Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Leslie Batchelor and the Urban Land Institute

Kudos to OKC lawyer extraordinaire Leslie Batchelor who has been elected vice-chair of the new Urban Land Institute's Oklahoma district. Working with the organization's chairman (and former OKC mayor) Kirk Humphreys, the goal is to find great land use/development solutions for Oklahoma City.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Devon Energy Appoints Mary Ricciardello to Its Board

Mary Ricciardello was recently appointed to the board of directors of Devon Energy Corporation. I think she lives in Texas but when one of the world's leading independent oil and gas producers that is included in the S&P 500 Index appoints a woman to their board, it is worth noting. (Not surprised though as Devon is led by classy folks like Larry and Polly Nichols.)

Lauren Nelson Launches Kid-Safe Web Browser

You may already know that 2007 Miss America and Oklahoma native Lauren Nelson picked Internet Safety as her "project" while she is reigning queen. What you may NOT know is that she now has the "Miss America Kid-Safe Web Browser" that can help parents protect their children from predators. Check it out here ->

SWOSU Names Building for Joe Anna Hibler

Southwestern Oklahoma State University has named their education building after Dr. Joe Anna Hibler - the university's 15th president. She attended classes in the building when she was a student there 50 years ago and renovated it as president. Hibler retired from SWOSU in 2001.

Jo Pettigrew to Serve on State Ethics Commission

Governor Brad Henry recently appointed Jo Pettigrew to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. A former teacher and education lobbyist, Pettigrew replaces Ken Elliott. She has been assistant executive director of the Oklahoma State School Board Association and executive director of the United Suburban Schools Association of Oklahoma.

Cathryn Hibbs Becomes CEO of Deaconess Hospital

Say "Hello" to Cathryn Hibbs who returns to her roots (she is a native of Miami, OK) to become Chief Executive Officer of Deaconess Hospital in Oklahoma City. She starts in her new position Jan 2, 2008. Welcome Cathryn!

Tasha Carr Featured in AP Story

The Associated Press did a story on Tasha Carr's food products today. Carr lives in Fort Gibson, OK and runs the Buried Treasure Antiques. Read the article (from the Muskogee Phoenix) here.

Carrie Underwood on Cover of Glamour

Carrie is a cover girl - again. This time she looks great on the cover of the January issue of Glamour Magazine.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Visit with Writer Brooke Adcox

Freelance writer Brooke Adcox came by to interview me for an article. (More on that later.)
It is interesting being interviewed; she asked all sorts of questions I hadn't thought about before like, "Who are your mentors?"
I think I cheated and named some roll models in some cases versus the women who actually took me under their wing and showed me the ropes.
As I think about it, I realize that -- to some extent -- my "top three" have shifted a little over time and for interesting reasons. But for sure, Oklahoma Senator Penny Williams was and is one of my three.
Who would you list as your mentors/roll models? Why?

Oklahoma's Oldest - Kristine Browne - Dies At 110

Kristine Browne of Alva was Oklahoma's oldest known citizen. She recently died -- passing the title on to 97 year old Haddie Payne of Stratford. She studied mathematics at Columbia University, taught many years and was interviewed by photographer M.J. Alexander for her remarkable project - Salt of the Red Earth. The photos shown here were taken by M.J. Alexander; go see her exhibit NOW at the Oklahoma Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City (it closes December 31)! Or buy the book. Or view a slide show on the Oklahoman's website. You can read more about the extraordinary Ms. Browne here and here.
CORRECTION: Thanks, Edward for correcting me on my BIG error above. He notes that she was "109 years, 93 days. She was Oklahoma's oldest resident and citizen for just one week."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Donna Morris Reappointed Director of Metropolitan Library System

Congratulations to Donna Morris who was recently reappointed executive director of the (Oklahoma County) Metropolitan Library System with a nice raise to boot. Her bachelor's degree is from University of Central Oklahoma and her masters degree in library science is from the University of Oklahoma. She started her library career just around the corner from us at Belle Isle Library. (When Larkin and I moved from Stillwater to OKC, a home within walking distance of a good library was one of our important location criteria. Hey, what can I say? We're academics and book lovers.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Women's Foundation of Oklahoma Awards 2007 Grants

Women's Foundation of Oklahoma reviewed applications from 29 organizations and selected six as the Women's Foundation of Oklahoma 2007 Grant Recipients. They are:

(1.) Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma County ~ To purchase "Reality Works" infant simulators to implement in its "Smart Girls" curriculum focused on girls ages 8 - 12 in inner-city Oklahoma City.

(2.) New Hope Camp ~ To implement "Girls Circle" curriculum in providing three 8-week programs in the Tulsa area for girls, ages 12 - 15, who have a parent in prison.

(3.) Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on behalf of SMART: Single Mothers Academic Resource Team ~ To fund the deliverables (campus handbook production, flier/brochure, mentor recruitment/training materials & campus events) of a comprehensive research project assessing the barriers & challenges faced by single mother students at seven Oklahoma regional universities & community colleges.

(4.) Planned Parenthood of Arkansas & Eastern Oklahoma ~ To purchase equipment necessary to begin providing low income women access to the new, less invasive tubal ligation procedure.

(5.) Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma ~ To improve technology infrastructure with purchase of "Get Active" communication service, two laptop computers, and presentation equipment.

(6.) Rose State College Foundation ~ To purchase distance learning equipment necessary to continue providing educational programming and college classes to women in Mabel Bassett Correctional Center.

Congratualtions to these great programs.

Want to know more about the Women's Foundation? Visit their website at

Pam Fleischaker's New Book Unveiled Tonight at Full Circle Bookstore

The Full Circle Press invites you to an event tonight designed to launch Pam Fleischaker's redo of her book American Woman Revisited.

Come tonight (December 18) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at The Full Circle Bookstore in 50 Penn Place, OKC.

Jim Tolbert reports that "Several months ago in response to numerous requests, we asked Pam about reprinting her book of essays American Woman: Lost and Found in Oklahoma. Her response was to deliver an essentially new manuscript that saves the best and most topical essays from the original, most with new epilogues, and adds more than twice as much new material. The result is American Woman Revisited: Still Lost and Found in Oklahoma. You will be delighted as we are by the unique voice, remarkable insight and joyous humor of Oklahoma's "Molly Ivins." This is the last and one of the best books of the Centennial year. Join Full Circle Press in celebrating Pam with a reception, reading and booksigning on Tuesday, December 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For a complete list of future events, click here to go to the Full Circle website."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Karen Starks (Hugs Project) Selected 2007 L'Oreal Paris' Woman of Worth

Great news! Oklahoma's Karen Starks and her Hugs Project (also see was chosen as the overall winner in the 2007 L'Oreal Paris' Woman of Worth contest.

How great is THAT?!

According to a recent email from Karen, "The Hugs Project was awarded $27,500 most of which has already been spent on our troops for Christmas. We used over $12,500 on postage alone. Each box had nicer gifts than the regular care disposable cameras, computer flash drives, new release DVD's and CD's and other items to brighten the holiday season for them." Karen sends her thanks to all those who voted for her.

Read more at - Because every American serving in harm's way deserves the thanks of a grateful nation.

