For four weeks, Austin Community College will talk to the incoming 2019-2020 employee association presidents. We will ask each of them 10 questions to get to know them better.
We start off the series with the new Classified Employee Association President, Jo Ann Larkins-Foster. She is a Health Sciences Clinical Sites specialist who has been at ACC for more than four years.
1. When did you start working at ACC and in what role?
I began my employment with ACC on June 1, 2015, as an Administrative Assistant III. In 2016, my title was changed to Health Sciences Assistant. On July 1, 2019, I began a new role as the Specialist, Clinical Sites for Health Sciences.
2. What additional role(s) at the college have you held or what did you do before coming to ACC?
In 2015, I served as the EVC CEA Campus Representative and, in 2017, I was elected CEA Communications Officer. Before coming to ACC, I was working at Sam's Club as a Front End Supervisor. Before moving to Texas, I lived in Maryland and worked as a Training & Logistics Coordinator on the projects my previous company had with The Department of Education.
3. What inspired you to run for president?
Attending the CEA meetings inspired me to run for President. I realized just how important our association is to the success of every employee and to the college. I believe that I can offer the CEA an alternative perspective and approach to many issues facing our association. We need to work side-by-side collaboratively with other associations so that we can pursue more policies and initiatives that are open and inclusive to all our members.
4. Where did you grow up? What was it like?
I grew up in a small town in Alabama. Union Springs, AL, is a city in Bullock County. I could walk to the nearest store at night and never felt threatened. I could even sleep at night with my window open so that I could feel the cool air, we didn't need an air conditioner. Union Springs is between Montgomery and Tuskeggee, Alabama. In 1993, the population was at 4,096 and that same year, I moved from my hometown to Albuquerque, NM, where I lived for six and a half years before moving to the East Coast, Maryland. I lived in Maryland for eight years before moving to Texas in 2008.
5. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Everyone should go to Vegas at least once in their lifetime.
6. What do you do to unwind and get your mind off work?
I like to go home and be with my family and play with our dog Koa.
7. Do you have a motto, mantra, or personal philosophy?
My personal philosophy in life is always do right and right will follow you. It takes more thought and energy to do wrong than right.
8. What's the biggest lesson you've learned professionally?
The biggest lesson I've learned professionally is that no one can take away what you know or invalidate your knowledge.
9. What do you believe it takes to help students succeed?
I believe that when we show students that we care and that we are here to help them reach their goals, they will succeed. The best feeling for a student, or anyone, is to know that someone has their back as they begin their educational journey.
10. Any final thoughts you'd like to share?
My niche in the world constantly changes, but my steadfast is my commitment to the success of every student here at ACC. I am very proud to be a part of the ACC family.
Read other Q&As in the series:
Dr. Missi Patterson, Full-Time Faculty Senate President
Christina Michura, Adjunct Faculty Association President
Latisha Addison, Association of Professional-Technical Employees President