By Dr. Ashley Nicoloff and Dr. Krysten Pampel
About Dr. Ashley Nicoloff
Inspiring stories: Who or what inspired you to be who you are today in relation to your work at GCC? How did it impact you?
To quote Robert Frost “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth.” I remember reading this poem in 12th grade English class and it really resonated with me. Since then, I have felt that some of my education decisions have diverged from the path that all of my friends took. My plan was to go to U of A for college. I would room with my best friend and we would have a great 4 years together. My plan didn’t quite work out as I had hoped, and my high school advisor told me about the Presidential Scholarship that I would qualify for at Glendale Community College. It was the only scholarship I qualified for (due to circumstances I would not understand until about 5 years later), and it seemed my only option. All of my friends were headed off to U of A, but I stayed behind to go to GCC. At the time, it seemed my life was in ruins, but with time and perspective, this decision to go to GCC would turn out to be the best decision of my life.
I started GCC as a Psychology major, but had always had a passion for math and was going to minor in it. As my classes in Psychology progressed, I decided that it wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be. It really wasn’t until Anne Dudley’s Calculus 2 class that I decided to change my major to Mathematics so that I could become a Math teacher at the college level. After I graduated GCC with my Associate’s I went to Arizona State to complete my Bachelors and Masters. There I met my best friend, who now has an office two doors down from me 🙂 (A.K.A. Dr. Krysten Pampel). I finished my degree and interviewed for GCC and the rest is history 😉
I love that my college education started at GCC and that I get to work here and share the same passion with my students as my teachers did for me. Making that decision to go to GCC has impacted my life in numerous ways. To quote Robert Frost again “two roads diverged in a wood and I– I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.” I have this poem in my office to remind me that although life can throw you curve balls, usually everything turns out alright in the end.
The Road Not Taken
BY ROBERT FROST
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.