Written by: Kedrick Nettleton, Staff Writer
Dr. Jon Ensor, assistant professor of Biblical Studies, and Billie White, administrative assistant for Academic Affairs, have been named the Faculty and Staff of the Year for the 2019-2020 academic calendar, on the traditional undergraduate side. Congratulations!
The Traditional Faculty and Staff of the Year awards at OKWU are a way to honor those who have thrived in their work, those who have gone above and beyond for the students at OKWU and for the community as a whole. The honors are based solely on votes from the traditional student body.
Billie White is a 2019 graduate of OKWU, and joined the staff immediately after graduating. Since then, she’s been a pivotal piece of the New OKWU, and is a friendly face to those entering the mansion.
“I am eternally grateful for Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s influence on my life,” White said. “Transitioning to a staff position, I subconsciously expected OKWU’s influence on me to end with my role as a student; I was wrong. Instead, I noticed how impactful each person has been both on me and on the university. Taking another step back, I saw the team: administration, staff, and faculty members who exude compassion and truth… I am honored to have been chosen as Staff Member of the Year. I am honored to work for Oklahoma Wesleyan University. I am honored to continue to grow in the reflection of our one God and King.”
“I am honored to have been chosen as Staff Member of the Year. I am honored to work for Oklahoma Wesleyan University. I am honored to continue to grow in the reflection of our one God and King.”
Dr. Johnathan Ensor is fairly new to OKWU’s campus. He recently received his doctorate from the London School of Theology, and has been a key member of OKWU’s School of Ministry and Christian Thought since arriving on campus.
“I am shocked, grateful, and humbled by this award,” Ensor said. “This campus is littered with excellent instructors, so to be recognized in this way is especially humbling. Many of my colleagues looked after me, making possible this first year at OKWU. I am so very thankful to the students for this recognition… This first year has been a rollercoaster, and in a particular moment of personal struggle, it was they who ministered to me. I truly enjoyed my students and valued our journey together this year. That they would view our time together in a similar light is immensely rewarding.”
While student voting was anonymous, a few Eagles were outspoken in their support for the two award winners. “People like Dr. Ensor make OKWU feel like home,” one said. “What stands out the most to me about him is that he goes above and beyond as a professor to make and form meaningful relationships with his students. But more than that, he is passionate about what he teaches, and breaks down the Bible in the simplest, most inviting way. I left his class every day having learned valuable life lessons and wanting to know even more about God.”
Another said, “I voted for Dr. Ensor because this is his first year, and he’s doing amazing! He’s such an understanding professor… He talks to us like we’re humans, not just students. He respects us and cares for us.”
As for White, the praise was just as effusive. “Billie is doing an amazing job, in a role that she had little experience with [beforehand],” an anonymous Eagle said. “She’s very friendly, and she’s willing to try new things. She has excellent ideas, and it’s clear the administration is benefitting from her gentle touch!”
Congratulations to our 2020 Faculty and Staff of the Year honorees!
“People like Dr. Ensor make OKWU feel like home. What stands out the most to me about him is that he goes above and beyond as a professor to make and form meaningful relationships with his students.”