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Annual Report 2016_web

Kimberly BROWN Assistant

Kimberly BROWN Assistant Professor of Human Services & Counseling “ I’m not going to forget where I came from and everything Lindsey Wilson College has done for me.” 12

Kim Brown has trailblazed her way to the top of the counseling profession. But says staying humble is the only way to effectively serve a community. Brown addresses the human services & counseling graduates who earned their degrees from LWC-Cumberland (Ky.) Community Campus Program. Kim Brown is an example of the human potential Lindsey Wilson College has unlocked by serving the educational needs of Appalachia. Before LWC opened its community campus in Cumberland, Ky., more than 10 years ago, residents in Brown’s native Harlan County had few educational opportunities beyond an associate of arts degree. Brown was part of the first cohort of human services and counseling undergraduate students who enrolled at LWC’s Cumberland Community Campus in fall 2002. She went on to earn a master’s degree in counseling from LWC, and then completed a doctorate in counseling with Argosy (Calif.) University. Brown says that before Lindsey Wilson College came to her region, people didn’t have the same educational opportunities and job prospects as they do now. “Before Lindsey Wilson ever came to this area back in 2002, there was a reason why a lot of people, including myself, couldn’t get past an AA degree,” Brown said. “Whether it was because you were poor, or your family didn’t want you to leave the area or a variety of other reasons, there was a limit to what you could achieve in an educational sense. That’s why I say Lindsey Wilson has brought opportunity to the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and Virginia.” In addition to teaching classes in LWC’s School of Professional Counseling, Brown is also regional academic director of the college’s Southern Appalachian Region – which includes community campuses Cumberland, Hazard, Ky., Big Stone Gap, Va., Richlands, Va. and Wytheville, Va. Among the many things Brown likes about LWC, it’s the opportunities the college provides the region that she loves most. “My favorite thing about Lindsey Wilson is that there’s no discrimination,” she said. “There is opportunity for every student that walks through our door. I know that to be true because of my experience.” Brown’s duties as regional academic director of LWC’s Southern Appalachian Region include overseeing the region’s budget, course creation and developing the curriculum. But Brown has also found time to devote to research and publishing. Her dissertation – The Trials and Struggles of Women in the Workplace: Job Satisfaction in the Appalachian Region – was completed when she finished her doctorate in 2013; it is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She’s currently working on chapters for an LWC School of Professional Counseling research project that will be published in 2017. “At first I didn’t pursue the publication route after finishing my dissertation,” Brown said. “Then a colleague of mine encouraged me to do so because the subject matter was so relevant that it would be a waste not to share it. It focuses specifically on Appalachia, but much of it is applies nationally as well.” But it’s in the classroom where Brown finds the most job satisfaction, because it is there that she gets to work with students, many of whom have similar backgrounds as hers when she started her LWC education journey in 2002. Because of that, Brown says that her teaching philosophy has been shaped by her life experiences. “My past work with children at the preschool level and my work as a state family support specialist prepared me for the classroom,” she said. “I bring real-life experiences to my students so that they can have those light bulb moments. And really, that’s the way I was taught, too. You have to learn the philosophy and the terminology first, but when you inject the real-life experience into the subject matter, it becomes more understandable and applicable in the long run.” Brown said she also enjoys being part of a college where faculty go the extra distance for students. “The faculty I work with on a daily basis are here to ensure that everyone has the tools to succeed,” she said. “We want every student to have a great experience and because of that I’m truly honored and blessed to be a part of the Lindsey Wilson family.” And Brown says that remaining humble is critical when serving Appalachia. “When people forget where they come from, they lose focus on the future,” she said. “They get a big head, and they can’t stay grounded. I’m not going to forget where I came from and everything Lindsey Wilson College has done for me.” 13

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