“Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it.”
This quote by Winston Churchill was recited by Asher College Professor Juanita Cox-Burton during a commencement speech to Asher College graduates. While congratulating the accomplishments of the students, this statement also reflects the principles that have steered her in her own life.
“You can accomplish anything if you want it bad enough,” said Cox-Burton.
In 1990, Juanita retired from almost twenty-five years at a telecommunications company. Her last position was Director of Human Resources and Director of Leadership and Succession. She was a successful entrepreneur, owning among other businesses, a consulting firm for more than twenty years that taught leadership, diversity and management skills to top management, directors, and managers of corporations and organizations, including Fortune 500 companies. Juanita also previously taught business, leadership, and diversity at the University of Colorado in Denver. She has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Denver.
Juanita is currently a professor teaching General Education in the Associate of Applied Science degree program for Asher College. She has been teaching at Asher College for the last 10 years and is currently teaching 87 students across all three campuses. She brings her knowledge, expertise, and positive attitude with her to the classroom every day.
“There are very few experiences my students are going through that I haven’t had,” said Cox-Burton. “I have experienced everything that I teach. I have owned businesses. I understand the experiences they are going through and can relate to them.”
“My students are not just important to me as students…they are important to me as people. I care about them and want them to succeed. Everything I say or do, every time I push is because I want them to succeed,” she said.
In addition to her expertise in leadership and management, Juanita has been a frequent speaker on the topic of diversity in the workplace. She has contributed commentary to The Wall Street Journal, Human Resources Professional Magazine, AMA’s periodical, H.R. Magazine, Colorado Business Magazine, and The Bureau of National Affairs special edition on promoting women and minorities.
Juanita has served on the Board of Directors for the YWCA, The Society for Advancement of Management, Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce, Denver Work Force Development Board, and the University of Colorado. Juanita currently donates her time to mentor groups of women and help them develop their leadership skills. She supports them to find their independence and follow their dreams.
“When the women say “I do not like playing politics” I tell them ‘You can either be the quarterback or you can be the football. Either way you are already in the game. What are you going to be?’,” she said.
A lifetime proponent of learning and education, Juanita encourages anyone who wants to continue their education to talk to someone at Asher College.
“At Asher College we don’t just enroll you in a program, we give you the tools you need to be successful,” said Cox-Burton. “We offer an opportunity of a lifetime for people who either chose not to continue their education or attempted to complete their education but life got in the way. We offer the possibility for students to not only succeed in our programs, but we will do everything in our power to place them in a position in the area which they have studied. We offer them the opportunity to make more money or start a new career and be successful. We want them to get a job. We want them to be in a place where they can support themselves and their families. That is what we work for,” she said.