Woman of the Year Profile: Freda D. Deskin, Ph.D., Advanced Science and Technology Educ. Center Inc

Article excerpt

Watching the difference her sixth-grade teacher, Phillip Wilson, made in the lives of his students inspired Freda Deskin to want to do the same. And she certainly has.

In the past three decades, Deskin has worked with tens of thousands of students as a middle and high school teacher, college professor and dean, as the founder and director of Oklahoma's first and oldest summer space camp (International Aerospace Summer Camps) and as the founder and executive director of Oklahoma's first startup, public charter school in 2000.

She founded the International Aerospace Summer Camps in 1985 to assist students in bridging the gap between technology knowledge and the application of that knowledge. It is the great response from these camps that led Deskin to establish the Advanced Science and Technology Education Charter (ASTEC) School. The school now has 600 middle and high school students and graduated its first senior class this year. One hundred percent of these seniors are enrolled in college this fall, with many being the first in their family to attend college.

A graduate of Leadership Norman and Leadership Oklahoma, Deskin has a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Central Oklahoma. She earned her master's and doctorate education degrees from the University of Oklahoma, where she earned the honor as a National Collegiate All-American.

Deskin is a member of the National Women Presidents Organization, International Women's Forum, National Charter School Association, Oklahoma Charter School Association, State IDEA Advisory Committee, Oklahoma and National Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, Delta Kappa Gamma-Key Women Educators and the Oklahoma Curriculum Improvement Commission. She also has served as a space ambassador with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) since 1985.

She has served on many nonprofit and civic boards through the years. …