Oklahoma Baptist University

Bailey Asks Graduating Seniors to Navigate the Dialectics

Dr. Garry Bailey, associate professor of communication arts, told OBU’s newest graduates Saturday to prepare to navigate life's dialectics -- "the paradoxes, tensions or opposing forces in life."

Speaking at Oklahoma Baptist University’s winter commencement, Bailey said the first key to successful life choices is to know who you are.

"To navigate life’s dialectics, you must decide who you are but also be ready to grow," Bailey said. "Don’t expect to be king of the pride in your first job. You're becoming who you will be may necessitate taking a McJob while you dream about the executive position. Be patient. You see, your Liberal Arts degree from OBU trained you more for your third job than your first."

He added that the graduates will need to determine when to go along with the crowd and when to take a stand.

"Choosing to lead out alone or follow the crowd depends on your reading of the situation," said Bailey. "We live in a competitive world where you are expected to play nice with others. People may be really nice to you but not have the best of intentions. Navigate the dialectic."

Bailey added that the successful navigation would take both discipline and passion.

"I hope your walk in life leads you know who you are better each day. And knowing self is also figuring out what you believe," he said. "To navigate life’s dialectics, you must decide what you believe but also keep an open mind. Do you have the discipline to live deliberately and the passion to follow your dreams? Do you have the discipline and the passion to live deeply?"

Also on the program were Ron Fannin, senior associate executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, and Hon. Jeffrey P. Victory, associate justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Earning degrees from the Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service, listed with their degree and hometown were Denise Louise Batchelor, BA, Christian Studies, Atoka; Martin Steven Berry, Diploma, Christian Service, Oklahoma City; Charlie Worth Bruner, BA, Applied Ministry: Pastoral Emphasis, Minor: History, Carrollton, Texas; Earl Wesley Bryant, AA, Christian Studies, Oklahoma City; Jeremy Michael Buck, BA, Religion: Bible, Minor: Anthropology, Pampa, Texas; John Charles Burns, BA, Christian Studies, Shawnee; Lafe Cole Cruzan, BA, Applied Ministry: Youth Emphasis, Minor: Political Science, Checotah; Pamela Sue Deal, BA, Religion: Departmental/Family Development, Oklahoma City; Brandon Dennis DiMiceli, BA, Religion: Bible, Minor: Business Administration, Trophy Club, Texas; Scott Allen Donis, BA, Religion: Bible, Minor: History, Shawnee; Melvin Scott Ferris, AA, Christian Studies, Miami; Eric McKinley Gaston, BA, Religion: Bible, Minor: Business Administration, Shawnee; Kevin Scott Hanel, BA, Applied Ministry: Pastoral Emphasis, Minor: Business Administration, Elmore City; Christopher Barrett Hantla, BA, Religion: Bible, Minor Communication Studies, Edmond; Nicole Andrea Hutches, BA, Applied Ministry: Cross-Cultural Emphasis, Minor: English, Spokane, Wash.; Danny Ray Ledford, BA, Christian Studies, Shawnee; Israel Daniel Maxwell, BA, Religion: Bible, Minor: History, Oklahoma City; Daniel Kyle Miller, BA, Applied Ministry: Cross-Cultural Ministry, Minor: TESOL, Amarillo, Texas; Ray Eugene Owens, BA, Applied Ministry: Pastoral Emphasis, Minor: Sociology, Oklahoma City; Brandon James Schmidt, AA, Christian Studies, Miami; Joseph Thomas Sinko, BA, Christian Studies, Shawnee; Craig Thomas Smith, BA, Applied Ministry: Youth Emphasis, Minor: History, Oklahoma City; Trinity Joyce Tinsley, BA, Applied Ministry: Children’s Ministry, Minor: Education, Shawnee; Gina Sue Verzani, BA, Applied Ministry: Children’s Ministry, Minor: Family Development, Largo, Fla.; and Lindsey Alina Wood, BA, Applied Ministry: Educational Emphasis, Minor: Church Recreation, Shawnee.

Receiving degrees from the Paul Dickinson School of Business, with their degree and hometown were Jennifer Michelle Barrier, BBA, Marketing, Minor: Music, Houston, Texas; Kevin Allen Chartney, BBA, Management, Edmond; Darin Matthew Copeland, BBA, Accounting (second degree), Altus; Jason Kent Greenwalt, BBA, Management, Shawnee; Jeffrey Wayne Kasterke, BBA, Finance, Minor: Art, Shawnee; Matthew Stephen Mounger, BBA, Management, Tulsa; James Antwi Owusu, BS, Computer Science, Interdisciplinary: Biology, Rochester, Minn.; and Tambrea Lea Tschida, BBA, Finance/Management, Lakeland, Minn.

