Story & Photo by Tanner Pipins
It is finally that time of the year again. Time for many to put an end to binging the third season of ‘Stranger Things’ and finally taking that shower you have been putting off for the last week. That’s right, the beginning of the fall semester is upon us. Welcome back, Raiders.
For some, getting enrolled in the next semester is not as easy as it is for others, which is why Rose State has been hosting ‘Summer Nights’ sessions on campus. Throughout the month of July, Summer Nights has assisted approximately 40 students on a guided tour of Rose’s campus. July consisted of nine evenings that would allow prospective students to explore the campus from 6-9 p.m., as well as answer any questions the students may have.
By scheduling an appointment, academic advisers were also there to help students apply or even enroll in classes once they have been admitted. Summer Nights advised 10 new students to enroll in classes this fall.
Summer Nights was created with the hopes of making the enrollment process easier and more accessible. Paige Stramski, a Recruiter at Rose State, said they wanted to create an opportunity for students to be able to visit campus, apply, get information and even enroll.
“Normal office hours don’t always work for every potential student,” Stramski said. “[We] look forward to offering more opportunities like Summer Nights in the fall for students to have the opportunity to come to Rose and meet their scheduling needs.”
For those that are already enrolled, Student Engagement said anyone can join this year’s Raider Take-Off event on Aug. 13. Raider Take-Off, formerly known as College Snapshot, will run from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. and will consist of 20 different breakout sessions, an Explore Fair and a free T-shirt. Lunch will also be provided for those that attend.
The day is intended to brief students on what to expect for the upcoming school year. The breakout sessions vary in topic from how to speak to and email a professor to why credit is important, and how to properly build it. The Explore Fair will encompass a tour of campus resources and what they have to offer the students.
If you are unable to attend the Raider Take-Off event on Aug. 13, there is a Raider Take-Off @Nite tailored specifically for you. The Nite session is scheduled for the evening of Aug. 15 and will be a condensed version of the previous session. The evening intends on properly covering the resources needed for academic, social and emotional success. The breakout sessions from Raider Take-Off will also be recorded for those that are unable to make it and posted on Rose State College’s Facebook page.
Story by Selena Williams
Dr. Jeanie Webb has been the president of Rose State since 2013. Webb was the vice president of Student Affairs for 12 years and was also the Dean of Northeastern State University campuses at Tulsa, Muskogee and Claremore before she took on her role as Rose State President.
Female presidents are rare, which makes having Webb as president of Rose State notable.
She is one out of seven female college presidents in Oklahoma. The other six are: Patti Neuhold-University of Central Oklahoma, Janet Cunningham-Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Cheryl Evans-Northern Oklahoma College, Leigh Goodson-Tulsa Community College, Martha Burger-Oklahoma City University, and Lana Reynolds-Seminole State College.
Webb said that her mother was her greatest mentor and inspiration.
“She was a leader in every way,” Webb said. “She never had the opportunity to go to college; she pushed me to succeed. My mother taught me to be strong.”
Webb named her husband as next in line on her mentor list.
“My husband Roger Webb, who was president at the University of Central Oklahoma, is a great inspiration to me,” she said. “He is a mentor every single day. I truly have the best of both worlds, a great mother who was a major influence and a strong husband who has been a leader for a lifetime.”
While every college Webb has worked for has been amazing and provided her with different experiences that helped her grow professionally; she said Rose State is an amazing place to work.
“I would really like Rose State students to know that I truly care about them and their success,” Webb said. “I was just like them, and my experience at a community college started me on the right path and changed my life forever. It is my sincerest hope that Rose State College starts them on the path to achieving their dreams.”
She thinks everyone is equal and each person should be looked at as an individual.
“Everyone has a story and as individuals who make up the larger, greater whole, we each provide differences which are based on our background and experiences in life,” Webb said.
In her experience, a good team is made of people with different strengths.
“Everyone has different strengths, and as a leader, you have to know when to capitalize on those strengths for the betterment of the mission,” Webb said.
Now, a glimpse into Webb’s life. A typical day starts at 5 a.m. with her morning workout—she uses the time during her workout to reflect. Her days are filled with nonstop meetings and her nights are filled with evening events such as receptions and dinners. Her desire every day is to see her family—even though most days that is not until 8 p.m.
She is incredibly competitive and enjoys a game of tennis with her daughter and a round of golf with her husband. Webb has played tennis and golf for most of her life and has no plans of stopping. She is a dog lover. She has two dogs at home: Cubby (who was purchased at the Midwest City Auction) and Tucker.
