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Alumni Spotlight Lee Reynolds

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PLC Alumni Spotlight: Lee Reynolds

Lee Reynolds

To Lee Reynolds, making connections and talking to people gives her job purpose. As a PLC alumnus, she continues to give to her community and University students as if it were her first year. As a born and bred Normanite, Reynolds pursued leadership opportunities in high school and college, and she has now left her mark in Norman on the OU campus. 

Reynolds believes that like many, PLC taught her how to make lasting connections with those around her on campus and in life. 

“I credit PLC with the great foundation that I’ll always be thankful for,” Reynolds said.

As an advisor to numerous students, she has made space in Gaylord College for students to have a friendly face to turn to through sadness and accomplishments.  

In name, she is the Director of Community and Alumni Relations housed in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Reynolds is involved in student and faculty programming and organizations at all levels in Gaylord College.

She built and oversees the Dean's Leadership Class of Gaylord College which began four years ago. It was a unique project inspired by the President’s Leadership Class standing as the only college program like PLC. 

“It has really brought in incredibly talented freshmen that we’ve recruited oftentimes and made them feel at home in Gaylord College from day one,” says Reynolds. Leadership building is the main goal. In a space where planning is inevitable, learning, growing, and making mistakes are encouraged.

As a proud PLC alumnus, she provides her students an advisor who encourages and supports them while they pursue their education and give back to their OU community. Her mentorship is shown in her other positions such as the advisor to the Public Relations Student Society of America, the oldest and largest Gaylord club of which she was a part as a student; co-advisor of the Association of Women in Sports Media, one of 18 chapters across the country that discuss issues women face in sports media; and co-advisor to Gaylord Ambassadors, a group of leaders in the college that serve as a link from students to faculty.

Her position as chair of the scholarship committee has given her much-needed insight into the new challenges and burdens families are facing due to Covid-19. They’ve given out another $300,000 worth of scholarships to students all with financial need this year.

She also oversees the Gaylord Alumni Association and its young working board, JMAC, which mentors’ students, delivers admissions boxes, and sends out bi-weekly alumni spotlights. Reynolds enjoys delivering admissions boxes across the region because she gets to share her “why” with prospective students and show them how much support and love the “Gaylord Family” strives to give its students.

One of her favorite parts of her job is learning the stories of Gaylord and OU alumni. Through LinkedIn and other facets, Reynolds has the chance to connect with these alumni and see the college's successes. Reynolds is known to have a “golden keyboard” when it comes to connecting students with industry professionals, students say. 

She describes her job as “wearing many hats.” She consistently goes out of her way to excel in multiple positions that would often feel daunting for others just to take on one.

“We are very proud of the versatility of a journalism degree,” said Reynolds.

A Gaylord Degree allows students and alumni to take on any project that sparks their interests. The Journalism degree gives the resources for students to make their own path, which explains Reynolds’s own versatility and reliability. Above all else, her passions lie in helping students make lasting connections both on campus as well as in their intended industries. The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication wouldn’t quite work as seamlessly as it does without the presence and experience of Lee Reynolds.