RSU to Host Distinguished Alumni Awards Award Dinner April 27 to Honor Ngare, Moore, Martins

The Rogers State University Alumni Association will honor four alumni of distinction at the upcoming RSU Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 27, in the Dr. Carolyn Taylor Center Ballroom on the RSU campus in Claremore.

RSU alumni to be honored include Caitlyn Ngare, who will receive the RSU Alumni Rising Star Award; Jody Moore, who will receive the Distinguished Hillcat Award; and Dr. Keith Martin and Lisa Martin, both of whom will receive the Hill Legacy Award.

Sponsored by the RSU Alumni Association, the Distinguished Alumni Awards began in 2023 to honor alumni achievements of RSU graduates and its predecessor institution, Claremore Junior College (CJC).

The Rising Star Award is presented to an alumnus or alumna who has graduated within the past five years and is already making an impact while representing RSU in their selected field.

The Distinguished Hillcat Award is presented to an alumnus or alumna who has graduated from RSU since 2000 and has made a mark in their established career and field of influence.

The Hill Legacy Award is presented to an alumnus or alumna who graduated from RSU’s predecessor institutions between 1972 and 1999, and who made a tremendous impact in their life and career.

Rising Star Award

Caitlyn NgareRSU Rising Star Award honoree Caitlyn Ngare earned her associate degree in business administration and management (general) in 2019, and her bachelor’s degree in business administration, management and operations in 2021.

While at RSU, Caitlyn was in the Honors Program, a member of the Student Government Association, and director of public relations for RSU Young Professionals.

She is currently working on her MBA in business analytics at Northeastern State University.

Since May 2020, she has been employed by Claremore Economic Development (formerly Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority), first as project coordinator, and then talent development coordinator.

Distinguished Hillcat Award

Jody MooreRSU Distinguished Hillcat Award honoree Jody Moore (formerly Jody Reiss) graduated from Claremore High School in 2002, after which, she earned her Associate of Arts in accounting in 2005 and her bachelor’s degree in sport management with a minor in business administration from RSU in 2015.

She has served as RSU admissions assistant, admissions counselor/data specialist, Volunteers for Youth HLP project director and in 2021, was named executive director of Safenet Services in Claremore.

For the past five years, Moore has served as the RSU Alumni Board president, and she has been involved in multiple non-profit organizations.

She and her son live in Claremore.

Hill Legacy Award

Hill Legacy Award Honorees are husband and wife Dr. Keith and Lisa Martin.

Dr. Keith Martin

Keith graduated from RSU (then Rogers State College) in 1983 with an associate degree in science – biology. After his time at RSU, he attended Northeastern State University, earning a B.S. in biology – education and an M.S. in biology – higher education. He also holds a Ph.D. in wildlife and fisheries ecology from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

Dr. Martin returned to RSU in 1990, serving as an instructor of biology until 2000. From 2001-05, he served as an assistant professor of biology, promoted to associate professor of biology in 2006, and became a professor of biology in 2008.

From 2004-05, he served as interim department head for the Department of Mathematics and Science. From 2007-08, he was made department head of Mathematics and Science, and from 2008-23, he served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (formerly the School of Arts and Sciences). He retired from his full-time role as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor in May 2023, but he continues to teach courses at RSU as a professor of biology.

Over the course of his career, he was responsible for multiple successfully funded research grants and had several articles published in national periodicals.

Lisa MartinLisa Martin was a graduate of the university’s first nursing class, when it was Rogers State College, in 1983. She initially went into the field as an emergency room nurse, in the cardiac ICU, in home health and as a nurse in Claremore Public Schools. In 2004, she returned to the Hill as director of the student health center – a position which she held for 16 years until her retirement in 2020.

While at RSU, Lisa implemented the certified healthy campus campaign, licensed RSU as a breastfeeding-friendly workplace, and facilitated the smoke- and alcohol-free campaign.

All honorees will be recognized at the 2024 RSU Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner April 27.

For tickets to the awards dinner or to become a table sponsor, visit