OU appoints Chief COVID Officer
Dr. Dale Bratzler, a professor and chair in OU’s Hudson College of Public Health, has been named OU’s chief COVID officer. A leading expert on infectious diseases for the past 25 years, Bratzler has informed Oklahoma’s response to the pandemic since January and will advise the university on its phased return to normal campus operations beginning this summer. For more information on Bratzler, see “This Is Going To Be Different” in the spring issue of Sooner Magazine.
OU’s Nichols, Hurts named Big 12 Athletes of the Year
University of Oklahoma gymnast Maggie Nichols and former quarterback Jalen Hurts have been named the 2019-20 Big 12 Athletes of the Year. Nichols is the only Sooner to win the award two years in a row and also to win the AAI Award, the gymnastic “Heisman.” She intends to return to OU in the fall to finish her master’s degree in sports broadcasting, while Hurts has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The University of Oklahoma announced a record-high $255.6 million in research awards earned through grants and external funding by OU researchers on the Norman campus. The fiscal year 2020 total surpasses the previous benchmark of $218 million for the 2019 fiscal year. Adds Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships, “The continued growth of sponsored research at OU is testament to the creativity, innovation and hard work of our faculty and to the quality of the research being explored.
Welcome home, Courtney!
Courtney Paris, the most decorated player in OU women’s basketball history, is returning to campus to serve as assistant coach after a 10-year career in the WNBA. Paris electrified fans during her four years at OU and won numerous awards, including the 2007 AP National Player of the Year as a sophomore. She led the Sooners to three Big 12 regular season titles, two conference tournament titles and four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. “I am thrilled and so grateful to Coach [Sherry] Coale and Joe Castiglione for this opportunity to return to my alma mater,” Paris says.
OU plans educational events on Tulsa Race Massacre
OU will commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre with a yearlong educational initiative across the university’s three campuses. The destruction took place in the Greenwood District when a white mob attacked the prosperous Black community, burning buildings and killing hundreds, according to the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. The project is being coordinated by professors Kalenda Eaton and Karlos Hill of the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies.
Shaking in the Library
Tim Smith, head of web services and artificial intelligence for the University of Oklahoma Libraries, was recently named to the 2020 Movers & Shakers by Library Journal. By utilizing new technology and analyzing data, Smith has helped improve visitor engagement in everything from exhibitions (people prefer timelines and graphics to reading text) to creating a homework calculator that gives students a step-by-step timeline of what they need to do to complete an assignment. Where was that technology in the 1980s?