Earning bachelor’s degree puts UA Little Rock employee one step closer to fulfilling childhood dream

Cadence Baize

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock employee has completed her bachelor’s degree and is one step closer to fulfilling her childhood goal of becoming an advocate for the elderly.

Cadence Baize, an administrative analyst in the Facilities Management office at UA Little Rock, will graduate this month with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in sociology.

A native of New York City, Baize said she is thrilled to complete her college degree after previously attending colleges in New York and Wyoming after she graduated from Aquinas High School in 1992.

“UA Little Rock is not the first college I’ve attended, but it has become my home, not just with my job but as a student. It’s basically my home to me in every way,” Baize said. “I am happy to be graduating. It feels satisfying that I am finally done. I’ve been pursuing this off and on for a very long time. It’s great to see an end to this where I have checked it off my list.”

She is also celebrating the fact that she will graduate during the same academic year as her son, Aaron Garcia, who will graduate from eStem High School in May 2021.

“I think my son is happy that I am graduating,” Baize said. “I think he definitely wants me to do it before he enters college. I think he appreciates that I am pursuing this, and I have persisted with my goals.”

At UA Little Rock, Baize is an active member of Staff Senate and the Golf FEST Tournament, which provides scholarships for Facilities Management employees. She is a past recipient of the Facilities Management Scholarship, and her co-workers are impressed by her hard work and dedication to her education.

“Cadence is a wonderful, hardworking, invaluable member of the Facilities Management team,” said David Millay, associate vice chancellor of facilities management. “I am so proud of her for pursuing her degree, and I know we will all benefit from her diligence. As well as handling her day-to-day workload and her classwork, she provides tremendous support of our scholarship tournament, our annual holiday luncheon, and serves on many committees. Cadence personifies the concept inherent in our scholarship program and I know she will go on to a wonderful career.”

Now that she’s completed her undergraduate degree, Baize has no plans to slow down her academic pursuits and has applied for the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology in the spring 2021 semester. The Gerontology Program focuses not only on skills needed to work with aging individuals and their families but also with the greater social issues that impact older adults.

Following the graduate certificate, Baize plans to complete the Master of Social Work program at UA Little Rock and become a social worker that advocates for the elderly.

“I’ve always felt drawn to the elderly, a connection I guess you would say,” Baize said. “Even as a child, I would go to nursing homes and sit and talk to the elderly. I’m drawn toward making sure they are living the best life that they can. I care that they have all the opportunities that they should. That matters to me.”

Baize is most thankful for her fellow Facilities Management employees, who have helped her achieve her dream of a college degree.

“Here in my department at Facilities Management, it’s been an amazing experience,” Baize said. “Everyone is supportive and encourages you to advance yourself and to grow. That is something you don’t find everywhere. In their own way, everyone here has been so encouraging like David Millay and Shanna Fitzgerald. Everyone encourages you to pursue your education and to move up. I would have to say this department in general has been that.”

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