She’s sassy. She’s savvy. And we’re sure going to miss her. Please join us in saying goodbye to Rosa Corona, who will retire December 15th after having served for nearly 23 years in various roles at NAU Yuma.
She began her journey to a career in higher education after graduating from Kofa High School and earning an associate degree at AWC in 1978. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with a Business Emphasis, a master’s in Educational Counseling, and an Arizona School Counseling certificate.
Though she had originally set her sights on counseling and psychotherapy, her work experience took her down another path. Right after graduating AWC, she went to work for a medical clinic, where her supervisor told her about an opening at the Housing Authority of the City of Yuma (HACY). Being hired for that position started her career at HACY, where she served in several capacities, ending with program coordinator of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. “Under this program I prepared and guided residents of low-income housing to improve their financial situation and become free of government assistance,” she said. “Here is where I started to collaborate with AWC and NAU and loved the environment and decided NAU was where to wanted to be!”
Working closely with those institutions, she guided clients to attend college, pursue a career, and become financially self-sufficient. “I loved the uplifting and supportive environment of higher education and decided to pursue a career in higher education,” she says.
She began working at NAU Yuma in January 2000 as a program coordinator in the areas of advising, career services, and recruitment. Later, she was appointed to the position of interim assistant director of Enrollment Services, and then she served as assistant dean for five years. She’s also had the opportunity to work with the NAU Nursing Department, and for the last four years has provided oversight of Academic Success Services. She says skills learned while earning her bachelor’s degree with a business emphasis and her master’s in counseling were very useful in her careers with NAU.
She says the most rewarding thing about working at NAU Yuma has been “by far, assisting students realize their goal of obtaining a higher education degree. As assistant dean, I had the opportunity to be a change agent in implementing processes to support student transfer and degree completion.” The thing she will miss most is “working with students and our wonderful NAU Yuma family.”
At the same time, she says: “I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, doing some traveling—I love the outdoors, so playing in the water and sand will be wonderful—as well as spending time with my dogs and cat and in my garden.”
She leaves these words of wisdom for her colleagues: “As Dr. Ron Pitt (previous NAU provost) used to say, ‘If you are going to err, err on the side of the student.’ Continue loving what you do.”