Get-To-Know a Broncho

Sheridan Leake, J.D., Chief Investigator of Equal Opportunity

What is your background? 

My background is in law. I graduated from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 2018. Since then, I have worked in higher education for 5 years. Prior to going to law school, I attended courses here at UCO for Administration and Management for Criminal Justice. My bachelor’s degree is also from Oklahoma City University where I earned my degree in Justice Studies-Criminology and a minor in Spanish.

Tell me how you first got involved at UCO.  

I first got involved at UCO in 2020 by working for legal in the athletic department as a Compliance Administrator. Quickly after starting, I moved into the role of Director of Athletic Compliance for 2 years and then came to the Title IX Office in May 2022. I have worked as a Deputy Title IX Coordinator for the duration of my time here at UCO.

What would you say your strongest beliefs are about your contributions to the university? 

My strongest belief for my contribution to UCO is the work I do Title IX. I am very passionate about educating our campus on what Title IX is and how we can actively engage in healthy conversations and relationships with one another. Our cases are a vital part of what happens on this campus and I do not take that responsibility lightly. I enjoy investigating cases for our campus and ensuring that everyone involved receives fair and equitable treatment.

What do you do when you are not working? 

When I am not working, I love to spend time with my son George. He is the light of my life and I enjoy spending time with him. He is at such a fun age, and it makes it such a special time for my husband and I to share together with him.

Administrative Support Professionals Academy – Register Now

Mary Howard, M.B.A., Director, Educators’ Leadership Academy (ELA)

Building your brand through inclusion and strengths

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Nigh University Center

This one-day academy, will provide participants tools needed to:

  1. Understand their own personal strengths;
  2. Build self-assurance in expressing their internalized values; and,
  3. Construct a confident personal brand that will represent one’s personal and professional expertise.

Presenter Daniel Suda will guide participants through an interactive and dynamic workshop filled with immediately applicable takeaways for building one’s brand.

Visit for full Academy details and to register. Registration includes parking at the Nigh University Center, continental breakfast, lunch, refreshments and an access code to take the CliftonStrengths Assessment for $350.

Educator’s Leadership Academy – Year-Long Professional Development Opportunities

Mary Howard, M.B.A., Director, Educators’ Leadership Academy (ELA)

Network. Explore. Strategize. Wisdom. – The ELA Compass offers new direction and perspective through professional and leadership development. ELA customizes each academy for the specialized needs of education professionals. Here are the following professional development programs for 2023-24:

Transformative Leadership Academy

6 Sessions: August 31, 2023 – March 21, 2024

  • Leadership Skills
    • Navigating Cultural Differences
    • Legal & Issues and Government Relations in Education
    • Leadership Excellence & Well-Being
    • Effective Conflict Engagement for Education Leaders

Early-bird Registration Fee: $1,999, includes meals, lodging, and instructional materials for each session, ends April 30, 2023.

Regular Registration Fee: $2,499, includes meals, lodging and instructional materials for each session, May 1-Aug. 1, 202

Higher Education Department Chair Academy

5 Sessions: May 23 – November 3, 2023

  • Nuts & Bolts of Chairing
    • The Role of the Department Chair
    • Department Management
    • Curriculum
    • Strategic Planning
    • Employee Transitions

Early-bird Registration Fee: $2,499, includes meals, lodging and instructional materials for each session, ends March 17, 2023.
Regular Registration Fee: $3,000 includes meals, lodging and instructional materials, March 18 – May 1, 2023.

Academic Leadership Fellows

10 Sessions: July 21, 2023 – April 26, 2024

  • Big Picture of Higher Education
    • Mission and Institutional Culture
    • New Programs and Continuous Improvement
    • Institutional Effectiveness
    • Strategic Planning and Budgeting
    • Accountability
    • White Paper for Institutional Improvement
    • Breakfasts with Provost Simmons & Presentation to President’s Cabinet

Early-bird Registration Fee: $2,499, includes meals, lodging and instructional materials for each session, ends April 30, 2023.

Regular Registration Fee: $3,000, includes meals, lodging and instructional materials for each session, May 1-July 1, 2023.

National Nutrition Month


Celebrate National Nutrition Month with better digestive health! Claim your fully-covered benefit, GIThrive, for unlimited access to a Registered Dietitian and Health Coach. Your dedicated Care Team will work with you to create a personalized meal plan, provide gut-friendly recipes, and help you meet your health goals. Maintaining a balanced diet and fitness routine has never been this easy!

Get GIThrive today – it’s free for you and your dependents (18+) enrolled in a UCO medical plan. Unlock your access to personalized meal plans, expert articles and on-demand courses, and a free GutCheck microbiome kit ($150 value).

This National Nutrition Month, celebrate by joining GIThrive and taking control of your digestive health!

Start Today!

Voya Financials 5 Tips for March:


  1. Know your limits! Retirement plan contribution limits change each year. For 2023, they are $22,500 for those under age 50 and $30,000 for those over age 50.
  2. Financial margin sets you up for success. Margin is the difference between what you consistently spend each month and what you earn. Do you have dollars left after paying your bills? If not, it’s time to look hard at what you can change so you do!
  3. You are not alone on your financial wellness journey. Ask your Voya team for help. You can find them at 405-568-2889 or schedule at
  4. Don’t understand investing? Here are a few quick definitions. There are 3 investment asset classes. Cash (is cash!), Stock (is ownership in a company), Bond (is lending to a company to get interest). Now you know more than you knew before!
  5. An emergency fund is the FIRST priority for any successful financial path. What is it? Just savings you can access in case of an emergency. Experts recommend 3-6 months of expenses be kept in cash savings.

