We are in the midst of a national conversation about many topics related to the American legal system. Though virtually everyone agrees that a just system is ideal, there are disagreements over how fair our current system is and what changes might improve it. Michelle Estes, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology, conducts research on wrongful convictions. We talk about what happens to people who have been exonerated, how they were wrongfully convicted in the first place, and what they want people to know about them.


As COVID-19 became a global pandemic, Governor Kevin Stitt asked experts across Oklahoma to create models projecting how it would affect the state. One of those models came from a team at OSU, which included Mindy McCann, head of the Department of Statistics. She joined us to talk about the difficulty of making predictions about COVID-19, how much confidence we should have in the data, what it shows about the effectiveness of masks, and the importance of critical thinking.


Jennifer Rudd has studied pandemics and respiratory infectious diseases for years. She is a CAS biology graduate who went on to earn two more degrees at OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where she is now a faculty member. After completing her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, she practiced for years before returning to OSU to pursue a doctorate in respiratory infectious diseases. Her research focuses on the excessive immune response seen with pandemic viral pneumonias and ways to improve clinical outcomes through targeting the immune response. We talk about the best way to end this pandemic, what makes COVID-19 unique, and why you should put a veterinarian on your zombie apocalypse team.


The Guthrie Scottish Rite of Freemasonry recently renewed its partnership with OSU’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders by donating $283,574 to the OSU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. The partnership began in 2018 when the Guthrie Scottish Rite Foundation moved its speech and language clinic operations to Stillwater’s campus and gave an initial $182,411 to the department.

“We were providing exceptional care, but we were only filling a very small part of the needs of children with speech and language disorders,” said Joe Manning, an OSU graduate, Freemason and presiding officer over all Scottish Rite Masonic activities in Oklahoma. “In evaluating how our dollars could be used to the fullest potential, we ultimately determined the funds we dedicate annually to childhood language programs could be best utilized by partnering with an established program at an educational institution.”

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Tyler Bunch is an OSU alumnus who studied Theatre and went on to become a successful puppetry and voice over artist, one you or your children have probably heard before. We cover his time at OSU, his transition into the craft of puppetry, and how his role as Elmo’s dad on Sesame Street has helped millions of kids understand the complexity of combating racism.


When Tyler Bunch was in high school at Tulsa’s Thomas Edison High School, his father worked in higher education theatre. Tyler often assisted him with building and designing sets, attending rehearsals, summer theater camps and playing parts when needed. That helped him discover his love for the arts.

Bunch has worked as a puppeteer, voice-over artist, director, producer, actor and writer. He has worked for the Jim Henson Company, Disney, Sesame Street, Pokemon and more.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has paused virtually the entire world. What does that mean for researchers, especially those whose work entails international travel? One faculty member dealing with that question is art history professor Louise Siddons, who was recently awarded a summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Award. The Fulbright will fund her travel to London’s Eccles Centre for American Studies, assuming there are no complications. But as we have seen over the past six months, complications are a regular part of living in a world infected by COVID-19. Louise talks about what it’s like to have your work as both a researcher and teacher in flux, why she likes abstract art, and what led her to research Laura Gilpin, a renowned photographer whose work documenting the lives of the Navajo Nation was featured in a 1957 exhibition at OSU.


Matthew Mungle is a former OSU student who studied Theatre and went on to become a renowned Academy Award-winning makeup artist and designer. In addition, he became a successful business owner specializing in makeup design, special effects and prosthetics. He joined us to talk about his time at OSU, what it's like to work in Hollywood, and why Gary Oldman is one of his favorite actors to work with.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded OSU’s Department of Computer Science a Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant of more than $100,000 to develop virtual reality-based training simulators for COVID-19 first responders. Computer science professor Dr. J. Cecil, who is leading the project, explained that the proposal was approved by NSF in a matter of weeks—a process that can typically take at least six months.

“The NSF moved on it faster because the country is facing an emergency,” Cecil said. “The federal agencies realize that engineers and scientists have to help the doctors."

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