Martha Banz, interim dean and associate provost for OU Extended Campus, understands the challenges military-connected students and staff face. Knowing many in the OU Extended Campus family are connected to the military in one way or another, she works to make the burden a little lighter for both students and staff with military responsibilities.
“She has always made students in the military and veterans feel appreciated,” said Shad Satterthwaite, an Army Reserve colonel and associate dean of OU Extended Campus. “She feels it’s an important part of our mission.”
"The opportunity to lead a college that is intentional in providing top-notch educational access for servicemembers and their families is a great privilege, and I’m humbled to be recognized in this way.” - Martha Banz
In recognition of her support, Satterthwaite nominated Banz for the Department of Defense Patriot Award, which he presented to her in November at an all-college meeting.
Created by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), the award publicly recognizes supervisors who provide outstanding support and cooperation to their employees through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off before and after deployment, family support and leaves of absence if needed.
“For those of us that need to take off work for military responsibilities, she gives us latitude for that,” Satterthwaite said. “I haven’t been deployed like others, but every summer I teach at the War College. Last summer I was gone a couple of weeks in June and July, and that adds up.”
Banz said she was shocked when she was presented with the award.
“I didn’t know I’d even been nominated,” she said. “My own family has a long and rich history of military service, from the American Revolution clear through to today, so I have a tremendous appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who serve. The opportunity to lead a college that is intentional in providing top-notch educational access for servicemembers and their families is a great privilege, and I’m humbled to be recognized in this way.”
Satterthwaite said Banz helps create a military-friendly atmosphere within the college and always makes service members feel valued and appreciated.
“She recognizes veterans and values their input,” he said. “She’s grateful to have people with military experience in the college, and she’s always allowed us and even encouraged us to do things to maintain military contacts.”
Satterthwaite said OU Extended Campus’ sponsorship of the Patriot of the Game award also factored into his nomination. OU Extended Campus presents the award to a servicemember at each home football game and other sporting events throughout the year.
“That award is a neat way to recognize people who serve our country,” he said. “It just all comes together with this particular award being given out.”
To learn more about OU Extended Campus and the various ways the college supports military-affiliated staff and students, visit pacs.ou.edu.