Category: Press Release

Coach Kevin Herod speaking with the Lady Lions during a time-out

Langston University women’s basketball head coach resigns

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LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University Director of Athletics Donnita Drain-Rogers announced today that Kevin Herod has stepped down as the Lady Lions head women’s basketball coach to become head coach at Florida Memorial University.

“I would like to thank Coach (Kevin) Herod for his time serving as the head women’s basketball coach, he helped re-establish the women’s basketball presence in the state of Oklahoma and on the NAIA national stage,” Drain-Rogers said. “We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Herod led the Lady Lions to a 24-8 record and an NAIA National Tournament appearance for the 2023-24 season. The Lady Lions had an overall record of 41-21 during Herod’s two years at Langston University.

“I am deeply grateful for the privilege of serving as the head women’s basketball coach at Langston University for the past two years,” Herod said. “As I bid farewell after two rewarding seasons, the achievements, both academically and athletically, we’ve been able to accomplish fill me with pride. The memories and bonds formed here will forever be a treasured part of my life.”

Langston University will launch a national search for the next head women’s basketball coach. Information will be posted to langstonsports.com. 

Langston University was honored for its partnership and generous donation from Griffin Media at the 2024 Regents Business Partnership Excellence Awards Program.

Griffin Media honored for partnership with Langston University at Regents Awards Program

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Griffin Media received a Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award at the 2024 Regents Business Partnership Excellence Awards Program on March 7 for their partnership with Langston University.

Each year, universities can nominate businesses for the awards, and Langston University recommended Griffin Media be honored at this year’s Awards Program.

In 2022, Griffin Media made the largest corporate donation to Langston University in university history, gifting Dear Langston with its KWTV News 9 building in Oklahoma City. The gift included a fully operational television studio complete with the land and equipment, and it now houses the LU-OKC Campus. It’s through this generosity from Griffin Media that LU communications students will receive training with state-of-the-art equipment that will prepare them for the world upon earning their degree.

The site is also home to the Center for Media and Community Advancement at LU, funded in part with a grant from the Inasmuch Foundation and the generous support of the Kirkpatrick Foundation. The Center is part of Langston University Forward Together Project: A Solutions Journalism Initiative.

The main goals of the Forward Together Project are to leverage the University’s resources to be a source for change and advancement through the power of media and solutions journalism; to develop LU students’ skills in storytelling, digital marketing, and audience engagement under the supervision of faculty, staff and industry experts; and to produce a report that might serve as a roadmap for the future of Oklahoma and a guide for ongoing storytelling, engagement, and research.

Aerial shot of the Langston University Langston Campus

LANGSTON UNIVERSITY WORKS WITH WM CONRAD VETERANS MEMORIAL GARDENS TO HONOR VETERANS, PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS

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by Ellie Melero, Media Relations Specialist

Langston University and Wm Conrad Veterans Memorial Gardens have entered into a partnership meant to enhance the way the Veterans Memorial Gardens honors veterans while also giving students opportunities to gain real-world experience.

The partnership was signed Nov. 11, 2023, and marks a new era in the relationship between the University and the Veterans Memorial Gardens.

“This partnership is an effort to bring Langston University faculty, staff, and students together with members of the Town of Langston and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Alonzo Peterson, the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Langston University is proud to support this effort to provide recognition, appreciation and resources to veterans in our community.”

Stewart Williams, a Langston native and military veteran, conceived the idea for the Wm Conrad Veterans Memorial Gardens in 2011 to find a way to honor all who have served. He broke ground for the Gardens in 2015, began holding Memorial Day services in the Gardens in 2018, and held the grand opening for the Gardens on Oct. 1, 2022.

During that time, Langston University students, faculty and staff from the Departments of Music and Communication have been involved with the Gardens through events such as choir performances and media representation. Additionally, students from various sororities have served as greeters, hostesses, guest registers and servers at the four annual veterans’ appreciation events. These activities will continue, and now the door has been opened for even more involvement from LU students through activities such as volunteer projects and internship opportunities.

“This new agreement encourages both entities to become formal partners in the development of services and program delivery for veterans on campus and in the communities surrounding the University,” Mr. Williams said. “It also allows both the University and the Gardens to pool human and other resources in a collective manner to deliver veteran activities, veteran program awareness, and sustain long-term positive outcomes for veterans on the campus and in the community.”

