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Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Reggie Oxendine Jr. earns a doctorate from ECU

On November 14, 2006, Reggie Oxendine Jr. learned he had successfully defended his dissertation, earning his doctorate from East Carolina University (ECU) in Educational Leadership and Higher Education Administration.

Reggie Oxendine, Jr. (left) with Reggie Oxendine, Sr.

Reggie Oxendine Jr. (left) with Reggie Oxendine Sr.


It was three years of work at two full-time occupations. Dr. Oxendine taught a full schedule of classes for UNC Pembroke’s School of Education and pursued his doctorate as a full-time student.

“It was six hours driving for three hours of class work, and sometimes I did it three times a week,” he said. “I bought a Blackberry so I could keep in touch with my online students wherever I was.”

If hard work was one side of the coin, opportunity was the other. A UNCP employee for almost 11 years, the University granted him the flexibility to pursue his dream.

“Because of the opportunity the University gave me, I wanted to make sure I was successful,” Dr. Oxendine said. “I hoped to pave the way for others to do the same thing.”

Dr. Oxendine said Chancellor Allen C. Meadors and Dr. Collie Coleman, associate vice chancellor for Continuing and Distance Education, were very instrumental in his success.

“They encouraged and advised me,” Dr. Oxendine said.

Dr. Reggie Oxendine Sr., a professor in the School of Education, also helped.

“I wished Reggie all the blessings in the world. I gave him only a little encouragement,” Dr. Oxendine said. “I am truly proud of him. He worked hard.”

The younger Dr. Oxendine started at UNCP in 1995 as the first distance learning classroom manager in interactive television facility. From there, he joined the Office of Continuing and Distance Education to train professors who were learning to teach online via the Internet.

Dr. Oxendine joined the School of Education in 2004 teaching “Business Uses of Computers” and “Introduction to Computers.” The University allowed him to teach two online courses and schedule his classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so he could travel to ECU.

“My department chairs, Dr. Zoe Locklear, Dr. Eric Dent, and Dr. Bill Campbell allowed me the flexibility to teach and enroll in my classes, and I am very appreciative,” he said. “Without that, it would not have been possible.”

An NC State graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in communication, Dr. Oxendine earned his Master of Arts in instructional technology from ECU in 2003. Not surprisingly, his dissertation was on orientation programs for online distance learners.

“The better we can support new online distance education students, the better the retention rates are for the students,” he said. “Online distance education is continuing to grow, and we have the potential to serve many more students.”

Over the years, Dr. Oxendine has built an impressive resume, including a number of multimedia and software publications and presentations around the world. He recently presented research in the United Arab Emirates and California. He is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the National Blackboard Users Group, the Association for Continuing Higher Education and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

A Pembroke native, Dr. Oxendine is active in his community as a founding member of the Southeastern Distributed Learning Association and a member of the N.C. Council for Entrepreneurial Development.  He is also a member of the Pembroke Elementary and Purnell Swett High School Parent Teacher Associations.

Dr. Oxendine and his wife, Lisa, a teacher with the Public Schools of Robeson County, have three children: Jessica, 14, Adrianna, 9, and Zachary, 3.

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