The OSU Chemistry Department’s online students take our classes for a variety of reasons. Some are wanting to earn an online degree, get some chemistry credits to finish up a degree, or need more chemistry knowledge for their work. Others are interested in moving toward a new career, and chemistry is a foundation for the new work they plan to do. Some of these career paths can be surprising; we would like to introduce you to Deborah Kenner, who has taken CH 140, our 6-credit General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry.
How did you end up where you are on this journey?
I received my BFA in ballet performance from the University of Arizona as a full scholarship student. After graduation, I moved to Colorado where I danced with Colorado Ballet and David Taylor Dance Theatre. I spent 10 years dancing professionally until I tore my ACL. During rehab on my knee, I went through a Pilates certification program; I thought this would be a great way to help myself get back on stage. I soon discovered I enjoyed learning about how the body functions and realized it was not in my best interest to be back on stage. As I taught more and more ballet and Pilates, I wanted to learn more about the body. In 2010, my dream of teaching at one of the top training facilitaties in the country became a reality. Immediately, I relocated to Seattle and began my journey at Pacific Northwest Ballet. I am thankful I am able to share my love of ballet with the next generation.
When I decided to return to school my plan was to attend PT school. I have been working on pre-reqs for about a year now and have completely changed my mind about my future goals. This change of heart happened during a nutrition class. I have watched many friends over the years–and now young ballet dancers–struggle with weight and proper nutrition. I believe there is a need for people to help children understand how to take care of their bodies. I want to be a positive influence in these young people’s lives and show them that it is not necessary to go to drastic measures in order to achieve what society believes to be desirable. My next step is to complete a Nutritional Therapy certification program, finish my last few pre-requisites and apply to grad school.
Do you have any advice for other online students?
Online classes require a ton of discipline. The best advice I have is to set small goals and deadlines. Most of the assignments are due at the end of the quarter, but setting personal deadlines helped me stay on top of the work load. I would also suggest asking as many questions as you need.
Do you have a family you would like to tell us about?
I have a great support system. My Dad is always available to cheer me on or keep me motivated when I think I have bit off more than I can handle. Unfortunately, I lost my Mom in 2005, she was my number one fan. I know she is happy that I am finally back in school working towards my next goal. I think she might be a little surprised I have decided on Nutrition. I would have become a victim of an eating disorder if it weren’t for her guidance. I am also so thankful that I have such a wonderful boyfriend who encourages me to be a better, more patient person!