Baker Proud Spring 2015 - (Page 26)
BAKER PROUD | Spring 2015
Baker's 100th doctoral graduate
am Turner's path to becoming
Baker University's 100th doctoral graduate was a self-proclaimed "journey to the mountaintop" and lesson in perseverance.
Between completing her coursework
in the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program and starting her dissertation, Pam's husband of nearly 30 years,
Michael, was diagnosed with colon cancer. After surgery
to remove the tumor, he underwent 24 chemotherapy
treatments, never complaining, as was his nature. Pam
was researching for the second chapter of her dissertation
before they were notified that he had metastatic cancer
of the liver, forcing more rounds of chemotherapy and a
surgery in August 2013.During his battle with cancer, Mike
often asked his wife whether she had finished her dissertation. "I told him, 'I hadn't but once he got home and was
on the road to recovery, I promised that the dissertation
would be my primary focus.'" Mike passed away in November 2013 and three months later she began the arduous
work of completing her dissertation. She officially became
Dr. Turner in early February 2015.
"I think working on the dissertation was therapeutic
and it kept my mind focused on something that he had
been a part of for four years," said Turner, a secondary
math and science district facilitator for the Leavenworth
(Kan.) Public School District. "I can honestly say that my
promise to Michael pushed me every day to complete the
study. My study is dedicated to him and while I could not
have made this journey without the help of others, it was
that promise which inspired me daily to complete the
work that Michael had unselfishly supported and encouraged."
Dr. Harold Frye, an associate professor for Baker's
School of Education graduate program and an adviser to
Turner, admired the doctoral student's determination.
"I was amazed at how Pam and other Baker doctoral
candidates seem to persevere through difficult times and
challenges that face them," Frye said. "I was particularly
impressed and humbled at how she was able to focus on
her studies during her husband's illness and passing."
Turner's dissertation, "Temperament Types, Job
Satisfaction, Job Roles, and Years of Service of Doctor of
Educational Leadership Candidates and Graduates," investigated the relationships of factors than can influence a
leader. Focusing on temperament types of candidates and
graduates from Baker's first nine cohorts, she examined
archived data from a personality test, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter.
"I have always been interested in human behavior and
leadership, so the potential study appealed to me," she said.
An educator for more than 30 years, Turner is in her
fifth year with the Leavenworth Public School District. She
had been an instructional coach before she transitioned
this year into the secondary math and science district
facilitator position. In this role, she works closely with the
administration to ensure teachers have the resources and
materials necessary to assist with their instruction.
"I make classroom visits, collect data around the areas
of concern, and collaborate with the teacher to develop a
plan, determine the course of implementation which will
hopefully result in creating a safe, highly engaged classroom for students and teacher," she said.
"My parents encouraged me to use my
God-given gifts and talents, encouraging
me to learn something new every day."
- Pam Turner
Turner became interested in Baker's doctoral program
because of the cohort model, attentive faculty and a
flexible schedule that accommodated her schedule with a
full-time job and responsibilities outside of work. She and
her classmates met every Wednesday night for two years
at the Overland Park campus.
"Each course prepared me with knowledge and skills
necessary to experience success not only in the classroom, but on a broader scale in my educational career
as a teacher and leader," she said. "The coursework was
balanced with educational and leadership theory as well
as practical application. I think the Baker doctoral experience equipped me for the climb as a professional as well
as experiences in my personal life. I gained confidence in
my leadership competencies as a result of the process.
"I appreciated that faculty knew us personally and each
one of them was willing to provide help and support when
we needed assistance, and the expertise that each brought
to the course was nothing less than exceptional. I became
a better student as a result of Dr. Frye's guidance.
"Turner has known since kindergarten she wanted to
be a teacher. In grade school, she often was placed next to
students who needed her assistance in the classroom. Her
parents also played a role in allowing her to become more
responsible at an early age.
"My parents encouraged me to use my God-given gifts
and talents, encouraging me to learn something new every
day," she recalled. "They taught me the importance of perseverance, diligence, persistence and determination."
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baker Proud Spring 2015
Thirst for Knowledge
Finding His Calling
Let Thy Praises Ring
Anatomy of a Student
100th Doctoral Graduate
Baker Proud Spring 2015