Category: Alumni

Amber Bradford-Nealy headshot

A New Generation of Healthcare Leaders Emerge from the Soil of Public Education

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OU Health Appoints Amber Nealy as Its First African American Chief Nursing Officer

by Deena V. Thomas, OKCPS Retired Educator and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Educational roots matter.

A child’s first teachers are their parents and grandparents, absorbing deep-rooted instruction in the home, followed by the fundamental academics of teaching and learning, cultivated and nurtured in common education. Lastly, the preparation process to enter the workforce is taught and mentored during the journey toward post-secondary educational attainment.

These pathways led Amber Bradford-Nealy to walk directly into executive nursing leadership, which she says is her God-given purpose.

Her purpose and His plan came to fruition. The University of Oklahoma (OU) Health named Amber Nealy, MSN, R.N., NE-BC, as the inaugural Chief Nursing Officer of Ambulatory and Cancer Services (CNO).

Nealy is the first black to hold this position of CNO at OU Health, earmarking a significant milestone in Black History within the Sooner State.

“In a quote for the organization, I was asked about diversity why it mattered to me, and why does it make a difference. Why does it matter whether or not we have a diverse workforce? I think it matters because Oklahoma City’s Eastside and Spencer community students and the next generation need to see people who look like them in places and spaces where they aspire to be. It is good to know they may have a similar background or upbringing as they have had, so then it lets them know what they aspire to be is not so far off,” Nealy said.

Since December 2020, Nealy served as Director of Nursing at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center, infusing her knowledge, experience, and relationships, which propelled her into the CNO role.

Nealy has been with OU Health since 2008, starting as a Nurse Partner in the inpatient Adult Medicine Specialty Unit, where she worked as a Clinical RN, Clinical Supervisor, and Clinical Manager. Additionally, Nealy held the position of the Director of Adult Endoscopy.

Nealy has served as the Chair of the Nursing Ancillary and Advisory Council for Epic Implementation, as well as a vast array of other committees. She is a certified Nurse Executive by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Nealy was first introduced to the health field at the Oklahoma University Health Science Center (OUHSC) when she was a junior at Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) Northeast Academy of Health Sciences and Engineering.

“We were the first graduating class of Northeast Academy of Health Sciences and Engineering, completing grades sixth through 12, and many of us referred to the academy as a social experiment of our time,” she laughs. “I remember my teacher, Mrs. Bessie Bryant, bringing us to OUHSC’s student union to attend class a few days a week. I had many great experiences while going through the OUHSC program, which opened up several healthcare opportunities right before my eyes,” Nealy said.

OKCPS Superintendent, Dr. Sean McDaniel heads up the state’s largest school district. He emphasized the most important key driving force is the collective relationship building that takes place in every school.

“Our building leaders, teachers, and staff know our students by name and by need and provide encouragement and counsel, while also connecting them to the resources that will help them on their journey to post-secondary success, whatever that may look like for each student. For students who have the desire to attend college, career tech, enter the workplace, or head to the military, it is imperative that the district offers a variety of resources and opportunities for them to be successful after graduation,” McDaniel said.

After high school graduation, Nealy had planned to attend a community college and seek a nursing degree, which would have been free. Instead, she went in a different direction and headed north to Langston University (LU). She qualified for the full-ride Edwin P. McCabe scholarship, which is awarded to first-time freshmen entering college after high school graduation.

“LU found me! Everything was paid for, my books, my food, my fees, and my room and board. I did not have to come out of pocket for anything, which was so comforting for me. Langston University’s nursing program was competitive and offered a challenging curriculum,” Nealy said.

LU’s interim President, Dr. Ruth Ray Jackson stands firm, saying its School of Nursing and Health Professions is shaped intentionally to exceed the nation’s nursing standards.

“Langston University’s nursing program goes beyond these fundamentals by integrating content that addresses healthcare disparities and seeks to improve health outcomes in underserved populations. Additionally, our program also places a strong emphasis on leadership development, preparing graduates to assume leadership and advocacy roles within a variety of healthcare settings,” Jackson said.

Dr. Teressa Hunter, LU’s Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions, says it is the school’s mission that drives the rigor.

