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Employee Spotlight: collected wisdom

Thank you to those who responded to our Employee Spotlight survey. We had so many great participants, it was difficult to select the ones to feature in our series over the summer.

To close out our series, here's a few more words of encouragement on the question, "why is helping students important to you?":

"I love seeing the lightbulb come on when students put different concepts together and synthesize things they have learned in other classes."

- Christin Mugg, visiting professor of law

"As someone who works in the the business field, I see students as not simply students but future and current colleagues. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working with many students on their business ventures and have even invested in some of them myself. If I give them the proper help now, there may be rewards for many of us later."

- Vance Lewis, clinical assistant professor of management

"I love sharing my passion with students. I think creating a family through our team and providing a safe and positive environment ultimately helps students have a great college experience. I love watching students grow in all areas of life through their time here."

- Alicia Bailey, competitive cheer coach

"I never want a student to leave an interaction with me, be it in class or in a rehearsal or just passing on campus, that doesn't make them feel seen, heard, appreciated, and supported."

- Matt Jones, assistant professor of musicology

"They're our future. They're potential and ideas and wonderment unfolding. I have always been a strong proponent of education—I worked with elementary students on literacy when I was 18, reported on higher education for the Tulsa World, and have long considered becoming a teacher. Gaining an understanding of the world and how to operate in it is so crucial. Learning new perspectives and ways of thinking changes you in such a great way. A top-notch education opens so many doors, providing freedom."

- April Marciszewski, donor relations manager

"It is so important for students to feel like they have a guide as they navigate the path of higher education. They need to understand the resources available to them to make informed decisions. Sometimes they just need an ear, and sometimes they just need to hear something positive."

- Stacey Warden, Kramer School of Nursing graduate specialist

"Students are our top priority at OCU, and ensuring they are successful throughout their college career ensures that OCU thrives, and our students have everything they need to be great people, no matter where they go."

- Sarah Powers, executive assistant to the president

"Students are our future. I love helping students see education is a platform and will help you achieve your dreams and goals in life. It is exciting to think of how the world will improve and become a better place through education and give space for students to explore and grow."

- Lesli Welch, DFW regional recruitment coordinator

"I enjoy working with students to help them achieve their education and life goals. This is a special time in their lives as they enter adulthood. Many of them have dreamed of earning certain degrees all their lives. I like to think I'm a small part of that process for them."

- Angela Do, associate registrar

"I am deeply committed to helping my students thrive and helping them ensure that they find their way to a professional life that they are wildly passionate about. Too many young people enter college or graduate school influenced by external voices about what they should do and who they should become. It's so important to me to help my students gain the confidence to live THEIR lives and pursue what matters to them - not what their parents would like to brag about at a cocktail party."

- Carney Anne Nasser, visiting law professor

"Working in higher education is my dream job and I am fortunate enough to witness the journey of many students as they empower themselves towards their long-term goals. I've heard from many students over the years that the counseling office has been a 'safe space' for them to grow and challenge themselves. It is a privilege and an honor to work with our Stars as they prioritize their mental health and well-being."

- Mindy Windholz, University Counseling director

"I had a wonderful career in national security. Now it's time to grow a new generation of national security lawyers who can lead our country."

- Homer Pointer, adjunct law professor

"Whatever discipline a student chooses, lifelong learning will be critical to success. Having the right guide along the way can make that learning a joy or a nightmare. I choose joy, for both student and me."

- Linda Cook, adjunct nursing professor

"College is a place for learning about who you are, and what role you want to play in the world around you. You learn so much not just in the classroom, but about yourself. You foster connections that have the power to change your community and impact everyone around you, including those who will come after you. If I get to support any part of that journey, I'm excited to wake up each day knowing I helped people achieve their goals and take one more step towards the life they want."

- Gwendolyn Curry, nursing advanced practice clinical liaison

"I struggled throughout my educational journey with reading comprehension and with the ability to focus in a classroom setting. Being unable to read a paragraph and then explain to the teacher what I read about was impossible it seemed, but through hard work and a lot of support from those same teachers, I made it and now get to pass that support along to others."

- Shella Gettings, nursing clinical instructor

"I had a tough time in college. I was diagnosed with ADHD and struggled to get good grades. My family imploded and my dad moved in with me my senior year. I know how fast life can come at you when you’re trying to graduate and find a job and start a life. I want our students to feel empowered and supported through their years at OCU and all the years after."

- Emily Bendick, director of annual giving and digital engagement

"Raising money for OCU and the students is important because education has the power to transform individuals. Education promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. These skills are essential in today's rapidly changing world, where students need to be able to adapt and innovate to stay competitive."

- Matt Burkholder, director of development

"I consider one of the pillars of success in life to be the obligation to give back. Nothing gives me more joy than seeing a student master something that they couldn't do . . . or do well . . . when we first started to work together. I love saying 'you know, a year ago, you couldn't do that.'"

- Timothy Davis-Reed, adjunct acting professor, MFA in Screen Acting in LA

"Working with students is important to me because I have the opportunity to show law students what happens when lawyers don't act ethically and responsibly. Hopefully, the students in the Oklahoma Innocence Project Clinic leave law school with an understanding of why it is important that everyone in the criminal justice system not only do their job, but do it with integrity and ethics."

- Andrea Miller, Oklahoma Innocence Project director

"From my own personal experience in college, I know that it is a very scary time! There are so many shifts in our lives that happen after we graduate high school and move away from home. I really want to help guide my students into their future. I want to be a supportive and comforting figure for them."

- Willow Lopez, undergraduate admissions counselor

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