Grayson College Welcomes Back One of Its Own
Grayson College recently hired one of its own success stories in Alan Zhang, Grayson College Recruiter, Admissions Office.
Zhang lived in China until 2012 when he moved to Sherman to join his mom and stepdad. Zhang had finished high school and some college, including English language studies in China, but he saw value in the free, English language classes offered by Grayson College (GC). After 12 months in class interpreting the queen’s English he learned in school, he was speaking English, Texas-style.
Zhang considered his options for college admission and decided it would be best to seek a high school equivalency diploma, rather than have his high school diploma evaluated. So Zhang continued with GC’s free classes until he successfully completed his GED®.
Zhang praised the instructors with GC’s Adult Education & Literacy program, “I started my immigrant life at Grayson College with instructors like Kassy [Brazier], Carrie [Stell] and Andi [Brandhorst]. They were my bridge, and with them my appreciation for Grayson College started way before other students.”
Zhang then enrolled in GC’s Hospitality Management program, where he met Chef Rusty Weatherly and Chef Joanna Bryant. Zhang described Weatherly and Bryant like parents that took care of all the students. Zhang lauds Weatherly saying, “He’s awesome. He’s the one person that helped me the most. He’s my life mentor, and he was my first reference for this job at Grayson College.” “I owe him a debt of gratitude,” Zhang added.
Weatherly gave Zhang the determination to go beyond GC by arranging a university tour. With that visit in mind, Zhang became the first GC student with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Hospitality Management to transfer to Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. Zhang finished his Bachelor’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Hospitality Management at Southeastern in July 2018 and immediately enrolled in Southeastern’s graduate school. Zhang completed his Master’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources a few weeks ago.
Thus in seven years, Zhang immigrated to the U.S., became fluent in English, earned a high school equivalency diploma, graduated from Grayson College, and became a two-time graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Plus he worked that whole time too.
Zhang encourages anyone considering adult education classes to attend classes consistently and learn from the enthusiastic, patient teachers. Though he confesses, “my biggest fear was the language barrier; that people would think I’m stupid; that it would be hard to absorb new knowledge and adapt to change; but I see myself as hard working, and gradually I learned.”
We see Zhang as hard working, too. Many congratulations to Zhang for his numerous accomplishments and welcome back to Grayson College!
Ernest Sparacin can definitely tell you a thing or two about teaching adults. “Being a great teacher starts with being sensitive to the students, understanding their position, and moving forward from there,” affirmed Sparacin. As an English as a Second Language (ESL) Instructor in a classroom with students from all over the world, Sparacin certainly needs sensitivity and perceptiveness. […]
Grayson College recently hired one of its own success stories in Alan Zhang, Grayson College Recruiter, Admissions Office. Zhang lived in China until 2012 when he moved to Sherman to join his mom and stepdad. Zhang had finished high school and some college, including English language studies in China, but he saw value in the free, English language […]