The Duncan Banner


February 24, 2013

Rice finds interpersonal path in South Korea

DUNCAN — When going abroad, college students often get traveling into their blood and for Weldon Kyle Rice, one week in South Korea was enough for him to fall in love with the area.

A graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma and a Marlow native, Rice spent much of his final months in college praying about where God wanted him to go after he received his bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communications. Lo and behold, Rice was led back to South Korea, where he had previously spent about seven days abroad.

“I taught English at a private after-school academy, which are typical for South Korea,” said Rice. “Koreans are wonderful people and are so hospitable, it became a second home for me.”

While a student at UCO, Rice was a student assistant for Dennis Dunham, Ph.D., executive director of International Services at Central. Dunham always wanted to put in a UCO international office and when the opportunity came up to be the coordinator for that office, Rice knew Korea was a prime area for just that.

“We opened the office Oct. 15, 2012, and we’ve gotten a good response,” he said. “It’s the first office overseas for UCO and we’ve always had a small interest from Koreans; we have about 130 on campus.”

Right now, Rice is working on building up the exchange program to where not only will Koreans be recruited to UCO, but Americans will gain interest in studying abroad in Korea. This experience is important, Rice said, at both a personal and professional standpoint in a student’s life.

“They can experience Asian culture, which is very different from American culture, and it will allow them to interact and relate to Koreans,” Rice said. “The incentives the Korean universities are offering are great because American students can study for half the price in Korea than Europe and they offer free housing.”

Rice has held a few study abroad fairs for both Koreans and for Americans. The Korean study abroad programs have been brought to many UCO students’ attention than ever before. Right now, Rice is stateside and has held a few presentations at UCO, but will be heading back to Korea on March 11.

“I’ll be back here at the end of July and then go back after a few weeks,” Rice said. “I’ll just keep going on like that until I decide not to do it anymore or the university closes the office.”

Although Rice enjoys Korea and all the friends he has made there, he said it is hard being away from family. Being from a small town and a self-professed “country boy,” he now lives in a suburb of the largest city in Korea but said he enjoys that environment too.

“I will always remember when I come from and I look back to see those who invested in me when I was so young, who taught me so much, who gave me the courage and faith to step out and do something like this and I’m grateful,” he said.

“It’s not easy and it’s not for everyone, but it’s rewarding to have this opportunity.”

Text Only
  • Hammond rediscovers love for musical theater

    For someone planning  a career in law, Reavis Hammond got his first taste of law school from an unexpected source.

    July 6, 2014

  • Paleo dieters suffer as Panera fights protein price jump

    While more than half of American consumers are looking to eat more protein and millions are adhering to the Paleolithic, or Paleo, diet, the higher cost of the muscle-building amino acids threatens to curb their enthusiasm and send them in search of cheaper alternatives.

    June 20, 2014

  • 6:17EdenBoswell.jpg Police: 'Gypsy Wedding' couple stole rings, cash at wedding

    A couple who appeared on the TLC reality series “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” was jailed in North Carolina last weekend, accused of stealing cash and valuables from the bride and groom at a wedding they were attending.

    June 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Texting while driving is latest teen risk as smoking declines

    While smoking among American teens has fallen to a 22-year low, most adolescents admit to engaging in a new type of risky behavior: texting while driving.

    June 13, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-05-30 at 2.39.00 PM.png Distracted? 3 desktop apps to save you from yourself

    While we normally share mobile apps, this week's "special edition" piece includes three desktop apps to save your distracted self from social media scrolling, constant email checking and general lack of focus.

    May 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • national-school-choice-week-logo1.jpg Americans prepare to support school choice

    Millions of Americans will voice their support for educational opportunity during the fourth-annual National School Choice Week, which begins on Jan. 26.
    The week will include an unprecedented 5,500 events across all 50 states, with a goal of increasing public awareness of the importance of empowering parents with the freedom to choose the best educational environments for their children.
    National School Choice Week events will be independently-planned and independently-funded by schools, organizations, individuals and coalitions. Events include rallies, roundtable discussions, school fairs, parent information sessions, movie screenings, and more.

    January 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • emily dickerson.jpg Last monolingual Chickasaw citizen dies at 93

    Emily Johnson Dickerson, a full blood Chickasaw who spoke only the Chickasaw language her entire life, died at her Ada home on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013. She was 93.
    Dickerson was the last monolingual Chickasaw language speaker, according to Joshua Hinson, director of the Chickasaw Nation Language Department.
    Hinson, who has devoted his career to revitalization of the Chickasaw language, said today the loss of Dickerson was monumental. “I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the loss and what this means to the Chickasaw Nation,” he said.
    Dickerson was one of only an estimated 70 remaining fluent speakers of the Chickasaw language.

    January 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mrs. Oklahoma.jpg Where is Mrs. Stephens County?

    Julie Pittman, Mrs. Oklahoma 2013, recently competed at Mrs. America and won Mrs. Photogenic. Who will she crown as her successor? The search is on.
    Mrs. Oklahoma is proud to announce its search for married women residing in Oklahoma who wish to receive the honor of representing their community in the 2014 State Competition. Selected applicants will receive an official title and banner and become their community’s representative.

    January 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Native American focus features works by Choctaw artist

    Preparing for a temporary exhibit of works already in the vault at Chisholm Trail Heritage Center involved days of research for the staff, with curator Andy Couch overseeing the project. The exhibit features oil painting portraits and other images by the late Brunetta Bernard Griffith, of Choctaw ancestry, who died in 2006. It is part of the museum’s focus on Native American arts and history which kicked off with the new year and continues to March 14.
    “It is an exciting exhibit in that not all of her works have been on display here before and the quality of the work is showcased in this exhibit,” Executive Director Stacy Cramer Moore said.

    January 5, 2014

  • Gene Brown.jpg County parades provided Christmas spirit despite cold weather

    Whether you attended one, none, or all three area parades Dec. 14, there may have been a few scenes you missed.
    If you didn’t brave the cold, here is a glimpse into the Christmas season in Stephens County when Duncan, Marlow and Comanche celebrated with the cities’ annual parades.
    Floats ranged from those featuring groups, churches, city and county figures. Of course Santa ended each parade in his jolly style.

    December 22, 2013 2 Photos


Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.