Laredo College trailblazing icon retires after 12 years - Laredo Morning Times

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Courtesy of Laredo College

Dean Caroline Smith


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Friday, January 29, was a painful time for the Laredo College community. Administrators, faculty, staff, and students bid again with a beloved university leader. This changed the course of the college’s history. Thousands of students and colleagues have left an indelible mark in their lives.

Carolyn Schmies, Dean of Laredo College’s South Campus, retired after working at the College for more than 12 years. Although she wishes to rest, spend time with her family and pursue other life goals, she reaffirmed her unrelenting love for university and the great friendship and working relationship she has built over the years.

Dr. Ricardo J. Solis, Dean of Laredo College, praised Dean Schmies and said that she was not only a good friend and colleague, but also a pioneering woman.

"Although her time at Laredo Academy is over, I know she still has a lot of good time to look forward to," Solis said. "I can't think of anyone who is more worthy of retirement than Caroline. Words such as positive and optimistic simply cannot fully describe her. She is an extraordinary woman whose glass ceiling was shattered and became us A role model for other strong and capable women in the community."

Schmies is a native of Seattle, Washington and has traveled here since childhood. During her childhood and adolescence, due to her father's occupation, she lived in Ohio, Pennsylvania and India. He is a pastor and was chosen as the first African American missionary in their church.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Language Communication and Sociology from Anderson University and a Master of Arts in Communication from Ball State University. From the early days of her career, she has been passionate about helping students succeed in the classroom.

Her first job was as a school teacher for sixth graders in Indianapolis. Later, she became a reference librarian for six months before joining General Motors, where she worked more than 36 years. Despite her young age, due to her impeccable professional ethics and undeniable leadership skills, Schmies became the first female and African-American executive of General Motors, and was later promoted to the company’s first female buyer. Home.

After several promotions, she was transferred to Laredo and worked at a company gas station in Mexico, where she again became the first female and African American. She traveled all over Mexico and fell in love with Mexican people and culture.

After retiring from General Motors, she served as Director of Food and Beverage at Laredo Country Club, then ventured into a business and founded her own company, Schmies and Associates. The consulting company specializes in training and activities.

In 2009, the current provost stumbled upon the university’s voice lecturer position, and the rest is history. She started working as a part-time lecturer in the South Campus and got a full-time position only a few months later. A year later, she was promoted to the head of the Reading and Communication Department and had to relocate to Ft. Mackintosh campus.

The name of the department was changed to the business and communications department the following year. She worked for another year and a half, then resigned and returned to the classroom until 2019, when she was appointed as the interim dean of the South Campus. A few months later, she was officially appointed as the Dean of the South Campus, overlooking an important department of the college.

She is a pioneer and pioneer with outstanding performance in a male-dominated field. She never loses her sense of humanity and sincere love and compassion, and always respects the needs of others.

She said: "Excellence is my goal in everything I do." "I have high hopes for myself. I love others, so I try to do my best. Being the first female and black person in many of my roles has increased me Additional motivation to become the pinnacle of the game. I am very dedicated and willing to "go far" and give the necessary time and energy."

As a self-proclaimed person, it is no surprise that she has been involved in community activities all her life. She has held various leadership positions in many non-profit organizations and civil organizations, including serving as vice president of Laredo United Way, president of Laredo literacy volunteers, vice president of Optimist Club, Laredo Leadership female regional ambassador, member of the board of directors of the holding institute. And chairman of the Joint Road Committee of Laredo College.

In addition, she has been recognized by multiple awards, such as the 2017 Pioneer Women Award in Labor, Business and Education, the 2018 Young Female Student Leadership Summit Pioneer Award, Laredo College Pioneer Women Award and the U.S. Border Patrol The Black History Award.

The dean said that she felt happy for her good life and put in a lot of hard work, and she was rewarded for it. She said that although she loves all her jobs, she has the highest percentage of serving as dean of the South Campus.

She added that the university has always been a good place to work, and even without her, the institution will continue to be successful. She was full of great lessons, memories and friendship, and left with confidence. She thanked President Solis for acknowledging her talents and giving her the opportunity to shine and change leaders.

Dean Schmies' outstanding and respected professional and personal achievements predate her. She will be deeply missed and always remembered as a transformational leader, mentor and educator.

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