Every day, Glenda Crunk puts into practice America's promise of equal opportunity in the community that supports and trains the future of Army leaders charged with defending it. As an Affirmative Employment (Special Emphasis) and Disability Program Manager at the U.S. Army Garrison, West Point, Glenda's responsibilities primarily include facilitating reasonable accommodation requests for civilian employees with disabilities, in turn helping them maximize their productivity and contribute to the well being of the West Point community.
As a person with a non-evident disability, Glenda's job is deeply personal to her, and the journey to it began with the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP). The WRP connects federal and private sector employers to qualified and pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities. Glenda was encouraged to apply for the WRP by the Office of Disability Services at Georgia State University just as she was finishing her Master's degree in Public Administration in 2008.
She did, but was not convinced at the time anything would come of it. So she was pleasantly surprised when, not long after interviewing with a WRP recruiter, she was contacted by the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office at U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort McPherson in East Point Georgia and offered a summer internship, an experience she describes as life changing.
Based on her performance, at the end of that summer, Glenda was nominated and accepted into the Army Civilian Training, Education and Development System (ACTEDS), a formal career development program for civilian Army employees. She then stayed at Fort McPherson until 2011, when the facility was preparing to close as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission recommendations.
At first, she had mixed emotions about transferring to West Point, Glenda admits, but she quickly acclimatized — including to the difference in weather. "It really is a lot of fun, and I love being with the cadets," she says. In fact, Glenda volunteers as a "Respect" mentor through a program that matches cadets who have had violations with advisors to assist them in staying on track. Although most mentors are military and not civilian employees, Glenda was asked to participate based on her demonstrated leadership skills.
"Every day I feel like I'm in service to my country," Glenda says. "I can't describe the honor I feel when I see the cadets. It makes you really embrace the Army spirit and appreciate being part of something special." Clearly, Glenda's contributions to the West Point community, both in and out of the office, help keep that spirit strong.