Lynne Cook '93, '22A returned to Doane to earn her master's and credits her family, including her four children, for providing encouragement. (From left to right are Alicia, Brandon, Lynne. Amanda and Ashley Cook.)
Lynne Cook '93, '22A returned to Doane to earn her master's and credits her close friends and family, including her four children, for providing encouragement and support. (From left to right are Alicia, Brandon, Lynne, Amanda and Ashley Cook.)

We asked faculty from Crete, Lincoln and Omaha to recommend graduating seniors in spring '22 who stood out in their classes. These students — our Featured Tigers — are just a few of the many talented and driven leaders from Doane's undergraduate and graduate programs. View all Featured Tigers here.

Let’s get started: tell us your name, your hometown, your degree program and some of the activities you participated in at Doane.
Lynne Cook
From Brainard, Nebraska
Earned her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education in 1993 and Master of Arts in Management in 2022, both from Doane

First off — congratulations! How do you feel as you head into the next phase of your life?
I am elated to have achieved a long-overdue goal to further my education. I feel blessed, confident, empowered, and well-equipped as I move forward to navigate whatever future endeavors arise.

What’s your next step after graduation?
I will continue to work for the Nebraska Department of Education, but expand upon supporting the learning and growth of others as a Reflective Practice Trainer, mentor, and coach.

How has attending Doane prepared you for your next steps?
The MAM Program helped me rediscover who I am, what I believe, and how I want to show up in the world. I am prepared to be my best self, not shy away from creating opportunities, and ready to tackle what is to come.
My experience at Doane helped me learn how to create a work/school/life balance. I have been able to apply new knowledge, skills, and strategies to strengthen my leadership skills. I also dreamt of future goals, which are already coming to fruition.

What do you consider the best part of your Doane experience?
I feel my entire Master’s experience was great! The MAM program was precisely what I needed at this juncture of my life. I enjoyed the new learning, meeting incredible people, and building relationships with my classmates and instructors. The best part is growing as a person and leader.

What is something you’re proud of achieving or accomplishing while at Doane?
I am proud to have earned my Master’s degree at Doane. I had unfinished business because I began my Bachelor’s in Elementary Ed./Special Ed. but did not finish in the early 90s. My life’s journey took me another way, but as fate would have it, I have been fortunate to be able to return to Doane and finally receive my diploma.

Who was a major influence for you during your education here, and how have they helped you? 
I contribute my educational success to my four children, my parents, my siblings, and close friends. Their encouragement, love, and support are immeasurable. They are my bedrock and bring out the best in me.
I must also acknowledge Cathy Dillon, whom I met in January of 2020 to learn more about the MAM Program. I registered for my first class within the same week. Little did I know how much my Doane experience would positively impact me professionally and personally. Cathy’s encouragement, coaching, and instruction have helped me to allow my light to shine brightly.

What will you miss the most about being a Doane student? 
I will miss the connection with fellow students and learning about their stories. I will also miss being in class and learning from the instructors. Doane is a great community and I thoroughly enjoyed being a student, supported by all.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
I advise any student, whether you are just out of high school or returning to college after a long hiatus, never give up on your desire to learn and grow. Starting something new can be scary but believe in yourself and follow your heart. It is well worth your time, energy, and effort.

Finishing a degree is tough to begin with, but especially so in recent years — what has helped you overcome the challenges of the past three semesters?
Working on a degree as a non-traditional student can be difficult. The challenges of Covid-19, working full-time, family needs, and completing schoolwork are demanding. I relied upon my faith, family, and friends who encouraged me to keep going. I also leaned on my classmates and instructors who inspired me to press on. Finally, I believed in myself and was determined to achieve my goal of obtaining a Master’s degree.

Finally — what are you most excited about for your future? 
I am excited to make a positive difference in the world. I will let my light shine as I support the learning and growth of others through my leadership.