Sheila Burson Alumni Bio
After a car accident that left me with multiple injuries, including brain damage, I was told I would never be able to work again. However, a speech therapist helped me learn about my condition by encouraging me to take a class at my local community college. By the end of the semester I realized that with accommodations I could continue my education. My second semester introduced me to Phi Theta Kappa and I began my work with Phi Theta Kappa and served as a chapter officer with Butte College’s Beta Theta Kappa chapter with this large, international family I’ve never been happier. I went on to serve as both the Northeast Vice President and as President of the Nevada/California Region of Phi Theta Kappa, culminating with running for international office in 2010. After graduating at the top of my class, continuing on to a 4-year university and eventually getting my MFA (as well as publishing 2 books and currently working on the third in a trilogy), I was able to appreciate the help and encouragement Phi Theta Kappa offered and decided to give back.
I began by joining the Nevada/California Regional Alumni Association. It quickly became apparent that my particular skill set was a perfect fit. While I have been elected to all the positions (except one), sometimes serving in more than one, I thoroughly enjoy my current position as Executive Vice President. I have the type of personality that feels just fine standing back, pitching in where I’m needed and encouraging others to “step up to the plate,” so to speak. Often I find myself looking among other alumni willing to help with specific tasks such as judging for various contests and scholarships the Region and Alumni offer and I’m amazed at what a wonderful group of students can come up with, especially in the creative and scholarship realms. Mentoring and boosting others as they reach for their personal goals is immensely satisfying and I hope to continue doing this.
My hope for the future of this organization is the same one that I left with the Regional Officer team who succeeded me – that they do better than I have, that they enjoy their time and that they continue with the Alumni Association.
Executive Vice President
Nevada/California Regional Alumni Association