World Literature Today celebrated two milestones in 2022: turning 95 and publishing its 400th issue. OU’s renowned literary magazine was recognized recently with a special citation on the floor of the Oklahoma State House of Representatives. “World Literature Today has a following around the world,” said executive director Robert Con Davis-Undiano (left), pictured here with Rep. Merelyn Bell of Norman and WLT editor-in-chief Daniel Simon. The magazine is seen by more than 1.4 million readers annually. “It belongs to the people of Oklahoma, and I’m so proud to be one of the stewards of this rich tradition,” Davis-Undiano says.
Sharing the Word
A $345,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant —the largest ever awarded to OU—will help the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History provide online access to the museum’s extensive Native American languages collection. The collection represents 1,300 languages and features manuscripts, field notes, audio and video recordings, translations, correspondence and other materials in Native languages. Online access will make the materials publicly available for browsing and download free of charge through a new website; strengthen relationships with Native community partners; and provide an invaluable resource to researchers, educators, students and Oklahoma tribal communities.
Allam Receives Pulitzer
Former OU Daily editor and 1999 alumna Hannah Allam was part of a Washington Post team that received the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service in May. Their three-part project, “The Attack,” detailed the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, based on more than 230 interviews and thousands of pages of documents. Allam formerly was Baghdad bureau chief for the McClatchy newspaper group during the Iraq War and was inducted into the OU Student Media Hall of Fame in 2016. She joins a list of at least 10 OU Student Media alums and faculty who’ve won journalism’s top prize.
Engineering a Future
The future came to life for 150 high school juniors and seniors from across the state participating in OU’s “Engineering Days” this summer. The annual, one-day camps have been in operation since 2015 and bring students together with OU faculty and current engineering majors for hands-on learning and experimentation in a dozen different disciplines. More than 80 percent of this year’s cohort hope to become first-generation college students, while 40 percent are from underrepresented backgrounds. The camp makes believers out of participants—last year, a majority enrolled at OU, almost all in engineering.
What a Year!
OU Athletics wrapped up a year for the record books. Softball won its sixth—and second straight—NCAA Women’s College World Series championship, and baseball earned runners-up honors at the NCAA Men’s College World Series in their return to the championship for the first time since 2010. Men’s golf coach Ryan Hybl and women’s tennis coach Audra Cohen also were named national coaches of the year in their sports. But the Sooners didn’t just excel on the field, course and court—OU student-athletes also earned a record-setting 3.20 cumulative GPA for the spring 2022 semester.
OK-1, a rare new cancer drug created entirely by an OU College of Medicine researcher and developed without any support from pharmaceutical companies, is undergoing FDA-approved clinical trials at OU’s Stephenson Cancer Center. OK-1 is the brainchild of Doris Benbrook of OU’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Benbrook has been working on the drug, a vitamin-A derivative, for 25 years. OK-1 may help treat advanced-stage ovarian, cervical and endometrial cancers and boost other cancer therapies without the complication of side effects. “This is kind of the holy grail,” says Dr. Kathleen Moore, associate director of clinical research at the cancer center.
“Synesthesia,” an immersive art experience created by Factory Obscura, was inspired by the work of artist and University of Oklahoma School of Art 1928 alumna Olinka Hrdy. The installation, which remains open at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art until June 2023, asks visitors to open their senses and explore what exists between the layers of a Hrdy painting and what memories live in the spaces in between. Admission to the museum is always free.