After leaving her teaching job in Rantoul to pursue her Ph.D. a few miles down the road, Lisa Dieker remembers thinking one thing.
What have I done?
"I was receiving a decent paycheck and was at the top of my game in my classroom, and now I didn’t even know which direction to go in this rectangle shaped, building with retro furniture and tile floors," she says.
“As I entered the Education Building, I thought: 'I am making a third of my salary, and I am pretty certain will be work 300 percent harder.' Well, I may have always struggled within that building as to which way to turn, but the people and the lessons I learned in that building (while earning her Ph.D.) sent me in a direction I did not even know I was capable of going.
"As a first-generation college student, I didn’t even know people got doctorates nor the direction such a degree could lead you – but I was in great hands, minds and hearts in being mentored by the folks in this building. I still today depend upon the great folks in the Education Building for friendship, mentorship and most importantly, direction.
"I have reached a pinnacle in my career I never dreamed possible when I entered those doors but despite my challenges with directions, the folks in the Education building have never had any trouble helping point me in the right direction of my life and career forever," says Dieker, now the Lockheed Martin Eminent Scholar at the University of Central Florida.