Go to content

Employee Profile - October 2009

Mary MoaHumble and gracious, Mary Moa, an employee in environmental services, is quick to credit others for her recent accomplishment. But it was Moa herself who persevered, studied and finally walked the stage May 3 at Fair Park in Dallas, as she received her associate of science degree from El Centro College.

A Dallas native, Moa started college in 1992, but life happened along the way. She had children. Her parents passed away. It wasn’t until years later, at the suggestion of her children, that she returned to school to begin her higher education journey. She says her new associate degree is only the first step, as she now works toward a bachelor’s degree.

“This was their idea,” Moa says, referring to 14-year-old Ricky and 13-year-old Marissa. “They told me they’ll catch up with me in college.”

Already, Moa and her children have had common experiences. She realized one semester that her son’s government teacher also was her own government instructor at El Centro.

Moa says she’s had great support from her coworkers at HSC-Baylor College of Dentistry. She remembers how Joe Fields and Raymundo Moreno, her supervisors in environmental services, always told her she could do it. Moa also got encouragement and even some pointers from the biomedical sciences faculty. As she worked through the building during her shift from 5 to 8:30 p.m., she got to know the professors and they cheered her through school. Associate Professor Dr. Jay Groppe took the time to introduce trigonometry to Moa, which is the next course she is taking at El Centro as she advances her education into the next step.

That next step is preparing to attend the University of Texas at Dallas. Moa wants to major in biology. After that, she aspires to attend dental school. Perhaps in a few more years Moa will be walking the halls at HSC-BCD not as a staff member, but as a student. Determination can be a powerful motivator.