Category: School of Arts and Sciences

Aniyah Robinson poses next to an HBCU night t-shirt design

Broadcast journalism student earns prestigious Rhoden Fellowship

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Aniyah Robinson is the first Langston University student to become a Rhoden Fellow

by Ellie Melero, Media Relations Specialist

Earning the Andscape Rhoden Fellowship is a dream come true for Aniyah Robinson.

A broadcast journalism junior from Wichita, Kansas, Robinson has been interested in sports and sports media since elementary school, and now she has the opportunity to work with ESPN during a yearlong fellowship with Andscape.

“I’m looking forward to being in a space with like-minded individuals and just being able to do stuff that we love,” Robinson said. “And I’m really excited to be able to work with the other fellows this year.”

Andscape, part of the ESPN portfolio and formerly known as The Undefeated, is a Black-led media group dedicated to highlighting and uplifting Black stories. As part of the United Negro College Fund-Disney Corporate Scholars program, Andscape sponsors the Rhoden Fellowship.

Named for award-winning sportswriter William C. Rhoden, the Rhoden Fellowship is a prestigious one-year sports media program for aspiring journalists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The program includes a 10-week summer internship, various professional development opportunities and a $5,000 award.

Aniyah Robinson is Langston University’s first Rhoden Fellow, and her journey to get there has been one filled with hard work and determination.

Little Girl, Big Dream
A young Aniyah Robinson poses in front of NBA player cut-outs with her younger brother and sister.
Robinson (left) has dreamed of working in sports media since she was a child.

Robinson was in fourth grade the first time she told her grandmother, Kim Ross, that she was going to be on ESPN one day.

“I just kind of shoved it off when she was little because she was a kid,” Ross said. “We all thought, ‘Oh, you know, she’s just talking right now. She don’t know what she want to do.’

“Because when you’re a kid you don’t really know,” Ross reasoned. “You’re gonna have 15 different things you’re gonna wanna do by the time you graduate high school.”

But as Robinson got older, Ross realized this goal was more than just a passing childhood interest. Robinson was still talking about it when she was in sixth grade. And in seventh grade. And in eighth grade.

By the time Robinson was a sophomore in high school, Ross had realized working for ESPN really was Robinson’s dream job.

“Even her friends were like, ‘Uh, yeah, Aniyah is going to do this. She wants to do sports. She’s going to be on ESPN someday,’” Ross said. “It’s just something she’s always said, and she’s striving for it.”

Ross knew pursuing this dream would mean earning a college degree, and she always told Robinson to make her education a priority. So Robinson worked hard in high school to get accepted into her dream school: Prairie View A&M University.

Robinson was excited to attend Prairie View, but then her best friend, Kennadi, broke the news to her that she would not go to Texas with Robinson in the fall. Kennadi had been accepted to Langston University, the school where her mother and sisters had gone, and that’s where she wanted to go.

Faced with a choice between her dream school and her dream of going to school with her best friend, Robinson decided to give Dear Langston a chance.

“Langston was closer to home, it was less expensive, and it was just ideal,” Robinson said. “It’s still small, but it’s the perfect size to where we’re all just a big family. So here I am, third year!”

Putting in the Work

When Robinson came to Langston, one of her first classes was with Daniel Thompson, an instructor of communication and the advisor for the LU Gazette, Langston University’s student newspaper. Thomspon said as a freshman, Robinson was a very quiet student. She didn’t talk a lot in class, and he could tell she didn’t quite have her feet under her yet. But that soon changed.

Aniyah Robinson takes a selfie with her best friend Kennadi Graham
Robinson (right) ultimately decided to attend Langston University after her best friend, Kennadi Graham (left), decided to attend LU.

Robinson made a conscious effort to get more involved on campus her sophomore year, and that included getting involved with the student newspaper. She began writing for the Gazette and has risen to the role of managing editor. She will be the editor-in-chief in the fall.

