Are there honors/achievements/special recognition you would like to list that are not included above?
I feel like the biblical Joseph, except I did not get thrown into jail and I don't interpret dreams. However, my time away from my homeland Jamaica has provided me with immense insight as to what is important to me as a person. I feel as if all the work I have done has lead me to the Social Welfare Program at KU, and this program has awoken the true me. I am now more than ever putting my concerns and observation into proactive mode.
What honor, achievement or accomplishment is most meaningful to you? Why?
I must say my most cherished achievement is that I have influenced a lot of people during my ten years in Lawrence. I see students I taught in the U-zone after-school program at Central Junior High attending KU, who are now graduating from KU. I have seen parents with grown children returning to school in order get a higher education because I have encouraged them through empowerment. I have seen professors interact more with students as mentors, friends, and fellow human beings, and I have addressed stereotypes and issues of white privilege that can undermine progress at KU. These are my best achievements, the ones I remember readily. I have been an ethnographer in this community, and I am impressed with the progress I have seen.
I have received various awards and achievement as a NCAA Division 1 Track and Field athlete at KU, and I have also received numerous monetary awards throughout my educational ventures. My new venture in obtaining a Master's degree in Social Work with an emphasis on older adults has placed me in a position to personally challenge myself and to face my fears in making my voice be heard as an international woman within the KU community.
Who has been influential or had a significant impact on your life? Please elaborate. (Please include individuals at KU as appropriate.)
First of all none of this would be happening for me if it was not for the Creator who enables me to be alive. Then I would like to thank the life I was been born into and the chances I received to study in the USA with the help of the Jamaican Government. Thanks to my grandmother, Emily Williams, my mother, Una Shaw, my father, Clarence Roberts, my sister, Georgette Thompson, my cousins Clive and Ralston Roberts, and all my other family members who have encouraged me to persevere. Thanks to my brothers and sisters in the Lawrence Church and the Kingston Church of Christ. Life's Challenges do make a person grow stronger.
Next I wish to thank University of Kansas Athletic Department, especially the Track and Field program that first granted me the opportunity to attend KU. Thanks to past Athletics Director Robert Fredrick, ex-coach Gary Schwartz, Dough Hendricks, Same Hume, Theo Hamilton, Steve Guyman, Rick Attig, and Tim Weaver and Jean Thoma. KU Athletic Student Support Services: Paul Buskirk, Phil Lowcock and a friendly voice Rose Hermanns.
I am ever so grateful to the International Student office for all the work they have done for me as an international student. Thanks to the late Dr. Harrison, Associate Directors Daphne Johnson, Lynne Vanahill, Michael Ediger, Director Joe Potts and all the behind the scenes staff. You have all helped me get myself out of a lot of potholes.
I am thankful to the faculty in the Design Department for bearing with me during my undergrad years: Patrick Dooly, Chris North, Pok-Chi Lau, Barry Fitzgerald, John Swindle, Patrick Emerson, Cotter Mitchell, Ruth Bowman, Richard Branham and many others within the Fine Arts Department.
I am in debt to the support and encouragement from Professors Terry Slocum, Garth Myers, Stephen Egbert, Curtis Sorenson, George McCleary and Leslie Dienes who with some tough love provided the guidance I needed to complete my studies within the Geography Master's program.
KU housing was officially the first organization that offered me a job as an adult, so high-five to Oliver Hall Dining Services.
Thanks to the Facility and Maintenance division of the Athletic department who taught me what it's like to clean up AllenField House after a KU men's basketball game. It's no joke!
Thanks to D.W. Acker and Dennis Kennedy for involving me in designing and producing KU Woman's Rowing Team First mass production of oars. I am also thankful that I was able to help D.W. in designing Kansas Relays posters.
I would like to thank SCR*TEC (now HPR*TEC), Director and staff for their support during my earlier years at KU: Jerry Chaffin, Marilyn Ault, Jennifer Holvoet and Frank Carey. Also Special thanks to Professors Donald Deshler, Barbara Thompson, and Edward Meyen.
Most of all I would like to thank the Kansas Applied Remote! Sensing (KARS) and the Kansas Biological Survey (KBS) for the wonderful years of support and friendships that are now etched in stone. Thanks to Dr. Edward Martinko, Kevin Price, Jerry Whistler, Jerry DeNoyelles, Debbie Baker, Don Huggins, John Lomas, Dean Kettle, and all the lunch and bar-b-que KARS and KBS crew who have always made the effort to make KBS a wonderful environment to work in.
Finally thanks to the Office of Aging and Long Term Care in the School of Social Welfare for their generous support in offering me a position within their program, which has enabled me to fulfill my dreams. Thanks to Dr. Rosemary Chapin, Roxanne Rachlin, and Kimberly Reynolds. Also, thanks to the MSW faculty who have made it possible for me to start soaring: Dr. Rick Spano, Becky Hofer and the foundation level professors for the year 2004-2005.
There are many members of the KU and Lawrence community who have imparted wisdom that has impacted my life at KU. I want to thank Nocona and Cornel Pewewardy, Sue Suhler, Thad Holcomb, Marcia Epstein, Christine Johnson, Linda Wiley, Jenne Dienes, Paula Harrison, Sandra Griffin, Somruthai “Noy” Phandee, Akiko Jean, Christian Holt, Aishah Holm and everyone who I ever interacted with in Lawrence and the other parts of the United States of America.
Why do you believe it is important to recognize women for their accomplishments?
The world needs to realize it is okay to be a woman, a feminine woman, and each woman has her own idea of what a feminine woman is. We can't keep using one set of rules from 'society's norm' to judge what are true accomplishments and who should or should not be recognized. We must bond together as women in our achievements because only women know what they are going through to make it. If we do not connect as a people, we will only destroy ourselves.
What is a most favorite/least favorite memory as a student?
My most favorite memory was watching students slide down the Campanile after it snowed. I had never seen that in real life before. I still have not slid down the Campanile, but I hope to do so this year.
As an international student athlete, my worst and most fearful memory was not knowing where I would stay when Oliver Hall closed for school holidays during my first semester here. Homeless was a whole new way of thinking. I moved to the Jayhawk Towers the next semester, although it was against my coach's wish, but I was the one who would be homeless.
What is your definition of success?
Reaching my dreams but adjusting my strategies along the way. Also, making sure my process is not hindering others from reaching their goals and dreams.