COLT Alumni and PhD Student

Diana Thompson

"I've learned so much about not only the field I plan to go into, but simply life in general."


Mililani, Oahu


Learning Design and Technology

Related Degrees

  • Graduate Certificate, Online Learning & Teaching (COLT)
  • PhD, Learning Design & Technology

What is your current position and how long have you been there?

I’m a graduate assistant for the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Distance Education Office, and I am also an assistant academic advisor at the Colleges of Arts and Sciences Student Academic Services.

What was your favorite part about the “Place, Community, and Higher Education” course?*

I’m so used to working with students who are closer to my own age. I rarely get the opportunity to work with children. The middle school students had so much energy and excitement, and it was really cool to see them get pumped about college, dorming, picking their classes… and knowing that none of it is out of their reach as long as they keep the goal in mind.

Explain briefly the impact of the I Am College Bound experience.

A lot of the kids didn’t know much about college at all. If they do go to college, they will likely be first-generation students. They don’t have the guidance from previous generations to know what to expect for college. That’s what this experience really was. It was an opportunity for them to ask the questions, get the answers, and see for themselves what there is to look forward to. Even though it’s only on the other side of the island, it was easy to see that the kids were all so excited to see the campus and what all the older kids are up to. For me, it was another opportunity to take on a project with my teammates and execute it from start to finish. We had to utilize our connections and plan out every little step. It was so gratifying to see it all come together at the end.

What is your philosophy of teaching?

I believe in lifelong learning. Learning doesn’t stop after you graduate. Every experience in life is an opportunity to learn and grow.

How has the COE helped you along your path in education/career?

I aim to become a full-time academic advisor one day. The COE is not only giving me the degree that I need to get there, but it also continues to surprise me every day. Through the coursework that I’ve completed and through the faculty I’ve met, I’ve learned so much about not only the field I plan to go into, but simply life in general. I know that I’ll carry these experiences and memories with me for the rest of my life.

*On May 1, 2014, 70 middle school students and three teachers from Waiʻanae came to campus for a full day of activities, workshops, and class visits. Graduate students in Toby Jenkins-Henry’s (see “Place, Community, and Higher Education” course conceptualized and planned the entire day. I Am College Bound was their final project.

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