Angela Steines was fortunate to have an inspirational supervisor early in her work life, the kind of manager that made sure that her door was always open.  So when Steines was given an assignment in her Foundations of Leadership class to interview an inspirational person in her life, she knew just who to choose.  “My supervisor always made a point to remember the important life events of all of her employees, says Steines.  “She also knew when we were particularly busy and would ask what she could do to help us get caught up.”

“Foundations of Leadership’s main concepts centered on being a more effective manager, which is something I aspire to be,” says Steines. “My organizational studies track within the Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree has helped me to learn new skills that will prepare me for this future role.”

Steines first came to the University of Iowa as a freshmen in biomedical engineering in the fall of 2007, but in spring 2009 she became a full-time caregiver for a family member and needed to leave Iowa City. Her life took a different direction than she originally planned—a life event sidetracked Steines’ dreams for a college degree, but like many online degree students, she persisted.  “Taking care of a family member who was no longer able to care for herself was a life decision I don’t regret, and completing a degree online became my best option,” adds Steines. 

Steines was able to complete her Bachelor of Liberal Studies with an organizational studies track in three semesters taking 15 hours a semester.  As a 911 dispatcher for Scott County, she answers 911 calls and dispatches for fire and police.  There are many times that she needs to start early or stay late, so the flexibility of an online program was key.  Being able to complete homework whenever she had time during the day helped Steines succeed, but it also required discipline.  As Steines tells it, “I found out I was great at multitasking. and I love learning online.  It forced me to be more organized in order to stay on track which is a skillset that carries over into my work life.”

“I believe a bachelor’s degree will help me to move into a management role in the future,” says Steines. “My long term goal is to work in Emergency Management, either for the county or possibility the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics.”