“Langston University’s nursing curriculum is purposefully designed to be rigorous to support our students, so they are equipped to navigate clinical practice and leadership roles with a focus on the best outcomes. It is crucial to teach our students that when faced with challenges, they need to know how to respond positively, and when challenges come, rewards often follow,” Hunter said.

LU Director of Alumni, Rachel Goff-Belmon, and Nealy have four common bonds. The two are LU graduates, McCabe scholars, members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., (DST), and were classmates during their undergraduate years.

“I served as the President of the Beta Upsilon Chapter of DST for several years in college. This position allowed me to grow my supervisory skills and experience in stewarding others,” Nealy said.

“Soror Nealy’s administration style is to lead by example. She demonstrated this by keeping the chapter in compliance with her organizational skills. She orchestrated the chapter’s efforts to implement programs that align with the sorority’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust and modeled her commitment to academic excellence through her high graduate point average (GPA),” Belmon said.

Belmon stressed Nealy rendered wholehearted ‘service’ by assisting fellow nursing students while demonstrating a deep understanding of the importance of diversity in the nursing field.

Nealy says OU Health supported her desire to continue as a lifelong learner.

“OU Health as an organization has put in place many programs to pursue higher education and advanced training or advanced certification, which benefit the working adult,” she said.

Nealy completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2009, graduating Magna Summa Laude with, a 3.50 GPA. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing, with a focus on nursing management and leadership, made available by OU Health’s tuition reimbursement program. Currently, Nealy is working on her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), a degree-accelerated program, supported by OU Health partnership in collaboration with the OU College of Nursing, and the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing. Her DNP is a terminal degree, which is scheduled to be conferred in May 2025.

“As an OU Health employee, the program pays for my tuition, books, and fees. Each step has afforded me something different. In terms of the MSN level, I learned a lot about leadership styles and ways of communicating with your team. At the DNP level, we look at problem system-level issues and try to understand how we can improve the organization as a whole. OU Health has invested in me as an individual employee,” Nealy said.

Nealy’s family planted the first seeds into her future long before her birth. Those first seeds were germinated, watered, and fertilized by her parents, as well as the other public educational institutions. Now, those seeds have sprouted and bore fruit to reveal her journey and countless outcomes that are more far-reaching than one can calculate in dollars and cents – Priceless.

However, Nealy says it is the humble, sacrificial contributions of her grandparents. Both grandparents were farmers, the Watts from the all-black township of Boley, and the Bradfords from the small rural town of Mason. They gave all that they had in the selling of land and livestock that kept her grounded.

“My father, the second youngest of 10 children, tells stories of when he was a child and how there was not enough food to eat. His mother would go without eating, so her children would not go hungry. My parents always instilled in us kids that they wanted us to be better and go further than what they had done. I believe that part of my recognition of their humble beginnings is to go further because they have afforded me those opportunities. I can stand on their shoulders,” she said.

Amber Nealy is reaping the harvest, having earned a seat at the bountiful table, where healthcare decisions and policies are shaped and governed.

“From where I sit, I want to be a light,” Nealy said.

Lindsay Davis


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By Mary Zaragoza, M.S. Ed., Communications and Special Projects Coordinator

LANGSTON, Okla. – Lindsay Davis is a Langston alum from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma who is currently in the final months of her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Texas in Arlington. Lindsay has not only broken barriers for herself but will break a new barrier by being the first African American to graduate with a Ph.D. in chemistry in program history. We sat down with Lindsay to take a deeper look into how Langston impacted her course of success, what her future holds and what she wants young people of color to take away from her experience.

Davis came to find Langston because of tradition; her mom, aunt, and sister all attended Langston. Davis always looked at Langston as a possibility but never practical until she was offered the McCabe Scholarship.

“Being offered that scholarship really sealed the deal for me,” Davis said.

Davis shared that mentors played a huge role in her academia, even if she didn’t know it at the time.

“These people just invested in me,” Davis states, “and they spent so much time helping me find opportunities, so I just want to give back to others. That’s how we keep the cycle going, that’s how we pull each other up.”

Davis worked closely with Dr. Alonzo Peterson and Dr. John Coleman during her time at Langston. She recalls meeting them in the eighth grade through the Math and Science academy.

