2019 Fall Workshop


Nominations closed.
Learn more about the Natalea Watkins Communicator of the Year Award.
Learn more about the Randy Talley Rising Star Award.

10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 30
CHK|Central Boathouse | 732 Riversport Dr., OKC

Moderator:  Adrienne Nobles, APR  Assistant VP, UCO Communications

Adrienne Nobles, APR
Assistant VP, UCO Communications

Mark Kinders, Ed.D.   VP for Public Affairs, University of Central Oklahoma

Mark Kinders, Ed.D.
VP for Public Affairs, University of Central Oklahoma

Judy Williams , Assoc. Vice Chancellor of Communications and Marketing, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Judy Williams, Assoc. Vice Chancellor of Communications and Marketing, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Erin Yarbrough  Assoc. VP, Marketing & Communications University of Oklahoma

Erin Yarbrough
Assoc. VP, Marketing & Communications University of Oklahoma

Steve Valencia  VP for Development  Rogers State

Steve Valencia
VP for Development
Rogers State



Mark Kinders
Mark Kinders, a 31-year veteran of public higher education, is Vice President for Public Affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma, serving the 1.5 million residents of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. His responsibilities include federal, state, business and community relations. As a member of the Cabinet, he is involved in all substantive decisions for the university on academic programs, budgeting, facilities, student affairs and communications. He also provides legislative advocacy support to the Board of Regents for the six campuses of the Regional University System of Oklahoma. He is UCO’s representative to and a member of the executive committee of the Economic Development Council of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Previously, he served as Vice President for University Relations at Northeastern State University (NSU). At NSU, he oversaw community, state and federal relations; media relations and communications; internal and external marketing; and the NSU Foundation and Alumni Association. He came to NSU in 2008, after serving as Director of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls (UWRF) since 1985. He was recognized as a “Wisconsin Idea Fellow” by the University of Wisconsin (UW) System Board of Regents for his economic development and outreach efforts in forming the St. Croix Valley Regional Tourism Alliance and chairing an NFL Search Committee that successfully recruited the Kansas City Chiefs to UWRF for Summer Training Camp for 18 years. He was among 100 faculty and staff selected from 32,000 employees in the UW System to receive this signal award. Read more.

Steve Valencia
Steve Valencia began serving as Vice President for Development at Rogers State University on September 30. In this role, he oversees fundraising operations and alumni relations, and serves as the University’s liaison to the Rogers State University Foundation. Prior to coming to RSU, Valencia spent 23 years at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva. There he led programs in communications and marketing, governmental relations and served as a primary fundraiser.

Valencia provided leadership to two capital campaigns that raised more than $35 million, including the recently concluded $28 million Imagine Northwestern campaign. At Northwestern, his communications and marketing teams won numerous awards from the Oklahoma College Public Relations Association. Valencia has been active in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), serving as both District IV chairman and chair of the group’s annual conference. 

He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and history from Northwestern, as well as a Master of Education degree.

Judy Williams
Judy Williams, who started her career in print journalism, has worked in communications for the past 38 years—the last 16 of those years in higher education. She is currently associate vice chancellor of communications and marketing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She joined UA Little Rock after a three-year communications position at Hendrix College, a private institution in Conway, Ark. She credits the many professionals who mentored and worked with her over the years and the wide variety of positions she has held for her satisfying career.

Her journalism background at newspapers in Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, and Arkansas made her a stronger writer and editor. Her jobs in nonprofit organizations, healthcare, and the ad agency business paved her pathway to communications management. The relationships she built and professional development gained in International Association of Business Communicators, Public Relations Society of America, and CASE strengthened her passion and knowledge of this wonderful and ever-changing career choice.

Erin Yarbrough
Erin Yarbrough is the Associate Vice President for Digital Marketing at the University of Oklahoma. She has a background in marketing, executive leadership, and innovation.Yarbrough is passionate about brand strategy, women in leadership, and abandoned buildings. Boomer Sooner!



Dr. Kim Wolfinbarger is the director of the
OU Jerry Holmes Leadership Program, where she assists students in learning and practicing the skills they will need to be effective and ethical leaders now and throughout their careers.

Wolfinbarger will help us navigate the complex issues associated with change and transition, as we move forward to continue making a positive impact in Oklahoma higher education.

Managing Transition and Change 

Change is the one certainty we all share. Many of us have experienced significant change on our campuses. Managing the transition that occurs with change is essential. For this reason, we are focusing on this topic to help us consider how best to move forward, as we continue to perform our duties in support of our students, colleagues and higher education in Oklahoma.

The 2019 Fall Workshop will cover the elements of leadership transition, how to facilitate it, and how to build relationships. The presentation will include group participation, as well as a panel discussion featuring some of our colleagues who will share how they have managed transitions at their institutions.

Join us as we learn, celebrate two award recipients (Natalea Watkins Communicator of the Year and the Randy Talley Rising Star) and enjoy a delicious lunch. This networking and professional development opportunity is just what we need in the midst of the 2019-2020 academic year.


10 am Welcome

10:15-11:15 Presentation by Dr. Kim Wolfinabarger

11:15-11:30 am Break

11:30 am - 12:30 pm   Panel discussion  

12:30 pm     Awards Presentation
Presentation of the Natalea Watkins Communicator of the Year and the Randy Talley Rising Star awards

12:45-1:30 pm     Lunch

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Fall Workshop Registration is only $60 and includes lunch. Payments accepted include:

  • Paypal (button below)

  • Purchase order - email brian.adler@swosu.edu

  • Pay with cash or credit card at event

  • Pay from invoice

2019 Fall Workshop