Mary Lou Dyke ’16, ’17 transferred to Shenandoah University after attending Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC). The two institutions have an articulation agreement, in which LFCC transfer students can earn their Master of Business Administration in five years through the School of Business. Although Dyke came to the university under this agreement, after arriving she was welcomed with open arms into the Shenandoah family. Dyke was returning to school after nearly 30 years of being in the workforce. She was accepted by the younger students and before ever attending a class, she was invited to President Tracy Fitzsimmons’ home.
“Shenandoah was there every step of my journey whether it was encouraging me if I felt I made a mistake in pursuing a higher degree or congratulating me on my many accomplishments,” said Dyke.
During her time on campus, she was a member of the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi and the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa. One of Dyke’s fondest memories while at Shenandoah was being a part of the Global Experiential Learning program. She and her classmates were tasked with helping a company called Money Strands, located in Barcelona, Spain. When they traveled to Spain, they delivered their findings in a presentation to the company. “This was the first time I was ever outside of the United States,” said Dyke. “I will always cherish these memories.”
Dyke is an emergency management specialist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Winchester, Virginia. In her role, she assists survivors in a time of recovery in the event of a major disaster. The most rewarding part of Dyke’s position is having compassion and empathy while helping others in a time of need.
Dyke believes that her education from Shenandoah prepared her to use today’s technology. Her education also taught her to keep an open mind and heart when working with people of different ethnicities and cultures.
“A special thank you to all the faculty and staff at Shenandoah who guided and directed me to become a successful woman with a high level of self esteem and confidence,” said Dyke. “Thank you Tracy Fitzsimmons, Dr. Miles Davis, Dr. Clarresa Morton and Holli Phillips.”
Dyke’s advice to students is: “Do not be afraid of learning how to learn again. Yes, this was very hard after graduating from high school in 1982. But, if you have the mindset to sacrifice the time in your life, your new future will be brighter.”