Marlee Bunch, who hails from Kansas City, Missouri, is nearly finished with her online Ed.D. in Diversity and Equity in Education (EPOL) and plans to spend the fall of 2022 preparing for her final doctoral defense. She describes her Ed.D. experience as "worthwhile, challenging, and incredibly transformative." More, in Marlee's words:
What have you enjoyed most about your online degree program experience at Illinois, so far?
"The best parts about my online experience so far have been finding my people, so to speak. Meeting mentors, feeling supported and encouraged, connecting with colleagues, discovering a study/research topic deeply important to me, and continuing my own growth and learning have all made this experience so rich and worthwhile."
What were you doing prior to starting your online degree program?
"I was exiting my career as a secondary teacher due to COVID-19 and deciding what next steps to take in my life."
Why did you choose your program and Education at Illinois, particularly?
"I chose it for the reputation, quality scholarship, diversity and equity program, the course offerings, and the fact that it was 100% online. Throughout my degree program I have felt supported, inspired, encouraged, and challenged. Having professors and mentors like Dr. Span, Dr. Lee, Dr. Pak, and Dr. Hale have truly enriched my life and learning experiences. My experience has been worthwhile, challenging, and incredibly transformative."
What are you doing now, and how has your online degree experience helped you?
"I just finished curating a collaborative exhibit called "Unlearning the Hush" with HAW Contemporary Gallery in Kansas City, which runs through the end of September 2022, and am I am preparing for my final doctoral defense. My education at the University of Illinois has helped me become a better scholar and researcher."