Linda Cutright, a long-time colleague, student champion, and West Valley community activist was a leader not only at Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) but also in our vibrant and diverse West Valley community. She spent over 25 years serving Maricopa Community Colleges at both Glendale Community College and EMCC.

One of Linda’s proudest accomplishments was being among the first staff who developed the Genesis West Program. This alternative high school program allowed students to complete their high school diplomas while earning college credits.

Linda was at her best when she was making a difference in people’s lives. She was a passionate advocate of education, ensuring that community members knew that EMCC was their community college. While at EMCC, Linda planned and organized the Southwest Black History Month Community Celebration and was also instrumental in bringing to EMCC state leaders, such as Reginald Bolding, to discuss issues affecting our community. When race relations were at their lowest, she brought in a panel of Avondale Police leaders to discuss addressing tensions in our community.

Linda also played a major role in supporting the needs of the community in various positions. She was the Director of Project A.R.M., a teen pregnancy program focused on teen fathers and students in local high schools. In her roles in the City of Avondale, she planned and implemented various cultural events and celebrations and created a special interest class and a Code Enforcement Program that focused on beautification and enhancement programs. As Community Development Director for El Mirage, she coordinated community representatives to establish community needs.

No matter her job at the time, her focus and passion were always serving the local community’s needs and, most importantly, EMCC students. Linda was honored with the Living the Dream award in January 2009 by the Northwest Black History Committee. She was often quoted as saying, “I’ve been able to affect the lives of many students. It’s been such a rewarding experience.” She was a true example of “living her dream.”