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June 7, 2019

Graduation Story: Ashley Dorner

We asked graduates to share their journey to graduation. Here is what Ashley Dorner (Communication Management) had to say in her own words…

I am so excited to be attending my graduation ceremony because it is the first time I ever got to see the college I attended remotely from Wisconsin. I started my master’s degree program for communication management back in 2015. At this point, I just bought my first home with my high school sweetheart. I wasn’t sure if I could afford both a house and education, but I knew I wanted both, so I went for it. Going back to school wasn’t easy. I live near Green Bay Wisconsin and worked full time, so I had to set aside at least four nights a week to work on my online classes. I almost think going to school in person was easier for time management. Living afar and time management were not my only struggles on my path to getting my degree. In 2016 I got diagnosed with having a pancreatic tumor the size of an orange. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic were not sure if it was cancerous, but regardless, it was interfering with my ability to live a healthy life and needed to be removed right away. Did I mention I got this news two months before my wedding? Because the surgery posed many possible complications and a long road to recovery, my doctor let me get married first. I managed to keep up with my homework throughout wedding planning. My husband was great and took care of most of the wedding planning so I could focus on school and my health. Two weeks after getting married, I packed up my computer for a long road trip. However, the computer was not to work on my homework during my honeymoon, but instead it was so I could work on my homework from my hospital bed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I kept my professors up-to-date with my health status continued with classes as usual. Because my surgery was so sudden I was mid-semester in my Public Relations class when I had to get operated on. After my surgery, I had many complications and had to be hospitalized for 11 days. Some days I couldn’t get out of bed because of being so ill. Thankfully my family wrote to my professor to get an extension on my paper that was due during a time I was bedridden and could not even do the basic things in life like eat, go to the bathroom or even walk. Things I no longer take for granted. When I was all better, being a week late, I got in my paper for my Public Relation class. I thank my professor for being so understanding of my health situation. My final life event that happened while in school is a happy one. During my final year at DU, I got pregnant. My baby was due in late June when my class was supposed to end, but guess what? My son Logan decided to come over a month early. When my water broke, I quickly packed my hospital bag and guess what was one of the first items in it? My laptop. I may have been in labor on Saturday, but I had a paper due on Sunday. My son was born Saturday morning, and by Sunday night, I wrote an entire paper in the hospital that I can proudly say that I got an A on. The theme of my story is perseverance. Life may get hard and throw obstacles in your way. But as long at you have a goal and you set your mind to it you can accomplish anything. I started college off, being single, childless, and ill. Now, I am a mother, wife, and healthy and almost forgot a proud college graduate with a master’s degree in Communication Management. All this happened because I had perseverance in my life and you can too..

Congratulations, Ashley!

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