College of Education and Behavioral Sciences News
Cierra Waller receives Trailblazer Award
- WKU News
- Wednesday, March 8th, 2023
Cierra Waller, Associate Director for Student Success in WKU’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, was honored recently during the 26th Annual Trailblazers Black History Month program.
Waller, a native of Bowling Green, was recognized with the Innovative Teaching and Learning award at the Feb. 26 celebration at Eleventh Street Baptist Church.
Waller is a 2005 graduate of Bowling Green High School, a 2010 graduate of Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in Medicine, Health & Safety, and a 2012 graduate of Western Kentucky University with a Master of Public Administration degree.
“The value of education and possessing a heart of service runs deep in my family,” she said. “They all were active servants in education and in their community that blazed a path for others and me to walk.”
Her grandfather, James Cosby Jr., worked in the kitchen at WKU at a time when he couldn’t attend. Her mother, Janet Cosby Waller, was the first of his children to receive a WKU degree along with five of his grandchildren. Her great-grandmother, Mary Watson, received degrees from Kentucky State University and Tennessee State University and was one of the first special education teachers in Kentucky, serving for 44 years. Her uncle, Melvin Watson, retired at WKU and served on the Staff Senate.
“It’s my honor to continue their legacy in my own way and it is my hope to blaze a trail for the amazing generations after me to run and soar to even greater heights,” Waller said.
In her role at CITL, Waller works to champion student success, diversity, equity and inclusion. She also works with the ONE WKU Inclusive Teaching Academy, which was the first program in Kentucky to receive the Council on Postsecondary Education’s Cultural Competence Certification. She also served as Student Success Coordinator and Academic Advisor in WKU’s Potter College of Arts & Letters.
Waller serves the campus and community as a member of the WKU Staff Senate, the WKU Alumni Association National Board of Directors, the Why Knot Us Too Advisory Council, Jonesville Academy Advisory Council, and the Bowling Green Independent School District Board of Education.
Her recognitions and awards include WKU President’s Award for Outstanding Staff Advisement (2017), Southeastern Association of Housing Officers Academic Collaboration Award for Living Learning Communities, ACPA–College Student Educators International 2023 Collaborative Excellence Award for Living Learning Communities, and the Dr. Lloren Foster Lift Every Voice Award from the WKU Intercultural Student Engagement Center.