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OU Alumni News & Milestones

If you have news, an award or honor, life event or obituary to share, please email Bill Moakley, Director of Alumni Communications,

OU Professor Named Elected ACS President

donna nelson

Donna J. Nelson (’71), Ph.D., an organic chemistry professor at the University of Oklahoma, has been elected as the 2016 president of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. She will be president-elect in 2015.

As president, Nelson will focus on advocacy and improving the public appreciation of chemists and chemistry, which she believes could lead to better funding and more employment opportunities within the science in the United States.

“Appreciation produces jobs,” Nelson says. “Chemists’ creativity gave the world vital benefits and luxuries, and producing future benefits and luxuries is dependent upon our continued creativity. But this is only possible if science is appreciated and funded sufficiently.”

Nelson earned her bachelor of science degree in chemistry at OU. She earned a doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and did postdoctoral work at Purdue University.

In addition to her academic and ACS activities, Nelson has served on the Dow Chemical Advisory Board and was the science advisor for the hit television show Breaking Bad.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


OU Graduate Kim Hosmer named as senior vice president at IHS


IHS, a leading global source of critical information and insight, announced Kimberly C. Hosmer (’88), a marketing executive with more than 25 years of experience in building high-performing organizations, has joined the company as senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Hosmer will develop and manage customer-focused, solutions-based marketing strategy for IHS worldwide. She will also lead the global marketing organization in delivering strategic solutions, building brand strength and driving sales through all channels for the company as it continues to grow and scale.

"Marketing represents a crucial interface with our customers and is an indispensable enabler of our growth strategy," said Scott Key, IHS president and chief executive offcer. "Kim brings to IHS the right blend of proven experience and marketing savvy to lead our teams and to build on our programs as we move forward and grow the company."

Hosmer comes to IHS from Experian, where she served most recently as global chief marketing officer. During her eight years at Experian, she established a global eCommerce team, launched a reputation management program, implemented a strategy to transform the customer experience and re-launched the global brand. Hosmer earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma and a master's degree in business administration from Fordham University.

IHS is a global information company with experts in energy, economics, geopolitical risk, sustainability and supply chain management.


OU Grad Named Emerging Leader by ALA

Peace Ossom Williamson (‘10), health sciences librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington, has been named one of 50 people in the 2015 class of Emerging Leaders by the American Library Association.

Williamson earned her bachelor’s of arts degree in psychology from the 2010 the University of Oklahoma. She earned master’s degrees in library science and health studies from Texas Woman’s University before joining UT Arlington Libraries the same year.

“Peace’s initiative and influence has had an immediate impact on campus. She’s organized thoughtful symposiums around health sciences topics and contributed to the scholarship of the field,” said UT Arlington Libraries Dean Rebecca Bichel. “We are proud that the American Library Association has recognized her commitment to the profession and to the larger community that she serves.”

The ALA Emerging Leaders program gives library professionals with fewer than five years of experience an opportunity to serve in a leadership role within the national organization. Members of the annual class engage in six months of online learning, problem-solving work groups, and peer networking. The program culminates with a poster presentation at the ALA annual conference, which attracts 25,000 library professionals from around the world. 


UNT Recognizes OU Graduate With Research Award

Jane Bumpers Huffman (’71, ’73 & ’94), a professor of educational leadership at the University of North Texas College of Education, received the Research Leadership Award from UNT this year.

The Research Leadership Award is given to a full-time UNT faculty member whose research excellence and leadership at UNT have made substantial contributions to the discipline and achieved national or international recognition.

Huffman holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in history, master’s degree in social work and  doctoral degree in educational leadership, all from the University of Oklahoma. She joined UNT’s faculty in 1996 and teaches graduate courses in leadership, supervision and curriculum. Her areas of research include leadership, change management, professional development and professional learning communities.

Huffman has published 16 international or national peer reviewed articles, 12 book chapters and three books. She also serves as the educational leadership doctoral director, and is assistant chair for graduate programs in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration at UNT.


OU Grads Among Super Attorneys

Eleven attorneys at the Oklahoma City law firm of Durbin, Larimore & Bialick, P.C.  who are graduates of the University of Oklahoma were recently listed in the 2014 Oklahoma Super Lawyers magazine.

