This year, we’re shining a spotlight on the fantastic OKWU professors and staff members who dedicate their lives to helping students achieve their callings.
Today, we’re talking with Professor Sandy Lynn, Instructor in the Chesapeake Energy School of Business. Lynn has spent over thirty years in nonprofit organizations, including thirteen years of leadership to an academic support organization for families who chose to home educate their children, both teaching students and equipping parents for this monumental task. She’s passionate about developing students’ socioemotional skills, and holds credentials as an Emotional Intelligence practitioner through Multi-Health Systems, using the EQ-I 2.0 assessment tool.
How did you end up here at OKWU?
“Through pursuing my Master of Strategic Leadership with GPS, I had the opportunity to connect with some of the faculty, staff, and administration at OKWU. I loved what I saw and experienced as a student, so I knew that I would enjoy working here. I interviewed and was offered a position as an Academic Advisor with GPS. After a year, a spot opened up for a faculty position in the School of Business, so I knew I needed to pursue my passion for teaching and apply. I am currently living my dream, and I’m grateful for the chance to spend my days here.”
What makes you passionate about your job? What’s your favorite part of the role?
“I felt called into ministry early in life, but not in a preaching role. Teaching here is ministry—with an academic twist. I absolutely love sharing my knowledge and experience while building relationships. My favorite part of the role is getting the students engaged in a discussion on our topic. I especially love it (on the rare occasion) when students are so involved in the discussion that no one realizes that class is supposed to be over!”
What do you hope a student gets out of one of your classes?
“I always hope that a student walks away from one of my classes realizing ways that they can fulfill the two greatest commandments: to love God and to love others. Through communication and Emotional Intelligence, I try to give them tools to accomplish that.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“What free time? My free time happens during semester breaks! Then I like to travel to see family.”
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
“I’ve really enjoyed reading a book called How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes. I read it to gain specific, practical tips to share with my Interpersonal Communication students. I’ve found some of the advice helpful in my own life as well.”
What would you say to a student thinking about committing to an OKWU education?
“I would say that if they want to get lost in a crowd, go to a giant state school. If they want to be known, or be seen, or be heard, or be cared for, then come to OKWU.”
Are you an introvert, an extrovert, or a mix of both?
“I’m definitely on the extroverted side of the continuum, but I’m not the kind of person who is the ‘life of the party’ either. I love being with people, and I gain energy through that interaction.”
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
“I would sit on a beach and listen to the waves.”
What was the best surprise you’ve ever received?
“My father served as an officer in the Army, so we moved every two years or so. I always wanted a dog, but it wasn’t practical considering our nomadic life. My family surprised me with a puppy for my 10th birthday as my father was planning to retire early. I remember sitting with my eyes closed for the surprise as they put this squirming English Pointer puppy into my arms; I immediately started crying with tears of happiness.”
You worked more than a decade in support of homeschooling – what makes you passionate about that?
“We first decided to homeschool when we lived in New York City. From research, I wanted to pursue a classical education with our children. When we moved to Oklahoma, we joined a nationwide support group for homeschooling families called Classical Conversations (CC), which provides opportunity for the best of both worlds: a classroom experience for the students with a tutor one day per week and accountability for the families. I appreciate the fact that parents can choose whether public, private, or home education is best for their family’s academic journey.”
What’s an aspect of Emotional Intelligence that people don’t know or don’t pay enough attention to?
“Another word for Emotional Intelligence is Emotional Quotient or EQ. The study of EQ transcends majors or specific jobs, as it applies to all aspects of life. The four main components of EQ are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. If you get all of those figured out, and understand how God fits into all of that, you’ve got it made!”
What’s your favorite animal?
“A dog—especially my dog, Layla. She’s the sweetest German Shepherd that you’ve ever met.”
What’s one thing you absolutely have to include in your day for it to be a success?
“Iced tea. Seriously. Some people need their coffee in the morning, but I need my iced tea (lightly sweetened). I also need to share the love of Jesus by loving people.”