I have been teaching at Northcentral University for nearly 7 years. When I first began, I had a partner, a toddler, an infant, and a yellow lab named Parker. As I met with my students on the phone or through video conferencing, I was struck by the wonderful diversity of people who were showing up to study marriage and family therapy with the purpose of bringing healing to others and to themselves. My students inspire me. They come from all different backgrounds, have unique lives and professional experiences, and they are hard-working. I will tell anyone who will listen that I love working at NCU. One of the things I am most proud of is that our programs have enabled students to complete their degree, in the location of their choosing, while carrying on with their full lives. We widen access to higher education. This means that moms are able to return to school while their kids are napping or after a long day of work. They are able to show up for “class” at the time that works best for their families so that they can make progress toward their personal and professional goals. They are able to inspire future generations in ways they may not have previously been able to. We provide a platform where people can achieve their goals and in turn, invest their talents in the world around them in new ways.
I am now working as the Director of Equity and Inclusion because I am committed to social justice and I believe that higher education can narrow social divides. This role exists at NCU because of the commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and I am fortunate to occupy this position. We’ve added another baby to our family and after saying goodbye to our dog Parker, we added a charcoal lab named Lobo. Life marches on and as my family grows and changes, I watch our university do the same. I’ve seen hundreds of students graduate, have seen programs strengthen and grow, have seen departments and schools added, and have seen lives change for the better. I am grateful to be a small part of what makes this place great and I hope that I can participate in making more people feel welcome and included in this community.
By Annabelle Goodwin, NCU Professor and Director of Equity & Inclusion