For as long as Victoria Ladd can remember she recalls wanting to be a helper. Whether she was helping her grandmother make one of her famous homemade recipes or wrangling her siblings for bedtime, from a young age Ladd’s happiness was tied to serving others.
It came as no surprise to her family and friends that after graduating from high school in her hometown of Boise City, Okla., Ladd chose to study nursing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Okla.
“There’s a university actually closer to Boise City where some of my high school friends chose to go to college,” Ladd said. “For me, there was just no way I could pass up the opportunity to participate in Northwestern’s nursing program.”
Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Charles Morton Share Trust Nursing program consistently ranks among the top in the state for its national RN licensing examination pass rate. Early on at NWOSU, Ladd learned that the university’s reputation for providing students with a small student-to-faculty ratio, quality education, and real-life training opportunities, far exceeds itself.
Ladd’s professors guided her in becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant during her freshman year and helped her secure on-the-job training at a nursing home near NWOSU. It was during her work at the nursing home that Ladd decided to pivot in her educational endeavors.
“On-the-job training is imperative because it can either affirm that we are pursuing what we really want to do for the rest of our lives or it can make us aware that we need to change direction,” Ladd said.
While she enjoyed caring for patients and learning the ins and outs of nursing, Ladd decided that she wanted to care for others in a different way.
“My academic advisor was supportive when I told him that nursing wasn’t my niche, and he recommended that I take some communication classes to see if they sparked my interest,” Ladd said.
Ladd took a speech class with Assistant Professor, Matt Adair, and was hooked.
“Professor Adair made me realize that I could care for people by educating them on the resources available to them. Through his class, I learned the powerful impact communication can have on people's lives and health,” Ladd said.
After discovering her calling, Ladd joined professional student organizations at NWOSU including the Society of Professional Journalists and the Oklahoma Broadcasters Education Association, and served as the vice president of public relations for Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority.
Ladd graduated from NWOSU in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and currently serves as the Director of Marketing for The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges in Tulsa where no two days are the same.
“I get to wear many different hats,” Ladd said. “I promote our resources to people who can potentially benefit from them and spread awareness about the positive difference we make in people's lives.”
The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges offers adaptive recreational and sporting activities as well as rehabilitative services for youth and adults with disabilities.
“Before I started working here, I wasn’t expecting the upbeat and positive atmosphere,” Ladd said. “People are so happy just to be here and have this community and I am too; I have definitely found my place.”
She thanks NWOSU for helping her get to where she is.
“When I went to my academic advisors at NWOSU and told them that I needed to change course, they didn’t give up on me or wish me luck and send me on my way. They helped redirect me to what they felt could be a good fit, and they were spot on. I’m not sure I would have been so lucky anywhere else.”