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Srijita Dia Ghosh, an entrepreneurship specialist, active student and faithful volunteer, has been named the winner of the 2018 George Nigh Award at East Central University.

The award, presented to a top ECU senior at a luncheon Tuesday, April 24, is named in honor of George Nigh, the former governor of Oklahoma and ECU alumnus. Nigh served four terms in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, four as lieutenant governor and two as governor. He was also president of the University of Central Oklahoma.

“This was a huge honor and, with an amazing four other finalists, it was great to share this day with them. I was surprised,” said Ghosh. “I think what made it special is that the last business major to receive it in 2001 was Dr. (Stacey) Bolin, who is now my mentor.”

The late Julian Rothbaum, a Tulsa oilman, banker and one-time state regent for higher education, established an endowment through the ECU Foundation Inc. to fund the Nigh Award. Each year top ECU seniors are selected to apply for this award and undergo a rigorous application and interview process.

“It was an absolute honor to meet George Nigh and to ask him questions,” Ghosh said.

Ghosh, from Kolkata, India, came to ECU as a member of the women’s tennis team and soon became president of the International Student Connection Club. She has served as an officer of the ECU Rotaract Club and volunteered in multiple local initiatives, including volunteering at Abba’s Tables, Ada Career Center, Compassion Outreach Center and the Ada Boys and Girls Club to name a few.

Ghosh placed second in the statewide Love’s Entrepreneurship Cup as a junior as is currently working as an entrepreneurship specialist with the Ada Jobs Foundation. Her future plans are to pursue an MBA.

“Right now, I’m focusing on getting more experience in the field,” said Ghosh.

The four other finalists for the highly-competitive honor were Allyson Gregory, Darby Heard, Sidney Lewis and Elsa Mosley.

Here are the bios for the other four finalists:


Gregory, an English major with a Spanish minor from Shawnee, is an active member of Chi Omega and has served in various leadership roles, including vice president. She is also a member of Alpha Chi, Sigma Tau Delta and the Order of Omega National Honor Societies as well as the ECU Honors Program.

She has earned many awards during her career, including the Presidential Scholarship and cheerleading scholarship. She has accumulated a minimum of 15 hours of community service each semester at ECU.


Heard, a double-major in molecular biology and studio art, is a member of the University Honors Program, Chorale, Tri-Beta Honors Society and Alpha Chi to name a few.

She participated in REU research at Notre Dame University and “The Print on Paseo,” a juried art exhibition where she was awarded Best in Show. Heard, from Yukon, has received multiple other awards including being features in the publication, Originals. She has also received awards for poster presentations at conferences.


Lewis, of Velma, has been a member of nine student groups while serving in leadership roles within those groups. She was also the founding member of new student organization to advocate for the mental health of college students.

Lewis has been selected to attend two Zeta Tau Alpha National Leadership Conventions and has coordinated campus events such as Suicide Prevention Week, Stress Less Week and Fresh Check Day. Some of her multiple honors including: ECU Greek Woman of the Year, Outstanding Chapter President, Department of English and Languages Writing Awards and 2016 Homecoming Queen.


Moseley, a political science major with a Russian studies minor from Sulphur, has studied abroad at the University of Limoges in France and has served as a U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee Intern in addition to completing internships with both the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. House of Representatives.

She has also served in multiple leadership roles including the director of the Rocky Mountain Rotoract Multi-District Informational Organization and the District Rotoract Representative. Moseley was a Truman Scholar semifinalist and was granted a Fulbright Scholarship.


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