PhD program attracts out-of-state commuters
One weekend program at Our Lady of the Lake University boasts a remarkable long-distance appeal. Janet Dellaria travels from Trout Creek, Mich. to San Antonio every other weekend to pursue a doctorate in Leadership Studies. Antoinette Hill flies in from Miami, Fla. to pursue the same degree.
Janet begins her journey with a one hour and 45 minute drive from Trout Creek to Rhinelander, Wis. She parks at a motel, catches a cab to the Rhinelander airport and arrives an hour early. Janet boards a flight to Minneapolis, Minn., changes planes, then flies to San Antonio. “To get from here to there,” says Janet, who is 65-years-old, “takes eight hours.”
Trout Creek has no mayor, no gas station and no stoplights. Janet owns the only grocery store in town. She’s not sure how she will use her degree but isn’t concerned. “I think Divine Providence will put me in the right spot at the right time once I have my degree,” she said. Janet earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in library science at OLLU in the 1960s and has always dreamed of getting her PhD.
What drew her back to San Antonio? Janet likes the program’s cohort model that allows her to collaborate with fellow students. She wanted to improve her leadership skills and found OLLU to be the right fit.
Antoinette is the director of Parent and Family Leadership at the University of Miami Medical School. She grew up in Mission, Tex., met her husband at Trinity University in the ‘60s and owns a second home in Boerne. Raising a 30-year-old daughter with severe disabilities led Antoinette to seek a doctoral program that would help her advocate for the disabled and the elderly. She felt OLLU’s program provided the best opportunity. “I am fortunate I can make the commute,” she said. “I’ve loved every minute of it.”