Audra Joann Boggs, first-generation college graduate, considers herself among the leaders that are shaped at Alice Lloyd College. She is the daughter of Jeff and Wyona Boggs and was born and raised in Millstone, Kentucky. Audra embraces her deep, Eastern Kentucky roots and says, “I have never had a desire to live or work anywhere else.”
In 2009, Audra graduated from ALC earning a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science with a minor in Sociology. She believes that ALC was instrumental in her thirst for knowledge while deepening her desire to help others. Audra was particularly impressed with the sociology classes taught by Dean Marylee James. She feels that Dean James was a very inspirational person and educator as well. Dean James was very passionate about her profession and would often speak of her travels and experiences, which inspired Audra to further her education and model herself as much as possible after Dean James. Audra’s goal is to continue striving to also be an inspirational person to others, an educator, and to make contributions to her region by advocating for the people in the area and by speaking out against the stigma surrounding mental health in the Appalachian Region saying, “Our area is such a unique place with very unique needs.”
Since completing her Bachelors from Alice Lloyd College, Audra has gone on to further her education by completing her Master’s of Education in Human Development and Mental Health. She is currently working toward her Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision. While satisfying that desire for knowledge, Audra also serves as the Director of Behavioral Therapy and Case Management at the Appalachian Regional Healthcare Psychiatric Center in Hazard, Kentucky. Audra enjoys working with her peers and patients. In addition to these significant accomplishments, Audra is also a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, a state-certified Supervisor for Licensed Professional Clinical Associates, and a National Board Certified Counselor. Audra also provides internship opportunities to students pursuing a career in the mental health field. Audra most enjoys offering guidance and assistance to her staff and internship students. She also feels honored to be in a position to offer counseling services such as individual therapies, group therapies and family support. Audra ensures that patients have the best after-care plan possible by utilizing other local community resources.
Audra firmly believes that her time at ALC prepared her for her future. She has utilized the leadership skills that the College teaches and applied it to her career where she directly serves those in need of guidance and mental health assistance. “ALC provided me with discipline and a greater sense of the type of leader I wanted to become,” Audra states. “With discipline, drive, and eagerness, I was able to concentrate on my studies and career path. I have a greater understanding of responsibility and accountability as a result of my time at ALC.”
Her work assignments taught her various essential life-skills that she continues to apply on a daily basis. Audra had many work study positions while at Alice Lloyd College. Her first job was janitorial services. She feels this taught her humility and gave her the skills to cooperate and interact with others in a work-setting. Audra also worked in daycare services and was very fond of both the children and the staff. Her last student work position was that of resident advisor for her dormitory. She is very grateful for the problem-solving skills and the supervisory skills that she gained through this position. These are skills that she has been able to carry with her and have been an asset in the furtherance of her career as she utilizes these skills most often. Audra says, “I believe ALC has high standards that benefit all of their students, and the work study program helped instill in me responsibility and self-awareness.” Another benefit of the work study program is that she was able to graduate with no debt which is rarely heard of in today’s time and truly a blessing.
Audra’s advice to current students is “…to embrace all of the opportunities that ALC has to offer because they will reap the rewards in the future.” As she looks back on her time at ALC, Audra realizes that all she was taught in and out of the classroom was essential in her growth as a servant leader.