Anthony Chornes II
For the past two years, Oakwood University and Southern Adventist University information technology (IT) departments have met together to share, grow, and learn from one another. This unparalleled interaction between the two departments has been spearheaded by Oakwood University’s chief information officer, Kirk Nugent, and Southern Adventist University’s associate vice president, Gary Sewell.
The most recent visit between the two universities’ IT departments happened on May 2, 2017, and was hosted by Oakwood University. Last year Southern Adventist University hosted the event. Says Nugent, “This visit of our colleagues from Southern Adventist University this past May was the second of its kind during my tenure here at Oakwood — with our network administrators talking to their network administrators, our software developers sharing with their software developers, our technicians speaking with their technicians, all the while every one of us truly enjoying each other’s company, stories, experiences, and solutions.” Sewell added, “This incredible opportunity to collaborate between our departments goes beyond just us. Southern and Oakwood have been doing DEEP (Diversity Education Exchange Program) Retreats for a number of years. These DEEP Retreats allow the two universities to spend a weekend together, to converse with one another, and to worship together.”
Carlton Byrd, D.Min., senior pastor of the Oakwood University Church and speaker/director for Breath of Life, started the day off with a devotional, which set the tone for the event. The day’s schedule of sharing and cooperation was intentionally relaxed, and allowed each team to pair together by job function. A tour of the Oakwood University campus followed, with IT areas of maintenance and management highlighted.
“Every member of my team (literally everyone) said the visit was very beneficial and they want to continue the practice in the following years,” said Nugent. “These meetings have really allowed the collaboration and cooperation to happen naturally,” added Sewell. “We all have a common purpose, a similar calling, all focused on the Kingdom of Heaven! We certainly plan to continue these meetings, and we hope to expand the time we are able to spend with one another.”
The two schools praise God for assisting them in coming together and reaching the young people for Him! This interaction and cooperation is an example for all — bridging any divide, reaching across, and working together as brothers and sisters in Christ!
Southern Union | July 2017