Lotsee Patterson, an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, devoted her academic career to training American Indians pursuing library and information science careers and to the development of libraries on reservations and tribal jurisdictions. The education she received from OU, a master’s degree in library science ('69) and a doctorate in philosophy in educational technology ('79), provided the knowledge and skills that guided her career, which spanned over five decades. With the goal of educating and improving the lives of American Indian people and communities, she taught at Boone, a predominately American Indian school; Riverside Indian School, a boarding school; and the University of New Mexico, Texas Woman’s University and OU.
During her career, Patterson secured federal funds to establish Tribal libraries and helped to write federal legislation that sustained Tribal libraries. She has received numerous awards for her research and service by various national and state agencies, including being named one of 25 individuals who contributed to the strength of libraries and of noteworthy and sustained contributions by the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Sciences; an Honorary Membership from the American Library Association; a Library Legend of the Past 100 Years by the Oklahoma Library Association; and an Outstanding Alumna Award from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.
Her work has also been recognized by the New Mexico Library Association, the American Indian Library Association, the Association of Tribal Archives Libraries and Museums, and the National Congress of American Indians.
Patterson’s commitment to service extends beyond her home campus as a consultant to other universities, the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, and many Tribes. In addition, she presented her work and offered her expertise to universities and governments in Canada, Australia, Crimea and New Zealand.
Karen Gaddis is an educator and a lifelong Oklahoman. She attended the University of Oklahoma on scholarship, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics in 1971 and a master’s degree in math education in 1974.
She taught college math, algebra and geometry as a graduate teaching assistant at OU from 1971-1973. After graduation, she moved to Tulsa and spent 38 years with the Tulsa Public School system, including 25 years in the classroom and 13 years as a senior counselor.
Gaddis has been honored for her outstanding teaching with numerous awards from different schools, including OU, Oklahoma State University, the University of Kansas and the University of Tulsa. She also was a three-time finalist for Tulsa Teacher of the Year.
In 1991, she was honored with the Point of Light Award from President George H.W. Bush for creating a class for parents called “Algebra I for Parents”. She has been active with the OU Alumni Association and was honored for her service with one of the first University of Oklahoma Regents’ Alumni Awards in 1989.
After retiring from teaching in 2011, she focused on the state’s lack of funding in public education. She ran for the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2016 as an effort to make a change in the state’s public education. Once elected, she helped lead the charge to increase public education funding.
Though she is now retired from public service, Gaddis is still active in her church, Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, in Tulsa, where she has taken on many roles, including a member of the Administrative Board of the Sistema Youth Music Committee. She also works with the Early Release Program of Prison Ministries.
Allan Saxe is an accomplished political scientist, author, lecturer, humanitarian, philanthropist and professor. He attended OU from 1961-1969, earning bachelor’s ('61), master’s ('63) and doctoral degrees ('69) in political science. Saxe went on to the University of Texas at Arlington, where he earned tenure and taught political science and government for 54 years. He was honored with numerous teaching awards and, most recently, was honored with the title of associate professor emeritus.
Since his retirement, Saxe provides radio and TV commentary on current political events, where he draws upon and contributes his knowledge of historical world leaders and major events for context and depth.
At UT Arlington, Saxe received various awards, including the Gertrude Golladay Award for Outstanding Teaching in the College of Liberal Arts (1986, 2007, 2008) and was entered into the UT Arlington’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2003. Additionally, Saxe was a recipient of the UT System’s Chancellor's Council Award (1972) and was recognized by The University of Texas System Board of Regents’ as the Outstanding Teacher for 2014.
He has published a book titled Politics of Arlington, Texas: An Era of Continuity and Growth and co-authored another book titled American Government: A Core Approach.
A renowned educator and scientist, Homer L. Dodge was a graduate of Colgate University and earned a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Iowa.
In 1919, Dodge was sought out by OU President Stratton Brooks to head the physics department. Dodge created and became director of OU’s School of Engineering in 1924 and served as dean of the Graduate College the following year.
His acclaimed academic career also included helping to organize the American Association of Physics Teachers and founding OU’s University Faculty Senate, designed to give the OU faculty a voice in the development of university policy.
Dodge enjoyed a robust career of national and international service until his death in 1983 at the age of 95. The OU physics department was renamed the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2005. In 2021, OU announced a historic gift from the Dodge family that predominantly benefits student scholarships and research fellowships. In appreciation of this gift, the OU Board of Regents approved the renaming of the college to the Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences.
Mubeen Shakir was born and raised in Oklahoma City and completed his undergraduate studies at OU in three years, earning a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry, summa cum laude, in 2013.
While at OU, he was a member of the Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences’ Leadership Scholars, interned at the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth, and was a member of the Honors College. As OU’s 29th Rhodes Scholar, after graduation he went on to the University of Oxford, where he earned master’s degrees in medical anthropology and public policy.
After his time at Oxford, Shakir began work on his medical degree at Harvard Medical School. During his training, he worked at the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission on Accountable Care, advised a gubernatorial campaign on health policy, and served as special assistant to the commissioner of health for Massachusetts. He was awarded the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, awarded to New Americans for the promise and potential of their work in service to the country and world.
He graduated cum laude, with special honors in health policy, from Harvard in 2019 and was chosen to give the class commencement address. His thesis focused on the divide in health care outcomes in rural and urban health care in the US.
Shakir is finishing his residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital where he has been involved with various population health and quality initiatives to improve the care for patients. After completion of his residency this summer, Shakir plans to return to Oklahoma to work for OU Health where he hopes to contribute to improving access and quality of care for Oklahomans.