Written by: Kedrick Nettleton, Staff Writer
OKWU has been blessed with faculty members who care holistically for our students—mind, body, and soul.
Over the next year, we’ll be shining a spotlight on some of our outstanding professors. This month, we interview Professor Greg Tackett, from the School of Education and Exercise Science.
Tackett joined Team OKWU this year. He grew up in Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma, and has spent much of his life dedicated to Oklahoma education, graduating from Northeastern State University with a degree in Health and Physical Education, eventually going on to receive his M.S. in teaching as well. Tackett brings experience teaching at the university and high school levels and experience in high school administration. He’s also worked as an assistant basketball coach at Houghton College, Northeastern A&M, and Liberty University. Greg and his wife, Amy, have two children, Parker and Katie.
When did you know you wanted to make a career in education?
“I changed my major after two years in college, from engineering to health and physical education. I knew I wanted to coach basketball at the collegiate level and that a lot of college coaches also taught classes in the health and physical education department at their school. My first coaching position at Houghton College in New York also included teaching some health and physical education classes. I really enjoyed that part of the job, and knew that it was something that I could enjoy doing as a career.”
How did you end up here at OKWU?
“After many years working in high school administration, mostly at Bartlesville High School, I had always thought that OKWU would be a great place to work and return to teaching. My family and I had moved to Tulsa when I was working as the high school principal at Metro Christian Academy. We missed living in Bartlesville. When I found out that a new position in the Exercise Science department came open here at OKWU, I just felt God calling me to return to teaching in college and for my family to return to Bartlesville. I appreciate Dr. Bostwick, Dr. Dunn, and the rest of our leadership team for giving me the opportunity to join the faculty here.”
How does OKWU compare to the other places where you’ve taught?
“I’ve only taught at one other university, Houghton College, and I think there are many similarities. It is a Wesleyan university, and it is very similar in size, mission, and overall atmosphere. One difference: it’s in a completely different part of the country and gets much more snow in the winter!”
What is it that makes you passionate about the job?
“I enjoy working with students at this stage of their lives. College is such an important time; students are in that transition of becoming adults and making decisions about what they want to do for their careers. I enjoy the role that we play in guiding them and putting them on a path toward success in whatever God is calling them to do with their lives.”
What’s the biggest thing you hope your students take away from one of your classes?
“Since I’m teaching mostly classes involving health, exercise, and wellness, I hope that students come away from these classes with an appreciation for how important it is to maintain their health and wellness for a lifetime.
It’s very easy to take that for granted at this age, but it is crucial to build healthy habits now rather than break bad habits later. I’m very open with them about the poor habits that I had formed and the struggle that it has been for me to work my way back into better health.”
What’s your favorite class to teach?
“I’ve really enjoyed the Health Concepts class. We’ve covered so many important topics regarding the importance of making good choices, taking care of our bodies, and living a lifestyle that will allow us to enjoy good health as we age.”
Favorite spot on campus?
“As a former basketball coach, my favorite place is probably the Mueller Sports Center. I’m looking forward to watching our teams compete there.”
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
“I love to cook, especially grilling. My wife and I also love singing with our church choir and praise team.”
Since you’re a coach, we’ve got to ask: what’s your favorite sports team?
“I’m definitely a big OU football fan. I’ve also really enjoyed having the OKC Thunder in our state to give us a professional sports team to cheer for.”
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
“One of my best childhood friends, Dean Briggs, is an author and pastor. I’m reading his series of books entitled Legends of Karac Tor. It’s a fantasy series, but written from a Christian perspective.”
What would you say to a student thinking about committing to an OKWU education?
“I would say that this is a wonderful place to prepare themselves with a Christian foundation for their chosen field of study. And I would encourage them to seek God’s direction for this critical decision and invite them to explore how OKWU can help prepare them for their future.”