He worked for the State Education Department in 1980 and remained there until he was appointed to head the Office of Disability Concerns. He worked under five governors - Henry Bellmon, David Walters, Frank Keating, Brad Henry and Mary Fallin.
As director of the agency, Stokes worked with lawmakers to help with legislation intended to assist Oklahomans with disabilities, as well as their families and friends.
Stokes served as delegate to the White House Conference on the Handicapped in 1975 and was named Handicapped Citizen of the Year in Oklahoma in 1985.
In 2007, Stokes received the George B. Lewis Award, named after the former chairman of the Oklahoma City Mayor’s Committee on Disability Concerns, for his work in helping Oklahomans with disabilities. Stokes was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Department of Rehabilitation Services in April.
The Distinguished Family Award goes to the Ramadan family, which has been instrumental in various capacities in encouraging and influencing students who are interested in research and the medical profession.
Dr. Tawfik Ramadan and his wife, Siham, along with their children have provided many opportunities in the advancement of higher learning and research at ECU. The first Dr. Raniyah Ramadan Symposium was held this past January to honor the legacy of their daughter. A scholarship was also established in Raniyah’s name for an ECU student interested in the research and medical field.
Raniyah was a promising research scientist from Ada who passed away in 2011 at the age of 34.
The Ramadan Family has also provided a $250,000 gift to go toward a state-of-the-art research facility and program for undergraduate students. The facility, which will be located in the lower level of the ECU Education Building, will promote research-based learning and better prepare ECU students in all disciplines for their careers, including those studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.