Stories of Excellence–Dr. Terry Badey-McClelland
Dr. Terry Badey-McClelland knows that people can shape and change their futures. Growing up in a small eastern North Carolina town, Badey-McClelland never thought that she would one day have the title of doctor before her name. No matter how untraditional a journey, no matter how late the start, Badey-McClelland believes that education can change your future.
After high school, Badey-McClelland initially chose to forgo college, focusing instead on marriage and starting a family. Her husband served in the United States Army, and their family spent many years traveling around the world alongside him. In 2004, when her husband retired from the Army after 23 years of service, they settled in Iredell County, and Badey-McClelland decided to continue her education.
Enrolling at Mitchell at 40 years old, she was not sure what to expect. “Getting a degree had always been a dream,” Badey-McClelland shared. “I chose Mitchell due to the convenient location and the human services program.” Badey-McClelland excelled at her studies and made lasting connections during her time at Mitchell. “I thoroughly enjoyed Mitchell! I had great teachers who were concerned about me being successful,” she said. Along with outstanding faculty, Badey-McClelland also appreciated the advising and financial aid departments as they helped her get through her first few years of college. She credits her public speaking class as being beneficial to her career and future endeavors. Badey-McClelland graduated from Mitchell in 2006 with an associate in applied sciences degree in human services technology.
After Mitchell, Badey-McClelland took a break from her studies to build her career. After a few years, she began missing the challenge of higher education. Badey-McClelland decided to attend Winston-Salem State University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. She graduated in 2013, then immediately began working on a master’s degree in healthcare administration at Capella University.
While working toward her doctorate degree, Badey-McClelland had the opportunity to be a graduate teaching assistant for the psychology department. She greatly enjoyed this and would like to continue making an impact in higher education. “My goal is to teach on the university level and stay within the UNC system schools, especially HBCU schools and, preferably, at Winston-Salem State University.” Badey-McClelland recently graduated with her doctorate in general psychology from Capella University. She defended her thesis - "The experience of practicing mindfulness meditation among women graduate psychology students" in August 2021. The work is currently published in Proquest Dissertation & Theses Global. “At this point in my life,” Badey-McClelland said, “I want to do something that helps in areas that I know there is a great need because you are going to find a lot of people that can go in certain places and work and don’t have a problem but some people do not prefer going into certain areas. I like to go where I am needed.”
Badey-McClelland is currently in the process of writing her first book, a work based off her dissertation. “My book is going to be on mindfulness mediation among females,” she shared. “Women tend to practice mindful mediation more than men and I would like to bring it into the mainstream more than it already is.” Looking toward the future, Badey-McClelland shared her goal of sharing mindful meditation in higher education. “In ten years, I would love to be doing workshops on mindfulness meditation. I see myself taking mindfulness into the schools and colleges and trying to help everybody see how great of a skill or intervention it is.” Badey-McClelland also plans to continue traveling with her husband and enjoying spending time with her grandchildren.
Badey-McClelland’s advice for future Mitchell students is to keep an open mind about your future. “Never base your future on where you are today because where you are today is not where you will be in the future,” she shared. Badey-McClelland did not see herself going this far in her educational journey, but she knows if she can, others can as well. “I am just grateful that I was able to get my start at Mitchell. Had it not been for Mitchell, I probably would not have gone on to obtain my doctorate nor had the educational experiences I have had.”
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