Graduate School to Present Degrees March 3

Oklahoma Rep. Kris Steele, who serves as Speaker of the House, will bring the Commencement Address during OBU’s Graduate School Commencement ceremony Saturday, March 3, in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. The community is invited to attend.

Graduates receiving master of business administration degrees include: Kimberly Berube, Maria Antonieta Canaga, Michael Paul Dickinson, Melissa Ann Bales Fisher, Markesha Ann Gray, Lily Irons, Poonam Manandhar, Benjamin Scott McKinney and Courtney Miller.

Graduates receiving master of science degrees in nursing include: Pamela Renée Boeck, Casey Jae Cassidy, Simone Marsha-Lee Guthrie, Roberta Carolyn Brown Harris, Leslie Bray Hobbs, Marisa Murray Moore, Lisa Ann Paden, Lenita Marie White Palmer, Jyoti Pandey, Kathlynn S. Smith, Janice Deloise Stanfield, Carie Lee Strauch, Staci Michelle Swim, Marsha L. Tahquechi, Jerrie Cox Tripp, Sheri L. Wainscott and Kiasha Nicole Williams.

Steele graduated from OBU in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in religion. He earned a master’s degree in education from East Central University in 2006. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in November 2000. In 2010, Steele was designated the GOP caucus choice for Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the role he formally assumed in January 2011.

Outside of his work in the state legislature, Steele serves as senior pastor at Wesley United Methodist Church in Shawnee. Engaging in a life of community service, he also has served as an educator at Tecumseh Alternative High School, a life-skills educator at Gateway to Prevention, and a counselor for students in the Job Training Partnership Act at Gordon Cooper Technology Center.

Steele is married to Kellie Kursar Steele, who earned a bachelor’s degree in family psychology from OBU in 2001. They have two daughters, Mackenzie and Madison.

A luncheon for the business graduates prior to the Commencement ceremony will feature remarks from OBU President David W. Whitlock and from Dr. David Houghton, dean of the university’s Paul Dickinson College of Business. The luncheon also will include remarks from Dr. Rich Rudebock, Cargill associate professor of business, graduate Kimberly Berube and Dr. Stan Norman, provost and executive vice president for campus life.

The luncheon honoring the nursing graduates will be hosted by Dr. Scott Harris, director of the OBU Graduate School, and Dr. Whitlock will offer remarks. Each nursing graduate will receive a unique pin specifically designed for OBU MSN graduates. The pins will be presented by Dr. Lana Bolhouse, dean of the college of nursing; Dr. Claudine Dickey, director of residency programs; and Dr. Robbie Henson, professor of nursing.