2005 DISTINGUISHED FORMER STUDENT AWARD RECIPIENTS
Dr. Frankie Wood-Black graduated from UCO in May 1984 with a degree in Physics and a minor in Chemistry. She received her Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in May 1989 in Physics and then more recently completed her MBA in December 2002 from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Wood-Black is currently employed as Director of Compliance Decree Coordination for ConocoPhillips. She has spent sixteen years in the petroleum and chemical industry with work experience in technical management, laboratory operations, environmental science and compliance. She is heavily involved with the American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Industrial Research Institute.
Dr. Wood-Black is highly accomplished, publishing more than 40 papers and giving over 40 presentations. She also has a U.S. patent.
In addition to Frankie’s educational and professional achievements, she has been active in the communities in which she has lived. Currently, she is on the board of directors of the world-renowned OK Mozart Festival in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Her husband, Ken, and two children, Audrey and Timothy, currently reside in Ponca City, Oklahoma.
Stan Case grew up in Prague, Oklahoma watching his mother love to read. Thus, his passion for the written word came naturally and he started reading and keeping up to date on current events. His boyhood passion certainly paid off, as Stan is now the network news anchor for CNNRadio Network. He writes and delivers hourly newscasts for satellite delivery to U.S. and International affiliates. Stan graduated from UCO in 1975 with a BA in Speech. Later in life he continued his education, graduating cum laude from Georgia State University College of Law as a Juris Doctor in 1996.
After brief stays at a small station in the Oklahoma City suburbs and another in Jackson, Mississippi, Stan found his way to Tulsa, Oklahoma where he spent two years reporting and anchoring at KVOO. In 1979, KEBC in Oklahoma City offered Stan the opportunity to expand his reporting experience and he received position of Capitol Correspondent. After one year, he was promoted to anchor. It was during this post that Stan launched the Oklahoma City New Broadcasters Association and served as President. The OCNBA was formed to advocate for first amendment rights and open government. Since 1995, Stan has anchored CNNRadio and his experience ranges from anchoring and covering political conventions to reporting the trails of the convicted Oklahoma City bombers.
Stan currently resides in Atlanta Georgia where he is a professor. Stan is well respected by those in his industry and as Professor & Chair Emeritus, Jack Deskin says, “In the electronic media profession, tenure as an anchor is usually very short term. But, Stan has been a pillar at CNN for over 20 years.”
Dr. Thomas Kupiec is the Director of Laboratories and CEO of Analytical Research Laboratories (ARL) in Oklahoma City, OK. Dr. Kupiec received a B.S. in Forensic Chemistry from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1979, an M.E.d in Chemistry in 1982 and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1997. Dr. Kupiec currently serves as a faculty member at the OU Health Sciences Center and has held several teaching positions at universities including UCO. Dr. Kupiec’s vision of entrepreneurial research is seen in his responsibilities at ARL, which include supplying technical expertise and business development in the pharmacy and forensic fields. In this capacity, Dr. Kupiec is recognized as a gifted teacher, mentor, consultant, and even expert witness. Dr. Kupiec has testified in over 100 cases, both criminal and civil. Dr. Kupiec is the President and CEO of DNA Solutions Inc., a DNA testing company.
Thomas has received over 30 awards and been recognized as the Outstanding Young Men of American Award. He is also actively involved in the community serving on over 10 boards and as Chairman of the Technology Council for the Oklahoma Technology Council’s Nanotech and Bioinformatics Advisory Board. Tom is a renowned expert in forensic science and continues to have articles published in local, state and national publications.
Thomas lives in Edmond with his wife Caroline and they have two children.
Belva Prestidge-Howard has a long standing relationship with education. Twenty-two years to be exact. She’s received degrees at four universities in Oklahoma including her M.Ed from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1979 where she was an honor student. Belva Prestidge-Howard has been appointed for three terms as a Regent with the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges. She’s worked with Governor Henry, Walters and Nigh and has served as Chairman of the Board for three terms, Vice Chair for three terms and Secretary for three terms. She has also served as Chairman of standing committees including Personnel, Policy & Procedure, Academic Affairs and Building.
