Cynthia K. Gooch-Grayson - 2009 Honor Alum

Cynthia K. Gooch-Grayson - 2009 Honor AlumEducation Administration/Higher Education Leadership

My bachelor's degree was earned in 1987 after a difficult undergraduate experience. Fortunately, I was a participant in the Student Support Services/TRIO program where Vaughn Robertson and Jimmi Smith (retired), constantly and conistently aided me and provided me the encouragement and support I needed, particularly when I returned to school after my mother died. Dr. Michael W. Combs was a faculty member who called me "scholar" although I didn't always feel like I one. Dr. Sara Boatman was another staff person who also saw in me what the other three saw and I could not yet see in myself as a first generation, African-American college student. 
After working for many years, and earning a masters degree at another institution, I returned to UNL for my doctoral studies and worked at the university simultaneously which was challenging at times, but I loved the environment and my work immensely. 
However, because of Dr. Barbara LaCost, I was able to persevere and complete my studies. She was ALWAYS warm, helpful, and committed. She understood me and was relentless in providing help to me without being harsh. So, I would have to say that my favorite part was the development of a relationship with Dr. LaCost, my longtime relationships with Vaughn Robertson and Dr. Michael Combs and my colleague Linda Schwartzkopf.
After graduation, I continued in my role at Metropolitan Community College as the Associate Vice President for Equity and Inclusion. I ensure staff, faculty and students are free from discrimination and harassment. In addition, the cultural programming arm of our institution and Credit Courses Abroad are within my area of responsibility as are four federally funded programs. I have hosted two masters level practicum students from CEHS in my department to date. 
I look forward to the opportunity to serve as an adjunct teaching diversity in community colleges and/or community college/special topics.
UNL provided me with the theoretical foundation necessary to serve in my administrative capacity.
Utilize those willing to assist you in the achievement of your academic goals. Chances are, they see something in you, that you may have yet to discover!
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