NCCCSPA Board Members
I grew up in a trailer park in rural North Carolina. "Redneck" may best describe the lifestyles of my friends and neighbors. I left there at 18 to go to college, and I'm thankful every day for that decision. Many folks made sacrifices so I could pursue higher education, and I intend to value their sacrifices by supporting others in their journeys.
My road to teaching was long and twisty-turny (Do we really care if these are real words?). I'm not sure I know exactly how I ended up here. One thing I do know is that my life is more valuable when I am sharing it with others. My classroom is sacred space to me, and my students are not just minds to be opened, but hearts and souls to be nurtured.
Learning is hard and messy. I see my role as someone who helps students navigate the sometimes-foreign world of higher education. I believe in the importance of stepping back from myself and understanding my own life in the context of a complex social world. I feel giddy when students are able to do this for the first time. That's the power of Sociology, and that's why I love it so much.
When I'm not teaching, I can generally be found hanging with my dogs and cats, my uber-nerdy wife, reading books, watching science fiction, quilting, or making clothing in my sewing room. I plan on perfecting the "boring old person" stereotype.
Hi! My name is Sara Neeves (pronounced like "leaves" with an "n"). I am a full-time faculty member at Forsyth Tech. I have been teaching since 2010 and I love what I do--it really is such a rewarding career to help students be successful and guide them on their educational journeys.
I graduated from UNC Greensboro with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies. I attended graduate school at Virginia Tech (GO HOKIES!) and in 2008 I received my Master of Science degree in Human Development, with a concentration in Family Studies. I completed all of my coursework and qualifying exams for my Ph.D. in Human Development in 2012, but realized that a Ph.D. heavily geared towards research was no longer a passion of mine. I left with all but my dissertation finished in order to pursue my real passion – teaching!
Throughout graduate school I worked as an Emergency Services Clinician in Blacksburg, where I was responsible for completing emergency psychiatric assessments and involuntary commitments to state and private psychiatric facilities. I also provided mental health supports and case management services to women and men receiving welfare benefits who were also diagnosed with a serious mental illness or substance use disorder, with the overall goal of helping them return to or enter the workforce.
My work in community mental health, along with my research experience in issues relating to intimate partner violence, maternal distress and cumulative disadvantage, parent-child relationships, human sexuality, and power dynamics in relationships provides me many opportunities to show students how they can relate course material to their own personal lives.