OBU Confers 312 Degrees

May 21, 2001

Oklahoma Baptist University conferred degrees on 312 students in Raley Chapel Saturday after OBU President Mark Brister challenged them to makes wise choices, be strong and be connected spiritually and relationally.

An overflow crowd of more than 2,000 people watched the 10 a.m. ceremony at OBU's John Wesley Raley Chapel.

Brister asked the students to think about how they would spend their lives and what they would do with their years on Bison Hill.

"The challenge is to lose yourself in God's story so you can find your story inside the all-encompassing story of God's faithfulness," said Brister. "If you do this then you will be able to apply wisdom."

Brister added that being strong sometimes meant silence and often means making room for and listening to God.

He also stressed the importance of relationships, both with God and man. He said that while one's faith in God is personal, it should be shared.

"I challenge you, though your faith is very personal in your relationship with Jesus, it is never private," Brister said.

Three members of the OBU faculty were honored with annual awards.

Dr. Jimmie Russell, professor of education, received the Distinguished Teacher Award. The honor is given to a faculty member who has maintained his or her teaching career in an exemplary fashion, as acknowledged by colleagues and current and former students. Dr. Russell has been a member of the OBU faculty since 1981.

Dr. Don Wester, professor of philosophy, received the Meritorious Service Award. The award is given to a faculty or staff member who has made a substantial commitment of talent and service to OBU. Dr. Wester has been a member of the OBU faculty since 1968.

Ford Mastin, assistant professor of health, physical education and recreation, received the Promising Teacher Award, which is given to a junior faculty member who demonstrates outstanding potential as a teacher. Mastin, who also coaches the OBU track and cross country teams, has been with the university since 1996.

Four retiring OBU faculty members were honored during the service. Dr. Shirley Jones, Crouch-Mathis professor of literature, retires after 37 years at OBU. Clifford Lehmann, supervisor of the media center, retires after 26 years at OBU. Dr. Don Wester, professor of philosophy, retires after 31 years at OBU. Dr. Slayden Yarbrough, Dickinson professor of religion, retires after 22 years at OBU.

An associate's degree in Christian studies was presented posthumously to James Nobles. Nobles, 32, was killed by a drunk driver April 30.

