Current or most recent title and employer?
Assistant Professor, East Tennessee State University (ETSU)
How did SC4 help prepare you?
I actually first attended SC4 when I was in middle school through a program that allowed me to take summer enrichment classes to earn college credit. I took courses in computers, chemistry, and philosophy. I later dual enrolled while I was a high school student. No one in my immediate family had graduated from traditional high school, let alone attended college. I was always a good student, but I did not have anyone to talk about college with or to help me navigate the process. I graduated high school with a high GPA and lots of AP and college credits, but my only plan after graduation was to work at a Denny’s. A friend later convinced me to enroll at SC4, and I am so grateful I did. I earned my associate degree a year later and transferred to a four-year institution. Attending community college was fundamental to my later academic, personal, and career success. Community colleges like SC4 can break down barriers to achievement. I am so grateful I grew up in an area that had a program as robust as SC4.
What do you like most about what you do professionally?
Education is so important to me. I grew up in a rough home environment and education has allowed me to attain things I never would have dreamed of otherwise. I recognize the potential education has to elevate others, and so I have made a career around it.
Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
I went to Central Michigan University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with double majors in English and History (2007). I became a teacher and earned my National Board Certification (2012). I also picked up a Master of Library Science degree from East Carolina University (2011). In 2012, I was recruited out of the classroom for a research fellowship at Michigan State University. I earned a Ph.D. in Educational Policy through that program (2017). I have pennants from every school I attended hanging on my office wall at ETSU, including one I had custom-made for SC4.