One of the newest members of the OU Family, Shekina Roberson is passionate about relationship building. In her role as the coordinator for African American Programs and Services in OU’s Office of Student Life, which she started on Jan. 6, Roberson will have plenty of opportunities to connect with students.
Roberson’s most recent job was as an academic advisor at Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City, and she said she was drawn to the student life role because of the chance to interact with students more interpersonally, help them develop leadership skills, and see their overall personal growth as well as academic growth.
“The way I see this role is mainly mentorship, leadership, guidance, helping to give students that ability to define not only their personal college experience and how that’s going to affect them but also being able to develop them professionally,” Roberson explained.
A first-generation college student and graduate of Oklahoma State with a degree in marketing, Roberson will complete her MBA in strategic communications from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in May. After college, Roberson moved to Los Angeles and lived there for about nine years before returning to her home state. Roberson graduated high school from Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City, where she was a dance major.
“Growing up I just loved dance,” Roberson said. “Ballet, modern, hip hop, tap, jazz, all of it. It was a really unique education because you got that opportunity to be challenged academically but then you were kind of able to explore your passions.”
Now, Roberson has traded one artistic passion for another. While “you’ll always be a dancer in your heart,” she now paints on canvas. She also loves traveling both internationally and domestically, most recently visiting Ghana in December, and is a foodie, especially when it comes to any type of Asian food. Roberson also likes spending time with her two nieces and nephew.
In the first few weeks of her new job, Roberson has enjoyed meeting with and getting to know different OU students.
“They’ve really impressed me with their leadership ability, their ability to communicate, and their involvement,” Roberson said. “They all seem very happy to be able to serve, and I like that a lot. I feel like in other institutions that I’ve worked in, you didn’t really see that side of students.”
For Roberson, it is important to show gratitude in everything she does. Right now, she’s “extremely grateful” to be at OU.
“A job like this is one that I really was looking for to really help challenge me not just in my own ability to work with people but in just helping to kind of motivate, lead, and inspire students, so that’s what I really hope to do here,” Roberson shared.