Best Wishes, Willa Johnson

Our prayers are with Oklahoma County Commisisoner Willa Johnson as she has breast surgery tomorrow. Speedy recovery, Willa!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Post Ice Storm December 2007

How is everyone? Have you survived the great ice storm of December 2007?

Our all electric household was without electricity until late Saturday night. We also took in our invalid neighbor who called us at 3 AM Monday morning from the Emergency Room of Integris Baptist Medical Center saying she'd been there since noon the day before, they had finally seen her that evening and now they'd given her a prescription, called a taxi, said they'd pay the cab fare and told her that she had to leave. She could go home (impossible since she can't move about on her own), to a shelter (grim) or "somewhere else" - so we became the somewhere else. None of us expected it would turn into a 5 day stay. But the night we got our electricity back, we went to a lovely Christmas party at a friend's home where we got to rub shoulders with lots of great folks including the wonderful and creative Wayne Coyne. Life is good.

Hope you are rebounding. I'm starting a list of things the TV folks didn't tell us to do to prepare for an ice storm - like charge your cell phone and laptop; take a lovely long hot bath, shave your legs and wash your hair; (for those of us with electric water heaters) boil water, fill your thermoses and keep them by your bathroom sinks for washing up; and, when they say "stock up on batteries"and your battery driven little TV set takes 10 D-batteries, buy 30! Got any tips or suggestions you want to add to my list?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

OKC AWC Announces 6 Byliner Award Winners

The Oklahoma City Association of Women in Communications (OKC AWC) recently announced they will honor Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, Gerry Bonds, Dr. Susan Chambers, Suzanne Edmondson, Honorable Carol Hansen, and Jo Rowan as new Byliner honorees at their 50th annual Byliner Awards dinner on February 7, 2008 at the Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club. You can read about the honorees on their website HERE.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christy Everest, Nancy Meinig Honored by Arts Group

On November 28 at the 32 Annual Governor's Arts Awards ceremony in the fourth-floor rotunda of the state Capitol Governor Brad Henry presented Christy Everest and Nancy Meinig with the prestigious Governor's Arts Award for their longtime leadership and contributions to the arts across Oklahoma. Read more HERE.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Congratulations, Andrea DenHoed

OU has run a nice ad in The Oklahoman today congratulating their 27th Rhodes Scholar - Andrea M. DenHoed. The story reports that "OU's Adrea DenHoed was recently named one of the 32 Rhodes Scholars in the United States. She is a senior majoring in letters and international studies. Andrea writes a column for the OU Daily. She does volunteer work as a tutor and taught English to elementary school students in Bangalore, India. She plans to pursue an English degree at Oxford University, England, as a Rhodes Scholar and hopes to have a career in teaching."

Saja Forum has a nice story on her and Indo Link reports:

University of Oklahoma senior Andrea M. DenHoed is still in shock after being named a 2008 American Rhodes Scholarship recipient Sunday. "I don't think it's sunk in yet. I can't really believe it yet. I'm thinking somebody made a big mistake," the OU letters and international studies major from Aurora, Colo. said.

Andrea DenHoed's mother Nancy, who is from India, home-schooled her and three siblings in their Aurora home. Her dream of attending Oxford University began when she was 12 and learned that one of her favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, had gone there. Her mother didn't want to dampen her enthusiasm but was realistic. "I told her if she wanted to go to Oxford, the only way she could is if she was a Rhodes Scholar," recalled her mother.

"It's amazing," Andrea Denhoed said Sunday. "It's something I've wanted for a decade."

Her mother, a native of India, met her father, Jeffrey Denhoed, when she was a student English teacher at the University of Wyoming. Nancy Denhoed's biggest achievement may be teaching her own kids. Andrea's older sister went to the U.S. Air Force Academy. One brother is a mechanical engineer. Her youngest brother is in high school.

"She is extraordinary," Andrea said of her mother. "She taught us to be extremely hard workers. She taught us to be intellectually curious. She made us read a lot."

Although the Rhodes Scholarships have a reputation for a grueling, complex application and interview process, "it was all right," DenHoed said about her experience. "I got the campus nomination and then that was sent off. From the whole region they select the top 16 and I didn't expect even to make it into that but I did ... I'm really competitive but I didn't feel like I was a shoo-in at all. I thought I really messed up one of the interviews at one point. Obviously, the judges felt otherwise and that's good."

DenHoed plans to pursue a B.A. in English language and literature at Oxford.

"We are very proud that Andrea DenHoed is carrying on the great OU Rhodes Scholarship tradition," OU President David Boren said. "She meets the highest standards of academic excellence and personal integrity."

DenHoed is a National Merit Scholar and expected to graduate with honors Summa cum Laude in May 2008. She participated in the OU Honors College Honors at Oxford program in 2005 where she worked with Dr. Duncan Wu of St. Catherine's College, Oxford. In her international studies curriculum at OU, DenHoed has focused on South Asia. Her interests in literature have been wide-ranging, from the classics to modern English. She is active in campus life as a bi-weekly opinion columnist for The Oklahoma Daily, OU's student newspaper, and rows for the OU Crew team. She also co-founded and edits a new student publication, works as a tutor, and taught
English to elementary school students in Bangalore, India.

When asked about the newspaper, DenHoed was excited and optimistic. "It's actually a new one we're in the process of getting advertisers and contributors lined up for. It's set to go next year and it's called 'The Mouth,'" she said. "The goal of 'The Mouth' is to fill the gaps we see among the existing publications on campus. We want it to be smart and entertaining and intelligent but accessible to all of the student body as well. It's more of a commentary and review thing, it's not news exactly -- more like 'Harper's' and 'The New Yorker.

"She was pretty excited," her father said about the scholarship. "She had a vision. But you never expect it to be you."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lynn Schusterman to Be honored

The Tulsa World reports that "The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution will present Woodrow Wilson Awards to Gov. Brad Henry, Lynn Schusterman and Henry Zarrow. The three will be honored at a dinner Feb. 12 at the Renaissance Hotel in Tulsa." Read full article here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oklahoma Authors Gather in Tulsa Nov 29th

TULSA—Nearly 20 Oklahoma authors will again gather at historic Harwelden mansion just after Thanksgiving to give the public an opportunity to buy signed books as gifts for the holidays—and to help raise funds for the Tulsa Press Club Scholarship Fund.

The third annual Oklahoma, Ink., book fair will take place from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007, at Harwelden, home of the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, 2210 S. Main. This special event features a diverse array of Oklahoma authors (novelists, journalists, historians, children’s book writers and illustrators, among others) for a free public appearance and signing.

Glenda Silvey, anchor of The News on 6 noon news, is the honorary chair of this annual event.

This year’s authors are:
Carl R. Bartholomew, Plane Phenomenon
Bart Borsky, Passing Gas and Getting Paid For It: The Musings of a Comic Anesthesiologist
P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, Betrayed: A House of Night Novel
Connie Cronley, Mr. Ambassador: Warrior for Peace
David Dary, True Tails of the Prairies and Plains
David Halpern, Pilgrim Eye and Tulsa Art Deco
Carolyn Hart, Set Sail for Murder
Davis D. Joyce, Alternative Oklahoma: Contrarian Views of the Sooner State
Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa’s Daily World: The Story of a Newspaper and its Town
Constance Murray (wife of the late Danny Goble), Tulsa! The Biography of an American City
Mel Odom, Exodus
Jim Stovall, The Ultimate Life
Will Thomas, The Hellfire Conspiracy
Michael Wallis, Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride
Laurence Yadon, 100 Oklahoma Outlaws, Gangsters and Lawmen

Sponsors of this year’s Oklahoma, Ink., are the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation Enterprises, Krumme Oil Company and Tulsa Technology Center.

