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
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
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
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.