The summer after her sophomore year, Robinson pursued an internship with KSN, a news station in Wichita, and she returned to Langston in the fall with confidence and motivation.

“Doing an internship that early on has such a massive impact on students,” Thompson said. “She came back just more confident and more capable.”

Robinson didn’t just get involved with already existing organizations, though. Langston students are often encouraged to find organizations that reflect their interests and goals, and if they cannot find one, they are encouraged to start one. Robinson did just that, and she said restarting the LU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has been one of her most memorable achievements at Langston.

Robinson first learned about NABJ when members of the NABJ Tulsa chapter came to speak to one of her classes about the organization. Then one of her friends at the University of Missouri told her about how beneficial the organization had been for her. Robinson decided Langston students should have an opportunity to receive those benefits, too.

“I felt like that’s a good organization to bring to Langston,” Robinson said. “So I worked with Mr. Thompson a lot to get that started, and it’s just been amazing ever since.”

Langston had a chapter of NABJ years ago, but membership fizzled out and the chapter became defunct. Over the years, several students tried to restart the chapter, but all were unsuccessful. Robinson wouldn’t let that deter her, though.

She worked with Thompson to formulate a constitution, recruit students to be consistently involved in the organization, earn the approval of the regional director of NABJ, earn the support of the Tulsa chapter, and receive letters of recommendation from both the Tulsa chapter and regional director to NABJ’s national board.

“Aniyah was able to get the student support and the momentum, and she was diligent enough to push through this new chapter,” Thompson said. “Just the amount of effort and time it took to get that started back up, to get the constitution in order, to get all the documents in order, to set up the meeting with the national association, it was a lot of work.

“She really did that work, and she’s almost entirely responsible for NABJ coming back.”

Between writing for the Gazette, restarting NABJ and maintaining good grades in all her classes, Robinson still found time to pursue an on-campus internship. She became an intern in the Department of Athletics under the supervision of Sports Information Director Kyle Taylor.

A group photo with members of the NABJ
Robinson spent months working to restart the LU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.

As an Athletics intern, Robinson helps with anything from game-day live streams to running the football video board. She is a quick learner who’s constantly looking to add skills to her repertoire, and Taylor said Robinson is one of the hardest working interns they have.

That’s why when Taylor received an inquiry for potential Rhoden Fellowship applicants, Robinson was one of the first people he thought of. After requesting more information about what the Fellowship was looking for, he was certain Robinson was the perfect candidate.

“Aniyah really kind of stuck out as a potential candidate because part of what they were looking for was a writing component,” Taylor said. “Aniyah has been a part of the Gazette for a while and she’s written quite a lot, so this seemed really up her alley.”

A Black Woman in Sports Media

ESPN Senior Editor and LU alumnus Eddie Maisonet knew that though Langston University had never had a Rhoden Fellow before, there were tons of students with incredible potential. That’s why he reached out to Director of Alumni Affairs Rachel Belmon and asked if there were any students who stood out as promising potential fellows. Belmon, in turn, reached out to Taylor, and Robinson began her journey to becoming Dear Langston’s first Rhoden Fellow.

Robinson worked with Taylor and Maisonet to prepare her application and prepare for her interview. After months of preparation and waiting, the 2024 UNCF Disney Corporate Scholars were announced in February. Robinson was one of six students selected for the Rhoden Fellowship, which this year happens to be an all-woman cohort.

“This is the first time they’ve had an all-woman cohort,” Robinson said. “So, all of us wanting to work in sports, being Black women, I feel like it’s gonna be just such an awesome experience.”

Robinson will spend the summer in Bristol, Connecticut, as an intern for Andscape. She will work with her fellow interns to cover sports as well as other news and cultural subjects, especially Black culture, and Andscape will take the fellows to various events and experiences as the opportunities arise.

Robinson has wanted to work in sports media since she was a child, and she always knew it would take a lot of hard work and dedication to be successful in such a male-dominated industry. She said her experiences at Langston University have shown her she is capable of anything, and she is excited to continue pursuing her dream of being a Black woman in sports media through the Rhoden Fellowship.