As the University and the Gardens enter a new year, both institutions intend to work toward their common goal of honoring veterans and providing students with valuable opportunities to develop their skills.

“One of the goals of the partnership is to identify veterans who are students, faculty or staff members to become part of the veterans group that is honored each year,” Dr. Peterson said. “We also encourage the Langston University family to provide their expertise to enhance the operations and programming developed by the Wm Conrad Veterans Memorial Gardens on behalf of the US Veterans.”

“We hope this new partnership will enhance the operation and Veterans’ programs developed and delivered by the Gardens; create possible internships for students majoring in horticultural programs or other academic programs offered by the University; provide University students with hands-on experiences to enhance and support their academic coursework; and contribute to the overall success of the Gardens that would not happen without the MOU,” Mr. Stewart said.

Dr Daryl Green

LANGSTON UNIVERSITY HIRES NEW DEAN FOR SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

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Ellie Melero, Media Relations Specialist

Langston University hired Dr. Daryl D. Green as the new dean for the School of Business. He began his new position on Jan. 2.

Prior to joining Dear Langston, Dr. Green worked at Oklahoma Baptist University for several years, holding the esteemed Dickinson Chair of Business professorship in the Paul Dickinson School of Business. Dr. Green’s primary research areas are leadership, management, culture and decision-making, and he has taught courses in topics such as system analysis, decision-making, leadership, marketing, project management, social media, strategy, and ballroom and social dancing. His ability to simplify complex concepts in the classroom helped him earn the ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award.

Notably, Dr. Green retired from the Department of Energy in 2016 after more than 27 years in the Environmental Management Program. He managed over 400 projects valued at approximately $100 million.

A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Dr. Green holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Southern University in Louisiana, a master’s degree in organizational management from Tusculum College in Tennessee, and a Doctor of Strategic Leadership degree from Regent University in Virginia. He has also completed several advanced graduate studies and certificates from Southern New Hampshire University and the University of Vermont.

Dr. Green is an accomplished academic and an award-winning speaker and author. His works include the textbooks “Impending Danger,” “Small Business Marketing,” and “Life After Retirement” in addition to numerous articles, which have been cited more than 400 times in well-known academic journals. His insights have been recognized by USA Today, Ebony Magazine and the Associated Press.

“My primary objective is to drive significant growth in our Business School,” Dr. Green said. “Over the next decade, my vision is to welcome 1,000 new students into our program. Innovation, adaptation and strategic thinking are essential to propel us toward this milestone.

“Many of our faculty are already champions of student-centered teaching. We will foster this ethos across the board, tailoring educational experiences to meet the unique requirements of today’s Generation Z students. We aim to provide engaging and practical learning that equips them for success in an ever-changing world.”

Chris Kuwitzky Headshot

LANGSTON UNIVERSITY HIRES NEW VICE PRESIDENT FOR FISCAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE AFFAIRS

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Ellie Melero, Media Relations Specialist

Langston University has hired Mr. Chris Kuwitzky to serve as the Vice President for Fiscal and Administrative Affairs – the university’s chief financial officer. He began his new role on Sept. 11, 2023.

Mr. Kuwitzky possesses a wealth and breadth of financial administration experience in both the corporate and higher education sectors. He began his career with Coopers and Lybrand Public Accountants (now part of PricewaterhouseCoopers) in Oklahoma City where he served a wide array of clients in governmental, oil & gas, not-for-profit, and higher education sectors. He would later join the finance staff at the University of Oklahoma in Norman where he rose to the position of Associate Vice President of Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

After 31 years of service there, Mr. Kuwitzky transitioned to Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and served as the Vice President of Administration and Treasurer. In this role, his responsibilities included all financial and budgeting operations along with information technology services, the physical plant, human resources, auxiliary enterprises, and oversight of the university police force.

After three years in Topeka, Mr. Kuwitzky returned to Oklahoma to provide financial consulting and contract chief financial officer services to clients, doing business as Live Worthy Financial, LLC.

A native of Oklahoma, Mr. Kuwitzky earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1983 and earned the designation of certified public accountant two years later.

Marching Pride Band Director Mark Gordon

MARCHING PRIDE BAND DIRECTOR RECEIVES HONORARY DOCTORATE IN TEXAS

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Ellie Melero, Media Relations Specialist

Langston University Marching Pride Band Director Mark Gordon received an honorary doctorate in philosophy from Leaders Esteem Christian Bible University on Dec. 17.

