May 6, 2005  


(Photo by Diana Rogers)

Success Stories from the
Academic Career Counseling Center

By Linda DuShane White

Since 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

Carl Blankenship (ESD) found out about the Academic Career Counseling Center by going to the website at:

(Photo by Diana Rogers)

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.”

Gloria Azevedo

The Wall Street Journal is recreational reading for Gloria Azevedo (BSD), so naturally she is going for her A.A. in business at DeAnza.

(Photo by Topher White)

“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, finally.”

“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 Procurement Assistant.

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.”

Lovetta Dunn

“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.

(Photo by Diana Rogers)

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.”


The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Friday May 06, 2005 by Topher White