Where are you from?
What do you do here at OSUIT?
I’m the director of two programs: Adult Basic Education and M-Power/TANF. I teach 16 hours per week in the adult education day classes, help ABE students prepare for their GED exams, assist students with job opportunities, oversee seven satellite adult education classes in three counties, work with workforce and economic development partners to secure grants for both ABE and M-Power programs and complete an inordinate amount of paperwork every month.
The M-Power/TANF program is a job training program for our students. We teach basic skills related to employment and the workplace, job readiness soft skills, and assist students with their OSUIT or online certificate coursework when needed. I also work to build community relationships with businesses to secure internship sites for our students for on-the-job-training. Our goal is to prepare our students for sustainable employment.
Tell me a little about your experience with the university so far?
I have been teaching adult education classes at OSUIT for 20 years and this is my third year to be involved with the M-Power program. I began in 1998 teaching evening classes. It has been a wonderful place to work with the adults in our community. Everyone here is so friendly and helpful.
What’s been the best thing about working here?
Helping adults regain their confidence; assisting them with their classwork, which will enable them to pass the high school equivalency exam; discussing career path options with each student; aiding them with employment opportunities; and last but not least, encouraging them to enroll in a post-secondary institution – OSUIT, of course.
What do you wish more people knew about OSUIT and the role you play here?
I wish more people realized what a bird’s nest on the ground this wonderful institution is. I am such a minor part of this institution as an ABE/M-Power instructor. I wish the local schools and businesses utilized the training programs we have to offer more than they do. Students can get a degree in a multitude of disciplines. Okmulgee students can earn a degree while deferring the cost of room and board they would have to pay if they went off to another college or university. Our programs are here for the taking.
What’s your favorite spot on campus?
I don’t have a favorite spot, I think the entire campus is beautiful.
What would you tell someone who was thinking about attending or working at OSUIT?
It is one of the most user-friendly college campuses I’ve ever had the privilege of being on, everything is so accessible. The people are fantastic to work with; we all have a common goal and that is to give all our students a hand-up so they can better their lives.