Honor graduates recognized at Commencement

Honor graduates recognized at Commencement

Press Release Date: 12-12-2011

Rodney Bivens

Rodney Bivens, the founder and executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, was the speaker at Southeastern’s commencement on Saturday. Bivens is a 1971 graduate of Southeastern.

DURANT, Okla. – Thirty-three students graduated with honors Saturday at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Fall Commencement, held in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

The honor graduates are listed by permanent hometown (Oklahoma, unless otherwise noted):

Summer 2011

SUMMA CUM LAUDE: Brianna Christine Rustin, Durant.

MAGNA CUM LAUDE: Jozey Begley, Atoka; Lila Ann Pierce-Voss, Haworth; Kathy A. Randall, Colbert.

CUM LAUDE: John Roger Baker, Tishomingo; Ty Alan Labeth, Wilson; Matthew Christopher Malone, Pottsboro, Texas; Cody Wayne Tilley, Denison, Texas.

Fall 2011

SUMMA CUM LAUDE: Kyle G. Jolliff, Lone Grove; Irma Kyle, Denison, Texas; Renee Kuchasha Mayfield, Sulphur Springs, Texas; Christy Diann Parsons, Soper; Arthur A. Starrett, Midwest City; Timothy Paul Storey, Norman; Kristal Cherelle Wharry, Idabel.

MAGNA CUM LAUDE: Amanda Jean Jones, McAlester; Phillip James Leonard, Tishomingo; Jeremy T. Lyons, Pottsboro, Texas; Bonnie Mae Petersen, Marietta; Tiffany Dawn Pierce, Durant; Tonja D. Van Sickle, Dallas, Texas; Bryan Emory Woodard, Durant.

CUM LAUDE: Bernard Lee Burris, Dover, Delaware; Johnna Ruth Dodson, Eagletown; Mark Wesley Greenway, Ardmore; Charli Haggard, Dickson; Leslie Jan Hobson, Broken Bow; Keri Elizabeth Zane Martindale, Smithville; Matthew Dean Morris, Caddo; Patricia L. Pace, Howe, Texas; Kelli Lynn Taylor, Durant; David Allen Tumbleson, Idabel; Kathleen Ethel Wilson, Bokchito.

Regional Food Bank founder-director to speak at Dec. 10 Commencement

Regional Food Bank founder-director to speak at Dec. 10 Commencement

Press Release Date: 11-16-2011

Rodney

DURANT, Okla. – Rodney Bivens, the founder and executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, will be the speaker at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Fall Commencement.

Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 10, at 10 a.m. in the Bloomer Sullivan Arena. Following commencement, a reception will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Visual & Performing Arts Center.

Bivens is a 1971 graduate of Southeastern, where he earned a degree in sociology, with a minor in accounting and business administration.

Under his direction, the Regional Food Bank has evolved into a highly respected model for food banks across the country, serving more than 825 elementary schools and charitable feeding programs throughout 53 central and western Oklahoma counties.

Bivens has served on the board of directors and on numerous advisory committees for Feeding America for more than 12 years. He also serves on the National Disaster Relief Task Force, where he has been called upon to respond to national disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Before founding the Food Bank in 1980, Bivens was Director of Hunger and Aging at Neighborhood Services Organization, and Director of Social Services at the Mary Mahoney Health Center.

He was awarded the prestigious John Van Hengel award in 2007 in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the fight against hunger. Most recently, the Oklahoma Center for Non-Profits recognized the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma as the Outstanding Non-Profit for the state.

In addition to his degree from Southeastern, Bivens holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Oklahoma.

He is a graduate of Class IV of Leadership Oklahoma City and a member of the Alumni Association, board member of the Homeless Alliance, member of the National Executive Director’s Forum, and member of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.