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Get to Know: Kellie Wilson Buford


As Kellie Buford reminds us in this week’s Get to Know, a school’s colors can be an important part of the employment decision. And, who else can combine Stonewall Jackson and the roar of F-15s into a personality profile?

Kellie Wilson Buford

Kellie Wilson Buford

Place of birth?
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Parents Steve and Terri Wilson, Sister Kacey, Husband Petree, and kids Diego and Baylie
Why did you choose A-State?
My amazing colleagues in the History Department and the potential for professional growth in my very busy and challenging job directing the BSE Social Science program. Plus, my favorite colors are red and black.
What makes a good professor?
Competent, engaging, passionate, challenging and most of all, committed to student success
Who was your favorite teacher (and why)?
My mom, dad, and Pixie. My mom for teaching me patience, compassion for all living beings, and the transformative power of unconditional love. My dad for teaching me to stand up for what I believe in and to never give up. And Pixie for teaching me that time is precious and to never take it for granted.
What makes for a good student?
One who is open-minded, inquisitive, and accepts responsibility for their decisions.
What’s the value of a university education?
It gives you the tools to think critically and make informed decisions for the rest of your life.
If you could teach another field, which one and why?
Veterinary medicine. I have always admired the work of veterinary doctors who help improve the quality of animals’ lives.
What is the one thing you wish you could teach everyone about your field?
History is a relentless master and not a field for the light-hearted.
What are you working on right now?
An article on sexual assault during the Korean War, manuscript revisions for my book forthcoming in Winter 2017 with University of Nebraska Press, and obedience training with our rescue Pit Bull, Nya Willow. I’m also painting the exterior of my house by hand!
Before you retire I want to...
publish work that will help policy-makers and advocates create more effective laws and programs to crack down on incidents of rape and sexual assault in the military.
In college, I was known for...
teaching mean cardio kickboxing, spin, and yoga/pilates classes!
What music is playing in your car?
Dave Matthews!
My favorite motion picture is...
Edward Scissorhands.
The television series I must TiVo...
HGTV’s “Love It or List It.”
The last book I read for fun was...
“Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf.
My favorite trip was...
my spring break week during my sophomore year at North Carolina State University. My dad took me all over Virginia to Civil War battlefields and historic sites tracing Stonewall Jackson’s maneuvers. Standing on top of the hill overlooking Manassas battlefield where Jackson “stood like a stone wall” amidst bullets, cannon fire, chaos and death—this was the moment I knew in my heart that I would be an historian. One of my favorite memories!
If I could travel anywhere it would be...
back to Spain.
Four people I’d take to coffee...
Virginia Woolf, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Aldous Huxley and Alexander Hamilton.
The best advice I ever received was...
from my sister, Kacey. She showed me that there is “beauty in the breakdown.” This lesson has sustained me through many difficult times. No matter how bad something may seem, it is precisely in moments of break down when we gain moments of clarity that can help us approach our situations and ourselves with more compassion and less judgment.
What is the one thing I’ve learned I’d tell my college self...
You don’t have to be perfect. You are wonderful just the way you are.
My hobby is...
my kids (human, canine and feline)! Spending time with them sustains me.
My passion is...
doing my research and writing. And letting my kids know every day that they are loved.
My pet peeve is...
rudeness, complacency, and when people refuse to take responsibility for their choices.
My favorite meal is...
Spinach and strawberry salad with hard-boiled eggs, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds!
A perfect day is...
sunny with a slight breeze, the sound of F-15’s flying overhead, a good run, flip flops, a good book, a glass of sangria, my dog and cats on my lap, and my kids’ laughter in the background.
My spirit cartoon character is...
Diego the Animal Rescuer!
What I like about Jonesboro is...
this is where my family is together.
When I want to crush karaoke, my song is...
Part of Your World from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”
Cats or dogs?
Both! I’ve been adopting shelter cats in need of good homes for as long as I can remember, but since we adopted our Pit Bull last August I realize how much I’ve been missing!
E-book or hardback?
Definitely hardback. I love the smell of books!
Beach or mountains?
Beach! I’ve lived in Hawaii and Alaska and loved both. But I loved Hawaii more!
Dinner or supper?
The one thing I’d take to a desert island (and a boat is not an answer)...
a good book.
I wish I could...
rescue all of the homeless or abused animals in the world and give them a good home.
Only my friends know I...
have a professional bartending license!
My favorite saying is...
one Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson lived by: “You may be whatever you resolve to be.”