We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Sheryl Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Sheryl, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
One thing that I have learned in life is that giving up is not always an option. No matter how difficult the path may seem, no matter how easy it is to retreat back to what seems to be the familiar, we must continue the journey for the greater good. I often tell my students, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” If the task at hand is going to be beneficial to you or add value to an organization, the community, or the world, then it is worth not giving up.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I currently serve as fulltime Associate Professor and Program Chair of Business and Entrepreneurship at Community College of Denver, and affiliate Professor of Management at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Having worked for Houston Community College, Houston, Texas from 2009-2016, as a business instructor, I collaborated with SCORE and the Small Business Association to increase the potential of student success in the small business arena. Additionally, I worked as an active resource of Houston Community College in their relationship with Goldman-Sachs 10k Small Businesses, whereby, numerous start-ups were funded.
Having earned a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on Leadership, and a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Entrepreneurship, I was catapulted into walking in my passion of higher education. Nothing pleases me more than operating in my passion which is being productive for an organization, creating equity for the students, and being an agent of global change. I am active in community service and the promotion of diversity and inclusion, as is evident by my roles serving as Past President American Association for Women in Community Colleges, Past District Governor (Toastmasters International Texas D56), Board Member of Greater Education Colorado, Past Denver NAACP Education Chair, State Faculty Advisory Council, Community College of Denver Faculty Advisory Council, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and recent presentation for Colorado Community College System’s Leadership Conference on the topic, “Leadership in a Time of Chaos.” I lectured at University of Jinan, China (2018), regarding international business and diversity.
*Dr. Smith has also held noteworthy leadership roles in Corporate America including starting several small businesses inclusive of Leadership & Learning Success, where she specializes in the creation of high quality business plans for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love the beauty and mystic of Garden of the Gods, located in Colorado Springs, CO. The formations are remarkable, especially the Balanced Rocks. We could spend and entire day wandering the numerous trails, taking pictures, and enjoying food at the local eateries. There are several other breath-taking places in the same area such a Helen Hunt Waterfalls. This beautiful attraction is at the base of Pikes Peak and the road leading to the waterfalls is a heart-stopper, but worth the journey. I love scenic views but one of the most fun adventures I have encountered, is a evening strolling 16th Street Mall.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
In everything I do, I give honor to God, and to my father, Clarence Monix, who established my path to the world of business while I was a teenager. It was divine intervention that led me to my mentor, Dr. Carol Miller, who groomed me for my leadership role in higher education. Dr. Miller never held back on enlightening me on things that made me re-evaluate myself or processes, as-well-as areas where I excelled. To this day, I lean on her for wisdom.
Dr. Smith lecturing at University of Jinan, China (2018). Spending time with youth in the community.