The Class of 2019

Nicole Carlson

Assistant Provost for Academic Programs, Online Education, UMass Amherst; Age 39
Education: UMass Amherst (BA, MBA)

Nicole Carlson

Nicole Carlson

What did you want to be when you grew up? A flight attendant. I remember pronouncing stewardess as ‘hewardess’ when I was young. I think it was because I wanted to travel. Ironically, I haven’t traveled much, but hope to in my retirement, only now I’d rather take an RV across the country and make stops along the way and camp outside.

What three words best describe you? Trustworthy, respectful, adaptable.

What are you passionate about? Learning. Every day is an opportunity for learning. Every interaction, experience, and conversation we have is an opportunity for learning.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? Reflection. I remember to reflect on who I am and what I’ve done. We are not perfect, and I am not perfect, as a mother, wife, employee, daughter, friend, or sister. Reflection allows us to recognize our deficiencies, but reflection also helps us realize and be proud of what we have overcome and accomplished.

What fictional character do you relate to most, and why? Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Not only because it is my favorite movie, but because Dorothy, while initially seen as meek, is actually strong, direct, and ready to take on a challenge with everything she’s got. She is also generous and loyal to her friends and family.

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? It is hard to pick just one. I would want to have lunch with each of my grandparents and my husband’s grandparents. I want to hear about their lives as young children, the struggles our families had to overcome, the successes they achieved — all the things that make up our family history and our families today. I would then tell these stories to my son.

What will work colleagues say at your funeral? “She had a calm confidence, worked hard, but didn’t take work too seriously. She was a problem solver, a good listener, dependable, realistic about what to expect, and had an ‘it’s all going to be fine’ mentality.”

How do you define success? By trying. It doesn’t matter whether the outcome is positive or not, the fact that you tried is a success. We learn more from our failures than our successes.

 

Photography by Leah Martin Photography

Related Posts