From the College of Arts and Sciences, candidates for bachelor's degrees included: Michael Timothy Abel, Tulsa, mathematics education; Jenny Lynn Affentranger, Seminole, elementary education; Michael Mark Affentranger, Shawnee, political science; Scott Ryan Alexander, Edmond, family psychology; Destini Faye Anderson, Minco, sports medicine; Marka Denise Sadler Atha, Cheyenne, elementary and early childhood education; Elizabeth Renee Baldridge, Jenks, Spanish; Todd Brandon Barber, Spring, Texas, sports medicine; Cori Gail Bean, Okemah, English, education; Susan Alisha Bellene, Paris, Texas, journalism; Jeffrey Scott Beyer, Sapulpa, social sciences education; Courtney Boland, Sanger, Texas, family development; Denise Dawn Boothe, Wichita, Kan., family psychology; Elizabeth Thi Bowers, Newalla, chemistry education; Jennifer Ann Brittain, Shawnee, sports medicine; Corey D. Brooks, Purcell, political science and missions; Kamden Denae Browning, Chesterfield, Mo., early childhood and elementary education; Jeffrey M. Bryant, Oklahoma City, anthropology and museum management; Rachel Christina Buckingham, Bedford, Texas, English education; Elizabeth Ann Davidson Burkhalter, Fayetteville, Ark., Spanish education; Jason Alan Burns, Shawnee, recreation administration; Beth Annelle Carter, Camden, Ark., elementary education; Lisa Suzanne Case, Meeker, elementary education; Erica Marie Casperson, Norman, social work; Jill Rene Clark, Shawnee, elementary education; Russell Craig Click, Shawnee, biology; Kristen Anne Clippard, Oklahoma City, English education; Nathan Paul Cloar, Mustang, biology and Spanish; Crystal Amber Comer, Gallup, N.M., early childhood and elementary education; Christina Mae Cooper, Ponca City, chemistry; Annie Leigh Corlew, San Antonio, Texas, pre-physical therapy; Sarah Margaret Cowell, Haltom City, Texas, elementary education; Amy Louise Curry, Midwest City, family development; Bridget Elizabeth Davidson, Jenks, public relations; Kelli Lynn Desin, Billings, Mont., sports medicine; Haven Janelle DeYong, Shawnee, elementary education; Julie Lynn Divine, Overland Park, Kan., psychology; Sarah Elisabeth Duck, Dearborn, Mich., chemistry and biology; Laura Lea Eakens, Ada, English; Eileen Jennifer Edwards, Duncan, family psychology; Courtney Patrice Eldreth, Santee, Calif., biology; Laura Beth Estell, Mustang, biology; Jason Dwaine Farris, Shawnee, biology; Amy Nichols Franke, Oklahoma City, family psychology; Lacy Leigh Freeman, Shawnee, elementary education; Edythe Rose Gatlin, Vinita, elementary education; Jessica Noelle Gibson, Shawnee, English; Keith A. Graff, Chickasha, social sciences education; Scott Joseph Gray, Oklahoma City, family psychology; Julia Kathleen Grimes, Highland Village, Texas, early childhood and elementary education; Kristina Diane Hall, Denton, Texas, sports medicine; Jeffrey Michael Hansen, Tishomingo, sports medicine; Christopher Dickson Hayes, Oklahoma City, biology; Stephanie Janel Henderson, Shawnee, mathematics; Christian Nathaniel Herring, Wellston, English education; Karie Rae Hibbard, Olathe, Kan., elementary education; Buffy Erin Hillmer, Omaha, Neb., elementary and early childhood education; Aron Brook Hogue, Willow Park, Texas, natural science; Catherine Elizabeth Gim Ling Hom, Honolulu, Hawaii, elementary education; Brian James Hood, Fairhope, Ala., biology; D. Desiree Howard, Wellston, Spanish; Brooke Noel Hubbard, Woodland Park, Colo., natural science; Brooke Leigh Hutson, Cuba, Mo., public relations; Kelley Deanne James, Lake Charles, La., English education; Rodney Douglas Jandebeur, Tulsa, recreation administration; Clarissa Littlehead-Johnson, Shawnee, political science; Christina R. Jolly, Plainview, Texas, biology; Christopher M. Jones, Strongsville, Ohio, English; Corrie Lenn Jones, Edmond; pre-physical therapy; Lance Emery Jordan, Hacienda Heights, Calif., sports medicine; Cara Lynn Kephart, Midwest City, family psychology; Sarah Kathryn Knight, Broken Arrow, pre-physical therapy; Hutchison Lee Kufahl, Broken Arrow, public relations; Jennifer Robin Lacourse, Midwest City, pre-physical therapy; Joe Daniel Laird, Gillette, Wy., history; Sommer Michelle Laird, Morrison, biology; Amanda Elizabeth Lancaster, Tulsa, pre-physical therapy; Rebekah Jo Lawson, Vandalia, Ill., family psychology; Malynda Sue Layn, Marlow, family development; Sara Dawn Lesley, Idabel, social science education; Ginger Diane Lovelace, Shawnee, English education; Laura Joan Lucero, Roswell, N.M., early childhood and elementary education; Lindsay Noelle Lyon, Fort Worth, Texas, English and Spanish; Ruthy Marchessault, Shawnee, elementary education; Julie Anne Martin, Duncan, family psychology; Marny Danelle May, Denison, Texas, family development; Terri Lynne McAfee, Cleveland, interdisciplinary; Adrienne Leigh McCaskill, Allen, Texas, elementary education; Lincoln Clay McElroy, Shawnee, interdisciplinary; Nikki Leah McMillen, Wichita, Kan., elementary education; Jason Allen McNerney, Shawnee, sports medicine; Jennifer Beth Miler, Oklahoma City, early childhood education; Holly Jo Miller, Bartlesville, early childhood education; Brandi D. Moore, Choctaw, public relations; Mindy Jean Morrison, Tulsa, sports medicine; Ashley Blair Neal, Shawnee, family psychology; Kathleen Malia Neff, Mililani, Hawaii, family psychology; Kendra Ann Nelson, Sterling, Colo., political science; Jarrod Brandon Newcom, Salem, Mo., psychology; Tami Dawn Nichols, Oklahoma City, mathematics education; Trudy Gale Oliver, Lakewood, Colo., chemistry; Esther Lee Owens, Bolivar, Mo., public relations; Johnie L. Owens, Spiro, biology; Sarah Michele Packard, Grapevine, Texas, special education; Kellie Diane Pollard, Henrietta, Texas, family psychology; Elizabeth Watts Pray, Broken Arrow, elementary education; Alissa Jo Price, Ft. Gibson, English education; Elizabeth Price, Azle, Texas, elementary and early childhood education; Mandy Jill Pyron, Marlow, elementary and early childhood education; Natalie Frances Ranne, Berryville, Ark., interdisciplinary; Jenny Lynn Rempel, Medford, anthropology and museum management; Willena Faye Reynolds, Memphis, Tenn., pre-physical therapy; Aaron Kyle Ritter, Yakima, Wash., public relations; Brandon Ray Robertson, Shawnee, pre-physical therapy; Steven Todd Russell, Oklahoma City, psychology; Peter Martin Samwel, III, McLoud, mathematics; Benjamin Thomas Schadegg, Edmond, sociology; Kristen Deann Schmidt, Livermore, Calif., psychology; Kelsey Louise Scoggins, Hooker, public relations; David Kyle Heath Sivadon, Pauls Valley, health, physical education, and recreation, Kristy Gayle Smith, Chickasha, psychology; Rebekah Elizabeth Ann Smith, Independence, Mo., special education; Sara Ruth Snider, Corn, mathematics; Joel Micah Sprague, Bedford, Texas, public relations; Rachel Marie Stark, Leawood, Kan., pre-physical therapy; Kellie Elizabeth Steele, Shawnee, family psychology; Heather Rene Stolz, Mountain View, biology; Michelle Dawn Stone, Tulsa, elementary and early childhood education; Matthew William Swan, Pryor, biology; Julie M. Land Taylor, Broken Arrow, elementary education; Nikole Lee Taylor, Ada, psychology; Amanda Jolene Teague, Milwaukie, Ore., psychology; Kristi Michele Turley, Weleetka, sports medicine; Heather Dawn Turner, Bartlesville, early childhood education; Marshall Joel Turvey, Shawnee, Kan., humanities; Jadee Lee Upshaw, Shawnee, chemistry and biology; Kathleen Marie Van Eron, Beggs, German; Lauren Nicole Vaughan, Oklahoma City, English and anthropology and museum management; Michelle Joy Vinarskai, San Antonio, Texas, family psychology; Leslie A. Wall, Shawnee, elementary education; Richart Frank Watkins, Aiea, Hawaii, sports medicine; Elizabeth Ann Weber, Grapevine, Texas, elementary education; Natalie Dian Wetzel, Fort Smith, Ark., early childhood education; Cara Lee Whedbee, Fort Smith, Ark., family psychology; Kerrie Michelle Whited, Forney, Texas, elementary education; Jeanette Margaret Wight, Edmond, sports medicine; Jennifer Beth Willeford, Duncan, public relations; Matthew Thomas Willoughby, Lawton, English; and Kelli Diane Kanani Yasuhara, Overland Park, Kan., elementary education.

