Tag: uco

What the “H?”

There’s an age-old question at Central that circulates among new and prospective students, community members and the general public – why in the world is Bronchos spelled with an “h?”

We all know that many other schools, who also happen to have Buddy-like mascots, spell their names without the alphabet’s magic eighth letter, so why do we? What is it about the “h” that makes it so special?

Coach Charles W. Wantland

Our story begins in the roaring ’20s, in the days of Coach Charles W. Wantland, of Wantland Stadium fame, who served as coach and athletic director at Central from 1912 until 1931. In 1922, Coach Wantland created a letterman’s club for Central athletes, and the club needed a mascot.

Coach Wantland offered honorary membership to the person who came up with the name that fit the best for the club.

A member of the Central community, who we’ll get to later, suggested the name “Bronchos.”

The term “bronco” is first known to have been used in 1850, to describe a wild horse of North America. While today we use the plural spelling “broncos,” the world in 1922 frequently used the spelling “bronchos” – that’s with the “h,” people.

So who suggested we call ourselves the Bronchos?

Why Mrs. Mary Agnes Lindsey Wantland herself! That’s right – the lovely wife of Coach Wantland!

Mary Agnes Lindsey Wantland

Coach Wantland liked his wife’s suggestion so much that he decided to roll with it, appointing the letterman’s club as “The Bronchos.” And he wasn’t the only one. The university president at the time, John G. Mitchell, also was fond of the name and approved it for use as the school’s mascot.

Mary Wantland, having chosen the winning name, earned a membership to the club, and remained the only female member of the letterman’s club for the majority of the university’s history.

Although the spelling has modernized over the years, Central maintained the “h” in its name to embrace the traditional spelling.

The next time you yell “Roll ‘Chos” to cheer on your fellow Bronchos, think of all the history behind one, little “h.” H yeah!

 

Central Is Where The Heart Is

It’s a tale as old as time – older than Old North even. We’re talking about love, people.

With a history dating back to 1890, Central is no stranger to love, but what does modern-day love look like on our campus?

In an effort to discover the different stages of love at UCO, we got to know three Central couples who have weaved the bronze and blue into their “I do.”

 

The Young and the Restless

A man and woman stand in front of Old North.

Let’s start with young love.

Meet Aspen Loard and Logan Conn, two “loveBronchos” who met and fell in love right here on Central’s campus.

“We were both in Greek organizations, and we ended up being paired together for homecoming. One night at an event, we began to talk and hit it off,” Aspen explained.

“I asked her to go on a date later that week, and the rest is history,” Logan added.

That history began in November 2015, and nearly two years later, Logan got down on one knee and popped the question, during the same week that brought them together – UCO Homecoming Week.

“If it weren’t for Central, we would have never met each other. Being on campus and being involved in organizations here, at Central, allowed us to find one another,” the couple said.

“Central meant so much to us that we actually ended up getting engaged in front of Aspen’s favorite building on campus, Old North.”

A woman and a man walk away from the camera, holding hands.

On Valentine’s Day, Aspen and Logan say they focus more on being together than on material things, whether that includes making dinner together or a visit to one of their favorite restaurants (usually involving breakfast food). According to Logan, the secret to a happy and healthy relationship is in the little things.

“My advice to other couples would be that you’re never too big to sacrifice something small for your significant other. Whether you’re skipping a night out with the guys to take her soup when she’s feeling under the weather or being her designated shopping bag carrier at the mall, while you miss Russell Westbrook hitting a game-winning shot, you will be amazed to see how strong your relationship becomes because you chose her over yourself.”

We’re not crying. You’re crying.

 

Something Old, Something New, Something Bronze, Something Blue

A bride and groom pose with Buddy Broncho at their wedding.

With a few more years under their belt, Sarah and Caleb Everett are well on their way to living a forever Central love story.

Buddy Broncho dancing at a wedding.

After meeting during Spring Sing (Caleb was cast as Prince Charming and Sarah was Cinderella), the two dated for more than two years before tying the knot five years ago. And as if their story wasn’t #HoovesUp enough, these two took their wedding to the next level.