More fun facts about Webb include her music taste. Some of her favorite songs are “Hello” by Adele, “Home” by Michael Bublé and “Meant to Be” by Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line. One of her favorite movies is “Marley and Me,” and she enjoys watching television shows like “Criminal Minds” and “Chicago Fire.”
Webb is dedicated to her students, faculty and staff. “The most important thing is that the faculty and staff at Rose State allow students the opportunity to better their lives,” Webb said. “We truly care about them as people and wish to support them in their goals.”
Last year’s Student Senate President Brianna Sanders said Webb is a powerful and graceful woman.
“She knows how to brighten a room with her smile and laughter,” Sanders said. “She has a keen ear for the voice of the student body. She allows us, as students, to be an important aspect to making Rose State College an influential place for everyone.”
Michelle Nutter, who has been Webb’s secretary for 15 years, said that the president loves being around the students, faculty, staff and community members, but she is also a private person. She explained that [we] all have to remember that Webb has a life with family and friends outside of Rose State.
“She gives so much of herself daily, I often wonder how she possibly has anything left for herself,” Nutter said.
She added that Webb brings such a positive energy when she walks into the room. “We all sit up and get ready because we all know that we are in for a ride,” she said.
However, Webb’s position requires her to be serious because it is demanding.
“It is a lot of responsibility to be a president, but I think she does it with grace and confidence,” Nutter said. “Dr. Webb is almost a study of contradictions when it comes to her style. She is confident but humble; she is serious but fun loving. These are just a few of her styles.”
Nutter also said that Webb has an excellent sense of humor. “There are so many times when we have to be serious, but at those moments when we can relax for half of a second, we can all share in laughter.”
If she could describe Dr. Webb in three words they would be, ‘‘real, honest and kind.’’
Story & Photo by Julie Archer
What is the pink tax?
Every year, women around the world are paying up to $1,300 more in taxes per year on products made particularly for women. The pink tax is the extra money women are charged for similar products or services men have. This can include razors, deodorant, medicine and dry cleaning services.
“There is an idea from the corporation aspect that women will pay more for these things,” Tara Hall, professor of sociology at Rose State, said. “They think women ‘enjoy shopping’ and clothes.”
Gender Wage Gap
The gender wage gap is the difference of the average pay between men and women. According to payscale.com, women earn almost 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. While this may seem small, when a man is taking home $100,000, a woman doing the same job is taking home $78,000.
“Statistical discrimination is a big issue with [the wage gap],” Hall said. “Employers assume that if a woman is a certain age they are going to be taking off work more because she’s going to have children and take on all of the responsibilities that go with it.”
According to groudnswell.org, in 2000, a New York City trade lawyer named Michael Cone researched gender-based tariffs. When researching shoe import tariffs, Cone discovered men’s sneakers were taxed at 8.5%, while women’s shoes were taxed at 10%. While Cone did more research, he discovered there are more gender price discrepancies.
Because of these findings, Cone decided to sue the government. During this time, over 100 other companies signed on to be co-plaintiffs. Some of these companies include Steve Madden and Urban Outfitters. As of 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the attempts to fight the gender-based tariffs.
There are pricing discrepancies in clothing where women’s clothes cost more than men’s. According to gq.com, a Saint Laurent striped sweater for men sells for $240 less than the striped sweater for women.
“We place a lot of emphasis on how [women] look … part of it is society telling us we need these things in order to be professional and attractive,” Hall said.
In 2009, Janet Floyd, the co-founder of a Manhattan research firm found drycleaning gender discrepancies. She brought two Brooks Brothers oxford shirts, one for men and one for women, to be laundered.
The women’s shirt cost $8.75 while the men’s shirt cost $7 to launder. She called the cleaners to ask about the price difference but they claimed the machine could not handle the delicacy of the women’s shirt, so they dry cleaned it, which cost more.
While doing more research, she found dry cleaning for men and women cost about the same, but for laundering, women pay an average of $4.95 and men paid $2.86.
Although there are some women who are not aware of the pink tax, there are still several women who purchase men’s products over women’s just because of the price.
“I have always bought men’s deodorant because I thought it lasts longer, the cheapest men’s deodorant works better than the most expensive women’s deodorant, which isn’t fair.” Olivia Tarver, a biology major at Rose State, said. “The only thing I do not like about using men’s deodorant is the masculine smell.”
