Back to School: Meet the Faculty-in-Residence members
The faculty-in-residence program is designed to give a sense of family to students living in on-campus housing, as well as provide different events for students to attend through the year.
“The Faculty-in-Residence Program at OU has been in operation for well over 15 years,” said Barbara Norton, the Cate Center Faculty-in-Residence. “The program originated as the brainchild of President David Boren, in part based on his fond recollections of his Yale and Oxford experiences.”
Hertzke said he sought to create a sense of family as part of the OU residence experience and to foster informal “out of classroom” experiences between faculty and students.
Faculty-in-Residence members host forums and guest faculty organize special meals and events—often in conjunction with their residential halls’ Resident Advisors and Resident Student Association—and they eat with students in the caf whenever they can, she said.
Names: Lupe Davidson and her husband Scott Davidson
Residence Hall: Couch Center
What they want freshmen to know: I, (Lupe Davidson) think that freshmen (especially if they live in Couch-aka the best residence hall in the world!!) is that along with my husband Scott I am the Faculty-in-Residence for Couch Residence Hall. Scott and I share space in our FIR apartment with our three kids—Yannick, Kolya and Yelena and our dog Claire.
Programs: Some of our most popular programs include: our now famous “Mocktail Party” and “Rock the Mic” rap battle. Be on the look out early in the semester for our OU Club Sports Informational Fair. This is one great event! There will be food, music, and sports clubs like women’s rugby, coed cycling, coed field hockey, and the equestrian team will be around to talk about their respective sports and to recruit new members.
Fun fact: When I was a student I actually liked to study!
What they teach: “I teach in the African and African American Studies Program. Take a class with me!” Lupe said. Scott is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Oklahoma City University.
Why they became an FIR: I became a FIR because it is a wonderful opportunity to work with students outside of the classroom.
Why should students visit their FIR: Students should visit our events because they are fun, a great way to meet people and our programs offer students an amazing opportunity to learn about the university.
Names: Ingo and Andrea Schlupp
Residence Hall: Walker Center
What they want freshmen to know: To start with me, [Ingo Schlupp], I am a Professor in the Biology Department. My wife and I have four children. Our two oldest kids both attend OU. Our two younger children will move into Walker Tower with us. They attend Norman High School and Alcott Middle School.
Fun fact: The Schlupp family is from Germany.
What they teach: Ingo Schlupp is a professor in the Biology department, while his wife is a teacheing assistant for special needs children and a student at OU.
Why they became an FIR: Just like many freshmen moving in this semester we came from another place; we moved to Norman and OU in 2005 from Germany, where we were all born. Norman and OU made us feel very welcome many years ago and we will try to do the same for the students in Walker Tower.
Why students should visit their FIRs: We hope many students will come by for a chat to share their experiences and hear about our life as well. We will be returning to OU from a sabbatical year abroad this August and can’t wait to find out what has changed in Norman.
Names: Logan E. Whalen and Sandra Whalen
Residence Hall: Adams Center
What they want freshmen to know: We have three grown children. One son is married and lives in Norman. The older son is getting married this October and lives in Bloomington, Indiana. Lastly, our youngest daughter is a junior in college in Colorado.
Fun fact: One of Logan Whalen’s hobbies are gourmet food and cooking.
What they teach: Logan Whalen is an associate professor of French. His specialty is Medieval French Literature. Sandra Whalen is Assistant Director of the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange at OU. She is working on her master’s degree in Adult and Higher Education.
Why they became an FIR: We have always enjoyed being around our children’s friends, and applied to be a FIR when our two youngest were still in high school. We love being around the students and being a part of their lives while at OU. We eat in Couch Restaurants every weekday and enjoy the interaction with students there and in Adams Center. Moving to college can be a difficult transition, and we are happy to be a part of the community that welcomes students to campus and to be able to offer a home-like environment in the residence hall.
Why should students visit their FIR: We encourage students to attend FIR events and get to know us as well as the other students in Adams Center. We host events like pancake dinners, a Super Bowl party, OU football watch parties, cheese tasting, study nights. One of the favorites is massage night during finals week, where professional massage therapists come to our apartment and offer free massages for the students.
Names: Dr. Allen Hertzke and Dr. Barbara Norton
Residence Hall: Cate Center
What they want freshmen to know: "We have served as FIRs for two full years, and now entering our third year,” Norton said. “We have been part of the OU community for 26 years, except for two years during 2008 through 2010 when we both took positions in Washington D.C.” They have two grown sons and one grandson, Liam. They also have a 10-year old beagle, Rosie. They enjoy reading, road trips, nature, and hiking in the Colorado Mountains.
Fun facts: Allen Hertzke is a voracious reader, subscribing to dozens of journals and papers, and is typically reading several books at once. He was a runner and baseball athlete and loves to join a pick-up game of basketball or co-ed softball. Barbara Hertzke has a private pilot license and donated one of her kidneys to an unknown woman as part of the largest (at that time) kidney transplants exchanges in the nation.
What they teach: Allen Hertzke is a presidential professor in political science department, and a faculty fellow in religious freedom with OU’s Institute for American Constitutional Heritage. Barbara Norton is an assistant professor of research and coordinator for Cancer Prevention and Control Research on the Health Sciences campus.
Why they became an FIR: “We love being FIRs, which we consider to be an honor and a privilege,” Norton said. “More than anything we aim to create a welcoming and stimulating environment, right where students live. We take most pride in seeing how the FIR Program helps students connect with other students who reflect the rich diversity of OU.”
Why should students visit their FIR: As FIRs, Dr. Hertzke has been known to provide spontaneous tutorial sessions in PSC 1113 (American Government) for students who are struggling, and he is always ready for an intellectual exchange about politics, the nature of civic life, and the role of faith and religion in both, as well as virtually any other big idea. Barbara Norton enjoys visiting with students considering any kind of career in the health field, but more than anything she loves to connect people -- freshmen with each other, upperclassmen with freshmen, faculty and students, OU resources with students. Their signature activities include “cinnamon roll Sundays,” “sweet java study night,” and a night out with the FIRs.