Clarissa Watkins, alumna of Oklahoma Baptist University, was recently honored as the Oklahoma City Employee of the Month. The award was presented Dec. 7 by the Kiwanis Club of South Oklahoma City.
Watkins is a 2015 graduate from OBU, with a degree in exercise science and an emphasis in exercise physiology and wellness. Following her graduation from OBU, she went to work for the City of Oklahoma City in the parks and recreation department. She serves as a recreation leader at Southern Oaks Community Center on south Walker Avenue. She also teaches a Spanish class at Woodson Senior Center once a week and sometimes works at several other centers to help with the city's various day camps and other programs.
Her supervisor, Corey Bolgrin, who is also an OBU alumnus, nominated Watkins for the award. The nominees were then considered by the Kiwanis Club. They then submitted their selection to the city council, who voted to approve the resolution.
Watkins was humbled and honored to receive the award, and thinks that her positive outlook may have contributed to her selection.
“I think I was chosen for this award because I do a lot while keeping a positive attitude,” she said. “It doesn't really feel like work because of how much I love it.”
She credits her time at OBU as making a major impact on her career and the way she works to serve others every day.
“The classes I took at OBU cultivated my passion for fitness, recreation, and working with children. I actually discovered that this is what I want to do while taking a recreation management course. I also met my current boss at OBU when we were both working at the RAWC [Recreation and Wellness Center].”
While many professors, students and staff impacted her during college, there was one in particular that stood out.
“As a former track athlete, I have to say Coach Mastin for sure. He taught me that hard work pays off and to keep going when it gets tough. He has been a great motivator and encourager for me even after graduation.”
Watkins is excited to be working in a career she loves, working with and for people she admires and respects, while serving and impacting the lives of so many. She also has plans for the years to come.
“In the future I hope to become the supervisor of my own center and continue to impact lives through recreation,” she said.
Watkins is originally from Republic, Missouri.