When a lot of students start college, they plan on earning a degree for a specific occupation. But often times, life has a different plan. That is exactly what happened to one of FAMU’s psychology professors, Cassandra Warner.
Warner is originally from Quincy, in neighboring Gadsden County, whose dream job was to be a pharmacist. But after taking one biology class, she soon figured out that pharmacy was a profession that she was not so eager for after all.
Soon after, Warner received a degree in business administration.
Warner serves as a full-time adjunct professor and an organizational consultant at Florida A&M, but it has not always been this way. Warner had only worked as a part-time professor at FAMU with only a few classes for four years. This year is her first working full-time.
“I wanted to become full time, it’s just that we had a different chair, and she didn’t approve me to teach anymore classes,”Warnersaid.
In 2019, there was a change when the psychology department named Brian Sims as chairman. After congratulating him on his new position, Warner got straight to business and told Sims that she would love the opportunity to teach more classes. After further discussion, Warner was given more classes and became full time.
“My experience with her has been nothing short of amazing when it comes to her class. Every Tuesday and Thursday I would be excited to want to go to psychology because of professor Warner,” said Kayla Walton, a second-year student who istaking Warner for the first time this semester.
Apart from now teaching at FAMU full time, Warner keeps herself busy as a full-time mother of five children, and a tax consultant for her own tax business, a duty she has been doing since 2006 after being offered a job at Jackson Hewitt.
“It’s been a task managing teaching full time and doing taxes, so I handle my tax business normally on the weekends, but teaching takes up most of my time. I always say that my two favorite things in the world are the two Ts: teaching and taxes. I love what I do, I’m good at it, and I enjoy teaching my students. The work is very rewarding, when my students are doing well and succeeding, I know that I’ve been effective in my job.”
Warner hopes that this is one of the best semesters that the psychology department has experienced due to there being a high failure rate for intro to psychology for the last couple of years. She has two classes of 65 students, and 95 percent of her students are passing with A’s and B’s. Her hope is to “change the game.”
“I honestly do enjoy her class. She’s an amazing professor and she takes the time to teach her students and makes sure that we understand everything that is going on in the class. She treats her students like a second family,” said Tayler McKinnon, an environmental studies student who is also taking Warner for the first time.
Warner started off in her college career at FAMU for both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees but was never able to finish because she realized that she needed to attend a smaller school. But that could not keep her away from FAMU in the long run.
“When students know that professors genuinely care, they have a more vested interest,”Warner said.
Although Warner is now a full-time professor, she does not necessarily receive the full benefits that come with that, so she hopes to obtain full status.
“I want to matriculate throughout the university system, I can see myself one day being hopefully the president of a university or the dean of my department. The sky is unlimited. I don’t know what God has in store for me, but I’m ready for whatever,” she said.
With plans to earn her doctorate, Warnerwants to prepare herself professionally so that she can be the best version of herself.