Heidi Cerdas Monge '08

In retrospect, I'd have to say I came to Lakeland with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I had just moved from the east coast back to my home town of Sheboygan and began the MBA program immediately. Sheboygan hadn't changed much in the 15 years since I had left and taking classes in the middle of a corn field did nothing to soothe the culture shock. My very first class was one of the tougher courses in the program and I had the great fortune to have David Stein as my professor. He took my snide comments and doubtful attitude in stride--pleasantly in fact--as I struggled to fit in to the "we want to get to know you" class atmosphere. I admit, I was a bit rough. However, Professor Stein saw the challenge and embraced it. He encouraged me to be the best I could and to open myself to those around me. His kind and gentle approach to difficult material, infectious smile and patience--the man has so much patience-- helped me look inward and improve my own attitude.

Many times during my courses and after, I've mused that if I had had any other professor for my first class, I may have quit. Thanks David, you were an inspiration to me to succeed, improve and flourish in all environments and I'll always consider you as a very positive influence in my life.

Since graduating the program, I've had the pleasure of sitting on the board of directors for the Alumni Association. That duty has enriched my understanding of not only the value of my Lakeland education, but the college itself and all that it stands for. It has been more rewarding than I imagined and a fantastic way to continue to expand my personal development while enjoying the camaraderie of fellow Muskies. I look forward to many more years of involvement and growing friendships.

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