Commencement Spotlight: Deirdre Holloway
April 28, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti
The Commencement Spotlight series highlights graduating Bearkats with a “can-do” spirit through challenges and service.
Missouri City, Texas
Doctorate in Educational Leadership
When Deirdre Holloway isn’t helping others pursue their educational dreams, she works on continuing hers. While earning her doctoral degree she has also served as director of student affairs in Fort Bend ISD, where she still works today.
After receiving her bachelor’s from Sam Houston State University and master’s from Prairie View A&M University, Holloway began her professional career as an educator in Houston ISD and continued in Aldine ISD. Under her leadership, her school moved from low performing to exemplary rating and was named a National Distinguished Title 1 school.
To expand her professional passion of working with schools in need of improvement, Holloway made the decision to continue her education with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at SHSU. While the daily balance of school and work can be difficult, Holloway’s journey included some unexpected challenges.
“The winter storm of 2021 flooded my home and I had to live in a hotel and temporary apartment for three months,” she said. “The night before my pipes burst, I was reading journal articles for my literature reviews. When I returned home the next day, all of it was ruined from the ceiling falling.”
The storm also created health issues for her mother, who had to seek emergency medical assistance.
“There were times when I thought about stopping the doctoral program due to all of the challenges. Luckily, my professors were understanding and worked with me,” Holloway said.
In addition to working full time while pursuing a degree, Holloway still made time to give back by helping fellow Bearkats through her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
“During the holidays, a group of my SHSU alumni sorority sisters and I coordinated the donation of female toiletries to the SHSU Tripod Store for students in need. I collected the donations and delivered the bags to the SHSU Alumni Office,” she said.
May 14 will have special meaning for Holloway as she crosses the commencement stage this year.
“In 1994, I graduated on May 14 from SHSU, and now, I graduate again with my doctorate on May 14, 2022,” she said. “I will miss my doctoral cohort family - Cohort 42. We have a very close bond. I will also miss my professors. Sam Houston prepared me to be a strong educational leader from an undergraduate student to receiving my doctorate today.”
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