College was something Subrinia Bogan dreamed of doing ever since she graduated from high school in 1987.
For a long time, her dream was delayed.
As an only child with a deceased father, Bogan spent her entire adult life as the sole, long-term caregiver for her mother, who suffered from many health issues.
While buying groceries, Bogan would intentionally cut through campus, imagining she was a student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
One day, on a whim, she decided to apply to the university.
“I really thought there was a snowball’s chance in hell for me to get in,” she said.
She received an acceptance letter within two weeks and started her student career in 2009, pursuing an undergraduate degree in professional and technical writing.
“I didn’t choose writing; it kind of chose me,” she said.
Bogan was encouraged to join the program by Dr. Michael Kleine, professor of rhetoric and writing. She credits Kleine and Dr. Sally Crisp, professor of rhetoric and writing, with making her believe in her writing.
Bogan is also thankful to Dr. Allison Holland, director of the UALR University Writing Center and professor of rhetoric and writing, for allowing her to work in the writing center.
“Those three people were really pivotal in my career here,” she said. “I owe them, and the only way I can pay them back is to pay it forward.”
With the help of her writing professors, Bogan was guided through the program and fell in love with writing.
“When you learn how to write, that’s your life,” she said.
Just two months before her undergraduate degree commencement, Bogan lost her mother, her only close relative, in March 2014.
“I built my whole life around my mom,” she said. “When I lost her, I lost everything.”
Bogan delved further into education to help overcome her loss. She finished her degree that semester and applied for graduate school.
“A lesser person would have walked away from school, but instead Subrinia ran to it,” Holland said.
Bogan began her master’s program in professional and technical writing in fall 2014. As part of her graduate assistant position, she taught composition courses.
“I would not trade it for the world,” Bogan said. “This is somebody who never thought she would ever be in college, let alone grad school.”
Bogan would like to continue teaching and is considering a doctoral program. She will be walking across the stage on May 14 to receive her master’s degree.
“UALR was the avenue that provided her with new options in life that gives her hope and optimism about the future,” Holland said. “UALR helped her emerge from her past, and she’s now ready to spread her wings.”