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

WINR graduate credits program for her literary success

By Shamber Swindler/reporter

Throughout TCC graduate Kathleen Rodgers’ years as a military wife and mother, she wrote about military life. Rodgers knew she could write well and enjoyed it, writing for magazines like Family Circle.

In 1992, Rodgers’ husband retired, and she began work on a novel.

“I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t sometimes,” the 50-year-old said.

But after 10 years of not being published, Rodgers decided to return to school. She briefly attended a university right after high school in New Mexico but ended up coming home and getting married.

Her next stop would be TCC. Rodgers, a mother of two, attended classes on NE Campus the same semester as her sons.

“My boys despised the thought of having a class with me,” she said. “I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, that I could go back to school and do well.”

While attending TCC, Rodgers was a student of American literature assistant professor Cindy Baw and counselor Anita Peters. Both TCC professors said Rodgers stood out in their class.

“I still remember where Kathleen sat in my class, and that was back in 2003,” Peters said.

Rodgers was one of Peters’ first students in the Women In New Roles program at TCC. Throughout the semester, Peters continuously encouraged Rodgers to “believe in herself,” and Peters validated her talent.

Rodgers said Peters is a teacher who has a “go for it” attitude and constantly cheers her students on.

“Anita was non-judgmental about me, and she gave a lot of encouragement,” Rodgers said while trying to hold back tears.

When Rodgers took Baw’s American literature class, she was the oldest student in it.

“Kathleen was one of those enthusiastic moms who returns to school and greatly appreciates the learning experience,” Baw said.

Rodgers said Baw is the kind of teacher who really helps students and doesn’t just give them assignments.

“Cindy is a kind and respectful woman who was non-judgmental with me,” Rodgers said. “I was a nationally published writer but was a writer who had lost her way.”

Rodgers was and still is appreciative of all the help Peters and Baw offered her.

Another woman who contributed to Rodgers’ now-published book is Anita Robeson, a professional copy editor. Rodgers said Robeson took her on as a “charity case” helping her with her book manuscripts.

In December 2006, Rodgers graduated from TCC with high honors.

“Walking across that stage gave me confidence. It made me realize that if I worked hard, I could do it,” she said.

Rodgers said attending TCC made her realize there was more to the world than just her husband, her children and her little writing cubby.

In high school, Rodgers was a shy student who never asked questions. While at TCC, she learned that asking questions is a good thing to do. She now knows that questions are the best way to learn.

Rodgers has another achievement to be proud of, too. Her first book, The Final Salute, was recently published by Leatherneck Publishing. The Final Salute is about a fighter pilot who gets called to the Middle East after Iraq invades Kuwait. The book shows the side of the fighter pilots in the war and of their families back home.

Rodgers is currently working on a second novel. She hopes to get back to work on it this semester, after spending last fall promoting The Final Salute.

“I want to be a beacon of hope to other people that don’t think they can have success,” she said.

Rodgers has her own Web site, www.kathleenmrodgers.com, and is on her publisher’s Web site, www.leatherneckpublishing.com.

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