|Belinda D. Presley, Ph.D.|
The woman I married almost a quarter a century ago had then recently confronted a crisis in her life, losing the chance to enter a doctoral program at Texas A&M in entomology.
Life treats us unfairly at times, but being the determined person she is, she knew she could reach her destination even though it might require a detour.
The destination: becoming a doctor.
She'd grown up with the ambition to become a registered nurse, but the Americans with Disabilities Act had yet to become law, and she had a significant hearing impairment. Nursing schools wouldn't accept her.
She decided she would pursue an education despite being told science was no place for someone with that sort of disability. She obtained a bachelor's degree in biology.
Then came the doctoral opportunity, but that door closed.
She enrolled in Missouri State University and earned a Masters degree in microbiology/immunology. Her sponsor happened to mention in the process, "A lab is no place for a woman."
Next came certification in Medical Technology. That was another year of school. Then certification in Histo-technology. Both of these are certifications and licenses gained through the American College of Pathologists.
Then a Masters degree in Health Administration and appointment as director of hospital and clinical laboratories for a healthcare facility serving multiple counties in southwest Missouri.
Why stop there? Why not a Ph.D.?
And so it went. More studied. More perseverance.
Although the graduation ceremony won't be held until January, Belinda's thesis was recently accepted and approved, and she can officially say, "Hello. My name is Dr. Belinda Presley."