Faculty & Staff
For President Betz, becoming the University of Central Oklahoma's 20th president in August 2011 is a homecoming of sorts. Having served as Central's Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs from 1999-2005, he developed several initiatives and programs that have helped transform Central into one of the leading metropolitan universities in the nation.
President Betz has enjoyed a distinguished career in higher education that spans more than 40 years, developing a reputation for teaching and encouraging students, leadership development and diplomacy through his international activities, most notably with the United Nations and its affiliated non-government organizations. Further enhancing that reputation, currently he is serving a three-year term on the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) executive committee and chair of its North American Council. Dr. Betz was selected to attend the 2011 Fulbright-Hays Seminar in Oman and Jordan to explore opportunities for future program development in the region with stakeholders on American college campuses.
Prior to returning to Central, he served as president of Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., a post he held since July 2008. He also served as Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls from 2005 until his appointment at NSU and as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Palmer College, Davenport, Iowa, from 1994-1999. In the 23 years prior, he fulfilled various capacities at Northeastern, including the Vice President of University Relations and Professor of Political Science. While at NSU, he also was the Executive Director of the Educational Foundation, Assistant to the President, Dean of Continuing Education and Special Programs, Director of the Sequoyah Institute/Center for Tribal Studies, the founder and advisor of the university's President's Leadership Class and its Model United Nations program.
From 1982 through 2003, President Betz worked for and with the United Nations on Middle East issues. He founded and chaired the International Coordinating Committee on the Question of Palestine (ICCP), a UN-affiliated non-governmental organization (NGO) network pursuing peace in the Middle East based on UN resolutions. His extensive international experience includes service with the University of Pittsburgh's Semester-at-Sea, Chapman College's World Campus Afloat, and journalistic experience in the Middle East.
A frequent writer and speaker, Dr. Betz has addressed international, educational, motivational topics, and has worked with newspapers, radio and television. His lifelong interest in global issues and his passion for promoting cross-cultural understanding has led him to more than 80 countries. His many accomplishments include serving as president of Leadership Oklahoma, a board member for the Educators' Leadership Academy, Great Expectations, the Oklahoma A+ Whole School Reform Program, the Edmond Economic Development Authority, the DaVinci Institute, Life University and the awards selection committee for the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. Since 2002, Dr. Betz has been a member of the founding implementation committee for AASCU's American Democracy Project. Dr. Betz was the recipient of the 1991 Medal of Excellence in University Teaching from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.
While president of Northeastern State University he served as the chair of the Northeast Oklahoma Public Facility Authority, board member for BancFirst in Tahlequah, the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce, Creative Oklahoma, Inc., and chair of the Regional University System of Oklahoma Council of Presidents. He is a member of the Oklahoma Academy, Leadership Oklahoma, Universities and Colleges President's Climate Commitment, International Association of University Presidents and has served as Chairman of AASCU's International Education Committee.
President Betz received his B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of San Francisco and his M.A. and Ph.D. in International Studies from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He completed Harvard University's Institute for Educational Management.
Tom W. Boyd is currently the David Ross Boyd Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Oklahoma. After teaching philosophy there for 28 years, he retired from full time teaching in 1997. He also retired from the ordained ministry in the Presbyterian Church USA in the summer of 1998.
Tom was talked out of retirement and enlisted for service in the new Religious Studies Program in 2002, now teaching at OU as part of the Retired Professor program and serves as a consultant to the program. In addition, he lectures, preaches and conducts seminars around the country.
Tom holds four degrees, including a Ph.D. in Religion from Vanderbilt University. His academic specialization is in philosophical theology, philosophy of religion and ethics. His current concentration is on the relation among world religions and the relation between religion and culture. He seeks through his studies and teaching to understand and appreciate religion in its contemporary setting and in light of an emerging planetary culture.
Contact Tom directly at (405) 447-4592 or email@example.com.
Dr. Fred D. Hammond, III completed his PhD in Organizational Leadership from the University of Oklahoma Advanced Studies while living and serving the military community in Europe. He is currently in his fourth academic year as an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, in the College of Education & Professional Studies, Department of Professional Teacher Education.
