Q: Was there anything in particular that led you to work at Oakwood?
Martin: I saw that working at Oakwood was a perfect opportunity for me to get the most out of my education. When you understand that there is much work that needs to be done, and you can contribute to the advancement of your institution, it gets you excited. I saw that I would benefit a lot more here than if I were to go somewhere else
Charles: As I matriculated through Oakwood, I felt a strong sense of community. I knew that if I ever had the opportunity to give back to the institution that aided my development as much as Oakwood has, I wouldn’t hesitate.
Reid: I was finishing my last days of graduate school at La Sierra University when I got offered a position here. I was frustrated — school was almost over, but I had yet to lock down a job. Before bed one night, I prayed. The next day I received a call from one of my former professors at Oakwood about a new position. I interviewed for the job, and the rest is history.
Q: Do you have a role model here at Oakwood, someone who has a positive influence on the work that you do?
Champagne: Mrs. Denise Collins (office manager, Edwards Hall and Holland Hall) and Dean James Caldwell (dean, Holland Hall). They are basically my parents away from home and I’ve been so fortunate to have them as mentors and adopted family.
Charles: The person who, unequivocally, left a lasting impression on me was Julie Moore Foster, DMA (assistant professor of Music). She has taught me innumerable lessons about life, true education and what it means to walk in one’s purpose: whether the path is crystal clear or a winding staircase.
Nixon: Sonia Donaldson and I share similar backgrounds in science and healthcare, and she reminds me to bring the same attention to detail and compassion for clients to my work here in the Center for Student Success.
Reid: I have had several role models at Oakwood since I started college as an 18-year-old freshman in 2011, so it’s really hard to only focus on one person. I attribute much of my success to their teachings.
Q:What skills did you learn while a student here that are helping you in your work now?
Gilchrist: I’ve learned how to administer assessments properly, create reports, evaluate assessments, and how important it is to keep an organized documentation of all activities. I’ve also learned various tips to have effective communication and how to work with people in a professional manner.
Martin: I acquired leadership skills during my last semester as a student when I took on the role as the President of the Information Technology Club in the Business and Information Systems Department.
Nixon: I learned to mentor my peers as a student which now informs my work as the director of Oakwood’s peer mentor program. I also learned the value of a thorough research process to help me make evidence-based decisions when advising and developing our services.
Q:While you were a student, did you ever picture yourself coming back to work at Oakwood?
Gilchrist: Time and time again God has to remind me that He always has a plan and that His plans are always better than mine. If I hadn’t listened to God’s leading to work here at Oakwood University, I wouldn’t be married to my handsome husband.
Q:What do you like best about being an employee at Oakwood University?
Champagne: The best part about being an employee at Oakwood is that I get to work with people in the Business Department, who really just want the students to succeed and get jobs, not just to graduate.
Charles: The camaraderie that I’ve built with my coworkers, and seeing projects to successful completion brings me the highest sense of satisfaction at the end of the day.
Nixon: I love connecting with my students. There were some dedicated faculty members at Oakwood who nurtured me, while also teaching me to take responsibility for my education and future. I see it as my responsibility and privilege to do the same for my students.
Reid: The best thing about being an employee at Oakwood is the opportunity to help generate some kind of change in the right direction. This is especially exciting because I am only 25 years and full of ideas. With God’s help, I am confident He will utilize each of us to emphasize Oakwood’s age old mission – to serve.
Bennett: I love that Oakwood is a place where we pray. We pray with each other, for each other, for the students, with the students. I am surrounded daily by people who are striving to live like Jesus. I love that I have an opportunity to introduce students to Oakwood University and to guide them through the daunting task of getting to college. I also have the opportunity to encourage the students in Christ as so many did while I was a student here.