Name: Sue Williamson
Class Year/Degree: M.A. '04 in Human Development with specializations in Leadership in Education and Human Services: Administration/Supervision and Parent/Community Work
Current Job: Executive Director, Monday Morning, Inc, a professional child care management service. Immediate Past-President, National Association for Family Child Care. State and National Advocate for early childhood issues. Consultant/writer for Zero to Three.
Impact of Pacific Oaks: Pacific Oaks College had a huge impact on my life—as I gained self-knowledge, I began to better understand my place in society, my strengths and weaknesses, and my responsibility to be a strong voice for social justice and equality. I began to value my own personal history and ancestry and value others with a depth of understanding that I did not possess before. This strengthened my commitment to family and my focus as an advocate for children, families, and the early childhood workforce in my career. I graduated with a personal and professional support system that stretches across the country and around the globe.
Favorite class or faculty member: I think I would have to list every class I took and every faculty member who brought me on my wonderful learning journey if I were to answer this question completely! In particular, Judy Magee and Dr. Laila Aaen began my learning path in social and political contexts, and Louise Derman-Sparks helped me bring my work in social justice to new levels, both during my time at PO and since then when I became the President of the National Association for Family Child Care. Louise remains a dear friend, ally, and mentor today.
In addition, I have to mention the value of the work I did in the fall of 2001 in Ecology of Working with Children, a class I took with Dr. Ed Greene and Katie Kissinger. At the time, my colleagues in New Jersey and I had begun plans to bring the national Better Baby Care Campaign to the state. Through my work with Katie and Ed, I completed a full plan for the project which became the foundation for the Campaign. With the plan and the support of the entire early childhood community in New Jersey, we have completed all of the steps of the Campaign. It would not have been the same without the depth of the work I did in that class.
Advice for a prospective student: I have referred many students to Pacific Oaks and have told them all the same thing—everything you ever thought you knew about yourself and others will be challenged, and you will grow in ways you never expected. It will not always be an easy journey, but it will be the most meaningful one you will ever take in your life, and in the end, you will know and love your self and others better than ever before. It will be worth every minute!