by Dru Walters, Student Contributor
Dr. Cindy Salmons first set foot on the Purpose Road in 1994 as an English major and has devoted her life to the mission of Alice Lloyd College ever since. Appalachian education is a cause that is very near and dear to her heart. Dr. Salmons comes from a working-class family, but ALC invited her to attend on a scholarship for students from economically distressed homes.
“I wouldn’t have been able to go otherwise,” she says, “It changed my life, but more than that, it taught me what I want to do with my life.”
Dr. Salmons credits the ALC community and family atmosphere for shaping her into the adult she is today. It was ALC that gave her the confidence to earn her master’s degree from Marshall University in 2000, and finally, a Doctorate from the University of Kentucky in 2012. It was also here at ALC, in Dr. Stephen Wilson’s History 101 class, that she first met her husband, Roy Salmons. The two of them have been together for 19 years and have been employees with ALC for 10.
Dr. Salmons devotes her life to the education of other mountains students like herself because she believes that the young people of Appalachia are the region’s greatest resource.
“The solutions we need to solve the problems in our Appalachian region will come from the students and people here,” she says, “But it takes hard work, and the work-study model we employ teaches students that nothing worth achieving is easy.”
Dr. Salmons comes from a Hungarian Catholic family with deep roots in West Virginia, and her faith pushes her to serve her community and creator in her daily life. However, education is not the only field in which Dr. Salmons considers it her obligation to serve. Currently, she and her husband Roy are working to have a positive impact on the lives of ALC students through the college’s new freshman mentoring program. Together, they are showing the transformative power that the Purpose Road philosophy has on ALC students long after they earn their degree.
In her spare time, Dr. Salmons enjoys crocheting, drinking coffee, and reading, like any proper English major, but her biggest passion outside of literature is live music. Together, she and her husband have seen dozens of their favorite acts all across the United States, allowing them an opportunity to travel and meet new people in the process. They don’t stay gone too long, however, as their furry and four-legged friend Maverick tends to miss her mom and dad when they are gone. Maverick is a six-year-old mixed-breed rescue dog who brings happiness not only to Dr. Salmons, but to all the students on campus she meets.
Dr. Cindy Salmons is living proof that Alice Lloyd College students are different from other college students. The Purpose Road philosophy imbues students with a sense of purpose and obligation to their fellow man that stays with them for the rest of their lives. Through her life of service, Dr. Salmons encourages other students to learn, serve one another, and take part in the transformation of the Appalachian region.