Sunday, April 29, 2007

Oklahoma Author Carolyn Hart

I got to hear author and Oklahoma City native Carolyn Hart speak last winter at Full Circle Bookstore at 50 Penn Place. Hart writes the Death on Demand series set in a mystery bookstore on an idyllic South Carolina sea island and the wider-ranging, harder-edged Henrie O series featuring retired newspaperwoman Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins. If you can read only one of her 38 books, her favorite is Letter from Home - a stand alone novel published by Berkley in 2003. It was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Agatha for Best Mystery Novel of 2003. Click here to read more about Hart.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Denise Bode Resigning From Corporation Commission

Denise Bode was only the second woman ever to serve on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. [Can you name the first? Click here for the answer.] Bode recently announced she is leaving the post to work in Washington, DC. Read more here... and here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

May 13 Terri White Becomes Head of Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Terri White is about to become the new Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. She holds a Bachelor's and master's degree in social work from the University of Oklahoma. Born in Michigan but raised in Edmond, White may be Oklahoma's youngest mental health commissioner at age 33. She has worked at the agency for the past 5 years.

Cheryl Williams Replaces Dana Murphy as OKGOP Vice Chair

Leadership has changed for the Oklahoma Republican Party. Jimmie Martin at reports that Gary Jones won the GOP Chair by a 12 vote margin in a runoff with current GOP Party Chair Tom Daxon and that Cheryl Williams won the Vice Chair position -- defeating current Oklahoma GOP Vice Chair Dana Murphy. Congratulations Dana on 4 years of dedicated service and welcome and good luck, Cheryl!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Natalie Shirley Heads Commerce Department

Blackwell native Natalie Shirley recently was appointed Secretary of Commerce and Tourism. She holds degrees from OSU in psychology and political science and a law degree from OU. For the past 15 years, she has been president of ICI Mutual Insurance Group in Washington, DC. She is married to Russ Harrison and they have three children. She replaces Kathy Taylor who left following her election as mayor of Tulsa.

Gracie Montgomery & Helen Ford Wallace Inducted Into Journalism Hall of Fame

On April 13th Gracie Montgomery and Helen Ford Wallace were inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. They are profiled on the Notable Oklahoma Women Today website page.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Oklahoma's Women College Presidents Include Marlene Strathe at OSU

Oklahoma has another woman college president (albeit an "interim" one).

Marlene Strathe was appointed Interim President in February while Oklahoma State University (OSU) searches for its next president. This makes her the 6th woman to serve as president of a public institution in Oklahoma. Her appointment brings the number of current women college presidents in Oklahoma to four or 16%. Other women currently serving as college presidents are Cindy Ross (Cameron University), JoAnn Haysbert (Langston University), and Janet Cunningham (Northwestern OSU).

The American Council on Education reports 23% of university presidents were female in 2006 and half of the Ivy League schools have a woman at the helm. "Growth in the percentage of presidents who are women or members of ethnic or racial minority groups has been slow, especially over the past 10 years." (Click here to read ACE's findings.)

Oklahoma had the first woman president of a public university in the United States when Kate Galt Zaneis was appointed president of what is now Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant back in the 1930's. Oklahoma's second woman college president was Joe Anna Hibler who served as head of Southwestern OSU at Weatherford from 1990 to 2001.

Source. The Oklahoman, April 9, 2007

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sally Frasier and Lou Kerr Honored by OLA

Sally Frasier and Lou Kerr were honored Monday April 2 by the Oklahoma Library Association (OLA) at their annual awards banquet and dinner. Frasier was recognized as one of Oklahoma's 100 Library Legends for the period 1907-2007. This special Centennial year recognition honors those who have done the most to forward Oklahoma's libraries during its first 100 years. Sally was honored for her more than 20 years of involvement as a citizen activist for libraries at the local, state, and national levels. Lou Kerr was recognized for her service on the Oklahoma Library Association's Centennial Endowment Advisory Board and was presented with the OLA Special Projects Award for her service to OLA. Both Sally and Lou have been previous recipients of OLA Awards for their incredible contributions to Oklahoma Libraries. (Thanks to Jennifer Paustenbaugh for bringing this to my attention.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Oklahoma Author Rilla Askew at Full Circle

Critically acclaimed Oklahoma author Rilla Askew will read and sign her latest novel Harpsong on Thursday, April 5th at 6:30 p.m. at the Full Circle Bookstore in 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City.

All of Askew's books--Strange Business (1992), The Mercy Seat (1997), Fire in Beulah (2001), and her newest, Harpsong--are set in Oklahoma. Fire in Beulah has been selected as the Centennial book for Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma.

Go hear Askew's talk. Enjoy a gourmet snack while you are there. And say "hello" to owner Jim Tolbert and his lovely white buffalo "Pearl."

Monday, April 02, 2007

Catheryn Koss Founds Senior Law Resource Center, Inc.

Catheryn Koss has founded a nonprofit organization committed to working with elders and their caregivers in central Oklahoma. Their attorneys and staff advocate for clients and help them make informed decisions in a wide range of legal areas. The Center's goal is to empower Oklahomans to age with independence, dignity, and security by providing high-quality, affordable legal information, resources, and services. Check out their website here. They have a sliding pay-scale based on ability to pay. As for me, I'm a senior and I intend to ask Catheryn to help us update our very out-of-date wills!