“I feel like often-times Black women are not taken seriously, especially in an industry like sports media,” Robinson said. “It’s really hard for us to move up in the rankings. But it’s really amazing that I’ve been able to see women in the sports industry, especially Black women, come together and support each other, and that is just an amazing thing to now be a part of.”

LU students smile and pose on the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball court after the "Careers in Sports Event with OKC Thunder."

Langston University students visit OKC Thunder headquarters

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LANGSTON, Okla. — In an exhilarating blend of education and sportsmanship, over 30 Langston University students had the exclusive opportunity to step into the fast-paced world of professional sports with a career-focused visit to the headquarters of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the freshly crowned No. 1 seed in the NBA’s Western Conference.

As the Thunder gears up for a promising playoff season, students from the School of Business, the Department of Communications, and the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation attended the “Careers in Sports Event with OKC Thunder.” This initiative is part of an ongoing effort to strengthen ties with leading organizations and open new horizons for students.

Professor Ralph Grayson, Chair of the Computer Science and Management Information Systems Departments, spearheaded the event and emphasized the importance of integrating practical experiences with academic learning.

“Our students are not just studying the theory; they are out here, experiencing real-world applications of what we teach,” Professor Grayson said.

LU students sit around a table smiling during the "Careers in Sports Event with OKC Thunder."
Langston University students get a rare opportunity to network with professionals in The Thunder organization.

During the visit, students participated in roundtable discussions, engaged in panel sessions, and enjoyed a comprehensive tour of the Thunder’s arena. They interacted with team executives who discussed various roles within the sports industry, from analytics and event management to health and player development.

Professor Carolyn Ross from the Department of Communications highlighted the transformative nature of the experience.

“Learning about media relations or sports marketing in a classroom is one thing,” Professor Ross said. “It’s another to see those roles in action during the high stakes of NBA playoffs.”

The event provided valuable professional insights and showcased the potential career paths available within the sports industry. Both professors intend to foster this budding relationship, ensuring continued student engagement and learning opportunities.

Langston University group photo at 2024 K-INBRE Symposium

Two Langston University students earn awards at annual K-INBRE Symposium

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by Ellie Melero, Media Relations Specialist

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Two Langston University students took home awards at the annual Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) Symposium Jan. 12-14.

Senior crop and soil sciences major Kayla Smith earned a 2nd place Award of Excellence in Oral Presentations for her research on “Impairments in Cerebral Autoregulation and Cerebral Reactivity in Cancer Survivorship.” Junior biology major Daysha Isaac earned an Award of Excellence in Poster Presentations for her research on “Stalk Cell Movement in Drosophila: A model to understanding how migrating cells shape tissues and organs.”

“My experience was fun and also interesting,” Smith said. “It was my first time presenting oral presentations.”

Kayla Smith presenting at the 2024 K-INBRE Symposium
Senior crop and soil sciences major Kayla Smith earned a 2nd place Award of Excellence in Oral Presentations at the 2024 K-INBRE Symposium. Photo provided by Kayla Smith.

K-INBRE is a collaborative effort of medical and academic institutions in Kansas and Oklahoma to “promote multidisciplinary research networks with a focus on Cell and Developmental Biology,” according to the K-INBRE website. Langston University is the only Oklahoma-based institution partnered with K-INBRE.

The program offers LU students mentored research opportunities as well as opportunities to present their research at events like the annual Symposium. For example, Smith, a second-year K-INBRE participant, worked with researchers at Kansas State University.

This is Isaac’s first year participating in K-INBRE. She was introduced to the program by one of her biology professors, Dr. Kj Abraham, who helped mentor her in presenting her research. She also received advice on the structure and presentation of her research from Dr. Lindsay Davis.

Isaac has enjoyed her time in K-INBRE so far, and she was excited to present her research at the Symposium. She studied the ovarioles present in female fruit flies’ ovaries and tracked mutations and their effects on the stalk cells.

