Campus Safety chief receives award

John Ojeisekhoba honored for his 16 years of service of protecting Biola’s campus.

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Campus Safety chief receives award

Photo Courtesy of Biola University Department of Campus Safety

Photo Courtesy of Biola University Department of Campus Safety

Photo Courtesy of Biola University Department of Campus Safety

Photo Courtesy of Biola University Department of Campus Safety

Alondra Urizar, Writer

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Chief John Ojeisekhoba of Campus Safety received Campus Safety magazine’s annual award of Campus Safety Director of the Year. The award winners were announced June 24 at the Campus Safety National Forum in Washington, D.C.

Backstory

Ever since Ojeisekhoba began working with Campus Safety as a student worker in 1999, he has always had a soft spot for working in safety. Born in Nigeria, Ojeisekhoba is the 12th of 19 siblings. His father, Moses Ojeisekhoba, was a former police chief in the state of Kwara.

As a world class long jumper, John received a visa along with 35 other Nigerian teammates to participate in an international track and field competition in New York. Though offered a track and field scholarship by Biola University, John did not accept due to the expiration of his visa and returned to Nigeria along with five other athletes.

Recruitment

His integrity impressed a U.S. Immigrations officer in 1995 and was granted another visa to return, immigrating in 1996. Leroy Neal, former Biola track and field coach, wished to recruit John.

“It took six years to get him from out of Nigeria,” Neal said. “I had heard about him from a friend at Azusa Pacific who gave me his name and number and I called him and I’d written to him and I decided I wanted to recruit him because he was a world class long jumper.”

John took several student jobs at Biola while he studied at the university. He began as a student worker for Campus Safety in 1999 and seven months after he graduated in 2000, he was hired as a full-time Campus Safety officer. He became chief in 2009 once he finished three years of training as a deputy chief.

Working with John

Jorge Medina, Campus Safety lieutenant, was present when John became deputy chief. Medina considers a true Campus Safety chief to be a humble individual with the ability to communicate with others and work together towards a common goal.

“I’ve been to conferences where there’s different chiefs from different universities and I hear what they talk about, the issues they deal with and so being able to know where we’re at with our chief and how he’s able to communicate with all the departments and kind of work as a team, it’s almost like it makes you realize how blessed you are working here,” Medina said.

Randy Chung, Campus Safety sergeant, has worked with John since 2008 and admires John always places his staff before himself.

“His leadership style is something that I admire,” Chung said. “It’s bottom up in the sense that he looks out for the people he supervises, his subordinates. He takes care of them instead of saying, ‘Hey everyone up at the top, you know, gets first pick at this, first pick at that.’ No, it’s completely opposite. Everyone down to the student workers — they’re always first and their needs are always first.”

The True Winners

Coming from a background where there was little support, John felt honored and said the true winners of the award were his personnel in his department.

“It is about the men and women that work in this department that work tirelessly every single day 24/7, 365 days a year. I can set the strategy, the vision where we go. No one man can do it alone so all these unique employees that come in and focus and get the job done, they are actually my true champions,” John said.

Ultimately, John expressed he only wanted to see Biola students thrive and provide a safe campus for them to enjoy.

“I enjoy seeing students do well. I enjoy seeing students just blossom, you know. I enjoy the fact that my department provides services to students. I enjoy the fact that parents that send their sons and daughters here and don’t have to wake up, be up all night worrying about the safety of their sons and daughters. We take great pride in doing our best to ensure the safety of our students and employees,” John said.