Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

Project SOAR Staff

 
Deborah Morgan

Deborah Morgan
Project SOAR Director

 

Years with Project SOAR: Since January 2014

 

What does Project SOAR mean to you?
Project SOAR gives me the opportunity to provide students with a familiar, supporting and friendly face that encourages them in school and life. It is my way of giving back because I once was exactly where our students are today and I was fortunate enough to have outstanding mentors who genuinely believed in me, and I want to do so for them.

 

Fun fact about Deborah:
My favorite shape is the infinity symbol and I love the number 8!

 
 
Dezzarae Francis

Dezzarae Francis
Project SOAR Counselor/Coordinator

 

Years with Project SOAR: Since August 2017

 

What does Project SOAR mean to you?
Project SOAR provides me with the ability to give back to a program that helped me graduate from college and obtain valuable life skills. Project SOAR gives me the opportunity to encourage, support, teach, advocate, assist and mentor students in all aspects of life. It is extremely rewarding to watch and coach students as they set and meet their goals, find their strengths, and grow holistically. TRIO Works! It did for me and I cannot wait to experience how it works for our students.

 

Fun fact about Dezzarae:
I absolutely love long road trips. The open road entices great conversation and gives me the courage to sing my heart out.

 
 
Kayla Taylor

Kayla Taylor
Project SOAR Office Specialist

 

Years with Project SOAR: Since August 2017

 

What does Project SOAR mean to you?
Project SOAR allows me the opportunity to give back to a program that helped me get through college myself. As someone who was low-income and a first-generation college student, I know the importance of having someone understanding, compassionate, and dedicated to helping you get through college. As such, I made it my goal to be the same type of mentor that I relied on. I know I can do the same for my current students and be the person they both need and want.

 

Fun fact about Kayla:
I’ve been writing fiction since I was 10 years old and poetry since I was 15. I currently have one poem published.

 
 
Don E. Connel

Don E. Connel
Project SOAR Math Specialist

 

Years with Project SOAR: 14

 

What does Project SOAR mean to you?
Project SOAR provides an opportunity for students to receive much needed academic services as well as personal development to meet life challenges. It has been extremely rewarding to me to see many students develop, and meet their personal and academic goals.

 

Fun fact about Don:
I am very family-oriented with a special wife, six boys (two have died), 21 grandkids and three great-grandkids. I enjoy traveling, especially with family.

 
 
Holli Kyker

Holli Kyker
English Specialist

 

Years with Project SOAR: Since August 2017

 

What does Project SOAR mean to you?
Project SOAR gives me the opportunity to be a part of a community whose goal is to empower students to succeed in and out of the classroom. As a first-generation college student, I learned the ins and outs of higher education the hard way. I would not have succeeded without a network of support. Project SOAR is my chance to pay it forward and support others.

 

Fun fact about Holli:
I am a huge nerd at heart! I love movies, video games, Dungeons & Dragons, board games, and books books books.