Author: Dana Jackson-Hardwick

Congrats to Ainsley Martinez for selection as a Finalist for the 2023 Truman Scholars Program

The Office of High-Impact Practices (OHIP) is pleased to announce UCO student Ainsley Martinez has been selected as a Finalist for the 2023 Truman Scholars. Ms. Martinez is a Journalism major from Edmond, Oklahoma, and plans to pursue a degree in Journalism from Columbia University.

Truman Scholars demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, a commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit sector, and academic excellence. Each Truman Scholar receives funding for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government.

Established by Congress in 1975 as the living memorial to President Harry S. Truman and national monument to public service, the Truman Scholarship carries the legacy of our 33rd President by supporting and inspiring the next generation of public service leaders. When approached by a bipartisan group of admirers near the end of his life, President Truman embodied this commitment to the future of public service by asking Congress to create a living memorial devoted to this purpose, rather than a traditional brick-and-mortar monument. For almost a half-century, the Truman Foundation has fulfilled that mission: inspiring and supporting Americans from diverse backgrounds to public service. Award decisions for the Truman Scholars are made in April. 

“Ms. Martinez has established herself as a change agent on our campus,” said Dr. Michael Springer, Director, Office of High-Impact Practices. “She discovered her passion for journalism and law at an early age, and has found a way to use those passions to serve underrepresented communities in Oklahoma. I am pleased that the Truman Foundation recognizes this remarkable member of our UCO community.”

The Truman Scholars program is administered at UCO through the Office of High-Impact Practices. Visit the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation website to learn more or contact Dr. Michael Springer (, Director, Office of High-Impact Practices.

Congrats to UCO alumna Elizabeth Dahl for selection as a semi-finalist for the Fulbright Program

The Office of High-Impact Practices (OHIP) is pleased to announce UCO alumna Elizabeth Dahl (BA History-Museum Studies, 2016; MA History, 2018) has been selected as a Semi-Finalist for a Fulbright Research/Study Grant, advancing to the final round of selection for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the 2023-2024 academic year.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from over 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments, host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

I am so pleased for Elizabeth, and wish her the best of luck in the final selection process,” said Dr. Michael Springer, Director, Office of High-Impact Practices. “Fulbright awards are a great opportunity for UCO students, who engage with Global Competencies as a part of the university’s six tenets of Transformative Learning. Our students are encouraged to engage with global perspectives and to develop tools to adapt to a continuously changing global society.”

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered at UCO through the Office of High-Impact Practices. Visit the Fulbright U.S. Student Program site to learn more or contact Dr. Michael Springer (, Director, Office of High-Impact Practices.

Think an RCSA Grant Isn’t for You? Check out these projects!

Have you heard of the Research, Creative, and Scholarly Activities (RCSA) Grant program? 

This grant program is open to students majoring in any discipline or field. This program offers monetary awards on a competitive basis to support student-focused transformative learning. Students who are selected will receive an award of up to $500/year to support research, creative, or scholarly activities plus a paid research assistant position, and a partial tuition fee waiver.

Anyone can do research, open to all majors, all disciplines, undergrads and graduate students. Take the skills you have learned in the classroom and create a project or work on an idea you might have.

Interested in examples? Check out our RCSA Grant Recipients for the 2022-2023 academic year below.

22-23 STUDENT RCSA GRANT Recipients 

Proposals for the 2023-2024 RCSA Grant are due February 22, 2023.

New Resource – Faculty Mentor Resources

The Office of High-Impact Practices values and sincerely appreciates our faculty mentors. In an effort to help you with mentoring at UCO, we have created a guide on our website for faculty mentors to help if you are a new or experienced mentor. Check out the guide and learn more: Faculty Mentor Resources.

The new guide includes sources on recruiting students, best practices, and information to help with UCO info.

Let us know if there is anything you would like to see added.

Undergraduate Research Week is Here! Sept 19 – 23.

