Q and A with Berkeley College Professor of Management, Entrepreneur and Author of “The Resilience Factor: How to Face Adversity, Trauma and Tragedy Like a Superhero,” Syleecia Thompson, DBA

Monday, April 26, 2021
Contact: Chanel Donaldson
Senior Associate, Media Relations



Photo Caption: Syleecia Thompson, DBA, Professor, Management, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®

Resilience, or the ability to push through difficult circumstances, is top of mind in the post-COVID era as so many people work to recover and to rebuild their lives and circumstances. Syleecia Thompson, DBA, Professor of Management, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®, is familiar with overcoming life’s challenges. In addition to being an educator, entrepreneur, entertainment industry veteran and social media maven, Thompson is a breast cancer survivor. Her new book, The Resilience Factor: How to Face Adversity, Trauma and Tragedy like a Superhero, encourages readers to dig deep and uncover their strengths on their paths of perseverance and self-discovery. In this Q & A, Thompson shares her insights on why resilience is important and reflects on her own journey. 

Tell us about your new book, The Resilience Factor: How to Face Adversity, Trauma and Tragedy like a Superhero. Why was it important to write a book on this topic?

Thompson: We all have a resilience factor that oftentimes we suppress. Everyone has the ability to be resilient. I wanted to tell my story so that others could dig deep inside and know that they have the tools to overcome anything life throws their way. The book includes a self-discovery journal. This useful toolkit, filled with intimate looks at life, will inspire readers to be their own hero. Inner strength is gathered in the pages of this raw, unfiltered book that will make the reader laugh, cry and get angry, fortifying them to overcome the difficult challenges that they face.

How has your experience as a breast cancer survivor shaped your outlook and informed your work?

Thompson: I have learned to take my losses and lessons all in stride. In order to heal others and help others transform, you have to be vulnerable, authentic and real. I think that makes me a better educator, entrepreneur and human being. I want to be able to connect on a deeper level when I encounter people inside and outside of the classroom.

How valuable is higher education for young people, or anyone, who is building a career?

Thompson: I am a strong advocate for higher education. I encourage this experience. It is really important to gain the skills which you get with higher education. These skills are critical thinking, emotional intelligence, the ability to work with others in a team environment, and writing.

If you could offer one piece of advice to those on a journey of self-discovery or perseverance, what would it be?

Thompson: We are the sum of our experiences. We only get one life, so make the most of it. Learn, grow and connect with others.

In addition to being an author, you are a full-time faculty member, a long-time entrepreneur, and have an extensive background in the entertainment industry. What helps you balance the areas that involve you?

Thompson: I am good at time management and organization. 

What are you most proud of so far?

Thompson: I am proud to have overcome many things and that I am still here to tell my story and help other women in the process. 

What’s next for you?

Thompson: I would love to develop and build an entertainment course or program for Berkeley College. I’d also like to do more things in television and film. 

Berkeley College celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2021. The theme commemorating this milestone is “Empowering Lives for 90 Years!” Visit the 90th Anniversary webpage for more information.

About Berkeley College
Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College also offers continuing education programs to enhance career credentials.

Berkeley College has campuses in Midtown Manhattan and White Plains, NY, as well as in Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge, and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 4,900 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for eight consecutive years. The website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu.

The mission of Berkeley College is to empower students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers.


To view a high-resolution version of the above photo, click here: images/ALL_SyleeciaThompson_042621.jpg