Orange Pride: Jeremiah Watkins
Jeremiah Watkins is known around OSU-Tulsa for fitness and wellness, but he first pursued a different direction.
Right out of high school, the Lubbock, Texas native was lead singer and guitarist for a professional rock-and-blues band, Lowdog. The group traveled throughout Texas and the U.S. for two years promoting an album.
“Traveling and performing took its toll,” Watkins said. “I was 19 and felt like I was 50.”
He moved to Tulsa to be near his brother and got work as a trim carpenter. He also worked as a personal trainer. And he continued to fulfill his remaining band obligations, traveling to Austin, Lubbock and other cities for performances.
“I always wanted to go to college, so I started at Tulsa Community College,” Watkins said.
As many students do, he transferred to OSU-Tulsa to complete his bachelor’s degree in finance and management. An on-campus job as an attendant at the Wellness Center opened his eyes to a greater passion of fitness.
When the position as coordinator of OSU-Tulsa Wellness Center opened up, he jumped at the chance. He has been coordinator for five years.
“I absolutely love what I do,” Watkins said. “And my bachelor’s degree has really complemented my career. It has helped me in managing people and resources.”
He is currently working on a master’s degree in public health and plans to utilize that degree fully once completed.
Since completing his bachelor’s degree, Watkins married his longtime sweetheart and has 5-year-old and 8-month-old girls.
The OSU-Tulsa administration has welcomed the implementation of numerous programs, including the walking lab, health fairs and fitness challenges, he said.
“I also love the fact that even with a challenging budget environment, OSU-Tulsa is still dedicated to fitness and wellness,” Watkins said.
He is enthusiastic about his work at OSU-Tulsa.
“I think it is a fun and exciting time to be in wellness at OSU,” Watkins said. “OSU’s America’s Healthiest Campus initiative was a big step. It started out as a campaign and now it is an initiative. It is something we are doing rather than just talking about.”
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