Alnetta Morris: Planting Seeds to Grow Community
If you know Oklahoma State University-Tulsa’s Alnetta Morris, you know her new job is a perfect fit.
As a community engagement specialist, Morris creates and leads programs and initiatives to help OSU-Tulsa invest in the lives, businesses and organizations of north Tulsa and beyond. It’s a community Morris is well familiar with.
“It’s just a blessing to be selected for this role,” Morris said. “This is where I began.”
Morris was born in Tulsa. She moved to Tennessee when she was young, but after graduating from high school she came right back home to Oklahoma. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Langston University-Tulsa and went on to earn her master’s in teaching, learning and leadership at OSU-Tulsa. Now, she’s back in the heart of Greenwood at OSU-Tulsa, doing what she does best – giving back.
“That’s what I’m all about: access and service,” Morris said. “I often ask myself: ‘what can I do for my community?’”
Community is key for Morris. Before she came to OSU-Tulsa, she worked as a youth director for First Baptist Church North Tulsa, where she still lends a helping hand in outreach programs and food giveaways. She is also the president of the Alpha Xi Sigma chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, which prides itself on service to others.
“I was looking for something different in my career, but still wanted to be engaged in the community,” Morris said. “When I saw the job description, I said to myself, ‘Oh! That’s me! I could be great at this.’”
Morris came into the position in January 2021 and immediately set her ideas in motion. Several of those initiatives are already realized, sparking opportunities for Tulsans and the campus community alike.
One of her highest profile projects is the ‘Stache of Books Community Library, a literacy initiative for children that utilizes a repurposed Tulsa World newspaper box to dispense free books. As an educator, former reading teacher and co-owner of Solid Foundation Preparatory Academy – a Tulsa pre-K through 5th grade private elementary school – the community library project is near to her heart.
“It’s a great way to encourage reading,” Morris said. “Knowledge is power, and I want to empower all the kids I can and make sure they feel comfortable coming to campus.”
Hundreds of books have been donated to the library by both community partners and OSU-Tulsa faculty and staff. The library was unveiled in May with a kick-off party that gave more than 50 children books, snacks and goodies to take home. OSU-Tulsa also donated dozens of blankets to residents of the neighboring Sunset Plaza Apartments, thanks to a faculty and staff donation drive led by Morris. The ‘Stache of Books Community Library can be accessed at any time by anyone who needs a good book.
Morris is also the organizer behind many of the educational displays in the North Hall Lobby that grab the attention of students, staff and visitors. Her detailed and engaging exhibits have covered topics including Women’s History Month, Black History Month and the Tulsa Race Massacre.
With programs and events for students of all ages scheduled though the summer and more in the planning stages for the fall, Morris is just getting started.
“I’m happy to be a voice for OSU-Tulsa in the community. I want everyone to know that we can make great things happen when we work together.”
2021 Community Engagement Programs
- May: ‘Stache of Books Community Library Unveiling
- June: Black Wall Street Youth Entrepreneurship 101
- July: STEM Force OSU-Tulsa Summer Program
- August: Back to School Bash
These are only a handful of the events and programs Morris has spearheaded since her arrival in January, with more on the way.
For questions about community engagement programs, contact Alnetta Morris at email@example.com or 918-594-8305. To learn about other community engagement initiatives at OSU-Tulsa, visit the community engagement webpage.
Media Contact: Aaron Campbell | 918-594-8046 | firstname.lastname@example.org