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A publication of the University of Oklahoma Foundation
Sooner Shorts
News and events from around OU.

Good Impressions

“Newport Patriots,” a 2007 oil on canvas by Joan M. LaRue, is one of several works by Oklahoma artists from the exhibition, “Between the Isms” at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, now through Sept. 8. The exhibit features paintings by the Oklahoma Society of Impressionists, a group of like-minded artists with ties to Oklahoma who, in 1987, formed an organization dedicated to the lasting influence of Impressionism. The exhibition also features selected paintings by Oklahoma artists working in expressionist styles. Admission to the Fred Jones is always free.

Drama welcomes new director

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Seth Gordon as director of the Helmerich School of Drama at OU,” says Mary Margaret Holt, dean of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts. Gordon has a distinguished background in professional theatre that includes the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Stages Repertory in Houston, the Cleveland Playhouse, and the positions of founder and director of Primary Stages’ New American Writers Group in New York. Holt says Gordon brings “a wealth of theatrical experience to share with the school, college and university.”

Video-assisted surgery 

OU Medicine’s Stephenson Cancer Center is now offering a minimally invasive lung cancer surgery called VATS – Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery. J. Matthew Reinersman, M.D., a thoracic surgeon, and his colleague Subrato J. Deb, M.D., are the only two surgeons in Oklahoma who specialize in the procedure. During VATS, three small incisions are made in the patient’s side to insert a tiny camera and surgical instruments. The camera transmits images of the lungs onto a video screen to guide the surgery. “We can get patients out of the hospital as soon as one to three days after the procedure,” says Reinersman.

Ciao, cugino!

Brady Bell’s great-great grandfather came to the United States from Alatri, Italy, in 1912, but it took a summer study abroad at OU-Arezzo for the OU junior to meet his Italian family, including 19-year-old cousin Niccolo Pietrobono, left. The two learned that some things – like family resemblances and friendship – can’t be separated by a century or oceans.

OU-Tulsa's first Fulbright

OU-Tulsa President John Schumann, right, congratulates Umair Hashmi, Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering and OU-Tulsa’s first Fulbright Scholar. A native of Pakistan, Hashmi served on the International Student Organization, the OU-Tulsa Student Government Association and the OU-Tulsa Police Advisory Council. Hashmi, who will return to Pakistan this summer, plans to teach and conduct research in innovative 5G cellular networks and artificial intelligence. Through the Fulbright organization, he will also help 100 international students prepare for their transition home after completing their graduate studies in the United States.

OU alumni in West Side Story

Two former University of Oklahoma musical theatre students, Eloise Kropp (right) and Ezra Menas, will be featured in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming remake of the classic "West Side Story." Menas will be playing the key role of “Anybody’s” and Kropp will be one of the Jet Girls in the production, which begins filming this summer. The movie is based on the landmark 1957 Broadway musical with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Most recently, Kropp was seen at the Kennedy Center in Music Man. Menas will be seen this fall in the new Broadway musical Jagged Little Pill.  OU’s musical theatre program was recently listed on Broadway World as one of the most represented schools on Broadway. 

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