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Meet Anthony Carranza: Leader Extraordinaire - 2024

by Chris Maxon

Young man smiling

The email signature line of Anthony Carranza reads like a small directory of university leadership. Human Performance/Business Entrepreneurship ’24, New Student Orientation programming executive director, cross country/track/pom member, OCU Association of StudentAthletes’ president, NAIA Council of Student-Athletes representative, NASPA fellow, OCU Athletics student professional and OCU’s American Red Cross president.

Actually, the list above is only partially complete—there really is more, and by the time someone reads this, the list may have grown. Carranza truly is the definition of the term student-athlete.

While the senior from Enid, Oklahoma, could easily carry the moniker “Big Man on Campus,” he is a force off the OCU campus too. The best evidence can be found in a couple of those titles on the signature line.

In the summer of 2022, Carranza was selected to the prestigious Red Cross Collegiate Leadership program as a representative of OCU in Washington, D.C. One of the required components of the program is that participants set blood drives on their local campus and start an American Red Cross organization or club. Beyond those tangible benefits, the leadership program also educated and motivated Carranza in his constant pursuit to lead and assist.

“One of the main themes was having a servant’s heart and why being a servant leader is important,” said Carranza. “It all goes back to treating others the way we would like to be treated. There are many people who do not see that we have hope here in the U.S., and I know I would want those around me to help me get back on my feet if I ever experience a setback in my life.”

His 2023 travel agenda featured inclusion with the NAIA Men’s National Basketball Championship where he spent Spring Break interning through the NAIA, along with also attending the NAIA National Convention in New Orleans in April. The organization states that the convention is an opportunity for those who work on behalf of the student-athlete to meet with peers to discuss legislation, engage in professional development and honor those who have excelled throughout the previous year.

Carranza is a member of the NAIA’s Association of Student-Athletes, made up of student-athletes from around the country. They serve as an advocacy group to enhance the collegiate athletics experience.

“It is such an honor to serve as the president of OCU’s ASA, much less being part of the prestigious group at the national level,” said Carranza. “The national convention was an incredible experience working among peers and representing our university.”

For good measure, after returning from New Orleans, his campaign for student-body president wrapped up in the best possible way. He and his track and field teammate, Tate Smithhart, were elected to the president and vice president’s seats for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Having earned the title of student-body president, you would think he would stop there. Carranza then proceeded to intern this past summer at the University of California, Merced, where he worked within student affairs and athletics. He aided in a multitude of different projects ranging from social justice, coding, housing and residence life, and lastly helping provide input in the transition of UC Merced from the NAIA to the NCAA Division II.

As his senior year is wrapping up, you can see Carranza always on the run throughout campus as he awaits to see where he ends up for graduate school, where he plans to study sports management/business administration. The signature line continues to grow.

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