What would be a perfect day for you?
It would definitely start with sleeping in and then a cup of coffee! I think it would be a mix of cool, interesting things (like going to a museum) and relaxing, brainless things like watching TV. I enjoy cooking and hanging out with my husband and dog, so there would have to be some of that, too.
How would you describe the Northeastern community?
NEIU is a series of communities. Some of them are small—like students who sit next to each other for a semester or the relationships students develop with their advisors. Some of them are slightly larger—like the community of students and faculty within a specific subject or department. All of these communities come together to make the wider NEIU community, and they are each important. Community is how we help students feel included, comfortable, and at home here at NEIU.
What is an accomplishment that changed your life?
Graduating from undergrad. I really struggled when I was in high school, and honestly believed I couldn’t succeed within the structure of school. When I attended my graduation ceremony at NEIU, though, it really proved that I could do difficult things if I set my mind to them. It was a pretty transformational experience, and it has helped give me the confidence to continue challenging myself.
What motivates you?
I feel a personal sense of accomplishment and pride by doing things that are challenging. I’m motivated to continue learning and thinking so I can grow and change as a person. I’m always very excited when I complete a task that I wasn’t sure I could do originally.
Is there a chapter to your personal story you’d like people to know about?
After struggling with my teachers and parents for years, I chose to drop out of high school at the start of my junior year and I eventually got my GED. I spent the next decade working in retail without much of a life plan or direction. I initially chose to attend NEIU because I needed the health insurance and I wasn’t sure how else to get it. In the beginning, I was completely convinced that I was unable to succeed at school so I expected another failure. While taking my rudimentary math courses, though, I discovered that I not only could learn new things and succeed, but that I really enjoyed it. This was a revelation to me, and I really can’t stress what a huge confidence-boost it was in my life. I hope having gone through those experiences really helps when I’m working with students.