OKLAHOMA CITY — First the sound of soft rain hit the downbeat. Then the scratch of claves alternated beats, growing louder and more insistent. When finally the boom of a hand drum vibrated throughout the gymnasium of Dove Science Academy (DSA) on Thursday, Jan. 28. As high school seniors stood in a circle with eyes shut, Dr. Sophia Lee, Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) Director of Music Therapy, directed this mishmash, impromptu orchestra and discussed the scientific and more abstract ways in which music can influence human behavior and health.
As part of Dove Science Academy’s mission to continue to achieve a 100 percent college acceptance rate and successful college preparation, Southwestern Oklahoma State University professors and department chairs, including music therapy, were welcomed to Dove’s OKC campus, 919 NW 23rd St.
“It’s hard to show passion in two-dimension on paper or flyers. We’re here to show students our passion,” said Dean of SWOSU’s College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Peter Grant. “…[O]ur students in the Arts and Sciences have been very successful. They have been awarded research internships throughout the United States — one at the White House — and even internationally, have been accepted into graduate school in prestigious universities, have been accepted into professional schools, and have the opportunity to work with faculty on their scholarship even in the first year of college.”
SWOSU is known for its quality academic programs and friendly service to students, alumni and friends. Located in the center of western Oklahoma, SWOSU offers associate, bachelors, masters, and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees. For more information about SWOSU, visit swosu.edu.
As part of its visit to DSA OKC, SWOSU brought representation from seven departments in the College of Arts and Sciences: mathematics, physics and chemistry, music, social science, biology, language and literature, and art, communication and theatre. Thus giving Dove students a broad perspective of professional fields and inspiring them to explore options they might not otherwise consider.
“Today is a great opportunity for the students. It ties hand-in-hand with our mission to get students to focus on higher education,” said Eric Bradford, music and drama teacher.
SWOSU faculty discussed the basics and benefits of their university as well as answered questions from students who might not be sold on a particular area of study. When asked why people even study mathematics, Dougherty said mathematicians, who learn how to analyze situations logically, are valuable and marketable in a variety of industries.
“They [mathematicians] can think themselves out of a paper bag…anyone who can correctly do a page-long calculus problem, someone will hire them,” he said.
“Math is a subject that if I apply myself, I can do it. It’s something I’m thinking about for the future,” said Jose Garcia, eleventh grader. “Dr. Dougherty was straightforward. For me, his presentation was a 10 out of 10.”
In addition to hearing lectures from various departments, several classes participated in a hands-on demonstration with the chemistry and physics departments about light spectrums.
"The whole world's open to you if you go chemistry," Dr. Jason Johnson said.
After interacting with several SWOSU professors and department chairs, seniors Stephanie Morales and Giselle Ibanez said they were happy to learn about a new university and will consider it for their future.
“I hadn’t really heard of them before today. A lot of students only think of OU and OSU. It’s good to know there are more options,” Morales said.
“I enjoy having small classes at Dove and that’s something I’m also looking for in a college,” added Ibanez. “I want to study in the biomedical field, and if SWOSU offers that, it could be another opportunity to try to get scholarships for school.”
SWOSU faculty also had nothing but positive feedback about their visit to DSA OKC and many said if given the chance, they would take DSA students with them to SWOSU campus immediately.
“I do think Dove students would fit in at SWOSU. They’re prepared for above average challenges and the special opportunities that we offer,” Grant said.
“These kids have such manners and discipline. They really do have all the right skills to be successful in college,” added John Hayden, Bernhardt Professor of History and Social Sciences Department Chair.
For more information about DSA OKC, visit dsaokc.org or call (405) 524-9762.