Beloved TAMU-CC Professor, Administrator, Dr. Amy Aldridge Sanford, Receives YWCA ‘Women in Careers’ Award

Published: February 28, 2017

Beloved TAMU-CC Professor, Administrator, Dr. Amy Aldridge Sanford, Receives YWCA ‘Women in Careers’ Award

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – What is most noteworthy about Dr. Amy Aldridge Sanford isn’t just the accolades on her resume – though they are impressive. Instead, it is what she holds dear to her heart that elevates her above many. For most of her adult life, Aldridge Sanford has worked as a force for equality and inclusion of ostracized and marginalized groups, including women, the LGBTQIA+ community and the economically disadvantaged. She has been able to advance in her career and as an ally to those groups in higher education, as first a university professor and now in university administration. Because of all of this, it comes as no surprise that Aldridge Sanford, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, will be honored – along with seven other local women – as a 2017 Y Women in Careers.   

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the YWCA in this community that has quickly become home to me in the few years that I’ve been here,” said Aldridge Sanford.

This professional award, sponsored by the YWCA of Corpus Christi, highlights the accomplishments of women who excel in their fields – fields that are often dominated by men. Women who receive the award must have at least 10 years of progressive work experience. They must also serve as a role model for young girls.

“Recognizing these deserving women who play crucial roles in our community is a special privilege for the YWCA,” said Nancy Wesson-Dodd, YWCA President and CEO. “Y Women in Careers is a vital way to show young girls what women can accomplish; helping them set goals for their own lives.”

Since the inception of the award in 1979, the local YWCA has honored approximately 260 exceptional women – including more than a dozen other women with ties to the Island University.

“So many of those past winners have reached out to me with congratulations,” said Aldridge Sanford. “I am in good company. I feel fortunate to be part of this group of role models and I look forward to promoting the award and adding other women from our campus to this list.”

Aldridge Sanford grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, and was raised by a mother who encouraged her to be independent and educated. Later, during her graduate education at the University of Iowa, the environment around her was much more open and diverse than the one in which she grew up.

“I had never witnessed so much diversity before,” said Aldridge Sanford. “Seeing these differences but also recognizing how we were all similar opened up my eyes.”

Aldridge Sanford came to the Island University in 2013 after working at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, for nine years. Though she had deep roots in Oklahoma, she felt something pulling her to Corpus Christi.

“I had a good thing going in Oklahoma, but I just knew,” said Aldridge Sanford. “I believe in following your soul and I just knew I was supposed to move here. I feel very fortunate to have landed here amongst all these wonderful people at the Island University.”

Aldridge Sanford strives to make herself “a safer place” for anyone who might be ostracized and wants them to feel comfortable approaching her if they need help or just someone to talk to. She also believes in setting an example for young girls, especially those who struggle with their weight or poverty, since those were also her struggles as a child.

“When I’m around those girls, you can bet my posture is raised, my shoulders are back and I speak up,” said Aldridge Sanford. “Almost everything I do every day is purposeful because I want to empower other people.”