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Thursday, March 22, 2012 - Take 5 with Reginald McCloud
By Katie Land, news editor

Composed of a diverse array of faculty, staff and administrators, the Oakland University community is unique, creative, and dedicated. As part of a continuing effort to explore the various roles and lives of our Golden Grizzlies, the News @ OU website presents a new interview series. We invite you to share these stories and “Take 5” with OU.  

“Take 5 with Reginald McCloud” 

Reginald McCloud is the director of the Department of Pre College Programs. Long a part of the Oakland University community, Reginald has spent 22 years on campus, earning his bachelor’s degree in communication and master’s degree in public administration before joining the teaching ranks and landing in pre college programs. Currently, Reginald does both – oversees programs in his department and teaches communications courses at the university. A native of Ferndale, Reginald currently lives in Auburn Hills.  

1) What are the special challenges you face working with pre-college students?

For us, one of the biggest programs we have is the Gear Up program (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), where we lead about seven hundred seventh graders through to their first year of college. Our biggest challenge with the program is parental engagement. When the parents are involved, the kids are more productive. At the same time, we work with so many different units, entities and groups that it can be difficult to coordinate with the programs we are responsible for. In the department, we operate 10 programs and have an office of just three people. I truly appreciate the level of love and enthusiasm that our staff brings, and am grateful for the support of administrators such as Mary Beth Snyder and Glenn McIntosh. I absolutely love my job, and it doesn’t feel like work. I feel that it is my passion, and what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

2) What kind of music do you like?

Right now I love Adele, but I really like a bit of everybody. I’m not opposed to listening to anyone. I’m not a big rap person but I do like Jay Z. I also like some of those throwbacks from the late eighties and early nineties like Teddy Pendergrass.

3) How did you end up at OU?

Oakland University changed my life. I came here for the first time for a field trip in sixth grade, and never dreamed I would spend 22 years of my life here. There came a time in my life where I knew I had to get a college degree. It was not an option. I came from an impoverished background where no one around me had a degree, and everyone was struggling in life. I did not want that. And so, I got the “college bug.” My experience at OU changed my life and allowed me to have possibility thinking, something I hadn’t had before. I’ve had an amazing journey. After I earned my undergraduate degree, I spent seven years as a national public speaker for Ford Motor Company.  I earned a fellowship for graduate school, which required that I teach for three years once I finished. I graduated with my Master’s of Public Administration degree in the spring of 1996, and by the fall I was teaching at OU. I’ve been here ever since.

4) What are your favorite TV shows?

I really like “The Big Bang Theory.” It’s all about nerds and I love Sheldon, one of the characters. I like to record several shows during the week and then catch up on them on Saturdays. I watch a lot of shows like “The Voice,” and “American Idol,” because those are the shows my students watch and I like to be able to relate to them. Of course, I often enjoy watching the shows too. 

5) What qualities does an ideal college student working in your department have?

We employ about 25 OU students in the department. Students have to want to be role models and mentors to pre college students. Most of the OU students we interview have a desire to help and most have had some help to get here. Many of our students have already participated in community service projects or organizations as well. We recently had an event that 100 people attended, and our OU students just rose to the occasion. They were so helpful and were dotting every “i” and crossing every “t.” Our students really do a wonderful job. We have high expectations and make sure students have met certain protocols to continue. We monitor grades and counsel students if needed. There is definitely a family environment amongst us in the office.