Paula (Eisenman) Pascoe

Favorite Quotes


Life is what we make it,

Always has been.             

Always will be.                                                                                                                                             ~Grandma Moses                                                                                                                           

Family and friends are hidden treasures.

Seek them and enjoy the riches.                                                                                                                  ~Anonymous                                                                        

Happiness is not at the end of the road;

It is all along the way.                                                                                                                                     ~Naomi Judd                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Many people search blindly for the "meaning of life."

What they don’t understand is that life does not have

Meaning through mere existence or acquisition or fun.

The meaning of life is inherent in the connections we make

To others.                                                                                                                                                           ~Dr. Laura                                                                                                                               

 My Peak Professional Experience

I can still vividly remember my excitement! After interviews, two separate community colleges offered me contracts in Washington, my home state. Upon graduation with a Masters degree in Guidance and Counseling from Arizona State University (ASU) in June 1967, I was ready to launch my professional career.

I grew up on a farm and came from a family that had very little. Neither of my parents completed high school because they were obligated to get jobs and help support their families. I was determined to have a life not burdened with financial struggles. During high school, I had been a proud member of the Future Teachers of America. I was one of a few members selected by our advisor for substitute teaching in the local elementary schools. This "taste" of a career was very rewarding, and I found myself wishing that I could go to college and become a teacher. I knew that more education could earn me a better life and a meaningful career. However, without funds for four years of college, the first step of my journey was to decide that the best option for me was to attend a local business college for two years.

Fortunately, an unexpected letter provided a second step that dramatically changed my future career. Our local community college, then Everett Junior College (EJC), advised me that I was one of two seniors in my high school offered a full-tuition scholarship. I gratefully accepted the financial help that opened the door for me to begin my college education. I was able to complete two years of college and transfer coursework at a great savings by living at home and commuting—the very foundation of the community college.

My family moved to Arizona for health reasons at the end of my sophomore year, and I enrolled in summer session 1962 at ASU. I financed the last two years of my baccalaureate degree in education by working at three on-campus jobs, by receiving additional scholarships, and qualifying for a PELL grant.

That hard-earned diploma was the third step to my teaching career goal, and I was thrilled when I received two contract offers. However, shortly after that, the Arizona Legislature imposed a new requirement for all teachers in the state. We would have to obtain a Masters in our degree field or complete an additional thirty graduate credits in education within five years to remain certified. I decided to decline both teaching offers, and continued studying for the needed graduate degree. Had the new legislative requirement not passed, I am sure that I would have had a professional career as a teacher.

However, courses in my Guidance and Counseling degree program introduced me to the fourth step of my journey—a career in higher education. I felt fortunate to have Dr. Gilbert Wrenn as one of my graduate professors at ASU. He authored our textbook, The Counselor in a Changing World, and his peers elected him President of the American Personnel and Guidance Association. He was also founder and first editor of the Journal of Counseling and Psychology. My classmates and I were impressed with his professional stature and accomplishments. I was truly a new ASU graduate student inspired by a mentor who was one of the most nationally respected professional counselors in the counseling career field.

Besides seeing clients as a requirement of my counseling degree, I was a residence hall director for three years at ASU, a full-time position. As a part-time graduate student, I had many opportunities to provide both personal and career counseling for the undergraduate women in my assigned halls. I also soon realized that it was more rewarding for me to work with college level students instead of elementary level children. Furthermore, as advisor to the hall council members, I enjoyed seeing the personal growth of the college students as they planned and conducted social activities for fellow residents. My supervisor, Associate Dean of Students Dean Jo Dorris, had chosen to hire graduate students for half of her residence hall staff. I was honored when she selected me as one of two graduate staff assigned as a director. I felt grateful for her support and belief in my ability to accept responsibility. Additionally, I gained much as I observed the effective leadership style of this mentor in her interactions with students, staff, and other professionals on campus. I owe a debt of gratitude to Dean Dorris, who served as my most significant female professional role model.

For my graduate degree internship requirement, I worked for Dean Jinette Kirk, the first female Dean of Students in Arizona and at a brand new community college in Mesa. She gave me total responsibility as Advisor to the Associated Student Body Council and the Student Activities Planning Board. I also worked closely with the student leaders as they organized and hosted a statewide leadership conference. Dean Kirk provided a very valuable internship and served as another important role model for me.

