A familiar face will take a place on the University Center of Southern Oklahoma’s board of trustees today.
Shana Hammond, who has served on the Chickasaw Tribal Legislature since 2009, has served on the Sarah’s Project board, the A2A Mercy board and the Goddard Center Advisory Board, will be sworn in as a university center trustee during the board’s Thursday meeting. She will serve the remainder of trustee Gary Greene’s term.
“I just wanted to be part of it because it’s been here so long, and it’s a great asset to the community,” Hammond said. “Whether you’re in high school, or college age, or just want to go back to school and take some classes.”
Hammond studied marketing and international business with a minor in Spanish at Oklahoma State University. She moved back to Ardmore with her family in 2002 where she joined Mercy Hospital as a senior marketing specialist.
“This just seemed like a natural fit,” Hammond said. “I’m an Ardmore alum, my daughter was at Plainview, but I’m gearing more toward what I can do at Ardmore High School.”
Hammond said she plans to take time to familiarize herself with the challenges UCSO faces. The
university center has seen a lot of change in last the few years, with the addition of more online courses, the departure of East Central University and the subsequent addition of Langston University’s nursing program, and the center’s move to its new location.
 “This will be new to me,” Hammond said.
Her daughter used the concurrent enrollment as a student, and still sometimes takes courses at the university center.
“That’s why I think it’s just wonderful,” Hammond said. “The kids at different schools have the option to take classes when they come home in the summer.”
She said she’s seen more firsthand evidence of how important education is to a community in her time with the Chickasaw Nation.
“Educational funding is a big concern of mine, the same way it is for a lot of people,” Hammond said. “I don’t know that I have any ideas for how it can be fixed, but education and our elders are the two most expensive programs that we [The Chickasaw Nation] do, so it’s very important to me from that standpoint.”
At the meeting, she’ll be sworn in by her father, retired district judge Charles Tate.
“I’m very excited,” Hammond said. “I’m going to take a little bit of time to get my feet wet.”