Tony Gonzalez, a Bartlesville native, created new possibilities by completing a high school GED, serving in the military, and earning two associate degrees. He saw a college degree as a path to better earning potential and chose Roger State University to help him reach his academic and personal goals.

He was first introduced to RSU as a non-degree seeking student taking Spanish classes. He later enrolled in a degree program, as a non-traditional student, working full-time while completing an associate in applied science in applied technology from RSU -Bartlesville. While a student, he received the ConocoPhillips Scholarship.

“The scholarship Tony received was designated for a student holding a GED,” said Ronda Riden-Wilson, RSU Bartlesville Coordinator of Campus Services. “It is a perfect example of the value ConocoPhillips places on receiving a college degree by not focusing on a student’s past but on what they are presently accomplishing. Tony was the perfect candidate for that scholarship.”

RSU’s academic benefits brought Gonzalez to a “higher level,” he said.

“Since I didn’t have high-level math and computer skills, or communication skills, RSU Bartlesville brought me to a higher level. It gave me knowledge in applied science and applied technology through the associate degree program and I believe the reason I am in the position I am in now is because RSU gave me the training in software application. The degree program made a difference for me.”

He added that RSU-Bartlesville is affordable, flexible and convenient.

“Having a public university here at home makes it possible for anyone who desires a college degree to earn one,” said Gonzalez.

He is currently employed with Bixby Telephone Company (BTC Broadband) and was recently promoted to outside construction supervisor.

“If it wasn’t for RSU’s campus in Bartlesville I would not have completed my degree. I couldn’t afford out-of-state tuition or tuition at a private college. RSU’s lower tuition cost, student to teacher ratio (19:1), and a competitive scholarship program made it possible for me to earn a degree here at home,” he said.

“My current employer (BTC) is pro-education and RSU’s presence in Bartlesville made it possible for me to set and reach higher education goals.” Tony also served nine years in the Oklahoma Army National Guard, rising to the rank of Sergeant during his term of duty.

To learn more about the impact scholarships have on local students, contact development officer for the RSU Foundation, Angie Thompson, at