Hannah Ratigan was the type of student who walked around campus when she had free time – which was rare. So the way her undergraduate experience finished, with COVID-19 restrictions, was especially disappointing for her. As the Orange Gown Recipient for the College of Arts and Sciences, she did enjoy leading her peers in the School of Media and Strategic Communications to their smaller ceremony. We talk about what strategic communication is, her philanthropic work and how a fateful trip to Chipotle changed her life.


Jason Collington is a Stillwater native who grew up reading the Tulsa World. After his 1998 graduation from OSU in what is now the School of Media and Strategic Communications, he worked for the Associated Press before being hired by the World. He spent the next 21 years climbing the company’s ladder, reaching the top to became the publication’s new editor on Oct. 1, 2020. About 60 days later, we talked about the future of journalism, his goals for the Tulsa World, and his advice for up and coming communicators. He also explained why he tells everyone they should be a quitter.


Imagine you work at a nonprofit, where the hours are long, the cause is so big that it can feel overwhelming, and the pay is less than what is available in the corporate world. But you believe so deeply in the idea of nonprofits that you decide to leave your job, which has been stable for a decade, to start your own business, partnering with nonprofits to increase the amount of good they do. And then, as your approach the date of this career transition, a global pandemic causes an economic recession. Would you still make the leap? Becky Endicott and Jon McCoy, a pair of CAS alumni, did. On January 1, they left the Integris Foundation to create We are for Good, which produces podcasts and courses along with its for-hire services in branding and design, storytelling and writing, and consulting. They started with a bang, debuting at No. 1 on Apple Podcast’s chart of nonprofit podcasts. We talk about why they went ahead and made the leap, how OSU helped prepare them for success, and what they wished more people understood about the world of nonprofits.


 

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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