Lives Transformed!–Alumni Stories OLD

There are so many stories of transformation–Here are just a few!


“OSSM was the foundation of [my] success and, frankly, was probably tougher than anything I’ve done since then.  At that age, at 16, you don’t really know how to push yourself and how far you can go, and the faculty and all the staff here. . . They impart a lot of knowledge but they also teach students how to thrive and succeed and that was one of the keys to my success for sure.”

~ Matthew Bray, OSSM Class of 1995 (Muldrow H.S.), Mechanical Engineer, Attorney

B. S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Tulsa, 1999

J. D. Law, Harvard University, 2006


“OSSM undoubtedly set me on a most unexpected but absolutely incredible path: one I never imagined.  Now, it’s the only path I could have ever wished to take and can’t envision any other.  I remain most grateful to the incredible professors and staff, whose passion for education, expertise, professionalism, and kindness know no parallel.  Similarly, I am delighted to know and hold friendships with my fellow students, who are some of the most amazing people and greatest minds I have had the distinct privilege to encounter.

Capt. Joy Lomheim, OSSM Class of 2006 (Life Christian Academy, OKC)

B.S. Foreign Area Studies, U.S. Air Force Academy, 2010

M.A. International Relations, University of Oklahoma, 2013

U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer serving in Europe


“Attending OSSM was the biggest wake-up call for me. Although I was perfectly content with the school I was attending previously, I went from being at the top of my class of 700 to struggling to keep up with 70 other students.  I won’t lie.  OSSM was not easy for me.  I did not make the best grades and always needed help from my professors.  While I did not appreciate all the extra studying at the time, I have no regrets today.  I learned more in two years not only from the curriculum, but also from living with some of the smartest people I have ever met.

The most important lesson I learned from my time at OSSM was perseverance.  In my career, I am always looking for challenges and ways to strengthen my character and work ethic — much like at OSSM.  This mindset has helped me progress quickly throughout my career, and I truly thank OSSM for giving me the drive to think creatively, differently, and smarter.”

~Alicia Tran, OSSM Class of 2008 (Moore, Westmoore H.S.), Pricing & Portfolio Insights Manager, Roche Molecular Systems

B.S. Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, 2012

M.B.A. Decision Analytics, North Carolina State Poole College of Business, 2016


“At my local high school there was not a lot of opportunity for advanced classes.  When I was a student [at OSSM], we definitely helped each other get through.  [OSSM] helped me become a better student. . . and it really helped prepare me for what level of science education I would have in college and for dental school, as well.”

~Marty Scantlen, DDS, OSSM Class of 1997 (Thackerville H.S.), Chickasaw Nation

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Dartmouth

D.D.S., OU College of Dentistry


First in his family to attend college, Dr. Michael Henderson was highlighted on as he attended the April 2017 BioVenture Forum at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation where he was formerly a Fleming Scholar.  He and many of his fellow OSSM alums are hitting home runs in business in Oklahoma and around the country and are looking to bring more business to Oklahoma!  See Michael’s thoughts on his OSSM experience below!

Michael Henderson, OSSM Class of 2007 (Dale H.S.), VP of Asset Acquisition, Strategy & Operations for BridgeBio, a biotech holding company taking a systematic approach to investment and company creation across 7,000 monogenic diseases

B.S. Global Health, Harvard University, 2011

M.D., Stanford University


Mubeen-cropped“My ultimate goal is to become a physician-scientist, practicing as a clinical oncologist while maintaining a translational research lab.  OSSM has been the best academic decision I have made.  I would not be here without it and the faculty who make it great.”  (See more of Mubeen’s story HERE)

~ Mubeen Shakir, OSSM Class of 2010 (Oklahoma City, Casady School), American Rhodes Scholar Class of 2013

B.S. Biochemistry, University of Oklahoma, 2013

M.S. Medical Anthropology, University of Oxford, 2014

M.P.P., University of Oxford, 2015

Now studying Medicine as a Soros Fellow at Harvard University  (see more)


SHELLY#3 - Head Shot

“OSSM showed me what was possible.  I was taught at home and at my home high school of Dover that anything was possible, but I didn’t fully understand what ‘anything’ entailed until I attended OSSM.  Now I have the unique privilege of working at the bottom of the Earth.”

~ Shelly Finley, OSSM Class of 1993 (Dover H.S.), Science and Technical Project Services Supervisor – South Pole, Antarctic

Support Contract-Lockheed Martin

B.S. in Physics-Space Science (Chemistry & Math Minors), Northwestern State University of Louisiana, 1999

M.S. in Physics (Chemical Engineering Minor), University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2001

See more of Shelly’s story HERE!


boominathan (2) “OSSM was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a wonderful place packed with passionate students, professors, and an atmosphere ripe with intellectual vigor.”

