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Education & Social Science Graduates

Gayle Flowers, Ed.D.

What I do now:
I serve as the Vice Chancellor for Economic & Workforce Development at Bossier Parish Community College.

My work/job consists of:
As Vice Chancellor for Economic & Workforce Development at Bossier Parish Community College, I:
1. Lead the college's vision and mission to provide Louisiana individuals and businesses the most advanced, customized and relevant education and training;
2. Oversee workforce and career development, customized corporate training, community engagement and outreach, and testing services; and,
3. Liaise with workforce and economic leaders and developers at the national, state, and regional levels as well as colleagues on campus to create, collaborate, and coordinate the delivery of services to support Louisiana employers and build the capacity of our workforce.

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present):
-High school business and marketing teacher, where I taught students and placed them in jobs that I monitored and supervised.
-Manager of a four-parish Tech Prep consortium connecting high schools, post-secondary schools, and businesses.
-Principal of career-technology school, where I established Advisory Councils, industry-based certifications, dual enrollment, and work-based learning.
-Director of high schools, career, adult, and alternative education, where I led a ten-parish Jump Start Partnership connecting businesses with high schools and post-secondary institutions.
-Vice Chancellor for Economic and Workforce Development, where I support talent recruitment, talent development, and process improvements for businesses in our region.

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS):
When I moved to northwest Louisiana after high school and knew that I wanted to be a high school business teacher, I researched pass rates on the National Teacher's Exam and job placement rates for universities in the area. LSUS had the highest rating in both categories, so I made plans to attend LSUS. However, as a new resident who could not afford out-of-state tuition, I enrolled at Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) for a year until I was considered a Louisiana resident. To ensure that my BPCC courses would transfer without lost credits, I met with the LSUS Dean of the College of Education. Both institutions were very supportive and provided opportunities for my personal growth and development.

Fond memories of LSUS:

LSUS faculty who helped me:
1. In the College of Education: Mrs. Barbara Purdy, Dr. Charles Wilson, Dr. James Sabin, and Dr. Horace Maxile;
2. In the College of Business: Mrs. Opal Menefee, Ms. Lynelle Widick, Dr. Jim Reed, Dr. Larry Clark, Dr. Lorraine Krajewski, Dr. Jere Hatchter;
3. In History, Professor Jim Miller; and
4. In Psychology, Dr. Joe Carlisle.

How LSUS helped me succeed, advice to college-bound students, advice to someone who wants to enter my field, and tips on choosing a major or career:
LSUS provided me with a solid academic foundation and a connection to quality educators in the Caddo Public Schools System. I advise learning all you can about yourself, your interests, and your strengths. Use this knowledge to determine your career goal and to guide you as you identify and enroll in the college or university that best fits with your goal. Then, get involved and seek out mentors and learning opportunities that allow you to grow personally and professionally beyond the classroom while keeping a 3.5 or better GPA. Wise Human Resource Managers review your undergraduate transcript to assess your focus, dedication, and ability to bring value to their organization.

My toughest professional challenge:
My toughest professional challenge was being selected as the youngest high school principal at a school where three other educators with links to the school also applied. Two of these three then reported to me as principal. I overcame the challenge by establishing leadership and vision and engaging wholeheartedly in the important work of the school.

My toughest personal challenge:
My toughest personal challenge is balancing professional leadership responsibilities with my highest priority: home and family. Although it remains an ongoing commitment, I have relaxed my expectations of myself, given myself the grace and understanding that I would give others, and recognized the value of being a strong role model for my children while enjoying opportunities to spend time together away from work.

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:
My husband and two children are my biggest successes and the ones that matter most to me. I have also received honors and awards from others as reflected on my resumé. The most meaningful successes, awards, honors, and recognition are personal and from those with whom I have worked closely over the years: notes from students, parents, teachers, and colleagues; student-made gifts showcasing their skill and talent; a poem written by a staff member when I moved from Caddo Parish Schools to Bossier Parish Community College, and a scrapbook with mementos from my years as Principal and Director in Caddo. Seeing others grow professionally, assume leadership in career-technical education, and find success in their lives continues to be my biggest "bonus" as an educator!

I've learned this from life:
A sense of humor and purpose coupled with love for family and friends gets me through my darkest moments and makes my brightest moments more meaningful and rewarding. It is important to focus forward!

What I'd be doing if I had all the time in the world:
If I had all of the time in the world, I would be doing exactly what I am doing because it matters, it's fulfilling, and it's FUN!!

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