Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
Agricultural Communications Services News Team, from left to right: Donald Stotts, Leilana McKindra, Trisha Gedon and Sean Hubbard.
In 1992, George H.W. Bush was president, Microsoft released Windows 3.1, “A Few Good Men” topped the charts for cinematic entertainment, “Law and Order” was the most popular show on television, gas was $1.13 per gallon, the Dow-Jones high point was 3,413 and Trisha Gedon began her career with Agricultural Communications Services at Oklahoma State University.
Working on a tenure that stretches a quarter of a century, she has somehow become “one of the oldies” in the ACS unit. Long gone are the days of being the youngest. But with time, comes wisdom, or at least some knowledge in a few areas she knew little or nothing about before taking on the role of communications specialist.
She is an avid collector of “Wizard of Oz” memorabilia, with enough ornaments to decorate a couple of Christmas trees. She also enjoys having an opportunity to “Thunder UP” and can be found cheering on the OSU Cowboys every chance she gets.
Raised in the Harper County town of Laverne, best known as the home of Jayne Jayroe, Miss America, 1967, Trish followed the yellow brick road to Stillwater where she earned her degree in journalism. After stints with newspapers in Vinita, Chickasha and Enid, she found her way back to Cowboy Country where she settled in, got married and raised her family.
There is a certain way to write press releases and feature articles to get the most out of each of them. They have to be accurate, entertaining and timely. According to sources close to the situation, no one understands that better than Sean Hubbard.
“That guy is amazing,” Hubbard said. “Watching him make his way around a keyboard is like getting a behind-the-curtains view at a magic show.”
Hubbard graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Gardner-Webb University, where he also played soccer. Upon graduation, he took his talents to Stillwater, Oklahoma to become a reporter at the Stillwater News Press. After a couple years of covering the Oklahoma State University beat, he joined OSU Agricultural Communications Services as a communications specialist in 2008. Hubbard earned his master’s degree in agricultural communications in 2012.
“It really was a great hire by the folks down at OSU Ag Comm,” Hubbard said. “He’s a rare talent, but stays humble throughout all his accomplishments.”
That being said, he is most proud of marrying out of his league and having three great kids who are following in his footsteps by being incredible academic success stories for Stillwater Public Schools and excelling in athletics, including, but not limited to dance and tumbling.
When city slicker Leilana McKindra joined OSU Agricultural Communications Services in July 2011, she didn’t know wheat from grass. Since then, she’s made some progress on that front – now she understands wheat is a type of grass. After harboring serious childhood aspirations of becoming a doctor and first baseman for her beloved Chicago Cubs, Leilana finally discovered her true calling as a writer with a passion for telling meaningful, compelling stories that both inform and inspire readers. She arrived at OSU after a 13-year stint with the NCAA national office based in Indianapolis. A native of Kansas City, Kansas, it’s probably no surprise she has a deep appreciation of bar-be-cue done well. When she’s not using her talents to promote OSU, you can probably find Leilana in the gym training as a competitive powerlifter, in front of a television indulging in her love of all sports, curled up on a couch with a good book or hunched over a laptop chasing a dream of becoming a published fiction novelist. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University and a master’s degree from the University of Kansas.
Known for being the “living history guy” for OSU Agricultural Communications Services, Don is often contacted for information pertaining to stories, videos, events, occurrences and plans of action from so long ago they may as well be measured in dog years. Call it the benefit of not only having been around for a long time but also having regularly interacted with others at OSU who were around for a long time, from OSU President Robert Kamm (1966-1977, very interesting years) to numerous university officials, DASNR administrators, department heads, campus faculty, field staff and cooperating partners in industry and government.
A member of the unit since 1987, Don spent 15 years as DASNR News and Media Relations manager and served as ACS interim director from January 2005 through June 2007. To think it all started when then OSU Agricultural Information director Charles Voyles called him up and uttered a one-word attention getter: “Help!” Don’s areas of expertise encompass print, electronic, broadcast, news, public relations, marketing and administrative. He is also a Cowboy alumnus, having earned his bachelor’s degree from the OSU Paul Miller School of Journalism and Broadcasting. He was a firsthand witness to nationally covered events at OSU during the 1970s, and is a font of trivia about the days of yore such as the campus-wide Battle of the Bands and Aunt Molly’s Rent-Free Music House.
When Don is not writing, editing or doing communications consulting related to OSU, you can find him interacting with fellow fiction and non-fiction authors or hanging with his two 100-pound dogs, Pooh and Jack, each of whom has a storied history proving they really are “man’s best friend.”