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On Friday, May 5, East Central University will honor the Barrick Family with the 2023 Distinguished Family Award at the ECU Evening of Honors and Recognition. A “family” is defined as at least five people, including extended family and deceased family members, that attended ECU. Only 12 families have received this honor prior to the Barricks.

The Barrick Family has had more than 18 family members attend or graduate from ECU spanning four generations. All the while, family members have had a significant impact on the Ada community and the Chickasaw Nation.

“This family is very deserving,” a nominator for the award said.

For this family, education at ECU began with Nancy Barrick Elliott, the first child of Buster and Leona’s to attend. Nancy began at ECU in 1967-68, but later returned to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1983, and a Master of Education in 1988. Nancy was an elementary teacher from 1984-2010 and was appointed as Chickasaw Legislator in 2009 where she has since served. Nancy’s children established the Nancy Elliot Education Scholarship at ECU to help students during their student teaching semester.

Lona Barrick began her education journey at Oklahoma City University, but later transferred to ECU in 1968. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Education in 1971. Lona earned her Master of Arts in Theatre in 1978 from the University of Oklahoma. She began working for the Chickasaw Nation in 1987 in various roles. Currently, Lona is the Executive Officer for Cultural Tourism for the Chickasaw Nation. She has worked with ECU to establish the Chickasaw Clemente Courses with the Hays Native American Studies Center and the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy.

Anita Barrick Williams attended ECU from 1971-1972. Anita earned her Associate of Applied Science in Banking and Finance from Oklahoma City Community College, her bachelor degree from Central State University, and Master of Education from University of Central Oklahoma. She worked in banking administration from 1978-1982 then at Oklahoma City Community College where she was a professor of Business at OCCC from 1991-2016.

Ben Barrick earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education in 1981 from ECU. He serves as the Director of Risk Management and Insurance Operations for the Chickasaw Nation.

Education for the Barrick family at ECU continued through the generations:

Janet Lester Barrick earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Education in 1998 and later a Master of Education in Library Media in 2004. Janet is currently Dean of Students at Ada City Schools Cougar Academy.

Andrea Barrick Horner earned a bachelor’s degree in Merchandising with a marketing concentration in 1990 from ECU. Andrea has worked in communications and marketing roles for the Chickasaw Nation, Valley View Regional Hospital and First National Bank, Ada. Currently, Andrea is the Executive Officer of Communications in the Department of Communications and Community Development at the Chickasaw Nation.

Nathan Elliott earned his Bachelor of Arts in History Education from ECU in 1999 and later a Master of Education in Secondary School Principal in 2004. He has been a high school teacher, coach and principal over the years, also serving as Cabinet Secretary of Education for the Chickasaw Nation.

Robyn Elliott Scribner earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Business at ECU in 2002 and a Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma State University in 2015. She is the Cabinet Secretary of Communications and Community Development for the Chickasaw Nation.

Rachel Elliott Jimboy obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at ECU in 2010 and has worked for the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center as a registered nurse and also as the Director of Child Wellness in the Education Department of the Chickasaw Nation.

At ECU, Jennifer Barrick Hawkins earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Education in 2003 and a Master of Education in Library Media in 2007. She works as a Library Media Specialist and teacher at Ada Junior High.

Zac Hawkins earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from ECU and is the Executive Pastor at Ada First Baptist Church.

Joy Barrick Moon has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting which she earned from ECU in 2015 and works for the Chickasaw Nation as Director of Management and Support at the Department of Communications and Community Development.

Rus Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts in History at ECU in 2009 and a Master of Science in Human Resources in 2011. Currently, Russ is the Vendor Coordinator for Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services.

Jennifer Johnson has Bachelor of Science in Social Work from ECU she earned in 2009 and is now a cook at the Chickasaw Nation Sulphur Senior site.

Andrea Tedore earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship in 2016 and is currently Funding Manager in the Department of Community Services for the Chickasaw Nation.

Alicia Barrick Johnson attended ECU and took many classes over the years.

Mikaela and Mackenzie Kent are current students at ECU, majoring in mass communication and education respectively.

The Evening of Honors and Recognition will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, May 5, at the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center at ECU. 

For more information on the event, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or at 580-559-5561 or visit

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