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Ms. Shirley Chisholm once said, “Tremendous amounts of talent are being lost in our society just because that talent wears a skirt”. Throughout history, women have been at the forefront of the world’s most prominent inventions, education, politics, art, and more. As women’s history month comes to an end I would like to honor three trail-blazing women who have positively impacted my life while attending Montgomery College. These three women are leaders in their field and create an amazing legacy daily.  I recently got the chance to conduct a short interview addressing everything from who inspires them, to what they love about being a woman.

  1. Mrs. Kimberly Jones: Director of Student Life

Kimberly has served as the Director of Student Life on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus for 7 ½ years. She oversees many leadership development initiatives, such as facilitating a 10-week leadership program and retreats for student organizations. Kimberly is a first-generation college student pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Azusa Pacific University. She has two beautiful kids, Kayla (13) and Jaxon (5), who are her world. She is married to Trey, her soul mate, and best friend. Kimberly loves what she does for a living as it allows her to impact student lives in a positive nature significantly. I met Mrs. Jones last year when I entered the MC leads program. Since then Mrs. Jones has been there for me every step of the way to guide me along my journey. Long after being her student, she continues to open doors, and windows of infinite opportunities.

  1. What do you love most about being a woman? First, I love the strength that I possess as a woman. There are so many complexities in being a woman, but I love the challenge of overcoming those each day. I also feel grateful that I am experiencing life as a woman.
  2. What woman/women inspire you? My mother and grandmother inspire me because they worked so hard to provide a good life for me. They were instrumental in giving those life experiences that helped shape the woman I am today.
  3. What brings you joy? Hands down, my family. I have the best two children that a woman can ask for and a perfect husband for me in every way.
  4. What life advice do you have for young women? First, continue to believe in yourself and know that life is a constant lesson. If you mess up or fail at something, pick yourself up and try again. Be proud of the person you are becoming and understand that life is ongoing and you grow and learn each day.

2. Ms. Jane Ellen Miller: Vice President of Information Technology

Jane-Ellen Miller, a Senior IT Executive with CampusWorks Inc., is currently entering her fifth year serving as Montgomery College’s Vice President of Information Technology.  As a former faculty member and Vice President of IT, Ms. Miller stays informed on technology trends and other priorities within higher education, such as accessibility strategies, diversity and inclusion, and IT as a transformative entity. She is a dynamic leader who brings more than 30 years of experience in best practices for incorporating technology into the curriculum while gaining more technological efficiencies within the administrative offices.  Ms. Miller’s in-depth expertise includes mitigating risks, improving the student and employee experience, and streamlining administrative functions. Formerly a Regional VP for a higher education company, Ms. Miller has a proven record of accomplishment of success when presenting the value proposition to solve business problems.  It is Ms. Miller’s view that skilled alignment of the right solutions helps deliver a competitive and compliant alignment with an institution’s goals. Ms. Miller strongly believes in each one teach one.  She has been a lifelong mentor, coach, and motivator. She is a Board member of Generations, Inc., a Community Development Corporation in NJ that provides services to the underserved.  She has co-chaired since 2017, a Business Professional Association in southern NJ that supports entrepreneurs and those navigating the corporate waters. Ms. Miller is a Life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.  She joined this illustrious sorority 48 years ago and continues to serve for the betterment of all humankind.  She currently serves as her chapter’s co-chairman for Strategic Planning and serves on the Ways and Means committee. My first interaction with Ms. Miller was nothing short of amazing. I had to interview her for an assignment in my leadership development program. Our two-hour interview turned into months of a beautiful mentor/mentee relationship where she shares a wealth of wisdom that I use in my everyday life.

