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Plant and Soil Sciences Staff Member Has a Heart for Helping People

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Debbie Porter was raised in the small town of Pawnee, Oklahoma, and is involved in the world of agriculture both personally and professionally. She is the senior administrative support assistant for the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Oklahoma State University. On the home front, she and her husband, Gerald, raise cattle and bees on their property in Glencoe and camp in the mountains every chance they get.


Porter has served in her role with OSU since 1988, arranging travel for department faculty, submitting work orders for technology and equipment, updating the department directory, supporting fundraisers and much more.


Porter said what she is most proud of in her job is the fact that she gets to help people and make a difference in someone’s life. 


“A student came by one day and wanted to know where he needed to go and was so frustrated because he had already been referred to three different places on campus,” she said. “I didn’t know where he needed to go, but I made a couple of calls and sent him across campus to where he needed to be. That student came all the way back across campus just to thank me for helping him. To me, that is what it’s all about.”


Outside the department, Porter likes to bake, spend time with her family and friends, camp, read and play games. A little-known fact about her is she used to shoot a black powder rifle and pistol in competitions and was once the Oklahoma Women’s State Champion.


What makes her passionate about what she does for OSU? The people she interacts with day in and day out.


“My job isn’t just about typing or making phone calls, but it is also about the little things that pop up each day,” she said. “Sometimes, I can turn a frown into a smile just by giving a lost student directions to their classroom. Now that is a good feeling.”

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