A study from the University of Central Florida discovered women’s deodorant costs 30 cents more than men’s. When manufacturers were asked about the price discrepancies, most of them said the women’s deodorants cost more to manufacture. The differences they claimed were packaging and ingredients. However, research showed the deodorants had the same ingredients with the same amounts.
In the 2010 Consumer Reports, researchers found medications marketed to women cost more. They discovered at Walgreens, Excedrin Complete Menstrual costs 50 cents more than Excedrin Extra Strength, even though they had the same active ingredients with the same ratios.
A tampon tax involves taxation of feminine hygiene products. These are taxed as “luxury items.” According to bbc.com, in France, lawmakers reduced its tax on feminine hygiene products from 20 to 5.5%.
“There are also recent reports of what they call ‘period shaming’ in high schools,” Hall said. “[It targets] girls who don’t have either the time to take the proper breaks to take care of themselves or they don’t have the products.”
Often, when other students find out about a girl going through this, they make fun of her for it.
What to do about it?
Once more people are aware of the pink tax, women can start to purchase the male versions of the products they need.
“When there are options, don’t pay extra for the flowers and the pink and the raspberry smells,” Hall said. “A lot of times in the comparison it is the exact same product, just one specifically targeting women. When you have those options, go for the one that’s a dollar cheaper but doesn’t target women.”
Once companies see that their higher priced women’s products are not selling, this could cause change.
Sen. George Young pursues criminal justice reform: ‘The capitalist backbone of this country was slavery’Read Now
Story by Bailey Walker
Photo courtesy of George Young
Oklahoma is found at the bottom of many lists, but incarceration is one list the state tops. The state of Oklahoma surpassed Louisiana as the top incarcerator by rate in the nation, and with the U.S. as the top incarcerator of the world, the state of Oklahoma holds the title of incarceration capital of the world. The Oklahoma Policy Institute reported the United Kingdom has an incarceration rate of 139 per 100,000 people, Canada 114, the United States 698 and Oklahoma 1,079.
Oklahoma Sen. George Young, a Democrat, served two terms as a House representative and recently started a term as state senator. Young focuses largely on racial and criminal justice reform, as he has introduced bills to prevent incarceration for failing to pay court fees, requiring crisis intervention training among police and requiring stated reasons on record for parole denial. Young represented House District 99 from 2014 to 2018, which according to census data in 2010, was composed of 29 percent of white people, 62 percent of black people, and 10 percent Hispanic people.
“My district is predominantly African American, so I have to come from the position of those people I represent,” Young said. “Even if I didn’t I would feel the same way I feel about [criminal justice].”
Young also criticized current immigration narratives, describing immigration as something that built this country and described current institutional practices.
“We can’t do like we used to do and just flat out make them slaves,” said Young, “we’re enslaving them in other ways by preventing them from being able to enjoy what this country was founded on and that is freedom.”
Young contradicts what may be a popular narrative in immigration policy.
“We ‘ought not be building walls, we ‘ought to be building doors and invite folk in and when they sit down ask ‘how, what, why?’ and then go from there instead of building walls to keep folk out,” Young said.
Young works more broadly than his minority constituents, as his work would affect everyone.
“For me, if you’re a citizen of Oklahoma, I work for you,” Young said. “I ran in Senate District 48, but I never took an oath to Senate District 48 I took an oath to the state of Oklahoma and with that I have to deal with every person who’s in the State of Oklahoma, those are my constituents.”
This is shown perhaps most prominently in SB 102. Young made a proposal to increase Oklahoma’s minimum wage to $10.50, which would place Oklahoma in a more competitive position with Arkansas at $9.25, Colorado at $11.10 and Missouri, which passed a ballot measure to adjust the minimum wage to the cost of living in 2018.
Young said he loves America and that he is not going anywhere else, and so he criticizes what he sees wrong with the country’s past and present.
“The capitalistic backbone of this country was slavery,” Young said. “If it wasn’t for cotton and tobacco in the South, with free labor, you would not have America.”
Young recognized ongoing racial disparities in Oklahoma, especially the disproportionate incarceration of minorities and historic economic disadvantages. These two issues, incarceration and poverty, have been linked by many analysts, including the Vera Institute report regarding the Oklahoma County Jail. Poverty is an indicator of incarceration and was also reiterated by Kris Steele, former Oklahoma Republican Representative and Executive Director of the Education and Employment Ministry.
“Capitalism is not fair. And on top of that, you had laws that prevented people of color from benefiting from that capitalistic system,” Young said.
