Growing up as an army brat and then a preacher’s daughter definitely leaves an impression on a kid…. For instance, I’ve never lived anywhere for more than four years. I have changed addresses as much as I have changed sneakers! I have lived in New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Atlanta, Michigan, various cities in Ohio, Boston, and now Pittsburgh! Although I have lived in so many places, I am mostly influenced by Southern hospitality and Midwest friendliness.
In high school, I became intrigued by psychology and knew that I wanted to be a psychiatrist or psychologist. In college, I majored in Developmental Psychology and Africana studies plus conducted research in multicultural counseling. I was also interested in studying American diversity and societal issues in my liberal arts core classes.
I have worked for about 10 years in higher education. I started working during my undergraduate days at Notre Dame as a Student Asst. in the Africana Studies Dept. As I studied at Harvard Graduate School of Education for my Ed.M., I worked at the Career Services office as a Student Asst. In 2006, I worked as an Asst. Director of Admission and Ethnic Minority at Carnegie Mellon University. After three years of working, I decided to pursue my doctorate in Higher Education Management at the University of Pittsburgh.
Recently, all of my experiences are coming together in my current venture to expand college access in Pittsburgh. I am working with Pittsburgh Public schools, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and colleges/universities to institute a city-wide collaborative for higher learning called College Success 101.
My research is looking at the higher education context and perspective of the college access gap among underrepresented racial/ethnic minority students in Pittsburgh. This relates to my future aspirations because I hope to attain the position of Chief Diversity Officer. I want to be a transformative change agent in higher education to incorporate the best policy, research, and practices to support diversity in higher education. Like the country, higher education can reinvent itself for the better. I also hope to continue researching diversity and community outreach initiatives.
Interests: God, prayers, faith, hope, love, my goddaughter, school, nonprofit work, community, Pittsburgh, church, youth, colors, lyrics, harmonizing to music, Dirty Martinis, guacamole, books, post-colonialism, thought, opinions, fashion, higher learning, jazz, accessories, polemical dialogue, kitties, football, the Dougie, pugs, developmental cascading, foodies, globalization, green culture, cartoons, seafood, comics, long conversations, integration, movies, quiet contemplation, Christianity, New York City, psychology, Chipotle, cussin, poverty, technology, feelings, democracy, race issues, diversity, Philadelphia College Prep Round Table, cultural studies, higher education, sexuality, multiculturalism, liberation theology, gender issues, spirituality, Pennsylvania, community-based organizations, the iconic ghetto, learning, discovering new ways to do old things.
Who I’d like to meet: People who are about making a difference in the world. My motto right now is all about growing my mind, heart, body, and soul.
Inspirations: I am inspired by anyone that I come in contact with because in some way they have influenced me but especially mi corazon, mi Dios, mi familia, mis hermanas, mis hermanos, mis amigos, mis estudiantes, Nala y Chili mis gatos, y mi amor Augito. My guardian angels are my Nanny and Grandmother who showed me what it takes to be a woman. I also seek to follow the example of Mother Rosa Parks, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Theresa, and Ghandi
My perspective on life can be summed up by a quote from Mrs. Rosa Parks, “I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would also be free.”