Thursday, October 18, 2018

College Activity Model & Thanks

Thanks to Dr. Don Betz, president of the University of Central Oklahoma, UCO hosted Oklahoma Mentor Day 2017, themed "Building Brighter Futures." President Betz also helped support the event's first campus venue through the Office of the President. UCO set an extremely high standard for colleges hosting in the future. Many university staff, faculty and students created educational, interactive and inspiring activities, which serve as a model for other universities and Career Techs statewide.

Having Oklahoma Mentor Day on the campus allowed a college visit for visiting mentees, mentors, mentoring staff, and other guests. 

Department of Chemistry


John Bowen, Ph.D.
Michael Ferguson, Ph.D.
Cheryl Frech, Ph.D.
Sanjeewa Gamagedara, Ph.D.
Dana Rundle, Ph.D.
Stephanie Skiles, Ph.D.
Amanda Waters, Ph.D.
Assisting them were students Allison Arnold and Morgan Black.

The Forensic Science Institute 
Crime scene investigation involved fingerprint powdering, creating ten-prints, making Mikrosil mold impressions and trying on Tyvek suits.

Austin Cauley, Treasurer, Student Academy of Forensic Science
Amy Ehrlich, Student Academy of Forensic Science
Caitlyn Porterfield, Impression Evidence Instructor

Heather Sherwood, President, Student Academy of Forensic Science

Derek Still, Student Academy of Forensic Science
Stephanie Steinmetz, Forensic Science Institute Academic Advisor

Lynda Loucks, collection manager of the UCO Biology Department Museum of NaturalHistory, and Kinsey Tedford, graduate student, fascinated attendees with critter collections, also affectionately known as "The Dead Zoo." To acquire the specimen, Dr. Loucks even fetched the deceased alligator in a body bag, returned it to Oklahoma and tanned its hide with a glycerin mixture to keep it supple. So much to be learned and touched!


Jenna Hellack, Ph.D., emerita professor of biology, enthralled the audience with the sexing of bones to help determine identity. Skulls, skeleton and pelvic bones!

Mohamed Bingabr, Ph.D., embracing the event, recruited Aamr Hasanjee and Thiago Falcao to exhibit and discuss their projects in biomedical and mechanical engineering.

Computer Science & Robotics
Caleb Power and Gina NeeDels, representing UCO's Association for Computing Machinery, provided demonstrations of Lego robotics.  

UCO Undergraduate Admissions 
LaTasha Giddings answered questions about academics, student activities, financial aid and other opportunities offered by the University of Central Oklahoma.

Jazzed Up Trio 
Former UCO musicians Alyssa Kozlowski, Rei Wang and Colton Dean provided music.

Oklahoma A+ Schools
Brittany Lee and Mary Howell of Oklahoma A+ Schools presented table with artist  trading cards and story cards.

UCO's Cassidy Jackson, event coordinator extraordinaire, calmly arranged the location details and food.

Three Post-Event Tours

University of Central Oklahoma's Forensic Science Institute

University of Central Oklahoma's Academy of Contemporary Music

Faculty member Chris Hicks, program director of contemporary music production, and staff member Brenda Brent, director of Student Academic services, conducted the tours.
Alissa Giacona, academic program specialist, planned the opportunity.

Edmond's AMF Boulevard Lanes

We also appreciate other participants not associated with the University of Central Oklahoma. They, too, had clever ideas.

Keynote Speaker Alton Carter, author and speaker and a foster alumnus, who moved everyone and later autographed his books.

Future Occupations Activity-Social Media Photo Op 

Donning a mortar board and gown, mentees can don a mortar board and gown and make a sign illustrating what they want to be when they grow up. 

Joe the Pirate, Balloon Artist

Other volunteers included Molly Shi Boren and a recognition presenters.Ralph Cissne, Denise Ebersbach, Cathy Render, Farooq Karim, Nancy Hall, Barbara Gabel, Susan Gabbard, and Betty J.C. Wright.


College Activity Model & Thanks

The University of Oklahoma, Norman, provided the venue and much help to produce Oklahoma Mentor Day 2018, themed "Mentoring Champions." Seventy-four mentors were honored for their outstanding service to Oklahoma youths from elementary through postsecondary schools. 

Hosting Oklahoma Mentor Day at a university allows mentees and others to have direct contact with professors and students and a college visit. Four hundred attendees enjoyed the day's events.

Thanks to the University of Oklahoma faculty and staff as well as other volunteers for this  adaptable, scalable model for educational activities. Even a high school could offer similar activity tables for middle school or other students. Activities and engagement by excited instructors and students are the keys to success.

