Danielle Wellman has been promoted to director of student financial services at OBU, effective June 1. She previously served as both assistant director of SFS as well as a student financial services counselor.
Born and raised in Shawnee, she graduated high school from Bethel Public Schools. She then came to OBU as a student, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2010. She earned a bachelor's degree in strategic communications with a minor in graphic design, taking the minor due to her passion for photography.
Following graduation, Wellman went to work for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma, first as a local program specialist in the Shawnee office and eventually as the quality assurance and training manager for the organization statewide. During that time, she opened her own business, Danielle Nicole Photography, LLC, where she applied her love for photography as an entrepreneur. In spring 2018, Wellman joined the staff at OBU as a student financial services counselor. She was promoted to assistant director in May 2019.
Wellman loves her work and feels blessed to now lead the SFS team.
“I am thrilled to be the director of such a fantastic team. You will be hard pressed to find an SFS team anywhere in the state of Oklahoma that compares to the team here at OBU. Every member of my team works hard each day to ensure that tasks are completed well and our students are taken care of. Being a part of that every day is very rewarding, and I'm proud of the opportunity to direct a team with such a drive for excellence.”
She believes serving students and their families by providing excellence in financial aid assistance is a calling she and her team members follow every day.
“Financial aid is complicated, there is no doubt about it. It's a great feeling to answer their questions and calm some of those initial anxieties that come with the college process. The financial aspect of college is a driving factor for students and being able to walk them through the steps of figuring all of that out is so important. When a student or parent comes into my office completely panicked and overwhelmed, and they are then able to breathe a sigh of relief as they walk out because they now understand exactly what to do next, then I know that I've done my job well.”
Jonna Raney, former director of student financial services, supervised Wellman prior to her retirement last month. She has been confident for quite some time that Wellman was the right person for the job.
“Danielle will do a great job as director of student financial services. The experience she has gained as a counselor and assistant director in SFS have prepared her to transition to the director role smoothly. Danielle is student focused and strives for excellence in everything she does. OBU is blessed to have her leading the SFS team and can count on her to keep the university in compliance with the many federal, state and institutional rules and regulations.”
Randy Smith, executive vice president for business and administrative services, is excited to have Wellman leading SFS.
“I’m excited about Danielle’s promotion to SFS director as she brings financial aid expertise, leadership and communication skills, and a deep commitment to OBU’s mission and students. Danielle has proven herself in the financial aid world as she has helped countless students attend OBU by helping them understand the intricacies of financial aid.”
Wellman is excited for the future and feels blessed to be at her alma mater, serving out her calling while helping students find theirs.“I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to come to a job everyday where we all share Christian principles and integrate faith into all areas of what we do. One of my favorite moments each year is when all employees come together for a time of worship right before our students return to campus. Moments like that, or when a meeting begins with prayer, I stop and remember how wonderfully powerful it is to be among a body of believers in the work place every day.”