TRANSFORMATIONS
10
DR:
What are some of your greatest
challenges as the coordinator of non-
traditional student programs?
KP:
I’m not the only one who
experiences this on campus, but I
have to admit that sometimes I do
feel a bit spread out. There are times
when I’m involved in so many different
projects around campus that I must
spend a lot of time away from my
desk. That means that I’m not always
there to solve a problem or give a
word of encouragement. I think it’s
heartbreaking when someone is sitting
at that table in front of my counter
and they are on the verge of tears.
They have to run off to class and
they say “I really needed you and you
weren’t here.” That breaks my heart.
DR:
They’ve come to count on you for
that.
KP:
They do, and that is another
challenge. I have deadlines,
reports, and event planning. Other
professionals on campus have an
office and they can shut the door for
some down time, but I don’t have that.
Students have instant access to me.
When I am sitting there and they walk
up, it doesn’t matter if I’m working
on a budget. I have to stop everything
I’m doing, turn to face them, and give
them my attention.
Sometimes that is a challenge for me
because my concentration has been
broken.
DR:
Tell me about one of your most
memorable experiences working in the
ASC.
KP:
My proudest moment since I
started working in the ASC was when
I received the Chancellor’s Diversity
Award. It was awarded to me, but I
think of it as an ASC award. I was
proud because, before I took over this
position, there were no programs in
the ASC. Now I do about 30 a year,
some of which are collaborations with
other units. One idea was given to
me by Chancellor Patterson-Randles
during a town hall meeting. One of
the universities with which she had
been affiliated did a Diversity Bown
Bag Lunch. I thought, “Why can’t I do
that?” We have a diverse population
in the ASC: we have veterans,
international students, Hispanics,
African Americans, whites, young,
old, and in-between, different sexual
orientations, different religions.
The students seem to embrace the
differences.
Perhaps I have contributed to that.
Even if a student consciously doesn’t
want to attend an ASC program,
they still need to sit quietly by,
be respectful, and not interrupt
the speaker. Many of them end up
participating. The last Diversity Brown
Bag Lunch we had was an Ethiopian
tea ceremony. The people in the center
had no intention of attending the
program, but they became involved
A student studies for a math exam in the ASC.