“I was so excited to go to the Math and Science academy every summer,” Davis exclaims, “I went each summer that I could.”

From there she went on to the bridge program which is where she was first introduced to Chemistry.

“He (Dr. Coleman) recognized that I was pretty strong mathematically and that I had a general interest in chemistry,” Davis shares. “he introduced me even further so I wouldn’t be interested in anything else.”

From then on Davis was filled with confidence and encouragement to pursue a passionate career in chemistry.

When talking about struggles in her journey, Davis says that she was most challenged and taken back by the rigor. Unlike her previous research experience, this was a new kind of dedication. Internships played a large role in preparing Davis for the demands and obligations of her program. Davis said that each summer she obtained internships, each with different roles in Chemistry and that she’s glad she did, it would have been more difficult had she not spent her summers learning. Another struggle Davis spoke of was often being looked over. In the male-dominated field, Davis experienced isolation and not only had to shine as a minority but a female minority.

“We need more people to do it… We need people that look like us to do these things,” Davis says, “Ultimately you never know who you can inspire just by existing.”

Davis says that attending an HBCU was the best decision she made when it came to her education. She thinks everyone should attend an HBCU, “transitioning to a PWI has been kind of hard because not everyone Is as embracing to minorities… at an HBCU there is a greater sense of family and intimacy amongst peers and faculty.” Although Davis’ program is diverse with both international and domestic students, she says there’s nothing like that HBCU bond.

The College of Science, Black Graduate Student Association is an organization that Davis help found at UTA. Isolation played a huge role in her first few years in graduate school but after founding the organization, she has met many more black students in science. She now feels as though she has a sense of community. Davis shares how through the association, she met another black female interested in chemistry. She ended up joining Davis’ lab and will be the second African American to complete the program in school history. Had she not created the organization, she would not have a new friend and peer. Laughing, Davis shared that some of her biggest inspirations are actually black women in STEM on Twitter.

“They’re just hiding on Twitter apparently,” Davis says, “I’ve now been able to connect to these women.”

Since the YouTube story has been released, Davis says that not only has she received messages and notes of encouragement and celebration, but also offers of mentorship and guidance from other black women in STEM.

“They’re professors and where I want to be. This opportunity has opened so many doors for me. I’m grateful for that,” Davis shares.

When asked about how she has stayed motivated for the past six years, her answer was simple.

“For the first part of grad school, I was motivated by the fear of going home. I was too prideful, but towards the later part it was my son. Having my son really changed me and motivated me because not only am I changing my life, I’m changing his life. I want my son to grow up and think of college as a norm, I want him to say he’s going to college,” she answered. “As a woman it was hard, but I’m also a mother. I technically have two full-time jobs. I work during the day and I also take of my son.”

One of her favorite things to do with her son is adventure days. They go on walks; they go to the zoo and they often spend time in the lab so their son can be surrounded by the possibilities of the future. Davis shares how her boss, professors, and peers were supportive and understanding of her role as a mother. They allowed her to bring her newborn son to class often while he was a newborn.

Davis says she has many other interests than just chemistry. She enjoys dressing up, DIY projects, and listening to podcasts. Comedy podcasts, political ones, inspirational talks, and of course chemistry are just the tip of the iceberg for Davis, she hopes to one day start her own podcast so others can hear her story and be inspired to chase their goals.

Davis began to get emotional as we discussed what it meant for her to be looked at as an inspiration to others.

“To be someone’s inspiration is unreal because you don’t understand the impact you can make on someone,” Davis said. “I just feel so honored. Being a black woman in my department is… weird.”

She shares that to finally receive recognition after so often getting looked over is such a blessing.

“So many people didn’t want to work with me or help me and now that I’m here I’m just so grateful,” Davis says her journey has been difficult, but that she wouldn’t necessarily change anything about it. It has molded her into the student, researcher, and mother she is today. “I just want people to know that no matter what happens, you just have to push through,” Davis says. “Personal problems, family issues, stress, a job, they all need to be pushed through. I come back every day no matter what. I come back and keep going.”

