2020 YEAR IN REVIEW
UCO FAST FACTS118 UndergraduateMajors77 GraduateMajors14,000Students1,406 Full-TimeFaculty and StaffNATIONAL RECOGNITIONUCO Received Recognition for Social MobilityCollegeNET ranked Central among the top higher education institutions in thenation for social mobility, according to its recent national ranking. UCO rankedNo. 183 out of nearly 1,500 colleges and universities in the U.S. accordingto their contribution to economic mobility, placing Central in the top 12%in the nation. Rankings were determined based on the Social MobilityIndex, which measures to what extent a higher education institution acceptsstudents from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and graduates theminto well-paying jobs, according to factors such as cost of attendance, economicbackground of the student body, graduation rates and early-career salaries.UCO Again Named Top Public Regional UniversityCentral once again ranked as the top public regional university in the state,announced on the 2021 Best Colleges list from U.S. News and World Report.UCO ranked No. 32 in the “Top Public Schools: Regional Universities –West” category and No. 68 in the overall list of regional universities, bothpublic and private, in the west. U.S. News and World Report releases its listof Best Colleges annually. Regional universities are divided into four categories:North, South, Midwest and West and are defined as universities that offer “a fullrange of undergraduate programs and some master’s programs but fewdoctoral programs.”
NATIONAL RECOGNITIONUCO Named Best in State for ‘Getting a Job’Career website Zippia named Central as the top public institution in Oklahoma for job-seeking graduates as partof its “Best Public Colleges in Each State for Getting a Job in 2020” list. According to the ranking, Central has an88% placement rate among recent graduates. Universities were ranked using the U.S. Department of EducationCollege Scorecard. The scorecard data was reviewed for the public college in each state with the highest listed jobplacement numbers 10 years after graduating with a bachelor’s degree.UCO Ranked Nationally for Online General StudiesAccording to a national ranking by Online Schools Report, Central is a top institution for online Bachelor ofGeneral Studies, ranking No. 31 out of 35 schools. UCO was the only higher education institution in the staterecognized on the list. Programs were ranked in areas based on student satisfaction, admission rate, online presence,popularity at school, department size and median debt by program. Data sources included the National Center forEducation Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. The program is part of UCO ConnectedCampus.Central Forensic Biology Recognized NationallyForensic Colleges ranked UCO as a top institution for forensic biology in itsnational rankings. Central ranked No. 6 out of 15 and was the only highereducation institution in the state to be recognized on the list. Programswere ranked in areas based on the hands-on skills with laboratory classes,seminars and internships or field study offered through the program.Other factors that were considered included the facilities at a university,its partnerships and career placement opportunities.UCO Joined International Houses WorldwideUCO was accepted as the newest member of the International Houses Worldwide (IHWW) organization, anassociation of 17 International Houses that are separate, independent, nonprofit institutions, spanning fourcontinents. The UCO International House, commonly referred to as the I-House, is a bridge that facilitates globalengagement and intercultural proficiencies by bringing together Central’s students, staff, faculty andcommunity to create opportunities for transformative learning.
NATIONAL RECOGNITIONUCO Received Six Department of Education GrantsUCO received more than 7.7 million through six U.S. Department of EducationFederal TRIO Programs grants, more than any other higher educationinstitution in the state. Additionally, Central was the only university in thenation to receive grants for all six iterations of the Student Support Servicesprograms. The funds will be awarded over five years. Each grant providesfunding to support unique segments of Central’sstudent body from veterans to future teachers and those pursuing science,technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, who are low-income, firstgeneration and/or have disabilities. The individual programs offer services likeone-on-one tutoring; peer, faculty and community mentoring; academic and careerexploration workshops; financial literacy programming; cultural activities; persistencecoaching; leadership development; graduate school visits; and, scholarship opportunities.Central Nursing Program Nationally RankedUCO’s Nursing program was named one of “The 80 Best Nursing Schoolsin the Southwest,” according to Nursing Schools Almanac’s published list.Central ranked No. 48 on the list, which examined institutions in Arizona,New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Each nursing school in the region wasevaluated based on the institution’s academic prestige and perceived value;the breadth and depth of the nursing programs offered; and, student success,particularly on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).Central Business Analytics Received SAS DesignationCentral’s Master of Science in business analytics (MSBA) program received an SAS Tier-3 AcademicSpecialization from the SAS Institute for integrating cutting-edge SAS technologies into its curriculum. SASstands for “statistical analysis system.” SAS software is used to analyze data in a host of industries – government,medical, banking and academics. The SAS Institute is the global leader in analytics, machine learning, datascience and artificial intelligence. The Tier-3 designation is the most advanced analytics education level andprovides the best benefits for students seeking careers in the growing field of data analytics. UCO is one of a fewhundred institutions worldwide to be honored with the SAS designation.
