Dr. Catherine Webster Named Dean of College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Catherine Webster assumed the duties of Dean of the College of Liberal Arts in July 1, 2016. In announcing her selection, Provost John Barthell noted Dr. Webster's "exemplary record of career accomplishments."

Dr. Catherine WebsterMost recently, Dr. Webster served as chair of UCO's Department of Modern Languages for three years. Since arriving at UCO in 2006, she has attained tenure and the rank of professor. She has been honored with numerous distinctions, including the College of Liberal Arts Faculty Member of the Year award, a Faculty Merit-Credit award for outstanding service, a DaVinci Fellow award and the Vanderford Distinguished Teaching award.

Prior to coming to UCO, Dr. Webster served as assistant dean for the Pre-College Program and later First-Year Class Dean at Barnard College in New York, as well as the assistant director of New Student Orientation at the University of Kansas.

Dr. Webster received her B.A. and M.A. at Columbia University in French and Student Personnel Administration, respectively. She later received her Ph.D. in French from New York University.

UCO Alumnus Named E.K. Gaylord Endowed Chair for Journalism Ethics

Joe HightUniversity of Central Oklahoma alumnus Joe Hight is returning to Central as the E.K. Gaylord Endowed Chair of Journalism Ethics for the UCO Department of Mass Communication.

Hight brings significant experience to the department following a 35-year newspaper career that included posts as an editor, director, managing editor and reporter. He is now president and co-owner of Edmond’s Best of Books and a weekly columnist for The Journal Record.

“We are very excited to have Joe as a full-time faculty member in the department, and know he will be a great addition to all we do here,” said Mary Carver, Ph.D., department chair.

Hight, a 2013 inductee to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from then-Central State University in 1980. His newspaper career began with posts at the Guthrie News Leader, Lawton Constitution and the Shawnee News-Star before arriving at The Oklahoman in 1985 where he rose from a city and suburban reporter to the newsroom’s director of information and development.

Hight left the state’s largest newspaper after nearly 30 years to serve as editor of The Gazette, a daily newspaper based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While there, Hight oversaw the team of journalists that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for its multimedia series “Other Than Honorable.”

Hight’s many additional accomplishments include serving on the board of directors for the Associated Press Media Editors (APME) from 2011-15, two terms as president of the Columbia University-based Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, and numerous awards for his work as victims’ team leader of The Oklahoman’s coverage of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. He was named a UCO Distinguished Alumni in 2000.