I grew up on a cattle farm in Yell County, Arkansas, where my dad raised Simmental cattle. I was a stop-out student who returned to college in my late 20s as a single parent. When I initially returned to college, no one thought I would finish a degree. Being one to accept a challenge, that just motivated me even more to finish a degree.
At the time, I was working really hard to do well, but I was barely passing my classes. One day, an instructor pulled me aside and told me that I was way too smart to be struggling so hard, and she directed me to talk to Disability Services at my university. I went in not expecting much since I had the idea that college was sink or swim. After speaking with the disability services coordinator, I realized I was able to receive a lot of support. I went from barely passing my classes to making Dean’s List, and it’s because I was using the support services that were available to me.
During my senior year of undergrad, I had a freak accident in which I lost my hearing overnight. I was really scared that I wouldn’t be able to finish my degree, but Disability Services at Arkansas Tech continued to support me. I finished a B.A. in English in three years, and the Director of Disability Services suggested that I pursue a career in higher education. I immediately went into graduate school and completed a Master’s of Science in College Student Personnel in May 2017.
I couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out and I’m grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to me. Based on my life experiences, I understand where students are coming from and those help me to connect with students so that I can be a resource for them.
Q&A With Cheyenne Terry
How did you discover Western?
As a child, my family vacationed in Gunnison every summer and I remember being very in love with the area. When I became an adult, I made it my goal to one day live out here. Here I am!
What are some of the highlights of your career?
Being recognized by my peers at the national AHEAD conference for our work with disabled veterans here at Western. Much of the credit goes to Carrie Reinecke, our VA Benefits Coordinator, but I’m just glad to see Western getting some recognition for the work we do for our students.
What most excites you about your field?
Helping students in need, especially when a student comes to me and they believe they might not get help. I’ve seen students move from being on academic probation to making Dean’s List within a year once they have received support from Disability Services. Sometimes, it is a matter of ensuring that students have the tools they need to demonstrate their knowledge. Many students who are registered with my office are Honors students and consistently make Dean’s List. I couldn’t be more proud of the students I work with.
What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?
I love the mountains and I have had some of the best trail rides here in the Gunnison Valley, especially in the fall when the aspen trees change color. I really enjoy Cattlemen’s Days and everything that goes with it.
External Professional Affiliations
- Colorado / Wyoming Regional Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
- National Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)