Three OSU Institute of Technology students were recently recognized at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City for being selected to the All-Oklahoma/All-USA Academic Coca Cola Team.
Shellie Waller is pursuing an Associate in Applied Science in Graphic Design; Kristyn Yerger will earn an Associate in Science in Office Information Systems; and Abigail Fassbender is seeking an Associate in Applied Science in 3D Art/Animation.
The Oklahoma Council of Two-Year College Presidents and the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges named 40 students to the 2018 All Oklahoma/USA Coca-Cola Academic Team.
Oklahoma is one of 38 states that participate in the State Academic Team Program through Phi Theta Kappa International, a two-year college student honor society. To be eligible, students must be nominated by their college president and have at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average.
The three students were selected not only based on grade point averages, but also because they demonstrate leadership skills in the classroom, on campus and in the community.
Yerger was taking courses at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater and was able to put those credits toward an associate degree at OSUIT.
“When I graduated from Meridian with a certification in entrepreneurship, I was half way finished with my associate degree,” she said. “OSUIT has been so patient and gracious with me allowing me to take the time I needed to focus not only on school but with my daughter.”
Waller’s journey to OSUIT took a little longer, even though she grew up living just 10 minutes from campus. After she graduated high school, she didn’t want to go into debt attending college without knowing what her career path would be.
“I'd always loved drawing and art but didn't know how to make a career out of it. One day, I happened across the Conoco Gallery in the Student Union that was featuring student work and I thought, ‘I would love to do that.’ I was impressed by the job placement rate for graduates, as well as the affordability, but what really sealed the deal was the faculty,” she said. “On my tour, it was easy to see their passion for what they do and their sincere desire to see the students succeed not only in their studies but in life after college as well.”
All three said they were excited when they first heard they had been selected for the All Oklahoma/All USA Academic Team.
“I work hard to do my best and it was nice to be recognized for it,” Waller said. “As I said before, I have to give credit to my teachers in the School of Visual Communications for helping me achieve this recognition. They challenge me to push myself to be better, to do better, to become a better designer and a better person, too.”
Yerger said she hopes this recognition helps her future.
“The All Oklahoma/All USA program offers many opportunities to learn and grow both academically and as a person,” she said, and she’s already planning the next step in her future. “I plan on going to OSU Stillwater to continue to work toward a bachelor’s degree then start my career as an accountant.”