Art continues to flow across the OU-Tulsa campus with the addition of a large, vibrant mural on the Founders Student Center. The mural’s images echo OU’s Seed Sower and symbolize the sowing of education throughout Tulsa while highlighting the contributions of OU-Tulsa’s unique and diverse students, faculty and staff. Two of OU-Tulsa’s longtime art installations—20-year-old painted statues of a penguin and a bison—also got makeovers and are ready to take their place in Tulsa’s thriving public art scene. The three projects were guided by local art collective Black Moon, which has created multiple art installations across Tulsa.
Opening Native Opportunities
A $2 million National Institutes of Health grant, “YES! Oklahoma,” will help OU increase the number of American Indian high school students preparing for future careers in biomedical and cancer research. The grant will provide a group of Native high schoolers with an intensive OU summer research experience and college credit. Middle- and high-school teachers from throughout Oklahoma also will receive summer trainings to take back to their schools. Cancer impacts Native Americans disproportionately, in part because “American Indian professionals are underrepresented in scientific fields, particularly those in biomedical research, and near-absent in cancer research,” said project director and OU Professor of Anthropology Cecil M. Lewis Jr.
On a Mission for Data
As an intern studying fair housing with the Oklahoma Access to Justice Foundation, OU third-year law student Adam Hines found scant data about evictions, which are at a statewide high and heavily impact the elderly and families. So the editor of OU’s Oklahoma Law Review spent his summer traveling nine counties and attending 500 eviction court hearings. Hines cross-referenced the Oklahoma State Courts Network and discovered problems ranging from overcrowded dockets to geographic inequity and inconsistent application of the Landlord Tenant Act. His findings are published in the report, Case by Case: A Study of Oklahoma’s Eviction Courts and a Path Toward Equity. To read the report, click here.
Flying to the Top
FLYING magazine named the OU School of Aviation No. 1 in the nation out of nearly 100 peer colleges and universities across the country. Programs were judged on value, aviation fleet, facilities, location, campus life and industry partners. The magazine’s editors credited the program’s “strong business focus, which prepares students for the aviation industry from a different perspective.” OU has been teaching students the business of aviation since 1947 and offers concentrations in professional piloting, air traffic management, and aviation management, as well as career “pathway programs” with several U.S. airlines.
OU joined a coalition of more than 40 Oklahoma partners who applied for and won a $35 million award through the Build Back Better Regional Challenge of the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The Oklahoma Biotech Innovation Cluster Initiative, or OBIC, will support efforts across the state to expand critical science infrastructure, increase research and development programs and partnerships, and foster inclusive access to high-wage career pathways. OU receives $24.9 million to develop a biotech core research and workforce-training facility, design programming for a regional biotech startup pipeline, and significantly grow the translational drug discovery and early phase clinical trial programs at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center.
Honoring the Five Moons
The perseverance and talent of five renowned Oklahoma Native American ballerinas were celebrated during the OU School of Dance’s second annual Five Moons Dance Festival in September. The ballerinas, known as the “Five Moons,” were Moscelyne Larkin, Maria Tallchief, Marjorie Tallchief, Rosella Hightower and Yvonne Chouteau. Each performed on the world’s greatest stages, weaving their legacies into Oklahoma history and the art of dance. The festival culminated in a performance featuring artists from OU’s School of Dance, the Oklahoma City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet II, the Native community and works by guest choreographer Sidra Bell.
Confetti falls over hundreds gathered at the September statue dedication honoring OU’s legendary Selmon brothers, Lucious, Dewey and Lee Roy. The tremendous defensive trio was as beloved off the field as on and helped lead the Sooners to two national championships and four Big Eight championships between 1971 and 1975 under Coach Barry Switzer.