Daysha Isaac presents at the 2024 K-INBRE Symposium
Junior biology major Daysha Isaac earned an Award of Excellence in Poster Presentations at the 2024 K-INBRE Symposium. Photo provided by Daysha Isaac.

“This information allowed us to apply it to birth defects in infants,” Isaac said. “No way are we trying to cure it but gather more information about cell movement to make a connection. Such birth defects we compared it to were spina bifida and microcephaly.”

Smith is likewise passionate about the research she has helped conduct in K-INBRE, and she is confident her experiences in the program will aid her as she prepares to pursue medical school after graduation.

“I realize that my career goal is actually attainable,” Smith said, “and practice does make perfect.”

NBCU Academy Next Level Summit graphic


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by Ellie Melero, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University encourages any high school or college students interested in journalism or media to attend the NBCU Academy Next Level Summit for free on Oct. 19.

“Next Level Summit: Know Your Audience” is a free virtual learning opportunity which is open to the public, and Langston would like to encourage anyone with an interest in a career in media to attend. The summit will discuss ways for journalists, marketing professionals, public relations specialists and other media industry members to identify and connect with an audience while providing attendees with an opportunity to connect with top industry professionals.

The summit will be hosted by the NBCU Academy, a free online education program for developing skills and advancing careers in journalism, media and technology from Comcast NBCUniversal and NBCU News Group. Langston University is an academic partner of the NBCU Academy.

Langston’s academic partnership with the NBCU Academy is part of its broader efforts to improve and enrich its broadcast journalism program. These efforts began in earnest with the donation of the new Langston OKC campus from Griffin Media.
The new campus, once the KWTV News 9 building, will soon be the new home of the broadcast journalism program. The donation included a full-service news station which will give Langston students a better understanding of what it’s like to work in a professional broadcast newsroom.

Not long after announcing the donation from Griffin Media, Langston announced its new partnership with NBCU Academy. Langston is one of 45 schools who are academic partners with NBCU Academy, and it’s the only university in Oklahoma with this partnership. In addition to the academic partnership, Langston received a $250,000 grant from NBCU Academy.

The NBCU Academy academic partnership offers several virtual and in-person educational and mentoring opportunities to Langston journalism students, including events like the Next Level Summit.

You can register for the Next Level Summit: Know Your Audience at

NBCU Academy Langston University graphic


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By Jet Turner, Langston University Office of Public Relations

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University is proud to announce its new partnership with NBCU Academy. Since its inception in 2021, NBCU Academy partners have received funding, resources, training and development – in addition to access to the News Group’s world-class journalists. Langston University is the first institution within the state of Oklahoma to partner with NBCU Academy.

“We are excited to join the NBCU Academy,” said Dr. Ruth Ray Jackson, Vice President of Academic Affairs. “The access to resources accompanying this opportunity will be transformative in preparing our students. The curriculum support and professional development will enhance our talented faculty’s ability to develop a diverse pool of media professionals committed to solutions journalism.”

This partnership comes on the heels of Langston University’s announcement of its new home of journalism in Oklahoma City thanks to Griffin Media’s donation of its KWTV News 9 building, including nearly all the building’s contents and equipment, to the University.

“Through this partnership we will be able to provide scholarships to current and future broadcast journalism students,” said Dr. Peterson, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “With this partnership, our new building and equipment, Langston University broadcast journalism is poised to eventually lead the nation in producing highly trained and qualified underrepresented professionals in all areas of broadcast television journalism.”

