American Association of Community Colleges Honors Adair

Vivyan Adair
Vivyan Adair
Vivyan Adair, the Elihu Root Peace Fund Associate Professor of Women’s Studies, was among five community college alumni presented with the Outstanding Alumni Award on April 19, at the 90th annual convention of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) held in Seattle, Wash. The award is presented annually to individuals who have excelled in their field and given back to the community.

A victim of domestic violence, Adair enrolled in North Seattle Community College (NSCC) where she found the nurturing and support she needed to begin rebuilding a life for herself and her infant daughter. Says Adair, “I often feel I was reborn at North Seattle Community College, I came alive. But it also became my family – a family in a literal sense because I was living here and spending all my time here; a family in the sense that my teachers were creating a new person.”

Adair graduated from NSCC and went on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and her doctorate from the University of Washington. Now, as an associate professor of women’s studies, she specializes in “examining representations of women on welfare and how they are impacted by welfare reform, education and public policy.”

Drawing from her own experiences, she has launched initiatives to help others in similar circumstances. She founded the ACCESS Project at Hamilton in 2000. The educational, social service and career pilot program helps disadvantaged parents earn college degrees so they can move past welfare and low paying jobs into meaningful employment.
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