Assistant Vice President for Student Success, Student Affairs
While we have students that have faced and overcome greater struggles than myself, being the first in my family to graduate from college, I understand first-hand the struggle of having to find my own way and to not have the social structure of support to navigate the college experience. My father, a railroad worker, died tragically when I was just a few months old, and my mother, a secretary, did the best she could to support me. But I came from a family with great dysfunction and my undergraduate college experience changed my life. I attribute the vast majority of who I am today as a person, community member, and professional to that experience. Therefore, one of my greatest passions is to help other first-generation students understand there are resources and people to support them, and to understand it pays to aim high. I am proud to have earned three degrees in three different disciplines, including a PhD, financially on my own and have a successful career that I love in higher education balanced with a wonderful family. I know it would not have been possible without those faculty, administrators, and mentors that supported me along the way. Therefore, I love to pay it forward by helping our own first-generation students.