Alicia Schooler-Hugg lives in Northern California. The former op-ed columnist freelances for national and local publications, and is a registered nurse. She taught university level communications and leadership courses, co-hosted a local cable TV news broadcast, and received several journalism-based honors, including three C. Everett Koop awards for health-focused articles. Her latest book, Art and Soul of Jazz, a tribute to Charles Mingus, Jr., is a third edition and captures the Mingus dynamic through previously unpublished letters, photographs and extensive research. Schooler-Hugg also views the book as a tribute to her late mother and aunt, Mingus sisters Vivian Alicia and Grace Esther Mingus.
Grandpa Schooler wanted me to be a missionary. I thought about it too—seriously. I wanted to help people, wanted to travel to the ends of the earth and nurture those less fortunate than me, while spreading the word that my grandfather had spent years of his life instilling in me, his other grandchildren, and his followers. When the opportunity to become a nurse presented itself along my convoluted path, I jumped at it. I’ve never regretted that choice. Because, my dear grandfather–Alexander Robinson Schooler–one of the five founding bishops of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World..nursing has enabled so many career opportunities, including writing. That you were a poet, songwriter, and lover of the English language, played a huge part in who I am today. So I owe you much, Grandpa, for planting that early career goal into your “sassy” granddaughter’s head.