For more information, contact Heather Ann Hope, 918-607-2923 or Arlene Johnson, 918-493-1994

OU's Andrea Denhoed named a 2008 Rhodes Scholar

OU senior Andrea DenHoed has been named a 2008 American Rhodes scholarship recipient making her OU's 27th Rhodes scholar. A letters and international studies major from Aurora, Colorado, DenHoed plans to pursue a degree in English language and literature at Oxford. Congrats, Andrea! Read The Oklahoman story here.

Remembering Mary Jane Noble

Philanthropist and former University of Oklahoma Regent and benefactor Mary Jane Noble died last month.
Click to read The Oklahoman's article about her.

OSU's Maud A. Spear

The fall 2007 issue of Oklahoma State University's alumni magazine has an article on Maud Agnes Spear who was the first woman admitted to - and to graduate (1915) OSU's engineering program. The Women in Engineering House is known as Maud's Quad. I can't find a link to the magazine but it says she was born in Illinois Nov 15, 1892 to John and Catherine Spear. Her father taught in Native American children in government schools which eventually brought the family to Oklahoma. Both she and her sister, Mary, were active OSU (A&M back then of course)students. Maud took a job with an architectural firm in Milwaukee, WI and later moved to Washington, DC. There she met and married Leland Olds. They had 4 children. She continued to work as an architect and her husband had quite a career himself. She died in 1990 at the age of 97.

50 Women to Watch

The Wall Street Journal has a big section today on "50 women to watch" -- i.e., the "new generation of women leaders." They include the heads or near-heads of WellPoint (the USA's largest health insurer), Pepsico, the European Union, Morgan Stanley, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, London Stock Exchange, Archer Daniels Midland, Xerox, eBay, Kraft Foods, Rite Aid, Proctor and Gamble, Bank of America, Hewlett-Packard, Yahoo and many more. I'd link to the articles but Wall Street Journal makes you subscribe. Too bad for them.

If we did an Oklahoma "50 Women to Watch," who would YOU put on the list?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

OKC Chapter of Links, Inc. Celebrates 50th Anniversary

I was on a panel with Pat Potts, Sonja Johnson Hughes, MD, The Honorable Vicki Miles-LaGrange and Beth Shortt November 10th as part of the Links 50th Anniversary celebration. Dr. Carole Hall Hardeman listed me as an "Advocate for Global Women's Issues" - no pressure there! :-)
For those of us not familiar with The Links and their many, many good works, The Links, Inc. is a national organization that was formed back when Junior League would not admit women of color. What an amazing group of women! The wonderful luncheon was held at Oklahoma Publishing Company.

Kenya Mission Trip - Final Thoughts

I have had a surprisingly hard time shaking jet lag since returning from Kenya this time. But, I am taking myself off vacation and getting back to work as of tomorrow so expect a back log of posts!
Sorting through the pictures and video I took in Kenya in October, you'd think all we did was sit around and goo at the baby. But we DID actually get alot accomplished and I came home with a new task - putting down a floor in a classroom at the Kaaga Primary School so the room can become a small elementary school library/reading room. These kids don't have a diningroom; they eat on the ground except for during the rainy seasons (I guess they eat in the classrooms when it rains). But they'd rather have a library than a diningroom. Want to help me make that happen? If so, leave a comment or email me at jeanwarner at cox dot net.

(Read my most recent Kenya blog at and Kate McLain's blog on the mission trip at We lost Internet connection just about the time I flew home but I will finish posting about the mission trip from OKC over the next week and Kate will do the same as soon as she returns home next Friday.)

Above are pictures of the future library at Kaaga Primary School, the shack that serves as the school's "kitchen" and some of the kids. The school only serves food to the kindergarten students; the rest bring a lunch, go home for lunch, or do without.

Click on image to enlarge.

Remembering Guyann Jean (Inbody) Phillips

The Tulsa World has a story today on the passing of battered women's advocate Guyann Jean (Inbody) Phillips who helped establish women's shelters in Tulsa, Eufaula, and McAlester. Read the story here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jane Jayroe's Beautiful Acceptance Remarks

Jane Jayroe Gamble’s Remarks
Upon Her Induction Into the
Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Nov 2007

They say the young person looks forward, the older person looks back and the middle aged person looks startled.

This award is a bit startling; I am so overwhelmed by this honor and by the generosity of others . . . certainly those at the Oklahoma Heritage Association.

You know, I’ve had a lot of unexpected things happen in my life. Certainly the most unlikely was becoming Miss America. But as I’ve had the chance to glance back, I’m so impressed by the goodness of God’s grace to cover me---in good times and bad.

It was surely grace to be born in America and in Oklahoma, where the red earth holds you close and stains your soul, the wind teaches you to grow with deep roots and bend with hard times, and the sense of open space makes you believe in opportunities as big as the sky.

It was grace to be born to Pete, Helene and Judy and a whole pack of joyful aunts, uncles and cousins. What a gift!

To be raised in small rural communities, where every time you stepped up to the line, so to speak, you only had to glance over your shoulder to see a whole host of folks there applauding, urging you on, encouraging your success.

How grateful I am to have played basketball, grown up in the Church, entered pageants, sung on stages, studied with caring teachers, given the news, promoted Oklahoma and shared a friendship with so many of you.

It was grace to win a contest years ago that lifted up Oklahoma to a national spotlight for a moment in time. The greater grace was to share that honor with so many others who even today remind me of how that moment changed them in some small way.

I’m so grateful for a family that has always kept me grounded in life. I’ll never forget one Christmas when I came home following the Miss America year and commented to my family about how great it was to have main street in Laverne renamed Jane Jayroe Blvd. My nephew who was a senior at Laverne High School remarked, “Yeah, it’s really neat. Now, on Sat. night instead of dragging main, we drag Jane.”

I’m so grateful to my mother Helene Grace, who has taught by example the great joy that comes from living a life that values others more than self.
To my sister, Judy, who learned that lesson better than anyone and her family of sons and their families. They are mine as well.

To my son Tyler and Elaine and their children. He has been my greatest joy.
To my husband, Jerry; I’m so grateful for the person he is. This honor truly belongs to both of us.

To my OCU family, my Church of the Servant family, my family of precious girlfriends, my Esther Women family, and my family of volunteer organizations who have taught me leadership and service.

I have such a grateful heart . . . for all of life’s journey. Grateful, not in a superficial, cheery cheerleader kind of way, but in a faithful, trusting way that believes there’s more at work in the world than what the eye sees and that underneath the surface of circumstances is an anchor that holds firm.

So, tonight, I am especially thrilled to accept another moment of grace . . . an undeserved gift--- but so appreciated.
I accept it on behalf of Oklahoma girls from small towns with big dreams.
On behalf of those who fall down in life and by the grace of God stand tall again.
And on behalf of all of us who are crazy in love with Oklahoma.

You know, God created us with a need to belong . . . to each other and to a place. . A land . . . home. . Oklahoma.

