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."