Langston University joins NBCU Academy’s 15 academic partner expansion, bringing the total number of partners to 45. The 15 new partners include:

  • UC Berkeley M.E.T. in Berkeley, CA
  • Columbia College Chicago in Chicago, IL
  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, MN
  • Helena College – University of Montana in Helena, MT
  • Langston University in Langston, OK
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver in Denver, CO
  • Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham OR
  • Nevada State College in Henderson, NV
  • Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN
  • The Ohio State University, College of Engineering and School of Communication in Columbus, OH
  • Texas Southern University, School of Communication in Houston, TX
  • United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, ND
  • University of Arizona, School of Journalism in Tucson, AZ
  • University of Central Florida, Nicholson School of Communication and Media, in Orlando, FL
  • University of Missouri School of Journalism, in Columbia, MO

“This partnership re-affirms Langston University’s commitment to changing the broadcast journalism profession by providing learning opportunities and resources not only for on-air talent, but also for behind-the-scenes talent,” President Kent J. Smith, Jr said. “This is a pivotal moment for Langston University and for the future of minorities in the broadcasting industry.”

NBCU Academy has elevated the next generation of journalists, providing students from underrepresented communities a pipeline into newsrooms across media and technology. NBCU Academy’s pioneering Embed Program creates roles for recent graduates from partner schools and institutions with diverse student populations. In two years, NBCU Academy has assigned 11 Embeds full-time, two-year job assignments across the News Group’s on-air and Digital platforms, Marketing, Global Talent Development & Inclusion, Data Sciences, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.


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By Jet Turner, Langston University Public Relations


LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University announced at its 17th Annual President’s Student Scholarship Gala that Griffin Media has made the largest corporate donation in university history, gifting the university its KWTV News 9 building located at 7401 N. Kelley Ave. Langston University takes possession of the building in January 2023.

President and CEO of Griffin Media David Griffin said the company was working to bring new, advanced technology and sets to the newscast. Installing new equipment in their current building would tie them to the location for the next 15 years. Griffin Media had another goal in mind, that is to plant its flag in downtown Oklahoma City.

This left Griffin with a dilemma: What would the company do with its existing home of more than seventy years?

“If we abandon this building there is going to be a hole in this community, and we just did not want to leave this community alone,” Griffin said. “So, we went on a search to see how we could be a part of something bigger than ourselves. And then it just dawned on me, Langston has a journalism program.”

The gift totals over $10 million, and includes the building, the surrounding land, all the existing equipment used for the News 9 newscast, every table and chair, the computers, the fiberoptic cabling and more. The site will also be home to the Center for Media and Community Advancement at Langston University funded in part with a grant from the Inasmuch Foundation.

Langston University President Kent J. Smith, Jr. said this gift will not only impact our journalism program, but it will also impact the entire university community.

“There is an entire business behind news production. From computer technology to marketing and sales, our students will have the benefit of learning here. Now we can think of Oklahoma City and our Oklahoma City campus in an entirely different realm that we could not imagine before,” Smith said.

This gift will revolutionize how Oklahoma’s only HBCU produces new journalists and will impact every aspect of the profession.

Griffin Media has committed to a long-term unprecedented partnership with Langston University. News 9’s on-air and behind-the-scenes talent will teach classes, mentor students and provide opportunities for LU students to learn from them on state-of-the-art equipment.

“If you’re looking for something to believe in that will fundamentally change not only Langston University but journalism as a whole there is no doubt in my mind that this is it,” Smith said. “If you cannot get excited about that I do not know what gets you excited.”

Langston University students present posters at the 16th Annual K-INBRE Conference in Kansas.


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Dr. Kjoy Abraham, the Langston University Biomedical Research Coordinator, led a team of nine students to present their work at the 16th Annual Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Research Symposium in Overland Park, Kansas, which was held on January 13-14, 2018.

Four of the nine students, Mr. La’Quan Johnson (Senior), Ms. Celeste Cotton (Junior), Ms. Cayla Moore (Junior), and Ms. Corajean Cunningham (Freshman), presented iposters. These posters are interactive, multimedia research presentations that are displayed electronically on large format HD touchscreen monitors. There were 347 participants including invited scientists, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students (undergraduate and graduate) at the symposium. Over 100 students competed in the iposter competition.

