A native of Mason, she was also continuing a family tradition and has joined her mother, sister, aunt and uncle as ASU alumni. After earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2006, Word immediately went to work as an ASU admissions counselor.
“I got hired and they told me to pack for a week to go recruiting,” she said. “On my first day, I got in a car and went to Dallas to recruit students.”
That type of dedication served Word well as she worked for the Office of Admissions and then Housing and Residential Programs while earning her ASU master’s degree in student development and leadership in higher education. In 2010, she became the first staff academic advisor in the College of Education, where she advises the undergraduate teacher education students.
“I can still remember being in college as an undergrad,” Word said. “So I share information and guide my students in ways that I think would’ve helped me. I advise students from New Student Orientation all the way to student-teaching. I get about four years with them, so we get to form a relationship, and I think that is a big factor in our retention rates.”
“I guide my students in ways I think would’ve helped me…”
Still just as dedicated, Word is pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership while also juggling raising two active kids, Case (9) and Miranda (7), with her husband, Cory, a San Angelo firefighter, doing volunteer work in the community, and being active in the NACADA global organization for academic advisors.
“I realized early in my career at ASU that higher education is my calling,” Word said. “So I decided to earn my doctorate and continue to grow as a professional.”
For her stellar and ongoing commitment to her students and the university, the ASU Alumni Association has named Word its 2021 Outstanding Staff.
“It’s a really amazing thing to have one of your colleagues nominate you and then have your Alumni Association recognize you,” Word said. “It’s a humbling experience, and I’m very honored.”
“I love the students,” she added. “Being able to play a role and guide students in their educational endeavors is a rewarding experience. Helping students and then seeing them graduate and have a career, that is by far my favorite thing and what keeps me coming back to ASU every day.”