From the Paul Dickinson School of Business, candidates for bachelor's degrees included: Mika Dawn Beall, Puyallup, Wash., international business; Emily Dawn Bender, Plano, Texas, finance; Andrew Kenneth Bishop, Lakewood, Wash., computer science; Tori Renee Blyth, Allen, Texas, marketing; Ryan Nickolas Burk, Beford, Texas, computer science; Andrea Michelle Cassil, Harrah, computer science; Jody Shalayn Clark, Shawnee, finance; Noah Dale Divine, Seward, Neb., computer science; Jarod Adam Driskill, Broken Arrow, international business; Christopher Michael Elliot, Shawnee, accounting; Joshua Stephen Ewert, Seminole, management; Stephen Chad Evans, Midland, Texas, computer science; Kevin Lee Gilbreath, Wichita Falls, Texas, finance; Ryan Jay Golightly, Owasso, marketing; Stacey Nicole Henson, McLoud, finance; Kenneth James Hively, Gilbert, Ariz., computer information systems; Dori Christine Hochgraber, Mesquite, Texas, marketing; Aubrey Marie Hooper, Oklahoma City, management; Rebecca Elizabeth Johnson, Broken Arrow, marketing; Erin Elizabeth Kennedy, Edmond, marketing; Ryan O'Niel Linders, Oklahoma City, marketing; Greg Edward Mackey, Stroud, computer science; Michael John Mantel, Layton, Utah, marketing; Christopher Alan McCracken, Ness City, Kan., healthcare administration; Brent Lee Minter, Duncan, marketing and management; Karla Marie Moore, Roswell, N.M., international business; Jerry Don Nickerson, Wagoner, international business; Tonya G. Orr, Broken Arrow, finance; Kristin Kaye Packnett, Shawnee, marketing; James Addison Pendergrast, Jr., Albuquerque, N.M., management; Jonathan Andrew Poe, Midwest City, management; Matthew Brent Robbins, Midwest City, marketing; Matthew Corley Romoser, Beltsville, Md., management; Steven Todd Russell, Oklahoma City, management; Christina Lynn Ryan, Prague, finance; Dustin Kent Sanders, Burleson, Texas, marketing; Amy Renne Self, Stringtown, management; Kelley Elizabeth Simpson, Barling, Ark., marketing; Courtney Dawn Stewart, Overland Park, Kan., finance; Lauren Garlow Thomas, Shawnee, computer information systems and accounting; and Scott David Timmons, McAlester, finance and international business.

