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Full-Time Employee to Earn LC Degree May 2019

November 12, 2018

Donna Kerr is earning her degree in English at Lewis & Clark while working full time as the Mathematical Sciences administrative coordinator. Get to know Donna in the interview below.

When did you apply/enroll at LC and begin taking classes?

I transferred in as a sophomore and started taking classes in the spring of 2013. I started with one class and then worked my way up to two classes a term.

When did you decide to major in English?

When I started taking classes, I planned on my major being Sociology, but in the fall of 2014 I took Intro to the Short Story with Pauls Toutonghi and soon realized that my major was English. I have always loved reading, but writing quickly became a new love of mine.

What were some of your favorite classes and/or projects so far?

My favorite classes have been Creative Nonfiction Writing and Fiction Writing, but I have enjoyed all my English classes. The classes outside of my major have been wonderful too. Like, biology and math required for non-majors were fun and very interesting. Greg Hermann (Biology) and Paul T. Allen (Math) are incredible professors. I think that it’s amazing to be in a class where the professors love what they are teaching. It’s kind of contagious, you want to love the subject too! It really affects the class and makes you want to work hard and learn as much as you can about the subject. A second language is required for a degree here at LC and my Spanish teacher, Megan McDonald has become a great encourager of mine. It’s been very helpful to be surrounded by professors who want you to succeed and help any way possible.

How do you balance work, classes, and home life as a busy mom?   

My daughter Brianna is 14 and just started high school, and my son Donovan is 13 and is in middle school. I think that balancing school, work and life is sometimes difficult, but with enough planning ahead I have been able to make it work. It helps that I love organizing and live on Excel spreadsheets. I also have a very supportive husband! I have additionally tried to be very realistic and adjusted my school load as needed. I took a fall term off when my daughter started middle school because all of our schedules were a little out of control. I also lucked out with co-workers. They are very supportive, who adjust their schedule to help with my class time. I have great co-workers!

Do you have any advice for other LC employees considering getting a degree here while working full time?

If you are thinking about starting to take classes, plan to meet with an admissions counselor, an advisor in the counseling center, or speak to a fellow a current transfer student, like me. It helps to talk it over with someone. We have impressive counselors here at LC who have valuable advice.

What is your dream job?

I love planning events and love LC, so my dream job would combine those two things!

Anything else you want to add?

I am very excited about graduation in May of 2019! It feels very exciting to accomplish a goal that I have been working on for many years. I may wear my graduation gown for a while!