One of my main goals in life is to become the Secretary of Education for the United States. I want to have opportunities to meet great leaders and ask their stories. Therefore, I decided I would go to the undergraduate lunch with Dr. Edelstein yesterday to see if he could tell me his story and provide me with details on how he became the leader of our beloved school, USG. (I also really wanted free lunch before class, so might as well kill two birds with one stone.)
He told us that he really cared for our opinion and wanted us to share our opinions about USG. He, then, proceeded to explain how our introductions to each other had to go. As we went around the room, I got to see and hear the ambitions we all had. It was truly amazing to see that not only does USG have amazing people with tremendous goals in life, but think of ways to collaborate together with each other. It got to my turn, and he seemed amazed and confident that USG will prepare me to reach my goal. He also gave me many resources for internships, and said he could help me set something up with the county! (Keep an eye out for any big news to come.)
After all the intros, he opened up the conversation and I asked him his pathway to USG. I did say I was a student blogger and was going to make my very first post (YAY!) about him! So here is a shorter version of his short version of his pathway to USG. My only disclaimer to you all and Dr. E, if he is reading, is that he was speaking fast, so I hope I wrote the fact down correctly.
- was born in New York
- went to a music school because he loved to play the piano. However, he dropped out because he felt he didn’t have the dedication the other students had
- attended the University of Buffalo and was a chemistry major
- was the student body president from 1964-1968, which was during the Vietnam war and the Civil Right Movement
- had a couple accidents in the Chem labs, so they had him switch to a safer major
- switched to psychology
- moved to the University of California, Berkley to get his Ph.D. in higher education
- Came to UMD College Park
- was an administrator for the Psychology and Social Sciences department there
- became Senior Associate Dean there
- came to USG when it was first built in 2000
- became Executive Director in 2002
- has loved USG ever since
He has had a very interesting life. He reassured us that he has so many more plans for our campus and for his own life. As a student and hopefully a future leader, his story was truly an inspiration. Seeing how open-minded and caring he is about the students and school shows that he really wants to put his students first and ensure our education is exceptional!
When I meet with students at USG I get so excited to hear their stories and aspirations. Being a part of Juanita’s educational journey is a privilege that I treasure. I have every confidence that we are in good hands with future teachers like Juanita. And I have confidence she can realize her dream to become Secretary of Education. Thank you Juanita for writing about my journey. I hope it inspires you as much as you inspire me and all of us at USG.