“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing to learning to do.” —Pele
There are many reasons why I enjoy working as a Student Success Specialist in higher education at Hawkeye Community College, however, the most important reason is that I love connecting with students! I want students to feel comfortable and realize that they can reach out no matter what situation they are going through. In addition, I work with awesome staff and faculty who genuinely care and recognize that there are challenges students may face while attending college. I enjoy working together as a team to encourage, guide, and connect students to the resources/skills needed to transition toward success!
Academically, I underachieved in high school. I was there to socialize and play sports. I grew up in a working-class family. I did not value education or see the importance. I was also going through personal life situations that made it challenging to stay focused on school. I did not do enough outside of the classroom my first two years, and it was not until my junior year that I really understood that I was harming myself more than helping myself. Mickeye Johnson, the Upward Bound Director helped me to believe that I could go to college and succeed. I was the first one to go to college in my family. I attended both Kirkwood Community College and Hawkeye Community College; and received a 3.6 GPA. I transferred to the University of Northern Iowa, earned my bachelor’s degree in social work, received a scholarship to pay for my master’s program and earned my M.A. TESOL degree in 2002. If it had not been for someone speaking life into me, guiding me, and providing the skills/resources needed; I do not believe that I would be where I am today.
Laurie is the Student Success Specialist for students in the following programs:
Health programs in the Health Education and Services Center
Safety Services programs
Meet the other Student Success Specialists