Indira Munroe-Farrington came to St. Thomas University to complete a bachelor's degree she started eight years earlier. She will be Dr. Indira Munroe-Farrington by the time she leaves.
"Earning a master's degree was never my intention," she said. "But because of the professors and the courses at St. Thomas, I got bit by the academic bug. I finished my bachelor's degree with a 4.0 GPA and my master's degree with a 4.0 GPA, as well. Being at St. Thomas encouraged me to pursue the highest level of education I possibly could."
Munroe-Farrington enrolled in the Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation online program after graduating from the Master of Science in Instructional Design Technology online program in October 2018. She hopes to finish the doctoral degree by the end of 2021.
"Professors like Dr. Scott Gillig encouraged me, pushed me and believed in me," she said. "If it weren't for their belief in me and my capabilities, I would not be a doctoral student now."
In addition to school, Munroe-Farrington has a dream job traveling the world to promote her home country as a tourist destination for the Bahama Financial Services Board. She also has a son, James Farrington (7).
After graduating from the Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies on-campus program and moving back home, Munroe-Farrington switched to the online format to continue learning.
"I love that flexibility of the online programs," she said. "I have been on a plane to Switzerland having a conference with one of my professors and finishing up a paper. I wouldn't be able to run to a class and sit down for hours on end with my schedule any more. The online program is intense, but it's also convenient."
Back on Track
Munroe-Farrington enrolled in college in 2008 after she graduated from high school. Then, life happened. She got married, became a mother and put school on hold. After talking to a St. Thomas University recruiter about transferring credits, Munroe-Farrington decided it was time to finish what she started.
"I tell people I represent a demographic of women who feel that they've missed their opportunity to go back to school. They have kids and they have a life and activities and work. I encourage women to just start. Once you start, you're going to want to finish."
Enrolling in the online M.Ed. in Instructional Design and Technology program paid immediate dividends for Munroe-Farrington. She started her job at the Bahamas Financial Services Board while still enrolled in the program.
EDF 621: Psychological Foundations of Education, EDT 600: Introduction to Instructional Technology and EDU 503: Applied Research Methods were her three favorite courses in the master's program curriculum. All three are applicable to her current role.
"Going into the program, I thought that it was going to be education, so I could only use it in academia," she said. "But I've been able to implement so many of the different tools I learned into what I do now with marketing in the corporate world. Weaving technology into how people receive information. I learned so much."
Two weeks after Munroe-Farrington completed the master's degree program, she started the first course in the Ed.D. program without missing a beat. She plans to walk in the May 2019 commencement ceremony because there was not one in December.
"I would tell anybody considering an online degree at St. Thomas to get rid of all of the inhibitions they have and go for it," she said. "Just start — even if you enroll in one course. We don't give ourselves as much credit as we deserve a lot of times, so it can seem daunting and scary for adult learners. Just get started."
In addition to the St. Thomas faculty, Munroe-Farrington receives strong encouragement from her family as she balances school with work, travel and motherhood.
"My mom, Janet Miller-Demeritte, and my sister, Shade Munroe, are especially supportive and happy," she said. "My mom has a degree in business and my sister is almost done with her master's degree. My mom thinks the sky is the limit with anything I do."
Although Munroe-Farrington loves her job, she hopes to eventually make a difference in the community in her homeland. She believes the education she is receiving at St. Thomas University is laying a strong foundation for her to achieve that goal.
"I'd like to run my own nonprofit organization geared toward youth in the Bahamas who don't have the best opportunities available to them," she said. "I want that organization to use technology in education to give the children a better chance of succeeding. I would enjoy the opportunity to work somewhere in the U.S. for added experience and exposure, but this is my home. I live where people dream of vacationing."
No matter what the future holds, Munroe-Farrington is happy that St. Thomas University is part of her life. She had a strong connection to the school from the outset when she was attending classes and taking care of her son.
"My professors were so understanding and receptive to me being a mom and my ambition," she said. "My undergrad degree opened doors. Since I got my master's degree, it opened more opportunities on the job, and I have more qualifications and capabilities. I know more and am doing more."
Learn more about the St. Thomas University online Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation program.
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