OSU Institute of Technology will celebrate the 220th graduating class in Covelle Hall on Friday, December 17, 2021, at 5 p.m.
Dr. Lisa Weis, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, will serve as the keynote speaker.
Prior to her appointment in September, Dr. Weis joined the OSUIT community as dean for the School of Arts, Sciences & Health. As dean, Dr. Weis positively contributed to the financial stability of the university and increased student success and retention rates.
Additionally, Dr. Weis serves as a Peer Corps member for the Higher Learning Commission, site visitor for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, reviewer for the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison, and serves as a committee member for the Oklahoma Office of Educational Quality and Accountability Bias Review Committee. She also volunteers for Junior Achievement of Oklahoma and is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care.
Dr. Weis earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, MBA in Business Administration with an emphasis in Strategic Communication, M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, and B.S. in Family Relations and Child Development. She holds a CSSC Certified Green Belt, Oklahoma and National Board teaching certifications and has over 25 years of teaching and administrative experience in public schools and higher education.
Skylar Raine Thomas from Henryetta will serve as the student respondent. She is graduating from the School of Arts, Sciences & Health with an Associate in Science in Allied Health Sciences.
"I feel such high honor and accomplishment for being chosen as the student respondent," said Thomas. "I graduated high school in May, and here I am graduating with my associate degree in December. I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of OSUIT."
Thomas graduated from Henryetta High School in the spring of 2021 as valedictorian and class president of her graduating class. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and is graduating summa cum laude.
She received a total of $3,500 in scholarships to help fund her education, including a $1,000 scholarship from the Henryetta Masonic Lodge.
Caring for people has always been important to Thomas.
"I have always loved taking care of people and being there for others," she said. "Helping people is such an amazing thing, and it warms my heart."
Thomas has been accepted into the OSUIT Nursing program and will begin classes to continue her education in the spring. Upon completing an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing from OSUIT, Raine plans to transfer to OSU Stillwater to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
"Once I have completed all of my schoolings and licensing, I want to find a hospital in the Tulsa or OKC area and become a labor and delivery nurse," said Thomas. "Babies, the gift of life, all of the amazing things that come with that hospital unit, is everything I want to be around."
Some modifications to the ceremonies, including contactless options, will continue to be integrated into the overall experience to minimize infection exposure.
While the OSUIT campus no longer requires the use of masks, to reduce the risk of being infected with COVID-19 and possibly to spread it to others, and in keeping with recently updated CDC guidance, OSUIT encourages the use of masks indoors in public, especially in situations in which social distancing is not possible and for activities with close contact with others. The CDC encourages the use of masks and social distancing even if you are fully vaccinated. Please consider using a mask or facial covering upon entering Covelle Hall for this event.
To keep loved ones connected who are unable to attend, the commencement ceremonies will be streamed live to the OSUIT Facebook page and made available for on-demand viewing on OState.TV and the OSUIT website.
OSUIT's Institutional Event Planning Committee, in coordination with the Pandemic Response Team, meets regularly to monitor and assess the situation in accordance with local and national health guidance.
For more information or updates regarding the 220th commencement ceremonies, please visit osuit.edu/commencement.