Profile of Excellence:
Owens Community College Alumna
Jennifer Daniels, a 1996 Mentor High School graduate and Cleveland native, earned her bachelor's degree in Secondary Education from a four-year university in May 2000. It wasn't until after she graduated, however, that she realized she might be happier teaching younger children.
"I rushed through my undergraduate work a bit too quickly," Jennifer said. "Secondary Education is a great career for many people, but I felt that it just wasn't what I really wanted to do. I've always enjoyed teaching and taking care of younger children, so I thought I should go that route instead."
Therefore, after working in retail and living in Montana for a short time, Jennifer enrolled in the Early Childhood Education associate degree program at Owens Community College in Fall 2004.
While enrolled at Owens, Jennifer maintained a 4.0 GPA, gained hands-on experience working in the Child Care Center on the Toledo-area Campus and learned first-hand the care and attention that Owens gives to its students.
"I would recommend Owens to others in a heartbeat," Jennifer said. "I was actually advised by the Chair of the Teacher Education Department, Deb Ciecka. She helped make sure I could graduate in three semesters. That would never happen at most schools."
Jennifer added, "Instructors Elisa Huss-Hage and Pam Chibucos were very supportive as well. They are just unbelievable teachers with open doors and open hearts. They really had an impact on me."
In addition to her Owens instructors, Jennifer credits the educational success she has achieved to her supportive husband, Dave, and her four young nephews, who motivated and encouraged her to obtain a second degree.
"Being with my nephews and spending time with them inspired me to enroll at Owens," Daniels said. "I love playing with them and watching them learn and grow. Teaching them even the most miniscule thing is amazing. It opened my eyes and made me realize that I could do that with other children as well."
Jennifer, now an Owens alumna, was selected as the Owens class representative for the 27th annual Fall Commencement Ceremony. As class representative, she addressed her fellow classmates with a speech focused on the importance of goals and dreams in one's life, as well as her personal story.
In the future, Daniels hopes to teach at a Northwest Ohio Child Care Center and looks forward to starting her own family. In addition, she plans on becoming an active Owens advocate in the Northwest Ohio community.
"I wish I would have come to Owens first," Jennifer said. "It was one of the best experiences of my life."
Join Owens Community College's Alumni Association today!
Contact Laura Moore at (567) 661-7410 or firstname.lastname@example.org