Meet Rachelle Franz, Ed.D., our latest Broncho to know. Franz is an associate professor in the University of Central Oklahoma’s physical education/health program.
Before becoming a Broncho, Franz started her higher education journey as a Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) Bulldog, not far from her hometown of Weatherford, Oklahoma. During her time at SWOSU, Franz played basketball while finishing her undergraduate degree in physical education/health.
Franz now lives in Edmond with her family. Her husband is the director of Operations and Athletics for Oakdale Public Schools. Together, they have two kids Baylor and Hudson, and two “bonus” daughters Callie and Jewel, a bonus son-in-law Jacob and a bonus grandbaby Carver. They may not be biologically related, but to Franz, they are part of their family just the same.
“My kids think I’m a ‘health nut’ mostly because I don’t keep soda and junk food at home and insist that they keep their bodies moving every day, but I grew up eating Ding Dongs and drinking Dr. Pepper. I don’t remember having a fruit or vegetable as a snack as a kid, EVER. Lots of cookies and candy, though. So, I’m proof that you can change. My parents eat much healthier now as well. I have my first health class at SWOSU to thank for the healthier version of me,” she said.
Before joining the Central family 13 years ago, Franz taught history and coached volleyball, basketball and track. “I loved coaching but really wanted to teach PE/health, so we (my husband and I) stayed in Liberal, Kansas, for one year and then moved back to Oklahoma. I taught PE/health at Kenneth Cooper Middle School in Oklahoma City,” Franz said.
But Franz kept hearing about this amazing university that was just down the road from where she lived.
Now, she bleeds bronze and blue and is involved in just about every corner of UCO – sponsoring FCA, hosting College Huddle for Girls, serving as the health and wellness faculty liaison, and the healthy campus co-chair, to name a few. But, her main focus at Central is teaching in the physical education/health program as an associate professor.
Since the physical campus has closed and classes have moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Franz has realized how much she misses seeing her students. “I didn’t realize how much I looked forward to seeing them face-to-face each week,” she said.
She also has one piece of advice for Central’s students, “it’s so important to communicate often with your professors. Be open and honest about your situation and anything that is a challenge for you, as a learner and just as a human. Know that this is new for all of us and we will offer understanding and grace so we can be successful together.”