Students and faculty will recognize a familiar, smiling face in Russ Tresner, the new Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) coordinator, who has served as the curriculum advisor for the program during the last year.
New MLS students will discover in Tresner an encourager and someone who has been in their shoes. From his own experience, he understands their concerns about returning to school after a decade or two, combined with their need to juggle both work and school.
Like so many MLS students, Tresner aspired to complete an education begun decades earlier. “I returned to college after a career in the U.S. Air Force as a policeman of 26 years,” he said. “And I earned my degrees with weekend and night classes and distance learning. It took me 28 years from the time I began my bachelor’s degree to complete it.”
In 1996, Tresner earned his bachelor’s degree in science of management technology operations with a psychology minor. He immediately went on to earn a master’s degree in 1998 in aeronautical science management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, followed by 12 years working there in adult education. For five of those years he was coordinator of adult education programs at their center in Oklahoma City before coming to OU.
The growing MLS student body of 374, enrolled in a variety of program offerings, can rely on his expertise in college academic advising and his positive energy to guide them.
Tresner was born in Danville, Ill., and reared in Chicago Heights where he began college with a desire to work in education. He left college and entered into a career with the air force that took him on tours of duty to South Carolina, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, southeast Asia, England and Belgium. Today, he has realized his educational and career goals while helping students with theirs and doing the work he wanted to do all along. “I really like working with the students and faculty,” he said. “I enjoy helping students reach their goals in education and seeing their success. It makes you feel good that you’ve been part of it.”
Keep your eyes open around town for Tresner. He keeps a pair of Rollerblades handy at all times and often opts for this mode of transportation.
“It’s invigorating and fun; it’s a great way to be in nature and keeps me feeling terrific,” he said.