Debbie (Diefenthaler) Green grew up outside of Oak Harbor, Ohio. In a family with five children, she needed to pay her own way through college. She decided to go to Owens Community College because it was so affordable.
During high school she had enjoyed taking the typing and shorthand classes, so she pursued an associate's degree in Executive Secretarial, the predecessor to the associate's degree in Office Administration offered now.
While the name of the degree and the technology has changed (they were working on typewriters and word processors then) some things have remained the same.
"Even then the teachers were knowledgeable and up to date on technology," said Green.
The College also had the community atmosphere that it maintains today.
"Because Owens was small, I built great friendships. We all followed the same schedule and took the same classes together," said Green.
In her final quarter of school, Green decided to start working full-time. She scheduled her three remaining classes in the evenings and started to look for a job in order to get a head start.
She didn't have to look too long. Before she even graduated, she landed a job at Owens Community College as the Secretary to the Assistant President. She worked for Owens for a little over eight years before she left to raise her daughters. She has two girls, Katie, who is now 23 and Jenny, who is now 21.
After two years of being home with the kids, Green was offered a job working part-time for a former Owens professor who had just started his own consulting firm in quality control.
The job worked out great. Green was able to bring her kids with her to the professor's house to play with their children while she worked. Eventually, the professor moved to Florida and she installed an extra phone line and was essentially telecommuting before it became trendy.
After 14 years, a time that Green jokingly calls the longest maternity leave ever, she came back to Owens to work. Today she is the Senior Administrative Coordinator of Fund Development. She is involved with Owens Foundation's gift processing and scholarship awards, serves as the Assistant Secretary of the Foundation Board and Secretary of the Alumni Association Board.
This is a fitting place for her since Owens has become sort of a family tradition. Green's husband, two brothers, sister-in-law, cousin, niece and even her two daughters have taken classes or earned their degrees at Owens.
"Working here for the second time was like coming back home. Many people were still here that I remembered and people still remembered me," said Green.