Unlocking Potential

Nancy Oelklaus is a catalyst for change. As an executive coach and author, she thrives in discovering what makes people tick  unlocking the secrets of the brain. Her fascination began early in her career as assistant superintendent for instructional services in Marshall, Texas. “First I became curious about why it took so long for people to change, even when we hired the best consultants in the world and conducted training according to the latest research,” Oelklaus said. “How could we accelerate adult learning and change?” After graduating from OBU in 1965 with a degree in communications/theater education, the former Nancy Eubanks earned a master’s degree in English from the University of North Texas and a doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. While on a career path to improve teaching and learning, she received a career-changing phone call from a colleague concerning a new study about the brain. “Her words hit me right between the eyes, and I realized I had a lot to learn,” Oelklaus said. “So I got busy. What I’m most interested in is research on the emotional brain  how powerful it is.” A highlight of her career is Project ABCD (Alternative Blueprint for Curriculum Development). Oelklaus worked in a collaborative effort with many school districts to pool human resources to write the best curriculum possible, reflecting the latest research and best practice. “The year was 1991, just as the technology revolution was getting underway, and we decided to house the curriculum in software,” Oelklaus recalled. “I thought I had designed a process for curriculum development, and it turned out to be a great process for professional development.” Today, Oelklaus uses her foundation in learning as an executive coach. She created The Success Accelerator