This week, hearts are heavy on the hill.
Rogers State University faculty, staff, and students are mourning the loss of Cathy Coomer, Assistant Professor of Communications, who died in her home Tuesday following an illness.
As news spread, colleagues and students were quick to weigh in on both Coomer’s legacy and character.
A former colleague said Coomer was “a wonderful, positive person who always had a smile on her face.”
A former student shared similar thoughts: “My heart is hurting today to hear Cathy Coomer has passed away. Cathy had the biggest heart. She believed in everyone. She always made me laugh, offered great advice and genuinely supported me. Cathy was incredibly loyal and passionate.”
The Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, too, mourned the loss.
“Oklahoma broadcasters, educators, and students lost a friend, a colleague, and an ally.”
Coomer joined the RSU faculty in 2004 with a dual appointment as a faculty member and as General Manager for RSU Radio, the student-run campus station. Whether in her role as a teacher or a communications professional, Cathy was a passionate advocate for her students and devoted herself tirelessly to making sure they were prepared with real-world experience. She held leadership roles in the Oklahoma Broadcasting Education Association and its annual student awards competition, where her students consistently earned statewide awards while competing head-to-head with students from larger programs.
In addition to her official university roles, she was an avid promoter of the university. She volunteered her time and energy to make sure the general public knew the impact RSU had on the lives of our students and the communities we serve.
According to RSU officials, Coomer came to the university after a distinguished broadcast career, including more than a decade as a news producer, reporter and promotions manager with television stations in Springfield, Missouri and Pittsburg, Kansas. She taught communications and served as Director of Broadcasting for Pittsburg State University from 1996 to 2003.
In a recent statement, RSU said, “Our hearts go out to her family and friends, as well as to all at RSU who knew her as a teacher, a colleague and a friend.”