NATIONAL RECOGNITIONSTEM Building Honored with Design AwardCentral’s Donald Betz STEM Research and Learning Center receivednational recognition as an honoree of Interior Design’s 14th annualBest of Year Awards. Oklahoma City-based Rand Elliott Architects washonored for the design of the building as part of the “Higher Education”category. The design was one of 609 finalists in 137 design categories,selected from a list of 2,638 buildings overall.STUDENT ACCOLADESCollege of Business Students Won Big at AMAUCO College of Business graduate Rob Greer placed third in the Speed-SellingCompetition and fifth in the Perfect Pitch Competition at the annual AmericanMarketing Association (AMA) International Collegiate Conference, a seriesof selling competitions and workshops held in March 2020 in New Orleans.This year marked the fifth year in a row that UCO students received a majorwin at the annual competition. The AMA Sales Competitionconsists of students competing one-on-one against other students by testingtheir ability to close a sale. Greer, a professional selling graduate from Bethany,Oklahoma, competed against more than 200 college students from universitiesacross the U.S. and internationally. In addition to Greer’s wins, Shania Slavick, aprofessional selling graduate from Moore, Oklahoma, received an honorable mention for the PerfectPitch Competition.Central Students Raised 82,000 with BronchothonUCO students raised more than 82,000 during the annual Bronchothon event. Students announced the grandtotal during a virtual BronchoThon event April 25, 2020, which benefitted the Children’s Miracle Network. TheBronchoThon event, part of the national university dance marathon program, serves as the grand finale for monthsof fundraising, and usually includes an eight-hour dance marathon to pay tribute to the countless hours that nursesspend on their feet and the continuous struggles sick children face in the hospital. However, for 2020,the dance routine was taught and performed virtually. The funds raised by UCO students stayed local,helping children at the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital.
STUDENT ACCOLADESPGA Management Students Placed in Jones CupCentral’s Professional Golfers’ Association golf management program tied for second place in the Jones Cup in PortSt. Lucie, Florida, at the Wanamaker Course, an internationally recognized golf course. The students played the 36hole tournament against college students from the other 17 PGA golf management programs nationwide.FACULTY AND STAFF HIGHLIGHTSSimmons Named New ProvostCharlotte Simmons, Ph.D., was named as the university’s provost and vicepresident for Academic Affairs. Prior to assuming the position, Simmonsserved as the co-interim vice president for Academic Affairs. In 2015, shewas appointed associate vice president for Academic Affairs, previouslyserving the university and the College of Mathematics and Scienceas tenured faculty, chairperson of the Department of Mathematics andStatistics, associate dean and dean.Lynch Named New Vice PresidentCentral’s President Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar named Christopher Lynch asthe university’s vice president for Enrollment and Student Success. Lynchbrings 29 years of successful enrollment management experience from fourlarge public universities and colleges to the role. He has a deep knowledgeof higher education and demonstrated success in leading enrollmentmanagement, admissions and recruitment (domestic and international), newstudent orientation, international student services, financial aid, scholarshipservices, career services, communication/call centers, student employment anduniversity articulation.Cobb Named New DeanUCO faculty, staff and students at the College of Education and ProfessionalStudies entered the spring 2020 semester with new leadership. DonnaCobb, Ed.D., former kinesiology and health studies professor and interimdean, was named the new dean for the college. Cobb has held variousadministrative roles in the college for nearly two decades as a departmentchairperson, assistant dean, associate dean and interim dean. Inher role as associate dean, she served as the chief operations officerfor the college, facilitated grant development and monitored thecollege budget among many other duties.
