service, eat lunch, tour the campus with university students, learn about financial aid opportunities, make arrangements to visit a class and meet with professors.
Focus Fridays are open to high school juniors and seniors and their parents. Registration is free and students will receive a free shirt. To register, call (888) 436-3035.
Oklahoma City Community College will host the Mountain West Swimming and Diving Conference Championship today (Feb. 25) through Saturday in the college’s aquatic center, 7777 S May Ave.
Teams from across the nation will compete, including San Diego State University, University of Nevada-Las Vegas and Colorado State University.
“This is a large event, and our time to show off the swimming and health amenities here on campus,” recreation and fitness director Roxanna Butler said in a news release. “Our goal is to ensure that all runs smoothly and that we accommodate each participant and spectator the very best we can.”
Several metro area charities received grants on behalf of Allstate agents who do volunteer work for them. The Allstate Foundation, gave $51,000 to Oklahoma organizations for volunteer work in 2008.
Many agents from the metro area earned $500 grants for their favorite organizations. The winners and their charities are Heath Anderson of Edmond for Greyhound Pets of America’s Central Oklahoma Chapter, Monica Baker of Edmond for Autism Speaks, Chris Dykstra of Oklahoma City for Smart Start Central Oklahoma, Pat Gillespie for Oklahoma Harness Horse Association, Micha Hughs of Midwest City for Junior Hospitality Club, Jon Luecke of Edmond for Habitat for Humanity, Susan Malloy of Bethany for Must Love Dogs Rescue, Tim Missaghi for Infant Crisis Services, Roxanne Morrissey of Newcastle for the Newcastle Police Department, Cathy Polony for Oklahoma People First, Ciani Portillo for Southern Hills Elementary School, Glenda Rogers for City Care, Bobby Thompson of Edmond for the Putnam City Athletic Association Optimist Club and Nancy Vann for Distributive Education Clubs of America at Moore High School. Also, Chris Taylor, an Allstate employee with Allstate Claims operations in Oklahoma City, won a grant for volunteer work with the American Heart Association’s South Central Affiliate.
One might think that science and art mix together about as well as oil and vinegar. Not so – oil and vinegar do make for a tasty salad dressing.Lewis Thomas, a famous scientist who is also known for his poetry, once said: “Science will…produce the data…, but never the full meaning. For perceiving real significance, we shall need…most of all the brains of poets, [and] also those of artists, musicians, philosophers, historians, writer …”
We certainly need Oklahoma students to study or pursue all of these fields, including some that were not even thought of just a few years ago.
But in order for students to be successful in the 21st century global economy, they will need to communicate effectively, solve problems and think critically. These are all skills that are greatly impacted by the arts.
In study after study, we see a direct link between art and learning. When art is brought in to supplement basic curriculum, student test scores and comprehension rates improve.
Research also has shown that at-risk students, in particular, improve academically and gain much-needed self esteem through art opportunities.
Having the arts in our schools is essential to having a well-rounded education and critical to learning in our ever-expanding and globalized world.
To bring awareness to the importance of the arts in education, March has for years been declared National Youth Arts Month. As such, observances will take place across the U.S., and each state has had a contest to design a Youth Arts Month flag. This year’s theme is, “Releasing the Power of Art” and soon each winning state entry will be made and flown for the entire month at the U.S. Capitol.
Tuesday, March 3, is Youth Arts Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol. A celebration is planned that includes performances by students and professional artists, state and community leaders speaking, and student artwork on display. In addition, the winning Youth Arts Month flag entry will be honored.
At the same time, student artwork from around the state will also be on display in our art gallery in the Oliver Hodge Education Building, State Capitol Complex, Oklahoma City.For more information about Youth Arts Month or other art education events throughout the year, visit the Oklahoma Center for Arts Education Web site at www.ocae.net/. And, check out arts-in-education opportunities at the Oklahoma Department of Education’s Web site, www.sde.state.ok.us.
- Sandy Garrett, state schools superintendent
Robin Hill School District’s parent-teacher association will host a grand opening for the school’s new playground 11 a.m. Feb. 23 at the school, 4801 E Franklin Road.
Parents and students have spent the last two years raising the more than $50,000 needed to purchase and install the new equipment. The old equipment was beyond repair, according to school officials.
Robin Hill School District is located between Moore and Norman. The school has about 200 students enrolled in prekindergarten through eighth grades.
The playground’s color theme is red, white, and blue. Students will release balloons in the same colors at the grand opening.
“We are very proud of our group’s accomplishment in reaching our goals for this playground project and want to share this joy with our community,” said Betty Chagaris, PTA president.
Oklahoma City School Board members honored a group of employees recently for repairing 120 broken windows at Rancho Village Elementary School.
Vandals broke the windows during the holiday break and employees from the district’s service center came in during their time off to repair the windows so that school could return to session on time.
School administrators said had the employees not come in, the school would have been closed two more days at the end of the holiday break.
Employees recognized were Ralph Gilbert, Gregory Mumme, Don Still, Robert Walley and Clarence Woodberry.
- Staff Writer Dawn Marks