OBU is excited to welcome Melissa Stroud as the new assistant dean of students for community and leadership. She assumed her duties May 1.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in cross-cultural ministry from OBU in 2004. She then earned a Master of Arts in intercultural studies from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, in 2007. She also earned a Master of Theological Studies from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (now Gateway Seminary) in 2008. Stroud is TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certified and completed the 60-hour Consortium for Global Education’s (CGE) TEFL course in 2012.
Prior to arriving on Bison Hill, Stroud worked at Upper Iowa University in Quad-Cities Center, Iowa. Previously, she worked as head of international campus life at Payap University in Chang Mai, Thailand. Prior to her position in Thailand, she worked as an English lecturer at Sripatum University in Bangkok, Thailand, and as an admissions counselor at the Mill Valley campus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.
Being an OBU alumna gives Stroud a personal connection and love for the campus and its students, faculty and staff. Her experience, as well as her personal calling to ministry, allow her to approach community life and developing leaders among OBU from many different angles. She has high expectations for developing community on campus.
“Building on the strong foundation and meaningful traditions of OBU, I hope to provide oversight to leaders on campus, both staff and students, as we strive for a seamless integration of community within residential life, spiritual life, student clubs and organizations,” she said.
Stroud accepted this position because OBU is a place of shared values, where her passion for quality higher education is integrated with her passion for ministry.
“I believe the impact we make here in the lives of our students reaches both our local communities and worldwide,” she said. “I am excited to be working with a team of individuals who know student development must be a holistic approach if it is going to be effective.”
Stroud enjoys cross-cultural experiences both within the U.S. and abroad. She has lived in six states and traveled extensively throughout the U.S. She enjoys learning to relate to people of different backgrounds and with different worldviews from her own. She has international experience in many locations, including London, England, where she had an introduction to refugee services; Senegal, West Africa, where she worked with a Gospel ministry through drama and relationship building; Armidale, Australia, where she provided services for underprivileged youth; Shandong Province, China, where she coordinated a national conference and research; Almaty, Kazakhstan, where she went on a family vision and ministry follow-up trip; Quebec Province, Canada, where she experienced French Canadian life and culture; and Chiang Mai, Thailand, where she worked as a university teacher and administrator.She was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was raised in Berlin, Connecticut. She has been playing soccer both competitively and recreationally for 18 years, and has coached girl’s U-10, U-12 and U-16 teams. She loves the combination of teamwork, values and creativity that occurs among players on the soccer field. She and her husband, Jay, and their two children, Charlie and Lila, love to explore and travel as a family. They likewise enjoy the game of soccer and homemade pizza.