Small towns and working with data provide Cathy Fulkerson most of what she wants out of life.
“A lot of people think I’m crazy to do what I do and can’t imagine working with data all day long,” said Fulkerson, who has just joined Western Nevada College as director of Institutional Research.
“I see patterns in it. I love it,” she said.
She also prefers a small town environment, and Carson City a nice fit.
“I don’t like crowds, long lines and traffic,” she said. “I like smaller, community-owned book stores, live music. … There is an art scene, baseball, softball and an observatory. This is an amazing little town, frankly.”
Fulkerson came to WNC from Great Basin College in Elko, where she served as director of institutional research since 2010.
In a little more than a month on the job, she is learning about the students and the many communities that WNC serves. She’ll be providing regular data to help college officials determine how well students are doing and how well the college is preparing them to succeed.
In addition, Fulkerson will be responsible for federal and state reporting requirements.
After earning her master’s degree in anthropology from Washington State University, she spent a decade working as an archaeologist. Then she was hired by WSU to work in the school’s library, becoming involved in distance education; and eventually joining the institutional research department.
The fifth-generation Nevadan is happy to move closer to her parents, who live in Reno. She’s also invigorated by the ever-present sunshine, which was often missing on those rainy and foggy days in the Pacific Northwest.
“I hope to ride my bike to work,” she said.
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