Alumni Spotlight Archive
Vice President Institutional Advancement, Triton College (Retired).
In 1980, I received my associate's degree in data processing from Triton College. I later went on to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration management from National-Louis University and a master's degree in project management from Keller School of Management. I am single with two children.
I received my greatest accolade when I was appointed to the position of Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Triton College. After 26 years of dedicated service to the college, President Granados appointed me Vice President of Institutional Advancement; assisting the President in advancing initiatives for the college is a very important aspect of the position.
One of my first assignments as the vice president of Institutional Advancement was to take over the accreditation process which included overseeing the completion of the written self-study and then preparing for the comprehensive site visit by the Higher Learning Commission. The accreditation documents and site visit met the HLC's criteria and the college was awarded seven years of accreditation. This was a great opportunity to work with a diverse group of individuals who all had different views on how the accreditation process should occur
What would you describe as your strong suit?
I am very task oriented and I have exceptional organizational skills. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and it shows in my work.
What have been some obstacles you've had to overcome in pursuit of your educational and career goals?
As a single parent, I found it difficult at times to balance work, home and continue my education. Through the help of family and friends, I was able to enroll in non-traditional programs to continue my education during the evenings and weekends. Although I was able to go back to school, financing my college education became an issue. However, I knew that in the long run an education would allow me to grow professionally which in turn would help me to address any future debt.
With that philosophy in mind, I took out a student loan and completed my master's degree. For a while it was quite difficult with two kids and being responsible for paying all the bills, but in the end it all worked out. So what was my biggest obstacle became my greatest accomplishment.
What has served as a source of inspiration both in your career and in your life?
My teachers at Triton were phenomenal. They taught me about computers and they served as my mentors. In the late '70s, learning computer programming was very difficult and it had to be done on campus to use the mainframe and punch cards. The faculty were there for what seemed like all the time and their commitment to the institution was an inspiration for me.
I was so inspired by their commitment to the students and the college, I then started teaching part-time computers while I was working full-time. The faculty encouraged me to teach because they said I had a natural talent for computers and teaching. I taught part-time for over 10 years. I enjoyed teaching others and motivating them to continue on with their education. After I stopped teaching, my inspiration was my children and motivating them to do well in school and to always aim high.
How has Triton College impacted your life?
After I graduated high school, I didn't want to attend Triton because I wanted to go away to school. My father told me that I should go to Triton because it was close and affordable; my father was a smart man.
I came to Triton and I loved the campus, the faculty and the students. I became a work-study employee (since I was on financial aid) and was promoted to different levels within the institution throughout my career at the college. I could not imagine being anywhere else. I grew up at Triton and Triton is a major cornerstone in my life. I am thankful for the education that I received here and all the wonderful students and employees who I have known.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a career in your field?
You need to stay focused, be organized and be committed to your job. You need to be prepared for long hours and weekend work to complete assignments. At some point in your life if you need to make sacrifices do so knowing that this will lead to a brighter future for yourself and your family. I would strongly recommend staying in school for as long as you can before you go to work full-time. The more time you can dedicate to your studies earlier in life, the more you will be able to optimally perform your job and enjoy your life.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What spare time? I enjoy spending time with my two children, walking my dog and exercising. In addition, I am on a school board for a local grammar school. By serving on this board, I have been able to give back to the community. With my experience in education, I have been able to help the school district make informed decisions regarding the education of future college students.
What are your plans for the future?
In the short term, I am looking forward to seeing my son graduate with his bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration and next year my daughter will graduate with a bachelor's in marketing. I want to see my children succeed and find meaningful employment. In the long term, I would enjoy going back to teaching part-time and pursuing my doctorate.
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