As a self-professed late academic bloomer, ASU Online faculty member Deborah Way’s path to a college degree was similar to that of many of her students: nontraditional. She became an adult learner after her son had graduated from college, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern California.
Deborah then transferred to ASU to pursue her doctorate from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. Though she was on campus throughout her collegiate experience, she didn’t feel like the typical student.
“I was the person in class who loved participating and would raise my hand to answer questions while the other students gave me dirty looks,” she says with a laugh. “I love learning and relished the fact that I had an opportunity to go back and get a college degree.”
When Deborah started an assistantship during her doctorate program, she discovered that teaching was something she really enjoyed, too. She stayed on to teach face-to-face classes at ASU and then, after defending her dissertation in 2010, moved to Seattle, where she transitioned to teaching exclusively online.