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Distinguished Alumni - 2012

Lester Claravall

Claravall serves as the Director of Child Labor for the Oklahoma Department of Labor. While working on his master’s degree, he maintained a 4.0 grade point average in his classes in the departments of Human Relations and Public Administration. After earning his bachelor’s in business administration and his master’s in human relations, Claravall entered state government as a Carl Albert Executive Fellow.

As a public servant for the department, he created partnerships, publications, and programs to strengthen the protection of working minors. He updated the work permit process to an online process and led the development of an educational game titled “Paying Attention Pays” which instructs minor workers in workplace rights. Its model has been shared in more than 30 countries around the world.

Claravall served as national president of the Interstate Labor Standards Association and has written contributions to the National Young Worker Health and Safety Network. This interaction led to the reform of the federal child labor laws. In Oklahoma, Claravall created the first poster and brochure to educate parents and teens about illegal youth peddling.

Claravall is the recipient of many awards, including being named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the United States Junior Chamber and world-finalist for Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World by Junior Chamber International. He also has received the National Public Service Award from the American Society for Public Administration and the National Academy of Public Administration.

Ann Jennalie Cook

Cook graduated Phi Beta Kappa from OU and received the Leitseizer Medal for Outstanding Senior Woman. She received her doctoral degree on a Danforth Graduate Fellowship from Vanderbilt after the birth of her two daughters. Cook served as a professor at Vanderbilt for 20 years and a lecturer on Shakespeare. She continues to teach in the Sewanee School of Letters at the University of the South and in Vanderbilt’s Lifelong Learning program.

From 1975 until 1987, she served as executive director of the Shakespeare Association of America. As chairman of the International Shakespeare Association for eight years, she presided over the Tokyo Congress in 1991. She is a Life Trustee of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, the only United States citizen to hold that honor.

Cook is the author of several books about Shakespeare, including The Privileged Playgoers and Making a Match. She is married to OU alumnus Gerry Calhoun.

John Danner

Danner serves as the chairman for Native American Communications and as the director for The International Association of Merchant Banks Investment Companies, IAMBIC Ltd. While at OU, he was a member of the President’s Leadership Class and Senior Class President. Danner helped create the President’s Summit on America’s Future, which included all living presidents and their spouses, Colin Powell, Fortune 1,000 corporations, more than 12,000 national nonprofit organizations, 100 American mayors, and 27 governors.

Danner developed and produced special projects with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, World Conference of Mayors, National Governors Association and the National Association of State Legislators and Congress. He produced the Points of Light Foundation “We are Family” Campaign to mobilize funds and resources for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita victim relief. Danner also produced and performed at the National Cathedral, Washington DC for the InterFaith Council Concert.

He has worked with Nelson Mandela, President Obasanjo of Nigeria, Shari Belafonte in Kenya, the Dalai Lama and Wisdom Keepers, UN-NYC, and Hibakusha in Hiroshima, Japan. He is a producer and promoter of several benefit concerts, including Steve Wozniak’s U.S. Festival, and Quincy Jones’ We Are the Future. Danner is on the board of the Global Broadcasting Foundation and Global Learning Foundation. He serves as a regent and philanthropic development officer of the National Heritage Foundation, which represents nearly 10,000 foundations in the U.S.

A.T. Stair

Stair grew up on a dairy farm near Canton, Okla. before heading to OU. While at OU, he was active in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, the Air Force ROTC and he developed his life-long interest in skiing and table tennis.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from OU, Stair served in the United States Air Force as a 1st Lieutenant at the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory in Boston. After two years of active duty, he resigned to become a civilian scientist at the lab. He also lectured in applied physics at the Lowell Technological Institute in Massachusetts. In 1962, he and Doran Baker established the Space Dynamics Lab at Utah State University.

Stair continued to study the non-local thermodynamic equilibrium in the upper atmosphere and became a branch chief within the laboratory and the scientific director for NLTE research. This research continued through his career with the U.S. Air Force. Following his retirement, he became a consultant with the U.S. government, developing further studies of the atmosphere and creating joint programs for missile defense. He currently works as the president of Visidyne, Inc. and is involved with a new sensor called Sun and Aureole Measurements, used for measuring the optical properties of cirrus and their effects on the radiation balance of the earth and solar energy.