Belva’s interest in education started with her work as an Internship and Placement Coordinator where she developed comprehensive counseling, and employment and training related to job placement. Her efforts were instrumental in the development of both students and alumni. She continued her professional career with LifeCare Counseling Associates as a Psychotherapist providing individual and group counseling in over 10 areas of specialization. Belva has also served as an adjunct instructor, and Debate and Speech coach. Her expertise with education is paramount.
She is an active member of the community with affiliations in over 13 organizations and professional affiliations in 11 organizations such as the Oklahoma Counseling Association, and the Oklahoma Academy of Mediators and Arbitrators. Her career reached the pinnacle with her work as a Regent. President Roger Webb stated in a recommendation letter for the Distinguished Former Student application, “The role of a regent is not well understood because the board stays out of the limelight. But, these unpaid positions are vital to the ultimate success of every University. No regent has been more important to UCO than Regent Belva Prestidge-Howard.
Mike McAullife can best be described as a volunteer-junkie. He admits that volunteerism is his hobby. Mike’s willingness to serve started at a young age. At the age of 20, he was named the Executive Director of Oklahoma City’s Detoxification Center, responsible for the 24-hour operation of the facility. He held that position for nine years before joining the mayor’s office in 1985. His background has included social services, public services, corporate and small business experiences.
Mike has served on numerous boards including Leadership OKC, United Way, the American Red Cross, and Friends of the Mansion, OKC Philharmonic and the OKC Rotary Club. He has served as President of OKC Beautiful, OKC Crime Stoppers and Leadership OKC Alumni Association. He is also active in the OKC Arts Council, the Greater OKC Chamber of Commerce and Allied Arts. Mike is currently President of Friends of the Mansion, a non-profit organization that oversees the improvements and operations of the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion and grounds. Mike also co-chairs the Oklahoma City Chambers annual resource campaign where last year the campaign exceeded its goal of raising $1.82 million.
Mike is currently the President and co-owner of Doctor On Call and LifeCheck Laboratory. He is also president and owner of Oklahoma City Event and Entertainment. He ran an advertising agency with former Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick in 1999 and was a vice-president with Ackerman McQueen from 1993-1999. He served as chief of staff for two Oklahoma City mayors, Ron Norick and Andy Coats. Mike’s accomplishments are numerous and as our First Lady of Oklahoma, Kim Henry says, “I can truly say Mike goes above and beyond the call of duty on everything he undertakes.” Mike is an example for all Oklahomans and we are proud to call him a Central alumnus.
Mrs. Elizabeth Hilton-Threatt is the only surviving member of the first five African Americans to enroll at the University of Central Oklahoma. Mrs. Threatt is a long-time resident of Luther, Oklahoma. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1929 and in 1931, she received her Lifetime Teaching Certificate from Langston University to teach grades first – eighth. She later went back to Langston University and received her B.S. in Elementary Education in 1954. In the Fall of 1954, she enrolled at Central State College and would go on to receive her Master of Teaching degree in 1959. She began teaching for the Luther Public School District in 1932 and would teach tirelessly for 44 years until her retirement in 1976.
Mrs. Hilton-Threatt has received numerous community service awards and has been recognized for various honors throughout her life. She was nominated “Donor of the Year,” honored with the Governor’s Commendation in recognition of lifetime service as an educator, historian and humanitarian for Luther, Oklahoma. She received the Award of Merit for “dynamic teaching” and Seventh Street in Luther changed to the Elizabeth H. Lane in her honor.
While her awards are plenty, the impact she is most known for the impact she makes on others. Dr. Judith Wakefield of UCO mentions in her recommendation letter, “I cannot remember ever reading a biography that displays such sincere care without expectancy of recognition. That is why Mrs. Elizabeth Hilton-Threatt will forever have an impact on my life.” Indeed, Mrs. Hilton-Threatt has forever changed our lives too, at the University of Central Oklahoma.