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!

Mariah Reicks ’23E
Mariah Reicks ’23E recognized her servant leadership potential during her journey in Doane's educational leadership program — and also learned a leader isn't so much as a title as it is who you are.

Mariah Reicks ’23E

From 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?
I am extremely thankful to the Doane Educational Leadership program for providing me with such a strong foundation to continue and grow in my career. The graduate EDL program at Doane prioritizes personal growth alongside servant leadership, which uniquely prepares me to lead and serve my school community.

What's your next step after graduation?
I accepted a new role as an Instructional Coordinator (administrator) at Lincoln Public Schools and I am looking forward to continuing to serve the students, families and staff at Southwest High School.

How has attending Doane prepared you for your next steps?
Doane has been instrumental to my growth both personally and professionally. The Educational Leadership Program at Doane is tailored for educators and taught by educational leaders, which makes the learning both timely and applicable.

What do you consider the best part of your Doane experience?
The best part of the Doane experience was the opportunity to meet and network with other educators in my Cadre. Their varied experiences gave me the chance to grow through the perspectives of my peers as well as my professors. I am so grateful that those personal and professional connections will carry on long after graduation thanks to Doane and Cadre 44!

What will you miss the most about being a Doane student?
Although the EDL program is arduous, the overall experience was well worth it. I will miss the collaborative, supportive environment that Cadre 44 fostered. Doane cultivates an uplifting, inspiring community and I would encourage anyone to pursue their degree through Doane.

Who was a major influence for you during your education here, and how have they helped you?
Kris Morrison, Michelle Phillips, and Alan Eighme had an incredible influence on me throughout this program. They are not only wonderful instructors, but also encouragers who created an inspiring space for me to recognize myself as a leader and an agent for change in my community.

What is something you're proud of achieving or accomplishing while at Doane?
I am most proud to have learned that a leader can lead without a title. Before Doane, I had a very rigid idea about what a leader looked like. Doane taught me that there is a leader in all of us and how we lead goes hand-in-hand with who we are. Knowing who I am is synonymous with knowing how to lead, and that lesson is at the forefront of the Educational Leadership Program at Doane.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
Discover your "why" and let that lead you.

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?
I relied immensely on my community of friends, family, and my fiancé, Max. None of this would have been possible without their unending support and encouragement. Thank you!

Finally — what are you most excited about for your future?
I am just so excited to continue to work in education. I love working with students in our community and seeking out opportunities for them that will enhance their success. There is no better feeling than positively impacting those around you.