Employees recognized at annual award ceremony

Five OCCC employees were recognized at the 2016 Annual Convocation and Employee Recognition Ceremony on Aug. 9.

School officials presented The Robert P. Todd Leadership Award, The Elven Gray Award, and Faculty, Professional, and Classified Employee of the Year Awards during the event.

John Claybon, OCCC’s Professional Development Institute Director, received the Robert P. Todd Leadership Award.

Nominees for the award must demonstrate leadership in their area and possess integrity, loyalty and responsibility.

As director of the institute, Claybon is responsible for managing its day-to-day tasks. He’s also in charge of business development training and workforce projects throughout the community.

OCCC President Jerry Steward said Claybon was honest, full of integrity and respected on and off campus.

Claybon said he was “shocked and completely honored” by the award.

He began working at the PDI as an accounting executive in 2007.

Claybon said one of his favorite things about working at OCCC is working with the staff and being a part of the Oklahoma City community.

The award was established in 2006 in honor of former OCCC College President Robert P. Todd, who died in 2005.

Building Services Assistant Rick Cowan, received the Elven Gray Award.

The award is given to employees who have worked at the college for a minimum of five years and demonstrate a positive attitude and go “the extra mile.”

Cowan said he did not expect to be recognized, but thanked his co-workers for the nomination.

Business and Economics Professor Charles Myrick was awarded the Faculty Employee of the Year Award.

Myrick said he felt shocked and humbled by the award.

“I know how many hard workers we have at this school and to be singled out is very humbling,” he said.

Earlier this year, Myrick received the Distinguished Chapter Advisor Award, an international award presented by Phi Theta Kappa. The organization is one of the largest honor societies for higher education.

Myrick said some of his favorite things about OCCC are the relationships he’s established with his co-workers and students.

Myrick will be starting his eighth year at the college.

The Professional Employee of the Year Award was awarded to Dan Gurka, Building Maintenance and Operations Manager.

Gurka began with the college in 2002. Steward said Gurka was loyal, dedicated, and professional.

“I feel very humbled,” Gurka said, “There are so many talented professionals in the college and to receive this award is very humbling.”

Gurka thanked his colleagues for nominating him.

Campus Police Officer David Madden was named Classified Employee of the Year.

“I’m excited about the award, everyone kept it pretty quiet,” Madden said.

Madden first began working for the college as a work study student in February 2010.

After graduating with his degree, Madden became an OCCC police officer in 2013.

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