Matthew Mungle is a former OSU student who studied Theatre and went on to become a renowned Academy Award-winning makeup artist and designer. In addition, he became a successful business owner specializing in makeup design, special effects and prosthetics. He joined us to talk about his time at OSU, what it's like to work in Hollywood, and why Gary Oldman is one of his favorite actors to work with.

Footage of the death of George Floyd while being arrested by the Minneapolis Police Department has sparked outrage across the country. Large protests, and in some cases riots, are pushing for a variety of changes in our justice system. In order to have an educational discussion about these difficult topics, we welcome Lawrence Ware, co-director of the Africana Studies Program and Teaching Assistant Professor and Diversity Coordinator in the Department of Philosophy. Like all of our podcasts, this episode is an open discussion for the purpose of education, and should not be mistaken as OSU’s institutional stance on race relations or any other topics discussed.

While Oklahoma and most of America has been in some form of lockdown over the past two months, Italy implemented one of the strictest versions in the world and did it earlier than most nations. That country has now begun easing restrictions, but we spoke with OSU art history alumna Lora Webb when they were still in place. She is in Italy working toward a Ph.D. from Stanford. Lora published a letter in the Oklahoman urging her home state to shut down to save lives, just as Italy did. We spoke about that, how her experience compares to what we are seeing in Oklahoma, and why her research area makes some people uncomfortable.

Many graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences are on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19. One example is Dr. Corby Smithton, a biology and zoology graduate who went on to earn his medical degree from the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. His wife, Colbi, is another CAS and OSU med graduate. They are both providers at Stillwater Family Care, where they are seeing patients who have, or think they have, COVID-19. Corby Smithton joined us to talk about what that experience is like, what he expects to see as we continue to face this pandemic, and why CAS graduates are key to pulling us out of this situation.

Countless college seniors suddenly and unexpectedly saw their undergraduate experiences end due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One such graduating senior is Chapman Howard, a mathematics and mechanical engineering major from Tulsa. He was named an Outstanding Senior by the OSU Alumni Association and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics next fall. But first, he joins us to talk about how he is doing, what he is doing, and how he has done so much over the past four years.


The COVID-19 pandemic feels unique, but human history is littered with epidemics and pandemics. Among them is the Black Death, which killed tens of millions in the mid-14th century. History professor Emily Graham joins us to compare and contrast the modern and medieval pandemics and also reminds us how these dark times reveal so much inherent goodness in people.

Sociology professors Duane Gill and Liesel Ritchie are partners in research and marriage. Their research focuses on the sociological impact of disasters and extreme events such as earthquakes, hurricanes and oil spills. They join us to discuss how the current COVID-19 pandemic compares to other extreme events, whether people from a particular area are more helpful than others in times of crisis, and how we develop resilience for the next time something bad happens.



As OSU continues to adjust to online classes in response to COVID-19, we talk remotely with Dr. Caitlin Barnes, the CAS Assistant Director of Outreach, about the unique challenges and opportunities of this historic transition. We also discuss web-based resources available to students and faculty, the new CAS coronavirus website and how distance learning could alter the future of higher education for the better.

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