It's Your Time: OSU African American Women Stories of Success
This virtual roundtable is the March 2021 installment in a new initiative through the OSU Division of Institutional Diversity called Community Advancing Conversations. This roundtable will include five OSU African American alumnae. The structure of the two-hour session will enable each alumna to share her OSU, career and life stories, as well as offer advice and encouragement to the University community, particularly our African American students. The March installment will also feature a panel of OSU African American women faculty, staff and an undergraduate student.
Find information below about the roundtable participants:
Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, president, Mott Community College (Flint, MI)
Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea became the seventh president of Mott Community College (Flint, Michigan) in August 2014. Mott Community College has a legacy of student success and academic excellence that Dr. Walker-Griffea is proud to lead. Mott Community College has continued to be recognized by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program as one of America’s top community colleges for high achievement and performance four times during her tenure.
Walker-Griffea has been a long-time advocate for collegiate student success, serving community college students in various capacities for more than 30 years. Dr. Beverly, as she prefers to be called, has a passion for ensuring all students have access to quality, affordable, and effective learning experiences. She chose to share her talents with community college institutions because of her deep connection to the community college mission and commitment to meet the academic, training, and lifelong learning needs of communities by educating all citizens that desire to learn. She believes community colleges must support the local community’s economic viability by preparing a skilled and successful workforce.
Sophia Shoate, president, UPS U.S. Sales
As president of U.S. Sales, Sophia Shoate oversees U.S. Sales with a strong focus on helping small and medium businesses grow. She leads a national sales team comprised of customer-facing and inside sales professionals, focused on all aspects of the customer sales experience.
Previously, Sophia was vice president and general manager of the international, technology-based UPS i-parcel, owning the profit and loss for that business unit. She also served as vice president of inside sales overseeing the entirety of UPS’s U.S. internal sales staff. Instrumental in directing the middle market sales efforts, Sophia served as vice president of sales in UPS’s East Region, a territory encompassing roughly half of UPS’s small package footprint in the U.S. During her accomplished tenure at UPS, Sophia has held positions as customer relationship manager of new product development, sales planning and compensation manager and managing director of sales.
Myrna L. Bowlin, senior counsel, ConocoPhillips
Myrna L. Bowlin is a senior counsel in the ConocoPhillips legal department. In this capacity, she provides legal support for the Commercial Gas Marketing & Trading business unit. Myrna has more than 30 years of oil and natural gas experience. She spent her first 10 years with ConocoPhillips in various financial roles before joining the legal department. For 13 years, Myrna served as legal counsel in ConocoPhillips’ Asia Pacific region, including in Jakarta, Indonesia and Singapore.
Kim Scott, flutist and director of student support services, Alabama School of Fine Arts
From her 2011 debut album, “Crossing Over”, to her #1 Billboard charting 2019 album, “Free to Be”, Innervision Records label recording artist Kim Scott has impressed audiences across the globe in performances and on the airwaves. Known for her exceptional tone, intoxicating melodies, and flawless technique, she is one of the most sought-after flutists in both the classical and jazz fields. The contemporary jazz superstar has an ever growing fan-base garnered from her continued presence on the performance scene and from her visibility as radio host of the nationally syndicated, two-hour jazz program, “Kim Scott’s Block Party Radio”, which airs weekly across the world. She’s a fresh image and sound for today’s contemporary jazz scene.
Dr. Jovette Dew, OSU assistant vice president, Institutional Diversity
Jovette Dew, Ph.D. received her Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering and management from Oklahoma State University. After working in industry, she returned to OSU to become an academic advisor and the coordinator of the Multicultural Engineering Program in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. While in this position, she advised over 11,000 students. Dr. Dew holds a master’s degree in counseling and student personnel and a Ph.D. in educational psychology, with research interests in student involvement and retention. She is passionate about student success and has a strong desire to see students succeed. Currently, she is the assistant vice president within the Division of Institutional Diversity and director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Academic Support Department.
Dr. LaRicka R. Wingate, professor, OSU Department of Psychology
LaRicka R. Wingate, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology and Africana studies affiliate faculty at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Wingate is dedicated to Black centered mental health research. She is particularly interested in those strengths thought to serve as protective factors for African Americans and other marginalized groups. She examines risk and protective factors that may be particularly salient to Black suicide and mental health, including the impact of acculturation, racial microaggressions, historical trauma, racial/ethnic discrimination, and intersectionality.
Jada Lusk, OSU junior, biology major
Jada Lusk is a junior at Oklahoma State University from Edmond, OK. She is majoring in biology (pre-medical sciences) and also double minoring in Spanish and psychology. Her goal is to become a primary care physician, specializing in family medicine. She is very passionate about inclusivity and enjoys reading and watching movies in her free time!
Tika Johnson, coordinator of African American affairs in the Office of Multicultural Affairs will moderate the March Community Advancing Conversation virtual roundtable and panel.