Job title: Director of Veterans Upward Bound
What is your favorite food?: I love cheesecake with cherry topping or double vanilla bean cheesecake with no topping. Do not insult me by giving me a Jell-O brand cheesecake.
What is your favorite part of your job?: The favorite part of my job is empowering people to improve their lives and earning power through education. I was a low income and first generation student and had almost no help so I decided I wanted to help others aspiring to reach greater heights so they would not have to make so many of the mistakes I made while I was fighting for an education after high school.
What was your experience in your field before this position?: Before this position I was a counselor for 14 years in Upward Bound at Murray State University in Ky. followed by Director of Upward Bound for 3 years at Northern Kentucky University and then a 14 year run as Director of Veterans Upward Bound at Western Kentucky University. By the time I retire in the spring of 2016 I will have 37 years working in Federal TRIO Programs.
What advice would you have for students who have future aspirations of attaining your job title?: Students who aspire to do what I have done should not be as concerned about money as they are helping other people improve their lives through achieving higher education goals. They should decide if they like working one-on-one with people or like being an administrator. Sometimes the two are not compatible. Have a passion for what you want to do with your career and remember there is value to staying in one job for more than three years. Never lose sight of your large goal.
If you could invite any 2 living people in the world to dinner, who would they be and why?: The first person I would invite is Dean Koontz because he is my favorite author and I would like pointers on how he would suggest a person become a successful novelist. As for the second person, I had to weed out such people as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Clint Eastwood, Sandra Bullock, Cote de Pablo, Steven Spielberg, and Pope Francis as I decided on Pauley Perrette who plays the character Abby Sciuto on NCIS. To portray such a great character I imagine she has some Abby characteristics in her real personality. What an interesting meal it might be to share time with someone with those traits.
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