About Deena Mannetti
When Deena Mannetti went back to school in her 40s, she felt like this was an important do over in her life. She hadn’t worked hard enough the first time around. Sure, she’d earned an associate degree, but she hadn’t reached high enough in those days.
“I put the challenge in front of myself this time,” she says. “I was going to really push myself.”
Deena had three teenage children, was recently remarried, held a job in the government sector and was selling real estate, but when she enrolled at Russell Sage College to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration there were going to be no excuses.
And the thing is, she loves the program, in no small measure because it immediately made the stakes seem even higher.
“As I watched and listened to my professors,” she says, “I learned that they all have other career paths going on, just like me. They’re still working hard. When I see what they’ve accomplished, I want to do just as well as they have.”
Eileen Brownell, Ph.D., an associate professor and chairperson of the undergraduate business programs, has made a particularly strong impression.
“She’s put me on a higher path,” Deena says. “She’s shown me that as things change in life, we need to change and grow and move forward. She’s an inspiration. If something doesn’t work, she reminds me, you move on and don’t get stuck. And she’s also helped me to see that it’s important to give back in life.”
All of her professors seem to embody this ethic.
“They know who you are,” Deena says. “They look forward to working with you. And they push you. Because they want to put you on the path to succeed.”
The school experience has also had an impact on Deena’s other life. She’s been making it a point, she says, to inspire her children to keep going when they find things getting tough. “I think everyone has this ability within them to overcome,” she says.
And, Deena’s example seems to suggest, they also have the ability when given a second chance to make the most of the opportunity.
“As I watched and listened to my professors, I learned that they all have other career paths going on, just like me. They’re still working hard. When I see what they’ve accomplished, I want to do just as well as they have.”