• CCPRO Member Spotlight •
Coming to community colleges from a PR agency, she initially was challenged by the slower pace and shared governance. “There is never enough time or funding to do all that we want to do,” and added, “the frequent priority shifts, learning new tools and trends, along with combining marketing, public information, and governmental relations, all keep me on my toes.” Sound familiar? Beyond these challenges, Miya also finds a sounding board and support from her CCPRO ‘buds,’ including Tim Leong (Contra Costa CCD), Leticia Clark (South Orange County CCD), Jill Dolan (Mt. SAC CCD), and Michelle Long-Coffee (West LA College).
Having earned a B.A Degree in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Rhetorical Analysis for Public Relations from Cal State Northridge, and an M.A degree from USC in Strategic Public Relations, Miya’s career path began working for British Airways while in college. “I loved it,” she said. But working up the administrative ladder in community colleges? No, Miya thinks that she’d rather enjoy teaching as her next gig.
Knowing that earning an advanced degree doesn’t give one all the tools they need to be successful in her line of work, Miya shared that if she were to give a presentation to aspiring Marketing and Public Relations majors, her words of wisdom would include the need to know a bit about everything and learn to be one’s own content creator. Additionally, she says, “It’s also really important to be someone people can trust and depend on. Make it easy for your team and your colleagues to confide in you and count on you when they need it most. Be a safe place – and keep your word
And speaking of passion, what did Miya think her president would have to say about her? “He believes I am capable and passionate. I’m not always patient so I have to temper my passion because it could come across like I’m a smarty pants – which I’m not – well, a little. I’m just really fired up about my work,” she says. But is that an accurate reflection of what her president thinks? Well, there’s only one way to find out! When asked, Jose L. Fierro, Ph.D., President/Superintendent of Cerritos College responded with, “I have had the pleasure to work with Miya for nearly 7 years now. Miya is a consummate professional and an asset to the leadership team. She does not hesitate to jump headfirst into any project, large or small, and her creativity has no limits. We have our differences from time to time, which is one of the characteristics that I appreciate most about her. Miya will not simply agree with me if her views differ from mine, and I value our productive debates, her willingness to voice her opinion, listen to others’ opinions, and always work to build the best possible solution for a given situation. I appreciate Miya and I am looking forward to many more years working as a team.” It doesn’t get much better than that!
Stepping beyond Miya’s professional life, she offers up that she is in the middle of three children with an older brother and younger sister. And unlike many people in technological careers, her mother knows and understands what Miya does for a living and is, “Always trying to promote me and what I do, although it can be a bit much.” In her fantasies Miya thinks she might enjoy living in Washington DC –or Amsterdam or in the south of France. And if she could have any superpower? “My superpower would let me predict the future to have control when I need it and prepare for whatever comes my way,” was Miya’s response.
So a fun person to be around or a consummate professional? There’s no need to choose. Miya Walker embodies both qualities and is someone you’d enjoy getting to know. So, if you’re attending the 2022 CCPROconference next April and you should see Miya, by all means stop and say “hi!”