Mr. Gordon has been the Director of Bands at Langston University since 2018 and he has grown the band to 275 students. Before that, he had more than 20 years of experience directing bands at the high school and collegiate levels.

His career began at M.B. Smiley High School in Houston, Texas, in 1996. There, Mr. Gordon built the band up to nearly 400 students. After 10 years with Smiley High School, Mr. Gordon returned to his alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, to serve as the assistant director of bands for another 10 years. He then served as the director of bands at Charles H. Milby High School in Houston, Texas, before moving to Oklahoma to take up his current post at Langston University.

Throughout his career, Mr. Gordon has remained involved with the surrounding communities at each of his respective schools through band and choir performances, youth outreach, and involvement at church. He believes his work helping students to graduate high school and find ways to pursue college to be among the top reasons he was selected to receive this honor.

“I am honored and I am blessed to be receiving this honorary doctorate of philosophy,” Mr. Gordon said. “I am blessed to have had the opportunity to work with so many fine students and musicians over the years, and I am thankful that working with them has made a positive impact.”

Mr. Gordon was nominated by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Foundation of Houston to receive this honor. He received his honorary doctorate at a ceremony in the Sans Souci Ballroom in Tomball, Texas, on Dec. 17.

Aerial shot of the Langston University Langston Campus

FALL 2023 PROMOTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS

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The Office of Public Relations

Langston University Interim President Ruth Ray Jackson, Ph.D., is pleased to announce the following faculty and staff announcements. This reflects promotions and new employees appointed at the director level and above.

Dean Busby
Dean Busby

Dean Busby

Interim Executive Director of the Langston University Foundation

In August 2023, Langston University alumnus and respected colleague Mr. Joshua Busby was named Interim Executive Director of the Langston University Foundation. An accomplished professional, Mr. Busby has made a lasting impact at Langston in several leadership roles. His career at LU began in 2008 as Coordinator of Counseling in the Office of Financial Aid. In 2011, he transitioned over to Institutional Advancement and External Affairs as the Annual Giving Officer. In 2016, he was called to the Division of Student Affairs where he served as the Director of Student Life, and then was appointed to the role of Dean of Students and Chief Student Affairs Officer.

As chief student affairs officer, Mr. Busby reports directly to the president. His management portfolio includes student life, residential life, student conduct, upward bound, counseling services, health services, retention, recreation/intramural sports, and public safety. He also plays an integral role in the planning and execution of Lion Camp, Homecoming, and the President’s Annual Scholarship Gala.

After achieving his LU undergraduate degree, the former Langston honors student, SGA President, and Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund Scholar earned a master’s degree in public management and nonprofit management from the world-renowned School of Public and Environment Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University-Bloomington. A life member of the Langston University National Alumni Association, Mr. Busby enjoys serving his community via his fraternity Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., as a member of his church – the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, as well as being engaged in several other nonprofit and civic organizations.

John Coleman, Ph.D.
John Coleman, Ph.D.

John Coleman, Ph.D.

Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

Dr. John Coleman has been named Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and will continue to serve as Department Chair for Langston University’s Department of Chemistry & Physical Sciences. Throughout his esteemed career, Dr. Coleman has showcased his expertise in departmental planning and coordination, curriculum development, student recruitment, retention, and classroom instruction. His commitment to excellence has been evident in grant procurement and operations, leading to the creation of highly successful programs.

Under Dr. Coleman’s guidance, LU’s Grant Management team has achieved exceptional outcomes with an impressive number of STEM graduates earning advanced degrees in professional and medical fields. Their work has also improved science education in the region with a number of graduates becoming science teachers in Oklahoma’s high-needs school districts.

Dr. Coleman’s accomplishments also extend to the realm of research and publication. He has authored numerous highly-regarded articles on Teaching and Learning strategies which have garnered widespread recognition and dissemination.

Dytisha Davis, Ph.D., CRC
Dytisha Davis, Ph.D., CRC

Dytisha Davis, Ph.D., CRC

Assistant Vice President for Student Success

Dr. Dytisha Davis has been employed at Langston University for 11 years. Her work in higher education and academia extends across the areas of teaching, research and service while serving in different capacities as an educator, researcher, administrator and advisor. Her most recent appointment was serving as Executive Director for the LU-Tulsa Campus, Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, and undergraduate advisor for the Rehabilitation Services program.