That’s right. We’re talking the myth, the man, the legend – Buddy Broncho.

“We met at UCO and Buddy Broncho was in our wedding! We both were very active on campus. Even though we didn’t start dating until senior year, both of us have amazing memories at UCO, and we give the university 100 percent credit to forming the leaders we are today,” Sarah said.

Throughout their time together, they’ve celebrated big milestones and precious life events, and let’s just say, they know how to celebrate right.

“We have a very silly tradition of eating McDonald’s Big Mac meals after every big event of our lives. Getting engaged, getting married, starting new careers and, of course, the most recent one, having a baby!”

We can’t wait to welcome baby Everett on campus for the Class of 2038!

A couple kisses, while holding a baby.

 

Art Full of Love

Two women walk in a parade.

Love at Central isn’t just for students.

Charleen and Barbara Weidell, both faculty members in the UCO College of Fine Arts and Design, have been together for 16 years.

“We met in 1999 when we both started our Master of Fine Arts programs at San Diego State University. Barb was in the ceramics program, and I was in the jewelry/metalsmithing program. We started dating in 2002, just before completing our graduate degrees. It was a graduate school romance,” Charleen said.

The Weidells share a love for art, teaching, studio practice and, of course, Central.

Two women take a photo together.

“UCO has been good to us. We’ve been given the opportunity to grow as individuals, so we’ve carved out our individual career paths while staying at the same college.”

Charleen and Barbara relish their wedding day, October 12, 2013, more than most.

“It’s not only our personal day to celebrate, but this was a time our nation stood up for marriage equality,” Charleen explained.


Love at Central is as diverse as the people who share it and the community of students, faculty and staff that foster it.

Our heart is where Central is.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Bronchos! We love ya!

Reading Rainbow: Spreading Joy Through Literacy

As a college student in America, at any given moment, there is probably at least one book in your backpack, not to mention the countless books on shelves in your home. Now, imagine wanting to read, but not having the resources to do so.

A group of UCO students stands in front of a library in Gulu, Uganda.

The group of Central students stands in front of the library in Gulu, Uganda where they made improvements.

This summer, as part of a study tour, a group of UCO students traveled more than 8,000 miles across the world to serve the Ugandan community and provide maintenance for a new library that had been built at the St. Monica vocational school in Gulu, Uganda. This library was built thanks to the generous support of the UCO community. Last semester, the same group of students hosted a gala and organized a T-shirt fundraiser for St. Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre, with the help of Sister Rosemary, the director of the center, all to assist with literacy efforts in the area. The St. Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre is a safe-haven for young women who have been subjected to horrors such as abduction, torture and more, as well as being forced to injure or kill family members while serving as soldiers in Kony’s army against their will.

With more than $12,000 in raised funds, the students set off to give their time and efforts to the Ugandan community. During their time in Uganda, the students helped sand, prime and paint the new library in St. Monica’s convent. In addition to helping abroad, the UCO students helped foster growth and leadership in students of all ages within the metro community, by engaging the students of Belle Isle Middle School in Oklahoma City. The middle school donated enough books to fill 23 suitcases, which then were taken to Uganda during the UCO trip.

Student body president Stockton Duvall attended the study tour and described the valuable experience.

“I think [the trip] was important, because it taught us, as students, that you can create change as a college student. You don’t have to wait until you’re grown up and settled into a job. Giving your time is one of the most valuable gifts you can present to someone.”

“I would say that on my trip the most important lesson that I learned is that we should strive to not always focus our work around ourselves, but instead be willing to be part of someone else’s story,” Duvall continued. “We each got to play a small part in the story of Sister Rosemary and all the other women at st. Monica’s and help in the best way we possibly could.”

Four women at St. Monica's convent in Uganda stand with student Stockton Duvall.

Stockton Duvall, student body president, stands with women from St. Monica’s in Gulu, Uganda.

For those searching for a way to give back, like this group of UCO students, Duvall gave this advice, “I would suggest trying new things and developing a passion in an area where you can help others. Dedicating your life to helping those around you, whether it be through your job here or overseas, can change your perspective on life for the better. If you have the opportunity to travel abroad, whether it is for a short time or an entire year, take it.”