Upon graduating in 1967, I accepted the position as the first fulltime Coordinator of Student Programs at a two-year old campus, Tacoma Community College (TCC) in Tacoma, Washington. It was the perfect opportunity for me. During my interview with the Dean of Students, I learned that the campus administrators supported my belief that students should participate in making decisions for campus issues. The college’s model was already established; the design called for student voting representatives on all campus decision-making bodies. With both the Student Senate and Student Activities Council, I had "leadership training labs" for students to grow personally and gain valuable life skills. I developed major goals for student leaders to achieve:

1.      Discover their potential

2.      Learn to accomplish expected responsibilities

3.      Listen to all sides before determining the best decision

4.      Learn when to compromise

5.      Learn parliamentary procedure and how to use it effectively    

6.      Believe that even one person can effect a needed change.

I also knew that I would have many opportunities to provide students with both personal and career counseling. I did inherit a program that reflected a more traditional student body. As I had been, most were graduates of local area high schools who enrolled in college transfer courses. Further, our students were also mostly Caucasians from blue collar working families.

I continued to witness the changing college student diversity that Dr. Wrenn had forecast. When their children started school, mothers enrolled in classes and also got involved as student leaders. At the end of the Vietnam War came veterans who were seeking more meaning in their lives. Elected student senators funded a childcare center as one example of responding to the needs of a changing student body.

Simultaneously, the campus saw an increase in the number of both Black and Hispanic students. The large increase of both of these groups brought the greatest changes. Sponsored forums open to all members of the campus provided valuable understanding and respect for these student populations. Faculty, staff, administrators, as well as students gathered often in our largest student lounge or outside on the lawn to hear speakers on current topics that were thought provoking—and often controversial. Repeatedly, students reaffirmed one of my core beliefs: When we are active participants in our learning, we take what we learn with us throughout life. The sponsored out-of-the formal classroom student programs and activities provided many rich learning experiences for the entire campus community. The most important lesson I felt each involved student needed to grasp was that every individual could make a difference. Our "leadership lab" provided a great training ground for students to do just that. As a supporter, an encourager, and an advisor, I felt the same pride that our students did when they succeeded in their many leadership accomplishments.

Despite many long hours at work, evening events, weekend leadership retreats, and conferences that I attended during my tenure as Coordinator of Student Programs at TCC, this position provided my Peak Professional Experience. I related to the many students who also could not afford the expense of four years at a residence campus. Our community college opened doors to the future for many, just as EJC had for me. No two days were ever the same, and I truly loved my position of working closely with the college students. I thrived on seeing so many individuals succeed and grow in confidence that would be of value in their future.

In the 1974-75 campus year, the Student Senate funded four paraprofessional program advisors to assist with the ever-growing number of available programs and activities. The following year the college administration funded a full-time Program Advisor, and promoted me to the new Associate Dean of Students position.

Shortly after our new president arrived, I believed I could make more of a difference as an advocate for the students at a higher decision-making level and applied for the Dean of Students position. I was one of five candidates considered and was advised that the three finalists all had their doctorates. I knew what I had to do. With ten years tenure and eligibility for a sabbatical, I put in my request and took the granted leave in June of 1977. I completed my doctorate of philosophy and returned to Tacoma Community College in 1980 to serve as Assistant to the College President. The position provided me with a fifth journey step, an invaluable introduction to another management experience in higher education.

Obvious was the great sense of pride prominent among TCC faculty, staff, and administrators. We were a dedicated collegiate family who worked together at a new campus. We shared a great deal of satisfaction knowing that we were successful in providing a valued college experience for the students we served. Nearly fifty years later, TCC retirees still attend monthly scheduled lunch gatherings. I am grateful when I am in town and can attend, and I view this as testimony to the feeling of family that existed and continues today.

When I married my husband, Roy, a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, my world expanded as I began the sixth and last step of my professional journey—a second fifteen-year career in Civil Service Higher Education. We had tours in Germany, Hawaii, Montana, Alabama, and Colorado. My responsibilities at ASU and TCC and the completion of my doctorate equipped me for management positions in Civil Service. I served with the Air Force’s Education Services Division. We selected and contracted the colleges and universities to provide on base courses on the mainland and overseas for two-year, four-year, and graduate degree programs for military personnel. At the Air Force’s Air University setting in Montgomery, I was proud to be the first woman hired as the Command’s Education Director. My chain of command was to the Four-Star General. The position was the highest one achieved in my career in Higher Education. The City of Montgomery recognized me as their Federal Manager of the Year in 1990. I felt honored by nominating endorsements from my supervisor, an Air Force Colonel:

Dr. Pascoe manages the best education services program I have seen in my 22 years of active duty. This professional has led her education team to Excellence. If producing results counts, this      professional deserves the highest evaluation for successes.

I was a driven farm girl who pursued education as an avenue for a better tomorrow and completed a rewarding journey throughout my twenty-five year professional career in Higher Education.