Before closing Davis recalls a pivotal time in her journey, “I remember my very first exam (in graduate school). I got a 34%. I failed the exam; I was at the bottom and now I’m here. That’s a part of my story, my testimony. I want people to know that it wasn’t always easy and sometimes it won’t be but if you keep pushing through you can do it.”

When asked about her plans after graduation, Davis says she wants to complete her postdoc so she can be a professor and conduct research. “Wherever I go I want to make an impact. That’s the most important thing.”

Davis is scheduled to walk the stage with her Ph.D. in Chemistry in August 2021.

Golden Felines


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Written By Christina Gray

There is nothing like an HBCU homecoming! LU alumni and fans traveled across the country to enjoy the week’s festivities.

The week kicked off with Gospel Fest featuring Dove Award-Winning Musical Artist, Travis Greene. The LU-OKC Campus hosted a family fun night complete with games, vendors and more! Several events highlighted the University’s milestones including the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the LU-Tulsa campus and the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the E.P. McCabe Honors Program.

The 14th annual President’s Scholarship Gala was marked with celebrity guests including the host, Emmy Award-winning comedian Sheryl Underwood and featured musical performances by local artist Club Nouveau and R&B funk headliner, Cameo. The evening was dedicated to those who have given in support of the University’s mission and all the proceeds went directly to student scholarships.

Gameday festivities included the annual parade, a tailgating competition, and the highly anticipated football game. Dance teams and marching bands came from all over the state to march in the parade that featured our beautiful historic campus. Lion fans of all ages came out to watch the Lions storm the stadium to defeat Texas Wesleyan in a 69-7 battle. Game Day was highlighted by the top-ranked Marching Pride Band during their incredible halftime performance.

If you’ve never experienced Langston University’s homecoming, you are missing out!


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University will host the annual 119th Founders Day Program on Thursday, March 10, 2016. The event will take place at 11:00 a.m. in the I.W. Young Auditorium. Celebrating 119 years of rich tradition and the development of young leaders, Founders Day observes the vision that led to the establishment of Langston University in 1897. State Representative Mike Shelton will be the keynote speaker for the program.

Shelton is a native of Oklahoma City and a Langston University alumnus. While studying under a former state representative, Shelton became interested in politics. Shelton mentored and worked with several organizations including the Langston University – Oklahoma City campus. As the Community Outreach coordinator for Langston University – Oklahoma City, he launched the first adult scholarship program for the campus. In 2004, Shelton was elected to Oklahoma House District 97 and currently serves as the Assistant Democratic Floor Leader. He is currently the highest-ranking African-American in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives. He previously served as Assistant Minority Floor Leader. Shelton graduated from Langston University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics. His professional experience includes working as the district executive director for the Boy Scouts of America; director of community relations for Langston University; and director of community relations for Oklahoma County.

After the program, Langston University student leaders will take part in a ceremonial march to the gravesite of Langston University’s first president, Dr. Inman Page. The event is free and open to the public.

Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Founded in 1897, Langston University boasts three campuses located in Langston, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The University offers more than 38 degree programs, including five masters degrees and one doctoral program. To learn more, please visit the Langston University website at



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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – Former Langston University (LU) football player and alumnus, Quinton Morgan, was recently named the permanent head football coach for the Langston Lions football team effective immediately.

In October, he took on the role of interim head coach for the remaining five games of the season and his leadership strongly impacted on the team’s performance. Under his leadership, the team experienced success with no losses (5-0), averaging 43.6 points per game, and outscored their opponents 218 to 65. Although Langston finished No. 2 in conference, they completed the season with a better overall record of 7-3. “Hard work is the company of success,” coach Morgan said.

He is a proven leader in athletics and has served on the LU coaching staff for more than 10 years. In 2011, he assumed the role as interim head coach for the LU softball team. It was under his direction, the team secured a record of 31 wins and advanced to the Red River Athletic Conference postseason tournament for the first time. His leadership steered the women to one of the best seasons in LU softball history.

Upon his appointment as head football coach, he outlined his goals and a strategic plan for recruitment and player management initiatives for the football program.