Serve on, Bronchos!

 

Solar Eclipse of the Heart

retro science illustration of the solar eclipse with starry night background and typography. Web banner, card, poster or t-shirt design. vector illustration.Chances are, if you’ve been on the internet at all within the past week, two weeks or even month, you’ve probably heard about the solar eclipse coming to a sky near you on Monday, August 21. (Hey, isn’t there something else important happening at UCO on that day? Oh yeah! Welcome back, Bronchos!)

What even is a solar eclipse? 

Basically, the moon passes between the sun and Earth, blocking all or part of the sun for up to three hours, from beginning to end. However, for this eclipse, the longest time that the moon will completely block the sun, at any given location, will be for a little less than 3 minutes (2 minutes and 40 seconds, to be exact).

So, what’s the big deal with this solar eclipse anyway? 

Well, we’re glad you asked. The last time the United States saw a total eclipse was in 1979. That’s almost 40 years ago. Think about it. In 1979, the Soviet Union was still a thing, ESPN was born, Michael Jackson dropped his first solo album, gas was 86 cents per gallon and your parents were probably still in elementary school. So, needless to say, a total solar eclipse (that we can actually see) is super rare.

Well then, how can I see it? 

Another great question! We asked Dr. David Stapleton, a professor in Central’s College of Mathematics and Science, to help spill the tea on all of this eclipse stuff.

“We will not be in the path of totality for the eclipse here in Oklahoma. For example, in OKC, only about 84% of the sun will be eclipsed at the peak eclipse time,” Dr. Stapleton said.

That means that we’ll see a little bit of the sun, but most of it will be covered by the moon. However, it’ll still be a pretty cool sight. BUT there are some important safety tips that you should follow.

“Here in Oklahoma, eye damage will occur when looking at the sun all during the eclipse, unless appropriate glasses are worn,” said Dr. Stapleton. “The eclipse may also be viewed indirectly, such as by viewing its image projected through a pinhole in the back of a box or onto the ground.”

So, if you’re strolling along campus on the first day of classes during the eclipse, don’t look up at the sun! WE REPEAT, DON’T LOOK UP AT THE SUN (unless you’re prepared).

But, I WANT to see the eclipse, how do I get prepared? 

Unfortunately, at this point, the majority of solar glasses are sold out. However, a little bird (Dr. Stapleton) told us that there might be solar glasses available at Westlake Ace Hardware, near the registers. There are A LOT of solar glasses being sold online that ARE NOT safe to look through during the eclipse. However, here’s a list from NASA (they kinda know about suns and moons and things) about where you can safely buy solar glasses (if they’re still available).

If they’re not available, don’t worry! With the help of some good, old-fashioned arts and crafts, you can still view the eclipse. Try making your own eclipse viewfinder for your camera, or you can make one out of a box. You can also try pinhole projection.

Whatever way you’re going to view it, make sure it’s the safe way (so you don’t go blind). Check out these tips from NASA on how to safely view the eclipse.

Want more information?

Visit the official Total Solar Eclipse 2017 website. And make sure to watch this cool video from NPR:

The Future of Food Science – The Bee’s Knees?

When you think of food science, you’re likely to picture an upscale restaurant serving a gastronomical feat – such as a balloon made of sugar – or the creation of a hybrid fruit. However, an assistant professor in Central’s Department of Human Environmental Sciences, Dr. Kanika Bhargava (Ph.D.), suggests that insects may be in food science’s future.

Insects? Like bugs?

You heard right.

“Insects as a food ingredient are gaining interest,” Dr. Bhargava said. That’s why Central’s Nutrition and Food Science Program, along with the Oklahoma section of the Institute of Food Technologists, hosted a lecture featuring Aaron T. Dossey, Ph.D., during UCO’s Food Science Symposium.

The lecture, a part of the Spring 2017 symposium, focused on the chemical and biological diversity of invertebrates (animals without backbones) to develop sustainable technologies and products in the areas of agriculture, food and medicine.

