Linda Secrist, OSU Institute of Technology alum, has been recognized as a NextGen Under 30 Oklahoma winner for 2021 in the arts category.
NextGen Under 30 recognizes and encourages the next generation of innovative, creative, and inspiring individuals who push the boundaries in various categories of endeavor. In addition, award winners are selected based upon their participation in and contribution to their communities
Secrist graduated from OSUIT in 2013 with an Associate in Applied Science in Multimedia Technology. Shortly after she graduated from OSUIT, she was hired by Cherokee Nation Businesses and is now eight years into her career as a Motion Graphics Artist.
“It is very exciting being nominated and chosen as a NextGen Under 30 honoree,” Secrist said. “It feels great being recognized as a young professional in a career that I’m able to use my creative skillset to give back and positively impact my tribe and community.”
Secrist was nominated for the honor by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.
While studying website design in high school, an OSUIT instructor visited her class to discuss the Visual Communications program.
“He specifically encouraged me to enroll in the multimedia program. My mother also graduated from OSUIT’s Culinary Arts program when I was a teenager,” Secrist said.
The mindset and work ethic she learned at OSUIT has helped her excel in her career.
“My ability to adapt to the fast-paced design industry is because of my education from the Visual Communications department at OSUIT.”
Secrist said she learned a lot from her instructors about accepting constructive criticism and networking with industry professionals.
“Their teachings on communication and networking with professionals outside of the classroom went such a long way with me and to this day impact how I network and perform at my current job,” Secrist said.
During her time at OSUIT, she fostered relationships with her instructors and peers that grew into close friendships that she still holds today.
“I know I can always count on them for a listening ear, the truth (even if I don’t want to hear it), and some of the best, heartfelt advice.”
Her message to OSUIT students is to soak up as much information as possible during their time on campus.
“I would not be the seasoned professional I am today or a NextGen Under 30 honoree if it wasn’t for the guidance and teachings of the instructors in OSUIT’s Visual Communications department.”