Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

OSU-OKC President Awarded for Outstanding Leadership

OSU-OKC President Natalie Shirley recently received the Career and Technical Education Equity Council (CTEEC) Breaking Tradition Award for Outstanding Leadership. President Shirley was nominated by OSU-OKC REACH Coordinator Angela Barnes who submitted a notable list of accomplishments as to why Shirley deserved the award.


“[Shirley] is OSU-OKC’s first female president, and her impact on students and staff has led to great and positive changes,” Barnes says. “If I had to pinpoint one thing that impressed me about her, it would be the way she ‘oranged up’ campus; she has truly brightened the campus atmosphere since she has been here.”


Barnes attributes the recent addition of the OSU-OKC Parking Garage to Shirley’s vision. She also admires Shirley’s hands-on approach to being a working mother.


“Not only am I appreciative of President Shirley’s continued support for both the REACH and REACH4work grant programs on campus,” Barnes says. “But when I also heard that she is a mother of six kids, I thought, ‘yes, someone who can really relate to our working moms on campus!’”


Barnes enjoyed informing President Shirley that she won the CTEEC Breaking Tradition Achievement Award as it was a complete surprise to Shirley. “There was a sincere sense of elation and a genuine appreciation for receiving the award when I told her about it,” Barnes said.


CTEEC’s Breaking Tradition Achievement Award recognizes individuals or a company that has demonstrated distinguished achievement or performance that had national impact on changing public attitude regarding gender equity and/or stereotyping.


Barnes adds that a quote by Lao Tzu reminds her of Shirley’s leadership: “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say we did it ourselves.”

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