Alumni Spotlight

UCO Alumna Opens Clothing Boutique

UCO alumna Haley Frix recently opened her own clothing boutique, Broadway Market, in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Frix graduated from UCO in 2016 with a degree in organizational communications. “My goal for the store is for it to bring not just clothes, but a community for the women in this area, that we will help women feel good about themselves, and that we are able to celebrate each other,” Frix said.

 

Shaping the Future of Arts

PHOTO BY CATHERINE FIEHN PHOTOGRAPHY

After graduating from Central in 2014, with a degree in vocal performance, Central alumna Christine Couron has led an exciting performance career – performing for an opera company in Italy, singing at Opera America in Manhattan and training at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, just to name a few. All of which has allowed her to work with Hollywood legends such as Jodi Benson, Tommy Tune, Whoopi Goldberg, Carol Burnett and Francis Patrelle.

Last year, Couron took the stage in a different genre – earning the title of Ms. U.S. of America 2020-21, with a platform focused on victims of domestic violence and women’s and children’s shelters. “Christine is an exceptional musical theatre artist, who seized her potential here at UCO,” said Greg White, Ph.D., director of musical theatre at Central.

“She went on to flourish in a variety of areas of the performing arts. I am very proud of her, and can’t wait to see where she goes from here. She’s a true Renaissance woman!”

Now, Couron is taking what she has learned as a performer and is redirecting her passion by taking on a new role as the head choir director at Nederland High School in Texas, with the hopes of shaping the future of the performing arts. She plans to use her experience as a performer to shape the future of each student and provide them equal opportunity to shine in her program. Couron’s goal is to make every one of her students feel important, understand their worth and believe that they can truly achieve any dream they desire.

Bringing Love to the Big Screen

Allex Tarr, a 2013 public relations graduate, recently returned to Oklahoma to make her directorial debut. Tarr, an independent filmmaker, is bringing her grandparent’s love story to life. It’s a story she has wanted to share her whole life.

“It’s been living as a very cool thing that happened inside my head that my grandparents would always tell me about, and I just wanted other people to see their amazing story,” Tarr said.

In 1950, Tarr’s grandparents, Dolores and Johnny, were teenagers when they decided to elope and get married after seeing a late-night movie at the Ritz Theater in downtown Shawnee, Oklahoma.

“The whole thing was my grandma’s idea. So, she proposed to him,” Tarr said. “So, they got the heck out of Dodge, got married, and they were together 55 years until they both passed away.”

Now, Tarr is recreating their love story in the same downtown theater for a short film called “The Ritz.” Tarr wrote the script and is directing the movie with some help from Hollywood, but most of the cast and crew are from Oklahoma.

“I wouldn’t be making this film today if it weren’t for UCO. I learned so much about what it takes to be a reliable, empathetic, decisive leader during my years in the President’s Leadership Council,” Tarr said.

“Learning those skills was invaluable and they really come in handy today when I direct films. My first time ever directing was during Greek Week’s Spring Sing in 2011, and that experience showed me that I wanted nothing more than to be in a creative career field, specifically as a director. Ten years later, I live in Hollywood and direct full time. It took a while, but I feel lucky that I made that dream a reality and now get to come back to Oklahoma and show off our beautiful state on film.”