Lightsey Honored with ION Oklahoma’s 30 Under 30 NextGen Award

October 14, 2015

Oklahoma Baptist University’s Marissa Lightsey, director of career development, has been named a recipient of the “30 Under 30 (30/30) NextGen Award.” The award is presented by ION Oklahoma, a digital and print news source covering the state. She will receive the award Thursday evening, Oct. 15, during a ceremony at Vast in Oklahoma City. Tickets are still available.

The 30/30 Next Gen Award began five years ago to recognize 30 individuals, all under the age of 30, in the state of Oklahoma. The honorees are selected to represent the next generation of innovative, creative and inspiring individuals who push the boundaries beyond their years in all areas: arts, entertainment, business, media, sports, technology and more. Originally, the honor focused mostly on the Oklahoma City metro area. However, as nominations have increased, the field has expanded to include more young professionals from all over the state of Oklahoma.

Lightsey joined the OBU staff in 2013. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Communications from OBU in 2010. She then earned a Master of Science in Human Resources, with an emphasis in human resources administration, from East Central University in 2014.

After graduating from OBU, she served as a communications associate for the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. She also served as the upward bound advisor for Seminole State College’s TRiO program. She then served as advisor for Seminole State’s GEAR UP program.

Lightsey will also be inducted into the OBU Athletic Hall of Fame during an on-campus event Oct. 23. She starred on the Lady Bison track team as a 20-time All-American and a 12-time NAIA national champion, and was a member of the 2010 indoor track national championship team. She was also recently selected to the 2015 class of Leadership Shawnee through the Greater Shawnee Chamber of Commerce.

“This is a huge honor,” Lightsey said. “I am completely humbled to be recognized among these outstanding recipients. Of course, I do not do my job for the sake of being recognized, but it is always wonderful when someone recognizes you. Receiving this honor has also been a wonderful opportunity to get OBU’s name out there.”

Dr. Brandon Skaggs, associate vice president and dean of students, oversees OBU’s career development office. “We are incredibly proud of Marissa, and I couldn't think of a greater, more deserving award recipient. The vision she has cast for career development, and the programs that she has implemented, have made a tremendous impact in helping our students achieve their professional goals. Through intentional partnerships and networking, Marissa has advanced career development to a new level, and we are proud of her as she continues to advance the mission of OBU through her remarkable work. She has a bright future ahead of her, and we're thankful that she is a vital part of the OBU community.”

Lightsey said this recognition has already been a great experience. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to visit with the other fellow honorees. I have already enjoyed a photo shoot with Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb as well as filming a 30 second promo to be aired at the awards assembly Thursday.

A panel of business and civic leaders serve as judges who select only the winners from submitted nominations. The selected individuals are honored at an awards banquet, and are profiled in IonOklahoma Online.

This year’s recipients include Ruth Addison, Crowe & Dunlevy; Jarod Armstrong, Enterprise Rent-a-Car; Crystal Bland, Milo & Lily Boutique; Tyler Bolton, Continental Resources, Inc.; Sarah Brown, municipal judge; Wesley Burt, Hogan Taylor; Taryn Calico, Cherokee Nation; Ryan Cargill, Chesapeake Energy Corporation; Bryce Chitwood, The Artesian Hotel and Spa; James Cotter, Cotter & Sons, Inc; JaNiece Cranmer, KFOR; Ryan Cunningham, Gaillardia Country Club; Mickey Dollens, OKCPS teacher; Lauren Ferguson, Paycom Software, Inc.; Sarah Finley, Addison Group; Dalton Funkhouser, St. Anthony Foundation; Nathan Gardocki, Nathan Gardocki Productions; Jessica Green, Capital Distributing; Philip Grenier, Booz Allen Hamilton; Tessa Hager, Attorney General’s office; Baird Harper, MidFirst Bank; Mike Hoang, KM Marketing; Jon Hocker, Safe Families Oklahoma; and Katherine Horn-Davis, Heritage Hall.

Additional recipients include Whitney Hufnagel, Heritage Trust Company; Mary Johnston, First Liberty Bank; Shannon Lavicky, Hall Capital, LLC; Marissa Lightsey, Oklahoma Baptist University; Ben Lindsey, Legacy Bank; Martin Madewell, Cherokee Nation; Brent Nagtegaal, Armstrong International Cultural Foundation; Doann Nguyen, Phillips 66; Erika Oliveira, Cars.com; Jacob Oller, Love's Travel Stops;     Brittney Orr, The Chickasaw Nation; Christian Pearson, MidFirst Bank; Jen Roberts, Kimray Inc.; Chloe Shelby, Jordan Advertising; Pervez Soomar, MillennialCFO and BOK; Mitch Steichen, Jones Public Relations; Katylee Strange, Liquidfish; Clay Taylor, Taylor Capitol Group, LLC; Ieshia Thomas, IT Music Group, LLC; Kyle Thompson, Gateway; Peter Tran, American Fidelity Assurance Company; Rachel Webb, Sonic Drive In; and Carlisha Williams, Lighthouse Academies.

Learn more about the 30/30 NextGen Award.