“He is committed to improving the academic and athletic performance of his players, increasing the athletic program’s graduation rates, and plans to increase visibility in high schools to help boost recruitment and retention numbers,” said Donnita Drain Rogers, LU Athletic Director.

“The Langston Lions plan to come back strong next season, and after watching coach Morgan perform from the sideline, this is truly possible,” said Rogers.

Prior to coaching, he earned a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and recreation in 2005 and a master’s degree in urban education in 2010 from Langston University.

Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Langston offers more than 38 degree programs, including five masters degrees and one doctoral program. To learn more about Langston University, go to or visit the newly updated


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By Jeff Lieberson, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Indianapolis, IN – The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) today named 19 recipients of its inaugural 1890 Universities Career Exemplar Awards. The recipients, distinguished alumni representing each of the 19 historically black land-grant universities, have achieved excellence in navigating their career pathway and providing mentorship to other traditionally underrepresented students pursuing similar career pathways. The awardees were nominated by their alma maters and evaluated on their commitment to institution, individual achievement, civic engagement and impact in providing access, opportunities and mentorship to current students and new alumni. The recipients were honored at APLU’s Annual Meeting now underway in Indianapolis, IN.

“The first class of 1890 Career Exemplar Awards recipients are a testament to the tremendous contributions 1890 institutions make to our society through their instruction, research and community engagement,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “These alumni have not only achieved success in their own careers, but worked with their alma maters and current students to serve the institutions that had such a formative influence on them.”

“The 1890 Career Exemplar Awards recipients reflect the broad diversity and great achievement of 1890 Universities and their alumni,” said Dr. RoSusan D. Bartee, Interim Vice President of Access and Success. “As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Second Morrill Act, their stories remind us of the power of the 1890 land-grant community and the progress we can continue to drive through these institutions and their students.”

The names, alma maters and achievements of the recipients of the inaugural 1890 Career Exemplar Awards are listed below:

  • Billy Bridgeforth of Alabama A&M University is Chairman of the National Black Growers Council and he has been featured in several trade publications. In 2013, the White House named him a “Champion of Change for Agriculture.”
  • Dr. Jesse Harnessof Alcorn State University has served as a member and chairman of the USDA Secretary of Agriculture’s National Commission on Small Farms and Advisory Committee on Small Farms. In 2005, he was inducted into the George Washington Carver Hall of Fame.
  • Morakinyo A. O. Kuti of Central State University is the Director of Sponsored Programs and Research at Central State University and an alumnus of the university. Hewas instrumental in the development of the $4.7 million Center of Excellence in STEM and STEM Education proposal funded by Department of Defense in 2010.
  • David Turner of Delaware State University is Global Analytics leader for Banking and Financial Markets for IBM and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Delaware State University. In 2002, Fortune magazine named him “50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America.”
  • Doris Hicks of Florida A&M University taught for 36 years in the public school system as an elementary teacher and is a lifelong volunteer for the local guardian ad litem program in Polk County, Florida. As President of the Polk County Alumni Chapter of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association, she established an endowment to ensure students from Polk County receive yearly funding until graduation.
  • The Honorable Calvin Smyre of Fort Valley State University is a business executive, state legislator, and community and national leader. He is President Emeritus of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.
  • Donald C. Hylton, Sr. of Kentucky State University is a veteran of over 40 years of the plastic industry. While at ExxonMobil, he was active in their diversity efforts that led to the hiring and promotions of minorities and women within the organization.
  • Sherman L. Lewis of Langston University retired in 1997 as Deputy Administrator for Management and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Soil Conservation Service, now the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Upon retirement, Mr. Lewis dedicated eight years of service to Langston University as the Center of Outreach Programs Director.
  • Charles E. Seeney of Lincoln University is founder and former Managing Director of NewTech @ The NanoPoint. He is a scientist and entrepreneur with a central focus on the management of Intellectual Property.
  • Willie A. Deese of North Carolina A&T State University is Executive Vice President and President of the Merck Manufacturing Division, with responsibility for Merck’s worldwide manufacturing operations. He has also served on the North Carolina A&T Board of Trustees.
  • Ernie Collins of Prairie View A&M University joined Humble Oil and Refinery Company, now ExxonMobil, in 1969 and worked in various marketing staff and management positions until his retirement in 2003. Mr. Collins and his wife are strong supporters of youth and education and have established scholarship funds at Prairie View A&M University and Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • The Honorable James Clyburn of South Carolina State University is the U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 6th congressional district, serving since 1993, and the Assistant Democratic Leader since 2011. President Barack Obama has said Representative Clyburn is, “One of a handful of people who, when they speak, the entire Congress listens.” He has supported higher education by leading the charge for increased Pell grants, investing millions in science and math programs and historic preservation at HBCUs.
  • Dr. Leodrey Williams of Southern University and A & M College built a career in Extension education. He was appointed Special Assistant to the United States Department of Agriculture Extension Administrator and five months later, the Secretary of Agriculture appointed him the National Director of Extension.
  • Ola G. Hudson of Tennessee State University was inducted into the Tennessee Teachers Hall of Fame in May 1997 and served for 40 years as a teacher at the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System.
  • Dr. Mortimer H. Neufville of Tuskegee University served a distinguished career at the National Association of State Universities and Land-grant Colleges (NASULGC), now APLU. In 2006, he assumed the role of Executive Vice President at NASULGC and retired in 2008. He later served Interim President at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
  • Pearlie S. Reed of the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff served as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for the United States Department of Agriculture from 2009 and 2012. He was nominated for this position by President Barack Obama and was subsequently confirmed by the United States Senate.
  • Dr. Emmanuel T. Acquah of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore serves as Director of International Programs, and Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He has received a number of international honors including being appointed to the Advisory Committee of U.S. Response to Cutting Hunger in Half in Africa and to the United States Agency for International Development’s Strategic Partnership for Agricultural Research and Education Committee.
  • Walter F. Johnson III of West Virginia State University attained the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, the highest grade that could be achieved in the Medical Service Corps at that time. Upon retirement, Mr. Johnson received the Army’s highest award for achievement, the Distinguished Service Medal.
  • Dr. Antonio A. McLaren of Virginia State University joined the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture as a National Program Leader. In this role, he is responsible for managing and providing leadership for the 1890 Capacity Building Grants Program and the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program.
Mrs. Alice Strong Simmons, Dr. Ricco Wright, and Mr. Desmond Harvey


