GCTC EAGLE coordinator honored at Making It Work Day

Gloria Wallace, a Gordon Cooper Technology Center employee, recently received the Making It Work Day Spotlight award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

Wallace was one of 15 Oklahomans honored, along with three businesses and organizations, at the 30th annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol on March 6.

Making It Work Day recognizes individuals who are committed to removing barriers to success for single-parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. The ceremony, which was held at The Credit Union House of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, also recognized nontraditional students.

Wallace is the EAGLE coordinator at GCTC. She works hard to find job-related internship opportunities, which often lead to employment opportunities for students, said Trilbya Anderson, EAGLE instructor and data manager at Gordon Cooper, who nominated Wallace for the award. Under her leadership the EAGLE program has attained a cumulative retention and completion rate of 85.3% and an average placement rate of 83%, Anderson said.

Wallace has served disadvantaged students for 22 years, starting in California. She came to Gordon Cooper as a substitute, then became a full-time instructor before becoming a job developer and career specialist, Anderson said. Wallace became interim coordinator before being named EAGLE program coordinator.

“Gloria is consistently thinking and finding ways for students to find value in themselves and follow that passion,” Anderson said. “Daily, she has former students finding their way back to her to thank her for impacting their lives.”

OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing nontraditional careers and for resources for educating single parents.

“Making It Work Day is one of my favorite award ceremonies, as it allows for those graduates, community partners and instructors who have excelled to be recognized for their hard work,” said KayTee Niquette, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at Oklahoma CareerTech. “It is an event that is traditionally held at Oklahoma’s state Capitol, but regardless of location, our awardees are allowed to shine.

“Listening to the stories of many who accept their awards is nothing but inspirational, and OkCTEEC is very excited to host this event once again, so that special projects programs with both the Oklahoma Department of Career and Education Technology and Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education might be highlighted.”

She serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Jennifer Bielli of Oklahoma Human Services and Gina McPherson of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“On behalf of OkCTEEC we are very excited to celebrate another year of Making It Work Day,” said Robin Shambaugh, OkCTEEC president and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Journey 2 Success Delaware County coordinator. “It is our privilege to honor and recognize our outstanding graduates, instructors and business and industry partners along with our community and agency partners across the state of Oklahoma. We would like to congratulate our students and partners for their determination, hard work and dedication this year.”

OkCTEEC’s purposes include promoting and supporting career and technology education, increasing its effectiveness, promoting research in the field and in educational equity, developing leadership and advocating for equity and diversity.

For more information about OkCTEEC, visit https://www.okcteec.com/. For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit www.okcareertech.org.