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The Oklahoman: Student makes most of experience at Oklahoma Christian University

February 2, 2016
News Stories

The Oklahoman - Steve Gust

Oklahoma Christian University junior Aubree Hughes is all about the college experience.

The Tuttle native said she knew she wanted to be part of the OC community and has never regretted her decision. Her older brother Austin went to Oklahoma Christian and now works for the university.

"It's everything I'd hoped it would be and then some," she said.

Likewise, the private Christian college probably envisions turning out students like Hughes, 21.

In her three years, she's run cross country and track for the Eagles and worked for the campus newspaper, the Talon.

She was among 50 students chosen last summer for the Oklahoma Policy Institute. She also interned last summer for U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore.

"I spent a lot of time hearing people complain about the deal with Iran," she said. She met Cole and describes him as "very intelligent" and "down to earth."

As a communications major, she is helping to start the student-led public relations branch of the school.

State Attorney General Scott Pruitt appointed her to a student leadership council, where he gets a chance to find out what issues are important to younger adults.

But her overall goal is getting a good education. Her grade-point average has remained high.

Mutual admiration

Her dedication hasn't gone unnoticed by faculty.

Just ask Larry Jurney, chairman of Oklahoma Christian's department of communication.

"Aubree is a generous, hard-working and joyful student-athlete at OC," he said. "We are confident she will have a bright career in communications and that she will use her many talents to genuinely make the world a better place."

The close-knit OC community, including President John deSteiguer, continues to amaze Hughes.

"He's the kind of leader who will talk to you and ask how you are," she said. "If you've had a problem with your knee, he'll remember and ask you about it three weeks later."

DeSteiguer also makes himself accessible to the student journalists, she said.

Going the distance

When not reporting on OC sports, Hughes is part of the athletic department, running distance races for the Eagles.

Her college experience has taught her to endure disappointment, as a stress fracture kept her from running cross country her first few seasons. Yet she continues to be a part of the Eagles track squad and has healed well enough to be part of upcoming meets.

When asked about her success, she said it probably boils down to two words.

"It's hard work," she said. "I'm probably not the average young adult. I'm usually in bed early."

Some of that work ethic probably comes from her parents, Kristi and Bryon Hughes. The family recently added an adopted brother, Kaleal, 18.

"Tuttle is a great place to grow up," she said of her hometown. "It has that nice small-town feel."

She said her career options include pursuing a public relations career, running for public office or going to law school.

Online: The Oklahoman