His timely, engaging, and interactive presentation style is both humorous and effective. While achieving his professional goals of moving from active duty to teacher to principal in both public and private schools, he has formally presented and facilitated internationally on such timely topics as Leadership, Motivation, Organizational and Team Development, Personality Differences, Small Group Communication, Interpersonal Interactions, Intrapersonal Development and Student Academic Achievement.
As a motivational speaker, his ranges of audiences span from small classrooms of children to military communities to professional conferences for organizational development, team development & process improvement, all the while never losing his musical roots. He was born in Los Angeles, California, the eldest of three: a third generation educator and fourth generation musician.
Dr. Fred has performed & ministered music internationally in various styles of music mostly in contemporary and inspirational jazz. After faithful professional musical service of over 25 years, now home in Oklahoma his career in academia is taking full flight.
At The University of Central Oklahoma, he is consistently requested as keynote for various organizations academic and professional around campus and is the President Elect of the African American Faculty & Staff Association where he spearheaded a minority mentor program for campus students of color.
Allan Johnson is the Founder and CEO of Johnson Performance Systems and is known world-wide for his powerful presentations. This last year Allan has had the opportunity to present as near as Moore, Oklahoma and as far as London, England, Ontario, Canada and Capetown, South Africa. Allan was selected as the District Teacher of the Year in the Western Heights district where he was once a studentathlete. He is a highly accomplished singer and songwriter with numerous awards from competitions and six albums to his credit. His audiences represent a wide spectrum of people from university professors to principals and teachers, to pastors and church staff, to students and civic groups, to corporate professionals and British salon owners. His gifts and talents give him the ability to engage and motivate large audiences or encourage small, intimate groups. He has presented to over 20,000 adults and students spanning five continents. Allan has been affiliated with Great Expectations for over fourteen years. Allan, his wife Jill, and their three children-Lydia, Zoe, and Nathan reside in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Jeff King, Ed.D., is Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma. His research and application interests have long focused on what college faculty can do to help their students learn, to be motivated toward deep learning strategies, and to persist in their educations. Dr. King works to provide information and tools shown by quality, applicable research to help students succeed, whether via cutting edge approaches or time‑tested strategies. Because evaluating one’s success at helping students learn is important for becoming a better teacher‑scholar, Jeff is also interested in ways faculty can gather feedback about their teaching and use it to fine‑tune their effectiveness. Before moving to UCO’s Transformative Learning‑focused environment, Jeff was the Director of Texas Christian University’s Koehler Center for Teaching Effectiveness. No matter his location, though, his work over the years both as college faculty member and in faculty professional development matches passion to position in helping students learn.
Steve is a native of Tulsa and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Business Administration and has an MBA from Oklahoma Christian University. He has completed the Institute of Education Management program through the Harvard Graduate School of Education as well as the prestigious Oxford Roundtable.
He started his career as a social worker with Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Wichita, KS and Norman, OK, later serving as Executive Director of the Norman Chamber of Commerce then as Executive Director for the Edmond Economic Development Authority. He began as Vice President for Administration at UCO in April of 2001 and was promoted to Executive Vice President in June, 2005.
Steve serves as the chief operating officer for UCO, which has an enrollment of over 16,000 students, 1,800 employees, and a total budget in excess of $140 million.
His responsibilities include budget and finance, economic development, university strategic planning, purchasing, human resources, architecture and engineering, public safety, risk management, student housing, the Nigh University Center, food service, the student Wellness Center, Olympic activities, and operations and maintenance of the 200 acre campus and facilities.
Steve has been instrumental in developing innovative efforts to decrease expenses and raise revenues for UCO. Under his leadership the university has become the nation's most honored campus for sustainability, been named a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site, a U.S. Olympic Committee Community Partner and the university has been awarded the Oklahoma Quality Award for Achievement. He implemented a $15 million energy reduction program, saved over $10 million through strategic refinancing of debt, renegotiated myriad contracts with contractors, developed Lean UniversityTM, doubled fund raising results, and has overseen the construction of off-balance sheet student housing, a 67,000 square foot Wellness Center, a $15 million football stadium renovation, the Forensic Science Institute facility and the Transformative Learning Center.
Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rita is a first generation American (dual citizen of Ireland), Baby Boomer, certified speaking professional (CSP), national energy and sustainability expert, social media producer, executive coach, and private pilot. She has worked in leadership positions at General Electric (GE), Martin Marietta, Lockheed Martin, and The University of Oklahoma.
Rita is CEO of Performance Consulting (PC) an organizational development firm. In addition to national business and commercial clients, her educational and healthcare clients include: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M, University of Texas, University of Oklahoma, University of Missouri,
Assisted Living Association of America, Mercy Memorial Healthcare System, St. Joseph's Hospital of Chicago, OU Medical Center, Rehab Services of Washington State and Missouri State, and multiple State Boards of Health, to name a few.
Rita's perspective on the future workforce, educational, aviation, and healthcare challenges and student/faculty/administration issues is provocative and insightful. She is the author/co-author of six books/DVD/courses:
1. Murray, Rita M, (2003), Survive and Thrive in a Multi-Generational World
2. Murray, Rita M., (2004) Talking About Our Generations
3. Murray, Rita M, and Rutledge, Hile D., (2005) Make Time Work For You
4. Murray, Rita M., (2008) Mentoring Matters
5. Murray, Rita M. and Rutledge, Hile D., (2009) Generations: Bridging the Gap With Type
6. Murray, Rita M. and Rutledge, Hile D., (2011) Communication Challenges with Millennials: How to Bridge the Gap with Type
7. Murray, Rita M., (2011) GeoMentoring for the Geosciences
Completing a Ph.D. in Instructional Psychology and Technology at the University of Oklahoma, Rita's research interests include metacognition, self-awareness, higher order thinking, and cooperative engagement.
Rita and her husband, Ron, reside in Norman, Oklahoma. Ron is the President of PCG Worldwide, an energy services company. He is also a 13,000+ hour active pilot and a highly decorated Vietnam War Veteran including the Distinguished Flying Cross. As the volunteer Oklahoma State Director for the Bill Glass Champions for Life Prison Ministry, they also fly worldwide for and with the prison ministry.
Cheryl Price, Educational Consultant and former Director of the Oklahoma Principals' Academy, has been a teacher of children and educators for more than twenty-five years. She has been involved in the Oklahoma Principals' Academy since its inception in 1994. Her insight, courage, and determination to be an instructional leader who inspired and facilitated excellence in her own school was the beginning of a hero's journey which led her to serve as director of the Principals' Academy until her retirement in 2010.
A gifted public speaker who conducts professional development seminars and works with teachers, principals, and superintendents throughout the state of Oklahoma and beyond, Cheryl continues to provide vision, leadership, and inspiration for the Oklahoma Principals' Academy as a consultant/presenter. Cheryl is a native of Oklahoma where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She later received a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. She also holds certifications as a reading specialist and an elementary principal.
Cheryl Steele served as Superintendent of the Midwest City-Del City Public Schools 11 years and has held public school and university adjunct positions in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Mustang, the University of Oklahoma, and Southern Nazarene University.
Dr. Steele has held a variety of leadership positions, including the presidencies of the Oklahoma Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Oklahoma School Public Relations Association, and the Oklahoma Middle Level Education Association as well as serving on the board of Leadership Oklahoma, Great Expectations, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, Schools for Healthy Lifestyles, Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, Junior Achievement, and the Oklahoma Commission for Educational Leadership. She has been a frequent speaker and trainer and has authored over 25 articles and documents for statewide and national audiences.
Dr. Steele has been recognized by the University of Oklahoma as one of the initial "75 Who Made a Difference" in Oklahoma education, by the Cooperative Council for School Administrators as Superintendent of the Year for Oklahoma and as Superintendent of the Year by the Oklahoma Music Educators, and the Oklahoma PTA. She received the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Award for Excellence in School Administration, the Oklahoma School Public Relations Association Partner for Excellence Award and the OASCD Leadership Award, as well as being named Alpha Delta Kappa's Woman of the Year.
Dr. Steele earned her B.A. in Education from Central State University in 1971 and Masters Degree in Education from Central State University in 1974. She received her Doctorate in 1984 from the University of Oklahoma.
Shanna R. Teel is the Founder and CEO of Dr. Shanna Teel & Company, Inc., a performance consulting and coaching firm. In Dr. Teel's career, she has been a partner and executive for two organizational and leadership development consulting firms. She holds a dual Ph.D. in organizational psychology and clinical psychology, coupled with more than 12 years as a consultant, executive coach, and facilitator of adult learning.
