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Human Sciences faculty and staff honored by OSU

Friday, December 2, 2016




Several College of Human Sciences faculty and staff were recognized recently during Oklahoma State University's Convocation.

Dr. Mihyun Kang, Design, Housing and Merchandising Professor, received the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award


College of Human Sciences Professor Mihyun Kang received the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award from Oklahoma State University. Kang is the Christine Salmon Endowed Professor in design, housing and merchandising where she teaches interior design.  

Kang believes course materials should be interactive and challenging. She requires each undergraduate student to apply their learning. They are encouraged to solve design problems through a process that begins with traditional three-dimensional sketches, computer aided drawing and visualization to the architectural model. Her students rise to each challenge and produce strong design work.

Kang is a Riata Faculty Fellow for the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship in OSU’s Spears School of Business. She is contributing to multidisciplinary offerings for interior design and entrepreneurship students as they collaborate in a participatory design following a Northern European concept.

As a member of the interior design faculty since 2005, she has also served as internship advisor, graduate coordinator and student chapter advisor for International Facilities Management Association and US Green Building Council. Kang was named OSU’s Outstanding Student Organization Advisor in 2015.

The Regents Distinguished Teaching Award is presented to faculty who have significant and meritorious achievement in the instruction of students for a significant period of years.


Dr. Hailin Qu, Hotel and Restaurant Administration Professor, received the Regents Distinguished Research Award

College of Human Sciences Professor Hailin Qu received the Regents Distinguished Research Award for 2016. Qu is Regents Professor and William E. Davis Distinguished Chair in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration. 

Considered to be one of the founders of the “new age” of hospitality research focused on theory development and dissemination, Qu is known internationally for developing new ways of evaluating service quality and consumer behavior in tourism and hospitality. He has published 102 peer-reviewed papers in top tier national and international business and hospitality research journals. His research has been cited 4,136 times. He has also published or presented over 225 refereed conference papers at national and international conferences, published eight book chapters and has been the editor or co-editor of five conference proceedings.

His research impacts the State of Oklahoma through research on travelers’ behavior, travel destination image analysis and tourism’s economic role. As a global influence, his research has provided valuable information for the hospitality and tourism industries in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Canada. 

Qu received OSU’s Eminent Faculty Award, Regents Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009 and the Regents Distinguished Research Award in 2005.  He received the Founder’s Award for the Life Time Contributions in Creation of Knowledge, 17th Annual Graduate Education and Graduate Students Research Conference, the John Wiley and Sons Lifetime Research Award from the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Educators and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Consumer and Family Sciences at Purdue University.


Jamie Bellah, academic advisor, received the Outstanding Undergraduate Academic Advising award

Jamie Bellah is the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Undergraduate Academic Advising Award. Bellah serves as a professional academic adviser in the Patricia Kain Knaub Center for Student Success for Human Development and Family Science students. 

Twenty-two of her advisees provided input regarding her contributions to their success. One student wrote, “Jamie Bellah is an incredible professional who always makes me excited about my future!” A transfer student reported, “When I meet with Jamie, I feel like I am the most important person. She helps me every time I visit her office.” 

Another student noted, “Jamie is so positive and happy! She makes me confident in my choice to attend OSU. She always responds to my concerns quickly and with the perfect advice! She makes my time here at OSU well worth it! The University and Human Sciences are lucky to have her.” 

In addition to serving as an academic adviser, Bellah serves as adviser to the Human Sciences Student Council and teaches HDFS sections of a first-year experience course. She is a graduate of the Early Childhood Education program in HDFS and has worked in Human Sciences since 2014.


Dr. Jennifer Hays-Grudo, Human Development and Family Science Professor, was appointed Regents Professor

Human development and family science professor Dr. Jennifer Hays-Grudo has been named a Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University. Hays-Grudo joined the College of Human Sciences in 2013 as department head of HDFS department. She stepped down from that position in August to lead the $11.3M National Institutes of Health grant project in the Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Adversity. 

The grant is a multi-institutional group of OSU and University of Oklahoma researchers with the long-term goal of eliminating unjust differences in children’s health by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status through effective translational science. As the principal investigator, she will lead a team of eight researchers from OSU colleges of Human Sciences and Education, OSU Center for Health Sciences and OU-Tulsa. 

Before coming to OSU, Dr. Hays-Grudo was a George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Community Medicine at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Community Medicine in Tulsa where she conducted research on social determinants of health. She was the principal investigator of the Tulsa Children’s Project, a highly integrated set of interventions program to increase the long-term educational and economic achievement of young children living in poverty.

From 1994-2007, she was a principal investigator of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), the largest study ever funded by the NIH to improve the health of women. Enrolling more than 160,000 women throughout the U.S., the WHI assessed the effects of diet, hormones and calcium/vitamin D on the prevention of heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer and osteoporotic bone fractures in postmenopausal women. 

