The successes of the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences are largely due to its dedicated employees who are passionate about their work. Our “Getting to Know SAFHS” series highlights some of our talented faculty and staff and lets you know a little more about them.
What is your job role at UAPB?
I am the Child Development Center director and assistant professor in the Department of Human Sciences, as well as executive director of the newly funded Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Project.
Where is your hometown?
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Where did you go to college?
Pacific Oaks University (MA) and Fielding Graduate University (ED.D), both in Pasadena, California.
What did you major in?
My master’s degree is in Human Development and my doctorate degree is in Educational Leadership.
What year did you graduate?
I graduated with my master’s degree in 2005 and my doctorate in 2010.
What do you like most about your job?
I love being in a position to provide career opportunities to some of our graduating seniors who have been trained through the Center’s learning laboratory program. I love being in a position to provide state and federal scholarships for young children to attend school at the Center and to help support parents on their journey to becoming self-sufficient.
Describe your career before you came to UAPB.
For more than 20 years, I have worked as an early childhood professional. I began my career as a nurse assistant in 1994, working with infants and toddlers with delayed capacities for learning. In 1997, I became the administrator of a home-based child care facility. By 1999, I was hired as a Child Development Specialist for San Bernardino County Schools and worked in that position until transitioning to the California State Department of Education in 2002 to work with the elite WestEd Program for Infant-Toddler Care Program. I continued my work with the WestEd PITC until coming to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (initially) in November, 2008.
If you weren’t working at UAPB, what would your dream job be?
I believe my purpose for living is to create interesting learning environments for young children and support underserved parents through resources, training and educational access to achieve self-sufficiency.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I love watching James Bond movies and Wheel-of-Fortune and taking long walks with my new husband.
Do you have a favorite movie or book?
One of my favorite movies is Sarah Plain and Tall with Glenn Close and Christopher Walken. I fell in love with romantic literature after reading Gone with the Wind.
If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?
I would visit Pistoia, Italy to see the Reggio Emilia nature-based approach to infant and toddler curriculum.
What is one goal you’d like to accomplish during your lifetime?
Well, I was the first in my family to graduate high and go to college. I love my work at this University. My life is blessed and I wish for my children to find peace, contentment and fulfillment in their lives.
Who is your hero?
On earth, Dr. Mary Benjamin, Dr. Edmund Buckner and my husband Mr. Ronald E. Jefferson, to name a few.