By Brittney Payette
At 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 in Nance Boyer room 2005 the Communication, English, and Foreign Languages department hosted a Visiting Professionals event featuring Cameron alumni Jennifer Cox.
Cox graduated from Cameron with her bachelor’s degree in English Education in 1991. Cox said she had been very involved with organizations and events at Cameron such as participating in the Student Government Association. She later got her Master’s degree in Behavioral Science.
Cox said she has been with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) for almost 10 years.
“I’m a resource specialist,” Cox said. “I’m the worker for a foster home. I advocate for them, I support them [and] I make sure if they need services in the home they get those services.”
Cox said the majority of her job is a lot of writing things such as support plans for children placed in foster homes and annual updates.
“I go out and I see people and I talk to them a little bit and then I just type, type, type, type it up.”
Cox said she enjoys her job at DHS.
“I’m a foster care worker, which is kind of a separate little thing,” Cox said. “So, we do foster care and adoptions.”
Cox said DHS is currently looking to hire and train more workers.
“The only requirement for child welfare is that you have a Bachelor’s degree,” she said. “So, if you have a Bachelor’s degree, they will train you.”
Cox said that being able to communicate with people is extremely important for her job.
“If you’re able to talk to people, then this job may be for you.”
Cox said she likes the flexibility her job offers.
“One thing I do enjoy about this job is that you kind of set your own schedule,” she said. “You set your schedule, so as long as you are working your hours, it doesn’t matter. And a lot of times we work from home now.”
Cox said she has always enjoyed school and learning, and that she liked Cameron University.
“I’ve made a lot of good friends when I attended Cameron,” she said. “It did give me just a love of learning. I really enjoyed my time at Cameron.”
Cox said she wishes she had known about her current job sooner.
“I love this job,” Cox said. “I can’t even say that enough. I have a heart for kids. I love to talk to people. I help families get back together. I love working with parents. I love working with kids. I love talking to people.”
Cox said she appreciates how DHS encourages their employees to really practice self-care, especially since they recognize that jobs that involve child welfare can be stressful.
“I do try to go walking and things like that,” Cox said. “You have to find whatever works for you. If your cup is empty, you can’t help other people. Do what you can.”
Freshman Mechanical Engineering major Chance Hale was one of the attendees at the event.
“My English teacher gave us the option of coming to get bonus points,” Hale said. “I had to jump on that. I love my points. I thought it was very informative.”
Freshman Jesse Johnson, who is undecided about his major, said that one reason why he came was because he was curious about different career options available to him since he has not declared a major yet.
“I think it’s useful to have professionals come in and talk to students about their jobs, for more insight,” Johnson said. “Talking to a person, I just value more.”
For more information about future events hosted by the Communication, English, and Foreign Languages department contact the department chair Dr. Von Underwood at email@example.com.