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Colorado Women's College

Alumnae and Friends

Alumnae Profiles

Jackie Martinez

MAJOR: BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
GPA: 3.75

WHY CWC?

Jackie MartinezI pursued my bachelor's degree at Colorado Women's College for a few reasons. First, I could attend during nights and weekends. I went to an open house and knew immediately that CWC offered more than just a college experience — a culture of trust, care, and understanding. Finally, once accepted I was immediately included. I never felt left out; the inclusiveness here is spectacular.

I am the oldest of five and have always been an example to my siblings and family. I got married at 19, which resulted in a great life including the perks of marriage, namely my daughter Makayla. I received it all and felt fortunate. However, I always wanted to finish my education; but I knew it would be a challenge. In 2007, I attended a community college; however, I always wanted to attend DU. Just a year later, I applied to DU's traditional program and during my interview explained that I would love it if they offered night and weekend classes. I was then introduced to Colorado Women's College and after visiting I decided to attend, which was a wise choice from the start.

During my academic journey, I confronted some obstacles along the way: both financial and life-changing. I found that my determination to complete my degree in less than 3 years was my motivational strategy. I discovered that my obstacles transformed into reasons to succeed, reasons not to hold back, and finally, reasons to become a 2011 college graduate. Financially, there was always a way – a loan somewhere, and a scholarship to apply for... Where there is a will, there is a way. Overall, I learned how to create opportunities from my so-called obstacles. My learning experience at CWC has been more than what any traditional university could have ever given me. I love this place and I'm glad this was my wise choice.

WHAT WILL YOU MISS?

I will definitely miss almost, if not, everything about CWC. My favorite memory was packing my bags and preparing my books for the first day of classes. I remember feeling so proud of myself and so excited. My first class was spectacular because it brought me a sense of guidance, accomplishment, and it eased me into the collegiate experience. Most of all, I will miss the support of other women who also work full-time and have children, and of course, who have husbands (we can't leave them out). These women are phenomenal.

FINAL THOUGHTS?

My plans for the future are to complete my MBA from the Daniels College of Business at DU and obtain a Public Policy degree. After that, I want to continue on to a Ph.D. program and obtain either a strategic planning or creative writing degree. All of this will help me obtain my utmost desire of being fulfilled and equipped for anything this world should offer me. Finally, after inspiring my husband to go to college, I look forward to watching him graduate, too!

Vicky Pryor

Major: Communication
Minor: Leadership Studies

WHY CWC?

Vicky PryorI chose CWC because of the convenient weekend class format and the non-traditional environment it offered.

FAVORITE PROFESSOR?

I have a number of favorite professors who gave me lessons that were aha moments for me. I will name a few. Art Jones helped me realize that there is always joy in the knowing. Carol Zak-Dance taught me that there is a science to communicating and helped me mold my voice to relay my thoughts and speak to any audience.

WHAT WILL YOU MISS?

What I will miss most is the camaraderie, that sister student who lifted me when I was about to fall, who shared her story with me and gave me the courage to continue. I will miss being in the company of women who are real. The woman who has to bring her children to school because she can't afford a babysitter or won't leave them alone; however, quitting is not an option.  My sisters who are fighting serious disease and illnesses, yet continue to chase the prize regardless of how tired or sick they are.  I will miss the humanistic quality of CWC the most; the women who take this journey not only as individuals, but who see the value in the collective success of us all. I will miss the professors who never gave up on me even when I was about to give up on myself.

FINAL THOUGHTS?

I am a first generation college candidate. Unlike my siblings I did not finish when I was younger because life happened and I raised two children by myself while working sometimes two jobs. I returned to college at the age of 50 because I was tired of working jobs that did not acknowledge my intellect or skills. I am now equipped to do what I want to do and have a better perspective on what I am good at.

Anita Roberts

Major: Business Administration
Certificate: Entrepreneurial Studies

WHY CWC?

