Published on March 19th, 2014 | by Alex Conover2
Professor to sign copies of book March 21
Pye, who grew up in the Chicago projects known as the ABLA Homes, says her family life was very unstable; her two brothers were involved in gang activity and eventually jailed, and her parents were both hard drug users.
In the book, Pye describes how school became her sanctuary during her educational journey that culminated with a terminal degree. Despite many setbacks with her home life — including being transferred to six different schools during the course of one year — Pye focused on her studies, graduated from high school and went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree from Chicago State University followed by a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. Her entire life has centered around the classroom and, as her book details, academics kept her safe during hard times.
“I spent a lot of time at school,” Pye said. “That was my safe place. Instead of getting involved with things in the neighborhood, most of my time was spent at school. I think it was one of my saving graces that I really enjoyed school and it kept me busy. I hung out there and I did good things there.”
Pye frequently speaks to young people about her childhood and the contents of her book, visiting youth groups and high schools. This month, Pye was named a recipient of the MN ACE Women in Leadership Award as a role model in the field of higher education, and she will be honored during an April 10 ceremony.
About Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota awakens, nurtures, and empowers learners to ethical lives of service and leadership. A private Lasallian Catholic institution, Saint Mary’s offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs. About 1,200 students are enrolled in the residential undergraduate college in Winona, established in 1912. Approximately 4,300 students are enrolled in the schools of graduate and professional programs, which offers master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as bachelor’s degree completion, certificate and specialist programs. The university delivers education to adults through campuses in Winona, Minneapolis and Nairobi, Kenya; centers in Apple Valley, Rochester and Oakdale; and at numerous other locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Jamaica. Saint Mary’s is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.