OU student in regalia at graduation on campus

CLS Student Gives Back to New Home

The thousands of degree-seeking students who enroll in academic programs offered through University of Oklahoma Outreach are important beneficiaries of Outreach’s educational programs. Providing these nontraditional learners with the tools to achieve their professional and intellectual goals, Outreach plays a vital role in nurturing the next generation of promising leaders and professionals.

Often, though, Outreach’s role is simply that of enhancing the positive qualities that students already possess and which are merely reflected in these students’ personal, professional and academic achievements. The achievements of Kingsley Ogbuji, a College of Liberal Studies (CLS) student who received a Master of Arts in Administrative Leadership degree at the 2011 CLS December convocation, where he was also the banner carrier, is one example.

Born in southern Nigeria, Ogbuji completed a Bachelor of Library and Information Science degree at Nigeria’s University of Ibadan in 2005. After working as a high school teacher in his country’s National Youth Service for one year, Ogbuji immigrated to the United States, a decision he says was motivated by several factors with long-term implications.

“Everybody in Africa and other parts of the world who wants to come to the United States does so for one of two obvious reasons – in search of a greener pasture or education,” Ogbuji said.  “In my own case, the former was the major reason, although I had intended to further my education at some point after settling down.”

It was shortly after he arrived that Ogbuji enlisted in the U.S. Army, a decision that was influenced by his desire to give back to his newly adopted country.

“My decision to join the U.S Army was guided first by my belief in serving a course that is greater than oneself, and second, as a show of appreciation and gratitude to a country whose values I have always cherished from childhood,” Ogbuji said. “America has achieved a lot for the entire world through its military in terms of freedom and democracy and I wanted to be part of that positive force.”

While deployed to Iraq in 2008, Ogbuji scouted through programs listed in the GoArmyEd portal, a virtual gateway where soldiers pursue their postsecondary education and receive education guidance from Army education counselors, and schools deliver degree and course offerings. It was there that he learned about OU’s M.A. in Administrative Leadership degree.

“I became interested in the program because it was consistent with the larger vision of what I want to do outside the military and was also relevant to my Military Occupational Specialty as a human resource specialist,” Ogbuji said.

Now a joint awards officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon, Ogbuji says that he can draw a direct path between his personal, educational and career success.

“I made a promise to myself to get the type of education that will not only be respected in the United States but one that is world-class,” he said. “The University of Oklahoma is a citadel of higher learning and that is why I chose it over several other prominent institutions. I can proudly say that I am more than satisfied with the education I received in the Administrative Leadership program.”

Written by Michael Carter

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