  1. What do you love most about being a woman? I love being a mother to my son. I love being able to express my caring, nurturing, and empathetic nature and not be concerned that people will have an issue with that. I love being able to be strong, decisive, a leader, a mentor, a teacher, a contributor and still be vulnerable when I feel like it. I love being an ordinary woman who was born to do extraordinary things.
  2. What woman/women inspire you? I most admire my mother, born in the 1920s, an era when women were encouraged to stay in their place and be supportive. My mother was a woman of her times and yet she expected greater things for me and from me. She encouraged my Father to understand why I should play sports; something he expected from his sons, but not his daughters.  She taught me how to cook and sew, but also to study and achieve far more than what had been available to her.  My Mother is my Shero.
  3. What brings you joy? Being out in the sunshine brings me joy. Communicating and spending time with my family brings me joy. Cooking a good meal and enjoying it with family and friends brings me joy.  Being a child of God brings me joy and comfort. Reading a good book and sharing it with others brings me joy. Baking in my kitchen on a cold snowy day brings me joy. My work brings me joy….most of the time.  Mentoring and coaching the next generation brings me joy.
  4. What life advice do you have for young women?
    1. If it’s right, don’t be silent
    2. Practice being confident every day with affirmations of accomplishments (big and small).
    3. Keep a gratitude jar and fill it at least weekly with at least one thing you are grateful for every day. I start a new jar every January 1st and then read all of the things I was grateful for over that past year on New Year’s Eve.

3. Transcie Almonte-Sabio: Management and Leadership Program Director

 

Transcie Almonte-Sabio has been working at the college for almost 19 years. This is the longest that she has worked in one place. When she started working, she had a 3-5 year plan for my career. She worked for three years and in the 3rdyear she started looking for a new place to work to get new experience and in the 5th year, she moved. This provided her with vast experience and a lot of hands-on work training. Ms. Sabio met a lot of people who mentored and helped her grow professionally. Straight out of college, she started working as a Special Education Teacher teaching deaf children. It was challenging work especially if you don’t speak their language which made her very determined to learn Sign Language. Ms. Sabio got her Sign Language certification and had the opportunity to do TV show interpreting on the side. From teaching, she moved to the US Peace Corps doing training for incoming volunteers to the Philippines. True to her 3-5 year career plan, she moved on to working with various international non-profit agencies before she migrated. I am currently a student in Ms. Sabio’s coaching certification program and serve alongside her as a member of the WDCE council. Ms. Sabio has welcomed me with kindness, and open arms. She never hesitates to answer any questions and extends a helping hand with anything I may need at the time.

  1. What do you love most about being a woman? A woman is strong yet we are able to show our feelings and emotions. Women have the skill to multi-task and be good at what they do. One of the best attributes of being a woman is that we were given the gift to carry a life within us.
  2. What woman/women inspire you? My mother inspired me. She chose to be a mother first over a career. Growing up, my siblings and I are lucky to have her by our side.
  3. What brings you joy? My daughter brings me so much joy. I am in awe watching her chase her dreams with confidence and determination.
  4. What life advice do you have for young women?The same advice that I give to my daughter, you are your own advocate. Work hard, be persistent, don’t forget to dream and chase your dreams. Always remember to be kind and loving. And do not forget the people you met along the way.

The one thing I admire the most about all of these women is their willingness to pour time, wisdom, and knowledge back into students. They truly live by Montgomery colleges mission to empower students and enrich the life of the community. I hope this read not only leaves you inspired but also aware of the support system that’s available to you at the college.

Alisha Small

Alisha Small is a mother, wife, entrepreneur, coach, speaker, mentor, and Brooklyn, NY native. She is the CEO/Founder of Keyz Kloset, Dreamer Transportation Services and the Living Fulfilled Company. While investing in her own personal development, Alisha became an avid mental advocate, and found her passion for coaching. This passion birthed Living Fulfilled Coaching at the end of 2019. At Living Fulfilled Coaching Alisha partners with millennial women to build their confidence through prioritizing and incorporating self-care habits that promote a joy-filled lifestyle. Alisha is a thought partner who uses a creative approach that maximizes potential in all areas of her client’s lives. Alisha is a lover of all things outdoors and spends her free time cooking her favorite vegan meals, traveling, spending time with family, and shopping for home décor. In addition to entrepreneurship, Alisha supports, and volunteers at several nonprofit organizations such as Nami, Stella Girls, Women who Create, and Cheer Up Wellness.

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