According to SUNY Corning Community College Professor of Psychology, Debra Borden, education has the power to make all of us better.
“Education is the most important thing a person can have,” said Debra. “It’s the only thing that can make positive change in this world.”
Though she didn’t become an educator until midway through her professional years, Debra took her own education seriously. She went to Wayland University in Texas and received a bachelor’s degree in business. Debra spent the next 10 years working at the Department of Defense researching the role of women in the military.
“I worked for corporate America for a long time and I hated the number crunching, and I realized I loved working with people,” said Debra. “I decided to go back to school after many years and get a master’s degree that would allow me to work more closely with others.”
Debra received her master’s degree in organizational management from the University of La Verne, while also studying psychology at Berne University. She was still unsure of what she truly wanted to do when a friend asked her to be a guest speaker in her college class.
“I was halfway through my speech when I realized that’s what I should be doing for a career,” said Debra. “I loved the interaction with the students, and the challenging questions they asked me. It was such a good atmosphere.”
Debra decided to pursue teaching and taught as an adjunct at Wayland University in Alaska for five years. When her husband, a Corning, N.Y., native retired from the military, the Bordens moved to the Southern Tier. Debra began teaching at SUNY CCC in 1993.
“What makes SUNY CCC special is the diversity we have amongst our students,” said Debra. “We have students who are going to transfer and students who are going straight into the workforce, and that really brings a variety of discussions to the classroom. It’s rewarding to see all of the students start to believe in themselves and build confidence.”
Debra recently received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.
“Winning this award means a lot to me because a colleague nominated me for it,” said Debra. “That individual thought that what I have been contributing is important and worthwhile. If I knew who nominated me I would surely thank them.”
Debra plans on teaching for a few more years before retiring on her 400-acre farm, where she and her husband raise Red Angus Cattle and Boer Goats.
“I spent most of my young adult life traveling around the world, so at this point in my life I am looking forward to relaxing on my front porch and watching my animals in the pasture.”