In April 2019, Dr. Jeanetta Sims (‘93) brought a new perspective as the newest Oklahoma Christian University board member.
Dr. Sims leads the Jackson College of Graduate Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma. As the dean of the college, she oversees programming, marketing, admissions and retention of graduate students. Being an alumna of OC, and having served as both a faculty and staff member, Dr. Sims felt she could not refuse when President John deSteiguer asked her to join the board. Her experience with OC’s ability to change lives fueled her confidence in her alma mater to continue inspiring change-makers who will positively impact the world.
“I think, in the landscape of higher education, there is such power in the world of Christian institutions,” Dr. Sims said. “To be a member of the board that assists the institution in retaining and staying true to its Christian heritage and institutional mission is a wonderful way for me to give back. I understand the landscape of higher education. I understand the value of Christian education. Being able to help OC sustain that direction is very important for me, particularly for my alma mater.”
As a female minority, Dr. Sims has overcome challenges different from those of her peers. She brings an alternative perspective to campus matters.
“I also think the presence of a racial minority is important in my position,” Dr. Sims said. “The intersection of black women, people of color, brings a very different insight. I really try to be honest and authentic.”
Becoming a board member in addition to her role as dean, Dr. Sims proves she has the courage to tackle demanding responsibilities. Her skill for excelling in multiple roles inspires the way she advises students to boldly take risks.
“Try everything,” Dr. Sims said. “Expose yourself to opportunities. It’s a safe place, as a student, to expose yourself to a bunch of different things you never thought you’d like. People’s perceptions of your abilities may not rise to what you’re capable of.”
Powerful tools of prayer and faith are vital to Dr. Sims’ leadership success.
“I love the fact that regardless of whether it’s Oklahoma Christian or UCO, that God is still faithful,” Dr. Sims said. “The avenue of prayer is still available to me. That changes everything when it comes to challenges, concerns or obstacles.”
Oklahoma Christian University is a higher learning community transforming lives for Christian faith, scholarship and service with a 14-to-one student teacher ratio. Driven by missions - not just majors, OC believes everyone has an important significance to this world. Located at 2501 East Memorial Road on a 200 acre residential campus, OC is home to complex dialogue and Jeanetta Sims, Ph.D.