Chalana Scales-Ferguson, Director of Academic Success, has been selected by the MU Women’s Law Association as this year’s recipient of the Carey Mae Carroll Award. Each year, this honor is awarded to a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the advancement of women. The MU WLA has selected Professor Ferguson for her commitment to students and fellow faculty in addition to her consistent cheers and recognition of the achievements of women at Mizzou and beyond. The Carey Mae Carroll Award is a celebration of Professor Ferguson’s extraordinary efforts in finding ways to help folk succeed and her intersectional approach that ensures that no student is left behind.
Upon receiving this award, Professor Ferguson wished to share the following words:
Greetings! I have communicated with WLA President Carley Johansson already through tearful eyes, but given this beautiful announcement, I am compelled to share with the entire Hulston Hall community how humbling it is to receive this recognition from the Women’s Law Association. What an honor! When I first stepped in Hulston Hall last year to present at an event, I immediately felt a connection with the students. This led me to apply for the Director of Academic Success position after, having no plans to leave St. Louis, I ignored the posting several times. Once I arrived on campus full time, I was gratified once it became abundantly clear I have come to a place where I felt valued by my colleagues, and the students were excited about my presence and the work I came to do. While I have yet to scratch the surface, it is because the students have been so clear about their expectations and were trusting enough to provide information that I could begin tailoring a program that serves the specific needs of students at Mizzou Law. Several of those students are members of WLA who were unapologetic about sharing their law school experiences, thereby creating a springboard from which to launch. I am overwhelmed by their interpretation of my work and presence on campus and am grateful they have pointed out parts of me I have not fully understood about myself. This opens the door for continued development in the academic support space.
It is extremely rewarding to know that I have had an impact in this short time and despite being unable to serve physically for most of this semester. I thank all of you for contributing to the work this past year, and I look forward to the growth of the Academic Success Program. Have a great summer, congratulations to our new alumni, and I look forward to seeing you soon!
Chalana M. Scales-Ferguson