Poster promoting undergraduate research weekAfter a long wait, with many life changing events, we are ready for our Second Undergraduate Research Week September 19 – 23, 2022!  All week you will learn about the research, creative, and scholarly activities happening across campus and how you can get involved. You will also learn about the available funding and presentation opportunities for 2022-2023.

Research is not just limited to STEM majors, but open to all disciplines and majors. It is what you study in your fields. Whether you are creating art or poetry, analyzing marketing data, developing new educational practices, or discussing gender equality and historical figures, you are doing research.  AND there are so many benefits to engaging in research, creative, and scholarly activities, including[i]:

  • Building self-confidence;
  • Developing critical thinking and leadership skills;
  • Increased persistence; and
  • Opening career and graduate school pathways.

Research may not be easy, but anything worth doing is never easy, and research is worth it. Come join OHIP for the Second Undergraduate Research Week September 19 – 23, 2022!

Apply Now for the Jones Harris Endowed Public Service Scholarship, Due June 1

Are you interested in pursuing a job in public service and have a desire to change the world? Do you have strong leadership skills and are committed to enrolling in graduate or professional school?

Apply for the Jones Harris Scholarship! This scholarship supports a sophomore or junior student at UCO who plans to apply for the national Truman Scholars program, a national award that funds graduate studies for students planning on a career in public service.

This is a highly competitive scholarship with the winner receiving up to a one-year, $10,000 award. The scholarship recipient will be required to prepare an application for the Truman Scholars program, which will be due in February 2023.


  1. Full-time sophomore-level standing during the time of application and a strong commitment to attending a graduate or professional school after graduation (juniors may apply if they are 18 months from graduation).
  2. Preference given to a political science major, but the priority is a student pursuing a career in public service, which is broadly defined as government, education, the nonprofit sector or public interest/advocacy.
  3. Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  4. Candidate should have evidence of high academic performance and a strong leadership potential.
  5. Applicant should be active in high school and college activities in the school and in the community.
  6. Experience in internships and/or part-time jobs is preferred.
  7. Intent to apply for a Truman Scholarship during the junior year.
  8. Students currently completing their associate’s degree at a community college are eligible to apply during their sophomore year but must be a UCO student to receive any funds during the junior year.
  9. Candidate is required to take a one hour course in the fall in preparation for the Truman Scholarship application.

Additional finalists will also be selected from this application process to join a one hour class during the fall semester of the junior year to begin preparation for the Truman Scholarship Application and other national awards.

Apply online via:

For more information email Michael Springer, Ph.D., director of the Office of High-Impact Practices.

What is Research?

Being around campus, talking in classes, and seeing Centralities everyday in your email, you probably have noticed the strong culture of undergraduate research at UCO. This may be from research posters you see in the classroom, the Liberal Arts or the Math and Science Tri-Center Symposia, NCUR 2022, and more.

But what exactly is research?

Meet the Researcher – Grace Wray

By Oluwapelumi Osunrayi and Sydney Woodward

On April 21, The Council on Undergraduate Research is having their first Virtual Posters on the Hill Showcase for undergraduate researchers. Researchers from across the country will come together online to share their researchPosters on the Hill is an annual event that is an important for the advocacy of undergraduate research funding at a federal level. If you want to participate in the virtual showcase on April 21, visit Twitter and follow CUR at @CURinAction and search #POH2020 and #POHgoesVirtual 

Meet the Researchers – Veronica Fuxa and Vincent Pinion

Meet UCO students Veronica Fuxa, Senior English Education Major, and Vincent Pinion, Senior Master’s Student in Experimental Psychology. Their faculty mentor is Dr. Anastasia Wickham. Veronica got involved in her research through preparing to student-teach. She noticed how some teachers reacted towards technology usage such as Google Classroom and Chromebooks. “In my education courses, we learn about different technologies, but we are never sure which ones are effective in the classroom since we did not have any experience. I wanted to analyze teachers’ reactions towards ‘essential technologies’ and use quantitative analysis to determine different groups’ attitudes towards classroom technology.”