Vision, Intelligence, Talent, Dedication and Passion
Who am I?
It seems like a pretty straight forward question that a straight forward person like me should have no trouble answering. However, this was more difficult that I initially thought it would be. I am a lifelong learner on the road less traveled. Teaching is something that has always came naturally for me and I have a great passion for providing quality education. Life is full of many obstacles to overcome and I have conquered every obstacle placed in my path. When my current job participated in the training, “Who Moved My Cheese,” all of my coworkers and I knew I was a “scurry.” As a deeply caring, family oriented individual, I am a nonjudgmental advocate for the underdog. Leading others with vision is my forte but I can work in a detail oriented environment. Technology geek should be my middle name and I love having the latest toys and learning the new technologies. I am a unique individual with a quirky sense of humor. Finally, not being a person who concentrates on self, I want to care for and fix things for other people. I need to let you know what I can do for clients, organizations, and the community at large.
My professional story is not one that people hear everyday, but it gives great insight to what I bring to any endeavor I choose to pursue. I did not magically wake up as an adult education teacher. When I began college, I wanted to be an advocacy lawyer. My family was poor and could not afford to put me through the years of college it would have taken to become a lawyer. Then, accounting became my major. If I could not fix the world, I would make money. While at North Arkansas College, Dr. Glen McGraw talked to me about teaching. He told me I had a knack for accounting but it was obvious that it was not my passion. After a long debate with him about teaching being a path of servitude and poverty and I did not want a lifetime of being poor, I decided that I needed to follow my heart rather than the money. I accidentally found adult education through a tragic situation (my mother’s passing) in my life. Adult education provided me with the path to obtain my teaching degree, further my education and fulfill some of my life goals. I felt as if I had found my home. I could help adults find their paths for life. Working in adult education for a long time has taught me many things about myself and been one of the most rewarding parts of my entire life. Expanding into higher education is the natural progression for me.
Since I am a computer savvy individual with wonderful communication skills, collaborating with and educating other organizations about the services my organization can provide is a natural skill for me. My love of people and my business background help me in reading people, organizational environments and community needs. I dive into projects with both hands and I am not afraid to put in as much work as needed to complete any task. In my professional experience, I have learned that people do not care how much a person knows until they know how much the person cares. I am not sure who said this but it is very true. In adult education, a student must learn to trust the instructor and the knowledge he or she can give them. There are two gifts I try to instill in all of my students. First, do not be afraid to admit that you do not know something. Second, always be willing to take personal accountability for your decisions. Making a mistake is not a bad thing; not being able to admit a mistake can handicap an individual for a lifetime. My former teacher at John Brown University, Jerry Shurgar, told me that the secret to success in life and business was simple: Good Manners and Common Sense. He felt you must treat others as you wanted to be treated and use good common sense to make decisions in life. I try to live life by these words. It has helped me very much in my career.