Graduate Programs and Advisors

Graduate program advisors are an essential part of each graduate program at The University of Tulsa. They answer questions from prospective and admitted students, as well as assist in evaluating applications for admission. Enrolled students utilize graduate program advisors to oversee their progress through their degree program from first enrollment through graduation.

Abigal

Class project gives hope to girl with cerebral palsy

Recognizing this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, not only for Abigail, but also for his students, professor Kaveh Ashenayi didn’t hesitate. He knew his students had the technical expertise to change a little girl’s life.

[From The Oklahoman, September 2, 2008]

Abigail Laipple was born with cerebral palsy and has never been able to communicate verbally or even move by herself. Electrical Engineering Professor, Dr. Kaveh Ashenayi, knew his students had the technical expertise to change a little girl’s life. The engineering students raised nearly $15,000 to purchase an electric wheelchair and all the components they would need to customize it to Abigail’s needs.

After a period of brainstorming, Electrical Engineering students visualized a chair able to sense obstacles and drop-offs independent of Abigail’s command. A remote control would be necessary for her care provider. This chair would allow Abigail to pilot herself unassisted.

Chris Carpenter has been with Abigail’s project from the start. When he began the project, he and other team members were engineering undergraduate students trying to solve a problem with technology. He has witnessed her progression from unintentionally pressing buttons to a day when Abigail can look forward to the full potential of her magic chair. After all the hours piled into years of hard work, Abigail has a one-of-a-kind chair and some real hope for independence.

After graduation, Carpenter said, he’s taking a job with Cymstar in Broken Arrow, where he will work on designs and upgrades to military flight simulators. He thinks Abigail’s project has given him a perspective that many recent graduates simply don’t have. “I learned that in real-life application, projects have to work, not just on paper”. “We designed a one-of-a-kind device, and we had all these great ideas. We realized that we had to make it work for her. That’s what we tried to do, and I hope we accomplished that.”

Graduate program advisors are full-time resident faculty within their departments, so they understand the strengths and weaknesses of their department and where you might fit in, in terms of research interests and funding opportunities. However, please remember that graduate program advisors are faculty members, and it may take longer for them to answer questions during busy times in the semester and during the summer.

 If you are unsure about who to contact or have a general questions about graduate studies at TU, please contact the Graduate School at grad@utulsa.edu or 918-631-2336 (Toll free: 800-882-4723) and we will be happy to assist you.