When Rachel Endo needed a pick-me-up in the worst way, Dr. Violet Harris was there.
This was a decade ago, long before Endo would herself become a college professor, and be appointed inaugural dean of the School of Education at the University of Washington-Tacoma, and be honored by her old UI college with a 2018 distinguished alumni award.
Fresh out of grad school in Nebraska, she was new to C-U, where she’d come in pursuit of her Ph.D.
A smooth experience, it was not. And that’s where Dr. Harris comes in.
Endo picks it up from here.
“I was going through a difficult time because I was struggling to find a faculty member to take me on after my first adviser left the university for another position. The first time we met, Dr. Harris actually found me in the hallway crying.
”She invited me to her office, offered me a cup of tea, and asked me what was going on. Then, on the spot, agreed to work with me.
“Dr. Harris showed me the room across from her office — a space filled with children’s literature — thousands of titles, including classics, graphic novels, novels, poetry collections and much more.
"That special room on the third floor of the Education Building was a space where Dr. Harris would allow her students to study, hang out and read. We fondly called it the Harris Library.
“This room also exemplified what Dr. Harris loved to do the most — read. I still have warm memories when I think of Dr. Harris and her library, and hope I can someday create a similar space for my own students.”