Chemical, Biological & Materials Engineering, Gallogly College of Engineering, 

Chevron Phillips Mentors presenting and talking about their chem char. Back row: Ben Cooper; Will Thompson; Joanne Lee; chem car team member; Lauryn Carver, outstanding Chevron Phillips mentor; and Andrew Fraser. Front row: Dean Rufeisen and Ben Arbuckle holding the car.

Department of Geography & Environmental Sustainability, 
College of Atmospheric & Geographic Services
Jamie Steele and Darren Purcell, Ph.D., presented environmental sustainability and related subjects affecting the lives we live.

Anne & Henry Zarrow School of Social Work
Susan Blossom, admissions and enrollment coordinator (pictured), and Anthony Kibble, MSW, undergraduate program director, introduced the wheel of social work career opportunities.

Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology

Laura Bartley, Ph.D., Krithi Sankaranarayanan, Ph.D., Lee Krumholz, Ph.D., Abigail Moore, Ph.D., Vy Trinh, Ph.D., Heather Nunn, Ph.D., Emily Junkins and James Floyd mesmerized attendees with hands-on biology.

Activities included observational activities, i.e., looking at plant and microbial samples under the microscope, and two different participatory activities, i.e., DNA isolation and testing plants for sugars.   

Department of Mathematics


Catherine Hall, Ph.D., Alok Shukla and Beth Rawlins proved unequivocally that math is fun.

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art 

Katie Grantham, learning and engagement assistant for museum education, created a clever, speedy art project. Images cut out of magazines were pasted on paper. The people attending the event drew the background of the paper in relation to the image that they chose.  

Division Interior Design, College of Architecture
Representing the Gibbs College of Architecture were Kim White, landscape architecture student; Avery Smith, interior design student; and Alex Quinn, architecture student, and Dave Kyncl, undergraduate recruiter and advisor for construction science students.  

Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), Detachment 675  

Meaning of the flag & building catapults, a leadership/teamwork activity

ROTC volunteers were Alex Varner, Annalisa Sanfilippo, Kolby Willis, Ryan Harwell, Chris Hampton and Capt. Alyson Goolsby.

Admissions & Recruitment
Marissa Henderson, Morgan Brammer, Jarrod Tahsequah and Jill Manning answered questions about attending OU, financial aid and more.

Boomer, one of the two popular OU football mascots

Crimson Clubthe University's finest student leaders, who operating within the Office of the President, volunteered for running activities, greeting, directing traffic and mingling to make everyone fell welcome. We could not have executed this event without the Crimson Club volunteers, who volunteered for one of two shifts. Crimson Club leader/servants:

Auston Stiefer, Marc LaManque, Lucas Karinshak, Erica Randall, Dat Truong, Tanner Satterthwaite, Faith Wolfard, Katey Leeviraphan, Ryleigh Navert, Michael Thomas, Carlee Wright, Heath Orcutt, Isha Jhingan and Annie Coffey. Natalie Shadid Hathaway, director of President's Leadership Class and Crimson Club coordinator, 
organized the students.

Not associated with OU but enormously entertaining and educational

Blue Thumb Program, Water Quality Division
Oklahoma Conservation Commission 
Kimberly Shaw, quality assurance officer, and volunteer Karen Chapman showed how to help protect Oklahoma's streams and rivers.

Enviroscape® Nonpoint Source Model

Showing the sources and effects of water pollution, this activity demonstrates how storm water runoff carries pollutants through the watershed to a pond, lake, river, bay, or ocean – and the best management practices to prevent this type of pollution from occurring.  

Observing live creek bugs, a.k.a., benthic macroinvertebrates

The absence of creek bugs indicates pollution, which affects humans and the food chain.

The Colossal Piano
Alan Hicks, Oklahoma Media Company’s 2017 Mentor of the Year, and Karen Bowles shared The Colossal Piano, an exact replica of the keyboard in the movie The Big Piano.

Future Occupations Activity 
Mentees can don a cap and gown and make a sign 
illustrating what they want to be when they grow up.

Thank Your Mentor! 
An activity and photo op for all ages. Thank your 
mentor and share your message on social media!

Keynote Speaker
Dr. David L. Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma, gave a stirring speech and bestowed recognition along with Craig Story. 

OU's Cindy Smith, staff assistant for catering & reservations at the Oklahoma Memorial Union organized the venue and the catering.

Optional Post-Event Tours on the University of Oklahoma Campus

Innovation Hub

Radar Innovations Laboratory
Advanced Radar Research Center

National Weather Center

Sam Noble Museum of Natural History


Thanks to everyone who planned and volunteered to make this day unique. Others included
Cathy Render, Suzanne Thompson, James Calvert, Barbara Gabel, Linda Starling, Donna Alexander, Farooq Karim, Charlotte Jones, Dr. Linda Everett and Denise Ebersbach.