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University announced that three alumni were chosen for new administrative and faculty appointments for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Ricco Wright, Ed. D., was named assistant professor of Mathematics in the School of Arts & Sciences at the Langston campus. Wright started teaching at the university this past August. His efforts in his first semester have already had a positive impact on the campus community.

“On a personal level, I plan to keep my students engaged all semester, make a difference in their lives, and enjoy my first year as an assistant professor of mathematics at my alma mater,” Wright said.

“On a professional level, I plan to increase the number of mathematics majors at Langston by recruiting at least three freshmen to join the Mathematics Club and by serving as their advisor this academic year,” Wright said.

It is also his goal to increase the intellectual campus climate by starting a book club on campus called Bibliophilism, by participating in monthly dialogues in the Harrison Library, and by giving talks on campus about different topics ranging from philosophy to literature to politics to music.

He is dedicated to making things better than when he came to the university and makes it his goal to continuously become more active in the fields of mathematics and mathematics education. Prior to LU, Wright taught mathematics at two universities in New York City. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Langston University in 2004 and a Doctorate in Mathematics Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2014.

Desmond Harvey was appointed as the new director of Student Life at the Langston campus.

“I am looking forward to returning to my alma mater,” Harvey said.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and graduated with honors from Langston University in 2006.

“During my first year as Director of Student Life, I plan to learn more about the student organizations, programs, and events that are hosted through the Office of Student Life, while establishing a relationship with the student leaders on campus,” he said.

Prior to Langston, he was the coordinator of prospective student services in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology for one year at Oklahoma State University. Before that, he served as an academic advisor, Coordinator of the Multicultural Engineering Program, Coordinator of African American Affairs, and Coordinator of Prospective Student Services for two years at Oklahoma State University.

