Congratulations to Administrative Assistant, Kayla Adams, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Staff of the Month for April 2022. Adams began her journey at CWI as a student.
“I had struggled to find a job without a degree, so I came back to school in 2010,” Adams shared. “A year later, the opportunity to be a Work Study presented itself, and I applied for a front desk position. Two years later, I was hired for a full-time position in the office where I still work to this day.”
As an Administrative Assistant, Adams provides support to the Dean of Arts and Humanities, four Department Chairs, two faculty coordinators, and nearly 100 faculty in a given semester. Early on in this role, Adams found herself unable to have meaningful conversations, in-person, with a few faculty members due to a language barrier. This experience sparked her interested in learning American Sign Language (ASL). In 2017, she became the first CWI student to receive an Associate of Arts degree in Sign Language Studies, later earning a bachelor’s degree in Sign Language Interpreting from Idaho State University.
“I truly enjoy and appreciate the group of people I work with who drew me in and have always encouraged me to continue with my education. Watching their passion for teaching and motivating students showed me CWI wasn’t just a place for students to come and get a piece of paper. Because of my choice to attend CWI, I have a great job that helps support my family, I have earned three college degrees, am part of the Deaf community, have met lots of amazing people, and have obtained a joy for lifelong learning.”
“Kayla is excellent at all parts of her job,” said Dean, Justin Vance. “She is of the utmost integrity, adaptable, and innovative never complaining about change but embracing it to move the College forward. She does whatever it takes to ensure faculty and students have the support they need in the most caring and respectful ways, which includes using her ASL skills to facilitate communication and support deaf employees.”
“There is a collaborative spirit here that allows individuals a space for creativity and growth,” said Adams. “We are invested and passionate about seeing students achieve their goals. CWI provides much more than a quality education; it provides opportunities many never dreamed would be possible.”
Outside of work, Adams enjoys painting, photography, making wedding cakes, and trying new things. She has a goal to earn her interpreting license, which she hopes to do in the next two years. She and her husband of nearly 24 years have two children, one of which is also a CWI graduate. Their family likes attending concerts and the annual Shakespeare Festival, supporting one another’s sporting events, and game and movie nights together.