Happy Birthday, sweet Oklahoma, God bless us all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

OK Hall of Fame, Jane Jayroe, Dana Murphy

Dana Murphy (candidate for Oklahoma Corporation Commisison) shares a picture from the recent Oklahoma Hall of Fame event of here with inductee Jane Jayroe and Jane's husband, Jerry Gamble.
Thanks, Dana!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Jane Jayroe, Clara Luper & Linda Twine in OK Hall of Fame

Last night was the 80th Annual Oklahoma Hall of fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony at Cox Convention Center. Miss America (Oklahoma's own) Lauren Nelson sang. Nurns Hargis and Mike Turpen serves as Masters of Ceremonies. Governor Brad Henry did the close (with a choir humming behind him - was it God Bless America?). But the reason we were all there (and there were a LOT of us!) was to hear the introductions of and remarks by the inductees. Honored this year (and - in parentheses - who they were introduced by) were OKC businessman and Sonics basketball team owner Clayton Bennett (National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern), former Miss America, television news anchor and and past director of the Oklahoma Department of tourism and recreation Jane Jayroe Gamble (founder of Church of the Servant Rev Norman Neeves), singer/song writer Toby Keith (former Supreme Allied Commander/Europe General James L. Jones), former chair of Oklahoma Natural Gas Company David Kyle (former president and CEO of Noble Corporation James C. Day), educator and "mother of the civil rights movement" Clara Luper (Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Tom Colbert), chair and CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corporation Aubrey K McClendon (businessman and philanthropist Breene Kerr), Choctaw Nation Chief Gregory Pyle (US Congressman Dan Boren), and renowned conductor, composer and Broadway and off-Broadway music director (including currently "The Color Purple") Linda Twine (1984 OK Hall of Fame inductee research psychologist Gloria Twine Chisum). More on these remarkable Oklahomans later . . .

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Event Friday, October 26th Celebrates OK Women

A Full Circle Centennial Celebration Honoring 'Voices from the Heartland' Friday, October 26 at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

Join us for a book signing and reception in honor of this thought provoking collection of essays on life and living featuring fifty remarkable Oklahoma women. We will have the editors on hand, many contributors, as well as wine and cheese for this very special occasion.

From former Cherokee principal chief Wilma Mankiller, First Lady Kim Henry, novelist Billie Letts, and prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, to OU basketball coach Sherri Coale, the authors share their personal reflections on finding balance as they look back on defining moments in their lives, mull over what they wish they had learned sooner, and convey the wisdom they've unearthed on their journeys thus far.Other contributors include Carolyn Hart, Jean Gumerson, Betty Price, Pam Fleischaker, Jane Jayroe, Anita May and Jean Richardson, all Oklahoma City residents.

Voices from the Heartland is a celebration of women's contributions to Oklahoma's recent past. It records defining moments in women's lives whether surviving the Oklahoma City bombing or surviving abuse and represents a wide range of professions, lifestyles, and backgrounds to show how extraordinary lives have grown from the seeds of ordinary girlhoods. This is an important event...and will be great fun...join us Friday at 6:30 p.m.For a complete list of future events, click here to go to the Full Circle website.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I leave for Kenya on Friday and don't return until early November. If I have Internet access, I will be posting to my Kenya mission blog at

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Oklahoma Women's Legislative Coalition & WIPP Advocacy Training October 23rd

Several organizations and individuals interested in empowering women and girls in Oklahoma recently organized as the Oklahoma Women’s Legislative Coalition. In the weeks ahead, you will be hearing more about this exciting initiative. We hope to have a website in place soon where you can learn how to join/support this exciting statewide effort.

One of OWLC's tasks will be to lobby the Oklahoma Legislature on behalf of Oklahoma women and girls. For that reason, I’m thrilled that Terry Neese’s WIPP Institute is offering an extraordinary advocacy training workshop in Oklahoma on Oct. 23, 2007. WIPP stands for Women Impacting Public Policy and the WIPP Institute is a non profit public charity dedicated to the economic empowerment of women.

This one-day training (9:00 am to 4:00pm) will be held at the Financial District of Oklahoma’s Conference Center at 1725 E. 15th Street, Edmond, OK. The workshop features excellent national trainers so the cost of $50 (which includes lunch) is a real bargain. WIPP's target audience is women business owners but everyone can benefit from this training!

I hope you will consider attending this workshop yourself. Also please help spread the word about this workshop by telling your friends and colleagues.

You can read more about the workshop and register for the event at or by contacting Lin Weigel at 405-943-4474 ●

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Women Inducted Into Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame

Last night the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society held their 14th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner at the Oklahoma History Center. As usual, it was a wonderful evening. Highlights for me included getting acquainted with Dr. Sara M. Freedman, OSU Dean of the William S. Spears School of Business (left), induction into the Hall of Fame of Langston University's Jean Bell Manning, OSU's College of Business Professor Jeanine Rhea (right with my husband, Larkin, and OSU's Earl Mitchell) plus special recognition of "Centennial Pioneers" Jessie Thatcher Bost and Alice Mary Robertson. What a night!

Oklahoma's Five Ballerinas

The Oklahoman had a nice article in the Sept 30 paper on Oklahoma's famous five ballerinas. Read more here >>

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

So, you know, do what you are supposed to be doing! Read, research, do the self checks, hug someone you know currently fighting breat cancer and find an awareness event to attend. you might even participate in the 14th Annual Susan B. Komen Oklahoma City Race for the Cure® on October 20, 2007. Learn more here >>

Certified Women-Owned Businesses in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has a list of certified women-owned businesses in Oklahoma as of May 2006. I know there are many more but these are the ones willing to fill out the forms. Click there to review the list.

Oklahoman Kay Stout Has a Blog

I am constantly searching for blogs authored by Oklahoma women (that go beyond family matters or general ranting). So I am delighted that Kay Stout now has a blog where she dispenses advice about employment, management et al. I hope she will expand into broader policy topics as I respect her opinion greatly. Kay is a well known management consultant and is managing partner of Pacheco Stout Consulting. She has done political campaigns, school district projects, construction projects - you name it. I got to know her through a friend and admired her contributions to the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce's Prosperity Project initiative. Check out her blog here.

Are there any other Oklahoma women out there blogging? Send me a comment or email!

Remembering Jeannine Tuttle Rainbolt

Oklahoma has lost a very special woman with the death of Jeannine Rainbolt. She was smart, kind, generous, thoughtful, productive and appreciative - a woman of true grace and wit. There will never be another quite like her. Take a moment to honor her as the great person and role model that she was. Stop and read the lovely article about her in The Oklahoma today and her obituary here. We Kivas have sent love and prays your way, Jeannine, especially over these past 5 years. Now we salute you and wish you peace.

Five Oklahoma Tribes Have Women Leaders

Oklahoma has 37 federally recognized tribes; five - or nearly 14 percent - are led by women. They are Glenna Wallace (Eastern Shawnee), Kay Rhoads (Sac and Fox Nation), Bernadette Huber (Iowa Tribe), LaRue Parker (Caddo) and Jennifer Onzahwah (Absentee Shawnee). More...