In addition to her latest appointment as Assistant Vice President, Student Success, Dr. Davis serves as a Research Associate Professor for the Langston University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Research and Capacity Building for Minority Entities.

Her education includes a Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling from South Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counselor Education from the University of Iowa. A Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Dr. Davis serves as a board member for the Sickle Cell Advisory Committee for the Tulsa area chapter of Red Cross.

Jocha Gordon, M.A.Ed.
Jocha Gordon, M.A.Ed.

Jocha Gordon, M.A.Ed.

Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Outreach

Ms. Jocha Gordon joined the Langston University family in late August 2023. Possessing a decade of higher education experience in admissions and recruitment, she has already begun to make a significant impact as Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Outreach. She most recently served as Assistant Director of Admissions under the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Southern University and A & M College. She is excited to call Langston University her new home and ready to “drive admissions to new heights.”

Born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA, Ms. Gordon is a life member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., where she has held numerous elected offices on both the local and regional board of directors.

Ms. Gordon earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Southern University and A & M College, and a master’s degree in education with a concentration in adult education and training from the University of Phoenix. Currently, she is pursuing a doctorate of education degree in higher education leadership at Northcentral University.

Daryl D. Green, D.S.L.
Daryl D. Green, D.S.L.

Daryl D. Green, D.S.L.

Dean of the School of Business

A seasoned professional known for managing complex projects and guiding others toward success, Dr. Daryl. D. Green is the dean of Langston University’s prestigious School of Business. He will officially start his appointment with Dear Langston in January 2024. Prior to joining the Langston community, Dr. Green worked at Oklahoma Baptist University for several years, holding the esteemed Dickinson Chair of Business professorship in the Paul Dickinson School of Business. He has had a distinguished career as an academic and scholar, receiving the ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award.

Having taught various courses covering decision-making, leadership, marketing, project management, social media, and strategy, he possesses a remarkable ability to simplify complex concepts, making them accessible to individuals of all backgrounds. Notably, Dr. Green retired from the Department of Energy having dedicated more than 27 years to the Environmental Management Program. Even before his 30th birthday, he managed over 400 projects valued at approximately $100 million.

Dr. Green is an accomplished academic and an award-winning speaker and author. Having penned several books including textbooks like “Impending Danger,” “Small Business Marketing, and “Life After Retirement, his insights have been recognized by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and the Associated Press. His educational journey includes a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Southern University, a master’s degree in Organizational Management from Tusculum College, and a doctoral degree in Strategic Leadership from Regent University. Advanced graduate studies and certificates from Southern New Hampshire University and the University of Vermont further prove his lifelong learning commitment. Beyond his professional life, Dr. Green celebrates a more than 30-year lasting partnership with his wife, Estraletta Green. Together, they have raised three adult children and are proud grandparents. A man of faith who finds strength in his beliefs, Dr. Green is an active member at St. John Missionary.

Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. His extensive religious leadership experience includes having served as an ordained deacon, bible teacher, and youth advisor.

Alonzo Peterson, Ph.D.
Alonzo Peterson, Ph.D.

Alonzo Peterson, Ph.D.

Director of Choral Activities

Langston University is pleased to welcome Mr. Ashton D. Jones, Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music. A native of Tulsa, Mr. Jones is an American lyric baritone, choral conductor, organist, and pianist. He is currently an Artist at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. His accomplishments include serving as a public-school educator and professional chorister in groups such as the Jason Max Ferdinand Singers, where he is a current and inaugural member. Throughout his career, he has performed on stages throughout the US and in Bulgaria.

Mr. Jones began playing piano by ear at the age of seven, started accompanying church services at 13, and has served as a church pianist and organist in several states. His choral conducting skills were honed during his tenures as a Graduate Conductor with the University of Missouri (Kansas City) Canticum Novum Chorus, and as an undergraduate student conductor for the Texas Southern University Concert Choir.

