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Orange Pride: Alicia McClendon

You will usually find Digital Communications Specialist Alicia McClendon holding at least one phone at any given time.

Orange Pride: Alicia McClendon​ 

If you’ve shared a post on Facebook, liked a tweet or watched an Instagram story from OSU-Tulsa, chances are you’ve made Alicia McClendon’s day. She’s the digital communications specialist for OSU-Tulsa Marketing and Communications Services, and that means all things social media.

“Monitoring social, posting on social, trying to get the perfect Instagram story,” McClendon says. “I just try to have a finger on the pulse of everything going on.”

There is much more to her job than scrolling through Facebook. “A lot of times on social media people just see the middle,” she says. Not only can it take hours to strategize and write a post – it takes time and effort to analyze how well each post does.

Often, McClendon has a hand in every part of a social media post. She doesn’t just take a picture and write a caption; sometimes she helps organize the event, hang banners and set up decorations to cover all the bases.

Her extra gusto and love for all things orange earned her the Orange Pride Award for Employee Excellence at OSU-Tulsa, which recognizes employees who go above and beyond their normal job duties to embody the Cowboy spirit.

“I’m constantly feeling enriched and learning new things here. I’m definitely driven by that.”

From Cajun to Cowboy

Tulsa wasn’t always home for McClendon.

She’s Louisianan born and bred, receiving her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and then working at a small local advertising agency after graduation. She had never lived outside the state, so when she decided to make the switch from Mardi Gras to Green Country, she didn’t quite know what to expect.

“I was leaving so much culture in Louisiana,” she says. “I was wary about that.”

The wariness didn’t last long. She soon found herself at home through art and culture.

“My office used to be on top of an art museum,” she says about her time in Lafayette. “Before I left, the art director told me about the amazing art scene in Tulsa. Now, hands down, the Philbrook Museum of Art is one of my favorite places.”               

When she’s not on campus, McClendon is usually buried in a book. She dreams of playing a role in the publishing industry someday.

“My own Instagram is half Instagram, half ‘bookstagram,’” she says.

That’s why she’s particularly excited to promote staff research, educational events and anything happening with the Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa.

Being part of a university with such a large stake and impact in downtown is appealing for McClendon.

“This feels very home to me,” she says.

Always looking to help

McClendon has only been at OSU-Tulsa for a little over a year, but she has made a significant impact with her coworkers and OSU-Tulsa students. Between Staff Advisory Council (SAC), the campus’s United Way Campaign Committee and the Family Fund Scholarship Committee, she tries to dip her toes anywhere she can.

“She was ready to become a Cowboy the minute she stepped on campus,” Annette Morey, project coordinator in marketing and communications services and SAC president-elect says. “Everything Alicia does is above and beyond.”

OSU-Tulsa established its SAC this year after sharing a joint SAC for years with OSU Center for Health Sciences. When McClendon joined, she quickly went to work carving out an identity for SAC. She built a webpage for the council and filmed and edited an introductory video with Morey and co-founder Karen Castle to promote the new organization.

“It was born and it blossomed,” Morey says. “She did an outstanding job.”

Despite the praise, McClendon stays humble.

“I feel like I’m just coming here and doing what’s expected of me,” McClendon says. “But I get excited about stuff that feels like school spirit so – I might take it to an extra level.”

To recommend an OSU-Tulsa staff member for the Orange Pride award, complete this nomination form. Orange Pride recipients are selected quarterly and receive a framed certificate and $100.

 

Orange Pride Award recipient Alicia McClendon on the other side of a camera.
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Media Contact: Jamie Edford | 918-594-8024 | jamie.m.edford@okstate.edu