From the Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service, candidates for bachelor's degrees included: Eric Daniel Barreto, Fairport, N.Y., biblical languages; Andrew James Boyd, Tulsa, youth ministry; Ernestine Brown, Oklahoma City, Bible; Travis Kent Burkhalter, Sioux Falls, S.D., cross-cultural ministry; Leah Noelle Carroll, Ponca City, cross-cultural ministry; Vern Frank Charette, Jr., Shawnee, Bible; Michael Ladd Copeland, Austin, Texas, cross-cultural ministry; Eric Paul Costanzo, Bixby, Bible; Jason Matthew Fraysher, Clifton, Va., Bible; Marlon G. Funez, Houston, Texas, Bible: Aaron James Gantenbein, University Place, Wash., cross-cultural ministry; Brian Anthony Glorioso, Shreveport, La., Bible; Patrick John Hanley, Ocoee, Fla., youth ministry; Michael Allan Harrington, Choctaw, Bible; Amber Louise Harville, Oklahoma City, children's ministry; Daniel Christopher Hillen, Lee's Summit, Mo., youth ministry; Galen F. Irby, Gilbert, Ariz., interdisciplinary; Michael Paul James, McAlister, religion; Jeremy Brent Johnson, Seminole, youth ministry; Rachel Casto Johnson, Glenwood Springs, Colo., Bible: Stephen Randall Knox, Olathe, Kan., Bible; Jerry Todd Lambert, Broken Arrow, biblical languages; Stephanie Dawn Lankford, Choctaw, cross-cultural ministry; Rebecca Ann Larson, Lee's Summit, Mo., youth ministry; Sean Alan Love, Enid, youth ministry; Michael John Mantel, Layton, Utah, Bible; Melissa Dawn McNeil, Fishers, Ind., education ministry; Daniel Ross Morrow, Sand Springs, philosophy; Jenell Rae Bradley Morrow, Blanchard, youth ministry; Michael Douglas Moore, Bethany, youth ministry; Jared Arlis Motley, Hollis, Bible; Carole N. Ricks Neel, Tulsa, Christian studies (second degree), Jason David Peck, Oklahoma City, youth ministry; Adam W. Pray, Tulsa, religion; Daryl Reininger, Ada, Bible; Lauren Gayle Sapp, Oklahoma City, cross-cultural ministry; Matthew A. Smith, Shawnee, missions; Christopher Marc Snider, Creve Coeur, Mo., Bible; Daniel Thomas Snow, Claremont, N.C., cross-cultural ministry; Gregory Wayne Stamps, North Richland Hills, Texas, pastoral minsitry; Justin Keith Stanford, Burleson, Texas, biblical languages; Kimberly Lachelle Storer, Noble, cross-cultural ministry; Robert Lewis Stuckey, Oxford, N.C., interdisciplinary; Jennifer Michelle Swartout, Oklahoma City, cross-cultural ministry; Mathew Lee Thomas, Shawnee, philosophy; Donald S. Todd, Yorktown, Va., pastoral ministry; Bradley Glenn VanDeventer, Anadarko, biblical languages; Christin LeeAnn Warren, Norman, children's ministry; Christopher Andrew Wheeler, Tulsa, Bible; and Daniel Carson Wright, Prague, pastoral ministry.

