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OBU Enhances Student Experience with Key Leadership Hires: Kaleb Miears and Melissa Stroud

November 7, 2023

OBU is pleased to announce the appointment of Kaleb Miears as director of student leadership and engagement, and Melissa Stroud as director of global mobilization.

Miears has served OBU students since 2016 through admissions, residential life and student success offices.

“We are so fortunate to have Kaleb Miears serving as the director of student leadership and engagement. Kaleb possesses an unwavering commitment to provide the best experiences possible for the students of OBU to grow personally, build meaningful relationships, and serve both their fellow students and greater Shawnee community,” said Dean of Students Brandon Petersen, “We are blessed to have Kaleb on the campus life team. He will make OBU better for being here.”

According to Petersen, Miears is well-versed in directing teams and programs with efficiency and a quality-driving mindset. He is prepared to bring excellent communication, relationship-building, and conflict resolution skills to his new position. This skillset comes from more than six years in the field.

Beginning his career at OBU as a full-time admissions counselor in 2016, Miears documented, maintained and tracked prospective students’ admissions applications and financial aid information. In 2017, he graduated from OBU with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. In 2019 he left admissions and began serving as a residence director. He held that role at the Lodge Residence Center and Village Apartments, where he managed a 10-to-12 student worker team and worked with an average of 300 residents living in four residence halls. During this time, he earned his Master of Arts in Christian Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fall 2021. In 2022, he served as OBU’s Student Success Specialist, where he oversaw the university’s Pursuits Program by managing entrance interviews, providing student support and developing new tactics to ensure academic success for students.

Petersen said of Stroud, “Melissa has served OBU faithfully over the past six years in her roles. Considering Melissa’s international experience and her deep passion for global engagement in terms of missional work and educational opportunities, she is going to lead OBU to the next level.”

Stroud has 17 years of experience in various higher education environments domestically and abroad. She is passionate about knowing and leading others to reach their fullest potential and has proven her ability to prioritize and handle multiple tasks in challenging environments, Petersen said.

Stroud graduated from OBU in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Cross-Cultural Ministry. As part of the dual-master global studies program, she then earned a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., in 2007, and a Master of Theological Studies from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (now Gateway Seminary) in 2008. She and her husband continued their passion for working in higher education and missions serving as representatives of the Consortium for Global Education (CGE) in Thailand for five years.

Stroud began serving at OBU in 2017 as assistant dean of students and in 2019 moved to the roll of director of student leadership and engagement. Before moving to student leadership and engagement, she supervised residential life and club sports for two years. She coordinated welcome week new student orientation for seven years and managed University Concert Series (UCS), Campus Activities Board (CAB), Student Government Association (SGA), Greek Life, student clubs and campus events.

In turning her focus to her role within the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach, Stroud said she is “passionate about encouraging university students to grow in their identity in Christ and respond to the call to make God's name known among the nations.”