Friday, September 28, 2007

OMRF's Judith James Finds Way to Predict Lupus

Judith James holds the Lou C. Kerr Chair in Biomedical Research at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City. She is one of three coauthors of a study recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine on how physicians may be able to predict which patients are going to develop lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Way to go, Dr. James.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dr. Irene Lam & OKC's Gold Dome Multicultural Society

The MidCity Advocate had a nice article recently on the Gold Dome Multicultural Society. It was founded by optometrist Dr. Irene Lam. She purchased the Gold Dome building in the Asian District of Oklahoma City (at 23rd Street and Classen Boulevard) in 2005 -- thus saving it from the wrecking ball. The society promotes cross cultural awareness by dedicated to displaying works by artists from a variety of ethnic, cultural and spiritual backgrounds. The former bank building's vault serves as the art gallery. In November, they plan to host an International Festival. For contact information, click here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Riding Trails At Lake Arcadia

My step-daughter and others in her riding club helped clean up the horse trails at Lake Arcadia last weekend (see picture). Mr. Mixer, the lake engineer, told them that this trash comes all the way from the drainage in OKC! All of Lake Arcadia's funds are supposed to be self-sustaining, but the city said that they will help with the loss of revenue from the flooding this summer. The riding club volunteers collected about 500 bags of trash and didn't feel that they even made a dent. Click on picture to enlarge.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Preparing for Kenya Trip

In less than 3 weeks, I head back to Kenya for the 4th time in 3 years.

This time I am part of a "mission team" of just two women. Katie McLain plans to work in Meru for three months while I will be there just short of a month.

We are both maintaining trip blogs. Add us to your aggregator, check out our progress occasionally, don't expect many posts while I'm in Kenya -- and say a prayer for us occasionally please!

My blog is

Katie's blog is

Kellie Coffey Releases Album

Oklahoma native Kellie Coffey has released her new independent album entitled Walk On. Read full story here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Lori Robinson Commands AWACS at Tinker

Lori J. Robinson is the first female to command the 552nd Air Control Wing which flies the AWACS aircraft out of Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. Robinson recently received the title of brigadier general.

Sammi Smith, Mae Boren Axton to Be Inducted Into OK Music Hall of Fame

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame announced today their 2007 inductees including Sammi Smith and Mae Boren Axton. Read Oklahoman article here.

Alice Ghostley Dead

Tony Award-winning Oklahoman Alice Ghostley has died. She was probably most famous for her portrayal of Esmeralda on the TV program "Bewitched" and Bernice in "Designing Women." Read more here and also here.

Stephanie Canada Is Oklahoma's 2007 Teacher of the Year

Stephanie Canada is Oklahoma's 2007 Teacher of the Year.
She is a physical education teacher at Will Rogers Elementary School in Shawnee. Read KOTV-6 article here.

Lynn Schusterman Among Oklahoma's Richest

Forbes magazine has issued its 2007 ranking of the 400 richest people in the US. Oklahomans on the list include George Kaiser at 26th place, Harold Hamm at 108th place, Lynn Schusterman at 165th place, Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward (both of Chesapeake Energy) tied at 220th place, and David Green, owner of Hobby Lobby Stores, ranked 271st. Schusterman's philanthropy is managed through the Schusterman Foundation in Tulsa.

Edna Manning Inducted Into OK Education Hall of Fame

This evening Dr. Edna Manning will be inducted into the Oklahoma Education Hall of Fame. She is the first president of Oklahoma's remarkably successful Oklahoma School for Science and Mathematics in Oklahoma City. Read Oklahoma article by clicking here and Wikipedia's writeup on the school here.

Women Owned Businesses in Oklahoma

Here are some of the largest 100% women owned businesses in Central Oklahoma (per The Journal Record):
Dow Aerospace Inc
Terry Neese Personnel Services
IngenuitE Inc
Hyde & Company CPAs
Crossland Real Estate
Paradigm Realty
The Dominion Group LLC
Oklahoma City Gynecological & Obstetrics Inc.
Cher A. Bumps & Associates
NRG – Network Resource Group Inc.

Oklahoma Academy Recognizes Julie Knutson

At the 2007 Oklahoma Academy Centennial Salute in Tulsa August 24, 2007, the Academy Key Contributor Award was presented to Oklahoma Academy President and CEO Julie Knutson to commemorate her 20 years of service to the organization. Governors Walters and Keating joined the presentation and praised her role in the Oklahoma public policy arena. Governor Brad Henry declared, August 24, 2007 to be Julie Knutson day.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Karolyn Phillips to Speak in Shawnee on Sept 24

Guthrie pianist, songwriter and inspirational speaker Karolyn Phillips will speak next Tuesday, September 24, at 6:30 pm to women attending Sisters at Heart at Wesley United Methodist, 302 E. Independence. All women are invited to come for supper and a motivating evening program. There is no charge. Read more in The Tecumseh Countwide News by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Emily Stratton and the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma's public schools. The keynote speaker at their spring awards banquet was Ruth Simmons, President of Brown University and the first African American and first woman to serve as president of an Ivy League school. According to their newsletter, High Marks, she was "the youngest of 12 children - from a sharecropper's shack in east Texas." The foundation is run by Executive Director Emily Stratton and her wonderful (all female) staff.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Willa Johnson Sworn In As Okla County Commissioner

Congratulations, Willa! Read the Oklahoman article here.

Billboard Names Oklahoma's Reba McEntire Woman of the Year

Billboard Magazine has selected Reba McEntire to receive its first "Woman of the Year" award. Read the article here. Early in October, Billboard will publish their second annual Women in Music issue.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dr. Kathleen McKean and Oklahoma Technical Assistance Center

The Cushing Daily Citizen has an article on OSU graduate Dr. Kathleen McKean and the Oklahoma Technical Assistance Center. Read Ben James' article here.

Betty Price Profiled

The Oklahoman has an article profiling Oklahoman Betty Price. She is stepping down as Executive Director of the the Oklahoma Arts Council after 33 years of service.

Carolyn Hart - 39th Book is Death Walked In

Oklahoma's famed mystery author Carolyn Hart is working on her 39th book - Death Walked In. Chris Jones has a nice article on Hart in The Oklahoman today; read it here. Hart is one of only 10 mystery writers invited to attend the 2007 National Book Festival on Sept. 29 in Washington, D.C. Her latest mystery novel will be released in 2008.

Rilla Askew's Book "Fire In Beulah" Featured

Oklahoman Rilla Askew is the 2007 featured author for the Oklahoma Reads program. Participants in the program across Oklahoma are reading her novel “Fire in Beulah.” (Click here for the reading guide.) As part of the Oklahoma reads program, Askew will be appearing at Ada libraries next week; for more about her visit, click here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Willa Johnson Elected County Commissioner

A belated "Congratulations" to Willa Johnson, elected Tuesday to replace Jim Roth as Oklahoma County Commissioner, District 1. She knows Oklahoma City from her many years of service on the Oklahoma City Council and will do a fine job. Willa is not the first African American woman elected to the position of county commissioner in Oklahoma. Bernice Mitchell (Payne County) and Shirley Darrell (Oklahoma County) come to mind. Am I missing any others?

Mike McCarville has a nice analysis on the election here.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori at Oklahoma City University Sept 15

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori -- the first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church USA and the first woman elected primate in the worldwide Anglican Communion -- will preside over the consecration of the new bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, Edward J. Konieczny, on Saturday at Oklahoma City University. Read the full Oklahoman article here.

