Happy birthday to an RCBC alumna and faculty member Shellie Hughes
Monday, Apr 22, 2019

Shellie Hughes

The following story was submitted by Shellie Hughes who graduated from Rowan College at Burlington County in 1989. Shellie teaches future Barons at Cherokee High School and current Barons as senior adjunct faculty member. Today is Shellie’s birthday and she is turning 50 during the same year as the college.

By Shellie Hughes

RCBC is, and has been a part of my life from a young age. My divorced mother worked two jobs to support my sister and myself. So, community college was a natural fit for me to further my education.

When I graduated from RCBC, all of my business credits transferred toward my bachelor’s degree in Accounting with the Rutgers School of Business in Camden.

Shortly after receiving my first accounting job, I had to change occupations because a rare eye virus left me blind in one eye. After some short-term jobs, and knowing I had to reinvent a new career, I returned to RCBC’s Mount Laurel Campus to complete my master’s degree in Management with the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Unbeknownst to me, the master’s degree was integral in the process of becoming a high school teacher through New Jersey’s alternate route program. In 1999, Cherokee High School in Marlton hired me as a business teacher and I went through the program while I taught school. During the one-year certification process, I took classes at various locations including Rowan University.

After 10 years at Cherokee, I wanted to go back to the community college that made my fulfilling job as a business teacher possible, and returned to RCBC in 2009 as a senior adjunct faculty member. That was 10 years ago, and I continue to teach both college and high school students and love working with each group. I feel I am better able to prepare my high school students for college with the experience of teaching at RCBC. I often mix my two “worlds” in three ways. First, I get the privilege to teach my Cherokee students at RCBC when they enroll in the college to take my course. Also, some students I teach at Cherokee earn college credits through RCBC’s College Acceleration Program. Finally, my Cherokee Entrepreneurship students enter the Startup Stars business plan competition held each year at RCBC.

Now, RCBC is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the same year of my own 50th birthday. In 50 years, I have encountered my share of personal struggles but also plenty of opportunities that were only available due to the education that started with my college education at RCBC. I am proud to be a Cherokee teacher and RCBC adjunct and to provide other students the same opportunities. I hope by sharing my story, others will know that they can use the education at RCBC as the bridge to make their dreams come true at all stages of their life.

Shellie’s story is part of RCBC’s 50 stories for 50 years. In honor of the college’s 50th anniversary, RCBC is profiling students, faculty, administrators, alumni and the college community. Anyone interested in being featured can contact rcbcnews@rcbc.edu. To follow along on social media, use #RCBC50Stories.