Tribe Member: How is it going?

Posted On By dr.yolanda.columbus

Dear Roxanne Shante (aka tribe member),

Pray your week is going well. I checked out your Instagram and Facebook posts. Seems like those teenagers and their online courses are turning your hair gray. Let me know if I can help. In a former life, I taught developmental courses at a community college and tutored as well.

Dr. Shawnda Floyd

It wasn’t my desire to teach developmental classes but it worked out. At the time, I was supporting one of my tribe members Dr. Shawnda Floyd Today she is the Provost of Dallas College. Then she was the Executive Dean of Liberal Arts at North Lake College. I was her Associate Dean from 2014 -2017.

One of our responsibilities was to schedule courses each semester. When there were unexpected enrollment spikes, we would hire from our adjunct pool. During a couple of semesters, the adjunct pool was dry. Hence, I ended up teaching 2-3 classes. Don’t get me wrong the pay was nice. Because of the pay we quickly eliminated a good portion of debt. However, it was not the plan.

Similar to Tina Brown, Shawnda used all of her gifts to serve and accomplish her goals. Half the time I didn’t know if she was coming or going. She took action and prisoners. She was the first external hire to an executive leadership position at NLC in about 20 years. Within 2 years, she was promoted to Vice-President of Academic Affairs at NLC.

The four other Executive Deans had decades of experience and relationships at NLC. Yet, Shawnda was promoted to Vice-President of Academic Affairs. Shawnda was straight out of Jersey. Not even born in Texas. Yet, there she was. Thanks in no small part to my support.

How I support

I applied for the Executive Dean position but didn’t get it. Truthfully, didn’t even make it to the second round. Initially, I couldn’t understand why. After reflecting, I realized the interview committee couldn’t tell where my skills ended and Shawnda’s began.

During the interview, I shared who I was and my why. I did not highlight my knowledge and skills. I couldn’t figure out how to tout my skills and shine a light on her skills too. Truth is we complemented each other. There were some aspects of her job that she leaned on me heavily. Others not so much.

In the end, its a good thing I didn’t get the position. Because standing on my own as Executive Dean would have required a shift in our relationship. Although a shift was necessary, that one would have been less than ideal.

My promise to you

Two things before I end the letter. First, just like with Shawnda I am here to protect and look out for you. You are a tribe member. And second, if you know that you need some additional support, call me. Okay? Or text me 682-237-9891

~dr.yolanda

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