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Oklahoma City - An OSU Degree in OKC.

OSU-OKC employee, business partner honored at Capitol

Deborah Morgan, OSU-OKC’s SOAR director, with OSU-OKC’s Vice President of Budget & Finance Ronda Reece at the awards ceremony for Making it Work Day at the Capitol 2023. (photo provided)

Deborah Morgan, an OSU-OKC employee, recently received the Making It Work Day Spotlight Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

Morgan was one of 20 Oklahomans honored, including businesses and organizations, at the 29th annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol in a virtual ceremony March 6. Making It Work Day is an annual ceremony of recognition and thanks for students, instructors, administrators,

community partners, businesses and industries connected to Oklahoma community colleges and technology centers who "Make it Work" in education and the job market for Oklahomans.

Morgan has been with Oklahoma State University-OKC’s Project SOAR since 2014, said Angela Barnes, REACH coordinator at OSU-OKC. Morgan was honored with the Northwest Region Spotlight Award.

“I am honored to be given such an award of recognition for what I do with students,” Morgan said. “I never give myself credit for how I help students achieve their goals but that is my favorite part of my job. Being able to assist students and give back is the best reward. Being able to provide the resources or the connections students need to stay in school is very fulfilling. When I was told I had received the award I honestly thought someone was kidding me but then when I knew it was legit I felt blown away because someone thought I was good enough to receive an award. I think a lot of our students we serve at OSU-OKC feel that same way often. They don’t believe they’re good enough to be honored. I definitely identify with them on that level.”

Project SOAR is a TRIO Student Support Services program. SOAR stands for Students Overcoming Academic Roadblocks, and Barnes says the program lives up to its name at OSU-OKC under the direction of Morgan.

“Deborah’s contributions help students succeed in their classes, graduate, and transfer,” Barnes said. “Deborah and her staff serve and mentor over 200 students a year, they provide workshops, boot camps, and various cultural events.”

Dr. Kimberly Weiss and staff of Healing Hands Veterinary Wellness Center was honored as “Outstanding Business/Industry Partner” for the Northwest region.  Weiss and the staff at Healing Hands have worked with OSU-OKC students in the Vet Tech program.

Dr. Weiss started volunteering at a young age with veterinaries and earned a degree in Exotic Animal Training and Management early in her career. She later worked as a certified veterinary technician with International Bird Rescue and started a mobile veterinary practice in 2007. She is known for bringing her services to the community and providing medical attention to those unable to reach conventional vets.

As a more recent partner with OSU-OKC, Weiss and staff have been able to help students learn practical knowledge.

“She and her staff immediately stepped up and were able to provide our students with hands on experience in the veterinary field,” Barnes said.

Weiss provided specific instruction during an OSU-OKC student’s internship.

“Our student was able to work with cats, dogs, birds, and ferrets. She was able to learn the proper ways of feeding and caring for different animals. She worked with the filing system, feeding schedules, and the process of x-rays necessary for a veterinary assistant to learn, and working closely with Dr. Weiss throughout her time with the clinic.”

OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education.

OkCTEEC’s purposes include promoting and supporting career and technology education, increasing its effectiveness, promoting research in the field and in educational equity, developing leadership and advocating for equity and diversity.

For more information about OkCTEEC, visit For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit