1998 Owens Graduate
"Owens Community College gave me a solid educational foundation and the courage to go on."
Public Service Technologies
Profile of Excellence: Karen Lusiak
Owens Community College Alumna
Karen Lusiak is a 1998 graduate of Owens Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Education. Graduating from Owens with a perfect 4.0 grade point average was just the first step of her formal education.
The previous "stay-at-home mom" started college when her youngest daughter, Christy, was a senior in high school. "After raising three children with my husband, Larry," says Karen, "I wanted to do something for myself and Owens Community College was a perfect choice."
Karen loved teaching small children and wanted to become a pre-school teacher. After evaluating the programs at area colleges, she was most impressed with Owens' Early Childhood Education curriculum. "I was very inspired by the support I received from Owens' faculty," she says. "They made me feel very comfortable in my new surroundings."
Karen started her first semester by taking nine credit hours to get her feet wet. She still laughs when she thinks about her first exam in Child Development. Dr. Kerry Garretson taught the class and had the reputation of being a tough teacher. "I heard if you got a C in his class, you were doing well," remembers Karen. "I was a little scared to take the exam." She rose to the occasion and received her first A. From there on, she jumped in with both feet and took classes at Owens full-time, year round.
Almost two years later, Karen was student teaching at Eagle Point School in Rossford. Working with a blended special needs and typical pre-school class, she was drawn to the students with special needs. When the session ended, Karen graduated from Owens with highest honors and was selected as the student speaker for the graduation ceremony.
Wanting to continue her concentration on special needs children, Karen transferred all her credits to a local four-year university to obtain her bachelors degree. "Owens Community College gave me a solid educational foundation," Karen said, "and the courage to go on."
In 2001, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education, again with highest honors. That graduation came one week after her youngest daughter, Christy, graduated from college.
Today, Karen is almost finished with her Master of Family and Consumer Sciences. She is focusing her thesis on "Empowerment and Collaboration-Perspectives from Families in Early Intervention." This research dovetails with her intent to later work within the "Help Me Grow" Program in Lucas County. As a collaborative participant within this program, she will utilize her education, experience and expertise with developmental screenings and referrals for at-risk families to help special needs children where there is the greatest impact-by empowering their families to help themselves.
As Karen says, "Owens Community College will always be my home base. My experiences there helped me move out of my comfort zone so I can help others to do the same."
Join Owens Community College's Alumni Association today!
Contact Laura Moore at (567) 661-7410 or firstname.lastname@example.org