David Deaton

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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OSU Press Release

(STILLWATER, Oklahoma, March 5, 2021)– A new dean for the College of Education and Human Sciences on the Stillwater campus was approved by the OSU/A&M Board of Regents at their meeting today.

Dr. Jon E. Pedersen currently serves as a tenured professor of instruction and teacher education and dean of the College of Education at the University of South Carolina. He is expected to transition to OSU on or about July 1, 2021.

“I am honored and thrilled to be part of the OSU College of Education and Human Sciences family,” he said. “The unique combination of disciplines that make up this college made this a special opportunity.

“To be part of the proud Cowboy tradition at OSU and work with the wonderful faculty, staff, students and alumni humbles me as I think about my selection as the inaugural dean. Personally and professionally this is an exceptional opportunity and both my wife and I are excited to be part of OSU and the Stillwater community.”

Dr. Pedersen was one of three finalists who participated in an intensive 2.5-day virtual interview process following a national search that began early last fall.

Pedersen holds a doctorate in science education curriculum and instruction, a master's degree in curriculum and instruction and a bachelor's in agriculture-animal nutrition, all from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). He has served as dean at the University of South Carolina since 2016 and has more than 30 years of experience as a faculty member and administrator, including appointments at UNL, the University of Oklahoma, East Carolina University and the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

“I am confident we succeeded in identifying the individual best suited to lead the College of Education and Human Sciences, and I look forward to Dr. Pedersen joining the Academic Affairs leadership team,” said Provost Dr. Gary Sandefur. “I congratulate him on his selection and welcome him to the OSU family.”

Since the College of Education and Human Sciences was established in July 2020, Dr. Stephan M. Wilson has served as interim dean. From 2008-2020, Wilson was dean of the College of Human Sciences. He also served as interim dean of the College of Education, Health and Aviation from 2019-2020, guiding the transition to one, new college.

OSU/A&M Regents approve personnel actions

(STILLWATER, Oklahoma, March 5, 2021) – Numerous Oklahoma State University personnel actions were approved during the OSU/A&M Board of Regents meeting Friday on the OSU-Stillwater campus.

NEW APPOINTMENTS: Jon Pedersen, professor and dean, appointment confers tenure in Teaching, Learning and Educational Sciences, College of Education and Human Sciences; Mahamed Elkashef, assistant professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Mary Foltz, assistant professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Hantai Cui, assistant professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering;

From the Center for Health Sciences: Jasmine Croghan, clinical instructor, Anatomy and Cell Biology.

CHANGES IN APPOINTMENT: Chad Weiberg, change from deputy athletic director and chief operating officer to vice president, Athletic Programs and director, Athletics;

From the Center for Health Sciences: Stacy Chronister, clinical assistant professor, transfer of academic home from Medicine to Medical Education.

RETIREMENTS: Andrew Mort, July 31, 2021, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Selim Hiziroglu, Jan. 31, 2021, Natural Resource Ecology and Management; Mike Holder, July 1, 2021, Athletics.


Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 34,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 24,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 100 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated more than 275,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation and the world.

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 5, 2021) – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister has announced the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) is allocating $49 million in federal relief dollars to 88 Oklahoma school districts that had received limited funds under Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) II.

The funds are part of the set-aside ESSER II dollars that had been allocated to the OSDE.

“These recipients had received the least amount of federal aid but, like all public school districts throughout our state, are struggling with financial burdens exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Hofmeister. “These additional foundational dollars will help strengthen their ability to meet the many challenges posed by COVID-19.”

As required under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, ESSER II allocations were distributed based on Title I funds from fiscal year 2020. Consequently, some school districts with smaller number of high-poverty students received limited relief funding from the $665 million that ESSER II provided to Oklahoma schools.

Without the additional dollars, some districts indicated they would have been forced to cut critical staff such as teachers, nurses and counselors.

“We appreciate State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and the Oklahoma State Department of Education for their steadfast support of Moore Public Schools through this very challenging year,” said Robert Romines, Superintendent of Moore Public Schools.

“The ESSER II funding will significantly fill the budget gap we have been preparing to face in our district. This funding will be instrumental for us to continue providing essential services for our students and staff, which include having mental health and medical health professionals in our schools. We will also utilize this allocation to continue building a virtual learning program that is academically and developmentally rigorous.”

