“I was born in Idaho, but I grew up all over,” Cheryl Cain notes, recounting her father’s position in the United States Army. A love of traveling is not surprising after a childhood with dividends spent across charts: Colorado, New Jersey—and twice in Germany, in two different towns. Today, set against Kingsville’s backdrop of knobbly palms, Cain readies for a shorter trek; she is due a drive to nearby Corpus Christi and its candlestick trees, prepared for a night lit in her honor.
On March 3, Cain, the executive director of Marketing and Communications at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, will be honored with eight other women at a banquet for the Young Women in Careers (YWCA). She and the other honorees are this year’s recipients of the “Y Women in Careers” Award. The organization’s Corpus Christi chapter is set to celebrate its 36th offering of the award. According to its website, “The YWCA is the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organization in the world. Across the globe, we have more than 25 million members in 122 countries, including 2 million members in 300 local associations in the United States.”
Like her childhood’s roadmap, Cain’s college years were well-traveled. Her undergraduate studies in radio-television were spent at Ithaca College. Later, she navigated to the University of North Texas to receive her MBA in marketing. With this cinched, Cain stretched to another dent on the map; in 1998, she became part of the TAMUK community. “It is a great collaborative environment, and I really enjoy being a part of this campus,” she notes. “It has been very rewarding to see the campus grow and gain the recognition it deserves.”
Part of that recognition falls to her credit; Cain’s lead has been central in dotting TAMUK’s name across atlases through her work with media. From her office in College Hall, Cain has directed the university’s magazine “Javelina Today,” a publication that has won the Gold Award in the Hermes Creative Awards. This magazine is the creation she is especially proud of, with each issue a multipage, glossy postcard from the best of TAMUK. Away from the mailbag, Cain’s stamp is in the digital realm as well. It is was through her initiative that the “Javelina Pride” and later “Javelina Nation” campaigns began. However, the accomplishment that stands out to her is that of teamwork. “I am most proud of assembling a good team of people – all of whom care a great deal about the university and its future. I lead the team, but we succeed together,” Cain observes.
By the reckoning of Nancy Wesson-Dodd, president and CEO of the YWCA, the “Y Women in Careers” Award is a way to share light through role models. “Y Women in Careers is a vital way to show young girls what women can accomplish, helping them set goals for their own lives.”
It’s a role that Cain understands and shines in, as she counsels, “Don’t be afraid to set high goals, but realize that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve them.” At the same time, she encourages others in the footwork—and the cartography—before success. “Most goals are achieved one step at a time, so don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t give up.”