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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Strong roots in Oklahoma

STILLWATER, Okla. – With both parents having graduated from Oklahoma State University and farming wheat in Hennessey, Oklahoma, Helen Hodges has agriculture running through her veins.
Strong roots in Oklahoma

Helen Hodges

While her successful career path took her from Oklahoma to California, she never forgot where she came from, and neither did OSU. The Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at OSU recently celebrated Hodges as a 2016 DASNR Champion, a recognition given to those who are not graduates of the agriculture college, but who have brought distinction to DASNR and demonstrated a continuing interest in agriculture and natural resources.

Hodges of San Diego, California, received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from OSU in 1979. She became a certified public accountant in 1982 before continuing her education at the University of Oklahoma to obtain her law degree in 1983.

She was admitted to the State Bar of Oklahoma in 1983 and the State Bar of California in 1987. Hodges is an attorney at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP and has received numerous honors and recognition for her work, including being named a Top Lawyer by San Diego Magazine and being included in the Top Lawyers in San Diego list in 2013 and 2014.

The fact her parents were graduates of OSU, too, helped foster her passion for the university. Hodges established the Dillon and Lois Hodges Professorship in Plant and Soil Sciences in 2014 in honor of her parents.

“The opportunity to honor your parents is something that I think all of us look for and seek out to do,” said Tom Coon, DASNR vice president. “Helen Hodges has found a way to do that by honoring her parents through this professorship.”

Since its inception, the professorship has directly strengthened the Oklahoma Wheat Improvement Team through cutting-edge technologies and next-generation sequencing.

“One thing the professorship allows us to do is help us retain top-tier faculty, such as Dr. (Liuling) Yan, who holds the professorship,” said Jeff Edwards, plant and soil sciences department head.

The professorship provides Yan with a source of funding to pursue new and innovative techniques that are required to continue his research.

“Dr. Yan, by using these professorship funds, was able to attend conferences to learn more about gene editing,” said Edwards. “He’s able to do some experimental work to develop preliminary data that then can be used as a springboard to go for larger grants.”

Along with her support for academia, Hodges has a keen interest in music and is an advocate for the Performing Arts Center at OSU. Additionally, she currently serves on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees, the OSU Foundation Donor Relations Committee and is a suite holder in Boone Pickens Stadium for OSU football games.

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REPORTER/MEDIA CONTACT:
Sean Hubbard
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
157 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4490
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: sean.hubbard@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078
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