Troy Moon, Pensacola State College
A mission of all Pensacola State College staff is to serve the students. But sometimes, the students are the staffers themselves.
Katja Lunsford, an administrative assistant at the College’s South Santa Rosa Center, and Theresa O’Quinn, senior executive assistant to the vice president of business affairs, were among the graduates recognized at Saturday’s 2020 Spring and Summer Commencement ceremony. Neither was able to attend the ceremony at the Pensacola Bay Center, but their names were on the program, and more importantly, their names are on their diplomas.
Both earned Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in Business and Management. O’Quinn’s area of concentration is Organizational Administration.
Lunsford’s concentration is Human Resource Management.
“I had been working on my bachelor’s degree for years,” said Lunsford, a married mother of three. “But I stopped to have a child, and just couldn’t concentrate on both. And my family comes first.”
She had previously earned an Associate of Arts degree from the University of Maryland. She graduated from PSC with magna cum laude honors.
She is contemplating earning a master’s degree in Organizational Psychology.
“I’d like to combine human resources and psychology,”’ Lunsford said. “I’m seriously considering it.”
Two of Lunsford’s children are grown, and her youngest is 11 years old.
“I don’t think he really grasps it all,” she said of her youngest son’s appreciation of Mom’s educational journey. “But I think he did like Mom and him having to do homework at the same time.”
O’Quinn, a first-generation college student, earned her first degree, an Associate of Arts degree, from Pensacola State College in 2013 ─ three years before she came to work for the College.
“I actually wanted to be in healthcare,” she said. “But God had a change of plans.”
Part of that plan included a baby girl who was born to O’Quinn and her husband, former PSC baseball player Justin O’Quinn, in 2005.
She did work in healthcare for a bit, as a local radiologist. She also worked in the legal field, as a customer service/front desk employee at the Escambia County Courthouse.
O’Quinn knows that students sometimes have trouble deciding what career path to choose. She’s had her share.
“My advice would be to just get out there and explore,” she said. “Just get in school and take some classes. You don’t have to know right away what you want to do. It will come to you.”
For O’Quinn, her time working at PSC has helped her pinpoint her own goals. She’s considering earning a master’s degree at Troy University.
“Once I started working at PSC, I knew I wanted to continue to pursue my education,” she said. “I love the College and wanted to advance in the organization, and I knew that would take higher degrees.”
She would love one day to be a human relations director.
“It wasn’t easy,” she said of earning her degree. “I have three children involved in sports. I was taking online classes and also going to school at night. There would be times when I’d take them to practice and Mom would be in the car doing homework. It was challenging, but it was fun. But now that it’s finished, it’s like something is missing. I have that feeling that I’m supposed to be doing something.”