FACULTY AND STAFF HIGHLIGHTSUCO Named Interim LeadershipUCO named three new interim deans during the 2020 calendar year. JeremyOller, J.D., Ph.D., was named as the interim dean for the College of Business.In addition to his role as an economics professor, Ollerserved as chairperson for the college’s Department ofEconomics since 2012.Central named Gloria Caddell, Ph.D., associatedean and professor of biology, as the Collegeof Mathematics and Science’s interim dean.Caddell’s distinguished 30-year career atUCO has included nine consecutive yearsof administrative service, including both as achairperson and as an associate dean.Charleen Weidell, M.F.A., associate dean, was namedas the interim dean of the College of Fine Arts and Design. Weidell, anationally renowned jewelry artist and metalsmith, brings 13 consecutive yearsof administrative service to the interim position, including chairperson, assistantdean and associate dean.Professor Honored with Speech-Language AwardLinda Sealey, Ph.D., associate professor in Central’s Donna Nigh Department of Advanced Professional and SpecialServices, was presented the 2020 Honors of the Association Award by the Oklahoma Speech-Language-HearingAssociation. Awarded annually, the award is presented to an individual that demonstrates noteworthy professionalservice and exceptional accomplishment in the field of communication disorders. Sealey joined Central in fall 2012and, in 2014, became the program coordinator of the undergraduate and graduate speech-language pathologyprograms. She is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist with over 20 years of clinical experience inproviding speech-language therapy in outpatient rehabilitation, public school, hospital, skilled nursing facilities andhome health settings.UCO Professor Received 2020 Medal for ExcellenceThe Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence named UCO biology professorDavid Bass, Ph.D., as one of the winners of its 2020 Oklahoma Medalfor Excellence Award. The award honors five outstanding educatorsin Oklahoma’s public schools. Bass is a leading expert in aquaticinvertebrates and teaches courses ranging from beginning biology andecology to invertebrate zoology and aquatic entomology. Bass instructsstudents to “get out of their human skin” and imagine they are theorganisms being studied, in order to gain a greater understanding oforganisms and their environment. He also coaches Central’scompetitive sailing team.
FACULTY AND STAFF HIGHLIGHTSUCO PGA Director Honored for ExcellenceThe PGA’s South Central Section awarded Lindsey Cook, director of Central’s PGA golf management program, thePGA Horton Smith Award for both the South Central Section, as well as the Western Oklahoma Chapter. Cookis the first female recipient of both awards. The awards bestow special recognition to a PGA golf professional whodisplays a strong desire for lifelong education and continuous professional education contributions. Cook has taughtin Central’s PGA golf management program since October 2013, teaching courses such as advanced teaching andplayer development, turfgrass management and golf operations. She also is a Class A member of the PGA.Central Professor Partnered with CMALani Garner, Ph.D., assistant professor in Central’s School of Music, helped facilitate Unified Voices for MusicEducation (UVME), a series of music lessons and tools for music teachers to use in virtual classrooms. UVME isa national initiative hosted by the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation. Garner was a facilitator for theelementary music sessions of UVME. UVME is a collective effort of music educators from across the UnitedStates in response to challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The tools and lessons created by UVMEcan be accessed and tailored by teachers to fit the needs of their students.A COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19Central Community Donated Medical SuppliesMembers of the UCO campus community stepped up to fill the need for medicalsupplies in local hospitals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as both theUCO Forensic Science Institute (FSI) and UCO Emergency Managementdonated to INTEGRIS Health Edmond Hospital. FSI provided thehospital with masks, gloves, disposable lab coats and Tyvek suits, which areworn over clothing as a protective measure. Emergency Management alsodonated multiple gallons of hand sanitizer and nearly 450 masks, as well asadditional Tyvek suits.Central Waived ACT, SAT Requirements for 2021UCO waived the ACT/SAT requirements for first-year undergraduate applicants who met specificrequirements, in response to testing limitations created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The waiver of scoresapplied to both U.S. residents and international students. To be considered for admissions without a testscore, also called test-optional admission, incoming first-time freshmen indicated on their application thatthey were unable to take the ACT or SAT due to COVID-19. Students then applied with only a highschool transcript, but they must have had an unweighted 2.7 high school GPA to meetadmissions requirements.
A COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19UCO Ranked for Education During COVID-19The nonprofit Educate to Career ranked Central as a top institution in thenation for providing quality education during the COVID-19 pandemic.UCO ranked No. 3 out of 20 higher education institutions in Oklahoma.Higher education institutions were ranked by their ability to offer a qualityeducation under any conceivable scenario: in-classroom, online and a blendof each format. Being among the top in the ranking, UCO was designated as aTier One institution. Colleges that rank in Tier One meet the following criteria:a physical campus for in-classroom instruction; robust software and systems tosupport distance learning programs; faculty experience in teaching online; and,reasonable tuitions and fees on a relative basis.Central Student Honored for COVID-19 CoverageCentral senior Amanda Siew, a professional media major from Petaling Jaya,Malaysia, received national recognition for her coverage on the COVID-19pandemic. Five major organizations – The Society of ProfessionalJournalists, the Associated Collegiate Press, the Society for News Design,College Broadcasters, Inc. and the Foundation for Individual Rightsin Education – joined forces to recognize college journalists, like Siew,for their outstanding coverage of the pandemic. Siew was honoredalongside students from Yale University and Northwestern University.Siew was recognized for the documentation of her experience travelinghome to Malaysia amid the pandemic. She documented her experience flyinginternationally, as well as her mandatory 14-day quarantine period once shelanded in Malaysia.UCO Created Emergency Relief FundAt the end of March, the UCO Foundation kicked off fundraising efforts to support the UCO COVID-19Emergency Relief Fund to help students experiencing unexpected hardships during the global pandemic. The fundraised more than 85,000, thanks to more than 250 donors and matching donations from the UCO Foundation,the UCO Student Association and the UCO President’s Office. The fund offered emergency financial assistance,totaling 75,975, to 267 current UCO students. There were more than 650 students who submitted applications.Central Launched COVID-19 DashboardUCO launched its COVID-19 Dashboard, available on the UCO Coronavirus website, which presentsCOVID-19 case data on the UCO campus. The displayed data numbers reflect self-reported cases ofCOVID-19 among students, faculty and staff and is updated regularly. The dashboard also displayscases reported daily cases and total reported cases to date for Oklahoma County.
A LOOK TOWARD THE FUTUREUCO Opened Esports Gaming ArenaCentral continued its expansion into collegiate esports with the opening of itsCO-OP Esports and Gaming Arena. The CO-OP allows UCO to host local,regional and national competitions and gives the university’s esports teamsa home. The 5,703-square-foot space houses more than 48 high-end PCgaming stations, two virtual reality booths, five Nintendo Switch consoles anda growing library of popular board and tabletop games. Esports, or electronicsports, is a form of competition using video games and connecting people fromaround the world through gaming – and it’s growing rapidly on college campuses.Central launched collegiate esports in 2018 with a competitive esports clubcomprised of more than 350 members and credit courses in esports. The universityhosts several junior varsity teams in various game titles and three varsity-level teams.Central Expanded Academic OfferingsNew for the fall 2020 semester, UCO added two graduate programs andsix undergraduate minors, now allowing students to choose from 118undergraduate majors, 95 minors and 44 graduate programs duringtheir time at Central. The UCO College of Education and ProfessionalStudies introduced a new Master of Public Health in communityengagement, which is designed for working professionals who areinterested in expanding career options in public health policy and publichealth program management. Additionally, Central’s W. Roger Webb ForensicScience Institute added a Master of Science in digital forensics – a researchoriented degree program that will include insights on forensic science, leadershipand management, expert testimony and current professional issues within thefield. UCO’s new minor offerings include child life, energy economics, strategy, operations and supply chainmanagement, songwriting and post-production audio.100 North University Drive, Edmond, OK, 73034 (405) 974-2000www.uco.edu Facebook: uco.bronchos Twitter: UCOBronchos Instagram: ucobronchos
Central Nursing Program Nationally Ranked UCO’s Nursing program was named one of “The 80 Best Nursing Schools in the Southwest,” according to Nursing Schools Almanac’s published list. Central ranked No. 48 on the list, which examined institutions in Arizona, New Mexico,