Month: September 2020 – Page 2

Funeral Service Department Welcomes New Professor, Timothy Dwyer

Timothy Dwyer

Timothy Dwyer working in the field as a death investigator for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The Funeral Service Department is excited to introduce one of our new faculty members, Timothy Dwyer. Timothy is a graduate of the Department of Funeral Service and also has earned a Master’s degree from the W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute. He has served as a death investigator at the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for almost twenty years. This fall, he will be instructing Pathology, Embalming and Funeral Home Administration in the Funeral Service Department as well as a Medico-legal course for the Forensic Science Institute. Welcome aboard Timothy!

Dr. Adnan Al-Ibadi, Ms. Maria Bostwick, and Dr. Sezin Kadioglu Shift to Continuing Positions

While Dr. Adnan Al-Ibadi, Ms. Maria Bostwick, and Dr. Sezin Kadioglu have taught for the Engineering and Physics department for several years, each held temporary positions that were funded on a year-to-year basis. This fall, the College of Mathematics and Science was able to shift them into permanently funded positions making it much easier to plan and implement our class schedules from one semester to the next. Each faculty member will continue to contribute to the growth and development of the program in the areas they have occupied since coming to the University of Central Oklahoma, as well as supporting the department’s service courses.

Dr. Al-Ibadi earned a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 2014. Since UCO does not offer a petroleum degree, he has been providing support for our Mechanical Engineering program. He was particularly helpful when Dr. Morshed Khandaker went on sabbatical last year. His greatest impact, however, has been in providing support for the ME instructional labs. This fall, he took on the role of Director of Mechanical Engineering Laboratories.

Ms. Bostwick holds her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and two Master of Science degrees, one in Software Engineering and the other in Electronics and Information System Engineering. With this expertise, she will continue in her role as the primary instructor in our Engineering Computing course and will help guide and develop the curriculum in conjunction with our other computational faculty.

Dr. Kadioglu holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and works with the college’s Professional Science Master’s program. In the department, her background supports both our Computational Methods in Engineering course and several upper-level Mechanical Engineering courses. This fall, she will take on the responsibilities of Director of Mechanical Engineering Advisement, which will help with ME course transfers.

ABET Accreditation

Normally, we use this space to provide information regarding one of our students or alumni. Instead, this semester we wanted to share some good news about the ABET accreditation of our engineering programs, which took place this past year. Our department had four programs up for accreditation:

BS in Mechanical Engineering (ME)
BS in Electrical Engineering (EE)
BS in Biomedical Engineering (BME)
BS in Engineering Physics (EP)

The ABET review cycle is 6-years. The EP and BME programs were last reviewed and accredited in 2013-14, and they came up for review again in the 2019-20 cycle, along with our new ME and EE degrees. About two weeks ago, we received notice that all of our programs were accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) with no deficiencies, weaknesses, or concerns. We had to resolve a few issues that popped up during the site visit last fall.  We would like to extend a grateful thank you to the many alumni and Industrial Advisory Board members who pitched in to help.

As a faculty, we believe that one of the strengths of our program is the interdisciplinary interaction on projects up to and including senior design. One of the issues that came up in the ABET review involved making sure that interdisciplinary senior design projects had an appropriate amount of content for each of the engineering disciplines represented in the project. Our solution was to add additional content advisors on these projects. For example, if a project requires two EE students and one ME student, and the primary advisor is an EE faculty member, then an additional ME content advisor will now be assigned to make sure that there is suitable content for the ME student. The ME content advisor will also assess the ME student’s contributions to the project.

Mathematics & Statistics Student Spotlight: Leif Nevener

Leif NevenerLeif Nevener is working on a second Bachelor’s degree, double majoring in Software Engineering and Data Science at the University of Central Oklahoma. Data Science is a new undergraduate degree program at UCO that is co-sponsored by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Computer Science. Leif is a member of the inaugural class of Data Science majors. For the past year, Leif has been working with Dr. Tracy Morris and a team of other students in Project SCHOLAR. SCHOLAR students complete statistical consulting projects for clients from both on and off-campus. Leif’s team worked on a project submitted by Deion Christophe who is a Firearms and Toolmark Examiner with the Plano Police Department. Mr. Christophe submitted data concerning casework completed by his department from 2017 to 2019. The students cleaned and summarized the data, searching for trends over time with respect to the number of cases and time to complete casework by submitting agency and case type. The students have also begun creating a Shiny app that the Plano PD can use to track and explore casework. The students presented their work in March at Oklahoma Research Day and were accepted to present at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research. Simultaneously, Leif was working on a research project with Dr. Jicheng Fu from the Department of Computer Science. Pictured above is Leif presenting his research at Oklahoma Research Day. Currently, Leif is working as a Computer Science Intern at Tinker Air Force Base and is on track to graduate in May of 2021.

Nursing Student Spotlight: Emily Riley Holmes

Emily HolmesEmily graduates in December of 2020 with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. During her years in the nursing program she has been involved in the Student Nurses Association by being a part of the philanthropy team, as president elect, and now serving as president of the organization. After four years of involvement along with serving in various officer positions, Emily is now an alumna of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority.
She currently is working at Integris Baptist on the mother/baby unit as a nurse tech and hopes to work there after graduation as a nurse.

Kathy Smith, Nursing Faculty Member, Earns DNP

Kathy SmithDr. Kathy Smith completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in August of 2019. She is currently in her eighth year as faculty in the Nursing Department at the University of Central Oklahoma and serves as an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Fast Track in Nursing. Having graduated from UCO in 2006 with her nursing degree, Dr. Smith enjoys empowering students to become nurses. She worked in Cardiac Intensive Care as an RN prior to teaching. She serves as a faculty advisor and financial advisor for the Student Nurses Association at UCO. Dr. Smith is a consultant for the Oklahoma Nursing Student Association and President for the Beta Delta at-Large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Her areas of interest are Diabetes and empowerment, vulnerable populations, leadership, mental health, transformative learning, and faculty learning communities. She has served as a member of the Embodied Brain Learning Community for the past several years. Dr. Smith has received many awards and recognitions including March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Nominee and Finalist in the Education Category, presentation of DNP Project to the President and Vice President of Academic Affairs of Graceland University, Most Distinguished Teacher-Scholar, Teacher-Scholar, and Distinguished Teacher-Scholar. Dr. Smith and a colleague received the 2017 Masonic Endowment for Transformative Learning Award.