RSU to Honor Moore with ‘Distinguished Hillcat Award’ at Alumni Award Dinner April 27

Jody Moore

As someone who, by her own admission, “uses lots of words,” Jody Moore is rarely left without something to say.

But when she learned that she was named the 2024 RSU Distinguished Hillcat Award recipient, the RSU alumna was “speechless.”

“I’m so honored to have been selected (for the award). I didn’t even know what to say when I found out. I was literally speechless, which, for me, is saying something,” laughed Moore. “I know there are so many people, other alumni, who are out there doing great things. To have been thought worthy to receive this recognition is a tremendous honor.”

Moore grew up in Claremore, graduating from Claremore High School in 2002, making her the first in her immediate family to earn her high school diploma.

“My family has had a lot of success, but when I graduated from high school, I was the first person in my family to have ever done so. That’s just the way the cards were stacked,” she said. “After high school, I came to RSU because going to college after high school was just what you did.”

While at RSU, Moore was working as a lifeguard at the Claremore Recreation Center and later, for her father’s companies as an office manager, getting real life experience in what would eventually become her chosen major.

“I changed majors a few times, but I did finally land on accounting, getting my associate degree in that in 2005,” she said.

Following this, Moore moved to Germany with her husband at the time who was in the military, returning after three years and working in banking.

“I knew I wanted to continue with my education and get my bachelor’s degree – that was something I had my sights set on,” she said. “I eventually came back to RSU, working in the admissions department, and started working on my bachelor’s degree, which – this time around – came with some challenges as I was learning how to be a single mom. But I had an amazing support network here at RSU – my professors, at work, everyone made accommodations for me and the challenges I had to help me earn my degree.”

In 2015, Moore graduated with her bachelor’s degree in sport management with a minor in business administration, after which she went to work in the non-profit sector at Volunteers for Youth in Claremore.

“I was with Volunteers for Youth – as project director for the TSET Healthy Living program – for about five years and it was a very good fit for me,” she said. “We had a lot of success in the community while I was there, focusing on healthy living initiatives.”

By 2020, longtime Safenet Services director Donna Grabow announced her planned retirement, and Moore’s mentor and Rogers County Youth Services Director Herb McSpadden suggested she apply for the job.

“I had very mixed feelings about the idea of applying for Safenet director,” Moore recalled. “On the one hand, I enjoyed what I did, I didn’t want to leave my team (at Volunteers for Youth) and I was a little reluctant to step into being the director of another non-profit during a pandemic.

“On the other hand, I have a personal history of domestic violence and I’m close to several other people who have the same – it’s something about which I was and am passionate,” she said. “I felt I could bring a unique, personal perspective into the role that would serve it – and Safenet’s clients – quite well.”

After much thought and prayer, Moore applied for the director position, a role for which she was hired and has held since December 2020.

“My role (as director of Safenet) is a little different than that of our advocates. I’m constantly looking at our programs, our processes, funding, etc. I am involved with our clients, but in my role, I don’t directly provide them with counseling or advocacy. My role is more to provide my team with everything they need to be successful,” she said. “Giving them all the resources they need helps them to make a difference in the lives of our clients, which is what we’re ultimately here to do.”

Moore said her time at Rogers State University, both as an employee and as a student, was overwhelmingly positive and helped prepare her personally and professionally to be a success.

“I’m so thankful for the start that RSU gave me and the doors that my preparation here helped to open,” she said. “There were so many people here who helped me along the way. I know I wouldn’t have accomplished all I’ve accomplished had I not come back to school and continued my education here.”

Moore lives in Verdigris with her son, Blake Stroble.

Moore and her fellow award recipients will be recognized April 27 at the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner, hosted by the RSU Alumni Association. Other honorees include Caitlyn Ngare, recipient of the RSU Alumni Rising Star Award, and Dr. Keith and Lisa Martin, winners of the Hill Legacy Award.

Award recipients were selected based upon their personal achievements and service; statewide, regional, and/or national distinction; and bringing honor to themselves and to Rogers State University.

Tickets for the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner may be purchased at