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Lifelong learners

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Photo Courtesy of Joy Uduehi

From a young age, Joy Uduehi learned a key to knowledge was studying, and she loved nothing more than to learn new things.

While she had a master’s in both theatre and public health and an associate’s degree in nursing, Joy didn’t feel that she was ready to quit learning.

“You find that if you take the one class, it takes you into that particular area and you find out that there’s so much you don’t know. You find that you take different classes and it exposes you to so much of what is going on around your world,” Joy said.

Eighteen months ago, Joy started working towards her Master of Business Administration (MBA).

As Joy began the MBA program, her daughter Elizabeth Uduehi, already having earned her master’s in speech-language pathology said she was also looking to further her education

Now both mother and daughter will be graduating together this weekend.

“As a speech therapist I really enjoy what I do, and I was looking for an opportunity to learn more in something that was a little bit different than what I typically do,” Elizabeth said.  “I don’t have a business background so I thought it would be beneficial for me to explore more into that field.”

Elizabeth said her both her parents were hard-working people who always made education a very important focus. She believes that it’s one thing to tell children education is important, but it means even more when she sees her mother pursue it.

“My mom has always been a lifelong student, and she definitely taught me how to be a lifelong student too. Being able to go to class with her and bounce ideas off of her is definitely a rare experience that most people don’t get to experience with their parents, and I get to experience that with her.”

With the course offered online, Elizabeth said she was unable to interact with her classmates in person, but in certain courses, she did know one classmate.

“I was always able to call (Joy) and brainstorm about how to approach a project or studying for things. We were able to bounce ideas off each other and help fill gaps in lack of knowledge for each other. Being able to experience this new field together, it was priceless.”

Elizabeth believes the importance of continued learning is due to our ever-changing society.  “It’s important to always keep up on not just what’s going on in your own career field, but to be knowledgeable across the board of what’s going on and current issues, and therefore you can figure out how you can be apart of that too positively influence that.”

Both mother and daughter said they are beyond excited for this family commencement.  

 “It’s very special for me as a mother,” Joy said. “I’m very excited to graduate but I’m more excited for my daughter and I’m very, very proud of her. To know that you raised them and you tell them all these things that will help them do well in life and just to think that she took the challenge and decided to do the MBA. I feel blessed to be in a position where both of us are graduating from the same program at the same time.”

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University of Southern Indiana's student publication
Lifelong learners