Susan Paddack received a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Colorado and a Master of Education Degree in Secondary Education from East Central University. She also earned a Certificate of Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Susan served as the State Senator for District 13 from 2004 until she termed out in 2016.
She now serves as the executive director of The Oka’ Institute. Paddack is no stranger to water issues and achieved honors during her work in the State Senate. The Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer (CPASA) presented her with the Oka’ Award in 2007 for her legislation to develop a sustainable approach to the long-term water use plan for Oklahoma. She also received the Partners in Conservation Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2009 for her work on artificial aquifer recharge
Susan was a member of the Leadership Oklahoma Class XVI. She was named among the 2004, 2008, and 2011 honorees for The Journal Record’s 50 Women Making a Difference/Woman of the Year and in 2011 was inducted into the Journal Record’s Circle of Excellence.
Dr. Guy W. Sewell is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of water resources, contaminant fate and transport, and the treatment of hazardous waste. Sewell is a Board Certified Environmental Scientist through the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES), with a recognized specialty in groundwater and the subsurface environment. He is also a designated DOE Technical Subject Matter Expert for Los Alamos National Laboratory, and has published over 50 scientific papers on topics such as groundwater quality, subsurface ecology, environmental cleanup and water resources, and has made scientific presentations at numerous national and international meetings.
Sewell joined the East Central University faculty in 2002 and holds the Robert S. Kerr Endowed Chair and the rank of Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at East Central University. He also serves at the Director for Research for The Oka’ Institute at ECU.
Prior to coming to ECU, Sewell was a research microbiologist with the U.S. EPA, at the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center where he served as Acting Branch Chief and as Research Team Leader for the Biotransformation, Subsurface Ecology, Ecosystems Restoration and Lake Texoma Research Groups.
John R. Hargrave serves as the Director of Policy and Development for the Oka’ Institute at East Central University. Previously he served as President of East Central University for eight years, retiring in March 2017.
In 2016, Hargrave helped establish the Oka’ Institute, which will create practical water solutions — both locally and globally — that will result in long-term ecological and economical sustainability.
Hargrave serves on a lengthy list of boards aimed at bettering his community, environment and higher education. The boards include Vision Bank, Mercy Hospital Board, Seminole State College Educational Foundation, Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame Board, the Foundation for Oklahoma Excellence, the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole, and the Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer Board of Directors.