His sentiments were echoed by Owasso Public Schools Superintendent Amy Fichtner.

“We are grateful for the State Department of Education’s diligent efforts to identify and address needs in districts across the state following the distribution of ESSER II funds,” she said. “These funds will allow us to provide continuity of services to our students and maintain our ardent focus on their education.”

OSDE determined that any district that had received less than $550 per student in ESSER II funds was awarded a portion of the $49 million. Allowable uses of the dollars include preventing, preparing for and responding to COVID-19, as well as mitigating learning loss and restoring high-quality learning environments. To see the breakdown of funds provided to the 88 districts, click here.

Saturday, 06 March 2021 20:05


OU Athletics Communications Press Release


FRISCO, Texas – The Oklahoma baseball team fell to Arizona 12-1 Friday afternoon in the Frisco College Baseball Classic at Dr. Pepper Ballpark.

Catcher Jimmy Crooks doubled in a run in the sixth inning and third baseman Peyton Graham went 2 for 4 and scored on the double. The Sooners (4-5) finished with eight hits in the game. First baseman Tyler Hardman and center fielder Tanner Tredaway each singled twice and right fielder Breydon Daniel had a base hit. The Wildcats (8-2) totaled 12 runs on 11 hits.

"We lost the momentum in the first inning of the game, kind of got it back, and then in the sixth inning we had bases loaded with no outs and lost it again," Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson said. "We have to be able to flush it and go to the next game. We haven't been ourselves all weekend and hopefully we can be ourselves tomorrow."

Graham singled to start the sixth and scored on Crooks' double to the wall in left to make it 6-1. The Sooners then loaded the bases on a single by Hardman and a walk to second baseman Conor McKenna but scored only one run in the inning. Graham also led off the first inning with a double. Tredaway and Daniel hit back-to-back one-out singles in the fifth inning.

Arizona scored three runs in the first inning and two in the second, then added five runs in the sixth, and scored one run in each of the fifth and seventh innings. Center fielder Donta Williams went 2 for 5 with two RBIs and third baseman Jacob Berry went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.

OU starter Wyatt Olds (0-1) went 4.0 innings in the loss while Arizona starter Chandler Murphy (2-0) pitched 5.0 innings in the win.

The Sooners play Missouri at 7 p.m. Saturday at Dr. Pepper Ballpark.

Saturday, 06 March 2021 20:00


Sooners Communications Press Release

NORMAN – The Oklahoma men's golf team's reign atop the national polls continued on Friday when the Sooners were announced as the No. 1 team in both the Bushnell/Golfweek Coaches Poll and the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. 

The top-ranked Sooners ascended to the nation's top spot in February and received 13 first-place votes in Friday's poll.

They opened their fall with a third-place finish at the Seminole Intercollegiate, followed by a win at the Cabo Collegiate. Three of Oklahoma's golfers are ranked inside the nation's top 25 as No. 6 Patrick Welch, No. 24 Quade Cummins and No. 25 Jonathan Brightwell highlight the Sooners' roster. After a second-place finish at the Cabo Collegiate, Garett Reband moved up to 54th. 

Oklahoma, led by head coach Ryan Hybl, ended the 2019 season ranked No. 1 nationally and was ranked first in the fall before finishing second to Pepperdine at the East Lake Cup in October.

Wake Forest follows the Sooners in the Bushnell Coaches poll, receiving seven first-place votes. The Demon Deacons trail Oklahoma in the Sagarin rankings too.

Oklahoma is one of four Big 12 teams ranked, with Texas and Oklahoma State inside the top 10 and Texas Tech at No. 20 in the coaches' poll.

The Sooners compete on March 15-16 at the George Hannon event at UT Golf Club.

Saturday, 06 March 2021 19:57


Sooners Communication Press Release

NORMAN – Celebrating the careers of seniors Jordan DraperEvy SchoepferKarrie ThomasAnastasia Webb and Carly Woodard the No. 2 Oklahoma women's gymnastics team defeated No. 11 BYU 197.800-196.900 Friday night inside Lloyd Noble Center.

"What a great finale for our senior class," head coach K.J. Kindler said. "There were a lot of emotions involved. I could tell from the beginning of the day. We have five seniors, and they do a lot of routines and their impact is felt greatly. You could feel that there were some high emotions running today. I was really pleased with how they used that energy in their gymnastics tonight and kept everything in perspective."