His education includes a Bachelor of Arts from Texas Southern University, a Master of Music in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and he is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Missouri (Kansas City) Conservatory for Music and Dance. Highlights of his educational and performance career include operatic studies and performances in the Varna Opera Academy in Bulgaria, solo performances with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Signature Symphony, and upcoming performance with the Fox-Valley Symphony Orchestra. The multi-talented professional currently resides in Kansas City with his daughter Amyah. During breaks from school and performing, he enjoys traveling, visiting with family and friends, and makes a hobby out of trying new food.

Chris Kuwitzky, B.A., CPA
Chris Kuwitzky, B.A., CPA

Chris Kuwitzky, B.A., CPA

Vice President for Fiscal and Administrative Affairs

Mr. Chris Kuwitzky was recently selected to serve as Langston University’s Vice President for Fiscal and Administrative Affairs – the university’s chief financial officer. He possesses a wealth and breadth of financial administration experience in both the corporate and higher education sectors.

Mr. Kuwitzky began his career with Coopers and Lybrand Public Accountants (now part of PricewaterhouseCoopers) in Oklahoma City where he served a wide array of clients in governmental, oil & gas, not-for-profit, and higher education sectors. He would later join the finance staff at the University of Oklahoma in Norman where he rose to the position of associate vice president of administration & finance and chief financial officer. After 31 years of service there, he transitioned to Washburn University in Topeka, KS, serving as vice president of administration and treasurer. In this role, his responsibilities included all financial and budgeting operations along with information technology services, the physical plant, human resources, auxiliary enterprises, and oversight of the university police force. After three years, he returned to Oklahoma and, before joining Langston, Mr. Kuwitzky provided financial consulting and contract chief financial officer services to clients, doing business as Live Worthy Financial, LLC.

A native of Oklahoma, Mr. Kuwitzky earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1983, and earned the designation of certified public accountant two years later.

Kelly O’Bryan, M.A.
Kelly O’Bryan, M.A.

Kelly O’Bryan, M.A.
Director of University College

In the summer of 2023, Ms. Kelly O’Bryan was promoted to Director of University College. Ms. O’Bryan’s expertise has served Langston University and its students well. Hired as a Langston University instructor in fall 2014, she quickly earned a promotion to Assistant Professor, and in 2016 was appointed Chair of the Social Sciences and Humanities Department.

Outside of her University role, Ms. O’Bryan enjoys working with organizations such as the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice to advocate change in the criminal justice system.

Ms. O’Bryan earned master’s degrees in Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Criminology from the University of Arkansas. She is now attending Walden University pursuing a dual doctoral degree in Criminal Justice and Public Policy.

Alonzo Peterson, Ph.D.
Alonzo Peterson, Ph.D.

Alonzo Peterson, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs

In July 2023, Dr. Alonzo Peterson was promoted to Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Peterson first came to Langston in 2005. He has served in increasing levels of leadership at the University including Director of the Intensive Summer Academy for Math, Science, and Technology; Faculty Athletics Representative; Chairman of the Department of Mathematics; Associate Dean for the School of Arts and Sciences; and his most recent role as Dean for the School of Arts and Sciences. Before joining Langston University, Dr. Peterson spent seven years at Southern University A&M University in Baton Rouge.

Possessing more than 25 years of higher education experience, Dr. Peterson has excelled in leadership roles as well as teaching undergraduate mathematics. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in computational and applied mathematics from Southern A & M University in Baton Rouge, and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in Mathematics Education.

Dr. Peterson is a current board member for the Langston Economic Development Authority and the Wesley Foundation. He has the distinction of being a former mayor of the Town of Langston City, where he also served on the city council for approximately six years.

Heleen Sheets, M.O.L.
Heleen Sheets, M.O.L.

Heleen Sheets, M.O.L.
Director of Public Relations

In July 2023, Ms. Heleen Sheets was delighted to begin serving Dear Langston as Director of Public Relations. With two decades of higher education experience, she and her mom Carol made the move from northern Ohio and are thoroughly enjoying Oklahoma. Ms. Sheets previously served as Director of Marketing and Communications for Lourdes University in Sylvania, OH. In that role, she loved working with departments across campus, crafting communications and public relations plans that regularly exceeded goals.