Poverty data from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in combination with census population data showed that in 2017, 8.58 percent of Oklahoma’s white population lived in poverty, while 20 percent of Oklahoma’s black population lived in poverty. Similarly, census data compared with Prison Policy Initiative data shows 74.3 percent of the state population is white and 7.8 percent is black, but 49 percent of the incarcerated population is white while 26 percent is black. It is data like this that Young ties to capitalism and institutionalized racism.
“You had banks that refused to loan us money, the Federal Housing Authority would not loan to African Americans because they wanted them to live in certain areas, and when they did the county governments would devalue their properties so we could not accumulate wealth from the one thing that most folk in America accumulate wealth from and that is owning a home,” Young said.
A key policy Young has suggested is the racial impact statement, a report which would be required to be produced for future legislation.
“Iowa and New Jersey are two places that have passed similar measures,” Damion Shade, the criminal justice policy analyst for the Oklahoma Policy Institute, said. “This data process is essentially like a fiscal impact statement but focuses on the impact of criminal justice bills in different communities.”
Shade explained this process helped alter legislation in Iowa in line with the impact report’s findings.
“Arkansas hasn’t adopted legislation yet, but a trial study last year has also helped reshape some laws for the better,” Shade said.
Though Young’s bill wasn’t brought up for a vote, another measure by Rep. Brian Hill and co-authored by Rep. Scott Fetgatter is moving along the legislative process.
HB 1855 summary prepared by Marcia Johnson reads, “The CS for HB 1855 authorizes the Legislative Service Bureau to enter into a contract with a qualified person or entity to promulgate community impact statements on certain criminal justice legislation. The measure also prescribes specific legislative processes for the introduction, consideration and possible passage of criminal justice legislation.”
Bail reform legislation was also introduced with SB 252 authored by Sen. Roger Thompson and Sen. Chris Kannady.
According to the summary prepared by Kalen Taylor, “The measure also requires judges to release a person following an appearance in court unless the judge makes certain findings defined by the measure. A person must be taken without unnecessary delay before the most accessible magistrate in that county for an initial appearance and charged with a crime within forty-eight hours of the arrest. Magistrates must set a reasonable bail for persons not released by the court. The measure strikes language authorizing the court to require a person so released by the court to wear an electronic monitoring device.”
Young said the democratic process does not start or stop at voting for candidates, he explained that community activism and interacting with lawmakers are necessary components to the democratic process.
“I think people have to get involved, and if we don’t get people involved we’re not going to be successful in changing what we see now as ill thought out, ill developed statutes and laws,” Young said.
Story by Zaviana James
On Valentine’s Day, love was not the only thing flowing through campus. The campus experienced another event: a tornado drill. Some students may have not experienced a tornado drill since high school, so this drill was unexpected.
A lot of schools have safety drills to take precautions if an unexpected event occurred. Oklahoma weather tends to be unpredictable; one day you could be inside drinking hot cocoa the next you are outside playing with your dog. As the spring season is coming up in Oklahoma tornadoes are a possibility, this drill was very helpful.
Joedon Hughes, coordinator of safety and security for the campus, is making sure everyone is safe this upcoming season. “It is very important to have students, staff and faculty go through the procedures because it builds a point of reference that can be relied on if an incident, such as a tornado, does occur,” Hughes said.
Drills around campus are not common and drills like this past one have not happened in a while. Hughes said this is because campus officials have focused on improving campus preparation, response and recovery in active shooter related scenarios. According to Hughes, there may not be a campus-wide drill again until next spring.
“I plan on continuing to reach out to members of the campus community to provide building or area specific training, drills and evaluation,” Hughes said.
A place for drills and safety training could be very helpful for students and staff in case of a weather emergency. Faculty and students need to be prepared for whatever could happen, whether it is severe weather or an active shooter, these drills will help us all prepare. Everyone should take these drills serious, and remember the information in case anything does happen.
Story by Tanner Pipins, Assistant Multimedia Editor
Making history as the first LGBTQ+ Oklahoma City Councilman, James Cooper, 36, was elected to serve the residents of Ward 2. Cooper, a middle school teacher and trustee of Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority board, secured the seat after obtaining 53 percent of the vote, nearly triple the amount of his nearest contender.
Ward 2 is home to more than 64,000 people and a few of Oklahoma’s fastest growing spots. The Paseo District, Uptown 23rd and the Asian District are a few of Oklahoma’s historic districts Cooper will serve.