During the conference, Langston University student, Ms. Justis Petit (Junior), was selected for an oral presentation in biomedical research. Her abstract was also chosen as one of the best eight abstracts from over 100 abstracts. The title of her presentation was “Effect of Euglena Gracilis Water Extract on Cell Death and Toll-Like Receptor Gene Expression Profiles in Lung Cancer Cells.” During this time, Ms. Petit was given 15 minutes to speak and was able to answer questions about her presentation. Ms. Petit was awarded “Honorable Mention” with a cash award of $100 for her oral presentation at the symposium.

Mr. La’Quan Johnson was commended by one of the judges for his excellent work and presentation at the iposter competition.

The Langston University students competed with other undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students from ten institutions that included the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and the University of Kansas Medical Center. Other Langston University students in attendance were Ashley Michalski (Senior), Celeste Cotton (Junior), Jennifer Ho (Junior), Brianna Anderson (Junior), Kendall Odle (Sophomore), Corajean Cunnigham (Freshman), and Cayla Moore (Junior). All the LU students in attendance are biology majors. Two additional University faculty members also attended the conference, Dr. Diomede Buzingo, Assistant Professor in the Biology Department and Dr. Sharon Lewis, Associate Professor in the Chemistry Department.

Langston University (LU) is a public historically black college enrolling a close-knit community of under 3,000 students. Langston University is recognized as a top institution of higher learning for affordability by and Founded in 1897, LU is located in rural Logan County just 10 miles east of Guthrie and 42 miles from Oklahoma City. Langston offers more than 40 associate, bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs across six academic colleges. Visit us online at


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities recently named Langston University senior biology major, Nicholas Simon, a 2016 HBCU All-Star.

Simon was among 73 students across 63 HBCUs in 24 states, the District of Columbia, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Virgin Islands selected out of 300 applicants. The All-Stars, comprised of undergraduate, graduate and professional students, are being recognized for their accomplishments in academics, leadership and civic engagement.

“I believe that all of my hard work has paid off,” Simon said. “Everything I have done for my school and community has provided the opportunity for me to represent Langston University on a national level.”

Over the next year, Simon will help promote and create outreach opportunities for his fellow students about the value of education. He will also participate in the White House HBCU Week Conference, national and regional events, and webinars with Initiative staff and other professionals on a range of disciplines that support a spirit of engagement and personal and professional development.

“We are proud of Nicholas and the work he has accomplished to receive this prestigious honor and know he will represent the University well at the White House HBCU Conference,” said Dr. Kent J. Smith, president of Langston University.

Nicholas Simon, an honors student from currently serves as president of the campus NAACP chapter and co-chair of the Langston University ambassador program. This past summer he conducted biological research for NASA at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California as part of an internship program.

“It’s an honor to be recognized among so many talented scholars. I am excited to have a chance to learn more about other HBCUs and collaborate to help build and grow our institutions,” Simon said.

Langston University is a public historically black college enrolling a close-knit community of under 4,000 students. Founded in 1897, LU is located in rural Logan County and has two urban campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. LU was recently recognized as a top institution of higher learning for affordability, ranking number three among all Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the U.S., according to Langston offers over 40 associate, bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs across six academic colleges. Visit us online at


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – The DOD Air Force awarded a $200,000 research grant to Byron Quinn, Ph.D., professor in the university’s Biology department in Arts and Sciences. Quinn received funding for his grant entitled “Biochemical Fatigue Metabolite Instrumentation.”

The grant awarded will allow undergraduate students to gain hands-on training with the requested instrumentation by participating in fatigue research and coursework.

“Students taking this course will take on independent research projects in tissue biomarker detection from the metabolic analysis with the Gas Chromatography in Metabolomics Study,” said Quinn.

“This instrumentation adds significant value to the research and training program at LU.”

Langston offers more than 38 degree programs, including 5 master’s degrees and one doctoral program. The School of Arts and Sciences is host to the biology program and currently leads the world in manipulating peanut plant hairs into full new plants without the use of seeds.

Langston University is located 12 miles east of Guthrie, Oklahoma. To learn more about Langston University, please visit

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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