Distinguished Alumni Award

An Honorable Tradition

For more than 50 years, UCO has honored its most outstanding alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Award (DAA). The DAA award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in education, arts and sciences, business/professions, community service or university service.

For more information, contact the UCO Alumni Association at (405) 974-2421.

2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Freda Deskin, Ph.D. (BSED '70)

Freda Deskin, Ph.D., is an award-winning educator with 46 years of experience teaching in rural, suburban and inner-city schools throughout Oklahoma. She also taught at the University of Oklahoma (OU) College of Education where she was honored with the Career Achievement Award before becoming the founding dean of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education at Oklahoma City University (OCU). She now serves as superintendent and founder of Advanced Science and Technology Education Charter Schools, inner-city public schools that serve a highly diverse student body in Oklahoma City. Deskin earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Central and a master’s and doctoral degree from OU. She also holds a certificate in strategic management from Harvard University, has completed post-graduate work in international finance at OCU and has more than 2,500 clock hours of training in the aerospace sciences.

Jay Krottinger

Jay Krottinger (BM '06, MM '12)

Jay Krottinger is chief operating officer and co-founder of Tanninger Companies, which holds interest in industries such as biotech development and marketing, neurologic diagnostic technologies, restaurants, real estate development, film and Broadway. The most notable entity of Tanninger Companies, Square 1 Theatrics, received the Tony Award for the 2013 Broadway revival of “Pippin.” Over the last 10 years, Krottinger and his husband Ryan Jude Tanner have developed and partnered with other community investors, launching IQ Surgical, a healthcare marketing firm; MixCo, a gastropub in downtown Tulsa; and the historic renovation of Tulsa’s Kendall-Whittier Square’s Swinney Hardware building. Krottinger has both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music theatre and opera from UCO.

Mike Moore

Mike Moore (BBA '83, MBA '87)

A native of Oklahoma City, Mike Moore serves as president and chief executive officer of Gulfport Energy and was named to its board of directors in April 2014. He previously served the company as the chief financial officer, secretary and vice president. Before arriving at Gulfport Energy, Moore was vice president and chief financial officer of Indian Oil Co. and served as controller for DLB Oil and Gas Inc. and LEDCO. Moore received both his Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and his Master of Business Administration from UCO.

 Brad Parrott

Brad Parrott (BA '75)

Brad Parrott spent 23 years with Southwestern Bell, now AT&T, working in various areas before being named area vice president-external affairs where he managed community and government relations operations in south Texas. He now serves as senior associate athletic director at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). During his 15-year UTSA career, he has been responsible for revenue development, marketing, communications, ticket sales, strategic planning, special projects and community relations for the athletic department. During the last eight years, he has been instrumental in bringing football to UTSA and moving to Conference USA. A native of Midwest City, Parrott is a 1975 Central graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Gerry Pinkston 

Gerry Pinkston, Ed.D. (MED '75)

Gerry Pinkston, Ed.D., is a professor emeritus at Central where she taught for 31 years in the kinesiology and heath studies department in the College of Education and Professional Studies. She also served as head women’s softball coach for 22 years and head volleyball coach for seven years. During her softball tenure, Pinkston had an overall record of 418-271-1. She coached 12 All-American players, along with many players with district and regional honors. Her UCO team was selected to play against the first-ever U.S. Olympic Softball team as it traveled the country in preparation for the Olympics. She also served as the head coach in 1987 for the U.S. Athletes in Action Softball team that toured Sweden and Finland. Pinkston earned both her undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Oklahoma State University and received a master’s degree in health and physical education from Central in 1975.