After running for the same position in 2015, Cooper’s vision to honor the legacy of Metropolitan Area Projects persists. MAPS was the improvement program approved by OKC’s voters in 1993. The vision was voted to be paid for by a temporary 1-cent sales tax. After its 66-month long period, the tax collected over $309 million. This money later went on to build the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, Civic Center Music Hall and other projects. After the approval of MAPS, other improvement programs like MAPS for Kids and MAPS 3 contributed to the further growth of Oklahoma City.
Inspired by the initiative, Cooper plans to reconnect OKC, improve neighborhoods by adding sidewalks, crosswalks and lampposts and strengthen the city’s bus system.
“With Ward 2 and OKC better connected, we’ll set the stage for commuter rail reconnecting,” Cooper said. “I want all who call OKC home to have access to walkable neighborhoods, reliable public transportation and quality education.”
With the potential of MAPS 4 in the near future, Cooper envisions areas that can improve with financial backing. According to Oklahoma City’s Homeless Alliance, there were nearly 5,000 homeless citizens during 2018. Cooper sees this as an ongoing problem that needs to be resolved. “For too long we’ve put Band-Aids on issues when it comes to this: Mental health, addiction and homeless services,” Cooper said. “We can work with organizations and successful non-profits to address these issues before it’s too late.”
As for the current MAPS for streets extension, the temporary extension will expire on April 1, 2020. Based on previous elections, the next one to extend the 1-cent MAPS sales tax is expected near December 2019.
Until then, the mayor and city council would like to hear from the general public how they would like to see the money implemented. The city council asks residents to submit ideas that will benefit the city moving forward. Submit thoughts and ideas at okc.gov.
Story & Photo by Madi Zick
Chief Multimedia Editor
Traub Elementary School has been a part of Rose State for several years. The building has been used for activities such as Kid’s College, a gym for the athletic teams at Rose State and storage. There has been confusion as to what exactly is happening to the elementary school.
Dr. Kent Lashley, vice president for Administrative Services, explained the operation.
According to Lashley, Epic Charter Schools is renovating Traub to make it a sustainable place to have a Blended Learning Center that will open in the fall. This center will host upper-level grades for students to attend.
“Epic Charter Schools is able to deliver hybrid education K-12th through what they call Blended Learning Centers,” Lashley said.
But why did they choose this school?
Rose State and Epic Charter Schools have worked together in the past, and when Epic realized that it needed a fiscal agent to help with the new BLC, it decided that a beneficial partnership could be formed.
“They have been renting our facilities for a while, and they happened to discover Traub, and they decided it would be perfect for their third location in Oklahoma City,” Lashley explained.
Rose State College is leasing the building to Epic Charter Schools, so it will still be available for Kid’s College in the summer along with some storage space for the college.
“Epic is going to be wonderful to work with,” Lashley said. “They are going to make the building look a lot better, cleaner and safer; it’s been a great partnership all around.”
Story by Kessley Miller
Social Media Director
Two Rose State employees were honored for their work in mentoring college students at the seventh annual Oklahoma Mentorship Day on Jan. 18. eighty-six mentors from Oklahoma and Texas were honored for their work at the event held at Oklahoma State University.
This mentorship award was through the David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative and the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.
Erica Alvarez, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Rose State, was honored for her work with the R is for Thursday program, which helps individuals who have gone through the foster care system and graduated high school.
The program helps each student transition smoothly to college. It is open to any student on campus as well. Alvarez said she wants to help any student who is struggling.
“More than anything it is about being a support system,” Alvarez said. “A lot of our students need additional resources. Unfortunately, a lot of them go without [one] … [This] is [about] being a support system for students and helping them outside of the classroom.”
Having a mentor throughout college can help a student handle classes, work and other activities. According to the Forbes website, mentorship is a way to soak up the wisdom of those who have gone before you, in a way that sticks.
Professor Chris Knox, reading coordinator and CLICK coordinator at Rose State, was also honored for her work with the CLICK program. CLICK stands for Community Learning In Critical Knowledge. This program allows students to have specialized tutoring by full-time professors at Rose State. Students can do homework, have professional help in certain subjects and build relationships with their mentors.
CLICK meetings are from 2–3 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, and there are eight different professors on campus to assist students.
“Many of the mentorees I have are students I have already known from previous semesters, so there is already a bond established there,” Knox said. “If there is a student I do not know on the orientation day, there is a slip we pass around that asks students what area they would like to focus on or a special mentor the student would like to have.”
Mentorship is an important aspect to success in life. For information on mentorship opportunities, contact Erica Alvarez at firstname.lastname@example.org or Chris Knox at email@example.com.
