Tell us a little bit about your background:
What brought me to NOVA was the military. My husband served in the Marine Corps, and we were stationed several times in Virginia at Quantico. I used to move every six years, and this is my sixth community college that I’ve worked at. However, due to my husband’s retirement at the Pentagon, our family got to stay in Northern Virginia longer.
I have seven kids, and I would have more if I could. Four of my kids went to NOVA, two of them graduated from there and the others transferred to other colleges when we moved once.
How many years have you been at NOVA?
I was at NOVA from 2006-2017. Then I came back, and I have been here since 2019.
This is my second time working at NOVA, I had held prior positions as dean of night learning, dean of students and then the dean of technology and resources. Then I went to Houston for two years. I came back to NOVA to serve as the first Vice President of Student Services. One of the reasons that I came back is the sense of community, the passion that our staff have for each other and the diversity – walking the halls and hearing different languages.
My lens comes from the first-generation student but also from having kids that match NOVA’s students.
What do you normally look forward to most about Mother’s Day?
For me, Mothers’ day is also about my mom, as she’s 92. I always make an effort to see her and spend time with her. Also, the best time for me is when I can spend time with all my kids. A lot of my friends are mothers – they say Mother’s Day is great for getting a massage, which is fine. But for me, I love being with my kids.
My seven kids range from 15-31. One lives in Alexandria, one in Newport News, one in Las Vegas and the other four live in Texas.
Tell us about a time in which you’ve really appreciated Mother’s Day? (whether you were celebrated or you were celebrating)
My best memory really connects to education. I had seven kids walk me across the stage when I graduated with my PhD, and that was the best. I always say, “when they see you, they see the best.” Even when I got my Master’s – I went into Labor with my fourth during finals. and then graduation was after that around Mother’s Day. And then people asked, “You’re going to take your kids?” I said,” of course.”
As you can see, I love this photo from my PhD graduation at George Mason with all my seven kids.
Share a fun Mother’s Day memory with us:
We like to go play kickball because we are large enough to play kick ball as a whole family as there are nine of us total. I love having a competitive kickball game, and having fun picking out who is on whose team. Of course, my husband and I are on different teams.
Are there any mothers at NOVA that you would like to do a shout out to?
Rhonda Myers, Carrie Baldwin, Fran Troy, Jackie Artis, Debbie Wyne, Kim Wright, Tykesha Myrick, Joan Zanders, Takesha McMiller, Susan Nieves-Campos, Connie Kirkland, Tanneh Kamara and Joan Ehrlich.
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.