The symposium also featured the Cricket Powder Fortified Baked Good Tasting Event, which challenged UCO food and nutrition majors to bake muffins, brownies, cereal bars and sourdough bread with 15 to 20 percent cricket powder.

You read that correctly. Cricket powder – as in, powder made of crickets.

Dossey is editor of the new book “Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients” and the founder of All Things Bugs, a company that develops sustainable eco-friendly technologies from insects to improve food security and health. Dossey earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Oklahoma State University and a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Florida. He is collaborating with Central’s Dr. Bhargava to apply advanced processing and evaluation technologies to insect-based food ingredients.

This type of technology is gaining traction, as symposium guests included Oklahoma food industry professionals from SONIC, Clements Foods Company, AdvancePierre Foods, BlendTech, McDonald’s Corporation, Shawnee Milling Company and OSU.

The symposium is part of Central’s Nutrition and Food Science graduate program, which strives to connect its students with internationally recognized faculty of registered dieticians and certified food scientists.

Who knew the future of food could be so buggy?

A Letter to Central’s Recent Graduates

As UCO grads settle into life post-graduation, Nathan Box, a Central alumnus (Broadcast Communications, ’07) penned a letter* to these new alumni on his own blog, offering sage advice for the future:

According to social media, another 1,000+ graduates turned their tassels at the University of Central Oklahoma. 10 years ago, I sat where they sat. As I listened to the names of my fellow graduates being read and watched as each accepted their degree, my mind was elsewhere. As soon as I walked off that basketball court, everything would be different. What was expected of me would change. My contributions would need to change. Responsibilities would shift fully in my direction. This life would become fully mine for the taking. The direction I had to choose was mine and mine alone. Happiness, success, contentment, and joy would be up to me. It all felt overwhelming. It was enough to make me want to get up walk out and pretend it never happened. Unfortunately, that simple act wouldn’t change facts. Turning my tassel and walking away from UCO would change everything. 

As many of my fellow graduates can attest, life came fast and it was nothing like what I expected. Your university experience and the experience shared by college students all around the country is really good at cementing confidence within you. The world is really good at putting you in your place. For some, jobs will come easily. For others, the road may be tiresome and disappointing. You may discover your degree prepared you perfectly or you want nothing to do with your chosen field. A few of you will find your dream job straight out of college. Most of you will spend your remaining years searching for something that may never come. It is my simple hope that our choice of institution prepared us for the paradoxes of life. I know it did for me. 

10 years later, I am not where I thought I would be. Perhaps, I suffered from delusions of grandeur. Maybe, I haven’t planned adequately. Maybe, I have missed opportunities. Or, maybe I am right where I am supposed to be. Only the test of time can judge such things. I, like many of you who graduated, live a life filled with fear of unmet potential. I don’t want my life to be wasted or lived in vain. I am of the belief that I only get one shot at this thing, therefore I should make the most of it. I know wholeheartedly that my education prepared me to squash my fear. In my mind, that preparation was worth the price of admission. If UCO is worth anything, you will be saying the same thing 10 years from now. 

Be good to each other, 

-Nathan 

* This letter was edited for minor grammatical errors. View the original post by Nathan.

#FlockGoals: The UCO Geese Story

UCO’s resident geese are no strangers to the spotlight. They’ve been entertaining students for years, first on campus, and now on Twitter, as @UCOGeese.

The UCO Geese Twitter account is an extremely popular student-run account, with more than 800 followers. Inside Central got an exclusive interview with the anonymous student who runs the @UCOGeese account, and he/she wants to inform students that the geese are royalty and demand to be treated as such.

This is their story.

The word on the street is that they come from a very prestigious Canadian goose family. According to our anonymous source, the UCO geese are “of a higher deity than anyone else around them,” which means that we have some seriously special geese waddling around. Sources tell us that their favorite place to hang out on campus is on top of tall buildings, so they can maintain the higher ground and establish dominance over the students – because, after all, they are better than everyone else.

