Patience, Passion, and Persistence: a chat with Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

By Meghan Henoumont



Dr Kathleen Curphy, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. Photos provided by Delgado Public Relations and Marketing Department.



Dr. Kathleen Curphy took over the position of Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at Delgado Community College’s City Park campus in February of 2015. Dr. Curphy has 20 plus years of experience and achievements in leadership for both rural and urban two-year colleges, with an emphasis on creating supportive, learner-centered environments. By ensuring high standards of teaching, learning and student success, Dr. Curphy has big plans for Delgado with student needs at the front of all her endeavors. We sat down with Dr. Curphy for a chat about what exactly her job is and how it affects the students on campus.

M.H: Many students are not aware of what the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs does. What are some of your duties and how do they directly affect students?

K.C: I ensure the integrity of academics by providing leadership assessments, these help to provide a consistent experience for students at all campuses. Academic advising is more than just assisting students with scheduling; it’s the opportunity to ask, “What do you want to do?” and coming up with a plan so the student can achieve those goals. We are striving to create self-directed learners. Self-directed learners take the initiative to pursue their goals with a varied skill-set that our two-year college instills in them. I also work on the budget, policies and procedures. We now have the new division of technologies, which helps train students to enter the work force and contribute to our state’s economy.

M.H: What would you like to see happen at Delgado for the 2016-2017 year? What challenges are we facing?

K.C: I would like to see Delgado, and Louisiana higher education secure stable funding. In order to thrive Louisiana needs two-year colleges. We train American workers. We are creating the next generation of taxpayers.Our population across Delgado’s campuses comes to around 18,000 people: we are a small city! Like any successful city we need to band together to secure that funding for our programs to have a stable workforce and to offer transfer programs so students have the opportunity to go on to four-year universities and earn their bachelor degrees. To do this we need legislative support.

M.H: How can students help secure funding for Delgado and Louisiana higher education?

K.C: By advocating for funding with legislators. By students looking up who (legislators) serve them and writing them to let them know that our higher education community needs finical support. Many of our students already know our legislators as they come from within our own communities. After all, community is in the name of our school so it’s fitting that we reach out and let them know who we are and what are needs are as a community.

M.H: What was your favorite thing about being a college student?

K.C: I loved learning! I dreamed of being a college student forever. I most enjoyed the way college opened my mind to new passions, people, and ways of thinking. I loved being apart of a diverse student and faculty community.
M.H: You have had an amazing educational journey! I saw that you have a Bachelor’s degree in Education, a Master’s degree in personnel services/counseling and a Ph.D. in Leadership for Higher Education.
What advice do you have for Delgado students who wish to pursue your level of education? Any advice for Delgado students who may be feeling overwhelmed with college and are ready to give-up?

K.C: The three P’s: persistence, passion and patience. You will need all three of these qualities to achieve your educational goals. The path of life is not a straight line, babies, families, illness, all of these events may derail your journey, and that’s ok! Just go back and finish. Don’t worry about how long it will or is taking to get your degree. Every detour in life teaches you something new that you can use to achieve your goal. Cultivate a love of learning to become passionate and driven, patience to withstand the rough patches and persistence to make it through. When you’re becoming overwhelmed think to yourself, “ I can step out but I can and will go back.” Follow through with that goal and you will succeed.



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