Written By: Jonathan Clayton
As the Oklahoma Wesleyan University family welcomed its new president to campus, another new staff member arrived not long after. Kory Pence, OKWU’s new Vice President for Creative Impact, moved with his wife, Kristen, daughter, and a baby girl on the way to Bartlesville in August, and they all enjoy new adventures each day!
When asked how he found his new position at OKWU, Kory said that he was informed about the job by Dr. Dunn, and he initially planned to respond by saying, “It sounds like a fun job, have fun filling it.” After much prayer and a visit to campus, he accepted the position. Kory enjoys his new role. He said that “every day is different. There is a variety of people and things to creatively impact in a way that speaks well for the university and God’s Kingdom. I always hope to be involved in design for change.” He also enjoys working with people as a team and developing relationships that foster success and collaboration.
Kory has been in the creative design field for twenty-one years, starting with his freshman year of college at Indiana Wesleyan University doing freelance design. He worked for an outdoor sports and adventure corporate headquarters after earning his bachelor’s degree, and then earned his master’s degree. In the sports world, he was able to work in graphic design for many name-brand companies. He told me that “it was fun, but there was a piece of it missing: that fulfillment for doing work that mattered, and not just lining the pocket of some corporate officer by selling more shoes, but doing something that would have a greater impact.” He said that he found the opportunity to have an impact at The Wesleyan Church denominational headquarters for over 16 years, and now he can continue to do so with OKWU team.
Kory’s vision for the Creative Impact team is to coproduce with other departments on campus. He says that “Coproducing implies that it’s not just one-sided, having a meeting to collaborate and then we go our separate ways, but that we are constantly working together to create a greater product.” He has a vision to see our university grow through creative design, stories, and a responsive website.
When asked how the Creative Impact Department helps to further the mission of Oklahoma Wesleyan, Kory said that all platforms affiliated with the university run through his department. Because of his department’s responsibility over the university’s many platforms, and with the variety of them that exist, the possibilities are endless. He also told me that the biggest platform available is social media, and he intends to further the university’s use of it, as well as print design, collateral, and a redesign of the university website.
Kory’s advice for someone who desires to go into the Creative Design field is ultimately to do what he or she loves. “If you love people, and you love sitting at a computer for hours, it’s the right field for you.” He said that creative design is the right career for those who are creative, and love make intangible things real for people to experience. He also said that we need to do what we love and the things we are passionate about, because the world needs more people who pursue their passions.
A fun fact about Kory is that he has spent time working in New Zealand, helping several churches through marketing and collateral. He considers it one of the most beautiful countries in the world. He recommends Hokey Pokey Ice Cream, a local New Zealand treat consisting of vanilla ice cream with clumps of honeycomb throughout.