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Oklahoma Christian to Host Celebration of Excellence

Oklahoma Christian University will host its third annual Celebration of Excellence on Monday, April 17. This event gives students an opportunity to showcase their academic work to the rest of the campus community. 

Former Oklahoma Christian student and President of Ferris State University, Bill Pink, will be the keynote speaker. He will be speaking in Baugh Auditorium at 11 a.m. on “Higher Education: Relevance and Responsiveness in a Post-COVID World.”

Cami Agan, Professor of Language & Literature, is this year’s faculty director. Agan discussed the benefit Celebration of Excellence provides for participating students. 

“Students know it’s an opportunity to practice presentations and to showcase their research,” Agan said. “Whether that’s the professional world or graduate school, it’s always good to be able to stand on your feet and present your work.”

Four different presentations will be offered at the celebration, along with panels consisting of four students’ collaborative work. Students can also present individually or display a poster of their work. 

The art department will have its gallery open all day to display artistic pieces. The music department will host live vocal and instrumental performances as well. 

To see times and locations of events, click here

Students attending the celebration can expect to have their minds and stomachs fed as they connect with students around campus. 

“There’s breakfast and there’s a free lunch outside,” Agan said. “Attendees should branch out a bit and go to a panel or talk to a poster presenter completely out of their discipline. You’d be surprised how interesting it can be and how connected it all is in the end.” 

Nathan Shank, Associate Professor of English, is presenting the Unaware Project with some of his students. This project is a published volume of poetry written by incarcerated men and edited by Oklahoma Christian’s on-campus students. 

“We can have different pieces of writing from people in different quadrants of campus,” Shank said. “But they’re all connected through this shared means of expressing their ideas through writing.” 

Everyone who attends the Unaware Project presentation will receive a copy of the journal. Student editors and poets will also read their work at the celebration. 

Shank also discussed his expectations for Celebration of Excellence. 

“My goal is for it to be a celebration of writing. There’s no judgment involved. We’ll also get to see another world we’re less familiar with,” Shank said. 

Josh Watson, Associate Professor of Communication, will present two research projects with his students. 

The first presentation analyzes a recent event in pop culture, the Try Guys scandal. Oklahoma Christian students performed a case study on the crisis communication done by the former Buzzfeed influencers.

“It’s an area which hasn’t been looked at as much as corporate crisis communication has, so it’s kind of interesting,” Watson said. “OC students are doing a great job analyzing it as they prepare to be future strategic communicators or managers of social media for brands.”

The second will highlight a study made by the Public Relations students on brand awareness and how PR storytelling affects customer action towards a company. 

“You’re gonna learn about original primary scientific research and social media message testing. It’s pretty difficult and complicated, but your peers did it at a pretty high level,” Watson said. 

In the midst of variety, there is still a cohesiveness to the event. 

“The connector across the displays is students shining and finding ways to incorporate their own vision into their research,” Agan said.

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