Friday, September 3, 2021
Katie Lacey | Communications Specialist | 405-744-9347 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Oklahoma State University higher education and student affairs doctoral students Heath
Collins, Katherine Koch, Claire Painter and Rodney Thornton have been recognized among
Oklahoma’s NextGen Under 30 for 2021.
The annual award is presented to individuals from across Oklahoma who demonstrate
talent, drive and service to their communities.
“We are thrilled to have four 2021 NextGen Under30 over-achievers in our Oklahoma
City-based PhD program,” said Kerri Kearney, OSU associate professor in higher education
and student affairs. “All are high-drive, intelligent and extremely talented individuals
who are a pleasure to work with. We certainly expect that they will make significant
contributions in Oklahoma higher education and in our communities”
Koch and Painter were honored in the NextGen’s Adult and Higher Education category
while Collins and Thorton were selected in the Non-Profit category. In total, NexGen
Under 30 is recognizing more than 400 people for outstanding work in all fields in
2021. The NexGen Award Ceremony will take place online and in person on Nov. 12. All four students are pursuing a
Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an option in Higher Education,
a research-focused degree that prepares participants for roles as higher education
administrators, scholars or policy analysts.
The program at OSU teaches participants how to effectively lead higher education institutions
and engage community partners in solving complex problems. Learn more about OSU graduate
degree programs in higher education and student affairs here.