The Sooners swept the event titles with a senior taking home every title. Webb took home vault with a 9.9, beam with her second career perfect 10 on the event and the all-around with a 39.500. Thomas earned a season-high 9.9 on bars to earn the event title and shared it with sophomore Ragan Smith. Schoepfer took home her first career title on floor with a 9.925, shared with freshman Bell Johnson and BYU's Brittany Vitkauskas.

"This was a much more complete meet for us and that was our goal," Kindler said. "I don't know that the bar score reflects the performance. I felt like those performances were really top notch, especially from Ragan Smith and Karrie Thomas. Both exceptional. Katherine LeVasseur was really great."

OU debuted six 10.0 start value vaults for the first time this season with the return of Olivia Trautman to the lineup. Allie Stern led off with a 9.875 followed by a matching 9.875 from Katherine LeVasseur. In the No. 3 spot, Webb tallied the high score of the rotation with a 9.9 on her gorgeous Yurchenko 1.5. Schoepfer added a 9.875 in the No. 4 spot on her tucked 1.5, followed by a 9.85 from Trautman in her vault debut. Audrey Davis anchored with a 9.7 as the Sooners tallied a 49.375 in the rotation.

The Sooners tallied a 49.275 on bars in the second rotation. Olivia Trautman led things off with a 9.850, followed by a 9.875 from LeVasseur. Smith added a 9.900 in the No. 3 spot with a stuck landing on her double layout dismount. Thomas added a 9.9 of her own in the No. 4 spot as she nailed the landing on her dismount. Anchoring was Davis who notched a 9.875.

The highlight of the third rotation was Webb who earned her third career perfect 10 and second on beam as the anchor. In what could be her final beam routine inside the LNC, Webb helped the Sooners to a 49.625 on the event.

"Anastasia, a ten," Kindler said. "What can you say about that? She is unrelenting in that anchor spot and she just went after it tonight. It was really fun to watch."

Jenna Dunn led off with a strong and confident routine, nailing her triple series and her gainer full dismount for a 9.875. Schoepfer tallied a career high with a 9.95 as she showed off an incredible series and stuck dismount. In her return to the lineup for the first time since the opening meet of the season, Woodard tallied a 9.875 as she kept the stuck dismounts going. Davis looked elegant and poised on her routine, sticking her dismount for a 9.925. Thomas added a 9.850 in the No. 5 spot.

"We did a really great job on balance beam," Kindler said. "Great to see Carly back in the lineup again. I thought Evy did her best routine of the season, no doubt about it and Jenna started us off great."

The Sooners wrapped up senior night with a 49.475 on floor. Draper led off the rotation with a 9.875, followed by a career-best 9.925 from Schoepfer. Freshman Bell Johnson added a career-high 9.925 in the No. 3 spot as she showcased her dance skills and strong tumbling. For the first time since her freshman year, Thomas notched a 9.875 on floor as she nailed her double tuck and double pike. In the anchor spot, Webb showcased her final floor routine in the LNC for a 9.875.

"Floor from top to bottom, we had some changes in the lineup," Kindler said. "Karrie Thomas in the fifth spot scoring a 9.875 and that's her first time out there for us in her three-year career here. That was really exciting to see. Bell Johnson and Evy Schoepfer each did their best routines of the season. Jordan started us off steady as always."

The Sooners will travel to TWU on Sunday for a tri-meet with Centenary College at 2 p.m. CT.

  Vault Bars Beam Floor
OU 49.375 49.325 49.625 49.475
BYU 49.200 49.200 49.200 49.300
Event Gymnast Score
Vault Anastasia Webb (OU) 9.900
Bars Karrie Thomas (OU), Ragan Smith (OU) 9.900
Beam Anastasia Webb (OU) 10.0
Floor Evy Schoepfer (OU), Bell Johnson (OU), Brittney Vitkauskas (BYU) 9.925
AA Anastasia Webb (OU) 39.500
Event Gymnast Score
Vault Anastasia Webb 9.900
Bars Thomas, Smith 9.900
Beam Anastasia Webb 10.0
Floor Schoepfer, Johnson 9.925
AA Anastasia Webb 39.500
Saturday, 06 March 2021 19:53

Arkansas Sets Program Record… Again

Razorbacks Communications Press Release

AUBURN, Ala. – For the second time in three weeks the University of Arkansas gymnastics team made program history, scoring a program-record 197.425 in the team’s 197.425-197.125 win at No. 12 Auburn.

Kennedy Hambrick was impressive again, finishing with a 39.700 all-around score for her fourth all-around title. The junior also added her fourth vault title (9.950) with the performance.

Arkansas opened the meet with a season-best 49.425 on the bars, good enough for the sixth-best total in program history and highest ever on the road. The Gymbacks’ lineup was highlighted by season-highs from Hambrick and freshman Jensen Scalzo, who both scored 9.925s on bars. Scalzo has improved her routine in each meet this season, complete with a blind-change jaeger and double-back dismount.

On the vault, Hambrick’s Yurchenko 1.5 caught the eye of every fan in Auburn Arena. Her stuck landing added to a solid lineup of vault scores that resulted in a 49.275 team score. Mid-way through the meet, Arkansas held a 98.700-98.575 lead over the Tigers. The 98.700 is the highest two-rotation score for the Gymbacks this season.

Arkansas lit up the floor in the third rotation with all five countable routines scoring 9.800 or better en route to a 49.450 event score. Now in the number three spot, senior Sophia Carter scored a season-high 9.950 after she beautifully executed a switch-half split full and double-pick last pass. Redshirt-sophomore Bailey Lovett scored a 9.950 to equal her season high, sticking her double-layout and tour jete-split full perfectly. Moved to the anchor spot, Hambrick’s huge double-tuck first pass scored a 9.925 to close out the floor party on a high note.

Lovett showed off her backflip catch-mount on beam and registered a career-high 9.950 in the number two spot. The Gymbacks went out with a bang as Hambrick signed off on the historical night with a stuck cartwheel-gainer dismount and 9.900 from the judges.

Arkansas now begins preparations for the SEC Championship in Huntsville, Ala. on March 20 on SEC Network.

Visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for the latest information on all things Arkansas Gymnastics. You can also find the Hogs on social media by liking us on Facebook (Arkansas Razorback Gymnastics) and following us on Twitter and Instagram (@RazorbackGym).

Razorbacks Communications Press Release

Written by Jacob Pavilack

Box Score vs Kansas     Box Score vs Northwestern State

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 20 Arkansas swept a doubleheader, downing Kansas, 8-3, and Northwestern State, 13-5 (6 innings), on Friday night during day two of the Wooo Pig Classic at Bogle Park. The Razorbacks have won a program-record 14 straight games, surpassing the previous mark of 12 consecutive wins held by the 1999 and 2008 teams.

Game 1: No. 20 Arkansas 8, Kansas 3

The Razorbacks (15-2) jumped on the scoreboard first, scoring three in the first on outfielder Linnie Malkin’s base hit, infielder Audrie LaValley’s bases loaded walk and outfielder Ryan Jackson’s sacrifice fly. Kansas (6-4) answered right back in the top of the second, aided by an error and a two RBI triple, to tie the game, 3-3.

After both teams struggled in the third and fourth innings, Arkansas’ offense went back to work in the sixth as infielder Braxton Burnside gave the team a 5-3 lead by driving her first bomb of the day, a two-run homer, to left center. The bats tacked on three more insurance runs the next frame on infielder Hannah Gammill’s two RBI double and infielder Danielle Gibson’s RBI groundout.

Autumn Storms started for the Razorbacks and went 2.1 innings before being lifted. Mary Haff (8-1) was outstanding in relief, tossing 4.2 scoreless innings and allowing just two hits with seven strikeouts. Tatum Goff (2-1) took the loss firing 4.0 innings and allowing five earned runs for Kansas. She walked three and struck out one.

Both Gammill and Burnside led the way with two hits and two RBI apiece. Gammill also scored a career-high three runs.

Game 2: No. 20 Arkansas 13, Northwestern State 5 (6 innings)

The Bogle Bombers tied the single-game program record, smacking five homers in a game for the second time this season. Gibson hit two and was joined by catcher Kayla Green, outfielder Ryan Jackson and Burnside in the home run department.

Northwestern State posted a four spot in the first inning, but Arkansas scored six in the bottom of the stanza to grab a 6-4 lead. Burnside (two-run), Gibson (solo) and Jackson (three-run) each went yard as the Razorbacks scored every run of the inning via the long ball.

