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Oklahoma education news in brief

Oklahoman Published: April 22, 2013

OSU honors student workers

Oklahoma State University has named the school's outstanding student employees for 2013. The Student Employee of the Year is Mrinalini Patil, a biochemistry and psychology senior from Stillwater. She works in the department of microbiology and molecular genetics. She was nominated by Professor Bill Picking. Patil received a $1,000 scholarship from the OSU Division of Student Affairs. Four other finalists were named: Kelcea Cundiff, of Mulhall; Nicole Nunley, of Blanchard; John Seth Owens, of Morrison; and Amy Wingo, of McAlester. The students work in various departments throughout campus and in the community. They are nominated by their employers.

Tribe awards grants

The Cherokee Nation recently awarded $3.2 million to more than 90 school districts in northeast Oklahoma. For more than a decade, the tribe has set aside about a third of its income from tribal license plates to distribute to area schools based on Cherokee enrollment. The tribe has given about $30 million to schools through the program, though the amount this year was the largest. The five districts with the largest grants are: Tahlequah, $182,000; Claremore, $107,000; Cherokee Nation Sequoyah High School, $97,000; Muskogee, $96,000; and Pryor, $94,000. Go to for individual school districts and award amounts.

OCU bestows honorary degree

Oklahoma City University recently awarded an honorary doctorate of musical arts to composer and musical director Jonathan Tunick. Tunick received the award as part of a 75th birthday celebration at the OCU Bass School of Music. Tunick is one of a select number of artists to win a Tony, Oscar, Emmy and Grammy.

Woman named to national board

A member of the Oklahoma City School Board has been elected to the National School Boards Association's Council of Urban Boards of Education. Ruth Veales represents northeast Oklahoma City. Veales was a longtime employee of the Urban League and is involved in community groups such Young Black Men/Black Women Association, the National Urban League, Star Spencer High School and her church. She is also a foster parent.

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