Julie Swaringim-Griffin couldn’t help but smile while talking about being recognized as one of 338 Oklahomans honored with a NextGen Under 30 Award.
“It’s surprising and exciting,” she said. “The award is a celebration of young professionals who are doing great things within their jobs and have a bright future ahead.”
At 28, Swaringim-Griffin is director of the TRIO Talent Search program at Oklahoma State University.
She oversees a hefty budget from the U.S. Department of Education, supervises employees and helps with programming for sixth-graders through high school. The program serves more than 500 first-generation, rural or low-income students.
Dr. Clyde Wilson, director of the McNair Scholars Program within the Division of Institutional Diversity, nominated Swaringim-Griffin.
“From the time I met Julie, I was impressed with her ability to connect with students,” Wilson said. “It is important to lead by example and to see Julie pursue her dreams and pursue her passion while at the same time serving as a bridge-builder to those that come behind her — it was kind of a no-brainer to nominate her.”
In addition to working full-time, Swaringim-Griffin is pursuing a doctorate in educational psychology, is president of the Educational Psychology Student Society and is teaching an undergraduate inclusion leadership course.
Her career goal is to work in administration at a university and work her way up to dean, vice president or provost.
The NextGen Under 30 Award program was created by Don Swift, publisher of ionOklahoma magazine in 2011. The program’s scope was expanded statewide in 2016 and has named 1,238 winners (out of 7,000 nominees) from more than 400 companies or organizations. This year saw 338 Oklahomans from 241 companies and organizations recognized in 17 categories. Judges recognized Swaringim-Griffin in the adult and higher education category.
Winners are chosen based on their talent, drive and service in their communities.
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