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Distiguished Alumni - 2017

Timothy D. DeGiusti

Timothy D. DeGiusti

Timothy D. DeGiusti is a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma. Born in 1962 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, DeGiusti received a bachelor's degree, with distinction, from the University of Oklahoma in 1985. He is a 1988 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law.   DeGiusti practiced with the firm Andrews, Davis, Legg, Bixler, Milsten & Price in Oklahoma City from 1988 to 1990, and again from 1993 to 2000. He was a founding partner of the Oklahoma City firm Holladay, Chilton & DeGiusti PLLC, where he practiced from 2000 to 2007. He was appointed to the federal bench in 2007. 

From 1990 to 1993, DeGiusti was a prosecutor in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and in 2003 he retired from the Oklahoma Army National Guard after 22 years of combined active and reserve service. DeGiusti was an adjunct professor of law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law from 1998 to 2003, where he taught courses in military law and trial techniques, and was the Distinguished Jurist in Residence for the University of Oklahoma College of Law Oxford Program in 2014. DeGiusti was appointed by Governor Brad Henry as a Commissioner with the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and served from 2003 to 2007. DeGiusti is an emeritus member and past president of the Luther Bohanon American Inn of Court, and is a director and past president of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He is a past director of the Oklahoma County Bar Association. DeGiusti is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. In 2012 he received the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation Wall of Fame Award. He and his wife, Elaine, have four children.

Brad Henry

Brad Henry

Governor Brad Henry serves Of Counsel to the national business law firm of Spencer Fane LLP and is a founding member of Henry-Adams Companies, LLC, a general and business development consulting firm.

Henry was a President's Leadership Scholar at the University of Oklahoma, where he received the Gold Letseizer Medal as the Top Senior Graduate and earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1985. In 1988, Henry was awarded his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, where he served as managing editor of the Law Review.

Henry served as Oklahoma's 26th governor. He was elected governor in 2002 and served two terms through January 10, 2011. Only the third governor to serve two consecutive terms, Henry was re-elected in 2006 by the largest vote margin in modern times and the second largest margin in state history.

Henry took office in the midst of one of the worst budget crises in state history but forged a historic bipartisan agreement among legislative leaders that shielded education and health care from massive cuts. Under his leadership, Oklahoma experienced an economic revival, with record budget shortfalls becoming record budget surpluses.

His greatest emphasis was on the improvement of public education. The governor’s initiatives raised teacher salaries and benefits to historic levels, put more resources into the classroom and set higher academic standards for students. The governor also expanded Oklahoma’s early childhood education programs, which are now rated among the best in the country, and dramatically increased funding for college scholarship programs.

In 2010, Henry was appointed by President Barack Obama to the six-member Council of Governors. The Council, created by an Executive Order of President George W. Bush, works closely with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and other defense and national security advisors to exchange views, information and advice on matters of mutual interest pertaining to the National Guard, homeland defense, and synchronization and integration of state and federal military activities.

Before his election as governor, Henry practiced law with his father, Charles, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and served ten years in the Oklahoma State Senate, chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee and serving as vice-chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee. A third generation Oklahoman, Henry was born in Shawnee and is married to the former Kimberley Blain. They have three daughters, Leah, Laynie and Baylee.

Emily Remmel

Emily Remmel

Emily Remmel is the 2017 Outstanding Young Alumna for the OU College of Arts and Sciences.

Remmel was born and raised in Edmond, Oklahoma. She received bachelor and master degrees in zoology from the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, she had many opportunities, including working as an undergraduate and later as a graduate research assistant in David Hambright’s Plankton Ecology and Limnology Lab. She spent summers studying at the OU Biological Station at Lake Texoma and found her aquatic ecology niche researching Daphniid zooplankton and the toxic invasive algae, Prymnesium parvum.

During her tenure at OU, Remmel accepted the Mark Coleman Fellowship on the Environment through the Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Environment program (now Environmental Studies). This fellowship pivoted on an issue central to many Oklahomans―water. Oklahoma and Texas were involved in a highly contentious legal battle over the Red River Compact and rights to future freshwater supplies. Remmel travelled throughout Oklahoma to dissect what this archaic compact was and what decreased supplies meant to professional stakeholders and concerned citizens. This experience truly inspired Remmel to embark on a new adventure in law school to gain a better understanding of environmental law and policy.

In 2014, Remmel graduated from Vermont Law School, which is recognized as the top environmental law school in the country. She received the school’s first Certificate of Water Resources Law and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. She had the opportunity to work with top water attorney, Jack Tuholske, in Vermont Law School’s Water and Justice Program. She assisted in drafting legal actions to protect Lake Erie from devastating blue green algal blooms caused by significant nonpoint source nutrient runoff. She also interned with the Sierra Club and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Remmel recently joined the National Association of Clean Water Agencies as the Director of Regulatory Affairs. NACWA is a nationally-recognized leader in all aspects of water quality protection. The close working relationship NACWA maintains with Congress and the EPA allows the association to effectively represent the interests and priorities of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants.

In her free time, Remmel enjoys teaching and inspiring curious undergraduates the complexities of water law and policy throughout the country. She is an adjunct instructor in the Environmental Studies program at OU. Her courses taught include Introduction to Water Resources Law and Water Resources Advocacy.

Remmel lives with her husband, Jeff, in Washington D.C. with their two cats, Tonka and Griffey, as well as a few mason jars of zooplankton pet friends.

Terri White

Terri White

Terri White, commissioner for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, is an advocate for individuals experiencing mental illness and addiction. During her tenure, ODMHSAS is recognized nationally for its children’s behavioral health services; community-based treatment programs; technological innovations such as “telepsychiatry;” and the integration of behavioral health care into primary healthcare settings.

White, appointed commissioner in May 2007, also was the first woman to serve as Oklahoma’s Secretary of Health, holding that post under then-Governor Brad Henry from 2009 to 2011.

Before becoming commissioner, White held numerous positions within the department, including Deputy Commissioner for Communications and Prevention; Director of Communications and Public Policy; Management Analyst; and, executive director of two state-operated facilities.

In addition to her career endeavors, White has been recognized by numerous civic organizations for her outstanding leadership abilities and tireless efforts to improve the quality of life for Oklahomans living with mental or addictive disorders.

She received a national Henry Toll Fellowship with the Council of State Governments in 2015. In 2014, White received the “Kate Barnard Award” from the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, created to honor outstanding women who have made a difference in Oklahoma through public service. In 2012, she was recognized by The Journal Record newspaper as one of Oklahoma’s top “Achievers Under 40.” She is a three-time honoree of The Journal Record's “50 Women Making a Difference” program and was named to its “Circle of Excellence” in 2011.

She was inducted into OU’s Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work Hall of Fame in 2011, and is a volunteer faculty member with the OU School of Medicine.

A native of Edmond, White received both her bachelor and master of social work from OU.

Tripp Hall

University of Oklahoma