~ Sooraj Boominathan, OSSM Class of 2015 (Edmond, Deer Creek H.S.), Silver Medalist, International Chemistry Olympiad, 2015

(now studying Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology)


Carter, Tyler HeadshotOSSM prepared me for a petroleum engineering undergraduate program, helped me start my first semester of college as a sophomore and helped me have a higher GPA after that first semester.  The recognition OSSM has within the oil & gas industry set me up for internship offers over my classmates as freshman and continued to factor into decisions for sophomore and junior internships.  I’m proud to say I am one of only a handful of students at the University of Tulsa to start my senior year with a full-time job offer, even as the oil and gas industry is in the valley of a cycle!  I do not think I could be in the position I am in now without my early exposure and connections to the oil & gas industry made possible through the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.  (See more of Tyler’s story HERE!)

~ Tyler Carter, OSSM Class of 2012 (Tulsa, Charles Page H.S.), Production Engineer, Devon Energy (Aug 2016)

B.S. Petroleum Engineering, University of Tulsa, 2016


“Although I had challenging opportunities before OSSM, it was at OSSM that I found my first community of people who thrived and celebrated the challenges.  From studying together each weeknight to celebrating college admissions, it was the first time for most of us to be around others who also delighted in developing our minds, both students and teachers.”  (See more of Dave’s story here)

~Dave Purdy, OSSM Class of 1995 (OKC, Northeast H.S.), Research Data Scientist, Uber

B.S. Mathematics, Harvard University, 1999

Ph.D. Statistics, University of California-Berkeley, 2009



~ Sunil Kumar Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D., FAAPMR, OSSM Class of 1997 (Muskogee H.S.), Palliative Medicine specialist doing cutting edge research in pain management for cancer patients

B.S. Chemistry and B.A. Philosophy, University of California-Berkeley, 2001

Ph.D. Medical Geography, University of Washington, 2008

M.D. Medicine, University of Washington, 2010


Mashek #1 (2)“OSSM provided me with academic challenge not available at my home rural high school and taught me study skills that helped me succeed in college and medical school.” (See more of Lara’s story HERE!)

~ Lara Whittington Mashek, M.D., OSSM Class of 1995 (Dale H.S.), Hospitalist, Unity Health Center, Shawnee

B.A. Music (Minor Biology), Oklahoma Baptist University, 1999

M.D., University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, 2003


seidle3“OSSM gave me ability and confidence in college that opened doors I would never have gotten to explore otherwise. I was able to learn metal machining and rowed on crew while taking a full engineering load. Even with 18 credit hours, my first two semesters were a breeze because of my OSSM academics…. OSSM was a gigantic piece in the arch of my life. It was hard, extremely hard. OSSM taught me time management, working with people and general life skills that would aid me through the rest of my life.”

~ Nathan Seidle, OSSM Class of 2000 (Jenks H.S.), Owner, SparkFun Electronics

B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Colorado, 2004



“OSSM gave me the confidence and enrichment necessary to compete with the best and brightest as I pursued my professional goals. I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to attend. ”

~ Jihan Ahmad Abdul-Haqq, M.D., OSSM Class of 2000 (OKC, Carl Albert H.S.), Physician, Variety Care, OKC

B.S. Biochemistry, Spelman College, 2004

M.D., Morehouse School of Medicine, 2008


Lee, Jennifercropped“I attended OU, and so was able to transfer credits for all of my Calculus taken at OSSM, plus some Physics and Chemistry.  I got my degree in Mechanical Engineering, and only had to take one math class in college!  I am positive that the work ethic we all developed at OSSM contributed to my success in college, as well as in my career with BNSF Railway.  Any workload less than what we had at OSSM seems easy!  My OSSM days have had other impacts on my adult life too – chief among them, my enduring friendships with some of my classmates.  To this day, I have maintained close friendships from my OSSM class.

I think my mental organization strategies were developed at OSSM, and one of the things that makes me successful in my career is my ability to organize my work load and prioritize it, as well as to evaluate what processes are truly necessary versus those that are not.  I apply logic learned at OSSM every day on my job.

I doubt I would have pursued Engineering, and had I not I certainly would not be where I am today.  I did come from a good school district and may still have gone into a science or math related field, but OSSM gave me more confidence in those disciplines.

It’s hard to imagine what path I would have taken had I not attended OSSM.  I think the biggest thing I gained from my experience, besides an outstanding education, is confidence in myself and my abilities.  One thing’s for sure – I would not be the same person I am today if I had not had the opportunity given to me by OSSM.”

~ Jennifer Davis Lee, OSSM Class of 1993 (Edmond North Mid-High), Mechanical Engineer, Manager of Facility Development, BNSF Railway Co.

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Oklahoma, 1997


“I was originally part of the class of 2008, but my parents and I had to move away to Canada after junior year due to immigration reasons.  A recent conversation with a friend on the topic of competitive schools in California prompted me to think back to the wonderful year I spent at OSSM and how it helped me get to where I am today.  In retrospect, I really appreciated that OSSM

  • fosters a small, close-knit group of intellectually curious students,
  • encourages students to be independent away from their families, and
  • offers advanced courses taught by essentially college-level professors.

The social ladder was driven by intellect rather than popularity at OSSM, unlike any other school I have attended (including Princeton).  It’s where I learned that it was OK to be smart and pursue my interests, rather than worrying about fitting in. I’m really glad that I found this oasis.  Thank you.”

~ Zhao Yang Xu, Software Engineer, Google