Oklahoma Singer Kellie Coffey

The Oklahoman today has a story on singer Kellie Coffey who is a Moore native and Westmoore graduate. You can read the Oklahoman article here. She has written and recorded a beautiful and moving song about her difficulty conceiving a child. You can see her perform that song, "I'd Die For That" on YouTube by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sally Frasier Named Democratic Woman of the Year

Tulsa leader Sally Frasier was honored August 26 by Tulsa Democrats as 2007 Woman of the Year. In addition to her many years of service for the Democratic Party in Oklahoma and nationally, Frasier has advocated for literacy in her role on the Tulsa City-County Library Commission and for women in her role on the board of Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma and also in her role on the Oklahoma Status for Women Commission.

Life of Wanda Jackson Subject of New Film

Oklahoma's Wanda Jackson, known as the "Grand Lady of Rock and Roll" and the "Queen of Rockabilly," is now the subject of a movie. Read about it here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Stephens County Sheriff Jimmie Bruner Honored

Jimmie Bruner was the first woman elected sheriff in Stephens County history in November of 2000. She is also the first woman sheriff in Oklahoma re-elected to a second term. And last month, she became the first woman to be named Sheriff of the Year by the Oklahoma Sheriff's Association. Read the Dancan Banner article here.

Oklahoman Kristine Brown Turns 110

Kristine Brown, a retired Northwestern Oklahoma State University mathematics instructor, celebrated her 110th birthday today. She is believed to be Oklahoma’s oldest living resident. Read about her here.

The Women's Archives Collection at OSU

The Women's Archives is part of Oklahoma State University's Special Collections and University Archive (SCUA). It was founded in 1995 and contains material documenting women's lives in Oklahoma.The material can be sorted by family, individual or organization. Some of the individuals include Hannah Atkins, Shirley Bellmon, Jessie Thatcher Bost, Angie Debo, and Wilma Pearl Mankiller. Organizations include AAUW, Lahoma Club, National Organization for Women, and the YWCA.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Tahlequah Paper Praises Deana Franke

Deana Franke, Executive Director of Help-In-Crisis, has been addressing domestic violence and sexual assaul since 1980 in the Tahlequah area. The local paper has a nice editorial praising her.
Franke is a finalist in Mannington Mills' "Stand On a Better World" awards competition. Read the editorial here.

Lindsay Glass Crowned Miss Cherokee

Lindsay Glass of Kansas, Oklahoma was won the 2007 Miss Cherokee Leadership competition. She is a student at Bacone College. Click here to read more. And also here.

April Madden Designs Costumes in Tulsa

The Tulsa World has a story about Tulsa native April Madden who is putting her the Dallas School of Design training to work creating costumes for theater productions. Click here to read more.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

OU Women's Studies Program Celebrates 30 Years

The Women's Studies program at the University of Oklahoma is celebrating 30 years of service. It is the only degree-granting undergraduate program in Women's Studies in the state of Oklahoma. Read more by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sept 16 is National Women's Friendship Day

National Women's Friendship Day is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in September. It was created in 1999 by Kappa Delta Sorority to encourage women everywhere to celebrate their special women friends. The celebration is additionally honored by the governors of several states who were among the first to make Governor's Proclamations endorsing National Women's Friendship Day. (Click on the image of Gov Brad Henry's 2006 proclamation to view an enlarged version.) Click here to read more. Then start planning to do something special on September 16, 2007 for the girlfriends in your life!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Mary Gilmore Caffrey Honored

Mary Gilmore Caffrey has been Executive Director of The Tree Bank Foundation since it was founded 20 years ago. She recently received the 2007 Urban Forestry Award for Partnership from the USDA Forest Service. They say she's "the mother of urban forestry in central Oklahoma."

Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins

The Oklahoman has anice article on Lt Gov Jari Askins in todays paper. Click here to read.

Native Tulsan Mary Kay Place in HBO Series

Native Tulsan and OU graduate Mary Kay Place will be part of an ensemble cast for HBO's forthcoming comedy series 12 Miles of Bad Road. Starring Lily Tomlin and written by "Designing Women" creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the series is built around a Dallas real estate agent and the other strong women in a prominent Dallas family. More about Price...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Journal Record's 2007 "Woman of the Year" Finalists

Each year, The Journal Record honors 50 "women making a difference" from all across Oklahoma. At the Woman of the Year banquet, one of those 50 women is honored as Woman of the Year. Click here to view a list of The Journal Record's 2007 women honorees.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"To My Sisters . . ."

You've probably received this inspiring essay about women supporting women a time or two but it is still worth another look. Click here to view the piece.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Enid Public School Board Member Willa Jo Fowler Honored

Willa Jo Fowler received the 2007 Distinguished Service award from the Oklahoma State School Board Association last week. Fowler has 35 years of experience in education and has served on the Enid Public School Board 32 years. Click here to read more.

Top 500 Women-Owned Business List Includes 4 Oklahoma Firms

Four Oklahoma firms made the "Top 500 Women-Owned Business" list maintained by Three are in Tulsa: Walden Energy (ranked 14th), Tamara Walden - Principal (annual sales = $180 million); Tiger Natural Gas (ranked 17th), Lori Nalley - Principal (annual sales $148.7), and Smithco Engineering (ranked 84th), Judith Smith - principal (annual sales $36 million). The fourth firm is based in McAlester: Bonus of America Inc. (ranked 140th), Arleen Cavanaugh - Principal. View details here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

More Images from Women's History Exhibit

Click on images to enlarge.

Teri Bowers Heads Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks

The Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, Oklahoma has appointed Teri Bowers Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director. She has 18 years experience in television news including at KTUL-Channel 8. She is married to KTUL Chief meteorologist Frank Mitchell and they have two children.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oklahoma's Jeane Kirkpatrick Profiled

The Okahoman has a nice article on the US's 16th Ambassador to the UN (and Oklahoma native) Jeane Kirkpatrick today. Read the article here...

Wilma Mankiller & Michael Wallis = Tulsa Headliners

The Tulsa Press Club will honor Wilma Mankiller, first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, and best selling author Michael Wallis by recognizing them as the 2007 Headliners. They will be honored at a banquet Sept. 7 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Tulsa. The Headliners Club was started in 1956 by the Tulsa Press Club to recognize outstanding civic, business, professional and industrial leaders of the community.

Aug 26 is Women's Equality Day

Happy Women's Equality Day! Check out these websites and take note of which women they choose to highlight!

1.)'s page about Women's Equality Day.

2.) The White House's 2007 Women's Equality Day Proclamation.

3.) A 34 page report on women's equality published by the Directorate of Research, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. (Hats off to our women in the military!) Were you familiar with Kate Millett (who Time Magazine called "the Mao Tse-tung of Women’s liberation") or her book Sexual Politics?

