Success Stories from the
Academic Career Counseling Center
By Linda DuShane White
2003, Pauline Wethington (COM/HR) has spearheaded the Academic Career
Counseling Center at SLAC as a career counselor. Employees’ stories of
inspiration, hard work and challenge have emanated from the Center,
stories that may motivate others to follow their dreams of further
education or career advancement.
The Academic Career Counseling Center is open to all SLAC employees and
their families. For those interested in getting further education or
changing careers, take advantage of this outstanding free program. It is
important to realize, too, that SLAC employees are eligible for academic
financial support, using funds from the Stanford tuition program, as
well as STAP funds and money for text books.
Three stories of dreams fulfilled are spotlighted here.
Carl Blankenship (ESD)
found out about the Academic Career Counseling Center by going to the
He went to see Wethington to discuss finishing his bachelor’s degree. “I
had traveled around a lot, gone to several colleges. What Pauline did
for me was get me focused. She was very helpful in helping me gather my
transcripts. She helped me get organized, showed me where to get
funding, and did a lot of the footwork for me.”
Blankenship had to
decide whether to attend traditional classes at San Jose State or
accelerated classes at University of Phoenix (UOP), which he thought
would be too expensive. “Then I learned what Stanford would pay.” He
chose UOP and now has his coveted degree.
“The UOP accelerated
program was a good fit for me, with a job and a family. Every five weeks
you finish a class, you see results fast.” Discouraged by past attempts
to complete college, Blankenship says of Wethington: “She was very good
at asking me to write questions to decide what my goal was, to extract
the information she needed to help me achieve that.”
“She helps the average
person to find out what they want to do, and how to do it.”
The Wall Street
Journal is recreational reading for Gloria Azevedo (BSD), so naturally
she is going for her A.A. in business at DeAnza.
“At first I was a nervous wreck. Now I’m encouraged with my progress.”
Azevedo has had to learn to prioritize her many tasks at work, home and
school. At Wethington’s behest, she took a stress management course
followed by a class in study skills. “I’m starting to enjoy it,
“When I first decided to do it I was
in expediting in the Purchasing Department. I put in my employment
review that I was going back to college, then I had to follow though.”
Everyone in her department has been very supportive. After receiving her
Business Certificate, she applied for a promotion and is now a
It’s been a long haul for Azevedo to reach this point. “I had tried
about 12 years ago to go back [to school] on my own. I failed. There
wasn’t anybody to go to with my problems. Now when I have problems I go
to Pauline instead of dropping out.”
“When I went to
Pauline I was seeking a return to college,” shares Lovetta Dunn (ESH).
Away from the academic world for many years, Dunn needed help erasing an
administrative error made on her college records.
Because Wethington knows how to cut through academic red tape, she was
able to get the error corrected, thus clearing the path for Dunn’s
reinstatement. “I don’t know how I would have done it without her. I
probably would have gotten discouraged.”
Dunn is taking classes
at DeAnza in the summer and at San Jose State during the school year.
She expects to get her B.A. in Sociology to help her reach her heartfelt
goal. Motivated by the nationwide grief following the tragedy of
September 11, she wants to be a grief counselor. She says of the Center,
“It’s the best thing that ever happened. I’m really excited.”