Faculty Spotlight: Brad DurenBy Matt Sparks, Panhandle State Collegian on 04/11/2017
Of the many distinguished faculty members of Oklahoma Panhandle State University, few have had a greater impact on the students here (especially history majors) than Dr. Brad Duren. There is, however, much more to this man than what lies on the surface.
Raised in the Southern Oklahoma town of Duncan, Dr. Duren developed a love for music at a young age. As he grew older, this would remain among the many passions of his life, along with horror movies and history. These passions helped shape Dr. Duren into the professor that so many of his students across campus and beyond admire today.
After graduating from Comanche High School, Brad Duren would leave to enroll at Oklahoma City University. It was here that he attended college with notable names such as Kristin Chenoweth, who is known for her roles in television’s The West Wing and Broadway’s Wicked. Duren graduated with a degree in music. After OCU, Dr. Duren was accepted into the University of Central Oklahoma where he obtained his Masters, upon which Duren faced a difficult choice between his two primary Doctoral suitors: Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Duren chose the former and is still proud of his Cowboy alumni status today.
Dr. Duren has taught at Panhandle State for almost 18 years and also serves as the Chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences. He has had a tremendous impact on numerous students who have gone on to great careers after college. Anyone who has taken a Duren class has most likely heard him say that he would match Panhandle State History Majors against any from larger universities. This has been evidenced annually as he has led the History Club trip to the Southwest Popular Culture Conference in Albuquerque, N.M. where his students debate against, and present in the presence of, some of the more distinguished minds in Academia.
Duren has said, “I love OPSU- the campus, my colleagues, and working with the students. It’s a great environment. A welcoming and laid back environment, but we are very thorough in our department and I am very proud of that.”
Duren has been accepted to do a panel presentation on “teaching history with horror film” at the Famous Monsters of Filmland MonsterCon in Dallas Memorial Day weekend.
With his many accomplishments and unyielding faith in the students of Panhandle State, Dr. Brad Duren seems to be the right man to mold the leaders of tomorrow.