Professor, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Chattanooga State Community College | Interim Director of the Global Scholars Honors Program
Which family member inspired you?
My mom, Sue Evans, is my inspiration for being an educator! She was a middle and high school math teacher for her entire career and now continues as a tutor in her retirement.
What do you admire most about your mother when it comes to her career?
My mom didn’t see being an educator as her career – it was who she was.
“She lived and breathed being a role model, mentor, safe space, and most of all – a mom.”
Did you always want to follow in her footsteps?
Absolutely not! In fact, I was the typical teenager who wanted to do anything in the world that wasn’t what their parents did for a living. I was determined to always live in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, be single, never have children, and be a CEO. Thank goodness dreams don’t always come true, because I am living a life even more amazing than I dreamed. Now I am married to the love of my life, have a son and daughter-in-law that I couldn’t be more proud of, and after a short stint as a CEO, I am quite happy being the CEO of my own classroom.
Has your mother taught you any lessons or given any advice that you’ve carried into your own career?
Both of my parents have led by example. They both taught my sister and me that you have to work hard and take pride in what you do. You need to be kind, understanding, strong, and always be the best you can be.
What do you love most about your work?
William Cowper wrote “variety is the very spice of life,” and that is what I love about my work. As a geography professor, each day brings new leaders, religions, languages, and information I can learn with the students as we work to be better global citizens.
Is there any advice you would give someone else pursuing a career in your field?
Don’t quit! If you have a calling to education, follow it. You may not see the difference you’ve made until years from now, but that’s okay. Think of all the things in the world that weren’t built overnight but have altered the course of history – you can make that kind of impact as an educator!