August 16, 2021

Columbia College Alumna Shennice Cleckley was featured on the cover of July’s Columbia Business Monthly. The founder of Smart Cookie, a business consultancy firm that works with Christian female entrepreneurs who are struggling to capture the true joy in their entrepreneurial life, was profiled as a role model for local women longing to pursue a dream of business ownership.

As a child, Shennice’s dream was to become a “cookery,” – her four-year-old word for “chef” – and Columbia College helped her achieve this dream when, following her graduation with a double major in political science and public affairs, she opened her bakery. Shennice baked from 2003-2018 before opening the firm Smart Cookie, in order to help others achieve their own dreams. She describes herself as a non-traditional student because of her evening college track, but she says Columbia College provided a bonding experience that she did not receive at the university from which she transferred. That special bond has followed her into adulthood, as she has chased and attained her wildest childhood dreams and then some.

Shennice was not looking for another college experience when Columbia College found her. She was going through a period of discernment when she drove past campus and was overcome with a feeling that she must apply. She says thirty minutes later she was accepted and headed to the bookstore. While attending Columbia College, she received incredible guidance and enjoyed engaging lectures from Dr. Sharkey and Dr. Jones who she says were instrumental in her success after graduation, giving her the assurance and the knowledge to go confidently into the world.

According to Shennice, the moment she was accepted to Columbia College changed her life forever. She wants Koalas to know that it is important to “enjoy the process, which includes the exploration of knowledge, the bonding of colleagues, and having a whole lot of fun.” The alumnae body inspired her while she was enrolled, and she hopes that current students see and understand the power of Koalas sticking together, even after graduation. The Columbia College community shaped Shennice during college and supports her now after graduation because Koalas are Koalas for life.

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