Orange Pride: Earl Gorden recognized as outstanding employee
Some might say Earl Gorden is a fixture at OSU-Tulsa.
One may often see him, glasses perched atop his head, walking across campus to set up digital technology for a class or special event.
When Gorden began working in information technology at OSU-Tulsa more than 20 years ago, his primary focus was distance learning.
“Distance learning was a major thing back then,” he said. “People could check out DVDs of a class like they would check out a book. The more convenient we made it for the student, the better it was.”
These days, classes can be live-streamed or downloaded in an mp3 file. “It is still all about making sure students get what they need and making it as flexible as possible,” he said.
Gorden, an IT support specialist, is the latest recipient of the Orange Pride Award for Employee Excellence, which recognizes employees who have demonstrated outstanding customer service skills and who go above and beyond their normal job duties.
He began learning electronics at Southeast High School in Kansas City, Missouri. As with most young people, he was unable to get a job without work experience after graduation. So he signed up with the U.S. Army and began formal training in the field. During his time at Fort Bragg, California, he worked his way up to the position of tactical microwave team chief.
The discipline, experience and leadership skills he gained while in the Army served him well. Once he left the military, Gorden accepted a job offer in Oklahoma as broadcast engineer for Tulsa’s KTUL-TV, Channel 8.
“It was the time of Bob Hower and Gusty,” Gorden said of the late legendary anchorman and the cartoon character drawn by the late meteorologist Don Woods.
Since then, he has worked for FOX 23 and Tulsa Community College before making his home at OSU-Tulsa where he is now desktop support specialist.
“There is a lot of opportunity here. You’re exposed to lots of different people and cultures,” Gorden said. “Sometimes it’s challenging, but I am here to serve.”
He also serves his community, particularly north Tulsa through the Greenwood Cultural Center and the North Tulsa Rotary Club.
When asked if he was surprised to receive the Orange Pride Award, he admitted it was unexpected.
“It was humbling. I wasn’t looking for it,” he said. “For me, doing a good job is its own reward.”
To recommend an OSU-Tulsa staff member for the Orange Pride award, complete a nomination form. Orange Pride recipients are selected quarterly and receive a framed certificate and $100.
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