I wrote a post a while back sharing that the Oakwood University Information Technology Division was selected for the American Association of University Administrators (AAUA) 2018 Exemplary Models Award. Well the Awards Luncheon and Seminar has finally come.  As you can imagine I dont have a lot of experience with accepting awards but I knew we were selected, I flew to Chester PA for the event, the time came for the awards luncheon, and they got to the part of the program where they called my name… I walked to the podium and Jerome Neuner shook my hand and we paused for a picture after-which he handed me the award and I moved to the microphone to speak but I had to steady myself to begin.  The flood of emotions that washed over me as I held that award was overwhelming – thinking of all the work, sacrifice, and commitment from the Team I am privileged to lead and the realization that we were being honored and recognized on the National stage caught me by surprise I wasn’t prepared for that… I scrolled through the faces of every OUIT Team Member both past and present who’s effort culminated in this award and I nearly lost it.  I had a well written, balanced, and moving speech written but I decided against it.  Just chose to speak from the heart in that moment and fumbled with my words – honestly just glad I was able to say anything at all that was coherent.  One thing I knew I had to do was to mention the names of every member of the Team, truly this award is for you.  As I closed and made a move to go an AAUA officiant whispered there’s an Award for you too.  Fam I can’t make this stuff up, we came home with not 1 but 2 awards – one for the Team and one specifically for me…

“then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isaiah 58:14

This is a Video of the Acceptance speech I gave on behalf of the Technology Team at Oakwood, Friday June 8, 2018 at Widener University in Chester PA where the Awards Luncheon was held.


To see the full video of the 2018 AAUA Awards Luncheon with Acceptance Speeches from all Awardees Click Here.

For a full copy of the AAUA Press Release Click Here

The AAUA Press release above is masterfully crafted, please take a moment to read it.  Sometimes just reading how your impact is viewed from someone else’s perspective can help broaden your viewpoint and increase motivation.  Every day at work isn’t perfect, I dont always feel like we’re getting things right, honestly there are days I ask God if we’re even making a difference.  He responds with a resounding YES!  Can’t really share publicly some of the things that my family and I have gone through over the last month or so, not because they are horrible or earth shattering but because they just aren’t for public consumption (you know that category still exits, right?) but having gone through them the experience of recieving this award is public confirmation of what God has shared with us privately.

As a team we are proud and elated for this award and it is our intention to continue to work in such a way that our Institution is recognized and God is given the Glory!  Below are some additional pictures from the Awards Luncheon and of the Oakwood University Information Technology Team.

* AAUA Awards Photos courtesy of Graphic-Eye (Henry McEachnie) | * OU IT Team Photos courtesy of Sweet Gap (Chris McNish)

Also while at the AAUA Seminar I had the opportunity to meet with Board Member and Oakwood University Alum – Dr. Sydney Freeman!  He gave a presentation title “How to stop the Bleeding” focusing on Human Capital Management, Retention, and Onboarding.  To see a quick video of the two of us Click Here.

Highly driven people are goal-oriented and results-focused.  I would like to add myself to that category but there is an inherent flaw with those traits:  You sometimes forget to enjoy the journey on your way to the goal.  What about you, does that describe you in anyway?  Join the conversation, Leave a Comment below!



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