J O U R N E Y  

I never developed a knack for turning things down. I blame it on being perpetually curious. This curiosity has led me down innumerable paths, some of them lacking in one way or another, but all of them worthwhile. Since childhood I have been a dreamer; a wanderer; a believer in possibility in a seemingly impossible world. At 7 years old my dream was to save the rain forest. I even wrote and illustrated a story about it. It was the first time I can remember wanting to do something so badly that I felt it necessary to write it down. More importantly, I believed that sharing my story with others would make it a reality. I never saved the rain forest, but the lesson that carries through my life is this:

The language we use and the messages we create have the power to mirror, build, sustain, and even transform who people are and how they view the world.

Writing and communicating ignite my passion to be a better, more informed person for a better world. We often see the world – not as it is – but as we are. That is so limiting. When I write I am framing the story of my soul’s imagination as I strive to make sense of the world and people around me. I exist ordinarily in an extraordinary world filled with beautifully complicated people. My day-to-day interactions cause me to pause and look deeper into my imagination in such a way that I may cultivate an understanding of life as a social, unpredictable experience. This revelation sent me on an educational path to better understand how we, as individuals, may learn to see beyond ourselves so that we may one day to awaken to the notion that any act of symbiosis, where all parties benefit, is the most successful path in the long term.

For me, education is a path to personal freedom. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from Georgia Southern University. Like most 22 year olds, I didn’t know what I wanted to do next. Thus, I chose a familiar path leading me to Auburn University where I received a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies.  I fell in love with teaching and learning. I taught undergraduate courses in public speaking and concepts of communication and journalism.

 I was accepted to various universities to pursue my Ph.D., but – upon much reflection – I realized I was playing it safe. I wanted to do something outside of my comfort zone. My master’s degree affords me the option to one day go back to the classroom as a professor. Whatever my job at present may be -  I strive to work and live in a manner that contributes positively to the world around me.

Every day I am increasingly aware that human communication – in all forms – sustains, and even transforms human existence in ways that are largely taken for granted. Communication also constructs, often swallowing people so that they do not consider what it accomplishes in their daily interactions. Listening to understand, and becoming aware of what we pay attention to are powerful weapons people have, but rarely employ. I believe the greatest gift one can offer another is the silence of voice and openness of mind.

Saving the rain forest was my first dream and will always be the most beautiful of them all. It is through that dreamers lens that I turn an eye to the simple, elegant, and unconventional acts that construct daily life. I hope that generations can come together to embark on a path full of wonder—leaving the world a better educated, more beautiful place.

No matter what path one takes—it remains that everyone we touch becomes part of a life-long journey defined by those never running ahead, nor staggering behind, but always standing beside us as co-architects of creating a better tomorrow. Life is a series of unpredictable moments – big or small/good or bad – that have the remarkable potential to lift our souls and evoke what we all so desperately need:

A Voice.