Donna Brown knows first-hand how essential an at-home classroom feel is. As a teacher at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Donna strives to help students reach their fullest potential while pursuing her own degree in health care management at Immaculata University. She notes being in an undergraduate program helps her relate more to her students, stating she can empathize with the challenges that come from managing a job, home and school. She has it down to a schedule, however, that keeps her feeling balanced and ready for any challenges that she may face.
Working in the education field for most of her adult life, teaching has always been one of her greatest passions. She never takes her education lightly and works strenuously to give her students the same impressions. The community at IU fosters her beliefs, and through the courses she has taken she has seen herself grow as an individual. Some courses that she particularly enjoyed were her Financial Accounting in Health Care Systems and Financial Reporting in Health Care Systems. Both courses were taught by Gregory Brown and had an option to join a webinar setting. Each week, students could join the webinar and be part of the discussion. They had an opportunity to discuss topics they did not understand or walk through any of the assignments they had gotten wrong, which greatly benefited the students who took advantage of the webinar.
One of Donna’s long-term goals is to be a program director in a setting where she can help future students achieve lasting success. Donna recently received an invitation to join the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society for her outstanding GPA and it was one of her proudest moments at IU.
“I know my most memorable experience from IU will be walking across the stage at graduation, but I am also looking forward to attending my pinning ceremony and receiving the cords from the honor society on April 5”, Brown says.
It is heavy scheduling and a strong support system that truly set her on the path to success. While attending IU, Donna felt her professors, and especially her advisor, took the time to meet her needs. She aspires to continue her education at IU, looking into master’s programs in either psychology or counseling. She is always looking ahead and notes either of these programs will help her in her dream position, as she aspires to help students who are not in traditional programs or who have unique experiences.
Sean Firn, Donna’s son, graduated from Immaculata in 2018 with a degree in marketing and business management from CAPS. They often joke that they are in a race for their degrees, as Sean is considering pursuing a master’s degree at IU. When Sean and his wife, Elizabeth Solenberger ’18, had their children, Donna went to the IU bookstore to purchase Mighty Mac onesies, referring to her grandchildren as future Mighty Macs. Her husband, Richard, has been there every step of the way and it is family that drives Donna.
She always has graduation in the back of her mind. Her son recently told her that he wanted his children at her graduation, so that they could see Grandma walk across the stage and know they could do anything. IU is a family affair for Donna, and she knew when her son arrived for undergrad that it would be a perfect place to receive an education.