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Alumni Association welcomes new leaders

Northeastern State University’s Alumni Association elected a new president and vice president and welcomed a new board member to its leadership on Dec. 2.

Andrea Tucker is the first NSU Alumni Association president to have graduated from NSU-Broken Arrow. She’ll be joined on the leadership team by new Vice President Michael Bolding. Lisa Smith is a new addition to the board.

Andrea Tucker

When Andrea Tucker thinks about her college experience at NSU, it’s not dorm rooms and roommates that come to mind.

Instead, Tucker remembers evenings spent studying on the floor of a small apartment surrounded by open textbooks and her four young children. She remembers how they watched her, and followed her example by scribbling notes while reading their Dr. Seuss books. 

It may not be a traditional college experience, but it has given Tucker a unique perspective to bring to the table as Alumni Association president.

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Tucker was hired as an assistant at Merrill Lynch. While she worked on her MBA at NSU-Muskogee, she also worked her way up and eventually joined as partner of a Wealth Management Practice at Merrill Lynch. She’s now been with the firm for 10 years.

Tucker has seen the power of networking & mentoring first-hand and hopes to pay it forward through her involvement in the Alumni Association. She said she hopes all alumni consider joining, because the larger the network is the stronger it is.

“Some people in our Alumni Association are financially at a point where they can make monetary donations and help with scholarships, and that’s beautiful, wonderful and greatly needed. Others are not at a point where they can lend financial support, but through their active involvement, they are able to offer their wisdom and their perspective through mentorships and networking with students.  As the Alumni Board consistently says, whether alumni are involved sharing their time, their talents, or their treasure, all are equally valuable and necessary to carry forward the legacy of this amazing NSU alumni community we’re all a part of.”

Michael Bolding

Michael Bolding is the vice chair of medicine and hospitalist at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He also serves on the faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences where he works with medical students and as a preceptor for the nurse practitioner program.

Bolding’s parents were NSU graduates, but he always wanted to go away for school. In the end, family and finances made him reconsider. 

“I had always planned on going away for school, but I wanted to stay close to my grandparents, so I went to NSU,” Bolding said. “I stayed in my great grandmother’s house which was just two blocks behind the science building. Between that and getting an academic scholarship, the cost to attend NSU was minimal.”

Bolding graduated from NSU in 2001 and then from Oklahoma State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2006. He completed his residency in the osteopathic program at the University of West Virginia in 2011.

“I hope to contribute to the Alumni Association board as someone who relied heavily on student scholarships to attend NSU and am now in a position to give back,” Bolding said. “I realize the importance of making higher education an affordable reality to the area and NSU’s vital role in providing that.”

When he is not working or teaching, Bolding enjoys time with his wife, Mary Jane (Nichols), and children, Merrick and Millie.

Lisa Smith

As Director of the Lake Area United Way, Lisa Smith is an advocate of giving back to the community.

“I believe that giving back to the community in a number of different ways is important,” she said. “I believe it’s the socially responsible thing to do.”

Her desire to give back is what’s driving her involvement with the NSU Alumni Association.

“I feel like I got a really wonderful education and really wonderful opportunities to meet a group of people who continue to influence my career and my social life 20 years later,” Smith said. “I feel like it’s part of my responsibility. The value of the education I received has completely outweighed anything I could ever back.”

Smith said she came to NSU almost by accident. Her family moved to Oklahoma from Waterloo, Iowa soon after she graduated from high school. It was an unexpected move as the result of a job transfer, so she planned to take a semester off to get acclimated to Oklahoma. When she didn’t immediately find a job her mom suggested NSU, and before she knew it she was signing up for classes.

Smith graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s in business administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. She worked in economic development until she began working at the United Way about a year and a half ago.

Published: 1/3/2017 4:05:48 PM

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