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Sooner Shorts
News and events from around OU.

International Advocates

The OU College of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic has put law students on the front lines of investigating and reporting international human rights violations against indigenous communities since 2009. In January, the team traveled to Costa Rica at the request of the Terraba tribe to research industry threats to a river that the tribe relies upon for its survival. Findings will be presented to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Costa Rica, and the clinic’s work often is reported to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the Spotlight

Nimax Theatres owners Max Weitzenhoffer and Nica Burns were named number six in Stage 100’s list of theatre’s most influential people and partnerships. Weitzenhoffer, an OU drama alumnus and OU Regent, is chairman of Nimax Theatres; Burns is chief executive. Together they own and operate six West End London playhouses. Among their many successes, the Palace Theatre hosted the opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the Garrick was home to the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s 13-month season of work.

Superlatives Needed

Freshman basketball phenom Trae Young continues to rack up awards and shatter records. Young has been named the Big 12 Player of the Week six times in 10 weeks, tying former Sooner Blake Griffin’s (2008-09) record for the honor. Young also made the Midseason Top 25 for the John R. Wooden Award, prompting Senior Associate Athletics Director Kenny Mossman to issue the tweet: “BREAKING: OU English Department to begin emergency search for more adjectives so we can continue discussing Trae Young.” Sports writers, stay tuned.

Latinos Without Borders

The University of Oklahoma has been named a top 50 best college for Latino students from a field of 600 institutions by Latino Leaders, a magazine dedicated to connecting and inspiring future Latino leaders. The selection was based on outstanding demonstration of student enrollment, faculty environment and recruitment, diversity-driven strategies and programs directed to Latino student populations. Enrollment of Latino freshmen at OU has increased by 18 percent in the past two years.

Pioneer of Diabetes Research

Harold Hamm, right, presents the 2017 Hamm International Prize for Biomedical Research in Diabetes to Ralph DeFronzo as OU President David L. Boren looks on. The event took place at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center in the OU Health Sciences Center. DeFronzo led the U.S. development of metformin, the first-line medication for treating diabetes, and continues to discover new methods of treating the disease. DeFronzo teaches at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio.

The Baker Man 

Snow falls like confetti in Times Square as OU quarterback Baker Mayfield raises the Heisman Trophy for fans after the awards ceremony in New York City on Dec. 9. Mayfield is OU’s sixth Heisman winner and the first in Heisman history to start his college career as a walk-on. “It’s been a wild ride,” says Mayfield, a graduating senior, of his three years playing for OU. The colorful quarterback led the Sooners to a 12-2 record in 2017, a third consecutive Big 12 title, a No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff and a No. 3 final AP ranking. Says OU football coach Lincoln Riley, “He’s been a great teammate, a great leader and a great ambassador for our university.” 

Cheer On!

The University of Oklahoma All Girl Cheer squad soared to its first-ever national championship at January’s Universal Cheerleaders Association College Cheerleading and Dance Team competition, considered the nation’s most prestigious college cheerleading championship. OU has two cheer squads – All Girl and Co-ed – and both compete nationally, in addition to the hours spent practicing, cheering and serving as OU spirit ambassadors.



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