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Alumnus Highlight: Erika Tate

Erika Tate Headshot

After graduating from Denison High School in May of 1999, Erika Tate was chosen for the Presidential Scholarship at Grayson College. She accepted the offer and started her journey as a Viking in the fall. The first year, Erika worked to earn her Associates Degree in Psychology and credits the scholarship with helping her navigate the cost of attending college. “The scholarship helped me pay for tuition and books,” says Erika. 

The next year she switched majors and received a scholarship for theatre arts which covered tuition, residence hall and supplies. 

“While at Grayson I served as editor for the college paper, worked as a tutor in the Tutoring Center and was an RA in my residence hall,” Says Erika. “I made a lot of great friends and made connections with mentors who I am still in contact with to this day.”

After graduating from Grayson College, Erika transferred to Texas A&M University- Commerce (TAMU-C) and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Theatre. After completion of her degree, she became a teacher. 

A few years into her teaching career, Erika decided to earn her Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Planning from TAMU-C. Today, Erika teaches Professional Communication and Journalism/Yearbook at Mesquite ISD where she has worked for sixteen years. 

“I truly love my job and enjoy teaching young minds. In addition to teaching, I serve as the Vice President of the Mesquite Education Association and have been a sponsor for the school’s Business Professionals of America and Student Council,” says Erika. “Currently, I am the sponsor of the yearbook and the National Technical Honor Society. I have also been a member of my city's community theatre where I got to put my knowledge of light and sound design to use.”

Erika credits her success to her start at Grayson College where classes were smaller, tuition was manageable and she was able to be close to home. 

“Thanks to Grayson College and my associate degree, I was able to transfer all of my classes which saved me time and money at the university,” Erika says. 

Erika has returned to the Grayson campus several times and says “My heart is always happy to see how the campus has grown. I encourage my students who want to get a little further from DFW for college, but don't want to go straight to a four year college to look into Grayson College to see if it is right for them.”