I’m a product of Historic Lexington, VA and grew up as a preacher’s kid. I attended public schools that had that a special hometown/community atmosphere and everyone knew each other’s names and the folks in my graduating class were pretty much the same folks I started out with at Waddell Elementary School, to Lylburn Downing Middle, and on to graduate with at Lexington High. After high school, I attended Radford University, completing a Bachelors of Business Administration degree in Marketing. In college I worked at the off campus bookstore called Felix and this is where my connection to working in a college environment began. After graduation I Returned to Lexington and began working for Wallace’s Book Company. I worked my way up at Wallace’s from a cashier and textbook clerk to bookstore manager and trainer. Working for Wallace’s afforded me the opportunity to work on many college campuses including VMI, Norfolk State, SUNY-Stony Brook, Longwood, and a few schools in Texas. After five years in the stores, I returned to school to complete my Masters of Business Administration at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee.
During graduate school I worked as a graduate hall director for a primarily freshman female residence hall (not dorm because a dorm is merely where you place your things but a residence hall is a place where you build community and create a sense of home.) Although I had the opportunity to take a professional job in Student Affairs/Res Life, I opted to pursue the corporate world becoming a marketing and Sales representative for Newell Rubbermaid. Rubbermaid was the first time in my career that I hadn’t worked with college students and although I gained a great deal of experience and some lifelong friends my heart was called to work with students and make an impact on a more personal level. I returned to higher education and a unique office called Residential and Commuter Life at Longwood University. The great thing about the office is we focused on every student that came to the campus. I was responsible for the commuter side of things. Although I had never been a commuter, I worked hard to form relationships with commuter students to help make their college experience just as special as the residential students. I wanted college for them to be more than just driving back and forth to class but about full engagement in the college experience. I think I had a touch of success with this and over the course of nine years I was promoted four times, with my last position being Director of Residential and Commuter Programs.
Over the course of the nine years I was a part of so many different things in the Town of Farmville, at the university, and with the local church. I had the opportunity to teach courses (Longwood Seminar being my favorite course to teach), serve on committees; meet great speakers and entertainers, travel, and so much more. One of my key principles is to also take the time to make connections and form collaborative relationships with diverse groups of people crossing all racial, age, and socioeconomic barriers, and I have tried to live this daily.
I believe that the diversity of my experience and the combination of skills sets has been preparing me for this present time. No matter what position I’ve held, one of my main responsibilities and highest rated evaluation scores always falls under relationship development and collaborative partnerships. I am so excited to put all these skills and resources in place over the coming year. And I hope that you will feel just as connected to me via social media as you would when we meet in person. Let’s partner in this journey together!