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Deborah Morgan

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Deborah Morgan, Project SOAR director at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, recently received a Making It Work Day Spotlight Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

Morgan was one of 17 Oklahomans honored, along with three businesses and organizations, at the 29th annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol on March 6.

Making It Work Day recognizes individuals who are committed to removing barriers to success for single-parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. The ceremony, which was held in the rotunda at the Oklahoma Capitol, also recognized nontraditional students.

Morgan has served students for more than eight years, directing and implementing the activities of Project SOAR, a student support services federally funded TRIO program designed to promote educational access for underrepresented students, said Angela Barnes, OSU-OKC REACH coordinator, who nominated her for the award.

Her contributions help students succeed in class, graduate and transfer to other universities, Barnes said. She and her staff serve and mentor more than 200 students each year, providing workshops, boot camps and cultural events, Barnes added.

“She provides students with a familiar, supporting and friendly face that encourages them in school and life,” Barnes said. “It is her way of giving back because she once was exactly where our students are today, and she was fortunate enough to have outstanding mentors who genuinely believed in her, and she wants to do so for them.”

OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing nontraditional careers and for resources for educating single parents.

“OkCTEEC is very excited this year to be able to host the Making It Work Day event once again at the Oklahoma state Capitol” said KayTee Niquette, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. “It is the perfect venue to showcase the achievements of our students at both the CareerTech and community college level, as well as those community and business partners that have assisted our students in their educational and employment pursuits. The opportunity for legislators to be able to hear our students’ stories and see the difference our programs make is just priceless.”

She serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Lisa French of the Department of Human Services and Gina McPherson of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“OkCTEEC is delighted to host Making It Work Day for another year. We honor our remarkable awardees at the state Capitol for their tireless efforts, commitment and resilience. Our programs, students, graduates, instructors and business and community partners around Oklahoma strive to create a positive change in the lives of families in the state. We take immense pride in recognizing and celebrating their contributions,” said Kelly Vinson, OkCTEEC president and director of Project Achieve at Northern Oklahoma College.

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

Last Modified on Oct 20, 2023
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