Putting forth a strong dedication to her school work paid off for Tyara Simpson of Stone Park. A member of the Scholars Program at Triton College, Simpson consistently studied hard and stayed on track to earn her Associates in Arts degree in fall 2008, graduating with a 4.0 GPA. Her intelligence and persistence earned her a full tuition scholarship to continue her education at East-West University in Chicago, before obtaining her master's degree in Educational Studies-Instructional Leadership in the summer of 2011 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. From her bachelor’s degree in English/Communications to her masters, she graduated both times with a 4.0 GPA. Simpson is currently an adjunct professor at East-West University teaching courses to entering students that gives them an introduction to the university. "My main goal is to ensure the freshmen students are successful in their college career by equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to yield them academic and social satisfaction in college," she said. "I have developed a strong passion for teaching and imparting knowledge into others."
Simpson's accolades include her listed on the Dean's List at East-West University for five consecutive quarters, in addition to being recognized in a letter from U.S. President Barack Obama as a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and as a recipient of the 2008 Coca-Cola™ Scholarship.
What have been some obstacles you’ve had to overcome in pursuit of your educational and career goals?So far, the main obstacle has been securing a full-time position in the education field. Although I work as a professor at EWU, it is only on a part-time basis. And since the course that I teach just concluded, I have truly been seeking further employment. Regardless of this obstacle, I maintain faith that there is a position for me in this field because I know that I am qualified and I put forth my best effort in all that I do. I believe that being an educator is my sole purpose, and I will only continue to pursue a career in this field.
What have been some sources of inspiration both in your career and in your life?My family inspires me because they have always encouraged me to seek knowledge and advance my intellect in order to yield permanent success in my life. My mom has been a significant individual of inspiration because I have witnessed the great success she has had as an educator herself. She has made such an impact on the lives of others throughout the decades that she has been a teacher. What truly inspires me the most about her teaching career is when students she taught years ago come visit her as adults and thank her for making a difference in their lives. I hope that I will be able to see this kind of fruit in my teaching career. My older brothers also inspire me… Without my family serving as my source of inspiration, I wouldn’t be who I am today, and my purpose would remain void and without pursuit.
What would you describe as your strong suit?I believe that my strong suit is my faith… I have learned to have faith in myself and the gifts, talents and abilities that I have been given. Whenever I am faced with a challenge, I encourage myself through my own intrapersonal communication to believe that I can overcome it. I strategize and put forth my best effort along with my faith, and I usually have the power to achieve success in the face of any issue.
How has Triton College impacted your life?Triton College served as a major helpmate in the primary stages of my college career. The atmosphere was so comforting to me that it helped me build my self-esteem about my collegiate academic career. I am grateful for my education at Triton College because I received so much from it, both academically and socially. During my time at Triton, I was able to take part in the Triton Scholars Program, which provided me with an academically challenging education that impacted the rest of my college career. I also met my best friend, Robert Kitchen, at Triton College, and our relationship has continued to evolve to the point where I consider him to be my brother. He was also a part of the Triton Scholars program… Lastly, I must thank Triton because if I had not started my education there, I would not have met the love of my life, Lorenzo Webber. Overall, I thank Triton for all of these experiences and relationships that I have come to develop.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a career in your field?I would tell them to "Go for it!" If they have a desire to impact the lives of others through education, then they do not need to hesitate because this is a field that is always growing and expanding. They need to study the education field and see where they fit. I would advise them to spend some time in the classroom as an observer in order to see the class dynamic through a different perspective. They should find a mentor in this field who can help give them some insight into the internal components of it. Most of all, I would tell them to remain faithful, don't give up, and keep their end result in mind, which should be being a successful influence unto others.
What are your words of wisdom for current Triton students?To current Triton attendees, I say that you are in a good place because Triton has a way of making people from all walks of life feel like they belong. Remain focused on your studies first and foremost, but do not forget to develop lasting relationships along the way. Find a way to involve yourself in some academic or student life activities because after all, these are the components that make a college experience most significant. Lastly, use Triton as a way for you to find your true identity because you do not need to copy someone, especially when you already have a custom, original persona within your own self; you just need to tap into it.
What are your plans for the future?In the future, I hope to be an administrator or principal in a high school or higher educational institution. I also hope to have several books published that give faithful advice and influence to others nationally and internationally.
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