All good things come to an end.
And the end, like the beginning of Patricia R. Campbell’s six-year career at Beacon College, focused on the good that education brings to life for those who pursue scholarship with tenacity.
Campbell, who completed two stints at Beacon — as an instructor from 2002-2004 and later an associate professor of English and assistant chair of humanities and general education from 2018-2022 — looks back a decades-long career in education and previews the next chapter.
Q: When did your education career begin?
A: I started in education as a part-time student and full-time secretary at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. There, I earned my bachelor’s degree and then my master’s degree. In 1999, I earned a full-scholarship in the Ph.D. English program at the University of Florida. Beacon College was my first full-time teaching position as a college professor. My career expanded with administrative positions as department chairperson (Lake Sumter Community College), associate dean (Broward College) and dean of academic affairs (Pasco-Hernando Community College). As I moved toward retirement goals, I wanted to return to teaching and when Beacon College posted the opening for assistant chairperson of humanities, I eagerly applied and rejoiced at the opportunity to teach.
Q: What is your favorite memory at Beacon?
A: My favorite memory from my first years at Beacon was traveling with Beacon students on a summer tour of Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. Travel fosters a sense of awe and discovery that creates a bond between travelers on the same journey. I am still in touch with the students from 20 years ago who shared that European adventure. My favorite memory for this most recent return to Beacon College was sharing the Costa Rica trip with the anthrozoology students in May 2021. Whether we were traipsing through the rainforest or sharing our day’s adventures over dinner at the Selva Verde Lodge, I experienced the same sense of awe that fostered such a special bond from so long ago and my first international travel experience with Beacon students and faculty.
Q: What is your proudest moment at Beacon?
A: One of my greatest academic interests is research writing and my proudest moment was sharing in the success of the Senior Capstone thesis defense presentations. After two semesters of struggling together to create a senior research thesis, all our humanities majors gave a stellar performance for their research presentations.
Q: Any words of wisdom for Beacon staffers?
A: The best wisdom for staffers is to love what you are doing and you will do it well. More importantly, be sure to take time from what you are doing to take care of you. We all need time to step away and recharge our energies.
Q: What’s next?
A: My partner and I are moving to Lauderdale by the Sea where the ocean is our neighbor across the street (A1A) and the sea is calling me for morning walks on the beach. I am a travel agent and I will focus on introducing people to cruising, as well as other adventures. My partner and I have a number of cruises scheduled including a two-week European cruise. Other travel plans include visiting my granddaughters in Slovakia and family in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
For future plans, Beacon College was where I truly learned how to teach and how to love teaching. I have carried the knowledge and application of the “Beacon method” throughout my teaching career. I remain open to adjunct possibilities and any travel opportunities that come my way. The journey continues and the best is yet to be.