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Faculty Spotlight: Drew Davis

Known for her smiling demeanor and love for children, Drew Davis, adjunct professor in the online Child and Family Services program, is someone who wants to make a difference in big and small ways. Whether she’s teaching undergraduate students the significance of child development, driving her kids to preschool, or serving as a child life specialist at local clinics and hospitals, professor Davis is a driven and accomplished professional with a deep desire to get students interested in child and family centered careers. Holding a background in hospital care and teaching, Davis has made it her mission to mentor, encourage, and lead undergraduates toward their goals of becoming specialists, working professionals, instructors and thoughtful future parents. As a professor and preschool teacher, Davis is on her way to becoming the best mom, instructor, and specialist she can be; all with her family and students at the forefront of her mind. 

Driven From The Start

Raised in Abilene, Texas, Davis knew she wanted to experience life in a new way. Soon after graduating high school, Davis decided to move to Waco, Texas and enrolled at Baylor University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies. Looking back, Davis remembers how new the degree was at the time. Unlike other health care professionals, who focused on diagnosing the patient, Davis was interested in learning the ins and outs of how children are spoken to, assisted, and cared for by social workers, physicians and parents alike, with the added emphasis of ensuring the child’s safety and protection. 

“My family is full of educators, and I remember saying ‘I don’t want to be a teacher, too,” Davis said. “But then, once I started taking classes in child and family studies, I realized that we were actually being trained to be teachers in a hospital setting, in the waiting room, [and] in unstable homes. And so, that’s really what I think drew me in.” 

After obtaining her undergraduate degree, Davis decided to pursue a master’s degree in child development from Texas Woman’s University. Young, full of life, and graduating with her master’s degree, Davis also started looking for clinics where she could gain the practice and experience she so desperately wanted. Moving to various places like Pensacola, Florida, and El Paso, Texas, Davis received her training at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital and El Paso Children’s Hospital, where she received hands-on training with children undergoing various procedures that required assistance from specialists like her. It was through these training and internships that Davis realized how much she loved her job and career. 

“Through all of these experiences, I was just soaking everything up,” Davis remarked. “From the culture and change of lifestyle, I was just amazed at how much I knew I picked the right career for myself and the type of person I wanted to be.” 

Moving Back to The ‘Lene

Returning back to Abilene, Texas, Davis secured a position at Hendrick Children’s Hospital as the primary child life specialist. Serving hundreds of families and children across the hospital, professor Davis saw there was a great need for child life specialists. After connecting with professors at ACU, Davis began teaching child and family life courses alongside her full-time position and growing family. However, after seeing the need to reprioritize some things in her life, Davis decided to take a step back from teaching to focus on her family – a move that she has never regretted. 

“It was important for me to stop and raise my babies,” Davis expressed. “I think – and believe – that it’s important to do what you need to do for your children and as someone who understands how important child development is, I knew this was the right move for me and my family.” 

Fast forward to three babies later, Davis was asked to join the online Child and Family Services faculty team led by Dr. Brandy Chalmers, a former colleague at Hendrick Hospital. Seeing her work ethic and heart for children and the field, Davis is incredibly thankful to Dr. Chalmers for taking the time to reach out and bring Davis back to one of her first loves. Professor Davis, like Dr. Chalmers, sees the importance of having practitioners teach students. For Davis, people who have worked in the field and experienced situations for themselves, make Child and Family Services students understand the importance of why they’re learning what they are. As someone who has moved, tried, succeeded, and failed at times in her career, Professor Davis is proud to now be seen as mentor and leader by her students and colleagues alike. 

“During college, I did not have someone who held my hand or taught me some things I needed to know,” Davis said. “And so, to be that person for someone like my students, is honestly such a blessing and I’m just extremely grateful to be given that opportunity.” 

Now, teaching classes online, helping at the local preschool, and managing her growing household, Davis has not closed the door on returning as a child life specialist just yet. While it would be difficult to return right now, in the stage of life she’s in, Davis is content on keeping the door open for as long as she can. In many ways, Davis understands what her new roles are and is excited to see the blessings that come when one is faithful and guided by the Lord. 

Are you interested in taking classes from instructors like Professor Davis? Learn more about our Child and Family Services program today! Or, call our admissions team at 855-219-7300 to begin your journey at ACU Online.

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