Coordinator of Graduate Programs, Christie Upchurch, Retires after 36 Years

Coordinator of Graduate Programs, Christie Upchurch, Retires after 36 Years

After 36 years of service at OU, Christie Upchurch is celebrating her retirement from the School of Meteorology. Christie served as the Coordinator of Graduate Programs working closely with the school’s graduate students for the last seven years.

Christie had a large positive impact on the students, faculty, and staff within the school. In 2018, Christie was honored by the university’s graduate college for her hard work and dedication to her students. Faculty and students have always had only great things to say about her.

A few graduate students and coworkers reflected on the time they spent with her. They described her influence in their lives as supportive, encouraging, and a key to their success at OU.

“Christie has easily been one of the most influential people in my life since I’ve started at OU,” Ph.D. student Elisa Murillo said. “From the several conferences spent recruiting together, to the many office chats about life, I’ve learned so much by her example! While I’m sad that we won’t have her in the building anymore, I’m so excited for this next chapter in her life!”

“Christie somehow takes students from across the country (and the world) and makes them feel like Oklahoma is their home away from home,” graduate student Kevin Thiel said. “She makes every student feel important, no matter how big or small their issues or needs are, and has been crucial in developing an inclusive and supportive culture in the graduate program every year. I definitely wish her all the best in her retirement!”

“Christie has been an indispensable resource since I arrived at OU,” Dr. Cameron Homeyer said. “Her institutional knowledge, willingness to meet people where they are, and positive attitude helped me to get through tough situations countless times. She will be greatly missed and it will be hard to even partially fill the void she will leave behind. Moreover, I will miss our near daily conversations about work, life, and more.

“The transition to OU for myself and many of my classmates involved long-distance moves across the country,” graduate student Lauren Pounds said. “I never felt lost or unsure about the transition because Christie was there every step of the way. I will always be thankful for the ease Christie brought to the graduate school experience, and I will surely miss her kind, encouraging words every time I saw her in the NWC.”

“I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that Christie has played a significant role in the success of hundreds of SoM graduate students through her time with the department,” Ph.D. student Brian Greene said. “She has always been a voice of wisdom, empathy, and reason for students and faculty, and we are all no doubt better people from having her in our lives.”

Thank you for being an integral part of the School of Meteorology and the Univerisity of Oklahoma, Christie. Congratulations on your retirement, and we wish you the best in all of your future endeavors!