Staff Profile: Lucy Hudson, Department of Psychology
Both of her parents left school at an early age to support their families—her father in elementary school and her mother in ninth grade.
“I didn’t have access to a lot of opportunities or information about college, but luckily I had a guidance counselor who took me under her wing and prepared me for my current destiny,” Lucy says. “Her name was Juanda Deloatch, and she was the one who made sure I completed the paperwork, registered for the SATs. She helped me navigate that entire process. It was her guidance that led me to where I am today.”
In 1999, Lucy arrived at VCU and immediately fell in love with the university and the campus. Like many students on campus, Lucy worked part-time while completing her degree. Her first student worker job was in grants and contracts accounting, and when she graduated from VCU with her B.S. in urban studies, Lucy transitioned to a full-time position in the University Controller’s Office.
Over the years, Lucy switched offices and completed additional VCU degrees, including her B.A. in religious studies and her M.Ed. in adult learning. Lucy joined the Department of Psychology two-and-a-half years ago.
Twenty years later, Lucy still loves VCU, and like the guidance counselor that helped her find her own path, Lucy does the same for graduate students in her current position. As the associate director of graduate academic operations in the Department of Psychology, she is responsible for everything from graduate admissions and recruitment to graduation.
“My day-to-day may be filled with speaking with students about admission requirements, processing documents, coordinating professional development opportunities, advising, and sometimes being a listening ear, cheerleader and encourager for our students.”
Her current position is a natural fit. Lucy is completing her Ed.D. in leadership through VCU’s School of Education, where she is focusing on graduate operations and strategies to increase diversity in doctoral programs.
“Diversifying graduate programs will bring different voices to the table to discuss societal issues and introduce new perspectives and ideas to advance research. It also means that there will be more professors of color,” says Lucy. “As a former adjunct, it is powerful to see someone who looks like you. As a woman of color, not just looking through the lens of color, something magical happens when women can empower one another through mentoring or teaching, but this magic only happens through representation.”
Lucy is also creating change outside of VCU. She serves as an associate minister at Seventh Street Memorial Baptist Church in Richmond where she coordinates children and youth ministry. And she recently launched the Lighthouse Literacy Project with her family. The Lighthouse Literacy Project is dedicated to providing scholarships for high school students in her hometown of Emporia. They also hope to begin work on a mobile computer lab and would like to offer reading classes for adults.
“The Lighthouse Literacy Project is in honor of my late father who never had a formal education but ensured that my siblings and I received that gift,” Lucy says. “I used his passion as a platform to pursue my own higher education. He pushed us to value education, and the bigger lessons that he left me with, about wisdom and love and encouragement, continue to shape my life.”