First in Four Generations

Vinothee (Verne) Fortson, '06 Public Administration

Vinothee (Verne) FortsonHailing from South Africa, Vinothee (Verne) Fortson has already managed to tackle two associate degrees and a bachelor’s degree all while raising children, being a supportive wife, physical education teacher, and an active member of the community.

Fortson’s husband, Stephen Fortson, associate professor and chair of the Department of Human Services, was part of her main support system during her program. After a challenging first class in her program, Fortson became determined to stay motivated and not accept failure. A rocky beginning for Fortson soon turned into a great success that has prepared her for an even brighter future. Her accomplishments have become an inspiration to her family and friends.

“My greatest achievement is that I am the first in four generations of women and men in my family to graduate from high school and college and obtain a master’s degree. Nothing could be greater! That’s my legacy; I have paved the way for future generations of women in my family who did not think it was possible.”

With her master’s degree in public administration, what’s next for the woman who has spent more than a decade on her education? Fortson will move on to law school at the University of Dayton. She then plans on working for a nonprofit or government agency.