Story & Photo by Julie Archer
Technology is used nearly everywhere. There are electronic kiosks available to order and pay for food at restaurants, customer service representatives are often robots and some people cannot survive without their cellphones. Although technology can sometimes malfunction, it has become a convenience for many. This is why classrooms are starting to use more online tools.
“I have been a teacher for 23 years,” said Sandy Politte, first grade teacher and vice principal at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School. “I have gone from using a chalkboard, to a dry erase board to an interactive Smart Board.”
A study in the United Kingdom from EdTech Magazine showed more than 30 million primary and secondary school students use Google education applications. Students are learning to send emails to their teachers and create documents to submit their assignments electronically, preparing them for colleges and modern technology-dependent careers.
Colleges and universities use eLearning programs for classroom efficiency. At Rose State, Desire2Learn and Canvas are the resources instructors use to upload their course content, and where students can submit their assignments and take tests.
“The use of platforms such as Canvas and D2L have allowed faculty and students to engage with each other beyond the four walls of the classroom in face-to-face classes, allowed instructors to move assessments to the online platform and utilize instructional time more efficiently,” Travis Hurst, dean of eLearning and Academic Outreach, said. “[The use of these platforms] has provided the means for students to take online classes at times, and locations, that best meet their needs.”
Students often have their own computers at home for school usage. The students who do not have personal computers have access to computer labs and school libraries to do homework, print assignments or other work that requires a computer. At Rose State, the Learning Resource Center has computers for free student use.
“For Rose State College, all of our instructors are asked to post their syllabus and gradebook online,” Dr. Dana Lindon-Burgett, associate dean for eLearning and Academic Outreach, said. “Using this strategy, instructors provide easy access to course policies, contact information, and grade standing. Anytime a student has access to the internet, they can find basic information that will help them succeed in the class.”
Although technology is a convenient tool in the classroom, it does not replace the face-to-face communication between the instructor and students.
“There is a great deal of research that demonstrates that notebooking and writing information, particularly using two-column notes or the Cornell note method, improves content retention,” Hurst said. “This skill is still valuable, even in the virtual environment.”
Some students like to have a balance with organization using notes and technology. With physical notes, internet is not needed to access the information.
The use of technology has evolved alongside education and it continues to change. Students and instructors may find it useful, but it does not entirely replace traditional learning methods.
Story by Bailey Walker & Hollye Carroll
Assistant Editor, Online Editor
Photo from the September 1980 15th Street News Archives
A former professor of psychology at Rose State, Dr. Keith Thrasher, passed away on Feb. 20, 2019, at the age of 79. Born June 22, 1939, Thrasher met his wife Peggy Smyers at age 18 and the two were married six years later. After graduating from Paris Junior College and earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Texas A&M at Commerce, he attended Oklahoma State University for his doctorate.
Thrasher began his teaching career in Uvalde, Texas. He transferred to Northwestern State University and then later came to Rose where he received the Distinguished Teacher Award in 1998.
“He does have many smart comments, but that’s just him,” wrote one reviewer from Rate My Professors.
“That rare combination of Oklahoma charm with Texas cool,” reads another comment from the site.
A common thread through Thrasher’s reviews was a genuine care for his students and learning, as well as a lot of personal stories from his life.
“He often reminded us when he started here, the Social Sciences Division was no more than a trailer,” History Professor Michelle Brockmeier said. Brockmeier worked with Thrasher from her start date in 1995 until Thrasher’s retirement.
“As computers, D2L and other technology crept into our academic lives, Professor Thrasher held out as a Luddite,” Brockmeier explained. “But gradually we took turns teaching him new things and how to use it. He was always very gracious and very appreciative of any help. He was inquisitive and curious, trying to understand all the new terminology and societal changes around him.”
Brockmeier still has the cut crystal bowl Thrasher gave her as a wedding gift in 2010, recalling him as a kind man who loved to laugh and smile.
“One of my favorite stories about Professor Thrasher dates back to a division Christmas party in the early 2000s,” Brockmeier said. “We were supposed to meet at Dr. Larry Edwards house for the party. As the night progressed, we wondered where Keith was because he usually never missed these things. Just as the night ended, he finally appeared. He had gone to the wrong house but they were having a party and were so nice to him, he just stayed, making new friends. That’s just who he was — he made friends wherever he went.”
A service was held Feb. 28 for Thrasher at the Atkinson’s Theatre which preceded his March 3 funeral in his hometown of Paris, Texas.