It has been said that the geese establish their high-glam nests on Central’s campus, because it’s a great place to raise their royal goslings. The first order of business when they arrived on campus was to take over Broncho Lake, another flock favorite, and they’ve been slowly expanding ever since.

Did you know that every female goose can lay between 2-9 eggs? This means that we could be expecting upwards of 30 royal goslings this spring! We know that students love to interact with the geese, but @UCOGeese has warned us to please proceed with caution and give them space. They will be protecting their nests at all costs, even if it means nibbling on someone’s toe.

Though not a surprise, our source says that the UCO geese love to be fed, but they mentioned that they are on a strict no-bread diet. To stay on their good side, feed them cooked rice, birdseed or halved grapes. Please do not feed the geese bread, because it makes them sick and goes straight to their hips. They are really trying to maintain their goosley figures.

@UCOGeese says that the geese are all for making friends, as long as students are aware that they are always going to be better than them. They will be kind to those who are kind to them, unless they just feel like trolling people that day – then, you’re out of luck.

At the end of our chat, we asked about the gaggle’s goals and aspirations; we were told that their ultimate goal is to eventually take over the world. So, respect the geese, because let’s be honest. They’re definitely #SquadGoals.

UCO Students Dance Their Way to a Better World

University of Central Oklahoma students are brushing up on all of the latest moves for participation in BronchoThon, an 8-hour dance marathon dedicated to the many children who are assisted by Children’s Miracle Network. BronchoThon is UCO’s version of popular dance marathons done by universities throughout the nation. BronchoThon is new to UCO this semester, taking the place of Spring Sing, and will generate awareness and financial support for the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Foundation, an affiliate of the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. BronchoThon will include musical entertainment, student-led activities, refreshments and, of course, dancing. At the end, everyone will celebrate the total amount of money raised.

“BronchoThon is a philanthropy composed of college students who want to make a difference and fight for the next generation. We believe that every kid should have the opportunity to dance, fight, and live. BronchoThon is how we act out on that belief.”

UCO students can sign up for BronchoThon either as an individual dancer or with an organization. The registration cost is $25 per dancer. Throughout the spring semester, students will attend benefit nights, complete tasks and fundraise to earn points. These points are called Miracle Points, and the organization that has the most Miracle Points by the night of BronchoThon will receive an award called the Miracle Cup. There is also a Miracle Cup for the individual who earns the most Miracle Points. In addition, there will be an organization that is the overall winner of BronchoThon, considered the “Overall Miracle Cup Champion.” The Miracle Cup is a great incentive, evoking healthy competition that will encourage students to raise more money for the cause.

Ride on, Bronchos

After a successful fall semester, Central’s Safe Ride program, a partnership between UCO and Uber, lives on.

For the Spring 2017 semester, students can request free rides up to $15 on the Uber app, from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from January until May. Students can take six trips, within the Edmond and surrounding areas, during the semester.

Are you new to Uber? No problem! Just download the Uber app and create an account profile using your @uco.edu email address. You can then enter the code UCOSPRING17 into the Promotions section of the app.

Already using Uber? You’re all set! Update your profile with your @uco.edu email address, if you haven’t done so already, and enter the code UCOSPRING17. If you participated in the program last semester, just enter the code and Uber away!

Taking Paws to De-Stress

College can be stressful. It’s a well-known fact that between classes, extra-curricular activities, social events and jobs, college students can experience high levels of stress.

In order to help students de-stress, Central’s Center for Counseling and Well-Being hosts a weekly event “Stress Paws” with three H.A.L.O.-certified therapy dogs each Thursday from 3-5 p.m. on the fourth floor of Nigh University Center.

Human Animal Link of Oklahoma (H.A.L.O.) was founded on the belief that dogs and humans can form wonderful and mutually-beneficial relationships. H.A.L.O. is a nonprofit organization that provides animal-assisted therapy to patients, residents and students.

“We are a Central family. My husband and I met at UCO when we were 18, and our kids were Bronchos as well,” said H.A.L.O.’s Executive Director Terri Smith.

“We love being able to partner with our Alma Mater and share our therapy dogs with its students!”