Students

To me the AMST [program] is the ultimate awareness program. . . . Now more than ever, I just want to read, analyze, interpret, and as [Stuart] Hall insists, interrogate language – the discourse of meanings and the powers that fix them. How are we invested in these meanings? . . . What “shared conceptual maps” about American Culture are held elsewhere? How have media shaped these maps? . . . “So What?”

–Tiffany Deason, 2010 grad.

What American Studies graduates are doing…

Our alumni are actively pursuing their interests in American culture and history through the work they take up upon graduation. Here are some of the things people are doing with their AMST degrees.

Natasha Ball, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (Dec. 2005). Tasha is a jack of all trades when it comes to writing and publishing. She is the blogger behind Tasha Does Tulsa, was the Managing Editor of This Land Press and, most recently, helped launch and run The Tulsa Voice alternative paper. You can sample her writing in This Land Magazine, The Urban Tulsa, The Tulsa Voice, and other local venues as well as national outlets like The Believer, which will be publishing Tasha’s article on Branson, Mo, later in 2015. She’s living proof that writing does pay!

The level of writing and research instruction I found in the American Studies program at Oklahoma State gave me the confidence to walk into a local newspaper office after graduation and ask for a job as its assistant editor. . . . If I had chosen a degree without the multidisciplinary focus American Studies offers, I might not have had the skills or courage to build by own multimedia company which, by my 26th birthday, will have seen its hub, the blog TashaDoesTulsa.com, be named to the 2009 class of the Hot 100 of Tulsa’s movers and shakers by Urban Tulsa Magazine, or have been honored in its 2009 Absolute Best of Tulsa awards as a top Tulsa blogger.

–Tasha Ball, 2005 grad

Alan Barker, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (2005). Alan works as a Legal Assistant for a legal firm in Manhatten (NYC). He is part of the Environmental and Land Use Group working with attorneys on issues of variance to the zoning laws in areas both inside and outside of the five boroughs. “One of my other duties,” he says, “is to manage all of our lobbying efforts.”

Scott Childers, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (2005). Scott received his teaching license through the alternative teacher certification process after graduating from OSU, and has gone on to receive a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from OU-Tulsa. He is currenty Records Retention and Compliance Officer and Fleet Manager for the Operations Department at OU-Tulsa and a part time teacher at TCC, OU-Tulsa, and OSU-Tulsa.

The multidisciplinary nature of the program provided an opportunity to explore a vast number subjects and aspects of American society. . . . The instructors in the program have an obvious passion for the courses that they teach.  This enthusiasm is apparent to the student and makes the learning environment productive and enjoyable. [After taking American Studies courses,] I have much more confidence in my ability to read, comprehend and articulate thoughts and ideas. . . . I obviously use these skills everyday, both professionally and personally.

–Scott Childers, 2005 grad.

Lori Coggins, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (2004). Lori is currently the Manager of OSU-Tulsa’s Graduate Student Services Center. In 2005, she received a Master’s Degree of Science in Educational Leadership/Higher Education at OSUT and is enrolled in the English graduate program at OSU Stillwater.

Taylor Cunningham, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (2015). Taylor is currently in graduate school at the University of Minnesota Law School and a law clerk at Meshbesher & Spence in Minneapolis. In 2015, he served as undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Bin Liang in Sociology and American Studies.

Tiffany Deason, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (2010). Hear Tiffany speak about the degree in the video above. Last we heard, Tiffany was enrolled in the American Studies Masters Program at Northeastern State University.

Maria DeLong, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (2007). Maria writes historical fiction and non-fiction and has had her work published in Wild West Magazine (Oct/Nov 2007) and other venues. Check out: “She was a Daisey in Oklahoma Territory,” a story about a woman involved in the Oklahoma land run of 1889. The story is based on research Maria did for her Senior Seminar Thesis at OSUT.

Amanda Emerson (nee Valenzuela), Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (2006). Amanda is now the Vice President of Marketing for Head Country Food Products, Inc. and lives in Miami, OK. She has also worked as Marketing and Market Research Coordinater for Blitz USA and has handled External Affairs for The Portable Fuel Container Manufacturers Association. She says she is putting her research skills to good use in marketing (and you can, too!).

Krista Evilsizor, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (2006). Krista works for the self-publishing company AuthorHouse, now called Author Solutions since being acquired by the publishing poweer Penguin-Random House. She has overseen the company’s digital distribution processes, working with vendors such as Amazon, Ingram, and Barnes & Noble, and now heads the group’s offset print processes. In this capacity, she has overseen the production of several high profile titles, including Carl Reiner’s recent autobiography.

Brock Johnson, Bachelor of Arts, OSU (2009). Brock is currently serving in the US Peace Corps in Fiji. How cool is that?

Tabitha Layman, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (2005). After graduation, Tabitha served as an intern for Congressman John Sullivan in Washington, DC. Upon completion of that internship, she accepted a job as Staff Assistant/Deputy Press Secretary for Congressman Frank Lucas (3rd District of Oklahoma). In 2008, Tabitha joined John McCain’s Presidential election team. Since then, she has been working as the Government Affairs Officer for the non-profit Military Families United. She is currently applying to graduate schools for a Masters in Social Work.

I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed OSU-Tulsa and the American Studies program. Not only did I enjoy all my classes and professors, but I found the program really useful in my everyday life.”

–Tabitha Layman, 2005 grad.

Nate McGuire, Bachelor of Sciences in Sociology with a minor in American Studies (2012). Nate went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Social Work and currently works for the Oklahoma Department of Health and Human Services.

Kara Medina, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, English minor (2005). Kara works for the Muskogee (Creek) Nation’s National Council Office in Okmulgee, Oklahoma as Assistant Legislative Research Specialist. The bulk of her work consists of legal research and preparation of Tribal legislation to be enacted at monthly Regular Sessions of the National Council.

Joe Myers, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (2006). A creative writer and film-maker, Joe has published his short stories in Papyrus (vol. 11) and Ripe Magazine (July 2006). He also has three collections of short fiction out with pulpbits.com. Joe recently completed a film called Find Me, shot partially on OSUT’s campus, and served as an extra for the Hollywood production OK native Jim Thompson’sThe Killer Inside Me. He recently completed his MFA in the English Department at OSU and is Assistant Professor of English at Langston University.

Debbye Scroggins, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (2011). Debbye graduated Summa Cum Laude, with Honors, from OSUT and was voted Outstanding Senior that year. She was also named a Senior of Significance by the College of Arts & Sciences. She recently earned her law degree from TU (2013). As part of her training in entertainment law, she completed internships with OK music legend Jim Halsey and Nashville entertainment lawyer and talent developer Bruce Phillips. In addition, Debbye has worked with a variety of feminist organizations in Oklahoma and beyond. Can’t wait to see what she’ll do with that law degree!

Bryan Wilson, Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (2012). Bryan is currently studying law at The Univesity of Missouri, Kansas City, and expects to graduate in 2016. He was recently selected to work as an intern for the Chief Innovation Officer of Kansas City. “My work this summer will predominantly focus on how to make the city a more efficient place by analyzing new developments in the areas of law, technology, and public policy,” he says. Interdisciplinarity in its best application!

Did you graduate with a degree in American Studies from OSU? We would like to hear from you! Please update your entry above or send us a paragraph about
what you are doing. Email stacy.takacs@okstate.edu.