Black History Month Salute: Monica Burke
- Author: Wednesday, February 28th, 2018
“Black History Month is an opportunity for our nation and the world to get beyond the simple narrative that has been told,” said Dr. Monica Burke, Associate Professor in the WKU Department of Counseling and Student Affairs. “It’s an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of people who are descendants of Africa.”
Dr. Burke said she grew up with strong African American leadership, her parents, who always taught her to abide by the Golden Rule.
“I think of my parents as the most influential African American leaders that I’ve known. My mother and father always tried to take care of their community. If someone in their community needed help with paying an electricity bill, they’d help out with that. If someone was hungry, they were welcomed to come by the house to get a plate of food,” said Dr. Burke. “My father owned a successful business, and my mother was a teacher until she left teaching to help my father with the business. The care they took with their business and their community always impressed me. I try hard to emulate what they modeled for me.”
Dr. Burke said that one way she is able to care for others is through her career in teaching.
“I try to always be an advocate for my students, especially those who feel like they don’t have anywhere else to go. I truly care about the success of my students,” said Dr. Burke.
Dr. Burke said students can become more successful in college and in life by getting involved on campus. She urges new students to get connected right away.
“The skills you learn from getting involved on campus tend to grow and develop as you do more,” said Dr. Burke. “I was one of those students who didn’t do much on campus initially, but once I got to my junior and senior year, I was doing more and more. I wish I had started that earlier. When I was in graduate school, I was even more involved. Being engaged and involved on campus can help you enhance your leadership and communications skills. You learn to collaborate with others. Those are all skills that you will need throughout your life.”
To learn more about the programs offered within the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs, visit www.wku.edu/csa.