She specializes in the areas of executive and leadership development, executive and management coaching, career development, strategic planning, conflict management, diversity training, team building, group dynamics, communication skill development, negotiation, mediation, and business development.
She has provided organization development consulting, team development, and individual coaching for executives and managers in the following organizations: Citigroup; Kodak; Nokia; Fugihunt, USA; Deloitte & Touche; TA Instruments; Eiasi Pharmaceuticals; McDonald's; St. Luke's Health Network; Interwoven; ARM; Victoria's Secret; Barclays Global Investors; Devon Energy; Vitas Hospice; The Braille Institute; University of Oklahoma; Oklahoma Heart Hospital; University of California San Diego Hospital.
Tom has been an educator for 36 years. He spent 18 years in the classroom as a teacher and coach, six years as an assistant principal and six years as the principal at Sapulpa High School. He now serves as Assistant Superintendent of Finance at Sapulpa Public Schools. Tom earned an associate degree from Northern Oklahoma College, a bachelor's degree from Central State University and a master's from Northeastern State University. Tom currently serves as the president of the Principals' Academy Alumni Association.
Tom is currently the past president of the Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals, and he serves on the Board of Control for the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.
Dr. Christy Vincent is an Assistant Professor in the Mass Communication Department at the University of Central Oklahoma where she teaches interpersonal, organizational and corporate communication courses. Her research interests include conflict management, mediation, change management, and training and development. Her interest in conflict management led her to the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law where she earned a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
Her doctoral research focused on public school teachers' experiences of conflict. Her dissertation, "Understanding Teachers' Accounts of Conflicts in Public School Settings: An Ethnographically-based, Ethnomethodological Investigation," received the University of Oklahoma Dissertation Prize in the Social Sciences and Humanities. In addition to the university award, the OU Department of Communication also awarded the Ragan-Kramer-Wieder Qualitative Dissertation Award to Christy.
Besides her college teaching, she has taught continuing education courses for public school teachers in Oklahoma through the Great Expectations Institute.
Christy's professional experience is in management, sales and product development in private industry. She most recently served as an internal organizational effectiveness consultant for INTEGRIS Health, where her projects included management and staff training, leadership development, 360-degree assessment, employee opinion surveys, strategic planning, HR metrics and New Employee Orientation. One of the teaching tools used in training programs, a learning map titled Serving Our Community, won the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) Award of Excellence in the category of Experiential Learning.
She also works as a consultant to help groups and organizations with strategic planning, conflict management, communication needs assessment, problem-solving and leadership development. Her favorite group problem-solving method is Appreciative Inquiry.
She holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Houston, both in communication, and a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communication from Oklahoma Christian University.
Contact at email@example.com
ELA StaffCary Williams, Educators' Leadership Academy Director
Cary believes in the significance and importance of leadership development and strives to accomplish this goal on a daily basis by using her knowledge and abilities to serve the University of Central Oklahoma and the many educators throughout the state affected by the programming she manages. Working with leaders in education, she produces leadership programs designed specifically for educators in K-12, CareerTech, and Higher Ed.
Cary actively participants in leadership activities at UCO and elsewhere. She was a member of the first Leadership UCO Class in 2003-2004, served on the UCO Faculty Senate in 2009-2010, was a participant in North Texas Courage to Lead in 2009-10, served as a coach in the UCO Presidents Lessons in Leadership Classes, and currently serves on the Peacemaking Team at Quail Springs C of C.
Before coming to the University of Central Oklahoma in 2001, she served as a corporate buyer for FoxMeyer Drug Company. Cary was the project coordinator in the Oklahoma Center for Arts Education and Oklahoma A+ Schools, and the executive assistant to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs prior to joining ELA in 2005.
An Oklahoman native, Cary attended the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Community College, and Mid America Vocational-Technology Center. She is a certified practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instruments, Levels I and II. Consulting with her university and other organizations to present type dynamics and administer the Indicator in their organizations as part of organizational improvement.
Contact Cary at (405) 974-5561 or at firstname.lastname@example.org