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Sofia Hernandez attends High Leadership Academy

Sofia Hernandez

 Northern Oklahoma College Stillwater student Sofia Hernandez recently attended the George and Donna Nigh Leadership Academy at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Hernandez is a freshman President Leadership Council student from Perkins.

PLC Sponsor Tammy Davis sees Hernandez’s leadership abilities at NOC Stillwater.

“Sofia is an energetic, thoughtful leader,” Davis said.  “She eagerly embraces leadership opportunities on our campus.”

Hernandez had rave reviews from the conference.

“This conference gave me the opportunity to meet many new friends (we still keep in touch) and to see what leadership looks like in my state government,” she said. “We attended many leadership discussions with our trip sponsor and Mr. Nigh’s protégés that were very insightful.”

“The conference was really a pleasure to attend,” Hernandez said. “We went to the capital to watch a legislative session, the First Americans museum, Ed Funk’s Ranch, the Oklahoma City Memorial, attended an Oklahoma City Rotary club meeting, volunteered at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, and attended an Oklahoma City Thunder game.”

“I enjoyed the Ed Funk ranch the most,” she added.  “Our group got to see the Clydesdales and eat dinner in Funk’s pool house with Mr. and Mrs. Nigh.”

The Nigh Leadership Academy is supported by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, which contracts with the Nigh Academy for implementation. During the history of the academy, more than 600 students have been awarded the title of Nigh Scholar.

Past students have become members of the State Legislature, county commissioners, mayors, city councilman, lawyers, doctors, teachers, federal and state officials, businessmen and higher education administrators and professors.

On April 19, 1999, the Oklahoma State Legislature and former Gov. Frank Keating established the George and Donna Nigh Public Service Scholarship. The purpose of this scholarship is to allow each of the two- and four-year higher educational institutions, both public and private, to select and honor one student each year as a Nigh Scholar. Each student is selected and nominated by their institution’s president and receive a one-time $1,000 Leadership Scholarship.

The scholarships are provided to the scholars at the conclusion of a five-day Leadership Academy in Oklahoma City. The academy is an intense mixture of personal development sessions on expanding personal skills and understanding of leadership. The academy provides all program and personal expenses.

Northern Oklahoma College, the state’s first public two-year community college, is a multi-campus, land-grant institution that provides high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities and services.

NOC serves nearly 4,000 students through the home campus in Tonkawa, branch in Enid, and NOC/OSU Gateway Program in Stillwater.  Of these students about 80% receive financial aid and/or scholarships. 75% of NOC students complete their degree with zero debt.

The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers associate degrees in three general areas: Arts, Science and Applied Science; the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs; and the Accreditation Commission for Education and Nursing.

For more information about Northern Oklahoma College please call (580) 628-6208 or visit the NOC website at