Nancy Zentis - Alumni Profile

Dr. Nancy Zentis Nancy Zentis, of Coral Springs, Florida, is the Founder and CEO of the Institute of Organization Development (IOD), a global learning enterprise.  IOD provides online certificate programs in Organization Development, Organization Process Consulting, Talent Management, Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

A graduate of West Bloomfield High School, Zentis received an Associate's Degree in Mental Health from OCC ('76), a BS in Human Resource Development from Oakland University ('78), a Master's in Human Resource and Management from Central Michigan University ('82), and a Ph.D. in Organization Development from Capella University ('07).  After graduating from Oakland University, Zentis returned to OCC in 1978 as the Director of OCC's Internship Program.  During her five-year tenure at OCC, she obtained grants to hire 100 interns per year; created certificate programs in Home Healthcare, Diesel Mechanic Repair, and Robotics Technician; and also wrote the first Displaced Homemaker Grant for OCC.

Why did you choose to attend OCC?
I wanted to pursue a degree for career advancement.  I was a single mother without job skills and I was able to attend OCC through a vocational rehabilitation program.

What is your fondest memory of OCC?
Attending Highland Campus and enjoying the beauty of the campus and the architecture of the old buildings.  Meeting new friends and developing lifelong relationships with faculty and counselors.

What surprised you the most about OCC?
Most of the students were my age and married with children.

How did attending OCC impact your life?
I received the benefit of learning and the wonderful experiences provided by the dedicated faculty, which enriched my life.

Was there a favorite faculty or staff member who had a strong positive impact on your life?
Ron Spainhour, Government.  He was inspirational!

Were you involved in student life activities at OCC?  How did those impact you?
I was involved in many of the activities, cultural programs and events.  I also took tennis, cross country skiing and other courses.

What has been your most rewarding experience since graduating?
Applying my education to help others learn and grow in their careers.

What advise can you give students? 
Every learning experience is worthwhile.  You will eventually use every skill you've learned.  I took a philosophy class and didn't know how I could apply it.  Recently, while attending a conference in Ghana, one of the presented topics was "How the Roots of Organization Development are Related to Philosophy."

What would you like others to know about OCC?
OCC made it possible for many of my friends and family to have successful careers.  My mother, sister, son and daughter attended OCC, and now my granddaughter is attending.  It's a great way to go back to school and gain your confidence, develop study habits, and learn in a supportive environment.  I've always loved the campuses, especially Highland Lakes, since I grew up in the area.  We have had many wonderful memories of outstanding staff and faculty:  Sister Mary, Dick Knapp, Ron Spainhour, counselors Peter and Ruth Grass, Jim Hanson, and many others who were more than counselors - they were friends.