Explain your career path

I earned a BS in Social work and worked as a School Based Social Worker, which opened the door for me to go back and earn a degree in Elementary Education 1-6. I became certified in Special Education and taught special education for 17 years. During this ti e I earned my Masters in Education from Southeast. I transitioned to regular education ELA in 21-22 school year.

What was your major at Southeast and how would you characterize the quality of that program to prospective students?

Social Work—1986-1990
Masters in Educational Leadership—2004-2009

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

I loved being close to home as a traditional college student when I earned my degree in Social Work. I returned to Southeast because the education programs are top notch and are flexible for a working teacher.

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

Dr. Julie Ray(retired)
Dr. Sharon Gunn(retired)

Share your best college memory.

Some of my favorite memories from undergrad were working in the college cafeteria system. I remember Dr. Zollner speaking to my freshman class and saying how the college campus was like our new “town”. We needed to work, serve, and learn on campus. I took that seriously and got an on-campus job, served in RHA, and attended as many events as possible while a student. I loved going to basketball games when they were held in Houck Stadium when Coach Shumate led the mens’ program. There was always a rowdy crowd and everyone would just have an awesome time. After games we would walk over to Dino’s and have gyros. Because I worked in the catering, I got to witness some of the milestones at the university, like when the ShowMe Center was first opened. There were so many wonderful concerts that were within walking distance.

If you were in Greek Life, the Honors Program or any other student organization, please tell us about that experience and how it impacted you.

Dearmont Hall Council, Residence Hall Association, Angel Flight for Air Force ROTC. Hall Council and RHA were some great times. We were fortunate enough to go to some of the national conferences and even hosted them too.

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?

I learned that I could do hard things. I am a first generation student. The first of my siblings to graduate high school and to attend college. I grew up in a high poverty community and recognized that getting a great education was important to breaking that cycle. So, before the motto of “ A Will To Do” was adopted by the university, I was breaking all of those cycles that hold many poverty level families hostage. Truly, I am an example of what “A Will To Do” looks like.

Describe Southeast in three words.

Tradition Tied to the Future (sorry longer than 3 words)

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

I have been in education for 24 years. I would tell students to not focus on the negative comments and views that are being spread about teachers. I would say advocate for the salary that our profession should be paid and to never stop pursuing those things, both professionally and personally that fulfill you.