In a career that has spanned more than 13 years, Shelby L. Cearley has met with success because of her absolute and unwavering commitment to education. Since she was young, she knew that she wanted to pursue higher education as a career because of the values and passion her parents instilled in her. “My father was a Marine and as a college professor, my mother was the first one in her family to receive a doctorate in English and technical writing — she ended up teaching at a community college for 40 years,” Ms. Cearley says, adding that it felt natural to follow in her parents’ footsteps while creating strides of her own. Today, she excels as the director of graduate admissions and designated school official at Texas Tech University, where she has made a transformative impact on the structure of the admissions department at the university. To date, Ms. Cearley’s greatest accomplishment has been reclassifying the positions within her department, including the development of her current role, so that the office may be professionalized in a way that has not been done before. In recognition of the excellence displayed since joining the faculty in 2003, Ms. Cearley was the recipient of the Campus International Action Award. She has also earned outside recognition from Worldwide Branding, a networking and branding organization that honored her with the title of Top Female Professional.