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Robin Shambaugh

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Jay, Allied Jobs coordinator

Robin Shambaugh, Allied Jobs coordinator at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Jay, recently received the Outstanding OkCTEEC Member Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

She was one of 12 Oklahomans honored, along with four businesses and organizations, at the 27th annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol in a virtual ceremony April 30. 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 also recognized nontraditional students.

Shambaugh began working with the Allied Jobs program as a career specialist in August 2005 and added co-coordinator duties a few years later, said Ramona Smith, Power I director at Carl Albert State College, who nominated Shambaugh for the award.

Because she works in a rural area, Shambaugh helps students face and overcome challenges like lack of transportation, day care, housing and local jobs, Smith said. She also works to help students believe in themselves, Smith said.

“She is there encouraging them to take the necessary steps to start working toward a better future,” Smith said. “She is vested in her students and will find a way to a get a student motivated or develop that internship site that is needed. After 15 years, she still sees the important role that our program plays in helping the clients/students to reach their career goals.”

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.

“The Making It Work Day ceremony is such an important part of OkCTEEC as it publicly acknowledges those students, programs and business partners that have done an outstanding job meeting their career goals,” said KayTee Niquette, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. “The event this year is even more important, as we have persevered through a pandemic and still have individuals who have excelled.”

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

The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges, said Lisa D. Brown, OkCTEEC president and director for career transitions at Oklahoma City Community College, but students, faculty, staff and community partners met the challenges head-on, redesigning traditional methods of assistance and education.

“These students have persevered through the many changes in their pursuit of their goals and even some events in their own families,” she said. “In addition to their academic success, they have strengthened even more skills in communication, collaboration, adaptation and endurance that will be of great benefit as valuable life skills they will never forget they developed or discovered they had.”

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

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