I work at a college for my day job, which means in a way, since I first began at William & Mary, I’ve actually never left college. I’ve worked at three different universities, and William & Mary will always hold a special place as it was where I first learned how higher education could be transformative for students because it was transformative for me.
I now have my own students that I advise and that I teach here in Washington, DC. My job has given me so much respect for the teaching profession. I wish I could go back and thank my professors and tell them, “Wow, I understand your job so much better now!” Many of my William & Mary professors made teaching and working with students look easy, but it’s because they were so skilled. They had learned the art. And they took time to make me a better writer and researcher even when they could have spent that time advancing their own careers.
Thankful I get to work in higher ed in the District, especially as the flowers are blooming.
The teaching was transformative, which led me to want to explore new ideas and experiences. In my hometown, I often felt like I was in a fishbowl. William & Mary started to crack the fishbowl for me by exposing me to ways of thinking that I would not have encountered otherwise. William & Mary was the stepping stone I needed as I began to navigate my inner world and decide what values were important to me.
The teaching and exposure to new ideas has led me to where I am today – seeing that the world is a lot bigger than college, while also realizing that my college experience gave me the tools that I needed to navigate the world around me and now help students navigate their world.
I somehow ended up in two book clubs with mostly all William & Mary friends. If you know me, you wouldn’t be surprised that I’m in not one but two book clubs. (One of my goals is to convince the book clubs to read the same book one month so that I have time to read other books I want to read; alas, this has yet to happen.) We continue to do in the book clubs what we’d done in college – together grappling with ideas presented to us, perhaps not always agreeing, but still thankful for the process of coming together to read and to learn.
When I’m asked why William & Mary, it’s because of the community of learners I gained through professors, mentors, and friends who challenged me to grapple with difficult concepts, knowing that I never had to grapple alone.