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As a writer in the purest sense of the word, I write across a variety of genres, including fiction, non-ficton, memoir, motivational, academic research, and poetry. I've never really been great at doing things the traditional way or staying within set boundaries. I go where my heart leads me! This website is a sort of housewarming party. It's my way of saying, "I am finally alive! I have finally moved fully into this body of mine, and I want you all to come check out my new digs!" Though I have been writing my entire life, I am in a new phase of my writing profession, as I have only begun to network and present my work to the world. I aspire to change lives through my writing. Thus, it is my hope that this public documentation of my journey serves a double purpose - to keep myself motivated with your support, and to keep those who aspire to write and publish inspired.
My strength has always been in my writing. Writing is a talent and a passion that I have possessed for as long as I can remember. At age 2, I was writing letters of the alphabet, and I always had a story in my head. I created stories about the models in the JC Penney and K-Mart catalogs, and I would spin the globe in our living room and write up a story about the lucky country my finger landed on. It was my third grade teacher, Mrs. Bisignani, who really turned the light on for me when she told me that I wrote the best spelling word sentences in her class. (I think I mistook "best spelling" for "best selling".) Little did she know, that little compliment was the birth of a lifetime commitment to writing. I became known as "Pam, the one who writes stories." I would corner my friends, or my parents, or whoever was around, just to make them listen to my latest poem or short story; I started a neighborhood newspaper when I was 10, which I typed up and distributed in the summer; and I finished my first novel in high school, along with many short stories and poems.
When I went to college to major in journalism, I became "Ebony Love", radio personality for the college radio station's Soul Food Cafe. As Ebony Love, I created and hosted an open mic series on campus entitled, The Soulistic Groove (which really was just an under-handed scheme that allowed me to read my poetry on a stage). I also dabbled with broadcast television as an anchor for our award-winning college news production, and as a commercial producer for the local NBC station. All of this with my toddler son in tow. Yes, that's right. I had a young son, born after my freshman year when I was 19. I made the most out of my college years, but it was no cake walk.
College was my time to blossom, but it was also a time of testing and perseverance. They say the best teacher in life is experience. And was it ever! Through my experience as a young single mom, I learned much more than anything my professors could have taught me. When I was ready to transfer to a highly selective 4-year university, I was denied acceptance three times. I worked relentlessly to prove that I had what it took to be successful at that school - and, after proving myself, I was admitted. Through aggressive conversations and extensive research at the age of 20, I uncovered widely unknown resources such as free childcare and full financial support for single parents in pursuit of a college education. I was on a mission, always with my eyes on the prize. I remained an active leader in no less than four student organizations at any given time because I was so grateful for the opportunity to pursue an education. When I graduated, my son was only three years old and I became the first in my family to earn a college degree.
But what I discovered along the way was that I was not alone in this journey. Everyone goes through trials that test strength and perseverance. There are many who also desire a college education, to live out their life dreams, to discover their passions, to live with purpose. But so many fall short simply because they do not know where to begin. Upon graduation, I knew that my hurdles were not placed in front of me by accident. They were strategic. My calling was to empower others by helping them also jump the hurdles so that they, too, could pursue and achieve a purpose-filled life.
After receiving my bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo, CA), I went on to earn a master's degree in College Student Affairs from Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, CA) and a Ph.D. in Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University (Milwaukee, WI). With all of this education, I landed a career that couldn't be more perfect for me - as a professor of research. My life has included a mixed bag of great victories and heart-breaking setbacks such as: purchasing my first home as a young single mom, celebrating graduations, getting engaged, relocating across the country, getting married, experiencing years of non-writing, giving birth to my daughter naturally, filing for divorce, receiving public speaking and writing awards, presenting across the country, enduring toxic work environments, falling in love, rediscovering my writing, rediscovering myself. It took all of this life experience to finally return to the understanding I had as a child about who I am and what I was born to do. I am here to change lives by telling stories. The result of this understanding was a renewed commitment to my writing. With this commitment, I have been blessed with such an overwhelming flow of love and wisdom that I can't keep my pen flowing fast enough to keep up! The journey has been full of adventure, to say the least. I dare you to join me!
Overview of Experience
- 10 years as a higher education professional
- Current professor of doctoral-level research, leadership and higher education
- PhD in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service
- Scholarly research focus: self-determination, college access, resiliency, upward social mobility, relationships, reintegration
- Extensive leadership development and training experience
- Planning, coordination and facilitation of campus leadership conferences/seminars
- Diversity educator
- Writing coach, writing workshop facilitator
- Scholarly publications and award-winning presentations on self-determination and college access