My Peak Personal Experience

Roy and I stood under the palm trees in Honolulu’s Kapiolani Park as the sun slipped toward the horizon and delivered a backdrop of magnificent reddish orange. Then, silhouetted against the colorful sky, the chair athletes strained with gloved hands as they brought their chairs across the finish line. While seeing the effort etched on the faces of the physically impaired participants, I also noted how quickly, joyful smiles spread across their faces. I stood in absolute awe as one after another wheelchair athlete finished the twenty-six mile course. I had tears in my eyes and just kept repeating, "Wow, how incredible." And then it was instantaneous: I felt so inspired by what I was witnessing that I turned to Roy and boldly declared," I have to do a marathon. If all of these finishers can make it, I can make it." We left the event knowing we would both participate in the following year’s 1981 Honolulu Marathon.

As an outdoor enthusiast, I had previously enjoyed water, downhill and cross-country skiing. With Roy’s great support and continued encouragement, I discovered that I, too, found pleasure in jogging, bicycling, catamaran sailing, canoeing, and even glacier skiing. Together we entered and placed in events that sometimes included two, three, and even four sport activities. However, it was the completion of the 26-mile Honolulu Marathon that was a Peak Personal Experience for me.

Fortunately for us, two Honolulu physicians held an established jogging clinic at Waikiki’s Kapiolani Park on Saturday mornings. The agenda was to prepare runners for the city’s marathon event, and we became regular attendees. Good information on stretching, pacing, and hydrating were just some of the topics covered before we jogged each week. The physicians scheduled a bus that took us out on the Marathon course and then dropped us off to jog over Diamond Head and back to the park. Of course, the bus went out a little farther each week. That technique was successful in getting clinic participants used to climbing the toughest section of the run—the dreaded Diamond Head Hill.

With mostly sunny days and often light trade winds blowing, Hawaii was definitely a place to enjoy jogging. Staff from both Roy’s and my work settings got involved in jogging as a social exercise during lunch hours and after work. As in most of my education civil service positions, I was surrounded by male counterparts at Education Services for the Pacific. My job responsibilities included travel to conduct staff assistance visits at military base education centers in Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. Although golf tended to be the sport activity for "the guys" for "shop talk," I found jogging to be an acceptable sport activity to discuss office issues "out of shop" with the males in my work settings.

Because jogging was so popular in Hawaii, there were 5Ks (3.1 miles) or 10Ks (6.2 miles) almost every weekend, and as the December Marathon drew closer, half marathon (13.1 miles) running events were held. Participating in weekend running events was part of planned training for us. We combined sightseeing with training when we flew to the Big Island of Hawaii to participate in a 5K run. The event took runners down into the then non-active Mauna Loa Volcano National Park. I was startled when scientists brushed off the bottom of our tennis shoes to be sure seeds foreign to the area would not be brought in! Runners who entered the half marathon donned heavy-duty rubber elbow and knee pads to reduce wounds if they were to take a fall on the rough volcano lava rock bed of their course. For our 5K, we wound our way down a trail and then crossed the floor of Mauna Loa before returning on another trail to climb out of the volcano. I recall my eerie feeling when I came upon the first openings on the volcano floor that released billowing steam as we jogged past. But the good news was the spewing steam helped me to maintain my pace. I was eager to get off the volcano’s floor and really pushed myself to complete the final uphill trail to the finish!

We also flew over to beautiful Kauai, the Garden Island, to run one of the scheduled half marathons. Then, just two weeks before the 1981 Marathon, I broke the little toe on my right foot. I went to the weekend clinic and asked the physicians, "Can I run it?" The answer was a firm, "Go home, cut a hole in your tennis shoe, tape that toe to the one next to it, and run the race." I did and completed my first ever Marathon in just under five hours! Afterwards, I wished that I had carried a sign saying, "I’m running with a broken toe!"

Knowing I could complete the event under adverse conditions gave me confidence to commit for a second year. I soon learned that Johnny Farber was coach for the women’s track team at the University of Hawaii in the early 80s. He had generously offered a clinic to women in the community who wanted to improve their running pace for the Marathon. Coach Farber and several assistants put some 100 plus women through pace workouts weekly at the University of Hawaii’s track. Our green shorts and the words on our green tank tops, "FARBER’S FLYERS," appropriately credited the University of Hawaii coach. We were split into separate groups or packs with other females who ran close to the same pace. The hard workouts created great camaraderie among us. On weekends I would seek out the other 8-minute runners so we could jog together and practice keeping our hopeful pace for the 1982 Marathon.