Alice Strong-Simmons was appointed as the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Oklahoma City campus. Coming from a long line of teaching professionals, Strong-Simmons describes herself as an “educator at heart.” As a trained educator, she was Director of Child Development and Adjunct Professor at Langston University.
She currently serves as Central Area Director of The Links, Incorporated and holds life memberships in the Langston University National Alumni Association and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Strong-Simmons prides herself on being a “Country Girl” whom God has endowed with an extraordinary passion for Langston University and its students, and working to assure the best education possible for the youth and children of the Great State of Oklahoma. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Langston University and a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma.

Langston University President, Kent J. Smith, Jr., is confident that the experience and expertise these new appointments will bring to the roles will serve our students in and out of the classroom.

“As Langston University continues to blossom, it is vital we have the right leadership in place,” Dr. Smith said.

Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Langston offers more than 38 degree programs, including five masters’ degrees and one doctoral program. For more information about Langston University giving please contact the LU Foundation Office at (405) 466-3482.


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By Kaylie Wehr, Digital Marketing Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla.—Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson and Mike Garrett, athletic director at Langston University, will induct 10 football players into the Langston University Hall of Fame as a part of the halftime festivities at Homecoming on Oct. 18, 2014.

“These are deserving men,” said Henderson, a retired NFL linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and a Langston University alumnus. “They are great football players and each has provided valuable contributions to Langston Athletics.

“I am pleased to be part of this activity, and I hope it begins a tradition to acknowledge student-athletes who have made contributions at Langston University.”

Inductees were chosen by a selection committee for their performance as a student-athlete. The men will be presented with a medal and recognized for their contributions to the university.

Men being honored will include the coach and several players of the 1973 team that won the title of Oklahoma Collegiate Conference Champions.

Thomas Henderson, Mike Garrett and Langston University alumnus Clarence James will present the medals.

Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Langston offers more than 38 degree programs, including five master’s degrees and one doctoral program. For more information on Langston University Athletics, please visit


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By Kaylie Wehr, Digital Marketing Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla.—Langston University homecoming, Forever A Memorable Experience, will kick off with Rep. Mike Shelton as the grand marshal. Homecoming is Oct. 13-18, 2014, with Shelton leading the annual parade and kicking off festivities on Saturday.

“We are pleased to have representative Shelton as our homecoming grand marshal,” said Kent J. Smith, Jr., President of Langston University. “He embodies the quality of leadership that we strive to teach at Langston. Shelton has dedicated his life to serving others and has always been a great supporter of Langston University.”

Shelton is a native of Oklahoma City and a Langston University alumnus. It was by studying under a former state representative that Shelton became interested in politics. Shelton mentored and worked with several organizations, including Langston University’s Oklahoma City campus. As the Community Outreach Coordinator for Langston University – Oklahoma City, he launched the first adult scholarship program for the campus.

In 2004, Shelton was elected to Oklahoma District 97 and currently serves as the Assistant Democratic Floor Leader.

Homecoming is an anticipated tradition at Langston University. Events are scheduled every day during the week of homecoming, such as the annual Gospel Fest, President’s Scholarship Gala, Greek Step Party and coronation of Mr. and Miss. Langston University. The parade begins at 10 a.m. on October 18, while the football game begins at 2 p.m. against Wayland Baptist University.

Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, OK. Langston offers over 38 degree programs, including 5 masters degrees and one doctoral program. For more information on Langston University homecoming and to purchase tickets, visit


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

Langston University recently named in-demand performer and alumni Lonnie Easter as the new Director of Bands. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge in the field of music and stays ahead of the curve by choosing songs from the Billboard Top 25 list.

Easter earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Langston University, where he graduated magna cum laude from the Edwin P. McCabe Honors Program. He also earned a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Easter recently served as the Director of Bands for Douglass High School in Oklahoma City, restoring a once proud program. The Douglass High School marching band is now known for its outstanding performances at halftime events and performances at the OKC Arts Festival. He served as the Director of Bands for nine years at Millwood Public Schools in Oklahoma City. The most memorable performance was for the Battle of the Bands in 2006. It was Easter’s creative approach that caused News 9 to feature Millwood as its ‘band of the week’ for their winning performance that had the crowd dancing in the stands.

Easter is best known for crafting contemporary and upbeat performances and is now continuing that tradition as he prepares the Langston band for its upcoming performances this fall.