googleplus linkedin pinterest snapchat

The Medicine Wheel: Outstanding Community Service Awards


The University of Tulsa seal contains the words “Wisdom, Faith, and Service.” The award incorporates the Native American Medicine Wheel and the University Seal. The star in the seal represents “service” signifying that this activity is vital to the mission of the University. The five points on the star represent Oklahoma’s five Indian nations. The wheel symbolizes wholeness while the four spokes represent the four directions and the importance and well-being of all people. By combining the Medicine Wheel and the Seal into a single entity, the University celebrates its Native American heritage and gives emphasis to service as a central tenet of our foundation.

To highlight the importance of service, The University of Tulsa has established the Medicine Wheel Awards, recognizing those who have provided meritorious service to our community and its citizens.

The nomination window is currently closed and will open in March 2020.

2019 Medicine Wheel Award Recipients

John Wood – Staff

Associate Director of the Physical Plant

John embodies the University’s “True Blue Neighbors” commitment to serving the community. Year after year, John has served on TU’s United Way committee, and coordinates TU’s employee service for the United Way Day of Caring, sending staff and faculty out into the community to do large-scale projects with area non-profit organizations. In addition to his work with the United Way, John encourages all of the staff in the physical plant to volunteer and give back to the community. His nominator says, “The University is very lucky to have John’s inspiring example and commitment to serving others, and he is so deserving of this recognition.”

Lisa Cromer, Ph.D. – Faculty

Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Cromer has made a significant impact in the Greater Tulsa community by sharing and presenting her knowledge and passion for historical trauma and the intergenerational transmission of trauma with local, public school districts. Her presentations on trauma-informed care in a classroom setting has helped positively influence K-12 school employees and administrators, and have contributed to a shifting of school policies to enhance relationships with their students. Her nominator says, “Dr. Cromer recognizes that service is one of her major responsibilities of being TU academic faculty. As such, her act of service is not defined as a single event or opportunity, but rather her identity to promote social justice and do meaningful work.”

Michaela Perez – Student

Junior, Sociology Major

Michaela Perez is committed to serving her community and to helping change the lives of youth in Tulsa. Since coming to TU in August of 2016, she has consistently volunteered with numerous education non-profits and public schools, such as Reading Partners, Celia-Clinton Elementary School, Hawthorne Elementary School, and Kendall-Whitter Elementary. She has gained a passion for K-12 education and prioritizes her volunteer work around serving historically marginalized populations. Michaela is active in various ongoing service and civic initiatives through True Blue Neighbors. In addition, she has planned and executed several community service projects including TU’s all-campus Day of Service in the Spring of 2019. Her nominator says, “Michaela is an incredible volunteer and a shining example of the vibrant culture of service at TU.”

TU Men’s Soccer Team


The University of Tulsa Men’s Soccer team does an outstanding job positively impacting our campus and community. The team is always ready to step up and serve others and the commitment to service comes from the top-down: coaches, staff, and players all volunteering together. The team prioritizes service with non-profit organizations which assist those facing hunger issues, as well as with local elementary schools. Their nominator said, “The entire team showed up on the first day of school at a local elementary just to give each student a “high-five” and positive encouragement for the new school year.” Notably, twelve team members currently serve as Reading Partners, consistently giving an hour a week of their time to help mentor and tutor elementary students in reading.