ALUM and long-time GRCC employee Lilly K. Anderson keeps steady growth in work, education and personal life balanced.
Lilly K. (Kozal) Anderson’s story begins like thousands of other students’ stories: She came to GRJC in 1987 following high school on Grand Rapids’ west side and quickly found work as a student worker while attending classes. But fast-forward to today and you’ll realize how far those first few steps have taken her.
She is currently Associate Dean of GRCC’s Lakeshore Campus & Academic Outreach, which means she is instrumental in the rapidly growing learning locations beyond GRCC’s Main and DeVos campuses in downtown Grand Rapids. Those locations include six in Ottawa County and several others in Kent County that spread south to Byron Center, east to Lowell and north to Kent City and Rockford. That keeps Lilly on the road quite a bit, averaging about 225 miles and 10-12 meetings per week.
If that seems like a daunting schedule, you don’t know Lilly. She also has a doctorate in Community College Leadership at Ferris State University in progress right now.
Lilly says getting her doctoral degree is both a professional and personal goal, and it is easy to see that improving her education while working has been the norm for her. Her first job at GRJC was as a student employee in the Information Office, plus a part time position for Continuing Education. Her first full-time position – at what was by then GRCC – was in the Center for Environmental Study as an Office Manager, and she continued moving up the ranks from Information Technology/Institutional Research Secretary to Information Technology Help Desk worker to Human Resources Coordinator and Human Resources Generalist. She also found time to teach Introduction to College (CLS100) for GRCC as an adjunct professor. And simultaneously, Lilly, a first generation college student, was always moving steadily through her academic goals as well, achieving her A.A. from GRJC, B.A. from Davenport University – both in business – and her Master’s degree from Baker College in Human Resources Management.
Lilly has already mapped out a few more steps into her future. She hopes earning her doctorate will provide advancement opportunities, and, when that goal is reached, she wants to learn Spanish.
Looks like Lilly will add Lifelong Learner to her many accomplishments.