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Education Coordinator for Dual Credit, Adjunct Instructor of Public Speaking, Ozarks Technical Community College

“In the past five years at OTC, I’ve had three different jobs, and I’ve been happy with every job I’ve had,” says Kim Greene, the education coordinator for dual credit and adjunct instructor in public speaking at Ozarks Technical Community College. The work she’s doing now might just be her best yet. Since taking over the dual credit program, the Drury graduate has overseen student numbers that have doubled in a year.

For Greene, that means more students received the help they needed. “High school students get college credit while they’re still in high school,” she says. “I started an online version of dual credit for schools that don’t have the resources to hire a teacher.”

Greene says the students are her favorite part of the job. “I really loved college—I missed being on a college campus, and I missed that environment. When you work at a college, there are students climbing out of the walls.”

Greene is also involved with Springfield Rotaract, and who knows what she’ll be doing next at OTC—she seems happy to do whatever is needed. “I always think I want to be in higher education,” she says. “I really like higher education.” —J.H.

417 Magazine: What was your “dream job” at age 5?
Kim Greene: I don’t remember 5, but at 8 I wanted to be an architect. Someone asked if I could spell it. I then decided it wasn’t a smart career move. 

417: How did you end up at your current job/profession?
K.G.: The willingness to try new things and a little luck. I came to OTC in 2008 and have been fortunate with many opportunities. I started an online version of a program for high school students in my previous job, and eventually, was able to become coordinator of the whole program.

417: Where do you find passion to do what you do?
K.G.: The passion comes from my love of education and truly believing in how much it can change someone’s life. When I do get drained, I have a file in my inbox and file box called the “Atta Girl Folder.” I keep emails and notes in it from students who contact me to let me know that I helped them learn to love public speaking or decide on a degree, or those students who let me know I helped this navigate this crazy thing called college and got them through to graduation, or from counselors and parents who say how I somehow made their life easier. That makes me feel like I’m in the right spot at the right moment.

417: Are you single/married, and do you have any kids?
K.G.: Single. No kids.

417: What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
K.G.: Sleeping. Seriously. Other than sleeping, I like cooking, eating, traveling, shopping and anything sun-related. If I get to do all of those at once, even better.

417: Are you involved in any charitable organizations?
K.G.: This past year I took a step down from many organizations because of my teaching schedule. I am a member of Rotaract and our philanthropy is Boys and Girls Town. In the past 3 years I have worked with Rock’n Ribs Executive Committee, Co-Chaired Rotaract’s Casino Night and been on Springfield Little Theatre’s Associate Board.

417: Are you a member of any professional organizations?
K.G.: I am a member of: Missouri Community College Association; Missouri Distance Learning Association; National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships

417: How would you define the secret to success?
K.G.: To know that success and life aren’t what you thought they would be. Everything is a process and be willing to accept that as happiness.

417: What’s your favorite thing about your career?
K.G.: It’s cliché, but the people! I get to work with students in many ways, from an advisor, to an instructor, to a coordinator of a program with high school students. It’s a lot of fun (and challenging) to work with them from start to finish. The people I work with are also pretty incredible. During crazy enrollment periods, everyone comes together and works like a crazy-well-oiled-machine, and keeps everyone laughing. Some of my best friends are my co-workers.

417: What’s your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
K.G.: That it’s a small town with lots of opportunity. It’s nice to be able to know someone wherever you go.

417: If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
K.G.: You will not be who you thought you would be, working where you thought you would be or living where you thought you would be. And life will be better than you thought it would be.

417: List three traits that define a successful career:
K.G.: Constant preparation, then, willingness to adapt and happiness

417: Why are you a 20 under 30?
K.G.: Good question. I have always been complimented on my work ethic, which I think comes from where I was raised. Beyond work ethic, I always try to see what could be done and what is left to be done in a project, professionally and civically. I have a sort of life mantra of, ‘If not me, then who?’ If I am not the one to do the job, who else will be willing to step up? I’m not willing to brush something off with hopes someone else will do, I feel personal responsibility for not only the college but also the community.

417: What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
K.G.: I am taking part in a vocational exchange through Rotary and will be traveling through Central America for the month of April learning about my career as well as university and college systems in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. I also am projecting a large growth in student enrollment and high school participation in our Dual Credit Program, which is pretty exciting. We had a 90% growth in high school participation this year, so I can’t wait until next year.

417: What completed project are you most proud of?
K.G.: Oh wow. I wish I could say my education, but that doctorate isn’t starting itself. Now it’s in print. I have to do it.

Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:

417: _____ make life worth living
K.G.: Family and friends

417: A day at work wouldn’t be complete without _____
K.G.: a crisis of some sort. Even if it’s just one I make up in my head.

417: Ten years from now, I hope I’m ____
not living in my dad’s shed. (I have an intense fear of failing and irrationally I think I would have to live in his shed if that happened).

417: If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would _____
K.G.: buy a robot named Rosie.

417: The best part about being a 20 under 30 is _____
K.G.: being in a class with people who I look up to and respect. I feel like I snuck into the cool kid table. 

Celebrate with the Class of 2013 on Thursday, April 25 at Highland Springs Country Club. 

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