Kathryn Joyce Smith

Kathryn Joyce Smith

At a Glance

Name: Kathryn Joyce Smith
Major: General Studies
Class: 1974

Q & A
  • Why did you choose your major?
    A General Studies focus seemed to give me the most flexibility in trying to figure out what I wanted to do in my life.  At the time all I was interested in was playing basketball and being independent.  I had no idea that I would enjoy higher education until I got to ACC.  It was there that I had a wide variety of choices and engaging instructors. 
  • What advice would you give to students interested in your career path?
    Believe in yourself and your capability to add value to your community. Find adults who you feel a connection with and connect regularly.  Seek work that you really enjoy, rather than that which pays the most, while you build a foundation for your resume.  Continually add to your resume, certifications, conferences, special assignments, and training programs. Never forget what a privilege it is to get an education – learning is everything.
  • How was your overall experience at ACM?
    ACC was a haven for me and a place where I recovered my belief in myself after years of academic self-doubt.  My memory of my time at ACC is that I always LOVED my instructors, they were interesting, knowledgeable, funny, fun, ready to listen when thought I had an important comment, and ready to help if I was lost.  The campus was exactly right for a small-town kid who may have been overwhelmed by a big University Campus.  Somewhere in my life, I realized that I thrived best when I was “a big fish in a little pond…rather than a little fish in a big pond”.  Being on the basketball team, tennis team, and badminton team and being in small classes at ACM gave me a feeling of being a big fish, someone who was important, respected, and appreciated.  Another very clear memory that I have is that the College was VERY WELL respected in Cumberland as an important community asset.  Although Bob Kirk had the big reputation for local and national basketball achievements (and I had the opportunity to work for him in summer camps), Linda Mellon was also highly respected for her leadership and interest in helping students achieve.  
  • Who was your favorite ACM faculty/staff member?  Why?  
    Without a doubt, I was taught, coached, advised, and ultimately befriended by Coach Linda Mellon.  I am forever grateful for her leadership and patients with me.  She believed in me and gave me opportunities for leadership on and off the court.  She is a gem!
  • What is your greatest achievement in your career?
    This is probably the hardest question to answer after 40 years of public service.  I think the word achievement kind of throws me.  I think of achievement as a personal accomplishment. Nothing that I have ever accomplished has been mine alone.  I was blessed to work with some of the most outstanding professionals in the Country.

    My Park career was long and filled with wonderful work.  One event that comes to mind as a special experience was our work to coordinate with the Office of the President of the United States to host the Asian Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) at a Washington State Park on an Island in Puget Sound.  As the Director of Operations for Washington State Parks and Recreation, I was centrally involved in working to assure a smooth and safe event for world leaders.  It was truly an event that required all-hands-on-deck!

    Another experience was my work with the federal USDA, the CDC, a variety of Agriculture Divisions, State Agencies, and the Governor’s Office on the first reported case of BSE in the United States in 2003.  
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