At our recent graduation Dr. Nichols, asked all the first generation college students to stand.When hundreds of students rose to their feet, it was overwhelming to think that many may not have had this opportunity if not for a community college.Dr. Monique Wright, Director of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, has been instrumental in helping students achieve their goals at Vol State, for almost seventeen years. She guided students in clubs and organizations and helped them excel through student academic leadership programs. Most of all she provided advice and support to thousands of students through the years. Dr. Wright has accepted a position at Vanderbilt University as the assistant dean for student affairs at Peabody College.Though sad to see her leave, students, staff and faculty stopped by today to congratulate her on this new role.
“My emotions are bittersweet,” said Wright.“I am excited about the challenge and the opportunity to work with students for a longer period of time, but I have had such exceptional students here, that it is hard to think that I could have better students anywhere else.Many times they already had a lot of skills and a certain level of competence, but they just needed someone to push them to go a little farther.I love helping students realize that even if they have made mistakes in life, they can get over them.You can put them behind you or jump over those hurdles, you don’t’ have to stay stuck.Work towards making everything brand new.”
Thank you Dr. Wright, I wish you the best of luck at Vanderbilt. I know you will be equally encouraging to your students there as you have been to us here.