From the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts, candidates for bachelor's degrees included: Louise Branstetter, Harrisonville, Mo., telecommunication; Britton Dane Buss, Seminole, telecommunication; Stacey Marie Canfield, Springdale, Ark., communication studies; Erika Marie Clausing, St. John, Kan., instrumental and vocal music education; Sara Nicole Clinton, Chugiak, Alaska, art; Richard David Cole, Liberty. Mo., telecommunication; Brooke Anne Collins, Plano, Texas, theatre; Sarah Jean Gipson, Norman, communication studies; Laura Anne Graham, Keller, Texas, music education; Traci Suzanne Lyon Gray, Seminole, communication studies; Jamison Lindsay Henninger, Tulsa, theatre; Jessica Erin Hicks, Shawnee, telecommunication; Rachel Hope Hines, Oklahoma City, art education; Brandon M. Holt, Midwest City, musical arts; Elizabeth Joy Hunt, Greenville, Texas, telecommunication; Christopher Paul Jeter, Fishers, Ind., communication studies; Cynthia Lee Jones, Pinehurst, Texas, music education, Matthew Aaron Kelly, Houston, Texas, church music; Dustin Lee Lancaster, Wichita Falls, Texas, art; Greg Edward Mackey, Stroud, musical arts; Joshua Chad McClellan, Oklahoma City, communication studies; Aaron Matthew McDonald, Tecumseh, church music; Rebecca Lynn McIntyre, Highlands Ranch, Colo., music education; Stephanie Nicole Norman, Colleyville, Texas, communication studies; Carrie Michelle Phillips, Owasso, communication studies; William Scott Poole, Southlake, Texas, telecommunication; Joy Elizabeth Redfearn, Hurst, Texas, musical arts; Zachary Davis Robison, Sayre, telecommunication; William Lindsley Shockley, IV, Bluefield, Va., musical arts; Rachel G. Todd, Van Buren, Ark., communication studies; Randall Allan Umstead, Olathe, Kan., voice; Jeremy Eugene Upchurch, Eastland, Texas, telecommunication; Jessica Amber Winderweedle, Vinita, musical arts; and William Hart Wright, Newcastle, telecommunication.

From the School of Nursing, candidates for bachelor's degrees included: Jennifer Dawn Atterbury, Midwest City, nursing; Lisa Elaine Marie Brown, Oklahoma City, nursing; Lisa Gail Brown, Midwest City, nursing; Diana Lynn Carper, Shawnee, nursing; Julie Ann Coppedge, Albuquerque, N.M., nursing; Jennifer Ann Crane, Shawnee, nursing; Kimberly Michelle Crouch, Woodland Park, Colo., nursing; Senen DeCastro Dadulo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, nursing; Allison Renee Ford, St. Charles, Mo., nursing; Cassidy Suzanne Glenn, Arlington, Texas, nursing; Andrea Elizabeth Graf, Melaka, Malaysia, nursing; Jackie Lynn Haney, Meeker, nursing; Aaron Matthew Hines, Rogers, Ark., nursing; Seong G. Jin, Jinju, South Korea, nursing; Stacy Lynn Katterhenry, Tulsa, nursing; Andrea Marie Lucas, Claremore, nursing; Jennifer Ann McPherson, Allen, Texas, nursing; Cherri Lynne Moore, Shawnee, nursing; Nichole Hopkins Morris, Shawnee, nursing (second degree); Jennifer Jo Nomura, Owasso, nursing; Michael Robert Stevenson, New Ulm, Minn., nursing; Cheryl Marie Stewart, Midwest City, nursing; Stephanie Celine Stewart, Norman, nursing; Teresa Renee Tucker, Troy, Ill., nursing; Lori Lynn Wachter, Naperville, Ill., nursing; and Leigh Anne Warren, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, nursing.

Nine graduate students received master of science degrees in marriage and family therapy from OBU's marriage and family therapy graduate program. The graduate students included: Christopher Wayne Bailey, Tomball, Texas; Kelli Dawn Timmons Belt, McAlester; Kristi Renee Burchfiel, Oklahoma City; Shawn David Crawley, Shawnee; Linda Margaret Damron, Del City; Christopher Robert Giles, Broken Arrow; Jane Lynne Jones, Shawnee; Marie Jacqueline Mathurin, Tulsa; and Michael James Wernli, Norman.