For extra help, our Voya team can help. You can reach them at 405-568-2889 or schedule at

Deer Oaks EAP Monthly Newsletter

All UCO faculty and staff have access to the EAP through Deer Oaks. The EAP provides free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, prevention and education services for you, dependents living at home or elsewhere and anyone who lives in your household. View the monthly newsletter on the Hub.

February New Employees

Meet our newest employees.
Naia Sanders
Information Technology
John Stout
Information Technology
Micah Brewer
Information Technology
Steve Cade
IT-Service Management Coordinator
Information Technology
Wendy O’Brien
Administrative Asst lll
Academic Affairs
Sydnee Brady
Event Coordinator
Kristen Stewart
VetHERO Center Site Sup.
Enrollment & Student Success
Joel Rogalsky
Grad Admissions Spec
Academic Affairs
Chandler Short
Asst Athletic Director
Jera Winters
Grants Writer ll
Academic Affairs
Patrick Briningstool
Asst Coach Quarterbacks
Gabriel Curtiss
Program Analyst l (Temp)
Information Technology

Not Pictured:

Scottie Marchessault

Temp PT Technical

Enrollment & Student Success

March Birthdays

March Years of Service

The Broncho Beat – February 2023 Issue

Feature Story: Black History Is American History!

Dr. Fred Hammond, III, Department of Educational Sciences, Foundations & Research

Black History Month is a joyous celebration entangled by a rich History of triumph through hardship, achievement in the face of adversity and pride, on the backs of an unwavering ancestry led by kings & queens. One thing I have come to realize and passionately believe, there is no history without Black History. From the beginning of the establishment of the colonies to the great country in which we live today, significant advancements have consistently been contributed, recognized or not, by the African American experience. If we do not know where we have been, we have no idea where we are headed and if we as Americans do not learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them.

Anthony Johnson arrived on the English ship, White Lion, in 1619. He became a successful headright settler and claimed 250 acres. Anthony prospered and bought more land, livestock, and owned slaves. One of his slaves, John Casor, sued Johnson to gain his freedom, but Johnson won the court case on March 8, 1655, to keep Casor as his slave. This case was the first legal sanction of slavery in the colonies. More than 12 million Africans were captured and sent to the Caribbean and the American colonies from the Slave Coast of Africa. Slaves were brought to the colonies with the Triangular Slave Trade from 1660 to 1808.

Black people arrived in Oklahoma long before the prospect of statehood. The first to settle in the area were enslaved by Native American tribes in the Deep South, and they made the journey in the 1830s as hunters, nurses and cooks during the brutal forced exodus known as the Trail of Tears.

Tullahassee is one of more than fifty All-Black towns of Oklahoma and one of thirteen still existing. The roots of the community were planted in 1850 when the Creek Nation opened a school.

The 1889 Land Run primarily attracted white settlers, and none of the few African Americans that took part settled directly inside the city limits of Edmond. The Gower and Estes families both homesteaded 160 acres near Edmond in 1889. Both families settled in areas that would eventually become part of Edmond, but no African Americans settled inside the immediate city limits of Edmond until 1891, where the population slowly began to grow.

UCO was founded in 1890 as the Territorial Normal School. 1904 – Territorial Normal became Central State Normal School. Statehood was still three years away. 1939 – The state legislature passed a law renaming the institution. The new Central State College was authorized to grant degrees without teaching certificates. May 18, 1990 – During the Edmond university’s Centennial Year, legislation was passed changing the name to the University of Central Oklahoma.

Notable African American Achievements in American Education.

When asked, what does Black History Month mean to me, it is my humble belief that this month is a time for reflection, in honoring those who made it possible for me to continue the “good fight.” As one of only four African American professors in my college; out of 120, and the only African American in my department, it is a time of rededication to the mission of advancement of unquestionable equality, of people of color. It is a reminder that no matter how far we have come, we have that much further to go in the struggle of equality. Mediocrity, apathy and complacency can no longer be acceptable. The journey has not yet been fulfilled. The discussions, and actions of African Americans must be purposeful and driven by the unyielding labor of our ancestors, not just in February, but all year long, in every field of human endeavor!

Get-To-Know a Broncho

Carl Dement, Ph.D., lecturer, Criminal Justice

What is your background? 

I was born and raised in Southeast Missouri and received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri (UCM) in criminal justice through an ROTC scholarship. After graduation, I served on active duty as a platoon leader with the Army’s First Cavalry Division for four years in the Military Police Corps. While at Ft. Hood, TX I completed my master’s degree in criminal justice at the University of Central Texas. After leaving active duty, I spent 18 years as an operations and training manager with various companies across the country. I have lived in Texas, Georgia, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana and now in Oklahoma. I graduated from OSU with a Ph.D. in Emergency Management in May 2022.

Tell me how you first got involved at UCO.  

I wanted to return to academia after working in the private sector. The School of Criminal Justice needed a full-time lecturer and I joined the team in 2016.

What would you say your strongest beliefs are about your contributions to the university? 

In addition to guiding students through the learning process, I believe building lasting relationships is my greatest contribution. I teach courses at all undergrad levels so frequently have the same students in multiple courses. This allows us to get to know each other better. I enjoy hearing about their lives after they leave UCO.

What do you do when you are not working? 

I have a little Hobie catamaran I enjoy sailing on Arcadia Lake.