Dr. Linda Fleming, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs
Celebrating Women in the Workplace at NPRC
March is Women’s History Month, when we celebrate the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. With this series, we intend to highlight some of Northern Pennsylvania Regional College’s (NPRC) women and their contributions to the College and higher education as a whole.
In another life, Dr. Linda Fleming was a musician, but when she turned 25, she changed careers and earned her master’s degree in counseling psychology with the goal of becoming a school counselor. Eventually, she started working as a therapist at a residential facility for children. Under the encouragement of her advisors, Dr. Fleming went back to college and earned her doctorate in counseling psychology, allowing her to do two things she loved: research and teaching. After graduation, Dr. Fleming was offered a position at Gannon University in Erie, PA, as a faculty member in their counseling psychology program, which she accepted. Through 20 years at Gannon University, she had the opportunity to be the liaison to NPRC for six of them, and when she retired from Gannon, Dr. Fleming joined NPRC as a consultant, then as Chief of Staff, and later, VP of Academic and Student Affairs.
Dr. Fleming is a creative visionary and level-headed leader who works with others to imagine options and see multiple alternatives before assessing optimal actions, outcomes, and solutions. She works closely with all constituents to ensure that processes, programming, and activities are implemented in a way that is feasible and sustainable. Dr. Fleming considers her greatest contribution to be establishing the partnership between Gannon University and the ECUA, which started two associate degrees being offered across the northwestern PA region.
“We are in a time in our country when the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, where the advent of technology is creating great opportunities for some and leaving others behind,” says Dr. Fleming. “The pace of change has increased dramatically. Higher education is a great equalizer in society. It is essential to the future of the region to ensure that we have a well-trained workforce that can be nimble and prepared to meet the very quickly changing needs of the workplace.”
Dr Fleming leaves us with a message she considers valuable to all women who may be reading this: Don’t be afraid to fail. We often choose not to pursue a goal because we are afraid we will fail at it. I have failed many times and have learned that failure is not the problem. All failures are opportunities for learning. I also keep in mind a quote from Wayne Gretsky, a hall of fame hockey player who said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So when something new and big and scary comes your way, perhaps see it as an opportunity and take your shot.
Dr. Fleming is only one of the inspiring women we are celebrating this month. Join us throughout March for other features Celebrating Women in the Workplace at NPRC and help us share these inspiring pieces to open a world of possibilities for our local young women!