Elizabeth Burks, senior in nutritional sciences, wants to be like Kasey Shrum.
“She’s everything that I aspire to be,” Burks said. “I want to be a pediatrician.”
Burks is just one of the thousands of OSU students who are ecstatic about President Designee Dr. Kasey Shrum and the future of Oklahoma State University. Shrum was named OSU’s 19th president this past week. The hiring makes her the first female president in school history. In a poll that the O’Colly released on Twitter, 92% of 274 votes approved the hiring of Shrum.
For freshman political science major Azlyn Vincent, the presidential change occurs at a fitting time.
“I feel like OSU has been in a public eye a lot recently with COVID-19 news,” Vincent said. “I want her (Shrum) to change things in a positive manner,” Vincent said.
Shrum is used to being the first. That’s how it was when Shrum became president of OSU Center for Health Services in 2013. She was the youngest and first female medical school president in state history. This hiring makes her the first doctor of osteopathic medicine to serve in a presidential role. Her leadership and character remain the same; the only difference here is her title.
“I thought it was cool that OSU hired a doctor,” freshman theater major Emma Kessler said. “There aren’t a whole lot of women in academia. I think it’s interesting that OSU hasn’t had a female or doctor as president. They are putting two in one.”
Women don’t often hold executive positions in higher education. OSU joins Iowa State University and Baylor University as the only Big 12 institutions with female presidents. Many other students echo Kessler’s sentiments.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” sophomore music education major Johnn McCray said. “This gives us an opportunity for more diversity in higher education.”