Dr. Regina Foster, an award-winning science instructor in OSU Institute of Technology’s School of Arts & Sciences, will serve as the commencement speaker during the December graduation exercises.
The campus will celebrate its 208th graduating class Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. in Covelle Hall on the OSUIT campus, 1801 East 4th St., in Okmulgee.
Foster has a lot of experience with graduations, going to commencement ceremonies at OSUIT during her 12 years here, but also attending three of her own after earning her bachelor, master and doctoral degrees.
This one will be special, though, because Foster not only will be delivering the keynote address to more than 180 graduates, but she’ll also be retiring not long after graduation.
“I am honored to speak to our graduates and their guests and my fellow faculty members and others here at OSUIT,” she said. “I didn’t consider saying no for even a moment; in fact, I jumped at the chance to say yes. I am looking forward to the opportunity, and I am thankful to have been chosen for this honor.”
Foster has been active in the National Science Teachers Association and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and was a presenter at each organization’s 2015 National Conference. She received a NISOD Excellence Award in 2010 and 2015.
She currently serves as the chairwoman of the Faculty Staff Council and also serves on the Distance Learning Committee, Assessment Committee and the Campus Assessment Committee.
Lamont Ware, who is graduating with an Associate in Applied Science from the School of Culinary Arts, will serve as the student respondent during the ceremony.
The 33-year-old worked in restaurants for years, but two years ago, he decided it was time for a change and enrolled in OSUIT’s culinary school.
“My experience here at OSUIT was great. I enjoyed all my classes, and all my instructors gave me more knowledge than I could have ever imagined,” he said.
Ware, who completed his internship at Ludger’s Catering and now works there, said he’s grateful for the education he received at OSUIT.
“I love it. I like learning new techniques, learning about different ingredients and different cuisines,” he said. “Everybody on campus was helpful to me and always polite. I’m thankful for the whole experience.”
Foster is grateful for her experience at OSUIT as well.
“I’m glad to have this chance to speak to this year’s students. I am thankful to have gotten to spend so many years learning from my students. Hopefully they learned from me too,” she said.
And after hearing so many commencement speeches herself, Foster said she doesn’t have any foolproof advice to deliver, but can maybe offer some practical tips and kind words in her address— and probably a touch of science, too.
“What I hope most is what I say will engage them, and they will feel like I am speaking to each of them personally,” she said. “I’m also happy to have the opportunity to congratulate them in public for accomplishing one of their goals and encourage them to keep learning all their lives.”