Dr. Hays-Grudo served as a professor of internal medicine at Texas A&M College of Medicine at Scott & White Health Care Systems. From 1985-2005, she was on the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where she was also the Director of the Center for Women’s Health and the Senior Director of Health Promotion.

Hays Grudo

Dr. Brenda Smith, Nutritional Sciences, was named Regents Professor

Dr. Brenda Smith, the John and Sue Taylor Professor in nutritional sciences, has been named a Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University. She has been a member of the College of Human Sciences faculty for more than 14 years. 

Her research is focused on factors that contribute to osteoporosis and the osteoprotective effects of the bioactive components in plant-based foods such as dried plums and tart cherries. She and her team are also studying how type 2 diabetes impacts bone health.

Smith has been the principal investigator on research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, USDA, Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science & Technology, OSU Technology and Business Program and the California Dried Plum Board. Her research has been featured in International Innovation and she has presented her findings to the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, Experimental Biology, Oklahoma Research Day, Harold Hamm Diabetes Research retreat, OSU Research Symposium and the OSU Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Symposium. 

Her leadership is recognized on a national scale by her participation as a reviewer for five journals (Endocrine Research, Osteoporosis International, Journal of Nutrition, PloS One, British Journal of Nutrition), and serves on the PLoS ONE Editorial Board. 

Her unique combination of scholarly distinction and friendliness has resulted in many graduate students being attracted to NSCI and her lab. 

Smith’s research, teaching and mentoring expertise have been recognized not only in the college and the university, but also by national organizations. She received the national Board on Human Sciences Undergraduate Research Mentor in 2015 and was named the College of Human Sciences Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor in 2013. OSU recognized her with the Regents Distinguished Research Award in 2004.


Human Development and Family Science faculty members Dr. Ron Cox, Dr. Amanda Morris, and Dr. Michael Stout received medallions for their Kaiser Endowed Chair appointments

The College of Human Sciences has named three George Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Chairs for the Tulsa area. They are faculty members in the Department of Human Development and Family Science on the OSU-Tulsa campus. 

The chairs in Child Development, Child and Family Resilience, and Family and Community Policy support the HDFS mission of conducting applied interdisciplinary scholarship focused on reducing risk and promoting resilience within individuals and families across cultures and generations. The appointments include translating research into programs to be used by Cooperative Extension education that will improve the quality life for families in Tulsa and Oklahoma. 

Amanda Sheffield Morris has been named the George Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Child Development. Morris conducts research and teaches in the HDFS department at OSU-Tulsa. Her research focuses on children’s social and emotional development among low-income children and families. She has developed programs that emphasize parenting as a point of intervention.

As the GKFF Chair, Morris’s research will promote physical, social, emotional and cognitive development in children who live in adverse environments or challenging conditions. 

Ronald B. Cox, Jr. has been named the GKFF Chair in Child and Family Resilience. Cox is a prevention scientist who serves in the human development and family science department as an associate professor and family life specialist for Oklahoma Cooperative Extension. He also serves as the associate director of community engagement for the Center for Family Resilience at OSU-Tulsa.

By encouraging positive parenting and parental involvement in school, Cox will foster resilience among families in Tulsa through positive peer associations and programs that increase academic achievement and reduce negative child outcomes. The GKFF Endowed Chair in Family and Community Policy is Mike Stout. Stout has been an associate professor in sociology at Missouri State University. His community-based research is focused on economic development, increasing civic engagement and examining racial disparities.

Cox, Morris, Stout

Dr. Barbara Stoecker, Nutritional Sciences, was recognized for her induction into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame

Nutritional Sciences Regents Professor Barbara Stoecker has been selected for induction into the 2016 Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. She is the Marilynn Thoma Chair in the College of Human Sciences. 

Stoecker’s research in the field of micronutrients and human health has earned her an international reputation. She has pioneered discoveries on daily requirements for the trace element chromium, as well as its role in lipid and insulin metabolism. Stoecker also led research in bone health that showed vitamin E supplementation protects against bone loss in the microgravity environment of space. 

Her work in sub-Saharan Africa and Ethiopia provided important research to understand critical nutrient deficiencies and related health complications. She has published numerous research papers and co-authored several scholarly works, but considers her greatest achievement training the next generation of nutritional scientists and mentoring undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. 

Stoecker has been a member of the NSCI faculty since 1987 serving as department head from 1993-2001. She was named an Oklahoma State University Regents Professor in 2002, received the university’s Eminent Faculty Award in 2008 and the Regents Distinguished Research Award in 2015. In 2010 she received the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award presented by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. 

The 2016 induction ceremony and dinner will be held Monday, Oct. 24, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. The Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society sponsors the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. More than 200 leaders have been inducted since the society held the first ceremony in 1994.

Hargis and Stoecker
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