Category Archives: Spotlight

Q&A with Karen Carlson


Q.    What do you do here OKWU?

A.      My job is working with faculty to make sure they have the material they need to teach their courses.  This includes syllabi and the most up-to-date edition of any text.  When new editions are published, then it is time to nag some poor unsuspecting dean to schedule a curriculum update.  I also send reminders out to faculty about a month before their classes to double check that they have what they need.  Every Monday I compile and send out a weekly schedule of on ground classes to Security and Buildings and Grounds and send a schedule of all on ground classes at all sites to other staff members.  I make sure someone checks classrooms here on campus every evening that we have classes and get laptops set up, if necessary.  I put faculty into Power Campus as they are assigned.  I am available for any other project for which Trish might need assistance.


Q.    What do you like most about working at OKWU?

A.    Most definitely the people. I really love seeing adults realize a dream of getting an education.


Q.    How did you end up here?

A.    After many years of volunteer work, I decided when my youngest son was old enough to drive, that I wanted to go back to work.  I graduated from the adult ed program in 1994 and found that I really missed the campus.  When the job here came open, I was thrilled, and came to work in 1996.  [My sister] Rene’ was working in the education division on campus at that time so it was nice to work at the same place then and now.


Q.   Where did you originally call home?

A.    I was born in Memphis but grew up in Oklahoma


Q.    Where did you go to school and what did you study there?

A.    I went to OU after high school but left in the middle of my junior year due to illness.  I was in secondary education to be an English teacher with minors in journalism and history.  When I was well enough, I took some courses at TU and later at Rogers here in Bartlesville just to make sure my brain still worked.  Then I got up the courage to enroll at what was then Bartlesville Wesleyan.


Q.    What is your family like?

A.    I was married to Alan for 42 years before his death in 2013.  We have two sons, Eric (38) and Kevin (35).


Q.    What hobbies, activities, or topics do you most like spending time on?

A.    I love reading and probably spend most of my time away from work doing that.  I like mysteries, biographies, and historical novels.  As a family, we enjoy going to the family ranch at Ramona or the farm at Alva and just being outside together.  Even the yard work is fun when we are all together.


Q.    What is one interesting fact that many people might not know about you?

A. I don’t know how interesting it is but I have sort of a varied work history.  I have been a dental assistant, a physician’s assistant in internal medicine, then neurology and finally orthopedics.  I was an EEG technician for a while (fascinating) and learned to do some x-rays.  I was a proof reader at a newspaper before I came to work at OKWU.  I sometimes assisted my husband in his law practice by answering interrogatories, creating settlement brochures, and helping review medical records.


Q.    What is the most interesting country you have visited or would like to visit? Why?

A.   Bahamas.  It was so gorgeous.


Q.    Is there anything else you would like people to know?

A.    Since July 9, 1996, I have seen over 100 people come and go from this office.  When I came to work I was the only clerical person in this building plus I was the janitor.  My job included providing all faculty and student materials, purchasing books from the publishers and then repacking and shipping them or delivering them, sending out grades, payroll, sweeping, etc.  My boss was also the athletic director so I did basketball stats and we published a little booklet every season.  Things have changed.  There were about 80 students and it was really a lot of fun.


Sarah Cochran’s Bio

As a kid growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I thought the plan for my life was to graduate from college in four years and move immediately into a lifelong career. The Lord had other plans. I married at 20 and had three children—one girl, two boys—before I was 24. I was a stay-at-home mom until the baby was old enough to attend all-day kindergarten. Once my family reached that milestone, I started working in the public school system, helping students and teachers reach their academic and professional goals. The students had questions to be answered, and the teachers had grade books to be organized, but I felt a tug on my heartstrings to go back to college and finish the degree I had started at 18. Though 15 years separated my sophomore and junior years, I started down the long and challenging road toward my bachelor’s degree. I would never have been able to juggle family, work, and full-time school without the Lord’s help. With humility and a grateful heart, I am happy to have earned, as of December 2013, a Bachelor of Arts degree with highest honors. Now, as part of the Online Support team at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, I am well-equipped and dedicated to helping students learn and grow, both personally and professionally, in their own life’s journey. It takes solid determination and a strong faith to take the next step in God’s plan for our lives, but with His guidance, we can accomplish the goals He has set for us.