"My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner, but life happens. As a single mother of two, taking care of my kids and providing for my family was my primary responsibility.
"Working in an institution of higher learning really motivated my aspirations to earn a degree. What I didn't expect was how my education would help me to grow as an employee. I have more than 22 years in the education system, but my firsthand experience as a student gave me a unique perspective on the job. As the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President at Cerro Coso, I find myself more knowledgeable and empathetic towards students and the difficulties they encounter, especially in the online environment. My student experiences broadened my knowledge base and opened doors I didn't know existed. My college education had a profound impact on my ability to think critically, write well, and be open minded—it's that kind of thinking that allows us to create our own path in life. A copy of Ralph Waldo Emerson's quote Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail hangs above my desk and reminds me to be a trailblazer—a leader.
"My primary interest is Emergency Management. I actively serve on the college Safety and Security Committee and plan to continue my training by taking additional courses through FEMA. I have completed a number of FEMA Incident Command Systems (ICS) courses and I am qualified as a trainer to teach several ICS courses. My knowledge of risk communications and identifying hazards has served the college well, throughout my career.
"Named to the 2012 Phi Theta Kappa All-California Academic Team, I was the recipient of the Faculty Honors Scholarship and the Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International. I am an active member of the Beta Chi Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
"I recommend students embrace their experiences at Cerro Coso and make the most of their higher education. Don't give up, do your homework, and go to class, and the best advice I have...is make sure you login on the first day of class. That feeling of excitement, pride, and accomplishment, as I walked across the stage and received the degree I had worked so hard for, with my husband and family in the audience, is one I will cherish forever."
Tammy earned her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts in Behavioral and Social Sciences from Cerro Coso Community College in 2012. Tammy Kinnan graduated from the Honors Program and served as Phi Theta Kappa Chapter President. She is also a graduate of the Kern Community College District Leadership Academy and has represented the classified staff on many college and district wide committees. Tammy's contributions and leadership are an inspiration to all Cerro Coso students and staff.
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