Receiving their degrees from the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts with their degree and hometown were Kristen Leigh Burns Martin, BA, Art, Indianapolis, Ind.; Grant Christopher Downing, BA, Telecommunication, Minor: Psychology, Derby, Kan.; LaShara Lynn Evans, BA, Communication Studies, Midland, Texas; Rebecca Michelle Littlefield, BA, Art, Oklahoma City; Tracy Leann McNamar, BSE/HONORS, Art Education, K-12, Minor: Applied Ministry Thesis Presentation: “Progression in Still Life Painting: Ancient to the Present,” Duncan; Elizabeth Ashley Mitchell, BA, Theatre, Minor: Applied Ministry, Magnolia, Texas; Crystal Summer Morrow, BM, Vocal Performance, Sand Springs; Cayce Nichole Rennell, BME, Music Education, Vocal K-12, Piano, Midwest City Kathryn Rebekah Simpson, BSE, Art Education, K-12, Colleyville, Texas; Thresa Ann Swadley, BMA, Musical Arts: Cello, Minor: Communication Arts; Shawnee; Jeremiah Ray Titsworth, BA, Music, Okmulgee; and Erin Leigh Whitmore, BSE, Art Education, K-12, Arlington, Texas.

Receiving their degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences with their degree and hometown were Alissa Ann Baxter, BSE, Social Sciences, Secondary Education, Abbotsford, B.C.; Allison Marie Bender, BA, Leisure Service Management - Sports Ministry, Minor: Religion, Plano, Texas; Jennifer Michelle Berkner, BS, Exercise & Sports Science: Athletic Training, Haltom City, Texas; Sara Marie Bosquez, BA, Psychology, Minor: Communication Studies, Tulsa; Travis Lee Calton, BS, Exercise & Sports Science: Pre-Physical Therapy, McLoud; Alicia Marie Chapman, BSE, Elementary Education, Broken Arrow; Stefanie Marie Cole, BSE, Mathematics, Secondary Education, Sperry; Maria Magdalena Conchos, BSE, Elementary Education/Early Childhood Education; Ponca City; Jessica Erin Dayer, BSE, Elementary Education, Midwest City; Lori Beth Demel, BSE, Elementary Education; Lubbock, Texas; Ryan Matthew Fowler, BSE, Social Sciences, Secondary Education, Wagoner; Scott Gordon Greenland, BA, Sociology, Minor: Religion, Shawnee; Daryl S. Halsey, BSE, Social Sciences, Secondary Education, Coaching Endorsement, Loveland, Colo.; Spencer Lenox Hicks, BA, Public Relations, Minor: Art, Shawnee; Kimberly Anne Huxford, BSE, Health, Physical Education, & Recreation, K-12, Brazoria, Texas; Stephanie Kay Lee Jackson, BA, Family Psychology, Minor: Social Work, Oklahoma City; Joseph F. Kendrick, BA, English, Minor: Journalism, Rockport, Texas; Lindsey Dawn King, BA/HONORS, Interdisciplinary: English/Public Relations/Business Administration, Thesis Presentation: “One’s Life and Fiction: Autobiographical Elements in the Works of Betty Smith," Moore; Deena Leann Lay, BS, Mathematics, Minor: Applied Ministry, Boise City; Penny Elizabeth Lay, BSE, Spanish Education, PK-12, Boise City; Alison Joy Lorton, BA, Psychology, Minor: Business Administration, Mustang; Frank Ryan Moser, BSE, Social Sciences, Secondary Education, Shawnee; Daniel Thomas Myers, BA, Sociology, Minor: Religion, Oklahoma City; Auburn Gayle Pray, BA, Family Psychology, Minor: Religion, Tulsa; Christina Marie Ratcliff, BA, Family Psychology, Minor: Social Work, Shawnee; Jeremy Shane Rowan, BA, English, Minor: Music, Fort Gibson; Jessica Rachelle Rubicam, BSE, Elementary Education, Shawnee; Matthew Alan Schlosser, BA, Public Relations, Minor: Telecommunication, Los Lunas, N.M.; Emily Mae Stinnett, BSE, Early Childhood Education, Shawnee; Lauren April Stone, BA, Family Development, Minor: Applied Ministry, Tulsa; Brandy Rachelle Thurman, BSE, Mathematics, Secondary Education, Tecumseh Christopher Thomas Victory, BA, Political Science, Minor: History, Shreveport, La.; Jennifer Belle Williams, BA, Sociology, Minor: Business Administration, Norman; and Mindy Luann Wolff Johnson, BA, Multilingual Communication: Spanish/German, Minor: French, Tulsa.

Of the graduates, three received the predicate summa cum laude, having maintained at least a grade point average of 3.95 on all work offered for the degree. Those three were Jeremy Michael Buck, Alicia Marie Chapman and Lauren April Stone.

Maintaining at least a 3.7 grade point average and earning the predicate Magna Cum Laude are Sara Marie Bosquez, Stefanie Marie Cole, Lori Beth Demel, Jeffrey Wayne Kasterke, Lindsey Dawn King, Deena Leann Lay, Danny Ray Ledford, Trasy Leann McNamar, Daniel Kyle Miller, Crystal Summer Morrow, Cayce Nichole Rennell, Thresa Ann Swadley, Brandy Rachelle Thurman, Christopher Thomas Victory and Erin Leigh Whitmore.

Earned the predicate Cum Laude, by maintaining at least a 3.40 grade point average, were Denise Louise Batchelor, Allison Marie Bender, Kevin Allen Chartney, Darin Matthew Copeland, Jessica Erin Dayer, Ryan Matthew Fowler, Nicole Andrea Hutches, Stephanie Kay Lee Jackson, Alison Joy Lorton, Frank Ryan Moser, Auburn Gayle Pray, Jessica Rachelle Rubicam, Kathryn Rebekah Simpson, Emily Mae Stinnett and Gina Sue Verzani.

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