Alumna Spotight: Paula Novacki, `14
Ever wondered what life after graduation will look like? Meet Paula Novacki!
"Being with the UofSC family for over eight years, motivated me to become a member in the Alumni Association to stay connected to the Gamecock network."
For John Corral, Ed.D, an army veteran serving 21 years, earning a Doctorate in Education from the University of South Carolina was a lifetime achievement.
When Corral retired and gained employment as a JRTOTC teacher he was still seeking to do something different in leadership. So that’s when he set out on a new challenge in the University of South Carolina’s School of Education.
Corral started taking graduate courses in 2005 and earned a Master’s in Educational Administration in 2009. “I enjoyed the classes and felt that the program prepared leaders to take on the challenges required of school administration,” he says. “The program made me a better teacher and leader inside and outside the classroom.”
Once completing his master’s degree, Corral went on to earn a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. Corral notes that perseverance was the key in obtaining this degree.
On the path to earning a doctorate, Corral recalls a memorable experience at the Doctoral Symposium held in the University of South Carolina Alumni Center. The symposium is where he defended his dissertation to a committee of four professors by giving a presentation followed by a question and answer discussion. “This was a time to show a group of distinguished professors that I was up for the challenge,” Corral says. “After the discussion session, I stepped outside so the group could determine if I earned the right to be a Doctor. Minutes later, my advisor Dr. Leigh DeAmico said, ‘Congratulations Doctor Corral your presentation was outstanding,’.” These are words he will never forget.
Once graduating from South Carolina, becoming a Life Member in My Carolina Alumni Association came natural for Corral. “Being with the UofSC family for over eight years, motivated me to become a member in the Alumni Association to stay connected to the Gamecock network,” he says.
As for next steps, Corral seeks to apply his experience from South Carolina by teaching college classes and guiding fellow students along their chosen career in higher education.
Stay connected. Be an advocate. Get engaged.
To learn more about Dr. Corral’s journey or to contact him directly, email him at [email protected]