Name: Shelbi Gambrell
Hometown: Meeker, Oklahoma
Degree: Elementary Education
Expected Graduation Date: May 2019
What are you currently involved in on campus? I am currently serving as the College of Education, Heath and Aviation Student Council president, which I have been a member of since I was a freshman. I am also a member of the Student Alumni Board and Homecoming Steering Committee. In the past, I have served on the Freshman Representative Council, CowboyThon and EHA Week steering committee.
You also initiated the “Letters of Gratitude” here on campus. Tell me more about how you started that. I started Letters of Gratitude after hearing negative comments about our state’s education system. I was tired being told “You’re too smart to be a teacher,” and “Do you realize how much money you are going to make?” I went back to the reason I originally wanted to become an educator and realized that it was because of the great educators who I have been surrounded by my whole life. I wanted to change the perception of teachers and allow others to reflect how they have been affected by education. I began to ponder and research ways I could start this movement and eventually decided to start a website that would facilitate thank you letters to teachers to show appreciation and gratitude for all that they do.
It was definitely a successful and powerful project. What else do you hope to accomplish before you graduate? Before I graduate, I hope to take advantage of all of the opportunities that I have been given and use the resources that OSU has given me. I want to leave here knowing I met diverse people along the way and learned from their perspectives. I aim to know that I have done my part to serve our college and university and ensure Oklahoma State is the best place it can be.
What is something you are really passionate about? Something that is hard for my friends to get me to stop talking about is education and its importance. When I hear the negativity that surrounds education, I feel as if it is my duty to turn it positive. I do not think we can go anywhere by thinking negatively, and my goal is to change the mindset of people and promote more positive thinking.
How has the College of Education, Health and Aviation impacted you throughout your college experience? EHA has given me more than I could have ever imagined when I started here freshman year. I came in thinking I would be a student, go to class and get my homework done, but that soon changed. I joined student council and became a student worker within the college, and Willard soon became my second home. I know that each person I have meet within the college is working to make the world a better place and has helped me shape my goals for the future.
Speaking of your goals for the future, what are your plans after graduation? After graduation, my goal is to stay in Oklahoma to teach and do my part to give back to our state’s educational system.