After a short stint in the corporate world, Ashley Lorenz decided the world of higher education is the place for her.
“I had worked in higher education as an undergraduate so it was like coming home,” she said. “It’s either your niche or it’s not. And it is definitely mine.”
Lorenz, who is OSU-Tulsa’s financial aid coordinator, is the latest recipient of the Orange Pride Award for Employee Excellence.
The award recognizes employees who have demonstrated outstanding customer service skills and who go above and beyond their normal job duties.
As an undergraduate at OSU-Stillwater, the Cushing native began her employment as a student worker for the university. During her six years in Stillwater, she earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in marketing and another in management. She eventually completed a master’s degree in teaching, learning and leadership.
Lorenz moved to Tulsa to take a job as a new accounts officer at the Bank of Oklahoma, but quickly returned to higher education. November will mark her ninth year at OSU-Tulsa.
“I like that everyone here wants to make students’ lives better,” Lorenz said. “That is our goal.”
As coordinator, Lorenz is responsible for guiding students through the financial aid maze. That also means staying atop ever-changing state and federal regulations affecting scholarships and grants.
“A lot of the process is confusing so I try to make it easier for them,” she said. “It’s extremely rewarding to help students find funding for their education.”
Like Lorenz, many OSU-Tulsa students have a full-time job and a family. As a mother to 19-month-old Lorelai, she can better relate to the students she assists.
“We deal with students here who are in a different place in their lives than traditional students,” she said. “Since they have already provided private financial information, many students feel comfortable opening up to us and telling their personal stories. We are happy to listen and help when we can.”
Lorenz intends to spend the rest of her career in higher education.
“I would say I am really lucky in that I have had good mentors who have guided me throughout my career,” Lorenz said. “They have supported me and helped me become comfortable and confident in my role. I appreciate that.”
To recommend an OSU-Tulsa staff member for the Orange Pride award, complete a nomination form. Orange Pride recipients are selected quarterly and receive a framed certificate and $100.