Monday, July 11, 2011

Coming Home

As a Wisconsin native, it is with great pleasure that I am coming home as the new president of Moraine Park Technical college; a role supported with deeply planted roots in both the technical educational system and the Midwest geography.  I earned my first college degree through the Wisconsin Technical College System, so it seems fitting to find myself coming full circle.

The beginning of my story is not unlike that of many other students.  I was introduced to the technical college system my senior year of high school by my guidance counselor.  Even then as I pondered my future, I understood that some formal training and education beyond high school was important. I, along with a few of my high school classmates, inquired about what MATC-Madison might have to offer someone like me.  Encouraged by what I learned, I completed the admission application and soon found myself on my way to the start of educational and career endeavors I never dreamed possible as a 17-year-old small town, high school senior.

I flourished at MATC.  I was inspired.  Sometime during my second year, Dr. Nancy Tans, a fashion/marketing instructor, encouraged me to consider going on to a four- year university.  It wasn’t something I had really considered, but with her encouragement, and that of other department faculty, I applied at UW-Stout in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

The rest, as they say, is history…

After earning my bachelor’s degree, I went on to UW-Madison and received both my Doctor of Philosophy degree in Continuing and Vocational Education with a minor in Educational Administration, and a Master of Science degree in Continuing and Vocational Education.  That small town girl made good on some big time dreams.

My journey from a student to a faculty member to a dean and on to a vice president has been immensely fulfilling and diverse both in scope and in geographical location.  Now, the newest role of “president” has also brought me “home.” While I’ve enjoyed the many friends, students and colleagues I’ve met along the way, “home” seemed to be a missing part of the equation. 

It feels good to be back.

What does “home” mean to you?  Send me your thoughts. 

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