Three of the firm’s partners, Mark E. Bialick (‘78 B.B.A., ‘81 J.D.), David B. Donchin (‘81 B.A., ’84 J.D.) and Gerald E. Durbin II (‘68 B.B.A., ‘71 J.D.)were recognized among the state’s Top 50 lawyers, while Bialick and Donchin also were included in the Oklahoma Top Ten list.

Super Lawyers is a research-driven rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The attorneys on these lists have been selected to the Super Lawyers list through a multi-phase selection process involving peer nominations and evaluations combined with independent research. The candidates with the highest point totals in the selection process are then named to their respective state’s Top List.

“We are honored to have so many lawyers recognized who work so hard for their clients and their community,” said Donchin, managing partner of DLB. “To have three lawyers in the Top 50 in the state, and two in the Top 10, is quite an honor.”

Overall, nine DLB lawyers were selected for inclusion in Oklahoma Super Lawyers under their respective categories. OU graduates included:

•  Mark Bialick, Personal Injury General: Plaintiff

•  Mike Darrah (‘71 B.A., ‘74 J.D.), Energy & Natural Resources

•  R. Ryan Deligans (’03 J.D.), Civil Litigation: Defense

•  David B. Donchin, Personal Injury General: Defense

•  Gerald E. Durbin II, Personal Injury General: Plaintiff

•  Jim Larimore (‘71 B.A., ‘74 J.D.)  , Business Corporate

•  Katherine Taylor Loy (‘89 B.B.A., ‘92 J.D.), Insurance Coverage

•  Timothy Martin (‘71 B.B.A., ‘83 J.D.), Civil Litigation: Defense

Three DLB lawyers were selected for inclusion in Oklahoma Rising Stars under their respective categories:

•  Jennifer K. Christian (’03 B.A.), Business Litigation

•  Lane Neal (‘04 B.B.A., ‘08 J.D.), Personal Injury General: Defense

•  Kaci L. Trojan (’09 J.D.), Civil Litigation: Defense

To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less. While up to 5 percent of the lawyers in a state are named to Super Lawyers, no more than 2.5 percent are named to Rising Stars.

Durbin, Larimore & Bialick, P.C. (DLB) was founded in 1983 and represents clients in all areas of law.


If you have a life event to share with us, please email Bill Moakley, Director of Alumni Communications,

Leon Brachman, former Fox executive, Dies

Leon Brachman (’51), a former top executive at Columbia, United Artists, Paramount and 20th Century Fox, died in Los Angeles on November 29 from the effects of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. He was 85.

Brachman held a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Oklahoma.

While at Fox from 1980 to 1990, he was executive vice president, acting as chief negotiator and administrator of the motion picture division, involved in all of the dealmaking decisions regarding writers, actors, directors, literary properties and acquisition of films.

He began his entertainment career as an attorney for United Artists in New York, moved to the legal department at Columbia in 1966 and was promoted to director of business affairs following his transfer to Los Angeles in 1976. In 1978, he went to United Artists as VP of business affairs before heading to 20th Century Fox in 1980 together with a new management team.

Following a management change in 1991, Brachman went to Paramount for a short stint as executive vice president before leaving to become a consultant to Gladden Productions, Morgan Creek Productions, the Completion Bond Company, Capella Films and Martin Bregman Productions until 2005.

Brachman was first in his family to graduate from college, attending OU, and later graduated from Brooklyn Law School. He served as an intelligence officer in the Army during the Korean War.


Nickie Keith Harrison

Nickie Keith Harrison (’65 & ’80), 71, of Chickasha, Oklahoma, died November 18. 

He held a bachelor’s of arts degree in history and doctoral degree in educational psychology from the University of Oklahoma, and a master’s of education degree from Southeast Oklahoma State University.

Harrison was a career educator who taught history and social studies first at Marlow Junior and Senior High Schools, and later was history department chair and taught world and American history at Duncan High School, where he was named Outstanding Young Educator. He taught in the Education/Psychology Division at Southeast Missouri State University as an assistant and associate professor of education, where he was honored with numerous honors and awards over the years for his teaching expertise and service to the university.  

In 1990 Harrison moved back home to Oklahoma with his family, first serving as associate professor of education at Cameron University and as associate professor and professor of education at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.