Shemicka Adams

Shemicka Adams

Shemicka Adams

By: Claire Winesett

Shemicka Adams was nervous when she arrived at Mississippi State University; however, a few years later she left the university as a confident and competent professional who had made a lot of great memories along the way.

“My experience at MSU was phenomenal,” Adams said. “Like many, when I arrived I was a nervous wreck, but the faculty and staff reassured me that I would be okay. I was assigned a supervisor that helped me map out my journey at MSU. Once I had my roadmap, I was ready to embark on this new journey with confidence.”

Adams received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from MSU in 2006. After graduation, Adams worked at Sally Kate Children’s Home as a tutor in its after-school program, and then worked at the Columbus Municipal School District where she was a one-on-one assistant to a student with autism.

In 2009, Adams moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a teaching career. She received her master’s degree in special education in 2011 and a certification in applied behavior analysis in 2014 from Lipscomb University. She taught special education with the Metro Nashville Public School District for six years. Adams recently transitioned out of the classroom to work as an independent behavior therapist. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is currently the executive director of Home of Potential and Excellence (H.O.P.E). 

Adams’ experience at MSU gave her the confidence and expertise she needed to succeed.  Specifically, her public speaking class gave her the assurance in her ability to speak to others effectively. She utilized the knowledge she learned in this class in her IEP meetings with parents, in consultation sessions, in parent training sessions and in other areas of her career. Public speaking, taught by Karyn Brown, ended up being Adams’ favorite college class.

“Oddly, public speaking was one of my worst fears, but it was my very first college course. Mrs. Karyn Brown helped me build my confidence with public speaking,” Adams said. “She always pointed out the things I did well before she told me things I could improve on. She always showed that she cared.”

Adams continued, “It was in that class that I developed the skills needed to become successful with speaking in front of others without choking up. I am grateful for Mrs. Karyn Brown for ensuring I had the skills needed to be successful outside my comfort zone.”

One of Adams’ favorite memories from her time at MSU comes from this class.

“My fondest memory was after I finished my presentation in public speaking class, one of my peers stopped me as I was leaving and said, ‘You’re going to make a difference in a lot of people’s lives.’ I wish I could remember her name so she would know… my entire career is centered around making a difference in peoples lives.”

Adams’ favorite tradition at MSU is the cowbell. “It’s an amazing feeling when the Bulldog Nation lets those cowbells ring,” she said.

Her greatest mentors are two women that have been a part of her life for a long time: her grandmother, Dora Adams, and her fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Peggy Houston-Ball.
Adams says that, “They have both instilled in me the principle of putting God first in everything that I do, and I am guaranteed to succeed. I live by this principle. No matter what challenges I have faced along life’s journey, I have kept God first and succeeded.”

Of all of her successes, her greatest is living in light of her purpose, which she believes is to serve people and be an inspiration to others. “It is a phenomenal feeling knowing that you have made a positive impact on someone’s life,” Adams said.

Adams’ advice for current and perspective students is to persevere. “No matter what oppositions you encounter on your journey, keep pressing your way. It will work out for your good in the end. Never give up,” she said. 

Adams also encourages students to remember that there is a balance between work and fun. She says that she always worked hard in school and kept her priorities straight, but that she also loved having the chance to do things she enjoyed such as hanging out with friends, going to the basketball and football games, and going to Black Voices concerts.

“The journey of life gets stressful sometimes, but laughter and fun is the ultimate antidote. Always have fun!”


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