Marva Doss: Longtime professor continues at BC well after retirement

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Marva Doss works at Brazosport College in this 1975 BC file photo.

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Marva Doss poses for a photo recently in the Brazosport College Student Success Center.

Marva Doss has issues with retirement. To be more specific, she can’t follow through with it.

Since she officially stepped away from Brazosport College in 2006, she’s returned to the school as an adjunct professor, a registration counselor, an ESL aid and her current role, a writing tutor.

“I really thought I was leaving,” Marva said of retiring from Brazosport College 12 years ago. “But opportunity has presented itself every time. I’m fortunate in that I wasn’t seeking all this. I’ve always been sought after.

“I’m just not good at retirement,” she added with a laugh. “It’s definitely a problem.”

At the same time, her “retirement problem” has been a big gain for Brazosport College.

Marva has served Brazosport College in some capacity for nearly 44 of the school’s 50 years. Beginning her career in 1974, she spent 33 years at BC as a professor of Psychology and Sociology before taking on a variety of part-time positions at the college after her retirement.

Even more impressive, Brazosport College is the only employer Marva has ever had.

Marva’s road to Brazosport College actually began at the University of Houston, where she not only earned her bachelor’s degree, but also met and fell in love with James Doss, who was working at The Dow Chemical Company. After graduation, the couple married and lived in Freeport.

“The funny thing is that I was living in the Velasco section of Freeport and the school was right across the street, but I knew nothing of it,” Marva said of the original Brazosport Junior College campus in Freeport. “I knew it was in the old Lanier school, but I didn’t know there was a college operating there. I lived right there and didn’t realize it.”

Marva then returned to UH to earn her master’s degree and used the Brazosport College library, which by then had moved to its current location in Lake Jackson, for research and study. After earning her second degree, she applied and was hired at the College. The rest, as they say, is history.

“It was a whirlwind kind of thing,” she said. “Graduating from college, getting married, going to grad school and then getting my first and only job. It was a time for me to really grow up, have real responsibilities and establish myself.”

Marva has fond memories of her early days at Brazosport College. When she was hired, the school was much smaller in both size and numbers, which assisted in forging a tight-knit staff that knew each other well.

“What really sold me was how open the campus was,” she said. “It was a very good learning environment. We were a family and we were a much smaller group. We had picnics, Christmas parties and a lot of craziness in between. We did so many fun things. It was neat. We just enjoyed each other.”

During her decades as a full-time professor at BC, Marva was officially a professor of Psychology and Sociology, but she believes her job went beyond typical classroom lectures.

“I feel that I provided life coaching to my students, “ Marva said. “I really was a counselor who happened to be a teacher.”

She also was involved with many campus, including the Afro-American Club and the Baptist Student Union, to name a few.

More than anything, however, Marva is filled with fond memories of Brazosport College. She has enough stories about the campus and her co-workers that she could probably write a book. For her, Brazosport College has been a lifetime of memories.

Although her years of full-time work are over, she still finds her way back to campus on a regular basis and she doesn’t envision leaving the College completely behind anytime soon.

 “I don’t know how long they’ll let me stay here, but I’ll probably be around as long as they allow me to be here,” Marva said with a chuckle. “I’ll be turning 70 this October and I’m still here.

“I’ve pretty much flunked retirement.”