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College of Continuing Education News

From the Dean


One of the hallmarks of students' experience with the College of Continuing Education is the assistance they can obtain to find and create programs of study to meet their own unique educational needs. Oftentimes, this requires clarifying their own goals. In this issue we tell the story of one very accomplished career and lifework counselor - Janet Pelto - who has recently been recognized by peers in her field with a prestigious achievement award in career counseling.

When she was interviewed about her life's work for this issue, she mentioned that fresh out of graduate school, and with many opportunities in front of her, she wasn't sure if career counseling was the right path to pursue with her educational psychology degree. She'd thought she might be missing an important prerequisite. "I didn't have all the answers!" she explained.

It turns out, her key to success was about asking good questions and then listening, really listening to the reply.

A passion for helping people take a long look inside and form a vision for their future, then a plan to position themselves for tomorrow's opportunities is a trait Janet shares with so many other dedicated faculty and staff here at the College. It is their hard work that supports our many truly amazing and dedicated students. In this issue alone, we meet:

  • Scholarship recipient, 2010 graduate, and native of Mexico's Yucatán, Satty Flaherty-Echeverria, who packed in up to seven courses per semester in three languages while working as an interpreter.

  • MLB catcher Dan Wilson who returned to school to finish a degree after a dozen years on the field and who embodies the spirit of so many degree completers ready to finish what they started.

  • Mini Antony, a native of India and current resident of Boise, Idaho, who took an online HR course before earning a new job after a six-year hiatus from her career.

  • Tami Oachs, who found the confidence to finish her family memoir after a writing workshop.

My congratulations go to our students and my thanks to all those who support them - staff, faculty, family, friends, and donors. Behind so many success stories lie a few carefully crafted questions and some reflective pauses. It is in those pauses that imaginations are let loose.

My wishes for a beautiful fall filled with opportunities to pause.


Dr. Mary L. Nichols
Dean, College of Continuing Education
University of Minnesota

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