That year the marathon had over 10,000 finishers, although today over 25,000 complete the course. It is among the world’s top ten marathon runs for finishers. The festivities throughout the week of the event also contributed to an overall fun experience. There was a required pick-up day to get running numbers and packets prior to the race. Excitement was in the air as everyone checked out the newest designed shirt: "I completed the 1982 Marathon." The Spaghetti Feed or "Carbo Loading" night was another fun-filled event. At the end of the evening, runners who had brought their hometown t-shirts happily did a t-shirt exchange.

Honolulu advertised the marathon as one of the most beautiful because of the spectacular ocean views, and that certainly rang true. The big event began in the early morning with a great fireworks display. The course route started near the swimming and surfing beaches of Ala Moana Park, on to downtown Honolulu, and then past Waikiki Beach.

Next runners got to enjoy ocean views by Diamond Head. At Hawaii Kai, the course turned around, and participants could see the lead runners. It was also fun to see and cheer friends who were running a faster pace.

Never had I participated in an event that had such community support. People literally lined the course, cheering for runners, and some even offered welcomed water sprays from garden hoses. What a pleasant surprise it was to see and enjoy hearing a tuxedo-clad four-piece ensemble sitting atop the roof of a home on the route as we jogged past. And we even slowed our jog—just a bit—to watch some traditional hula dancers perform. Because the Honolulu Marathon is held annually in December, some runners chose to come in costume; there were elves, reindeer, and yes, even a Santa.

The peak of the peak experience was being just under my goal with a finish time of 3 hours and 58 minutes! All I could do was thank Coach Farber and his training clinic. A mainland friend called to ask if I had just run the 1982 Marathon, because she had seen the event video featured on a newscast and thought she had recognized me. She was right—the video of the 1982 Marathon ended in slow motion, and I was coming across the finish line, looking up, seeing my time on the finish line clock, and then raising my arm and letting out a victory cheer: "Yes, I did it!" Having completed Honolulu’s 26-mile marathon course in just less than four hours was definitely a great feeling of personal accomplishment and a Peak Personal Experience for me.


A Conversation with Paula:

What are you passionate about?

·    Spending time with our families

·    Staying in touch with Japanese exchange students Roy and I have hosted

·    Keeping in contact with friends

·    Listening to music of the 1960s

·    Nurturing beautiful flower gardens

·    Inhaling views of Arizona’s magnificent sunsets

·    Preparing photo albums and scrapbooks for family

·    Traveling the U.S. and Canada in our motor home

·    Traveling abroad to new places

·    Helping the orphaned children of Africa

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

·    Western Regional Coordinator, Intercollegiate Associated Women Students, 1964-1966

·    Chair, Washington Association of Community College Student Activities Personnel, 1969

·    President, Washington State Women Deans and Counselors Assoc., 1973; Secretary, 1970-    1971; Community College Section Chair, 1968-1969

·    Western Region Panel for President’s Commission To Select White House Fellows, 1973

·    Outstanding Young Woman of America, 1973

·    Assistant to the College President, Tacoma Community College, 1981

·    Headquarters Staff, Pacific Air Force Education Services with travel assistance                    Japan, Korea and the Philippines education centers, 1979-1983

·    President, Hawaii Personnel and Guidance Association, 1982; Chair for annual conferences, 1980 and 1981      

·    Education Consultant to research needs of returning adult students and conducted faculty workshops for Montana State University, 1983

·    Vice-President, American Assocociation of University Women, Bozeman, Montana Chapter, 1983

·    American Association of University Women grant recipient to conduct statewide workshops for women in Montana on "Take Charge of Your Career,"1984-1986

·    First female Major Command Director of Education at U.S. Air Force’s Air University in Montgomery, 1988-1991        

·    One of three civil service managers worldwide selected to   attend Harvard University’s Summer Management Institute, 1989

·    City of Montgomery’s Federal Manager of the Year, 1990

·    Business Professional of the Year Nominee, Gig Harbor, Washington, 1998

·    Owner of the Island Escape B&B, which was recognized by Washington State Governor for most votes of B&B guests national contest, 2002


What are your favorite places in the U.S.?

·    Olympic National Park, Washington State

·    Moab, Utah

·    Yellowstone Park, Wyoming

·    Medora, North Dakota’s outdoor musical production

·    Stewart, Alaska

How would you describe yourself?

·    Have sincere concern for others

·    Am enthusiastic

·    Have determined nature

·    Am adventuresome

·    Have love of the outdoors

·    Have a committed work ethic

·    Have a positive "can do" attitude

·    Have need to provide help for others

·    Am grateful for my farm girl roots