Friday, August 24, 2007

New Book on Oklahoma "Voices From the Heartland"

The University of Oklahoma Press is about to release Voices From the Heartland -- a collection of essays edited by four Rogers State University faculty - Carolyn Anne Taylor, Emily Dial-Driver, Carole Burrage; and Sally Emmons-Featherston.
Celebrating women's contributions to Oklahoma, the essays are written by renowned Oklahoma women including Wilma Mankiller, Kim Henry, Billie Letts, Maria Tallchief, and Sherri Coale.
Check out their great website here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Voice of the Tallgrass - Native Women Artists of Oklahoma

I have blogged previously on this exhibit at the Pioneer Woman Museum in Ponca City that runs through September 16. It showcases a large variety of 25 very talented Native women of Oklahoma including Cherokee bead worker Martha Berry, Osage artist Wendy Ponca, Kaw painter Cindy Russell, Sac and Fox ribbon worker Shalah Rowlen, and Cherokee painter Virginia Stroud. The show is open Tues - Sat: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun: 1 - 5 p.m.. Admission: $3 adults, $2.50 seniors, $1 youth (ages 6-18), free for children under age 6.
Here is the museum's website:

Oklahoma Women's Groups meet with Rep Mary Fallin

Representatives from Oklahoma women's organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., American Association of University Women, Federally Employed Women, Girls Scouts - Red Lands Council, League of Women Voters of Oklahoma, National Association of Women Business Owners, National Federation of Business and Professional Women, the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, the Oklahoma Women's Network, the Women's Foundation of Oklahoma, and the YWCA of Oklahoma City met with Representative Mary Fallin August 21st to discuss legislation and programs that can improve the status of women and girls in Oklahoma.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Billie Rodely Moving from OETA to Mary Fallin's Staff

I know several staffers whose relationship with Congresswoman Mary Fallin's office has ended in recent weeks. So I was delighted to learn via a post on The McCarville Report that Billie Rodely is going onto the Congresswoman's staff. We will miss her fine reporting at OETA but this promises to be an exciting move for both women. I assume this means Billie will have to give up her prominent role in the Oklahoma City Gridiron Show; I'll miss that.

Deana Franke & Miki Farris Nominated for Award

Two Oklahoma women have been nominated for the 2007 “Stand On A Better World” Award and YOU can cast a vote for one. The award is presented by Mannington Mills, a leading manufacturer of flooring.

The program recognizes and celebrates women who “do the right thing” to make a difference in the lives of people and communities in America and around the globe. There are three levels of awards -- local, national and global. One winner will be chosen in each award category and receive $10,000 for her chosen charity. One of those three will be the Grand Prize recipient receiving $25,000 for her chosen charity. One woman, chosen by online voting, will receive the “Your Better World Award” and $10,000 for her chosen charity. Winners will be announced in October 2007, with the awards ceremony held Nov. 15 in Philadelphia.

So cast your vote for either Deana Frank who helped found and now run a battered women's shelter in Tahlequah or Miki Farris who founded the Infant Crisis Center in Oklahoma City. Check out the program and cast your vote here. Voting ends on September 7, 2007.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

MJ Alexander's "Salt of the Earth"

Oklahoma artist MJ Alexander has traveled nearly 5,000 miles to photograph the faces of Oklahoma's Centenarians. Beginning August 17th, her photos will be on display at The Oklahoma Heritage Center in Oklahoma City. In addition, Alexander has published the book Salt of the Earth: The Wit and Wisdom from Oklahoma's Elders. Her exhibit and book pay tribute to the individuals who have both lived and created Oklahoma's history.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Stillwater Sculptor Lou Moore Hale

OU's Sooner magazine has a nice article in their Spring 2007 issue about Stillwater sculptor Lou Moore Hale's Centennial project "Facing a Century: Life Stories in Sculpture." Lou carved the portraits and her husband, OSU professor emeritus in history, Doug Hale wrote biographies. The works are on exhibit around Oklahoma. In August, they will be on display at Redlands Community College. View her work here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

July 28 - Women Authors Sign Books at OKC Zoo

Three Stillwater women authors will sign books at the Oklahoma City Zoo Saturday, July 28 from 9 to noon. Linda Allen’s book, Menagerie at the Manger, is about animals at the Nativity and has been named 2007 Book of the Season by The Book Bank Foundation. Jewel Sample’s Flying Hugs and Kisses tell about her grandson, Brennen, who died from SIDS. There is a companion activity book as well. Lori Scott has contributed to more than a dozen books and published over thirty-five short stories, devotions, puzzles, articles, and poems. She will showcase the first two titles in her new children’s chapter book series, Meghan Rose on Stage and Meghan Rose Has Ants in Her Pants. For more information, call the Zoo at 405-424-3344 or go to

Norma Eagleton Made History

Former Oklahoma Senator Penny Williams suggested to my husband recently that I need to show on my website that:

Norman Eagleton was the first woman elected to statewide office in Oklahoma who could have voted for herself.

Yeah, Norma. Thank you, Senator.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Oklahoma's Trail Riding Gals

When she isn't teaching middle school in Edmond, my step-daughter, Adena Warner, raises adopted mustangs and curly horses and is a member of Oklahoma's Parade Gals - a sub group of Oklahoma's Trail Riding Gals. You can read an article about the group here that appeared recently in Edmond Outlook magazine. Read more about trail riding at Oklahoma Horse Online. Click on the image to the left to see May's curly main.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Oklahoma Women's Groups to Meet

Faye Henson (left), Oklahoma State President of the American Association of University Women and I met today with Dena Drabeck (center) at Congresswoman Mary Fallin's downtown OKC office to plan a gathering of women's group in late August. Stay tuned for more on this new initiative.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Jennifer Onzahwah Elected 1st Women Chief of Absentee Shawnee Tribe

Jennifer Onzahwah was recently elected the first woman chief of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe. Read Oklahoman article here.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Oklahoma's Best Women Athletes

The Oklahoman today has a list of "The 100 Best Athletes in Oklahoma History." Ten are women. One is a horse: Easy Jet.

Here are The Oklahoman's picks and their rank plus The Oklahoman's explanation (in quotes) for the women athletes they included:

#5 Shannon Miller - "(Edmond) The most decorated American gymnast ever, with two world all-around championships and an Olympic all-around silver medal that would have been gold if not for dubious judging."

#20 Nancy Lopez - "(University of Tulsa) LPGA's Sam Sneed. Big winner, but never won U.S. Open"

#26 Susie Maxwell Berning - "(Oklahoma City, OCU) Three-time U.S. Open golf winner; four of her 11 LPGA Tour wins were in majors."

#33 Crystal Robinson - "(Atoka, Southeastern State) ABL rookie of the year in 1996, then jumped to the WNBA in 1999 and the New York Liberty."

#37 Doll Harris - "(Cement) Led Durant's Presbyterian College to 1932 AAU women's basketball title."

#61 Michele Smith - "(OSU) Two-time Olympic softball gold medalist is a celebrity in Japan, where she played 14 seasons in the Japanese Pro League. Screaming fans clamor for her autograph; maybe it's the hair. Time Magazine voted Smith "best hair" of the Atlanta Olympics." [I am not making this up; that is what the boys who wrote this elected to focus on!]

#66 Stacey Dales "(OU) Past WNBA all-star, returned to league in 2006 but still a college broadcaster."

#84 Courtney Paris "(OU) Let's assume she'll keep moving up the list."

#86 Kelly Garrison "(Altus, OU) 1988 Olympian placed 16th in gymnastics all-around."

