Drover Alum Since Day One: Naomi Hogue

A headshot of Naomi Hogue in her purple City of Coweta polo shirt
Hogue graduated from USAO in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology

Naomi Hogue first heard about the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma at a college fair at her high school and was attracted to its historic campus and small size. She knew she wanted to study science but was unsure of exactly what major to pick.

“I knew I wanted to attend a college that was much smaller than my high school, and, most importantly, I wanted classes to be taught by professors and get more one-on-one attention. After chatting with the representative, I booked a campus visit. Upon my arrival, I was greeted with open arms, and the rest is history,” said Hogue.

She graduated from USAO in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. She also holds associate degrees in pre-medicine and human resources from Tulsa Community College. Having worked for Direct Energy (acquired by NRG Energy in 2020) for almost 11 years, she currently serves as a compliance analyst, though she has held several different roles in the company. In addition to her full-time job, Hogue still finds time to give back a tremendous amount. Now in her second term as a councilmember for the city of Coweta, this past April she was elected by her peers to be mayor as well.

“In my downtime, I’m an avid outdoorswoman. I enjoy fishing, camping, gardening, canning, outdoor photography and riding my motorcycle anywhere the road takes me,” said Hogue. “I’m also dog mom to three senior dogs: Chico the chihuahua, Missy the skipper key/mix rescue pup, and BO the pit bull rescue pup.”

With all of these responsibilities and activities, Hogue looks back on her time at USAO as crucial for instilling in her the discipline needed to be successful. In addition, the school’s required interdisciplinary studies curriculum forced her to learn about disciplines far afield of biology, which broadened the impact of her college education.

“As a freshman in college and on my own as a young adult, I learned really quickly that no one is going to force me to go to class or study for exams,” she said. “My time at USAO provided me with a well-rounded education that gave me the insight to view the world through clear lenses. The variety of interdisciplinary courses offered, along with the exceptional professors, exposed me to areas of study I never would have known about if I had chosen a different college.”

Hogue does not hesitate to mention Dr. Mike Mather, emeritus professor of biology, as the person who made the biggest impact on her time in college. His passion for teaching and obvious care for his students made her courses with him that much more inspiring.

“Dr. Mather is an exceptional human and brilliant professor,” said Hogue. “I would love to go back and relive the yearly biology club trips to his cabin. We always had a blast being able to get together and enjoy the beautiful scenery while exploring the land, collecting and identifying specimens, taking photos, reflecting on the past semester and discussing future plans for ourselves.”

In order to pay down her student loans, Hogue began working two jobs immediately after graduation. In the day, she worked in telecommunications, and in the evening she worked in a hospital lab. After a decade with the telecom company, she made the difficult decision to accept a new job and left a position in which she felt stable and comfortable. While she found it nerve-wracking, looking back now, she feels it was completely worth it and has set her up for her success not only with Direct Energy but in her service to the city of Coweta.