From Part-Time Employee to Associate Dean
Dean Carla Skorin discusses how her career at SCU inspires her to continuously pursue excellence
In celebration of Women’s History Month, we interviewed Carla Skorin, Associate Dean, School of Professional Studies. Dean Skorin discusses her greatest achievements, and offers advice to young women moving along their career paths.
What is an average day like for you at SCU?
The beauty of my position is that no two days are alike, and they can be unpredictable. I know I will have several meetings throughout the day, but I never know what else will come up: a student issue, a faculty matter, a staff concern, or a fellow dean may need help with a project. The unpredictability is one of the aspects I enjoy the most, but it can make it a little difficult to get the necessary and mundane parts of my position completed sometimes. It’s a balancing act, and anyone who has been to my office knows that the way I keep all these things organized is by having things I am working on in different piles. I am always on the quest for the best way to organize my office and projects and I buy new folders, tabs, and binder clips when I go to the store thinking, this will be just the thing I need to organize my office.
Tell us what led you to your career path
I started part time at SCU when I was 30 years old with an AA degree. I have always been curious about what other people do and would offer to assist others where I could, so I had the opportunity to learn a lot of what transpires at SCU. I also always knew I wanted to back to school for my Bachelor’s Degree and after I started working full time, I decided to take classes to pursue that goal. In many ways, my career at SCU paralleled my academic career. As I earned more knowledge by going back to school, I was able to take on more challenging projects at SCU. School also gave me the confidence to try things outside my comfort zone. I remember Dr. Scaringe asking me if I would deliver the welcome message at his inauguration on behalf of the staff. I am positive I would not have agreed to do that if I didn’t have my experiences that I had in school. I finished my Bachelor’s program and went into a Master’s program shortly thereafter. What I learned in school, I was able to apply to things taking place at SCU; conversely, what was going on at SCU, I was able to use for projects in school.
What do you consider your biggest achievement to date?
Personally, my biggest achievement was raising two kind, bright, empathetic, politically intelligent, and socially conscious children while working full time and going to school. Academically, the achievement I am most proud of is being in my second year of a doctorate program.
What advice do you have for young women as they move along their career paths?
For young women choosing a career path, I would encourage them to find something that challenges and motivates them every day. I would tell them to find professional development opportunities everywhere they can, even if they may be unconventional or outside the box. And finally, I would suggest they find one or two mentors, people who they admire, and learn everything they can from them. Mentors can be formal or informal, and some mentors don’t ever realize how much they meant to someone or how much of a difference they truly made in someone’s life. And in turn, as the young women grow into their own, to remember to mentor another young woman.
Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share with us?
One of my favorite quotes is an Italian Proverb: “After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box.” I had that in my e-mail signature for a quite a long time. To me, it is a reminder that no one person is all that. My new favorite is “She believed she could, so she did” by R.S. Grey.
In celebration of Women’s History Month 2018, we are honoring some of the phenomenal women faculty members at SCU.