Sara Marie Bodenstein is a member of the OSSM Class of 1994. Despite her father working for the school (Charles Dillard), she wasn’t initially interested in being a student but agreed to go with a friend on a campus tour. It was then the tables turned. Sara Marie became greatly interested in attending, especially because of the labs and the hands-on experience they provide. Her friend, however, did not. 

Today, following in her father’s footsteps, Professor Bodenstein is a 14-year faculty member at OSSM. Dr. Manning, OSSM’s founding president, offered her the position because she knew what Sara Marie was capable of having seen her thrive at the school. Now, she enjoys being able to help students achieve important things in their own journeys. 

“When I think of the hundreds of students I have seen pass through OSSM, I am honored to have been a part of their education,” she said. “My first students are finishing their advanced medical training, have families, and wonderful careers.” 

After OSSM, Sara Marie attended Oklahoma City University. She went on to earn her Master of Divinity from Duke University and is also an ordained United Methodist Pastor. At OSSM, her favorite classes to teach are precalculus II and calculus I. The former is because she helps students fill the gaps and get ready for next-level math. Calculus is a favorite because it makes great, unique leaps in understanding: limits, derivatives, and integrals. 

She wants to bring those opportunities to even more students who live in Oklahoma who may not be aware that there is no cost to families to attend the residential program. 

“OSSM provides a tremendous opportunity for all students in Oklahoma, especially those who may not be able to afford a college-level education,” she said. “It can open a world of possibilities.”