Alumni Rising: Education drives Adult Degree grad Dansbury

UW-Green Bay Adult Degree Alumna Vickie DansburyA new leadership role is just one of Vickie Dansbury’s many accomplishments.

The 2006 UW-Green Bay Adult Degree alumna was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

At UW-Green Bay, Dansbury received her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a self-directed area of emphasis in the social sciences. She went on to complete graduate work in marriage and family therapy at Edgewood College in Madison, receiving her master’s just recently.

A native of Beloit, Dansbury started college in the 1970s but family considerations forced her to drop out. Still, she never lost her desire to become the first in her family to have a degree. In 2003 she began taking classes at UW-Green Bay through the Adult Degree program.

Dansbury would complete her work at the Dane County Mental Health Center, then drive to Green Bay on Friday nights so she could attend classes on Saturday. Then take the three-hour drive back to Beloit on Sunday.

“It would have never happened without my husband Robert. He values education and was so supportive,” she said.

In fact, her husband rented a bus and brought friends and family from Beloit and Madison to Green Bay so they could watch Dansbury cross the stage when it was time for her to receive her degree. It was the first time her parents attended a college graduation. They were born in the 1920s and grew up during the Great Depression and WW II era, when there were few opportunities for people of color to even consider college.

“I think that watching me graduate, they ‘got it.’ They understood why I had been gone all those weekends,” she said.

Dansbury, who works with clients at the Mental Health Center of Dane County, and The Family Clinic, a clinic operated by Edgewood College, lauds the UW-Green Bay community for the support she received while pursuing her degree.

“I think that one thing that the program at UW-Green Bay did was to sharpen my focus and taught me to use critical thinking in my everyday interactions,” she said. “I have no qualms or hesitation about referring UW-Green Bay to anyone. I know the educational system is stellar and the educators are more than qualified.”

For more on the Adult Degree program, see the A.L.L. Winter Newsletter.