Our nontraditional and graduate students are some of the hardest-working Tigers you'll meet. While they earn their degrees, most of them maintain other responsibilities, such as working full time or parenting. And their effort and execution don't falter in the classroom, whether that be online or in person.

Meet our class of 2023 Featured Tigers, leaders in all aspects of their lives!

Jody Joel ’23
Jody Joel ’23E cannot wait to enact her servant leadership skills she solidified in her master's degree program at Doane. She will step into an administrative role as Instructional Coordinator at Goodrich Middle School.

Jody Joel ’23E (she/her)

Lincoln, NE

Master of Education in Educational Leadership

First off — congratulations! How do you feel as you head into the next phase of your life?
As I think about graduation this weekend and going into my new leadership position at Goodrich Middle School, I am beyond excited and feel so blessed to have the opportunities I have been given. My passion has always been doing what is best for kids and helping teachers be their best and I can't wait to start this new journey and put what I have learned in Cadre 44 into practice.

What's your next step after graduation?
I will begin my school administration journey at Goodrich Middle School as an Instructional Coordinator.

How has attending Doane prepared you for your next steps?
Cadre 44 has solidified my belief and desire to be a servant leader, to listen first to the people within my community, and to do what is best my students, staff and families.

What do you consider the best part of your Doane experience?
Being a part of Cadre 44 and having the experience of getting to learn from and get to know 30 other professionals who are learning and growing along side of me was a really special experience. I will hold the friendships and relationships I made at Doane close to my heart forever and I know I will always have those people in my corner and will be able to rely on them when I need advice or just someone to check in with.

What will you miss the most about being a Doane student?
I will miss seeing my Cadre 44 members and professors the most! I learned so much from each one of them and not having class each month, although nice, will also be something I miss.

Who was a major influence for you during your education here, and how have they helped you?
Kris Morrison was our lead professor and she has influenced and shaped me in many ways. I was able to learn from her through stories she shared, her calm demeanor throughout our time together and her humor. She was someone we could all go to for advice, clarity, help with an assignment or any other issue and she was always available and willing to help. She exemplified what a true servant leader is and showed that to each of us over and over.

What is something you're proud of achieving or accomplishing while at Doane?
Being a working mom, I am most proud of graduating with my master's with a 4.0 GPA, all while my very busy boys still got to do all the normal activities they are involved with. With the help of amazing friends and family, I was able to balance grad school, work, and my boys and figure out a way to get it all done.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
My advice would be to go into the program and give it your all, work ahead when you can and trust the process! The program is set up in a way that you are ready to lead and will be a better version of yourself when you complete it!

Finishing a degree is tough to begin with, but especially so in recent years — what has helped you overcome challenges you've faced along the way?
The people I met and became close with in Cadre were instrumental in me getting to this point. They knew the struggles and stress of what I was going through so I was able to lean on them when I was feeling overwhelmed or experienced stress. I also have a very close family and amazing friends who stepped in and helped me more times that I can count. I am so thankful for the people in our lives who help us in so many ways.

Finally — what are you most excited about for your future?
I am very excited to begin my new journey at Goodrich Middle School and to get to know the students, staff and families. I am ready for this new challenge and to allow my strengths to help in whatever way they can.