Anita RobertsThe offerings complemented my work schedule which was an important factor for returning to school. CWC is aware that the majority of the students have families and other priorities and I love that.

WHAT WILL YOU MISS?

I will miss meeting new friends and having interactions that are both academic and social. Being able to juggle my kid's activities with work, home, and school, because the days are short. My most important memory was being selected for the Public Service Credit Union Scholarship.

WHAT DID THE PUBLIC SERVICE CREDIT UNION (PSCU) SCHOLARSHIP MEAN TO YOU?

The scholarship I received from PSCU was a monumental event in my life. To be selected as one of two recipients is an honor and opportunity. It allowed me to finish my degree at a faster pace and take on a certificate in addition to my degree. Everyone that I meet at PSCU are genuine individuals and their commitment to the community is seen by all in the Denver area, especially me.

FAVORITE PROFESSOR?

There are so many professors that have made an impact on me. However, one of my favorite instructors was Lynn Kelly who taught Marketing, Public Relations & Problem-solving in the workplace. I loved the field trip she organized to Channel 7. This course was the perfect way to integrate my work experience with the curriculum. She always gave me her honest opinions and recommendations. Another favorite instructor is Arthur Jones. I took all his classes which resulted in an increased knowledge and love of music through history with various types of black music. I also took his class on the multicultural individual, which again gave me the knowledge and appreciation of what our society is today.

There's also Martha Narey who taught me to enjoy science. I also enjoyed her jokes, wishing my son could experience instructors like this at his high school. Robert McGowan who brought personality into his lectures making the whole class erupt into laughter, as well as the capstone, which allowed me to use all the knowledge I learned from previous classes. I am thankful for Elizabeth Suarez for giving me the opportunity to work with a local entrepreneur and develop a business plan. Then there's Bob Melvin and his economic classes. I loved his overall knowledge of economics, his financial truths and especially the Economic History class, because I like history.

FINAL THOUGHTS?

Through The College, I was able to increase and fine tune my networking abilities because you meet women from all over Denver-Metro. Also, I have been told by several classmates that I am an "awesome researcher," and I attribute this to my studies at CWC. Even at work, it's been noticed because I have been given additional responsibilities for compiling and researching information. That is one attribute that I have developed that has been to my advantage.

Bridgette Van Doren

Major: Business Administration
GPA: 3.94

WHY CWC?

Bridgette Van DorenA close friend and coworker referred me to CWC. In addition to her excitement of being a student, it was Nancy Sullivan, who spoke at an orientation night that really peaked my interest. She was so energetic and spoke to the ideas of a woman's ability to become a part of something bigger and better herself — politically, professionally, and socially. I was so inspired on that night and it was the right timing for me.

When I first started, I loved the close connections I made with my sister students. Those bonds were key to me continuing because they provided constant support and camaraderie.

Later, as those same friends began to graduate, I found myself more confident as I had to branch out and go it alone in a sense. I felt more open to making new friends and having to create a whole new support system. Regardless, I realized this was about me and I was capable of succeeding.

Combined with what the other students provided me, was the staff and faculty. Each and every professor had something great to teach. It was all useful information. Everything that happened to me, every person I met, and every interaction I had at CWC is invaluable.

WHAT DOES THE QUINETTE FAMILY ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP MEAN TO YOU?

This is a hard one to put words to. First off, it provided me with a greater sense of accountability. It wasn't enough that I owed it to myself, my daughters, and my husband to get my degree.

Early on I received Jane's scholarship, I was accountable to this woman whom I didn't know, but who had a great passion to support a woman like me. There must have been a reason she (and her family) chose to give this endowment to CWC, and I was going to make sure that I met those reasons.

Now after more than four years of getting to know her, the scholarship means so much more. She is a friend, a mentor, and more like family. I speak to her often. In addition to how she has monetarily helped me out in reaching my goal, she has provided me with guidance both personally and professionally. Again, there aren't words to express what it means to be a Quinette Family Endowed Scholar.