Dedicated to higher education and fellow PR colleagues, Ms. Sheets regularly assisted in the annual planning of a Communicators Summit for Ohio’s independent colleges and universities. She has also presented at conferences, and served as a Circle of Excellence Awards judge for the national Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

A first-generation college graduate, Ms. Sheets earned an associate’s degree from Davis Business College, a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from The University of Toledo, and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Lourdes University. She is enjoying the opportunity to proudly represent the Langston University community and experience all the rich traditions of Oklahoma’s only HBCU. Her most cherished memories to date have been Homecoming Week, the President’s Scholarship Gala, and the honor of being a judge for the 2023 Miss and Mister Orange and Blue Scholarship Pageant!

Sherri Smith-Keys, D.N.P.
Sherri Smith-Keys, D.N.P.

Sherri Smith-Keys, D.N.P.
Associate Vice President for Clinical Affairs/Executive Director of LU-Tulsa

Having recently been named the Vice President for Clinical Affairs/Executive Director of LU-Tulsa, Dr. Sherri Smith-Keys is very excited to serve in these roles. She has been a RN for 39 years and her practice includes nursing administration in higher education and hospital, clinical practice, and nursing education. Dr. Smith-Keys’ work philosophy is to challenge herself all the time, in all aspects of work and play. She loves learning new things, taking new opportunities, and working with different people.

Having served on the Texas Nurse Association Nursing Professional Development Board and the North Texas Consortium for Hospitals and Colleges of Nursing, Dr. Smith-Keys looks forward to creating similar types of networks to enhance Langston University. In addition, one of her goals is to provide multilayer access to LU students through the intentional focus on growth and program expansion.

Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) from the University of Texas at Arlington, a master’s in nursing (MSN) from Regis University, and a doctoral degree in nursing (DNP) from Walden University. She is married to her “best friend” and has four adult sons.

Shauntae' Sourie, B.S., B.B.A., SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Shauntae’ Sourie, B.S., B.B.A., SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Director of Human Resources

Alumna Shauntae’ Sourie is the new Director of Human Resources at Langston University. She rejoins the Langston family from Mid-America Christian University where she served as the Director of Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator. In that role, Ms. Sourie oversaw all aspects of human resource management in functions that included, but not limited to, EEO compliance, recruiting, staffing, compensation and benefits administration, workers compensation, change management and training and development. As the Title IX Coordinator, she ensured no individual, on the basis of sex, was excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or was subjected to discrimination under any education program. She also identified and addressed any patterns or systemic problems that arose during the review of complaints.

A certified senior professional in human resources with more than 19 years of experience, she prides herself on being a trusted advisor who keeps the “human” in human resources. HR related professional certifications she has earned include Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SCP) and WorldatWork’s Certified Compensation Professional (CCP). Ms. Sourie helps prepare future HR professionals by serving as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Oklahoma in the Masters of Human Resources program. A proud HBCU graduate, Ms. Sourie earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, and Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Langston University.

In her free time, Ms. Sourie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, putting together jigsaw puzzles, providing service to her community through the works of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Sigma Sigma Omega chapter where she served as the past 1st vice president and program chair. She is married to “an amazingly loving human being,” Eric Sourie.

Ayana Spriggs Talley, M.B.A.
Ayana Spriggs Talley, M.B.A.

Ayana Spriggs Talley, M.B.A.
Executive Director of Information Technology Services

Mrs. Ayana Spriggs Talley serves as LU’s Executive Director for Information Technology Services and Computer Technology Integration. A technology leader with an extensive career spanning over 20 years in the technology industry, she has a diverse background of technical and leadership roles. In her most recent role, Mrs. Spriggs Talley held the position of Enterprise Solutions Technology Leader at Devon Energy for Oklahoma State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems. Later, she furthered her leadership skills by completing her Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in leadership at Oklahoma City University.

Mrs. Spriggs Talley serves as an Advisory Board member for Oklahoma Women in Technology (OKWIT), a prominent statewide organization dedicated to empowering and championing women in the tech sector. OKWIT actively promotes networking, professional advancement, and thought leadership within the Oklahoma technology community, while also inspiring young women to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Beyond her professional commitments, Ayana is married to Henry Talley and they are the proud parents of two daughters, Symone and Lauren. In her leisure time, she enjoys traveling with her family and volunteering in her community.

Andre Washington, Ph.D., CRC
Andre Washington, Ph.D., CRC

Andre Washington, Ph.D., CRC
Interim Site Administrator of the LU-OKC Campus

Dr. Andre L. Washington has been named Interim Site Administrator of the LU-OKC Campus. With more than 16 years of service to Langston University, Dr. Washington currently has the academic appointment of Associate Professor and Rehabilitation Counseling Program Coordinator with the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies.

