Bonnie Cain-Wood will enjoy a productive afternoon March 6 during the OSU Communications Networking Event at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. And her reasons for going—her role as a communications professional and her appreciation for the value of internships—goes back to what she described as “a life-changing afternoon washing dirt.”

The Oklahoma City native is the OSU Library’s manager of communication services. She is a 1999 environmental science and 2006 master’s in mass communication alumna who planned to be a research scientist until that fateful day during her undergraduate experience. Thanks to a Wentz Research Scholarship, she was participating in a project on bioremediation of semi-arid soils.

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Linda Young knew she was good at math, but it wasn’t until she joined Oklahoma State University’s Department of Statistics that she found her passion. By the time she completed her 1981 doctorate in statistics at OSU, she had built the foundation for a career in research at the intersection of statistics and the sciences.

For more than 25 years, Young served on the faculty of land-grant universities: OSU, the University of Nebraska and the University of Florida.

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Gary Busey was only one credit away from graduation when his music drove him from Oklahoma State University to California, yet he never forgot the impact that OSU left on him. Busey accepted a football scholarship from Kansas State College of Pittsburg, now known as Pittsburg State University, but transferred to OSU after a knee injury. In Stillwater, he studied theatre under Vivia Locke, who set him on a new path. Locke was the legendary head of the Department of Theatre, and the 600-seat Vivia Locke Theatre inside the Seretean Center for the Performing Arts still bears her name more than three decades after she died.

“My teacher, Vivia Nail Locke, was instrumental in giving me the platform to stand on to do the motion picture business with power,” he said.

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Jason Wallace was in kindergarten when he won his first art contest. Since then, his artistic journey has led him through a variety of majors, media and careers, leading to his current position as a graphic designer at the College of Arts and Sciences.

“We moved around a lot when I was a child, so I don’t feel like I’m from any one place,” Wallace said. “Art and photography stayed with me through every move. When I was a child, my mother sent me and my brothers to keep my father, a high school teacher, company in the high school darkroom. At seven years old, I watched a photo come to life on a blank page. That’s magic, and it stuck with me forever.”

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Frank Wicks came to Oklahoma State University in 1971 to work toward his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. Instead, the Ponca City native discovered a passion for chemistry, which led to more than 30 years with a global leader in research chemicals. Over his career, he fulfilled six positions with "president" in the title for Sigma-Aldrich Corporation.

Wicks (1975 microbiology, '78 biochemistry Ph.D.) and Linda Young ('81 statistics Ph.D.) were both inducted into the College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame during the 2018 ceremony on Sept. 21 in the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade & Development.

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Mia Solomon White knew two things in high school: She wanted to attend college in Oklahoma, and she wanted a career involving the study of human behavior.

As a high school junior, she visited Oklahoma State during homecoming. White found the experience captivating.

“The energy was pretty incredible. I was blown away by the amount of work that went into the floats and the house decorations.”

That influenced her decision soon after to attend OSU.

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A few common threads run among three members of the College of Arts and Sciences family: They all love OSU, attended Harvard Law School, and remember professors who helped them get there. 

Craig Grounds (English 2014), Travis Leverett (political science ’14) and Jeffrey Roderick (political science/economics ’13) all graduated from Oklahoma State University with their sights set on law school.

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School wasn’t always a welcoming, homelike place for Logan Evans. The recent OSU graduate was born deaf, and grew up learning oralism, a process which involves lip reading. Oralism was difficult for Evans, and he didn’t have an interpreter until ninth grade. His grades suffered before he started learning American Sign Language.

“I fell in love with ASL. There were deaf people in my high school, and they taught me about their culture, and that helped me pick it up quickly.”

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