Transfer student and McNair Scholar
University of Texas at Arlington

“I wasn’t the traditional student — I was 47 when I started my associate degree, so I didn’t walk in straight from high school but was more the instructors’ equal in age. I loved North Lake and Andy Chiles’ Video Technology classes. Dane Sigua’s classes were wonderful, too. The whole department is just awesome. They treated me with the utmost respect and never made me feel stupid about what I didn’t know.

“Andy really gave me an eye for the camera, for what’s important to shoot and what isn’t, which was invaluable. Every documentary that I’ve worked on as a student project incorporates what I learned in the program.

“I was an administrative assistant for years, but just shoot me if you’re going to put me behind a desk; I can’t tolerate it anymore. But believe me, I know how to manage my time and be organized.

“What I want to do now is to make socially relevant documentaries. My dream documentaries to shoot? I’m interested in all kinds of women’s issues. And there are a number of subcultures that I’d love to explore.

“Video production allows me to use my creative side, use my writing skills, bring my writing to life visually and communicate to others in a profound way. There are just some things that you can’t tell a person; you have to show them. Video Technology has rolled up my interests and talents into one neat package. Now in earning my bachelor’s degree, I’m adding scholarly research. I wouldn’t mind being a professor one day either.”

Sharie Vance earned an associate degree in Video Technology at North Lake College. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree that incorporates film, anthropology and social psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Sherie was awarded several scholarships, including being selected for the elite McNair Scholars program, a federal TRIO program funded at 194 institutions across the U.S. and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Education. The McNair Scholars program is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education who have demonstrated strong academic potential. The program is named for Ronald E. McNair, one of the astronauts who lost his life in the Challenger space shuttle accident in 1986.