He simultaneously serves as the co-principal investigator and Training Technical Assistance Director at the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Research and Capacity Building for Minority Entities at Langston University (LU-RRTC).

A native of Oklahoma City, OK, the Langston alumnus is a graduate of John Marshall High School. He earned an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Central Oklahoma, a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Langston University, and a doctoral degree in Occupational Education from Oklahoma State University.

NBCU Academy Next Level Summit graphic

LANGSTON UNIVERSITY ENCOURAGES STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN NBCU NEXT LEVEL SUMMIT

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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 nbcuacademy.com/events/.

LANGSTON UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES ONLINE RN TO BSN PROGRAM

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by Ellie Melero, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University’s School of Nursing and Health Professions is pleased to announce one of its hallmark programs will be available online starting this spring.

The new online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is available to registered nurses (RN’s) looking to further their careers in nursing. The program can be completed in 9 or 12 months, depending on the student’s preferred class schedule.
For more than 40 years, Langston University has been home to one of the best accredited nursing programs in Oklahoma. Under the direction of Dr. Teressa Hunter, the dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions, the program has continued to grow.

The online BSN degree is available to students admitted to the Langston University main campus, the Langston University Tulsa campus or the Langston University Ardmore site.

The Langston University Tulsa campus is now accepting applications for the Spring 2024 semester. The early admission deadline is Oct. 16.

For more information about the online RN to BSN program, please contact a Langston University Nursing advisor at one of the three sites:

Langston/ Main Campus: 405-466-3415
Tulsa Campus: 918-877-8123
Ardmore Site: 580-319-0317

Dr Corey Moore headshot

LANGSTON UNIVERSITY AWARDED $4.375 MILLION NATIONAL GRANT FOR REHABILITATION RESEARCH CENTER

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by Dr. Corey Moore, Founding Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University has been awarded a $4.375 million grant for its Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NDILRR).

The grant, which will total $4.375 million over 5 years, extends a third cycle of funding from the NDILRR Administration for Community Living which is intended to help minority-serving institutions build research capacity and study rehabilitation disparities. Dr. Corey Moore, the founding chair of the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies at Langston, will serve as principal investigator and director for the grant.

“This national RRTC positions LU as the foremost national leader on the frontier of cutting-edge disability and rehabilitation research capacity building at minority-serving institutions and minority disability and rehabilitation research,” Dr. Moore said. “This center will provide Langston University a national avenue to mentor faculty members and students and provide technical assistance to research support systems to enhance scientific abilities and opportunities and access to federal research dollars at historically Black colleges and universities, Tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions.”

The award involves a consortium of researchers and mentors at the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Kessler Foundation, and South Carolina State University. Other collaborators who will work with the LU-RRTC in carrying out activities include the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Delaware Nation Vocational Rehabilitation Program and the Association of University Centers of Disabilities. The goal is to build minority-serving institutions’ disability and rehabilitation research capacity through research participation that examines the experiences and outcomes of people with disabilities from traditionally underserved populations, such as African Americans/Blacks, Native Americans or Alaska Natives, Latinx, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

One of the key studies will be carried out in partnership with the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston and will involve a mentorship component with a new institutional Research Capacity Building and Infrastructure Model. This model aims to build the disability and rehabilitation research skills of both faculty members and students as well as the institution’s overall capacity for research. The RRTC will match select minority-serving institutional faculty and students with peer mentors and will link institutional research support systems with key consultants to build the center’s capacity.

The RRTC will also work with providers such as the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Delaware Nation Vocational Rehabilitation Program to assess the feasibility of a cultural competence in Employment Support Training Model for providers serving people with disabilities from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations with co-occurring opioid and/or substance use disorder.

“Langston University is proud to advance the NIDILRR’s mission of generating knowledge used to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities,” said Langston University Interim President Ruth Ray Jackson. “The RRTC advances our institutional focus on access and opportunity for all people.”

The RRTC’s grant fund coordinated, integrated and advanced programs of research, training, and information dissemination in topical areas specified by the NIDILRR. These centers conduct research to improve rehabilitation methodology and service delivery systems as well as improve health and functioning while also promoting employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.