Life after OU: Sociology Major Goes on to Manage the Transport of Nuclear Waste.

Dr. M. Elizabeth (“Beth”) Darrough (formerly Dixon) earned her Bachelor’s degree from OU in 1960 and her Master’s degree from OU’s Sociology Department in 1976. While at OU, as recommended by her faculty advisor, Dr. Darrough worked as an intern for the Oklahoma Office of Economic Opportunity. The internship led to a full-time job and invaluable work experience actually doing sociology. Darrough performed evaluation research and public opinion surveys and even used some of the data she collected as part of her Master’s thesis. “The OU Sociology Department gave me a great start in my career and I’ll always be grateful for that,” she said.

Dr. Darrough continued her education in Washington, D.C., earning a Ph.D. at The American University in 1981. Her career has consisted of widely varying responsibilities, e.g., directing program evaluations, statistical analyses, complex logistical studies and engineering design projects. She led programs in public health, environmental protection and hazardous materials transportation.

As Director of Transportation Programs for a nuclear fuel supply company, Darrough was responsible for safe and compliant transport of thousands of annual international shipments. She shared her expertise through technical presentations and publications, serving as managing editor of a reference document on uranium hexafluoride (UF6) that is used worldwide in universities and nuclear facilities.

Dr. Darrough now is an independent consultant with recent work on transportation programs and UF6 operations. She also provides management consulting services to clients in other industries and serves on Boards of Directors for regional non-profit organizations.

Darrough taught at both OU and American University and, after retiring from full-time professional jobs, at the local community college near her home in Virginia. Beth and her husband, Rusty Rawson, live on an acreage in Fauquier County. In addition to their combined family (five children and nine grandchildren), they enjoy hiking, travel and being a part of their rural community.