I believe that one of the greatest benefits of being employed at an academic institution is the expectation of service to the academic, professional, and local community—a benefit I emphatically embrace. I strongly believe that a faculty member at an institute of higher education is awarded sufficient time in their schedules to become heavily active in matters that affect their family, community, colleagues, and themselves. Throughout my academic career I have tried to take every opportunity to be a servant leader and the following narrative highlights my commitment to service to the University, the discipline, and the community.
Service to the University
Of the three areas of service mentioned in this narrative, I believe Service to the University is by far the most important. Throughout my academic career I have done my best to balance my teaching responsibilities and continue my dedication to university service. Through involvement in actions benefiting my department, the college, and the University as a whole, I have always aspired to have a highest level of academic service. I believe the following most excerpts from my CV adequately detail my commitment to service to the University.
- Chair of the Biology Department (2015-present)
- Higher Learning Commission HLC Peer Corps (2019-present)
- Chair of SLAS Promotion and Tenure Committee (2018), member since 2016
- Chair of the University Support Program Review Task Force (2016-2017)
- Chair of SLAS Curriculum Committee (2013-present)
- Chair of OCU Grounds and Tree Committee (2012-present)
- Member of Support Function Prioritization and Reallocation Task Force (2014)
- Member of the Learning Technology Committee (2017-present)
Service to the Profession/Discipline
A biologist in the broadest sense, and a botanist by training, my service to the profession/discipline has taken many forms during my career. As illustrated by my CV and the following narrative, I am active in a number of discipline-related organizations. I am highly involved in the activities of the Oklahoma Native Plant Society (ONPS); serving as the state president of the Society from 2012-2014. The Oklahoma Academy of Sciences (OAS) has provided me with ample opportunities to become involved in a society that has a significant impact on the promotion of all scientific disciplines in the state. I have presented papers at annual meetings, helped lead field trips at field meetings, served as the section chair of the biological sciences section, served as the president of OAS from 2018-2019, and now serve in the capacity of executive director of the Academy. Finally, I am extremely active in Beta Beta Beta—or TriBeta—at the regional and national level. I currently serve as the south central regional vice-president of this national biological honor society with nearly 700 chapters across the United States; the first of which was initiated at OCU in 1922.
Service to the Community
I wholeheartedly embrace the notion that service to the community by University personnel helps enhance the image of the University and assert that it should be the duty of every faculty member to be involved in community service and to promote the University while doing so. My faith and my family are very important to me. I am a Christian and very active member of my local church, where I have served as a Sunday school teacher for newly married couples, assisted in coordinating the youth choir, travel domestically and abroad on mission trips, and am a member of the choir’s Praise Team. Additionally, I have served as a coach and referee for UPWARD—a Christian little league basketball program. I have also visited science and career classes at local high schools and have served alongside my family in volunteering for Toys for Tots.