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Becoming a "Dr." offers greater opportunity to be a mom

While growing up, Bonnie Adams often held “class” in her backyard clubhouse. “I’ve wanted to teach ever since I was a kid,” she said. With a bachelor’s degree in Family Life Sciences from Montana State University and a master’s degree in Communication Studies from Eastern Washington University, Adams worked as a professional for more than 20 years in roles such as a social worker, managing the Washington State Child Welfare system, student services administrator, and other management positions. During that time, she began teaching part-time as an adjunct faculty member at St. Martin’s University in Washington.

Now married with two children, Adams is a recent DBA graduate of Argosy University, Seattle. “I chose to get a doctorate degree with the goal of increased flexibility so that I could raise my kids,” she said. She completed the program in just two years and four months. While Bonnie balanced family life with a professional position, a part-time job, and doctoral studies, she kept telling her kids she was doing it all now so that she could be with them during the summer. She even completed her dissertation in a compressed six-month period.

“I’m very goal oriented,” Adams said, “You’ve got to be clear about what you want, be organized, and have passion for your goal. It’s especially difficult for women with children — how do you balance your home and professional life?”

Today, Adams teaches a combination of online and classroom courses for six higher learning institutions, and is pursuing a full-time teaching position. She will begin teaching at the Seattle campus this year. Other schools she teaches for include: Chatman University College, Olympic College, and St. Martins. In addition, she teaches online courses for Touro University International, and University of Phoenix.

 “I don’t like to be called doctor,” she said. “I let my students call me Bonnie. I pursued the doctorate only so that I could teach full-time. That’s my goal, to someday have a place that’s my work-home.” Adams said she “probably will always teach at St. Martins just for fun and something different, especially as the kids get older and busier.”

Adams’ husband, who supported her studies and professional pursuits, recently retired after serving 23 years in the Navy. “I’m proud of him for committing to our country,” she said. “Things do work out if you can just let it go and not worry. It’s better to spend the worry time focusing on your goals. I believe we all end up where we’re supposed to be.”

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