#95 Cindy Yan Fang "(OCU) During her prime, greatest softball second baseman in the world." (NOTE: I'm having trouble finding information on Cindy but, according to an old Oklahoman article, in 1998 she was 29 years old, born in Beijing, 5-8, 136 pounds. She batted .414 with 64 runs in 69 games in 1997 and batted .448 with 76 runs in 63 games in 1998. According to OCU's Rich Tortorelli, "She helped China win the silver medal in the 1996 Olympics. She holds the OCU career record for average (.463). She was All-Tournament at the NAIA Championships in 1997 and 1998, NAIA first-team all-American in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and NAIA player of the year in 1998 and 1999.")

In the The Oklahoman's March 2007 educational supplement "Generations of Oklahoma Women Moving History Forward" (funded by the Oklahoma Women's Network and Girl Scouts Red Lands and Sooner Councils and written predominantly by OSU professors Bob Darcy and Jennifer Paustenbuagh), we also listed Val Skinner and Kelli Litsch.

Val Skinner was an OSU golfer who in 1980 and 1982 was the Big Eight Conference Women's Golf Champion, in 1982 was Big Eight Conference Outstanding Female Athlete, and in 1982 was NCAA All-American. Skinner has earned over $2.4 million as a professional golfer and has raised more than $2.5 million for breast cancer research. She works as analyst for Golf Channel and CBS.

Here is what Bob Darcy said about Kelli Litsch: "From Fay, Oklahoma, Kelli Litsch is considered one of the best to have ever played the game of basketball. She led Thomas high School to two straight six-on-six state high school championships in 1980 and 1981. Turning down scholarships to play at Division I schools, she went to Southwestern Oklahoma State university wherre she powered the lady Bulldogs to three NIAA national championships going 129-5 and becoming the first female athlete to be named a first-team All-American four years in a row."

What women would YOU have included in the top 100 Oklahoma Athletes List? Tell Berry Tramel at He will run comments in The Oklahoman.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Stillwater Artist Lynn Schwartz

Stillwater artist Lynn Schwartz is exhibiting her oil and acrylic paintings at the Oklahoma State Capitol. You'll have to find your way to the Governor's Gallery on the second floor to see her extraordinary work but it is worth it! The show, entitled "Movement: Oklahoma Heritage to Horizons" is sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council and will be up through August 17.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Louisa McCune and Oklahoma Today Magazine

Oklahoma Today magazine is celebrating the state’s centennial year by publishing the top forty-six images of the last one-hundred-plus years. The landmark twenty-four-page portfolio appears in their July/August 2007 issue. Louisa McCune says, “The images tell the story of our state in an unpredictable but timeless way. From the Dust Bowl and Civil Rights struggles to quiet family life, this portfolio is simply arresting.” Photographs by Alfred Eisenstaedt, Nina Leen, Dorothea Lange, and A.Y. Owen are included in the collection as well as two Pulitzer Prize-winning images. J. Pat Carter’s image of the May 3, 1999, tornado, which won the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, also appears in the portfolio. If you don't already subscribe to this remarkable magazine, you'll want to pick up a copy of this issue.

Kalyn Free to be Honored by National Education Association

Oklahoman Kayln Free will be honored by the National Education Association July 1st. Read story here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Creating the Oklahoma Women's Coalition

I am inviting women's groups and organizations interested in improving the status of women and girls in Oklahoma to help organize a loose-knit coalition to do the following:

(a) Produce a Kids Count-like annual report on the status of women in Oklahoma

(b) Establish a coalition of groups committed to protecting the rights of and improving the status of women and girls in Oklahoma

(c) Select four or five issues to be addressed in the 2008 legislative session and get authors to introduce bills -- and let legislators know about our support for these bills

(d) Raise funds to hire a part-time lobbyist to keep coalition members informed on the status of these bills during the session

(e) Use the Internet and area meetings to encourage coalition members to lobby their legislators and the Governor on these bills

(f) At the close of the 2008 legislative session, produce a “report card” that identifies which legislators voted for these bills

If you belong to an organization that has a legislative agenda that addressess women's issues and you think it might like to participate in this coalition, please let me know (see my profile for contact information). I especially want to include women's groups from all across the state.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Donita Huddleston Thomas Moves to MidFirst Bank

Donita Thomas has left Bank America and is now senior vice president for business banking at MidFirst Bank - Oklahoma City's largest bank. Bank America advertises itself as "the nation's leading financial institution" and, indeed, they have banks literally everywhere. So I always worried they would transfer Donita to New York or California or (heaven forbid) Texas. I have a hunch she is less likely to get away from Oklahoma at MidFirst Bank which is good because that would be a terrible loss for Oklahoma.

Elizabeth Waner is New Edmond City Council Member

REMINDER TO MYSELF: As soon as I get caught up on last weeks (neglected) email, I want to post about Edmond's new city council member.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Update on Amy Poloncheck

I had a nice visit with Amy Polonchek recently. She assures me that she wasn't run off from her position as Executive Director of the Department of Commerce. She tired of the commute - something I can relate to as I, too, tired of commuting to OU when I was running the N.E.W. Leadership Oklahoma program. Amy is happy to be working at the State Dept of Career Tech. The Polonchecks own a home in Stillwater. Her husband works at OSU and she is glad to be back home in Stillwater.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Update on OK author Bellie Letts

From Barbara Santee:

A lot of people have been asking what happened to Tulsa author, Billie Letts, who was arrested when she demonstrated against the Bush Administration's war policy in Iraq when Dick Cheney was in Tulsa several weeks ago. Billie went to court on Thursday, June 7; and the case was dismissed because the policeman who arrested her did not show up as a witness for the prosecution. So, Billie is free as a bird and working on her next novel! By the way, be sure to see her son's (Tracy Lett's) movie, Bug, showing at the AMC. It is an amazing experience!

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Portrait to be Unveiled in House of Representatives

I am so old, I can remember when there was almost NO art at the State Capitol. Now it is everywhere and it is beautiful but more importantly some even celebrates Oklahoma women! So of course I am thrilled that a portrait of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher will be unveiled in the House of Representatives at 11 am Tuesday, June 19. Read the story here -->

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Jeanette Gamba is AAA National Chair

Jeanette Gamba was recently elected national chairman of AAA. Gamba is chair of Jordan Associates, an Oklahoma City-bassed advertising and public relations company. she is the first woman to hold the position. AAA has over 50 million members.

Monday, June 04, 2007

When US Women Got the Vote

Tom Clapper reminded me today that it was on this day in 1919 that the 19th amendment to the Constitution was passed by Congress giving women the right to vote!

Full Circle Bookstore to Feature Oklahoma Women Authors

On Thursday, June 7, at 6:30 p.m., Dana Bagshaw will sign her book Mama Grace at the Full Circle Bookstore in 50 Penn Place, Oklahoma City. A historical novel based on an original manuscript by the author's grandmother, Letha Crossman, it tells the story of her family homesteading in Oklahoma in the early 1900s. The book has been selected as an official project of the Oklahoma Centennial Commission and includes photos of the period.

And on Saturday, June 9, at 3 p.m., M.J. Alexander will sign her new book Salt of the Red Earth: A Century of Wit and Wisdom from Oklahoma's Elders. Her newest photography book is a collection of portraits of Oklahomans born in or before 1907.