The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Pioneer SE president steps down

Dr. Judith Carrier
Dr. Judith Carrier

By Karen Gavis/se news editor

After 40 years at Tarrant County College in various positions, Dr. Judith Carrier, SE Campus president, is stepping down.

“Sometimes, it really is time,” she said.

A pioneer among women, Carrier became TCC’s first woman president in 1996. She was also the first woman president of both the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Fort Worth.

Dr. Judith Carrier
Dr. Judith Carrier

Carrier earned her doctorate from the University of North Texas in 1971, received offers from NE and South campuses and chose a counselor/associate professor of psychology position on NE Campus. Following an interview in 1975 with former NW president Michael Saenz, she became dean of student developmental services in 1975 for the new NW Campus and, later, the founding president of SE.

“The SE building was finished one week before the semester began,” she said. “It was a little small, but we knew we could work with that, so we moved in, and we registered students on laptops and cell phones.”

Originally built for 5,500 students, SE opened with 4,000. After the addition of a new wing, the campus currently has a population of 15,000 students.

“The most important things are not things at all,” she said. “People outcomes are the most important to me.”

Carrier believes in equality among employees.

“SE is not about up-and-down titles, but about people working shoulder to shoulder to get the job done,” she said.

When she first arrived on SE, Carrier said she did not see much diversity. Although proud of being president, she receives more pleasure from making a difference in the lives of people as well as bringing diversity to the campus.

“It is very important for the students to be able to see themselves reflected in other students and in the leadership on campus,” she said.

TR Campus president Tahita Fulkerson worked with Carrier on NW Campus and joined her in opening SE Campus.

“She is one of the most energetic, creative and generous people I have ever known,” Fulkerson said. “She wants to put people on the pathway to success.”

Carrier recalled telling one graduate that she was proud of her as the student crossed the stage. The same student later told her that no one had ever spoken those words to her before. Carrier’s comment had inspired the student to go on to even greater achievements.

“I truly feel we are the heartbeat of the whole community,” Carrier said. “Many students are able to go on because we are here. If a person will apply themselves, we are going to be right there with them all the way.”

As a recent speaker for the Grand Prairie Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Carrier appeared smooth and at ease. Carrier said speaking and other things are easy for her.

”If you know you can do it, it is easy,” she said.

While some might regard challenges in life as obstacles, Carrier defines these life stressors as “exhilarating.” She has always known that she could do pretty much anything she set out to do. However, she said the times can affect choices.

Carrier says she is not retiring from life.

Three universities have offered her part-time teaching positions. She looks forward to having more time for herself as well as the museums and travel. She spends a lot of time reading but may take two days now to finish a book instead of one. Her favorite author is usually the one she has just finished reading. For now, that happens to be Americans in Paris by David McCullough. She says her only regret is that she won’t be able to bring her secretary with her.

Linda Blackman has been Carrier’s secretary for 10 years.

“She has been a wonderful president,” she said. “I appreciate her willingness to go above and beyond to do whatever it takes to help a student in the community. I am going to miss her.”

Carrier shared a special memory of having used her mother’s scissors, the ones that she had used when sewing, to cut the opening ribbon on SE shortly after her mother died.

“You get somewhere by doing the best job you can do, wherever you are and loving it,” is part of Carrier’s philosophy.

Carrier offered one last bit of advice.

“Smile and look them in the eye,” she said.

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