Arkansas scored three more runs in the third and four in the sixth to shorten the game.

Gibson hit a mammoth two-run shot to right that landed on Stadium Drive in right and Green blasted a two-run homer to center, ending the game.

Lauren Howell (2-0) picked up the win out of the bullpen tossing 2.0 innings and allowing just one run with a strikeout. Fellow freshman Allie Light pitched admirably and inherited a bases loaded nobody out jam in the fifth, and after an error, just one Demon runner crossed the plate. She worked 2.0 innings and did not allow a hit with a strikeout. Redshirt freshman Jenna Bloom worked the game’s first 2.0 innings. Bronte Rhoden (1-1) took the loss for NSU out of the bullpen.

The Razorbacks outhit the Lady Demons, 11-9, with both Gibson and Burnside registering three hits and four RBI. Jackson was also 2-for-3 with three RBI.

Arkansas plays one more game this weekend as it takes on Northwestern State again at 3 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, March 6.

Saturday, 06 March 2021 19:45

Razorback MGolf #23 In GCAA Poll

Razorbacks Communications Press Release

Written by Mike Cawood


FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas men’s golf team is ranked #23 in the latest Bushnell Golfweek/Golf Coaches Association of America Poll.

Arkansas is coming off a ninth-place finish in the loaded Cabo Collegiate at TPC San Antonio. The event was won by the nation’s top-ranked team, Oklahoma, and included #3 Florida State, #4 Arizona State, #7 Arizona, #9 Texas, #10 Oklahoma State, #12 Texas A&M, #20 Texas Tech, #28 Baylor and #37 Houston.

The Razorbacks return to action Mar. 15-17 at the Tiger Invitational, hosted by #17 Auburn. The event will be played in Opelika, Ala., at Grand National (Lake Course).

For more information on Arkansas Men’s Golf, follow @RazorbackMGolf on Twitter.

Press Release

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, secured passage of legislation that would prohibit a daycare center employee with a substantiated finding of shocking and heinous child abuse from being hired by another daycare center.

Miller said House Bill 1797 closes a loophole in current statute that was brought to her attention by a constituent whose child was attending a daycare facility when an incident occurred. The employee in question was previously involved in an incident at another facility and was still legally allowed to work at a daycare because the employee had not yet been added to the Restricted Registry maintained by the Dept. of Human Services.

“The incident surrounding this bill was tragic and is something no child or their family should have to go through,” Miller said. “As a mother myself, I’m thankful to the mother who brought forward the oversight in this statute and to my colleagues in the House for their support of this bill, which I hope will help keep our children safe.”

The measure would also require the facility to notify parents or guardians within one day of the substantiated finding.

Miller said she worked closely with the Dept. Human Services on the legislation, whose guidance was instrumental.

Joe Dorman, CEO of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, said the bill helps protect Oklahoma’s children.

“The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is grateful to Representative Miller for writing this bill,” Joe Dorman, the organization’s CEO said. “This will provide another layer of protection for our children by keeping potential child abusers out of childcare facilities. OICA appreciates the full House of Representatives for their overwhelming support for the measure, and we look forward to speedy Senate passage as we continue to support the bill.”

HB1797 passed the House 96-1 and now proceeds to the Senate, where it is authored by Sen. Jessica Garvin, R-Duncan.

Saturday, 06 March 2021 19:04

March 6, 2021 Epidemiology Report

The weekly Oklahoma COVID-19 Weekly Report for Feb. 26 - March 4 is now available.

Oklahoma’s current trend with new positive cases continues to reflect community transmission, which can be reduced by keeping 6 feet of physical distance from others, wearing face coverings when around individuals from outside the household, avoiding touching your face, and regular hand-washing.

Oklahoma currently ranks 24th in the number of total reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and 7th in the cumulative incidence (per 100,000 persons) of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

It is critical for Oklahomans to seek out testing, with or without symptoms. Diagnostic testing is freely available to all Oklahomans, and we continue to improve our ability to find and diagnose COVID-19 cases through our contact tracing efforts. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, a public health worker may try to contact you; the need to adhere to instructions to quarantine and isolate remain critically important.

Reports from weeks past can be found here.

For more information, visit Oklahoma.gov/COVID19.

OSDH Weekly Epidemiology Report


John Hopkins 7 Day Average Positivity Rate for Specimen and Antibody Cases.

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